PreviousNext

Amelia Earhart: 'Beauty kit' found on desert island in Pacific

By // News | Amelia Earhart: 'Beauty kit' found on desert island in Pacific
Email to a friend Plain text Print version // Font size: Decrease font Enlarge font

By Snejana Farberov and Hugo Gye

PUBLISHED: 21:56 EST, 13 July 2012 | UPDATED: 09:10 EST, 14 July 2012

Investigators could be a step closer to solving the 75-year-old mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance after finding what appears to be her beauty kit on a deserted island.

Baby oil, hand lotion, rouge and a compact were all discovered on the island of Nikumaroro, in the Pacific Ocean between Australia and Hawaii.

When considered along with the freckle cream which was unearthed on the island in May, the items suggest that the presence in the area of an American woman in the first half of the 20th century.

Discovery: This bottle of St Joseph's lineament was found on a desert island in the area Amelia Earhart is believed to have crashed on an ill-fated voyage around the world in 1937

Discovery: This bottle of St Joseph's lineament was found on a desert island in the area Amelia Earhart is believed to have crashed on an ill-fated voyage around the world in 1937

Earhart (pictured) vanished on July 2, 1937, while flying over the Pacific Ocean during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe around the Equator

Legend: Earhart (pictured) vanished on July 2, 1937, while flying over the Pacific Ocean during her attempt to circumnavigate the globe around the Equator

If this woman was indeed the famed aviator Earhart, then she must have survived after her plane was downed during an attempt to circumnavigate the globe around the Equator.

Two bottles have been identified as containing some sort of skincare product, according to Discovery News.

One, a green bottle which appears to have been melted in a cooking fire, looks like St Joseph's Liniment, a type of mosquito repellent.

Thomas King, an archaeologist leading the expedition to uncover the mysteries of Earhart's fate, suggested that the bottle may have been used to boil water in an attempt to have something to drink.

As well as lotions and balms, fragments of a red material were found which turned out to be cosmetic rouge.

'Earhart is known to have carried a compact which, if it was like others of the period, would have contained rouge,' Mr King said.

Clue: This hunk of glass is from a bottle of Campania's Italian balm made in 1933

Clue: This hunk of glass is from a bottle of Campania's Italian balm made in 1933

Cosmetic: One of the substances found on the island was identified as rouge from the early 20th century

Cosmetic: One of the substances found on the island was identified as rouge from the early 20th century

Another crucial find came in the form of two slivers of glass which appear to be part of a compact mirror from the 1930s U.S.

Mr King said: 'We know she had a compact, and a news account has recently surfaced of her powdering her nose before getting out of the plane in Australia.'

In May, a glass container was found broken in five pieces on Nikumaroro by researchers of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR).

When reassembled, the fragments make up a jar identical in shape to the ones used by Dr. C. H Berry's Freckle Ointment, Discover News reported.

‘It's well documented Amelia had freckles and disliked having them,’ Joe Cerniglia, the TIGHAR researcher who spotted the freckle ointment as a possible match, told Discovery News.

The jar fragments were found alongside other artifacts during TIGHAR's nine expeditions to the tiny coral atoll, where some experts believe Earhart lived as a castaway and died.

The aviatrix disappeared while flying over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. The general consensus has been that Earhart's twin-engined plane ran out of fuel and crashed in the Pacific Ocean in the vicinity of Howland Island.

Amelia's freckles: Reassembled jar fragments (left) found alongside other artifacts on an island have been found to resemble a freckle ointment (right) possibly used by Earhart

Amelia's freckles: Reassembled jar fragments (left) found alongside other artifacts on an island have been found to resemble a freckle ointment (right) possibly used by Earhart

But some scientists are skeptical about this theory. Ric Gillespie, the executive director of TIGHAR, said during a press event in March that the navigation line Earhart described in her final radio transmission passed through not only Howland island, but also through Gardner Island, which is now known as Nikumaroro.

According to Gillespie, the possibility that Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan might have made an emergency landing on the flat coral reef is supported by a number of artifacts which, combined with archival research, strongly point to a castaway presence on the remote island.

‘Broken shards from several glass containers have been recovered from the Seven Site, the archaeological site on the southeast end of Nikumaroro that fits the description of where the partial skeleton of a castaway was discovered in 1940,’ Gillespie told Discovery News.

The skeletal remains were found in what appeared to had been a castaway's camp, where researchers also discovered a man’s shoe, part of a woman’s shoe, remnants of a fire, and animal bones. All of these artifacts, however, have seen been lost.

Not all the finds collected from the spot on Nikumaroro known as Seven Site have been attributed to the possible presence of a castaway.

Skeletal remains were found on Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean in 1940, but have since been lost

Uninhabited: Skeletal remains were found on Nikumaroro Island in the Pacific Ocean in 1940, but have since been lost

‘For example, the top of a war-time Coke bottle and pieces of what was probably a large salt shaker of a style used by the U.S. military are almost certainly relics of one or more U.S. Coast Guard target shooting forays,’ Gillespie said.

However, two glass bottles dating from the 1930s that were found in what had been a small campfire appear to support the castaway theory.

‘The bottoms of both bottles are melted but the upper portions, although shattered, are not heat-damaged — implying that the bottles once stood upright in the fire. A length of wire found in the same spot has been twisted in such a way as to serve as a handle for holding a bottleneck,’ said Gillespie.

According to the head of TIGHAR, it is possible that whoever was on the island used the bottles to boil seawater to make it drinkable.

Some of the recovered items contained products generally used only by women. Laboratory analysis of remnants of the contents in a three-ounce bottle show a close match to Campana Italian Balm, a hand lotion made in Batavia, Illinois, that was popular in the 1930s.

However, the most intriguing of the Seven Site artifacts appears to be the small cream jar.

Earhart made history by becoming the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932

Pioneer: Earhart made history by becoming the first woman to complete a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean in 1932

So far, the researchers have not been able to match the exact size of the artifact jar to a known jar of Dr. Berry's ointment.

More important than the exact contents of the jar, however, is the fact that four of the broken pieces of the container were found together, while the fifth piece was discovered about 65 feet away near the bones of a turtle.

According to Gillespie, that piece of glass shows evidence of secondary use as a cutting or slicing tool.

‘The bottles and other artifacts we have found at the Seven Site tell a fascinating, but still incomplete, story of ingenuity, survival, and, ultimately, tragedy. Whether it is Amelia Earhart's story remains to be seen,’ Gillespie said.

Earhart gained international fame after becoming the first woman to cross the Atlantic as part of a team in 1928, although she did not pilot the plane herself.

Five years later, Earhart made history when she completed a solo flight from Newfoundland to Ireland in her single engine Lockheed Vega 5B, for which she received the Distinguished Flying Cross from the U.S. Congress.

Tagged : No tags for this article

Headlines Newsview all

Cheating map of UK reveals Maidenhead to be Britain's most adulterous town

One of the richest towns in Britain also has the highest number of people having extramarital affairs, according to new research. Wealthy Maidenhead tops a new ... Full story

Trainee teacher hangs himself after split from the girlfriend he couldn’t live without

A trainee teacher hanged himself on New Year’s Eve after a split from his girlfriend, an inquest heard today. Keiran Walsh, 22, split from his partner ... Full story

White Dee, Benefits Street's most infamous and shameless resident

Late on a dark and rainy night, it is all go-go-go down at White Dee’s house in Birmingham. There is a pan of fish stew ... Full story

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand CAR DEALER to save £1 million in celebrity tax avoidance scheme

DJ Chris Moyles claimed to be a second-hand car dealer while presenting Radio 1’s Breakfast Show in a bid to save up to £1million in ... Full story

Kym Marsh fling with personal trainer, Matt Baker

Her marriage to Jamie Lomas ended in October and now Kym Marsh has sparked romance rumours after spending Valentine's weekend in Paris with her personal ... Full story

Nicole Scherzinger shows off a bit too much

NICOLE Scherzinger and fellow leading ladies at this year's Brits spent hours getting ready for the big night.But once the after-parties kicked in, their extensive ... Full story

Mother arrested after11-month-old daughter mauled to death by dog

A mother has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter after her “beautiful and adorable” 11-month-old daughter was mauled to death by a dog.Ava Jayne Marie ... Full story

London Tube strike cancelled after last minute talks

A planned 48-hour strike by London Underground workers in a row over ticket office closures has been called off after a last-minute deal was agreed.Members ... Full story

First woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed ‘by Christmas’

The first woman bishop in the Church of England could be appointed before the end of this year, the Church’s most senior official has disclosed.William ... Full story

Bank of England must move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility

The Bank of England must "get back to basics" and move away from its rigid unemployment target or risk losing credibility, former Bank policymakers have ... Full story

Hollywood child star Shirley Temple dies at age 85

Shirley Temple, the American actress, singer and dancer, has died at her home in California from natural causes.Temple, who began her film career in 1932 ... Full story

Comment on: Amelia Earhart: 'Beauty kit' found on desert island in Pacific

Rate this article

0

Breaking News

London will have 5G internet that can download a film in a second by 2020, says Boris Johnson

Smartphone owners in London may still be wondering over whether it’s worth making the jump from 3G to 4G, but for Boris Johnson the question is ...

International court orders Russia to pay £30bn in damages to Yukos shareholders

Russia has been ordered to pay nearly £30bn in damages to former shareholders in defunct oil giant Yukos after an international court ruled Moscow had ...

Brendan O'Carroll: Mrs Brown's Boys actor reduced to tears as he sees gun used to kill his grandfather

Brendan O'Carroll, star of Mrs Brown’s Boys, wept as he was shown the gun used to kill his grandfather. The comedian, who was tracing his family ...

Rupert Murdoch: 'I hope my daughter isn't friends with David Cameron'

Rupert Murdoch has taken to Twitter to distance himself from continuing rumours of a friendship between his daughter Elisabeth and David Cameron. The media mogul said ...

Jon Snow Gaza video: Watch the Channel 4 News presenter’s heartbreaking plea to end child violence

Jon Snow has made an emotional plea for an end to the violence that has led to deaths and maiming of scores of children in ...

World Hepatitis Day 2014: Study reveals UK blood donors ‘passing on Hepatitis E’

Figures released to coincide with World Hepatitis Day have revealed that an estimated 1,200 blood transfusions carried out each year in England contain the hepatitis ...

Manchester City vs AC Milan: Mario Balotelli takes a break from 5-1 defeat to pose for selfie with pitch invaders

Mario Balotelli may have been on the losing end of a 5-1 mauling as Manchester City sent out a title warning to their Premier League ...

Kristen Stewart affair: Rupert Sanders and Liberty Ross finalise divorce

Model and actress Liberty Ross has finalised her divorce from director Rupert Sanders. The couple separated after Sanders was pictured embracing Twilight actress Kristen Stewart, who ...

'Tired of media filters': Sarah Palin launches online channel

Can't get enough of Sarah Palin? Well, you're in luck because the former Alaska governor has launched her own online TV channel. In a video celebrating ...

Peter Capaldi promises 'no flirting' with sidekick Clara in new Doctor Who series

Peter Capaldi has revealed there will be no flirting with his co-star Jenna Coleman in the new series of Doctor Who. Former Doctor Matt Smith was ...