Belfast Telegraph

Earhart mystery 'may be solved'

By Cate McCurry

The mysterious fate of pioneering pilot Amelia Earhart - whose historic landing in Londonderry is still marked every year - may have been revealed in new analysis.

It has emerged that bones found in 1940 on a remote Pacific island were quite likely to be the remains of the famed aviator.

The famous female pilot landed in a field in Ballyarnett in Derry on May 21, 1929 - making her the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, a flight which secured her a place in history.

Earhart later disappeared during an attempted flight around the world in 1937.

The search for an answer to what happened to her and her navigator has captivated the public for decades.

The remains discovered in 1940 are now lost. All that survive are seven measurements, from the skull, and bones from the arm and leg. Those measurements led a scientist in 1941 to conclude that they belonged to a man.

Now University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard Jantz has weighed in with a new analysis of the measurements, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

He claims that data revealed the bones were female and have more similarity to Earhart.

Nicole McElhinney, a PR officer at the Amelia Earhart Legacy Association based in Derry, said they have remained "hopeful" that her disappearance could be explained.

"We are always hopefully Amelia will have an end to her story - she was such a inspirational lady and did a lot for aviation pioneering and had so many other talents," she said.

"Amelia only had one sister and I'm not sure if there are any plans to carry out further tests to determine if this research is correct. Unless anything is conclusive, we can't know for sure.

"We are so proud she landed in Derry, even though she was only here for 24 hours she left a big legacy.

"It's imperative to us that she has an ending and we would like to see a good ending.

"We think she is a great, positive role model for young girls everywhere."

Belfast Telegraph

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