There’s new evidence suggesting that Amelia Earhart’s death wasn’t exactly how we’ve always known it to be.
Plot twists are just as exciting in movies as they are in real life and this time, the plot twist could affect the way we see the history of Amelia Earhart, the legendary American pilot whose plane crashed while she was attempting to fly across the earth.
According to new research, Earhart may not have died in a plane crash but might have lived as a castaway for a very long time before dying.
According to the International Group for History Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), there is substantial evidence that a skeleton of a castaway found on the island of Nikumaroro, Kiribati in 1940 may have been Earhart.
“Until we started investigating the skeleton, we found what history knew was that Amelia Earhart died in July 2nd, 1937, in a plane crash. But there is an entire final chapter of Earhart’s life that people don’t know about. She spent days — maybe months — heroically struggling to survive as a castaway,” TIGHAR’s executive director, Ric Gillespie told CNN.
Initially, the skeleton found on the said island was dismissed by British authorities, announcing that it was of a male. In 1998, TIGHAR got a copy of the original files and the human bones’ measurements to be re-investigated.
With the help of anthropologists Karen Burns and Richard Jantz, they found that the skeleton was actually female, with the same height and ethnicity of Earhart as well as forearms that were considerably large for a European woman.
“Analyzing a historical photo of Earhart where her bare arms are fully visible, they found Earhart’s forearms were virtually identical to the castaway’s,” CNN wrote.
“The match does not, of course, prove that the castaway was Amelia Earhart, but it is a significant new data point that tips the scales further in that direction,” TIGHAR said in a statement, USA Today reported.
As for the remains of the plane, TIGHAR believes it may have been washed back into the ocean by the waves but Earhart may have lived on the island as a castaway for months until she died.
“We found records of bonfires being lit in the area where the bones were found. Based on the fish bones and bird bones found in the area, Earhart survived weeks, maybe even months, in that island,” Gillespie said, adding that there were no potable water sources in the area and the pilot may have drank water rain.
With their group’s recent discovery, Gillespie hopes Earhart’s story will be re-written in history.
“We believe she survived heroically, and alone, for a period of time, in terrible circumstances. History needs to tell her story right,” he said.