Volume 12 Number 2/3
October, 1996
earhartlogoearhartlogoFound Objects
Navigator’s Bookcase Sheet of aluminum with red paint Cut Strip of Aluminum Aluminum Plate
Dado Aircraft Skin Aluminum Comb Riveted Assembly
Channel Section Cables Plexiglas Aircraft Safety Wire
Thermometer, broken Threaded metal cap Shoe parts Artifact 2-2-G-8, Shoe heel
Threaded metal cap (TIGHAR Artifact 2-2-G-6)
Date Found: October 1991 during TIGHAR’s NIKU II expedition.
Identification Assistance: Warner-Lambert Company.
Description: This is a threaded aluminum bottle cap 2 inches in diameter. Traces of white or cream-colored paint are visible on its exterior surface and there is a logo, faded but legible, centered on the top of the cap.
Condition: Most of the paint has bleached off but corrosion damage to the underlying surface is minimal. The top is very slightly dimpled in several places and its circular shape has been deformed by flattening along one side, with a corresponding bulge opposite. There is a reddish-brown discoloration or stain along part of the edge and top.
Identification: This is the cap from a bottle of medication manufactured by William R. Warner & Company of New York. Beginning in 1932, Warner used this particular logo on the caps of three products: Agoral, a laxative; Cal-Bisma, a stomach-settler similar to Pepto-Bismol, and Alka-Zane, a remedy for indigestion similar to Alka-Seltzer. The logo remained in use into the early 1950s.

There are, of course, a number of possible explanations for the bottle cap’s presence on the island. However, because Earhart is known to have suffered from stomach trouble during the world flight, and because the cap was used on products contemporaneous to that time, and with so much other evidence pointing to Earhart’s presence not only on this island but on this specific part of the island, the artifact deserves a close inspection.

Several observations raise interesting questions. The slight indentations on the top of the cap suggest light tapping with a hard, somewhat pointed instrument. Why would someone do that? The flattened side indicates either a sharp blow or deliberate compression, perhaps to dislodge a stuck cap from the bottle. But where’s the bottle? No glass (except for the thermometer) was found anywhere nearby. The reddish-brown stain is particularly intriguing and merits chemical analysis.

On the morning of October 16, another team member was sitting on the ground changing his boots about 40 feet southwest of the grave. As he watched a land crab scuttle by, its legs knocked aside a leaf revealing an old shoe heel on the ground. The surrounding area was cordoned off and meticulously examined. Over the next two days various remnants of two shoes were discovered.

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