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Fijiguide.com Inside story: Search for Amelia Earhart turns to Fiji

Fiji Sun columnist Graham Davis has done a wonderful story on the the continuing search for Amelia Earhart. The famed aviator, whose disappearance in 1937 over the Pacific (during her attempt to become the first woman to fly around the world) was one of the biggest stories of the 20th century.  

Evidently the story has taken a decidedly Fijian turn.

Investigators from the US who are hot on the path of Ms. Earhart are looking for descendants of three Fijians who were associates of the former head of the Fiji Medical School in Suva. They believe a box may have been bequeathed to one of the Fijians in the will of the school's former principal, Dr Kenneth Gilchrist, containing the remains of Amelia Earhart.

LavetaInise Waqanivere, Kalaviti Tukutukunabuka and Unaisi Tianai Reave all worked for Dr Gilchrist, a British surgeon. Gilchrist came to Fiji in the 1940s and headed the Fiji School of Medicine from 1965 to 1970. He stayed on in Fiji after Independence and eventually retired to Lami (my old neighborhood) where he was known locally as “The Professor”.  (Unfortunately I never met him).

After his death in 1992, Waqanivere, Tukutukunabuka and Reave were the beneficiaries of his will and it's presumed, received his personal effects. It's thought that one of those items may have been a box containing human bones.

The investigators want to determine whether they are those of Amelia Earhart.

The search is now on for one of their descendants of Waqanivere, Tukutukunabuka and Reave to locate that box and do a DNA test to determine if they belonged to Ms. Earhart. 

The evidence is thought provoking.

Go here to read the whole fascinating story in the Fiji Sun.

Above photo of Amelia Earhart depicts her striding in front of her Lockheed Electra. Shot courtesy of Smithsonian Archive.

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