Mon, Jun 04, 2012
Ointment Pot May Have Contained Anti-Freckle Cream
It was well known that Amelia Earhart had freckles ... and that she was not particularly happy having them. So when researchers from TIGHAR, The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery hoping to solve the mystery of Earhart's' disappearance 75 years ago, found fragments of an ointment pot similar to one sold containing anti-freckle cream in about that time period on Nikumaroro Island, they hoped the find would help bolster the theory that she and navigator Fred Noonan had been castaways on the remote island after their plane went down.
Discovery News reports that the jar fragments were found together on Nikumaroro Island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati. When pieced together, they are very similar to a pot sold early in the 20th century containing Dr. C. H. Berry's Freckle Ointment ... which was 'guaranteed to make freckles fade." The concoction was said to be about 11 percent mercury. The TIGHAR team collected the artifacts, along with others indicating the presence of a man and a woman being marooned on the small island, during nine archaeological expeditions to the coral atoll they believe to be where Earhart and Noonan spent their last days.
In the 1940s, skeletal remains along with part of a man's shoe, part of a woman's shoe, a sextant box, and other evidence of a makeshift camp were discovered on Nikumaroro, but those artifacts were lost, according to TIGHAR's Ric Gillespie. And, the site where they were found also had evidence of other temporary inhabitants of the island, so the find is not conclusive. Still, there is enough evidence to suggest there was at one time a man and a woman stranded on the island to make the TIGHAR team believe such a scenario occurred. Whether it was Earhart and Noonan is still the open question.
Nikumaroro was known as Gardner Island at the time of Earhart's flight, and was on the navigation line described by her in her final in-flight radio transmission.
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