Police in the scattered Pacific island nation of Micronesia will exhume the bones of a mother and child as they struggle to unravel the mystery surrounding the arrival of 13 bamboo 'ghost rafts'. The unmanned rafts, two of which carried sun-bleached skeletons, have washed up on some of the 600 remote islands and atolls which make up the Federated States of Micronesia, between Papua New Guinea and Guam. Police investigators will this week travel two days by boat from the nation's capital, Pohnpei, to the tiny island of Ulithi. At the remote site they will dig up the two skeletons - thought to be those of a woman and her child - which villagers buried after finding them on a raft which washed up on the island in October. Police hope to enlist the help of FBI agents from the nearby United States-administered territory of Guam, and will carry out DNA testing in an attempt to find out who the voyagers were and where they came from. The rafts began turning up in September and so far the remains of five people have been found, including one child. 'There's no way the rafts are from a Pacific country. Pacific islanders build canoes, not rafts,' said Dr Richard Herr, an expert on the South Pacific from the University of Tasmania. Local people viewed the bizarre arrivals as a bad omen, and feared they were in some way connected with the September 11 attacks on the United States. The head of police in Micronesia, Pius Chotailug, said: 'We are very isolated and remote and people here often fear things that happen in the wider world. 'The rafts started arriving immediately after the attacks on America. People were scared and asked us what was going on, but we simply told them we don't know.' As a few tantalising clues emerge, police admit they are no closer to knowing where the rafts came from. One theory is that a fishing expedition went awry, with the makeshift craft swept from Indonesia or the Philippines by powerful ocean currents. Stranded and drifting out of control, the fishermen would have died of thirst or starvation. Mr Chotailug said that theory failed to explain why at least one of the rafts was found carrying a bag of rice and some bananas. The discovery on one raft of a faded identity card belonging to a man from the Indonesian island of Sulawesi has prompted speculation that the people on board had fled fighting between Christians and Muslims. It has also been suggested that the victims may have been from Papua or Papua New Guinea, blown off course as they travelled between coastal communities. Police believe that given the slim chance of a drifting raft being washed up on an island in the vastness of the Pacific, there may be more, as yet undiscovered rafts, out at sea. 'One of the rafts has a big sign with the number three written on it,' said Mr Chotailug. 'So where are numbers one and two, and four and five?'