Since her disappearance in 1937, the world has remained mystified regarding the whereabouts of Amelia Earhart, who was assumed to have died in a plane crash. Now researchers are saying that they have made a shocking discovery about Earhart and her remains.
In 1940, the remains of a castaway were found on Nikumaroro (otherwise known as Gardner Island), and while they were suspected to be Amelia’s, this theory was dismissed after a doctor thought the bones belonged to a male. After this, the remains disappeared and became a cold case until TIGHAR found the original British case files in 1998.
After looking over the files, Karen Burns, Ph.D. and Richard Jantz, Ph.D. who work as forensic anthropologists began analyzing the structure of the bones included. It was then that they began to realize that “the morphology of the recovered bones, insofar as we can tell by applying contemporary forensic methods to measurements taken at the time, appears consistent with a female of Earhart’s height and ethnic origin.”
It was then that Ric Gillespie, the director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) began to theorize that Amelia may have spent her last days alive as a castaway on a deserted Pacific Island.
As Jantz continued to analyze the bone structure of the corpse, he also realized that in the British doctor’s notes, the humerus was noted to be 32.4 centimeters long, with a radius of 24.5 centimeters. The ratio they calculated from this number would be 0.756 to the length of the humerus. According to statistics, women who were born in the late 19th century usually had a humerus ratio that averaged around 0.73. This would basically mean that the bones belonged to a European woman who had ‘considerably longer’ than average forearms.
Jeff Glickman, who is a forensic imaging specialist was then called. He and doctor Jantz then found a photograph of Amelia that clearly showed her forearms and what they discovered was that her forearms were virtually identical to the ratio calculated in the report.
When speaking with The Washington Post, Jeff Glickman explained that while he understands that people may be skeptical about his findings, he insists that the research backs the claims of Earhart dying on the island.
“I started out as an outside contractor 25 years ago with a rather neutral opinion about it,” said Glickman, who is now a member of TIGHAR. “Over the years, the body of evidence that was originally quite circumstantial is becoming more compelling.”
It is that very research that made Glickman a believer that has become the basis for a new theory regarding the manner in which Amelia died. Now researchers believe that Amelia became stranded after her plane landed at Gardner Island.
On top of the physical evidence depicted in the report, Amelia had sent out over 100 radio signals for almost a week during the time she was assumed to have crashed.
“Earhart made a relatively safe landing at Gardner Island and sent radio distress calls for six days,” Gillespie said in the YouTube presentation. “There are 47 messages heard by professional radio operators that appear to be credible.”
Contained in one of the messages from Amelia was that she was near her destination of Howland Island but that her plane was low on fuel. The U.S Navy then began searching for Amelia and her plane, but when the battleship that was sent to search reached the island a week later after radio signals led them there, they didn’t see her or her plane.
Gillespie, said: “They sent three airplanes to fly over the island.
“They didn’t see people, they didn’t see an airplane, and they wrote it off.”
Gillespie believes that waves from the ocean drug her plane out into the ocean by the coral reef and that it sank.
Turtle bones, burned fish and bird bones were found on the island, indicating that someone was trying to survive. They also discovered a small bottle that held water inside of a larger bottle over a fire pit. This may have been used to purify water for drinking. It is because of this that Gillespie and his group maintain that Amelia probably survived for months on the island.
TIGHAR is now attempting to raise 1.32 million Euros so that they can go back to the island on submarines to search for the remains of her plane. While the researchers agree that their theory is solid, Gillespie has stated that “The public wants something ironclad.” Continuing, “They don’t want to hear about artifacts or radio signals. They want a damn airplane.”
You can watch Gillespie’s presentation of the data they have along with his theory in the video below.