There is additional evidence that supports the idea that the passengers of the Elektra did not die upon impact near Gardner Island, or very soon after landing. Instead, there may be evidence that Earhart and Noonan survived on the island for some time as castaways.
A week after Earhart disappeared, Navy planes from the USS Colorado searched Gardner Island and found signs of recent habitation. A great many pieces of skeletons, artifacts, and signs of habitation have been found since Earhart’s disappearance, all pointing to the fact that shipwrecks or castaways had found their way to the island in the past. By 1938, the island was colonized as part of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme, and colonists reported finding airplane parts, plausibly from Electra.
Furthermore, a colonial administrator discovered bones, two pairs of shoes (a man and woman’s), and a box that once held a sextant. TIGHAR estimates that the bones could come from a female roughly of Earhart’s build. Finally, at the Seven Site on the island, there is evidence of several campfires as well as the remains of birds, fish, turtles, and clams. Based on the way the clams were opened and the fish consumed, the products were obviously not eaten by a Pacific Islander.