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Author Topic: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz  (Read 13141 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« on: February 07, 2018, 09:50:28 AM »

Dr. Jantz's paper has been published. 

“This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample.”

“Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - A 1941 Analysis versus Modern Quantitative Techniques” is open access and can be downloaded at http://journals.upress.ufl.edu/fa/article/view/525

Richard L. Jantz PhD, is Professor Emeritus and Director Emeritus at the University of Tennessee Forensic Anthropology Center. The university’s Anthropological Research Facility, famously known as “The Body Farm,” was founded by Dr. William Bass. The donated body program was established in 1981 as a means of studying factors that affect human decomposition and to develop a skeletal collection of modern Americans. Many of the skeletons used to characterize Amelia Earhart were from the donated collection.

In 2005, Richard Jantz and Stephen Ousley created Fordisc, a computer program for estimating sex, ancestry, and stature from skeletal measurements. Now in version 3.1, Fordisc, is used by nearly every board certified forensic anthropologist in the United States and many around the world.

The full press release is on the TIGHAR homepage.
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Matt Revington

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2018, 11:32:01 AM »

I just  finished my first read through of the paper, very impressive both in the explanation of the source of possible errors in Hoodless's work and in the high degree of probability that the bones were AE's.  Unless a qualified forensic anthropologist can find significant errors in Jantz's methodology it is very hard to conceive of a reasonable argument against AE being on Niku. In particular when this data is combined with the other archaeological evidence gathered by TIGHAR over the years it is really  overwhelming.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2018, 11:52:58 AM »

Unless a qualified forensic anthropologist can find significant errors in Jantz's methodology it is very hard to conceive of a reasonable argument against AE being on Niku. In particular when this data is combined with the other archaeological evidence gathered by TIGHAR over the years it is really  overwhelming.

I agree, and it's hard to imagine anyone more qualified than Jantz to make this assessment.  It will be interesting to see how the media respond.
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Jon Romig

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2018, 01:04:45 PM »

The paper is extraordinary and quite authoritative. Everything that was promised and more. I have this odd feeling that TIGHAR's job is now complete, even though I know it is not.

Unfortunately early media reports are positioning this as just another bit of noise in the AE cacophony. We will see if later, more considered articles will recognize the extraordinary significance of this analysis.

I wish there were a summary of the issues addressed in the paper, with a key to their significance, determinative probability, etc. I may try to create one myself.

I do have a question about the body weight: why would we trust people's judgement of what she "should" weigh based upon a few mostly-clothed images, over the weight on her pilot's license? And how important is her weight to the analysis after all - is it just to suggest her bone structure may have been more stocky than expected?

The waist size from her trousers was a great find, by the way. Kudos to the team.

Rick, I believe that you mentioned a few weeks ago that TIGHAR would be publishing additional related material concurrently with the paper. Are we still to expect that?

Thanks to everyone who contributed to this. I can't express enough my satisfaction.

Jon
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2018, 01:47:22 PM »

I do have a question about the body weight: why would we trust people's judgement of what she "should" weigh based upon a few mostly-clothed images, over the weight on her pilot's license?

We wouldn't trust just anyone's judgement but Richard Jantz does this all the time as part of his work.

And how important is her weight to the analysis after all - is it just to suggest her bone structure may have been more stocky than expected?

Yes, it's an important point.

The waist size from her trousers was a great find, by the way. Kudos to the team.

Thanks. It was a team effort.  Richard said it would be good to have her waist size.  I remembered that Purdue has a pair of trousers.  Fortunately, I've established an excellent relationship with the archivist and she agreed to let us take measurements of the trousers and a jacket.  Gary Quigg recruited a friend who is an experienced seamstress and expert in historical clothing.  They went to Purdue and got extensive measurements of both garments. We. of course, gave a copy to Purdue so that they won't have to handle the garments again for that purpose.

Rick, I believe that you mentioned a few weeks ago that TIGHAR would be publishing additional related material concurrently with the paper. Are we still to expect that?

All three papers - Jantz's, mine, and Tom King's are in the new TIGHAR Tracks. Members who get it as a PDF already have theirs.  The paper journal will go out early next week, but we've put the three papers plus the infamous Cross/Wright critique on the TIGHAR website at https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/BonesForensicAnalysis/BonesForensicAnalysis.html
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2018, 03:07:04 PM »

As a listing of papers specifically about the bones, the new web page is accurate enough, but Tom King's "The Archaeological Context of the 1940 Nikumaroro Bones Discovery" was omitted from the list. I don't make those decisions, and I'm guessing it was simply an oversight. But I'm curious as to whether that was meant to create exclusivity to members, or some other reason.

Joe Cerniglia
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2018, 03:40:18 PM »

But I'm curious as to whether that was meant to create exclusivity to members, or some other reason.

Normally we don't put the contents of TIGHAR Tracks up on the website until a month after the members get their copies, but in this case, due to the high level of interest in the Jantz paper, we decided to put all of the papers associated with the bone measurements and the British investigation up on the website in one place right away.  Tom King's paper is about archaeology and will go in the archaeology section in the next few days.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2018, 04:11:45 PM »

Thank you. That sounds reasonable.

I've enjoyed this edition of TIGHAR Tracks and highly recommend anyone with a lapsed membership to renew so they can receive one.

Curious as to whether pilots on the Forum remember having been measured for height as a license requirement. Documents I've found seem to indicate height is just something you fill in on the form, and the 1928 agenda for pilot medical exams doesn't even mention height. Just curious.

Joe Cerniglia
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2018, 04:35:02 PM »

Curious as to whether pilots on the Forum remember having been measured for height as a license requirement. Documents I've found seem to indicate height is just something you fill in on the form

This will provide a data point.  This old copy of my airman's certificate (aka pilot's license) dates from 1971 when I was in the Army at Ft. Hood.  My birth date is correct, but my height is actually 70 inches (6ft just sounded better). My hair was blond back then but my eyes are actually blue.  I was, and still am, male.  The USA is still good.
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 11:36:59 AM »


[/quote]
 my height is actually 70 inches (6ft just sounded better).
[/quote]

Certainly improved your BMI...

amck
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2018, 12:20:31 PM »

A short article about Dr. Jantz's paper has appeared in The Economist Magazine:

     https://www.economist.com/news/science-and-technology/21736428-bones-found-1940-may-have-been-those-lost-aviatrix-new-evidence
Bill Mangus
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Jon Romig

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #11 on: March 07, 2018, 02:55:48 PM »

Finally this has taken off in the media today - New York Daily News, Time Magazine, Newsweek, New York Post, etc. and a top slot of Google News home page.

I was beginning to wonder at the silence.

Jon
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« Last Edit: March 07, 2018, 02:58:50 PM by Jon Romig »
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #12 on: March 07, 2018, 03:07:42 PM »

I was sent this link by a friend

https://phys.org/news/2018-03-forensic-analysis-bones-amelia-earhart.html

does seem like it is gathering some traction.

amck
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #13 on: March 07, 2018, 06:33:23 PM »

Jantz and I were interviewed this evening for the TODAY show.
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones - Richard Jantz
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2018, 06:23:05 AM »

The Today Show interview is up on the Today website:

       https://www.today.com/video/amelia-earhart-mystery-could-be-solved-at-last-1180141123509

Bill Mangus
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