New evidence could prove how Amelia Earhart actually died

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For decades, many believed the famed pilot Amelia Earhart died in a plane crash -- but that may be completely false.

There is now new evidence refuting the long-standing theory. The pioneer aviator, who was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, may have actually died as a castaway.

In September, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR) released new evidence of radio transmissions from the day after Earhart went missing in July 1937. This suggested that she landed safely.

PHOTOS: See Earhart throughout her life

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Amelia Earhart's life and career
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Amelia Earhart's life and career
In this May 20, 1937 photo, provided by The Paragon Agency, shows aviator Amelia Earhart on the wing of her Electra plane, taken by Albert Bresnik at Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. It was a clear spring day in 1937 when Amelia Earhart, ready to make history by flying around the world, brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)
In this May 20, 1937 photo, provided by The Paragon Agency,shows aviator Amelia Earhart and her Electra plane, taken by Albert Bresnik at Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. It was a clear spring day in 1937 whenAmelia Earhart, ready to make history by flying around the world, brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)
In this May 20, 1937 photo, provided by The Paragon Agency, shows aviator Amelia Earhart with her Electra plane's propeller, taken by Albert Bresnik at Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. It was a clear spring day in 1937 when Amelia Earhart, ready to make history by flying around the world, brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)
In this May 20, 1937 photo, provided by The Paragon Agency, shows plane navigator, Fred Noonan, with his wife of 55 days, Bea, posing for photographer Albert Bresnik, next to aviator Amelia Earhart's plane at Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. It was a clear spring day in 1937 when Amelia Earhart, ready to make history by flying around the world, brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)
In this May 20, 1937 photo, provided by The Paragon Agency, shows aviator Amelia Earhart at her Electra plane cabin, taken by Albert Bresnik at Burbank Airport in Burbank, Calif. It was a clear spring day in 1937 when Amelia Earhart, ready to make history by flying around the world, brought her personal photographer to a small Southern California airport to document the journey's beginning. (Albert Bresnik/The Paragon Agency via AP)
American aviator Amelia Earhart smiles May 22, 1932 upon arriving in London, England having become the first woman to fly across the Atlantic alone. Carlene Mendieta, who is trying to recreate Earhart's 1928 record as the first woman to fly across the US and back again, left Rye, NY on September 5, 2001. Earhart (1898 - 1937) disappeared without trace over the Pacific Ocean in her attempt to fly around the world in 1937. (Photo by Getty Images)
Noted Aviatrix Amelia Earhart, is shown standing beside the red and gold monoplane which she brought down to become the first women to ever complete a solo flight across the Atlantic, May 21, 1932, Londonderry, Ireland. (AP Photo)
Aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan pose with map of the Pacific showing the route of their last flight, in Los Angeles, May 1937. (AP Photo)
American aviatrix Amelia Earhart waves from the Electra before taking off from Los Angeles, Ca., on March 10, 1937. Earhart is flying to Oakland, Ca., where she and her crew will begin their round-the-world flight to Howland Island on March 18. (AP Photo)
This is an undated photo of aviator Amelia Earhart. (AP Photo)
FILE - An undated file photo shows American aviatrix Amelia Earhart. A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries. What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? (AP Photo, File)
American aviatrix Amelia Earhart poses with flowers as she arrives in Southampton, England, after her transatlantic flight on the "Friendship" from Burry Point, Wales, on June 26, 1928. The tri-motor "Friendship" was piloted by two men as Earhart served as the commander, making her the first woman passenger to fly across the Atlantic. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart is shown climbing out of the cockpit after piloting her plane from Los Angeles to Oakland, Ca., on March 10, 1937. Earhart and her crew will begin their around-the-world journey from Oakland to Howland Island on March 18. (AP Photo)
This is an undated photo of Amelia Earhart with husband George Putnam. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart with her Lockheed Vega surrounded by crowd after she became the first woman to fly solo from Hawaii to California in 1935. Courtesy Air and Space Museum. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is seen in this undated photo. (AP Photo)
This is an undated photo of Amelia Earhart. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart, 40, stands next to a Lockheed Electra 10E, before her last flight in 1937 from Oakland, Calif., bound for Honolulu on the first leg of her record-setting attempt to circumnavigate the world westward along the Equator. (AP Photo)
FILE - In this undated photo, Amelia Earhart, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean by plane sits on top of a plane. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is wading into one of the 20th century?s most enduring mysteries: the fate of American aviator Amelia Earhart, disappeared over the South Pacific 75 years ago. Clinton is meeting March 20, 2012, with historians and scientists from The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, which will launch a new search in June for the wreckage of Earhart?s plane off the remote island of Nikumaroro. (AP Photo)
Amelia Earhart, the American airwoman who is flying round the world for fun, arrived at Port Natal, Brazil on June 6, and took off on her 2,240-mile flight across the South Atlantic to Dakar, Africa. Happy picture of Amelia Earhart just before she left Port Natal, for Dakar, on June 6, 1937. (AP Photo)
FILE-- In a 1937 file photo aviator Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, pose in front of their twin-engine Lockheed Electra in Los Angeles prior to their historic flight in which Earhart was attempting to become first female pilot to circle the globe. A $2.2 million expedition is hoping to finally solve one of America's most enduring mysteries. What happened to famed aviator Amelia Earhart when she went missing over the South Pacific 75 years ago? (AP Photo, File)
Amelia Earhart, noted flier, awaiting a call to the stand as an expert witness in an airplane accident case in which Paul Mantz, her technical adviser (shown with her), is involved in Los Angeles on May 16, 1937. (AP Photo)
The patch is shown on the plane under this yellow arrow. (TIGHAR)
This patch, found on a remote Pacific Island by researchers with The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, is believed to have come from Earhart's plane Electra. (TIGHAR)
The shredded patch being held up against a reproduction of where on the plane it would have fit. (TIGHAR)
The patch covered the special window denoted at the back of the plane. (TIGHAR)
(Image courtesy of: Miami Herald)
Vietnamese Air Force Col. Pham Minh Tuan uses binoculars on board a flying aircraft during a mission to search for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 in the Gulf of Thailand, Thursday, March 13, 2014. With no distress call, no sign of wreckage and very few answers, the disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines plane is turning into one of the biggest aviation mysteries since Amelia Earhart vanished over the Pacific Ocean in 1937. (AP Photo)
A cabin crew of the Vietnam Air Force is seen onboard a flying AN-26 Soviet made aircraft during a search operation for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 plane over the southern sea between Vietnam and Malaysia Friday, March 14, 2014. Vietnam says it has downgraded but not stopped its search for the missing jetliner in the South China Sea and has been asked by Malaysian authorities to consider sending planes and ships to the Strait of Malacca. (AP Photo/Na Son Nguyen)
A Vietnamese air force pilot touches the controls of a transport plane on Sunday March 9, 2014 during the search and rescue operations for the Malaysian airliner vanished early Saturday on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Military radar indicates that the missing Boeing 777 jet may have turned back, Malaysia's air force chief said Sunday as scores of ships and aircraft from across Asia resumed a hunt for the plane and its 239 passengers. (AP Photo)
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Now, more evidence has emerged to support that Earhart was a castaway. Bones found in 1940 on the island of Nikumaroro between Hawaii and Australia may have belonged to Earhart. While they were previously thought to be male, they are actually consistent with a woman of Earhart's stature.

TIGHAR decided to delve deeper into this notion, and invested the help of forensic scientist Jeff Glickman. By using a photograph of Earhart, Glickman estimated how long Earhart's arm would be -- and it aligned with the bones found.

In a statement, TIGHAR explained that this does not confirm scientifically that the bones are Earhart's, but the theory still holds ground. They said, "It is a significant new data point that tips the scales further in that direction."

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