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    Re: Another round on the fate of Amelia Earhart in today's news
    From: Gary LaPook
    Date: 2016 Nov 2, 00:11 -0700
    Professor of Anthropology, Richard Wright, the anthropologist who disputed Tighar's claim the the original examination of the Bones by Dr. Hoodless was wrong,  just posted this in response to the new Tighar claims about the length of the found arm bones:
    Dr. Jantz's promised review of the article I wrote with Pam Cross is not yet available to TIGHAR.

    Meanwhile, Dr. Jantz's comment to TIGHAR, on the supposed significance of the long forearm of the Nikumaroro 'castaway', has gone viral - evidenced by the international media reports for this new discovery.

    I had hoped to wait for Dr. Jantz's full review before I posted anything, but lest I am thought to be skulking nervously in the shadows I shall make a brief comment on the question of the long forearm (the brachial index).

    The first thing to note is the power of Chinese whispers in this matter. Mr Jeff Glickman, in his photogrammetric report, reproduces the photo from which he worked. He correctly states that he used a photo in which "at least one arm is largely visible."

    The arm is only largely visible, because Amelia Earhart is wearing a short-sleeved shirt. So it is not a bare arm that is clearly visible - as a newspaper article (and TIGHAR) claims.


    For TIGHAR's current claims, and the photo, visit


    and follow the links.

    Given that the arm in the photo is fleshed (as of course it has to be), and that the brachial index is calculated from measurements of bones, there are bound to be some unquantifiable uncertainties in estimating the lengths of Amelia Earhart's upper and lower arm bones - and hence uncertainties in the brachial index, which is said by Dr. Jantz to be unusual for an American woman of European biological ancestry.

    In fact I am not uptight over uncertainties about Amelia Earhart's brachial index, with its relatively long forearms. This is because relatively long forearms are also a property of possible castaways from the surrounding geography of seafarers. For example, Polynesian islanders have relatively long forearms, as do the Japanese that were collecting birds' feathers and fishing in that area of the Pacific.

    So the Nikumaroro bones are not locally peculiar in having long forearms. They are peculiar only if you have already chosen to interpret them as the bones of a female of European ancestry. In other words there is nothing peculiar about such long forearms if you choose to interpret the castaway as somebody from the regional catchment area for castaways on Nikumaroro.

    What about the possibility that the castaway's bones are from one of the Arab crew of Norwich City, that was wrecked on Nikumaroro in 1929? So far as I know, there is no record of the specific place from which the Arab crew were recruited. However we do know that Egyptians and Bedouin have particularly long forearms.

    So determination of ancestry of the Nikumaroro bones is important. I discuss ancestry in the paper I wrote with Pamela Cross, and concluded that the evidence for a female of European ancestry is not probable. As well, we sought to counter the claim that Dr. Hoodless was anatomically incompetent - the notes of Dr. Hoodless conclude, after his study of the Nikumaroro bones, that the bones were those of a robust male.

    I look forward to Dr. Jantz's complete review, which I hope we shall see unfiltered by TIGHAR. I shall then write for AM a documented version of these comments.

    In the meantime I remain unconvinced that there is acceptable evidence that the bones from Nikumaroro are those of Amelia Earhart.



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