New research claims that bones found on a remote Pacific Island almost eight decades ago are likely those of missing aviator Amelia Earhart.

The pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart disappeared while attempting to circumnavigate the globe in 1937, in a case that has baffled the world for generations. Earhart was flying with her Irish American Fred Noonan whose body has also never been discovered.

Thirteen bones found on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940 have once again become the center of speculation for researchers.  A shoe, a Benedictine bottle, and a sextant box also found at the same time supported the evidence that Earhart (pictured below) may have been stranded on the island.

Amelia Earhart circa 1928 (Flickr)

Amelia Earhart circa 1928 (Flickr)

At the time, the bones were analyzed by Dr. D. W. Hoodless,  principal of the Central Medical School in Fiji, who concluded that they belonged to a male. 

Dr. Hoodless estimated that the stature of the mystery individual would have been a 5ft 5.5inch short, stock, European male, between 45-55 years old.

Yet in a new study by researcher Richard Jantz, Anthropology Professor at the University of Tennessee, the academic claims that the measurements match those of Earhart.

Jantz published his resarch in the Forensic Anthropology journal, stating that his new findings "strongly support the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart."
Amelia Earhart (Flickr)

Amelia Earhart (Flickr)

Jantz said that Earhart's humerus, radius, tibia length and body dimensions were measured using some of her clothing kept at the George Palmer Putnam Collection of Amelia Earhart Papers at Purdue University.
After comparing numerous measurements of Earhart with those of the found bones, Jantz concluded that "the only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart."


Following their examination in 1940, the bones were lost and all that remains is Dr. Hoodless' initial notes and measurements. 

"If the bones do not belong to Amelia Earhart, then they are from someone very similar to her," Jantz wrote.

Jantz was a part of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) which published a theory in 2016 that Earhart died as a castaway, not in a plane crash.

TIGHAR have long been investigating the idea that Earhart and her Irish American navigator Fred Noonan had an emergency landing on Nikumaroro island while looking for Howland. (The researchers base their hypothesis on Earhart’s last radio transmissions.)

Earhart previously gained international attention when she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic in 1932.

In response to whether the mystery that has captivated the world has finally been solved, University of West Florida Anthropology Professor Kristina Killgrove disputed that the findings were definitive.
"As the search for the missing bones has been ongoing for more than two decades at this point, I don’t think the likelihood of anyone ever finding them is high," she told The Guardian.

Still missing: Amelia Earhart and her Irish American navigator Fred NoonanPublic Domaine