KOFO Local News

New forensic evidence called a clue to Earhart mystery

Posted in Uncategorized by kofonews on November 3, 2016

KIRIBATI — A group dedicated to learning the fate of legendary aviator and Kansas native Amelia Earhart said new forensic evidence supports its theory that she survived a plane crash but died as a castaway on a remote Pacific Island.  Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared over the central Pacific during her record-breaking attempt to fly around the world in 1937.  Ric Gillespie, of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), said he believe she crashed on remote Gardner Island, about 400 miles south of her intended destination of Howland Island.   TIGHAR researchers have searched the island, which is now called Nikumaroro, in the Pacific nation of Kiribati, also known as the former Gilbert Islands.  TIGHAR’S forensics experts have pored over a medical report of a partial skeleton found on the island in 1940.  A British doctor originally concluded it was of a man.  The report was forgotten for nearly 60 years when researchers found it in 1998.  Using modern forensic techniques, the TIGHAR’S forensics experts concluded the skeleton was of a middle-aged European-descent woman.  One of the researchers, Richard Jantz, a anthropologist from the University of Tennessee, noticed that the forearms were unusually long for a European woman, Gillespie said.  Jeff Glickman, a forensic imaging specialist, looked at a photo of Earhart in which her bare arms are fully visible.  He found that her forearm appears to match the length of the skeleton’s forearm.  Gillespie said that Earhart radioed approximately 100 distress calls over a four-day period following the crash.  She wouldn’t have been able to operate the radio without one of the engine of her Lockheed Electra running, he said.

Thursday, Nov. 3, 2 p.m.

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