Researcher: Amelia Earhart case "closed" after analysis of her distress signals

U.S. Library of Congress / MGN

NEW YORK (AP/CBS) Update: Sunday, July 29, 2018

Researchers reveal new information in the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart.

Ric Gillespie, who has researched Earhart's doomed flight for 30 years, says he has proof that Earhart crash-landed on a remote South Pacific island about 2,000 miles from Hawaii, and that she called for help for nearly a week before her plane was swept out to sea.

"Everybody expected a happy ending to the search because Amelia was out there calling for help and her calls were being heard," Gillespie said.

Gillespie says documentation was found that shows distress signals were sent in the days after Earhart's disappearance.

Those signals prompted the Navy to launch a rescue mission.

"It took the battleship a week to get there, by which time the radio signals had stopped, and when the planes flew over the island, they didn't see an airplane. Now the airplane's manufacturer, Lockheed, had said that if you're hearing calls from this airplane it's not floating around in the water because the radios would be wet, it wouldn't work. The airplane is on land and able to run an engine to recharge the battery, so it's on its wheels. She's made a safe landing someplace," Gillespie said.

Gillespie said the calls weren't just heard by the Navy, but also by dozens of people who unexpectedly picked up Earhart's transmissions on their radios thousands of miles away.

The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery also found forensic evidence that bones found on the island are almost certainly Earhart's.

Original Story: Thursday, March 8, 2018

A new analysis concludes that bones found in 1940 on a remote Pacific island were quite likely to be remains from famed aviator Amelia Earhart.

The new report is the latest chapter in a back-and-forth that has played out about the remains, which are now lost.

All that survive are seven measurements, from the skull and bones from the arm and leg. Those measurements led a scientist in 1941 to conclude that they belong to a man.

Now University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard Jantz has weighed in with a new analysis of the measurements, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

Earhart disappeared during an attempted flight around the world in 1937. The search for an answer to what happened to her and her navigator has captivated the public for decades.

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