More than seven decades after aviator Amelia Earhart disappeared while attempting her ill-fated flight around the world, a British Columbia scientist hopes to extract DNA from dried saliva on two envelopes containing letters she is believed to have sealed.

Some months ago, US aircraft history buffs were also hopeful that tiny bones along with artefacts from the 1930s found on a remote Pacific island may reveal the fate of pioneering aviator Amelia Earhart.

In one of aviation’s most enduring mysteries, Earhart took off from Lae, in what is now Papua New Guinea, while attempting to circumnavigate the globe via the equator in 1937 and was never seen again.

A massive search at the time failed to find the flyer and her navigator Fred Noonan, who were assumed to have died after ditching their Lockheed Electra aircraft in the ocean, according to the Amelia Earhart Museum. Aviation enthusiasts from US-based group The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery say they have evidence suggesting the pair made it safely to Nikumaroro Island in Kiribati and lived as castaways.

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