Dr. Jantz estimated the dimensions of comparable bones in Earhart’s body by analyzing photos where she appeared alongside objects which can still be measured today.
‘We had the lengths of three bones that Hoodless reported lengths for,’ said the doctor.
‘Then we realized there were some ways we could get more information about Amelia Earhart’s dimensions that could be compared directly to the bones.
Among the artifacts found on the island is a glass bottle containing traces of mercury. Its design matches that of bottles of Dr. CH Berry’s freckle ointment – a brand from the 1930s containing mercury.
Earhart (left), her plane and her navigator, Fred Noonan (right), were never found, and the mystery of what happened to them continues to fascinate to this day.
‘We were able to measure her humerus length and her radius length from a photo that had a scaleable object in it.
‘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.
‘If her position had been in the middle of that distribution, there is no way I could have concluded that it was her,’ said Dr. Jantz.
‘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.’
The famous aviator disappeared somewhere over the Pacific Ocean during an attempted round-the-world flight in 1937.
The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has been investigating the theory that Earhart landed on Nikumaroro – now part of Kiribati – since the 1980s.
Richard Gillespie, its executive director, claims the group has found other artifacts on the island supporting the theory that Earhart crashed there, lived as a castaway and died.
He said: ‘We have been doing this for 29 years now and we have built such a huge body of evidence that supports this hypothesis that Earhart landed and died on this island.
‘There are many, many different threads of evidence that all reach the same conclusion and there’s really no evidence that something else happened.
‘We’ve found artifacts on the island that speak of an American woman of the 1930s and there’s no other explanation for how they got there.’
Among the artifacts is a glass bottle containing traces of mercury. Its design matches that of bottles of Dr. CH Berry’s freckle ointment – a brand from the 1930s containing mercury.
Mr. Gillespie said: ‘We don’t know that she used this freckle cream but Earhart had freckles and she didn’t like her freckles.