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Remains of Amelia Earhart Found?

Three tiny bony fragments have been found on an uninhabited island in the south Pacific, and investigators think they may have belonged to Amelia Earhart.

The aviator, who gained international fame when she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, disappeared in 1937 while trying to fly around the world.

She was 41 years old at the time. The bodies of her and her navigator were never found.

But now researchers found the bones, one believed to be from a finger and one from a neck, on an island called Nikumaroro. DNA tests will determine if it is Earhart's.

The bones were found alongside pieces of a pocket knife, pre-war American bottles and makeup from a woman's compact, as well as remains of small fires as well as bird and fish bones and empty oyster shells laid in rows as if to catch water were also recovered.

This has led to speculation that Earhart survived for some time, ultimately dying and her remains eaten by crabs.

"After 22 years of rigorous research and 10 grueling expeditions, we can say that all of the evidence we have found on Nikumaroro is consistent with the hypothesis that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan landed and eventually died there as castaways," said Ric Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

"We could see that the knife had been beaten apart with a blunt object... apparently in order to remove the blades," he said. "We can only speculate but if you're a castaway and you need to make a spear to catch fish, maybe the blades are more useful that way than still attached to the knife."

While Earhart's family provided DNA for the test, Gillespie said they were not happy with the latest discovery. "A crash at sea, that's nice and clean and a quick ending," he said.

The claims about Earhart's final resting place were made in a documentary on the Discovery Channel that aired over the weekend.


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