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    Re: Another round on the fate of Amelia Earhart in today's news
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2016 Nov 2, 00:12 -0700
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    Professor Wright's  Abstract of his peer reviewed paper with the original analysis of the bones by Dr. Hoodless
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    British Association for Human Identification Conference
    11th Annual Scientific Meeting, April 9th – 10th 2011
     
    The Nikumaroro Bones and Amelia Earhart
    Abstract  Amelia Earhart has iconic status as one of the pioneering aviators and as one of the famous missing of the 20th century. In 1937, she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, disappeared while trying to cross the Pacific. In December 2010, it was widely announced that a possible finger bone of Amelia Earhart had been found on Nikumaroro Island by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).[1] The phalanx was found at a site previously investigated by TIGHAR, which has published a number of papers and books about the site and the set of human remains recovered and analysed by the British in 1940. Current interest in the phalanx (human or turtle) is based primarily on the premise that the previously found remains (also now missing) belonged to Amelia Earhart. The conclusions of the TIGHAR reanalysis significantly contradict the original British analysis. The re-analysis is based on two primary areas: discrediting Dr. D. W. Hoodless’ analysis, which identified them as belonging to a stocky, middle-aged male, and using Hoodless’ metrics in FORDISC to produce a finding of most likely white (European-type) female. This paper examines the re-analysis, original data and other sources to ascertain which of the results are best supported. The evidence suggests that the TIGHAR conclusions are significantly flawed and that there is no significant reason to invalidate the original findings of the 1940’s examinations. Earhart and Noonan, unfortunately appear to remain among the unidentified and missing.
    Presenting author:
    Pamela J. Cross
    PhD student Bioarchaeology
    AGES, University of Bradford, UK
    pjcross{at}bradford.ac.uk
    co-author:
    Richard Wright
    Emeritus Professor of Anthropology
    University of Sydney, Australia
    Forensic Anthropologist,  CRANID developer
     
    Selected References:
    Burns KR, Jantz RL, King TF, and Gillespie RE. 1998 Amelia Earhart’s Bones and Shoes? Current Anthropological Perspectives on an Historical Mystery. Paper presented at the American Anthropological Association Annual Convention, 5 December 1998. TIGHAR Tracks 14(2):4-11. http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/11_Bonesandshoes.html (1/3/11).
    Ewins, R. 2011. Fiji's Central Medical School 1884 - 1941, and The Colonial War Memorial Hospital 1923 – 1941. http://www.justpacific.com/fiji/fijiphotos/medschool/index.html (1/3/11).
    Spennemann, DHR, and Franke B. 1995 Decomposition of Buried Human Bodies and Associated Death Scene Materials on Coral Atolls in the Tropical Pacific. Journal of Forensic Science 40(3): 356-367.
     

    ORIGINAL REPORT BY DW HOODLESS

     
    Report on portion of a human skeleton.
    I have today examined a collection of bones forming part of a human skeleton. These bones were delivered to me in a closed wooden box by Mr. P. D. Macdonald of the Western Pacific High Commission.
    2. The bones included:- (1) a skull with the right zygoma and malar bones broken off: (2) mandible with only four teeth in position; (3) part of the right scapula; (4) the first thoracic vertebra; 5) portion of a rib (? 2nd right rib); (6) left humerus; 7) right radius; (8) right innominate bone; (9) right femur; (10) left femur; (11) right tibia; (12) right fibula; and (13) the right scaphoid bone of the foot.
    3. From this list it is seen that less than half of the total skeleton is available for examination.
    4. All these bones are very weather-beaten and have been exposed to the open air for a considerable time. Except in one or two small areas all traces of muscular attachments and the various ridges and prominences have been obliterated.
    5. By taking measurements of the length of the femur, tibia and the humerus I estimate that these bones belonged to a skeleton of total height of 5 feet 51/2 inches approximately.
    6. From the half sub-pubic angle of the right innominate bone, the "set" of the two femora, and the ratio of the circumferences of the long bones to their individual lengths it may be definitely stated that the skeleton is that of a MALE.
    7. Owing to the weather-beaten condition of all the bones it is impossible to be dogmatic in regard to the age of the person at the time of death, but I am of the opinion that he was not less than 45 years of age and that probably he was older: say between 45 and 55 years.
    8. I am not prepared to give an opinion on the race or nationality of this skeleton, except to state that it is probably not that of a pure South Sea Islander-Micronesian or Polynesian. It could be that of a short, stocky, muscular European, or even a half-caste, or person of mixed European descent.
    9. If further details are necessary I am prepared to take detailed and exact measurements of the principal bones in this collection, and to work out the various indices (e.g. the platymeric index for the femur or the cnemic index for the tibia) but if such a detailed report is required the obvious course to adopt would be to submit these bones to the Anthropological Dept of the Sydney University where Professor Elkin would be only too pleased to make a further report.
    D.W. Hoodless
    Principal,
    Central Medical School
    Suva.
    4th April, 1941.

    Discovery News. http://news.discovery.com/history/amelia-earhart-castaway-finger-bone-101210.html
       
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