Chasing Earhart to Interview Key Anthropologist

The leader of a high-interest documentary effort in northeast Kansas eagerly anticipates interviewing a scientist who says he is practically certain where Amelia Earhart died.

Chris Williamson, project creator of the weekly Chasing Earhart podcast, which has produced in Atchison since September 2017, said in a Thursday, March 8, interview that Richard Jantz has thrown even more fuel onto a raging inferno of interest ahead of this summer's Amelia Earhart Festival.

Travis Grossman, former director of the Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum, 232 N. Terrace St., agrees that the debate is about to get ever more intense.

"You have to take in all sides and find the truth in the middle," Grossman said in a Thursday interview. "I'd like to know what happened to her, personally, but the mystique adds a lot to her legacy ...

"Say this proof does come out. There's 1,800 different theories, so to speak, and I'm being facetious, but there's people who are convinced there's no way anyone else's theory could be true. Even if the face of proof, there's going to be some controversy.

In the journal Forensic Anthropology, Jantz, a professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, declared that bones studied in 1940 after discovery on the remote Pacific island of Nikumaroro are certain to be Earhart's remains.

"This gentleman is one of the top forensic anthropologists in the country," Williamson said.

"He's very well respected in his field for what he does. He's firm in the belief that Amelia and Fred Noonan ended up as castaways on that island."

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