Bones found in 1940 on a remote Pacific island were quite likely to be remains from famed aviator Amelia Earhart, new analysis has concluded.

Earhart disappeared during an attempted flight around the world in 1937. The search for an answer to what happened to her and her navigator has captivated the public for decades.

The remains discovered on Nikumaroro Island are now lost and all that survive are seven measurements, from the skull and bones from the arm and leg. Those measurements led a scientist in 1941 to conclude that they belonged to a man.

Now University of Tennessee anthropologist Richard Jantz has weighed in with a new analysis of the measurements, published in the journal Forensic Anthropology.

The study and other evidence “point toward her rather strongly,” Mr Jantz said.

For comparison, he used an inseam length and waist circumference from a pair of Earhart’s trousers. He also drew on a photo of her holding an oil can to estimate the lengths of two arm bones.

Analysis showed “the bones are consistent with Earhart in all respects we know or can reasonably infer,” he wrote in the journal article.

“It’s highly unlikely that a random person would resemble the bones as closely as Earhart,” he said.