NORMAN, Okla. — Bone Fragments found on a deserted South Pacific island are being analyzed to determine if they belong to famed pilot Amelia Earhart, who disappeared during her quest to be the first woman pilot to circumnavigate the globe.
Scientists at the University of Oklahoma hope to extract DNA from three bone fragments found earlier this year by a Delaware group dedicated to the recovery of the historic Lockheed Model 10 Electra aircraft flown by Earhart.
If confirmed, it would prove Earhart died as a castaway after failing in her 1937 quest.
“There’s no guarantee,” said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery in Delaware. “You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart’s DNA, that’s pretty good.”
The skeletal remains turned up in May and June at what seemed to be an abandoned campsite close to the site that native workers found remains in 1940. The pieces appear to be from a cervical bone, a neck bone and finger.
However, Gillespie offered a word of caution saying, the fragments could be from a turtle. They were found near a hollowed-out turtle shell that might have been used to collect rain water, but there were no other turtle parts nearby.
“This site tells the story of how someone or some people attempted to live as castaways,” Gillespie said in an interview with The Associated Press. Bird and fish carcasses nearby suggested they were prepared and eaten by Westerners.
“These fish weren’t eaten like Pacific Islanders” eat fish.
Lab officials said results of the tests could take week or months.Tags: Amelia Earhart, Bones, Discovery, DNA test, Pilot, South Pacific