Last July, a new show debuting on the History Channel drew international headlines with claims that a never before seen photograph could finally unravel the near-century old mystery of what happened to Amelia Earhart on her final flight in 1937.  The grainy black and white photograph and accompanying expert analysis took the glove by storm, with media outlets including SOFREP, reporting on these findings as legitimate and based in fact. The picture reportedly showed Earhart, along with her co-pilot Fred Noonan sitting on a dock and in Japanese custody.

“The hairline is the most distinctive characteristic,” said Ken Gibson, a facial recognition expert who studied the image and claimed to confirm Fred Noonan is in the image. “It’s a very sharp receding hairline. The nose is very prominent.”

Of course, within days of the story breaking, a Japanese blogger was able to tear these claims to pieces by doing little more than visiting his local library. There, on page 44 of a book published in 1935 (two years before Earhart even departed on her trip) was the same photograph, proving without a shadow of a doubt that the image was not her, and that the History Channel hadn’t vetted their documents, or experts particularly well.

Image courtesy of Japan’s Diet National Library

“I don’t know what to say,” said Kent Gibson, the facial-recognition expert that the History Channel hired to analyze the photograph for the show. “I don’t have an explanation for why [the photograph] would show up two years early.”

Now, just eight months later, it would seem that the world has already forgotten how easily fooled the media can be by the claims of “experts” and the backing of large media empires. When you got up on Thursday morning, you likely came across a number of headlines in various outlets claiming, once again, that the mystery has been solved. Amelia Earhart’s bones, these headlines claim, have been discovered and confirmed. Well that’s that, you might have thought to yourself, bones, science, discovered… these are all words that seem pretty incontrovertible.

Unfortunately, headlines are usually intended to get you to click, not get you to understand something, and the latest round of Earhart related ones are no different. The bones these reports discuss were not recently discovered… nor were they actually even looked at in the new study claiming to have solved the mystery.

In 1940, bones were found on Nikumaroro Island in the South Pacific, which based on Earhart’s last known location and trajectory, seemed like they could have been hers. Analysis of the bones at the time, however, seemed to dash those hopes. A physician named D.W. Hoodless studied the bones at the time and claimed with high certainty that they belonged to a man, not the famed female aviator. The headlines might have you believe that this new study was conducted by analyzing those same bones, there’s just one problem with that: the bones have been missing for decades.