Saturday, December 18, 2010

Bits of Hope in the Search for Amelia Earhart

Researchers, still on the trail of Amelia Earhart, have discovered some scant bone fragments on Nikumaroro Island (once known as Gardner Island). Though they may or may not be human bones, there is enough other evidence from the island to give a glimmer of hope that the mystery of Earhart's disappearance may, at last, be solved. The bones have been sent to an Oklahoma lab for DNA analysis.
Mystery solved?

The heel of a woman's American-made shoe, vintage 1930s; a sexton's box; and miscellaneous pieces of aircraft; reports from nearby villagers; and documentation of radio signals of the era, are some of the clues that have led TIGHAR searchers to be hopeful. Are they grasping at straws? The bones may not be human. The shoes may be of the wrong size. Villager reports have bits of legend attached to them. The best evidence is a report of radio signals of the era.

But, if radio signals, thought to be from Earhart, were heard from Gardner Island not long after the crash, why wasn't the island immediately searched? Answer: It was (some days later), but only cursorily, and from high in the air. Signs of recent habitation by humans were seen, but may have been misinterpreted. After that, probable misinformation in reports just added more confusion...
Evidence of Human Habitation and Other Clues

Sounds like the usual... human nature, misinformation, bureaucratic red tape, and well, Murphy's Law, and "what if..." We may never know the answer to the riddle; but, it doesn't hurt to hope.

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