New evidence could prove how Amelia Earhart actually died

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

Amelia Earhart's life and career
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Amelia Earhart's life and career
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)
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)

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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