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Kiribati: Amelia Earhart’s death: Anti-freckle cream jar may be a clue in 1937 mystery

Researchers say the famed aviator hated her spots

By / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS  Published: Thursday, May 31, 2012, 8:06 PM

Researchers have found a broken jar that they believe belonged to Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro Island.


Researchers have found a broken jar that they believe belonged to Amelia Earhart on Nikumaroro Island.

The discovery of an old jar of anti-freckle cream on a Pacific island could be a key clue in the disappearance of aviator Amelia Earhart, who disliked her facial spots.

Researchers for The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery found the jar, broken into five pieces, on a remote island in the Pacific republic of Kiribati, giving support to theories that the uninhabited island became Earhart’s final resting place, Discovery News reports.

When reassembled, the jar resembles early 20th century containers for Dr. C. H Berry’s Freckle Ointment, a cream that was used to fade freckles.

Joe Cerniglia, the researcher who recognized the connection between the jars, said that Earhart was not a fan of her spots.

“It’s well-documented Amelia had freckles and disliked having them,” Cerniglia told Discovery News.

Earhart Freckle Cream


The reassembled jar, left, resembles the early 20th century containers, right,  for Dr. C. H Berry’s Freckle Ointment, a cream that was used to fade freckles.

The famed aviatrix disappeared during a flight over the Pacific Ocean on July 2, 1937. Many historians believe that Earhart’s plane crashed into the Pacific when it ran out of fuel.

The group’s executive director, Ric Gillespie, said the plane’s in-flight radio transmission tells a different story. Gillespie believes that Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan may have had to make an emergency landing on a coral reef at Nikumaroro Island, where the jar pieces were found.

“The navigation line Amelia described in her final in-flight radio transmission passed through not only Howland Island, her intended destination, but also Gardner Island, now called Nikumaroro,” Gillespie said at a news conference hosted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on March 20.

Nikumaroro Island is just 300 miles southeast of Howard Island.

The Obama administration announced this March that it would support the recovery group’s search for evidence of Earhart and her crew. The government is not funding the researchers, but has provided logistical support.

Gillespie said at the news conference that his team will go on a 10-day search this July, using underwater robotic submarines to explore the reef where he believes Earhart landed.

In 2010, Gillespie’s group found bones that it believed could be linked to Earhart on Nikumaroro Island. DNA tests have been inconclusive. But the group has found other artifacts, including women’s makeup, remnants of shoes and bottles, that suggest that Earhart and Noonan may have lived on the island as castaways.

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