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Old 8th Mar 2018, 13:18
  #220 (permalink)  
David Billings
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Australia
Age: 80
Posts: 199
I have already received mail on this , just as I did when the “original” Burns and Jantz report appeared some years ago. I didn’t really want to get into this “Bones” business brought on by TIGHAR again, because it really is like shining a torch into a curved railway tunnel, you can’t see round the bend and end up going round it yourself….

TIGHAR: The Gardner Island Bones

In 1940, the resident Colonial Officer on Gardner Island reported to his superiors, that he was in possession of some bones and he sent them to the British Colonial Office on Tarawa in The Gilbert Islands and from there they were sent to Fiji where a British Doctor named Hoodless became the only person to examine them in order to determine the possible origin and gender of the incomplete set of bones. The reason for the time and trouble of examining them was because it had been intimated that they may be “of Earhart”… no mention of the possibility of them being ”of Noonan” being made. This then was three years after the disappearance of the Electra. The British Colonial Office head in The Pacific wanted to keep the question of the source of the bones under wraps until more information was forthcoming from the examination by Dr. Hoodless.

Doctor David Hoodless was the head of the Central Medical School in Fiji.

Dr. Hoodless examined the bones and made a written report of the measurements of the long bones and drew sketches of the partial skull and pelvic arch remnant. His calculations are on the report together with a list of what he had received and the sketches. Doctor Hoodless pronounced the bones to be those of a "Stocky Male, possible mixed race or islander, approximately 5 feet 6 inches tall". After the examination of the bones by Dr. Hoodless, it is not known positively what happened to the bones but it is possible that they were incinerated together with other pieces of anatomy used at the Central Medical School.

Where then, could the bones have come from ?

Various flagged ships have been visiting Gardner Island for decades from the time of wooden sailing ships to the Bettchart Cruises organised by members of TIGHAR. There are records of whaling ships visits and of expired sailors being buried there in groups. Life at sea in those old days caused sailors to frequently expire.

In 1929, a steamer crossing the Pacific, the S.S. Norwich City, ran aground on the reef on Gardner Island (now called Nikumaroro) and broke its’ back and caught fire in the dead of night and during a storm, causing the crew to abandon ship and take to boats. This exodus was to cause eleven (11) souls in the crew to perish in the evacuation exercise in the stormy sea during the attempts to get off the ship and to reach land. This then was the largest expiry of lives on Gardner Island and some of the lost were Arab crewmen from the Middle East (Aden) and some are recorded as being 5 feet 6 inches tall or around that height. Some records of the Arab crewmen are in the Public Records office in the U.K..

That ship alone added to burials on the island when but four poor souls from the eleven lost were interred there, which must have increased the total to at least half a score or more interred on Gardner. Seven of those other poor souls from the S.S. Norwich City were not recovered and buried and it may be possible for one or two to have actually survived the rough seas and the sharks and made it to shore above the waterline in a debilitated state only to die from water ingestion, exertion and exhaustion.

The burials of the four that were interred, possibly took place on the sloping loose coral beach, due to the difficulty of digging graves into the hard coral of the island with whatever implements the survivors had. A later New Zealand Survey party in 1938, recorded bones on the beaches, so "those may be from they". In other words, what with the previous burials and now the four burials from the S.S. Norwich City, there were many sources of bones left on the island. Not to mention, that there are many stories of Pacific Islanders being adrift at sea for days or weeks on end before making a landfall and becoming castaways.

The 1940 bones were found up the top of the beach where the plants were growing and TIGHAR itself reports beach detritus being washed up on to the shore in storms. As said, some sailors from the ship were not found and who is to say that one of those did not struggle ashore at a distance away from the other survivors and expire on the spot in the shrubbery, alone.......

About ten years ago I spent many hours running though archived New Zealand newspapers trying to find reports of burials on the island and I did see accounts of mariners buried there in ones and twos and I did read about the later visit by a New Zealand survey party.

Where did it go from there ?

The report of the find of the “1940 Bones”, was picked up by TIGHAR as an exercise to see if they could be turned into "Earhart's bones". The TIGHAR sleuths unearthed the good Doctor's notes and sketches in the U.K.

Oh! My Goodness; the sketches showed the pelvic arch to be that of a Male....

Undeterred, TIGHAR enlisted the help of a TIGHAR member named Doctor Karen Burns who teamed with ‘the’ Doctor Jantz several years ago to produce a report. They did not have the bones, they had long since vanished. TIGHAR did try to find “the bones” by sending a team of Members to Fiji. After exhausting the Medical School and Hospital avenues, they requested permission to have a look around in other Fiji Government buildings but permission was refused.

Therefore, “bereft of bones”, Doctors Burns and Jantz used Dr. Hoodless’s notes and sketches. Their deductions made from the Dr. Hoodless notes were fed into a computer and out came the astounding change of gender… the bones were no longer Male, they were Female and they belonged to a woman of Nordic extraction whose height had been been five feet nine inches (5’ 9” tall). Now what was the identity of this woman of Nordic extraction ? Guess who ?

Therefore, TIGHAR using Scientific Methodology, teamed with two Doctors now and electronic help from a Computer declares "the Bones" to be of a Nordic female of 5 feet 9 inches tall based on a computer programme that did not include all races from this Earth. Not all races and ethnic groups were included and at the time it was not said if Arabian peoples were included at all......

Now, we have another report from Dr. Jantz, which has as the key words, “More similar”. The report does not say the bones are those of Amelia Earhart.

I have read reports that TIGHAR are basically saying that there was a bungled investigation by “The British” in the Colonial days but the natural reserve of the Colonial Administration would be to investigate further, before breaking “Fake News” and would be the policy of any Government where a person of notoriety is involved. When Dr. Hoodless determined Male gender it was “all over Red Rover” for the Colonial Government and they could relax and take ”Tea at 3”………

All persons now, who are interested in the fate of Earhart and Noonan can make up their own minds… as per normal.

Last edited by David Billings; 8th Mar 2018 at 23:27.
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