Amelia Earhart & the Nikumaroro Bones: A Conversation with Dr. Richard Jantz

One year ago, almost to the day of this recording, I sent an email to Dr. Richard Jantz of the University of Tennessee. At the time of our initial conversation, Dr. Jantz was mid-way through his anthropological research and analysis of a set of bones originally found in 1941 on then Gardner island now known as Nikumaroro Island. Originally, examined by Dr. D.W. Hoodless, and determined to be male the bones were lost and to this day have yet to be located. Fast forward to 2018, and Dr. Jantz’ comprehensive analysis of the original Hoodless report; it is Dr. Jantz who has determined that in his opinion Dr. Hoodless had it all wrong and the bones that were originally examined many years ago were in fact that of a woman. A woman that Dr. Jantz believes is none other than Amelia Earhart. Tonight, on the 39th episode of the Chasing Earhart podcast Dr. Jantz joins us via Zoom from his office in Tennessee do discuss and break down his paper "Amelia Earhart and the Nikumaroro Bones: A 1941 Analysis versus Modern Quantitative Techniques" in a worldwide exclusive interview.

To quote from the abstract of Dr. Jantz’ paper:

"To address the question of whether the Nikumaroro bones match estimates of Amelia Earhart’s bone lengths, I compare Earhart’s bone lengths with the Nikumaroro bones using Mahalanobis distance. This analysis reveals that Earhart is more similar to the Nikumaroro bones than 99% of individuals in a large reference sample. This strongly supports the conclusion that the Nikumaroro bones belonged to Amelia Earhart."

Is this case closed? Is the mystery of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan solved once and for all? You be the judge.

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