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In this paper, we introduce a new statistical distribution for modeling non-Rayleigh amplitude statistics, which we have called the Rician inverse Gaussian (RiIG) distribution. It is a mixture of the Rice distribution and the inverse Gaussian distribution. The probability density function (pdf) is given in closed form as a function of three parameters. This makes the pdf very flexible in the sense that it may be fitted to a variety of shapes, ranging from the Rayleigh-shaped pdf to a noncentral χ2-shaped pdf. The theoretical basis of the new model is quite thoroughly discussed, and we also give two iterative algorithms for estimating its parameters from data. Finally, we include some modeling examples, where we have tested the ability of the distribution to represent locale amplitude histograms of linear medical ultrasound data and single-look synthetic aperture radar data. We compare the goodness of fit of the RiIG model with that of the K model, and, in most cases, the new model turns out as a better statistical model for the data. We also include a series of log-likelihood tests to evaluate the predictive performance of the proposed model.