“Until definitive evidence is presented that the remains are not those of Amelia Earhart, the most convincing argument is that they are hers," Jantz concludes in his research published in Forensic Anthropology.
"Her navigator, Fred Noonan, can be reliably excluded on the basis of height," writes Jantz. "His height was 6'1/4", documented from his 1918 Seaman’s Certificate of American Citizenship.
Other theories to explain the pilot’s disappearance are as interesting as the woman herself. Take this photograph that surfaced in 2017. Taken on the island of Jaluit Atoll, part of the Japanese-Marshall Islands, theorists say it shows Earhart, her plane, and co-pilot before being captured and taken as prisoners by Japan. Another theory suggests the plane simply crashed into the Pacific Ocean, never to be seen again.
But not everyone is convinced that Nikamuroro is the final resting place of the famous pilot. Some suggest the remains could belong to one of 11 men presumably killed in the 1929 shipwreck of the Norwich City more than four miles away. Others say they could be the remains of a Pacific Islander.
Jants remains convinced. He says he's considered these other theories, but without evidence that the men survived the shipwreck, or indigenous settlements on the island, he threw out the ideas.
He also said it’s unlikely either party would have been carrying around a woman’s shoe.
"Forensic anthropology was not well developed in the early 20th century," the paper states. "There are many examples of erroneous assessments by anthropologists of the period. We can agree that Hoodless may have done as well as most analysts of the time could have done, but this does not mean his analysis was correct."
However, it is hard to say for certain without the bones.