Bones found on island likely Earhart's, forensic analysis indicates

(CNN) - New research sheds light on the decades-old mystery of Amelia Earhart's disappearance.

The legendary pilot vanished in 1937 while attempting to fly around the world.

Three years after her ill-fated mission, human bones were found on Nikumaroro Island, a west Pacific island near Earhart's projected flight path.

Near the bones were items believed to be Earhart's possessions, but a researcher who studied the bones at the time determined they belonged to a man.

An anthropology professor at the University of Tennessee, Richard Jantz, said those bones most likely were Earhart's.

Unfortunately, those bones are long gone, lost many years ago. 

Jantz was able to make his determination based on the measurements taken of the bones and comparing them with the lengths of her humerus, tibia and radius lengths from information such as measurements of her clothing and measurements of Earhart taken by a seamstress. 

The data indicates that the bones have more similarity to Earhart than "to 99 percent of individuals in a large reference sample."

Although we may never have a definitive answer, Jantz says "the most convincing argument is that they are hers." 

The study is published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

Copyright 2018 CNN. All rights reserved. Raycom News Network contributed to this report.

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