THE remains of Amelia Earhart, the legendary aviator portrayed on the big screen by actress Hilary Swank, have reportedly been found.
Three bones were found on a remote island in the South Pacific by a group from Delaware that recovers historic aircraft. Researchers at the University of Oklahoma are hoping that DNA will prove the remains belong to Earhart.
“There’s no guarantee,” said Ric Gillespie, director of the International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery in Delaware and author of Finding Amelia: The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance.
“You only have to say you have a bone that may be human and may be linked to Earhart and people get excited. But it is true that, if they can get DNA, and if they can match it to Amelia Earhart’s DNA, that’s pretty good.”
Gillespie said bird and fish remains around the island suggest a Westerner had stayed there.
“These fish weren’t eaten like Pacific Islanders eat fish”, he said.
“It’s like science. You take the information you have and formulate a hypothesis, but 9½ times out of 10 you turn out wrong, then you go through the whole thing again — but you’re closer.”
Swank has previously revealed that she did an incredible amount research to play Earhart in Amelia.
“You cannot play Amelia Earhart and not learn how to fly,” she said. “It was just as exhilarating and freeing and exciting as she writes about. I get it.
“I know exactly to the minute how much there is out there. There are about 16 minutes of newsreel on Amelia, and all of that is some waving. It’s not all talking. So the actual things that we have of her speaking are limited, and a lot of the stuff that we have of her speaking are when she had her public persona on.
“I found about 45 seconds of when she didn’t know the camera was actually on and so I got a little bit of an insight of her not public face, which was very obviously insightful for me and something I really grabbed on to, because I didn’t want to parody her.
“That accent was very specific, the cadence in which she spoke was very specific, the way she carried herself was very specific, as it is for all of us. If I were playing you I would want to break down your exact mannerisms. They were big shoes to fill, I couldn’t take a lot of fictional — license, actually, that I could probably take if I were playing you, so it was a daunting task, and I felt like something that I had to really study to do justice to her.”
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