A shoe, a bottle of Benedictine, and bones
March 8, 2018 5:47 AM Subscribe
After re-examining bones found on the South Pacific island of Nikumaroro in 1940, and comparing them to written and photographic records of her physical measurements, University of Tennessee professor Richard L. Jantz believes these bones belong to famed aviator Amelia Earhart, saying that her measurements were “more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99 [percent] of individuals in a large reference sample,” thus supporting the long-held theory that Earhart died a castaway on the island.
From the study:
From the study:
This paper addresses two issues: (1) it evaluates Hoodless’s methods and Cross and Wright’s support of them, and (2) it compares the Nikumaroro bones with what we can learn about Amelia Earhart’s bone lengths. When Hoodless conducted his analysis, forensic osteology was not yet a well-developed discipline. Evaluating his methods with reference to modern data and methods suggests that they were inadequate to his task; this is particularly the case with his sexing method. Therefore his sex assessment of the Nikumaroro bones cannot be assumed to be correct. To address the question of whether the Nikumaroro bones match estimates of Amelia Earhart’s bone lengths, I compare Earhart’s bone lengths with the Nikumaroro bones using Mahalanobis distance. This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample. This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart.