“Nikumaroro bones”: No DNA match for Earhart

I’d been wondering why we haven’t heard recently from TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which has yet to recover a historic aircraft) or any of the other Earhart miscreants operating out there, when Tom Williams, a longtime reader of this blog, sent me an email Jan. 30.  (Boldface and italics emphasis mine throughout.)

I watched a program on the Science Channel on Thursday (Jan. 28), Conspiracies Decoded,’ Season 1, Episode 6 titledFinding Amelia Earhart,’ ” Williams wrote.  It is regarding the bones discoveredin a museum in Fiji after the Ballard fiasco which were supposedly the ones examined by Dr. [D.W.] Hoodless in 1940.

Finding Amelia Earhart,subheaded, “Experts examine remains that may solve the disappearance of Amelia Earhart,” did indeed premier Jan. 28, 2021 on the Science Channel and Discovery Plus.  I hadn’t heard about it and it made not a ripple in the media, for obvious reasons.  My home cable package doesn’t offer either of these relatively obscure channels, and I thanked Williams for his perspicacity. 

Erin Kimmerle Ph.D., executive director of the Florida Institute for Forensic Anthropology and Applied Sciences and associate professor of anthropology in the University of South Florida College of Arts and Sciences, is the latest “expert” to weigh in on the Earhart “mystery.” 

For a complete history and analysis of the Nikumaroro bones and TIGHAR’s failure to sell them as Amelia Earhart’s, see my March 19, 2018 post, Les Kinney joins ‘The Truth at Last’ conversation, Shreds TIGHAR’s latest false Earhart claims.

Presaging theFinding Amelia Earhartprogram by well over a year was an unbylined University of South Florida story of Oct. 14, 2019,USF Forensic Anthropologist Testing Human Remains Believed to Potentially Belong to Amelia Earhart,which, if not for the Internet, would probably have never made it off the USF campus:

World renowned USF forensic anthropologist Erin Kimmerle is featured in a documentary produced by National Geographic about aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart, who disappeared over the Pacific Ocean during an attempt to fly across the world.

Kimmerle was selected to test bone fragments stored in the Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Centre located in the western Pacific island of Tarawa, Kirbati [sic].  They were first discovered on Nikumaroro Island, Kirbati, three years after Earhart’s radio signal was last transmitted in 1937. However, the bones went missing after being sent to Fiji for examination.

. . . National Geographic archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert, Ph.D., recently learned of the bones’ existence and contacted Kimmerle to determine if they belong to Earhart.  Kimmerle is known internationally for helping locate and identify human remains, including those discovered at the former Dozier School for Boys in Marianna, Florida.

We needed the world’s best expert on missing people,said Hiebert.  It was just natural to reach out to Erin Kimmerle.

Kimmerle used the bone fragments to reconstruct a skull she believes belonged to a female.  She also assessed the remains’ height, age and ancestry, and considered Earhart’s dental features and known sinus condition.  In addition, bone fragments were sent for DNA testing to determine whether or not they matched any of Earhart’s relatives.

The exact cutline from the Oct. 14, 2019 USF story: “A female skull was reconstruct [sic] from bone fragments found near Amelia Earhart’s last known coordinates.”  Although this grammatically butchered caption does not reflect well on editors at USF, readers can be sure that the alleged “Earhart bones” are no such thing.  We can only hope that this will end this ridiculous claim.

The National Geographic documentary investigates a number of theories as to what happened to the aviation pioneer.  Kimmerle’s role could be the final step in solving this 72-year-old mystery. The film aired on the National Geographic channel October 20 [2019].  The film did not offer a final resolution to Earhart’s last moments.  (End USF article.)

For a review of the above referenced NatGeo program of Oct. 20, 2019, please see NatGeo’s ‘Expedition Amelia’: Dead on Arrival.”

The caption of the photo of the skull and bone fragments above virtually jumps out and mugs anyone who can read above a third-grade level: “A female skull was reconstruct [sic] from bone fragments found near Amelia Earhart’s last known coordinates.”  This statement is absurd.  What “last known coordinates” are they referencing, and how were bones found wherever those “last known coordinates” were located?  What exactly are they asking us to believe?

Further confusing the issue are the bone fragments stored in the Te Umwanibong Museum and Cultural Centre located in the western Pacific island of Tarawa, Kirbati [sic], according to the USF story, which states they went missing after being sent to Fiji for examination.  Without any explanation as to how these magical bones were found, we’re told that “National Geographic archaeologist Fredrik Hiebert, Ph.D., recently learned of the bones’ existence and contacted Kimmerle to determine if they belong to Earhart.”

You may detect a distinct aroma emanating from the foregoing two paragraphs; I certainly do.  This stink is created whenever our media and academe team up for some good old-fashioned Earhart research — it’s the unmistakable stench of deceit, and in this case it’s overwhelming. 

“The [Jan. 28 Science Channel] program . . . announces the results of the DNA test were NEGATIVE, NOT Amelia Earhart,” Williams continued in his email“I did a quick internet search for that Earhart DNA test result and have found NONE.  And I checked the University/Institute website and there is no mention whatsoever regarding that investigation. . . . Sounds like another MSM boondoggle, where they made a big deal of the attempt, but bury any results that don’t fit their agenda.

Here’s the link to the Forensics at USF site, where you won’t find a whisper about Earhart, Kimmerle or National Geographic Is anyone surprised that the negative Earhart DNA results were buried in the growing mountain of rubble where the truth has been sent to die for over 80 years? 

The result of the Earhart DNA tests “clearly shows that they are NOT the bones of Amelia Earhart,” Professor Mark Horton, a British maritime and historical archaeologist, told the Science Channel on the “Conspiracies Decoded” Earhart special.

Since I don’t get the Science Channel, I asked Williams if Kimmerle and her findings were on the new program.  No, Erin Kimmerle is not on the show,Williams told me in a Jan. 30 email, although they use her picture and refer to the work she did at USF including finding an Earhart relative to do the match (they don’t specify who)I guess the only thing new is that the USF team was able to get a DNA sample from the bones, found a living relative of AE and got a sample from that person, and the result of the test (quote from Prof Mark Horton, archeologist and one of the experts on the show).” 

Amelia’s only living blood relative is Amy Kleppner, her now elderly niece and sister Muriel’s daughter, about whom we’ve already weighed in, though Amy has had two children with Adam Kleppner.  

Thus it appears that the Science Channel’sFinding Amelia Earhartis nothing more than a reworking and reconfirmation of the old, repeatedly presented non-evidence that’s been never been linked to Earhart or Fred Noonan.  We don’t even know if the alleged “bone fragments” referenced in these stories are the same ones examined by Dr. Hoodless in 1940, or are an entirely different sampling from who knows where.  Most likely the latter is true, and no wonder this escapade was on such a non-entity of a channel, where relatively no one would see it, and nobody else in the media has even mentioned it.

This latest chapter in TIGHAR’s longest running scam has been a quiet one, paralleling my long-ago description for all the phony media Earhart operations — “In like a lion, out like a lamb” — in that the propaganda media, in its countless Earhart stories, TV specials and documentaries, always promise, with shameless hyperbole, that the latest operation might finally solve the greatest aviation mystery of the 20th century.  These Earhart media blitzes are aimed at nothing but ratings, and are always followed by silence when the test results come in and the false “evidence” disappears into smoke, leaving us with nothing once again, and usually with no announcement or follow-up informing us of the latest abject failure.

What is the definition of insanity, and who are the true “conspirators” when it comes to the Earhart saga? 

If we’re lucky, the Science Channel bones debacle will mark the end of our corrupt media’s infatuation with the “Earhart bones on Nikumaroro” lie.  We can hope, but do we even dare dream that they are finished with TIGHAR and the other Earhart disinformation artists altogether?  Pigs will fly.

15 responses

  1. If you have a Roku or Amazon Firestick or similar, you can get the SciGo channel on there, which has this program. It is free if you subscribe to pretty much any cable tv service (you have to log in and jump through a few hoops but it is not too much of a hassle).

    On Mon, Feb 1, 2021 at 9:04 PM Amelia Earhart: The Truth at Last wrote:

    > earharttruth posted: “I’d been wondering why we haven’t heard recently > from TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which > has yet to recover a historic aircraft) or any of the other Earhart > miscreants operating out there, when Tom Williams, a longtime r” >


    1. Thanks Sean, but I have neither of these apps, and I hate jumping through Internet hoops unless there’s a very good reason. In this case, I think we have enough information to report properly.



      1. Mike,

        I did try contacting Erin Kimmerle…..the silence is deafening.

        All the best,



  2. What nonsense! It never seems to end with them- I wonder if THIGAR has ever heard of the old saying about “squeezing blood out of a rock?” Well, they have squeezed and squeezed over the years with no results. Maybe it’s time to give this “rock” a rest and go on to some other fanciful expedition… how about The Fountain of Youth”? Now, at my age, that I could get into.


    1. I think they have as you say “squeezed and squeezed” and got nothing out of the Earhart “rock” and have put it to rest for now.

      Last I heard, they’re now trying to find what happened to Glenn Miller. Maybe they’ll find a way to link the two disappearances and get BIG headlines. LOL


  3. This would be a very long shot, but my older son graduated from USF in Orlando. He doesn’t share my interest in AE but maybe I could get him to try to contact Erin somehow, I don’t know if USF has mutiple campuses the story didn’t say where she was located, did it? I have to say for a while I was getting monthly news bulletins about the bones on my Google “news” on my Samsung smart phone, haven’t seen any for a while. But don’t worry, the fake news team will find something. Maybe someone or I should get on the TIGHAR forum to see what they are saying, it should be possible to pose a question about the forensic results to see what Ric says.

    It’s curious the story refers to a “female” doesn’t it? Couldn’t Erin tell the heritage of the bones? Like Polynesian, European, Micronesian? David


    1. Dave,

      You’re wasting your time and Erin will ignore anyone who isn’t on her approved list. This has always been a fake, from the start, so what’s the use of prodding the perps in the eyes about it?

      Good luck anyway.



  4. An interesting non-story. Interesting because grown men who know the Ending are still beating some remains trying to bring life into the dead bones of a person known only to God. Also interesting because it brings unwanted humor into a very serious story. And further interesting because it keeps illustrating that some curious participants are so vested in an agenda that they actually feel no shame.

    To you, Mike, my apologies for the long period of silence. Five operations, an amputation, and most recently, COVID at age 87 have drained what energy I had. But I always read with both interest and appreciation everything you write. You are, and will always be in the crosshair of my admiration for your stellar work. If I can find my way back to a semblance of wellness, I still have a contribution I hope to make.

    All the best to friends made through this Blog.

    Calvin Pitts

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Calvin,

      So great to see you back with us! You’ve had a very tough go of it recently and truly embody the old cliche that getting old is not for the fainthearted, and you have proven over your vastly productive life that you are anything but faint of heart. You seem to have emerged once again on top, surveying all that lies behind you, and looking forward to more great things.

      You and Wanda are always in our prayers, and we look forward to seeing you more often once again.

      God Bless,

      Liked by 1 person

  5. William H. Trail | Reply

    Greetings to All:

    Now that these suspect bones (no continuous, unbroken, 81 year chain-of-custody back to Dr. Hoodless) have been scientifically tested and found to have no DNA link to Amelia Earhart, one could reasonably conclude that this would be the end of all the Nikumaroro nonsense. However, I doubt it.

    All best,



  6. No one is going to “solve” the AE “mystery” because the powers that be don’t want it solved.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Here is a suggestion. It is evident that the THIGAR project has created full time jobs for many of the lead individuals, so be it, like it or hate it, they are good at marketing. Did anyone contribute against their will, no and if anyone had buyers remorse, perhaps they should think first, do their homework, then act. That said, lets separate the personal hate for THIGAR and the circumstantial “evidence” they have uncovered. There is a shit load of it. Garbled radio messages, aluminum panel, blurry photograph, sextant box, skin cream bottle, ladies shoe sole and more. Is it conceivable that any one or two of these items could have occurred independent of the presence of Amelia Earhart, absolutely, is it likely that all of these items could have coalesced naturally independent of the presence of Amelia Earhart ,well that is less likely. Either way, THIGAR has sufficient information to make a compelling argument. Your hatred and view of THIGAR as the devil does noting to uncover the final answer, it just make you look like a child with your pettiness.


    1. I have never expressed hatred for any of the people in TIGHAR, though I certainly have no affection for any of them. It’s their ideas, provably false and always approved by the corrupt establishment media, that are so despicable.

      You sir, are the hater, not I. I suggest you begin to educate yourself as to the facts in the Earhart saga, as your comment reveals you to be a dilettante, at best, regarding the Earhart disappearance. You can’t even spell the TIGHAR acronym properly. You could do worse than to read Truth at Last, but I have a feeling that the truth is the last thing that interests you.


      Liked by 1 person

    2. My head is spinning.

      MISSTATEMENTS … is now called “Hatred.” What an assault on language.

      Well now, that puts a host of Earhart Researchers in some very good company of One who said, “You should know the Truth,” and that knowledge will put lies to rest.

      No one during my 87 years of research and adventure has been more dedicated in exploring the evidence and the errors associated with the Earhart Story than Mike.

      In one’s personal world of Aviation where detail, evidence, and facts reign, no one has been more honest and objective than the author of TRUTH AT LAST.

      In a long journey of places and people, meeting and calling Mike Campbell a “friend” has been one of life’s best treasures.

      So, it’s hard not to take it personally when reading a vacuous mind mistaking honesty for hatred. If the accuser reflected even a child’s knowledge of the Earhart subject, that would be one level of pettiness. But he does the amazing by transforming pettiness into exposed ignorance, if not worse.

      All the best to Mr Uhler in his pursuit of truth, because Campbell & Co. still lead the way.

      Warmest regards, with no hatred intended.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Calvin,

        Your much-too-kind words have once again made my day! Once again you have joined me in standing up for the Earhart truth against the ignorant and agenda driven, who hate the truth and live only to advance their own lies and disinformation. I think you might be giving this guy more credit than he deserves in wishing him good luck in his “pursuit of the truth,” but you have always been a far more gracious gentleman than I.

        Thanks my friend,

        Liked by 1 person

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