Amelia Earhart's freckle cream was found on an island in the South Pacific, and the new discovery could help shed some light on the brave pilot's disappearance over 70 years ago.
Amelia Earhart's freckle cream- or what is presumed to be Dr. Berry's Freckle Ointment, as the jar was broken in fragments- was found by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery on an uninhabited South Pacific island, Nikumaroro Island, in the republic of Kiribati. Researchers believe Earhart died on the island.
"We do know that Earhart had freckles and she was conscientious about them," TIGHAR executive director Ric Gillespie told ABCNews.com. "It's not an unreasonable thing to think."
The freckle cream, marketed in the 1930s to women as a cosmetic product, could be proof that Earhart was trying to survive on the island. Four of the five pieces were still together, with the last apparently used as a cutting tool.
"Broken shards from several glass containers have been recovered from the Seven Site, the archaeological site on the southeast end of Nikumaroro that fits the description of where the partial skeleton of a castaway was discovered in 1940," Gillespie told Discovery News.
Unfortunately, that skeleton- along with partial remains of a man's shoe, partial remains of a woman's shoe, remains of a fire, bird and turtle bones- was lost sometime between then and now.
But TIGHAR did discover parts of a woman's compact, a 1930s zipper, an old bottle hand lotion popular during the late 1930s, and a bone-handled pocket knife nearly identical to one Earhart possessed as well. This evidence, in addition to Earhart's flight pattern with navigator Fred Noonan, led the organization to think the pair emergency landed about 300 miles southeast of their intended destination.
"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 previous press event on March 20.
Despite the findings, the theory is not conclusive; Dr. Berry's freckle cream came in a jar with opaque white glass, while the glass shards found were of clear glass. Because of that and a discrepancy on the size of the jar, more information and evidence is required.
"What we're hoping for is that smoking gun diagnostic artifact, something called the 'any idiot artifact,'" Gillespie said.
The TIGHAR team will resume their efforts in July.