During an attempt to fly around the globe in 1937, Amelia Earhart disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Over the years, members of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery have made trips to the island in search for Amelia. Glass bottles, makeup, a woman’s shoe and an empty sextant box were found among turtle, clamshell and bird remains.
Last spring, members of the recovery group discovered three bone fragments on the island; which may include a finger bone. Scientists at the University of Oklahoma will be testing the fragments to see if they are a match by testing it against surviving Earhart family members. If the bone fragments are a match, researchers may have a clue into what happened to Amelia. What was were her last moments like? What was she doing on Howland Island?
Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, believes Amelia and her navigator, Fred Noonan, may have landed on the nearby reef and perhaps, survived for months on scant food and rainwater. However, even if they landed safely, the plane would have been slowly into the sea by the tides. Gillespie believes his group would need $3 to $5 million dollars for a deep-sea investigation to look for Amelia’s plane. To read more about this discovery, please read “Bones found on island might be Amelia Earhart’s”.
The result of the DNA test could be revealed in two weeks, but ancient DNA can be “incredibly unpredictable.” If scientists at the University of Oklahoma have trouble with the testing, it could be months before we know if this discovery is related to Amelia or not.
To learn more about Amelia, please visit the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum and the Girl Museum’s Heroine Quilt.
- Samantha Bradbeer
Girl Museum, Inc.