A scientist is 99 percent certain Amelia Earhart’s bones have been found

Tech & Science amelia earhart Forensic Science A forensic anthropologist is claiming bones found on an island in the South Pacific likely belong to Amelia Earhart. The results, published in Forensic Anthropology, were first announced in February; the University of Tennessee, Knoxville issued a new press release on Wednesday. The scientist, Richard Jantz, used photographs and measurements taken by seamstresses along with a software program called Fordisc to come to his conclusion; Jantz is the director emeritus of the University of Tennessee’s Forensic Anthropology Center. The length of the arm and leg bones are more similar to Earhart’s than they are to 99 percent of 2,776 others used as references, as are other measurements that show the woman to whom the bones belonged may have had a physique like Earhart’s. This “strongly supports” the conclusion that the bones are Amelia Earhart’s, Jantz wrote in the paper. See all of the best photos of the week in these slideshows An earlier assessment in the 1940s determined the bones, found on the island of Nikumaroro, were male. A 2015 study found that that initial conclusion could have been right; Jantz wrote that more modern techniques may provide a more reliable answer. American aviator Amelia Earhart stands with pilot Captain A. H. White on June 24, 1928. H. F. Davis/Topical Press Agency/Getty Images That said, even this analysis isn’t as strong as it could have been. The measurements weren’t completely identical—so there’s a small chance the bones aren’t hers. However, Jantz wrote, 100 percent certainly would require his measurements to be flawless—which is very unlikely—and the measurements taken in the 1940s to be intact—which is highly unlikely. The accuracy of decades-old measurements wouldn’t be a problem if he could actually look at the bones himself, but that wasn’t possible either. Continue Reading

NEW: Have scientists solved mysterious ‘sonic attacks’ in Cuba?

The United States announced Friday that it's permanently removing 60 percent of its diplomats from Cuba after unexplained illnesses linked to mysterious "sonic attacks" in Havana harmed at least 24 Americans.  Computer scientists at the University of Michigan, however, say they may have solved the mystery behind the strange sounds that caused a variety of medical disorders, the Miami Herald reported.  RELATED: Report details harm to Cuba diplomats but offers no cause Two sources of ultrasound - such as listening devices - could generate interference and provoke the intense sounds described by the victims when they're placed too close together, according to the university's Security and Privacy Research Group. The sonic occurence "may not have been done intentionally to harm diplomats," according to the scientists' study, which was first reported by the Daily Beast. The State Department ordered non-essential embassy personnel and the families of all staff to leave Havana in October, arguing that they could not be protected from the unexplained illnesses. PREVIOUS: Cuban travel restrictions may hurt island’s emerging entrepreneurs The downsizing of the embassy staff - and a warning to Americans to reconsider travel to the island - have had significant effects for Cuba's economy and for its citizens. The embassy halted visa processing, forcing Cubans visiting the United States to go through U.S. embassies in other countries. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson approved the permanent plan for reduced staffing out of concern for "the health, safety and well-being of U.S. government personnel and family members," the State Department said in a statement Friday. Despite the Michigan study, the department maintained that "we still do not have a cause or source of the attacks" and that the "investigation is ongoing," according to the Herald. PREVIOUS: To cheers in Miami, Trump attacks Obama, tightens some Cuba policies Continue Reading

D.B. Cooper’s tie indicates he might have been a Boeing worker

A band of amateur scientists may have found a breakthrough in the infamous D.B. Cooper plane hijacking case — thanks to a clip-on tie. A tie belonging to the mystery man who took over a Boeing passenger plane in 1971 — then jumped out on a parachute, never to be seen again — may indicate that he worked in the aerospace industry, and maybe even for Boeing. A team of researchers, known as Citizen Sleuths, analyzed the JC Penney tie with an electron microscope and found particles of cerium, strontium sulfide and pure titanium. Those elements would have been rarely seen outside of certain environments — such an aerospace plant. The group said Boeing used those elements in the 1960s and ‘70s while developing its Super Sonic Transport plane in Washington State. Cooper could have been a Boeing employee or contractor who wore that tie to his job. “The tie went with him into these manufacturing environments, for sure,” Citizen Sleuths lead researcher Tom Kaye told King5 on Friday. “He was either an engineer or a manager in one of the plants,” Kaye said. The FBI closed the Cooper case last year without solving it, and said it found no credible leads. Years before that, though, the bureau gave Citizen Sleuths unprecedented access to analyze evidence from the case. The team is still investigating the Cooper case, and has posted its forensic analysis of the tie online and asked for the public’s help with information. The man known as D.B. Cooper boarded a Boeing flight from Portland, Ore., to Seattle on Nov. 24, 1971. After calmly telling a flight attendant he had a bomb in a briefcase, Cooper extorted $200,000 in ransom money from the FBI and parachuted from the plane — and seemingly into thin air. After 45 years of investigation, the FBI found no trace of Cooper or even an idea of his identity. This remains the only unsolved passenger Continue Reading

Mystery surrounding next ‘Star Wars’ title may have just been solved

In countries far, far away, a question about the next "Star Wars" title may have been answered. The mystery surrounding the title of Star Wars: Episode VIII, which was announced as "The Last Jedi," could have a clearer meaning thanks to foreign language posters for the flick. Since the title was unveiled last month, avid Star Wars have debated whether the "last Jedi" in question refers to one person, or if the word's plural form — also "Jedi" — was being used. Is Luke Skywalker all alone — or are there more Jedi out there? Thanks to the French, German and Spanish language titles of the film, it seems that "Jedi" is in fact plural, Gizmodo and other sites reported. Each of the "Star Wars" Twitter accounts for the various countries posted the same promotional image on Friday afternoon. The next installment in the epic franchise is due out in December 2017 and stars Mark Hamill, Daisy Ridley and the late Carrie Fisher. On Friday, it was also announced that a new novel, "Inferno Squad," will be released on July 25, picking up where the last movie, "Rogue One," left off. Continue Reading

‘Who’s the mom?’ Internet mystery may be solved

The mother of all Internet mysteries may have been solved. After an Indianapolis teen posted a selfie with her twin and her mother that has web surfers wondering, “Which one is the mom?” she suggests in a video that her parent is on the far left.  Kaylan Mahomes, 16, uploaded the original Jan. 28 pic of the three ladies in a car to Twitter with the caption, “Mom, twin and me,” but the fresh-faced women look identical - even though mom Tina Brown is 35. Yet she commented below a video of the identical trio on Feb. 1 that, "lol my mom is on the left!"  And this lady looks very similar to the woman wearing the blazer on the far left in the hotly contested first photo. The puzzling pic has been retweeted more than 19,000 times and counting, and received more than 31,000 likes — similar to how “the dress” took social media by storm just under a year ago, when readers couldn’t decide whether a striped dress was white and gold, or black and blue. The original Dressgate article on Buzzfeed received more than 37 million hits. Some Twitter users are also sharing this new “Who’s the mom?” snap with the hashtag #blackdontcrack, which refers to some African Americans’ age-defying smooth skin. The amused family created an Instagram page to share more photos of the indistinguishable trio after seeing all of the attention they were getting. And their second post is what gives clues that seem to solve the case. The video shows the three ladies posing for a picture while one holds the camera — and then they all start laughing after realizing they are actually being videotaped instead of photographed. The lady on the left, who laughs last, takes the longest to get the joke — and the caption reads, “When your mom thinks it’s a picture...lol.” And as noted above, after a friend asked Continue Reading

Nessie hunters have been catfished! Loch Ness Monster is really a giant catfish, explorer says (VIDEO)

The Loch Ness Monster mystery has finally been solved, at least according to one noted hunter. Nessie is just a really big catfish. The man who has spent almost 25 years trying to discover the fabled monster said people have been getting it wrong for centuries, VICE reported. "I have to be honest. I just don't think that Nessie is a prehistoric monster," veteran explorer Steve Feltham said. "What a lot of people have reported seeing,” he added, “Would fit in with the description of the catfish with its long curved back." Feltham, who is probably the world's foremost expert on the mythical beast, believes Nessie might actually be a Wels catfish, which can grow up to 13 feet long. It is thought they got into the lake in the Scottish Highlands after being thrown in the water during Victorian times. Feltham sold all his possessions and left his wife to seek the truth about the Monster in 1991. He has kept a constant vigil at the site trying to discover the beast, which was first brought to global attention in 1933, although the first sightings are said to stretch back to 6 AD. Several fuzzy pictures since that time have been published to "prove" Nessie's existence, but there has never ever been any conclusive evidence. Feltham, who lives in a caravan by the lake, said he has no regrets about dedicating his life to the hunt for Nessie. "Have I ever regretted my decision?” he replied. “Never, not for one second." ON A MOBILE DEVICE? WATCH THE VIDEO HERE. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Mystery surrounding Lincoln letter may have been solved

It’s been more than 25 years since workers renovating Abraham Lincoln’s home in Springfield found a letter fragment in a mouse’s nest inside a wall, but researchers think they’ve finally identified the mystery letter’s author. The clue was a mention of poetry. Lincoln had exchanged several letters with a newspaper editor about poetry and politics. So Stacy Pratt McDermott, an associate editor of The Papers of Abraham Lincoln, set about comparing the handwriting on the fragment with a letter that Andrew Johnston had written to Lincoln in 1865 and a note that Johnston had written in 1872 on an old letter from Lincoln. The match was unmistakable. Besides solving a mystery, the discovery sheds light on a lesser explored aspect of Lincoln’s character. “It illuminates an interesting part of Lincoln’s career in that he enjoyed poetry and tried his own hand at poetry,” Papers of Abraham Lincoln Director Daniel Stowell told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. Johnston was a native of Richmond, Va., and published the Quincy Whig in Illinois. Lincoln had written to him on Feb. 25, 1846, to send him a piece of poetry he had requested. Johnston’s reply, sent on March 10 from Quincy, Ill., was the mystery letter. In it he thanks the future president for the poem and asks if Lincoln was its author. In an April 18 letter, Lincoln responded that he was not, but added that he would “give all I am worth, and go in debt, to be able to write so fine a piece as I think that is.” Somehow, the March 10 letter from Johnston ended up stuffed into a wall in Lincoln’s home. Some theories are that it was put there as insulation or by mischievous boys known to stuff things into cracks in the walls. The fragment was uncovered in 1987 during a full restoration of the Lincoln Home National Historic Site. That it survived is all the more Continue Reading

Mystery of a body found in the Hewitt woods has never been solved

A Bergen County man – hunting alone in unfamiliar North Jersey isolated woods in November 1949 – suddenly found he was in trouble. Darkness was fast approaching and he realized he was lost. He was somewhere in a heavily wooded forest in the Hewitt section of the Township of West Milford near Awosting Road. The name of the man and the town he was from have faded from local history but his bizarre story is one that remains as an unsolved West Milford Police Department case.With no idea of where to find a road or the nearest house the frightened man, frustrated and confused, continued walking and apparently he was successful in finding his way out of the forest and somehow managed to return to his home. There were no cell phones or search and rescue teams in those days so the police had no report of the lost hunter in their files.The man’s experience in the Hewitt woods probably would have ended at this point without being recorded anywhere. Maybe he was traumatized by his experience but for some reason he apparently did not tell anyone about a bizarre scene he encountered when he was trying to find a way out of the woods.Months later the hunter was socializing in a city bar and during conversation there he told people his lost-in-the-woods story – including a bizarre chapter. He shared that while trying to find his way back to civilization he came upon a decomposed dead man hanging from a tree. Bar stories sometimes have a way of getting to the police. This one did. After someone passed the hunter’s story on to the city police they contacted West Milford Police Chief John Moeller and told him what was reported to them.When contacted by West Milford Police, the hunter was cooperative and told Moeller what he had seen – or thought he had seen while trying to find his way out of the darkening forest. With his full-time staff of about four men along with some of his 30- member special police force who were not busy working at their Continue Reading

Stonehenge mystery may have been solved: Scientist says it was designed for acoustic phenomenon

Stonehenge may have been the place to rock out at trippy Neolithic concerts of sorts — and that may explain why the mysterious circle of stones was erected. A U.S. researcher suggests that the architects of Stonehenge were inspired by magical "auditory illusions" the stones could produce, according to a Live Science report. Steven Waller, a researcher who specializes in the sound properties of ancient sites, is challenging common Stonehenge theories that the site was intended for spiritual worship and ceremonial burials. He suggests that the stones were arranged to create a special sound phenomena that baffled participants of ritual piper dancing, and they may have thought the effect was supernatural. These gatherings usually consisted of two pipers playing music with dancers encircling them. Waller attributes this sound illusion to something called an "interference pattern." This occurs when two sound waves clash and results in people hearing a louder or softer noise depending on their location from the source. Waller offered his speculations at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science on Thursday. His theory suggests that during ritual dances people would have experienced this noise cancellation and most likely attributed it to something otherworldly. "I think they were experiencing this illusion, thinking it was magic pillars, and then constructed the actual structure," said Waller. The scientific community is not expected to accept the largely speculative theory with open arms. "There is no question its main axis is aligned along the mid-summer sunrise and mid-winter sunset and there is widespread agreement that it was used for cremation burials," said Mike Pitts, a leading expert on Stonehenge, to the Telegraph. But Maller does not expect to settle this seemingly primordial mystery. Instead he simply wishes to emphasize the acoustics of archaeology in rock art like Stonehenge. "Nobody Continue Reading

Maryland mystery lights, sounds solved?

PIKESVILLE, Md. — It wasn't a UFO or spectral manifestation. A middle-of-the-night mystery that rattled and baffled residents for months may finally have been solved with police making a real-world arrest.Deafening blasts accompanied by blinding split-second flashes of light have been rattling residents of one neighborhood of this Baltimore suburb for months.Elaine O'Mansky says she has heard the noise 25 times since September, always between midnight and dawn. She says the accompanying flash was bright enough to light up her bedroom.Barbara Friedman says the first time she heard the blast she thought someone was shooting at her.Police officers Vickie Warehime and J. Posluszny Jr. said the department set up cameras and recorded the phenomena last week, but didn't detect anyone in the area.The recorded flash lit up an area the size of a football field. Based on shadows, police believe the light source was in the air about 30 feet above the ground near the Beth Tfiloh Community School.A Baltimore County Police spokesman, Cpl. Mike Hill, confirmed Tuesday that someone had been arrested in connection with the mystery, but he could not immediately provide any details. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading