Researchers have found evidence that could shed light on the fate of Amelia Earhart, the pioneering pilot who vanished 73 years ago while attempting to circumnavigate the world, The Daily Telegraph said.
The British newspaper said on Tuesday that an expedition launched by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) had searched an area "on the uninhabited island of Nikumaroro, a former British colony that is today part of the republic of Kiribati."
The researchers found "a human bone, a broken pocket knife of the same brand that was listed in an inventory of Earhart's aircraft," and the remains of other objects dated back to the1930s, which may have belonged to Earhart.
"The bone is being tested at the University of Oklahoma's Molecular Anthropology Laboratories to see if they contain human DNA," The Daily Telegraph quoted Ric Gillespie, executive director of the group, as saying. "If human DNA is extracted, it will be sequenced to Earhart's DNA."
According to the most widely accepted explanation for the disappearance of Earhart's Lockheed Model 10E Special "Electra" in July 1937, her plane simply ran out of fuel and crashed into the Pacific Ocean on route to Howland Island.
However, TIGHAR believes that Earhart's plane had sufficient fuel to reach Nikumaroro, and Earhart and her copilot Fred Noonan "could have survived on the island for a time, but eventually succumbed to injury or infection, food poisoning or thirst."
Gillespie told The Daily Telegraph that "the next expedition to the island will use remote-operated submersibles to search the deep water off the western end of the atoll for heavier parts of the aircraft - such as the engines - that would not have been washed further out to sea."
Earhart was the first woman to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross, awarded for becoming the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean.
MOSCOW, December 15 (RIA Novosti)