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'Amelia Earhart's skeleton' discovered on deserted Pacific island

THE decades-old mystery of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance has been cracked with 99 per cent certainty, according to a top scientist probing the case. Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology p…

THE decades-old mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance has been cracked with 99 per cent certainty, according to a top scientist probing the case.

Richard Jantz, an emeritus anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, is convinced a skeleton found on the Pacific Island of Nikumaroro in 1940 is that of the intrepid aviator.

Amelia Earhart was flying from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island when she disappeared

Aged 39, Earhart had been attempting to fly around the world when she vanished with navigator Fred Noonan on July 2, 1937, during a flight from Papua New Guinea to Howland Island.

She was declared dead two years later, and it has always been assumed she died in the smash, with her remains lost to the sea.

Human bones were found on Nikumaroro in 1940 but tests carried out by Dr David Hoodless on British Fiji soon after concluded they belonged to a man.

But now scientists believe this was a mistake - with Jantz saying they are almost certainly Amelia’s.

Getty - Contributor

Amelia Earhart might have been the first to fly around the world had her plane not vanished over the south Pacific  in 1937

Credit: Pen News

Amelia poses in the cockpit of a Stearman-Hammond just under one year before she vanished

Getty - Contributor

The aviator's plane was last seen on radar on July 2, 1937 after running into trouble having missed the island.

The skeleton has since been lost but Dr Janz has compared their recorded measurements to the probable dimensions of Earhart's and reached a remarkable conclusion.

He said: "What I can say scientifically is that they are 99 per cent likely to be her."

Dr Jantz estimated the dimensions of comparable bones in Earhart's body by analysing photos where she appeared alongside objects which can still be measured today.

He said: "We had the lengths of three bones that Hoodless reported lengths for.

"Then we realised there were some ways we could get more information about Amelia Earhart's dimensions that could be compared directly to the bones."

Space Imaging

The Pacific Island of Nikumaroro where not just bones were found, but fragments and items of American products

Dr Janz's team measured the length of her humerus and radius bones from a photo that had a scalable object in it.

He said: "Then we also had her a good estimate of her tibia length which we got from her trouser inseam length and from her height.

"We were able to compare the three bone lengths from Nikumaroro island to Amelia Earhart.

"The result is that they are very similar and it's unlikely that just a random person would be that similar."

An analysis comparing the Nikumaroro bones to those of 2,776 other people found only 17 people with dimensions more similar than Earhart - just two of them women.

Credit: Pen News

Amelia talks to ground crew as she loads her plane with supplies for the doomed flight

Dr Janz said: "If her position had been in the middle of that distribution, there is no way I could have concluded that it was her.

"The fact that she is not the closest one is not disqualifying at all, because there are going to be measurement errors on my part from estimating her dimensions, and it could be that Hoodless also made some errors.

"Just a random person would have a very low probability of being that similar to the Nikumaroro bones."

Other products from 1930s America have also been found on the island.

Credit: Pen News/TIGHAR

The remains of a bottle found on Nikumaroro island are consistent with a design from 1936 used to contain an American brand of beer

Credit: Pen News/TIGHAR

Fragments were picked up that match a bottle of women's skin softener on sale in the late 1930s

Credit: Pen News/TIGHAR

This knife was also found on the island and was the same as one listed in the plane's inventory

And there’s also evidence that Amelia made more than 100 cries for help in radio transmissions between July 2 and July 6 of the year she went missing, which rules out her plane crashing without warning.

The radio would not have worked if the plane’s engine was not running.

Neither Amelia’s body nor the plane’s wreckage were ever found -until now that is.

The astonishing discovery raises the prospect of the aviator finally returning home after all this time.

Researchers claim to have found Amelia Earhart's plane wreck in the Pacific

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