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Initially a medical examiner determined it was a male skeleton. The bones were lost, but the original paperwork was discovered in 1998 by the aviation group. That's when forensic anthropologists determined the bones were from a woman of similar proportions as Earhart.
"The morphology of the recovered bones, insofar as we can tell by applying contemporary forensic methods to measurements taken at the time, appears consistent with a female of Earhart's height and ethnic origin," researchers concluded at the time.
While updating the bone measurement evaluation recently, Richard Jantz, noticed the humerus bones measured considerably longer than the average person for the time.
Using a photo and shoulder, elbow and wrist as reference points, a forensic imaging specialist determined that the length of Earhart's humerus was .76 centimeters, almost identical to the castaway's skeleton.
"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," officials said in a release.