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The Mystery of Amelia Earhart

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Seventy years ago the most glamorous woman in aviation went missing during her attempt to fly solo across the Atlantic. Now, an expedition is underway to dig out her remains and with the help of DNA testing, solve the mystery of her disappearance.

DNA Testing To Unlock Mystery

The expedition to recover Earhart’s remains for DNA testing is being undertaken by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR). The group is the world’s leading aviation archaeological foundation. Their aim is to find, save and preserve rare and historic aircraft. The expedition departed from Los Angeles on July 12 to begin their voyage to the island of Nikumaroro. Here the team had already begun excavating a site on the island in 2001, and their aim is to determine whether remains on the site known as the ‘castaway’s campsite’ can be taken for DNA analysis.

Missing above the Atlantic

The fact that Earhart went missing on her flight across the Atlantic means she could be lost to the ocean. In which case, obtaining remains for testing is a lost cause. But the team believe there is a strong case that Earhart landed and died on Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati. The island, previously known as Gardner Island, is on the navigational line Earhart said she was following in her last radio transmission. Distress calls were sent from the missing plane for three nights after she disappeared, which suggest the plane had landed.

An Exciting Opportunity

Although signs of ‘recent habitation’ were reported by an airplane that flew over Gardner Island a week after her disappearance, the island wasn’t searched – even though it had been uninhabited since 1892. If Earhart and her navigator did end up living on the deserted island, testing the human remains offers an exciting opportunity to unravel the mystery of her disappearance.

DNA Tests Could Solve Riddle

To add to the evidence that Earhart’s remains could be found for testing, a British Colonial Service officer found female skeletal remains in 1940 at a makeshift campsite on the island. TIGHAR have also unearthed artefacts from the campsite, including what appears to be debris from an aircraft.

DNA testing could answer the riddle once and for all if remains of the skeleton are unearthed. The DNA testing would work by taking DNA from her living relatives and seeing if the samples matched.

Speak To International Bioscience

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