As the search for Amelia Earhart‘s plane probes the deep waters off Nikumaroro, a tiny desert island between Australia and Hawaii where the legendary aviator may have landed 75 years ago, new clues have surfaced in the artifacts unearthed on the coral atoll.
A variety of fragmented objects collected by archaeologists at a site on the uninhabited island may have originally been American beauty and skin care products, all dating to the 1930s, says a new summary of research by the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery or TIGHAR, which will be published in October by the academic journal Pacific Studies.
TIGHAR researchers had already suggested that a small jar, found broken in five pieces, could have contained Dr. C. H Berry’s Freckle Ointment. Marketed in the early 20th century, the concoction promised to make freckles fade.
“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.
Cerniglia also identified two other bottles as containers of skin products. One green bottle was possibly St. Joseph’s Liniment, which had applications in first aid and as a mosquito repellent.
“This broken bottle was found partially melted in the remains of a cooking fire,” Thomas King, TIGHAR’s senior archaeologist and author of the summary article, told Discovery News.
“It may have been used in an effort to boil or distill drinking water — there is no fresh surface water on Nikumaroro except what can be caught during sporadic rain squalls,” King said.
Spectrographic analysis on another bottle revealed it likely contained Campana Italian Balm, a popular American hand lotion in the 1930s.
“Traces of a substance found in the Nikumaroro fragment matched well with residue from an intact 1934 Campana Italian Balm bottle,” Cerniglia said.
Strange Random Island Quote:
“…I once found a list of diseases as yet unclassified by medical science, and among these there occurred the word Islomania, which was described as a rare but by no means unknown affliction of spirit. There are people…who find islands somehow irresistible. The mere knowledge that they are on an island, a little world surrounded by the sea, fills them with an indescribable intoxication. These born “islomanes”…are direct descendents of the Atlanteans” ― Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus
- Has Amelia Earhart’s Beauty Case Been Found? (livescience.com)
- Amelia Earhart’s Beauty Case Found? (news.discovery.com)
- Increasing Evidence Solves Mystery of Amelia Earhart’s Disappearance [Mysteries] (gawker.com)
- Search for Amelia Earhart’s Wrecked Plane Continues (news.discovery.com)
- Found make-up kit could be linked to Amelia Earhart (wtvr.com)
- Search for Amelia Earhart Begins Off Hawaii (newser.com)