Speed Reads

mystery solved?

Study: Bones found on remote island likely belonged to Amelia Earhart

An anthropology professor says bones discovered on Nikumaroro Island in 1940 most likely belonged to Amelia Earhart, the aviator who disappeared in 1937 while flying over the South Pacific.

In his study, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology, Richard Jantz writes that when the bones were found, "there was suspicion" they could be Earhart's, but when they were examined in Fiji in 1941, it was determined they belonged to a man. "Forensic osteology was not yet a well-developed discipline," he said.

The bones have since gone missing, but using modern technology and Earhart's measurements, Jantz said he found Earhart is "more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 [percent] of individuals in a large reference sample. In the case of the Nikumaroro bones, the only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart." If those were Earhart's bones, Jantz said, it's likely she died on the island as a castaway.