A new scientific breakthrough may help solve the case of legendary pilot Amelia Earhart, who went missing while attempting to become the first female pilot to fly around the world in 1937.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, or TIGHAR, has proposed a theory that Earhart landed her plane safely on a remote island before dying as a castaway, Fox News reported.
According to scientists, a new discovery shows a striking resemblance between Earhart and the partial skeleton of a castaway found on the island of Kiribati in 1940. A historical photo is being used as a clue.
Earhart became the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean in May 1932, taking off in Canada and landing in Ireland. She flew from Hawaii to California three years later and won a $10,000 prize.
Earhart attempted to fly around the world with co-pilot Frederick J. Noonan. Their plane disappeared somewhere near Howland Island.
TIGHAR’s Ric Gillespie revealed in August that Earhart made more than 100 radio transmissions calling for help in July 1937. This information ruled out the possibility of a crash landing in which she died.
Bones were found on Gardner Island, also known as Nikumaroro. They were examined in 1940, but doctors said they belonged to a male. Scientist later said the bones were “consistent with a female of Earhart’s height and ethnic origin.”
Anthropologist Richard Jantz noticed that the skeleton’s forearms were longer than average. Forensic imaging specialist Jeff Glickman used a photo of Earhart to calculate the ratio between the bones in her arm.
“Because there is tissue over the skeleton in living people ... the location of each bone end must be estimated,” he wrote in a report published Oct. 17. “Given the evidence and my experience in the field of photogrammetry and photo interpretation, I estimate that the radius-to-humerus ratio of Amelia Earhart is 0.76.”
Jantz estimated that the difference between Earhart’s lower and upper arm was identical to the skeleton found in the South Pacific.