It's a mystery that has captivated the world since famed aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared on July 2, 1937.
On the longest leg of her around-the-world flight, from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island, a trip of 2,556 miles, Earhart suddenly disappeared. Speculation and conspiracy theories abounded: She landed safely on a remote island, she was captured by the Japanese, even that she turned back and assumed another identity.
A new scientific study now claims to have solved the enduring mystery of what happened to her. A scientist has concluded that bones found nearly 80 years ago on a remote Pacific island are almost definitely those of Earhart.
"Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, argues that bones discovered on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 were likely Earhart’s remains. The research contradicts a forensic analysis of the remains in 1941 that described the bones as belonging to a male," Fox News reported.
Jantz says those bones are a "99%" match for Earhart. The scientist used bone measurement analysis to determine that the remains match estimates of Earhart’s bone lengths, the New York Daily News reported.
He based his analysis on three main criteria, including the ratio of the femur’s circumference to its length, the angle of the femur and pelvis, and the subpubic angle, which is formed between two pelvis bones and is wider in women than in men.
“This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart,” Jantz wrote in his study, published in journal “Forensic Anthropoly.”
But unfortunately, the bones were subsequently lost and all that remains are measurements — so no doubt the mystery will live on.