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80 years later, Amelia Earhart is still flying

A forensic study establishes that the bones found in a Pacific atoll can be those of the legendary aviator disappeared in 1937

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80 years later, Amelia Earhart is still flying

Amelia Earhart has been in air for 80 years. Since its disappearance on July 3, 1937 in Pacific, mystery of American aviator has not ceased to add unknown. The last one has come from hand of a study published this week in journal Forensic Anthropology. The investigation maintains that bones found in Nikumaroro Coral Atoll have a high probability of corresponding to pioneer. "The analyses reveal that remains are more similar to it than to 99% of individuals. This strongly supports conclusion that bones belonged to Amelia Earhart, "writes Richard Jantz, professor emeritus of Forensic anthropology at University of Tennessee.

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The work has led to thought that enigma touches its end. The last time Earhart was seen alive was on July 2, 1937, when she took off with her Lockheed Elektra Bimotor from Lae airfield in Papua New Guinea. Determined to go around world, adventurer, 39, was about to complete a 4,000-kilometre-long stage to Howland Island, between Australia and Hawaii. Twenty hours after taking flight, he issued his last message. "We're on a north-south line." Then no more was known. The legendary aviator, first woman to have overflowed Atlantic and whose fame was on way to eclipse Charles Lindberg, had been lost to history.

For decades, hyposis about his death has multiplied. Every new clue has been received with worldwide attention. The same has happened with contribution of Professor Jantz. If its conclusions were true, last moments of pioneer could be explained. Earhart, unable to complete his journey, would have reached vicinity of island of Nikumaroro and re, it is not known wher alone or accompanied by his co-pilot, Fred Noonan, would have died. An image of enormous romanticism that marries hyposis of followers of this case, bent on rejecting conclusions reached by U.S. government and claim that apparatus crashed in ocean due to mechanical failure or lack of fuel , and that body sank into Pacific waters.

Many have been expeditions sent to area in recent years to prove orwise. Almost all have had as a reference Nikumaroro. The atoll, which has recorded sporadic chapters of occupation, was on dates of uninhabited accident. The different explorations have rescued objects from 1930s, from shoes and makeup jars to razors. But none of m have provided track to allow return of official version. There are no traces of DNA or elements that can be attributed to Earhart. Not even bones that have illuminated new hope were considered of her.

The bone samples were found on atoll in 1940. They lay next to a bottle of Benedictine and box of a sextant. They were quickly sent for forensic analysis to Fiji Islands, where y were determined to correspond to a man. Then, as time passed, y were lost.

In his research, Professor Jantz, not being able to count on remains (skull, humerus, radius, tibia, fibula and femur), has been limited to technical notes taken by specialists of 1940. Along way, it has also had to face anor revision, carried out in 2015, and which validated first results.

These obstacles have not discouraged Jantz. On contrary, Professor considers that methodologies used were not correct and after a thorough examination and with help of photographs of adventurer has established possible link. This is not a definitive step. Not even a substantial breakthrough. It's anor hyposis. Maybe or not. The forensic anthropologist himself recognizes it: "If bones are not hers, y are from someone very similar to her." But none of it has mattered. It was enough that re was a chance for hope to fly again. 80 years later.


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