It’s been one of the most enduring mysteries of the last two centuries, but a scientist at the University of Tennessee thinks he might have finally discovered what happened to Amelia Earhart after she jetted off on her fateful journey around the world back in 1937.
Earhart, along with navigator Fred Noonan, was attempting a solo journey when she mysteriously disappeared during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island in the Pacific.
Bones were later found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940, but after analysing them in 1941, Dr David Hoodless, a medical doctor, determined they most likely belonged to a short, stocky man of European heritage, who stood at around 167 centimetres.
By comparison, Earhart was female, slender and stood at around 176 centimetres.
But according to Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor, the bones could belong to Earhart after all, given they wouldn't have had the proper technology to analyse them correctly back in 1941.
"When Hoodless conducted his analysis, forensic osteology was not yet a well-developed discipline," he told the New York Post.
"Evaluating his methods with reference to modern data and methods suggests that they were inadequate to his task; this is particularly the case with his sexing method. Therefore his sex assessment of the Nikumaroro bones cannot be assumed to be correct."
Furthermore, Jantz believes the width of the subpubic angle - which is between the two pelvic bones - is more in line with a female, given women have wider pelvises than men. He said this was something they didn't understand back in 1941.
Jantz found the bones matched Earhart more closely than any of the other people he had analysed.
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"This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample," he added.
"This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart."
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