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Finding Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro Island

Updated on December 18, 2010

The recent discovery of new traces from the mysterious flight of Amelia Earhart and its disappearance offers new hope.

Investigators on the isle of Mikumaroro, 1700 miles south of Hawaii in the South Pacific, may be on the edge of solving the 20th century mystery. She would have been the first woman to fly around the world in 1937, had it not been for the lack of fuel. Many feel she crashed into the ocean, others feel her Lockheed Electra aircraft had engine problems and that she managed to land on the reef around Nikumaroro, which was on her flight path.

The newly found evidence that may finally resolve the mystery is:

  • Three human bone fragments
  • Two abandoned campsites
  • Sea shells from the ocean near the campsite opened
  • Glass bottles melted on the bottom suggesting they were used to purify water
  • Parts of women's make-up kits
  • A glass bottle with remnants of lanolin and oil
  • A broken blade from a knife
  • Records show Earhart's SOS signal received by the USN ships at that time show the signals pointed back to Nikumaroro area
  • In 1940, a British investigator found a partial human skeleton, a woman's shoe and an empty sextant box (Earhart did have this on her flight)
  • Searchers recently found an aluminum panel from an aircraft, a "cat paw" heel from a woman's shoe commonly found on 1937 shoes, and an oddly cut piece of Plexiglass

The bone fragments are now at the University of Oklahoma forensic labs undergoing DNA tests to see if there is a match to Earhart's. More money is needed to search for the aircraft that may have sunk off the reef into 2000 ft deep water. The odd thing about the 1940's discoveries, where is the evidence now? Was it simply lost during the WW2 years?

The island itself remains, to this day, practically uninhabited. The latest theory now is that she landed near this atoll and survived as long as she could waiting for rescue. A rescue that never happened because at the time, the almost universal presumption was she crashed into the ocean and died in the plane, which sunk to the bottom.


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    • JamaGenee profile image

      Joanna McKenna 6 years ago from Central Oklahoma

      I'd not heard so many artifacts had been found. Having grown up in northeast KS, I certainly hope the mystery of what happened to Amelia and Fred Noonan is solved in my lifetime. Great hub. Voted up and awesome. ;D

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 7 years ago from USA

      Great Hub on a great unsolved mystery. So it turns out that a distress call was sent from there after they disappeared, then in 1940 the skeleton of a tall caucasian female was found but never identified, and now this. Where is that old skeleton now? Amelia was born in Atcheson,Kansas, I drove through there a couple of times while I lived in Kansas City.