Earhart Project Research Document #49
19 December 1998
Amelia Earhart’s Bones and Shoes?

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The disappearance of aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in 1937 is a mystery that continues to grip the imagination of many. Although the most widely held assumption is that she simply crashed and sank in the Pacific Ocean, many speculative and not-so speculative alternative explanations have been advanced over the years. An ongoing interdisciplinary study by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) has recently generated anthropological data consistent with the proposition that Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed and later died on Nikumaroro Island in the Republic of Kiribati. Research in the Western Pacific High Commission’s archives in London has produced evidence of the next step in the bones’ journey. A report by the late Dr. D.W. Hoodless of the Central Medical School in Suva, Fiji (discussed below) documents his analysis of the remains, and his conclusion that they “definitely” represented a male but that they were probably not those of a Polynesian, or Micronesian. Instead, he thought them most likely the bones of a “short, stocky European, or even a half-caste.” Importantly, the report includes Dr. Hoodless’ hand-written notes with the measurements and first-hand observations he made on the bones.


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