Highlights From the Forum
October 8 through 14, 2000
(page 2 of 3)
(click on the number to go directly to that message)
|18||Dissing the Wyoming message||Randy Jacobson|
|19||Re: Norwich City||Nick Murray|
|20||Re: Norwich City||Tom King|
|21||Re: Wyoming Message||Mike Everette|
|22||Betty’s Intercept||Ron Bright|
|23||Re: Pacific Air Pilot||Ron Bright|
|24||A new anecdote||Ric Gillespie|
|25||Island choices||Cam Warren|
|26||Re: Pacific Air Pilot||Randy Jacobson|
|28||Pilot Questions||Birch Matthews|
|29||Re: Norwich City||Gerry Gallagher|
|30||Re: Dissing Wyoming messages||Marty Moleski|
|31||AE’s microphone||Mike Everette|
|33||Re: Wyoming Message Questions||Ron Bright|
|34||Re: Pacific Air Pilot||Cam Warren|
>Have I got that
right? That means that the signals were investigated and
No. There are really two embedded quotes. USCG-SF relays a message it receives from KDN:
This is the literal message received by the CG. What KDN sent to USCG was
(information) with SIGNED KDN showing the originator/signature.
The originator/signature was standard procedure for commercial transmissions, and, in fact, required procedures.
Okay, but the bottom line is that the
Or am I nuts?
After reading Gerry’s hypothesis about AE and FN using the Norwich City as a shelter, I was curious how people would be able to get on and off of the ship in the location and condition that it would have been in. I reread the story on the website, about how the crew tried to get off on a lifeboat, and the lifeboat capsized. It brings up the following questions and thoughts:
It seems to me that if AE or FN were seriously injured, it would be more logical to set up a camp somewhere near or on the beach, and possibly explore the ship for anything that may be useful. If/when the injured person dies, then I would consider the possibility of staying on the ship. But I would have to return to the island periodically for supplies/water, and depending on how difficult it is to get on the ship, I may stay on the island anyway. Just something to think about.
The easiest way to get aboard would be over the stern which sat low in the water because the ship’s back was broken. The break also resulted in a breach in the hull which, at least in late 1938 when the Kiwis were there, was quite large. How difficult it may have been to clamber from the bottom of the hold up to the deck, I can’t say.
A couple of observations on this excellent exchange....
If FN died aboard Norwich City, his remains must not have been evident when Maude, Bevington, et al crossed the wreck in late ’37, nor when the Kiwis, Maude, Gallagher, and the colonists were all around and through it (storing stuff in it for awhile, even) in ’38. That’s actually good news, since anything that WAS aboard the NC would be virtually impossible to find now, given the reduction of the wreck to little but a scatter of ferrous metal. We can hope that if he died there, Earhart was in a position to bury him, perhaps with identifiable artifacts. But she obviously wouldn’t have buried him in a Gilbertese style grave. Nor would the Norwich City survivors have buried the three bodies they recovered in such graves. If the bones mentioned by Emily really were found near the wreck, of course, the colonists might have buried them in a Gilbertese style grave nearby (perhaps accounting for a second-hand story we’ve heard about someone in Tarawa who says she saw "the grave of a pilot" on Niku), but they might also have dumped them in the ocean (accounting for the story of how the bones were disposed in the Kilts account). Since western Nutiran was occupied by colonists in the later colonial period, it’s also very likely that the Gilbertese graves there are in fact the graves of Gilbertese.
But as I recall from your notes, Ric, and from John Clauss’s description, one of the "graves" wasn’t very "Gilbertese" at all (and perhaps not a grave), but was merely marked by what seemed to be a headstone. Much more like something Amelia would do -- or the Norwich City survivors, of course.
To complicate things further, we have the Maude-Bevington account of "piles of rubble" (or words to that effect) on Aukaraime South, near/at the Shoe Site. We’ve speculated about such a pile possibly being the stuff heaped up over a shallow grave. An alternative to Gerry’s scenario might have Fred survive long enough to join Amelia in her "survivalist mode" trek around the island, but cash in when they got to Aukaraime South. Where AE buries him as best she can, takes one of his shoes to wear on a foot that’s gotten cut and infected, and hence swollen, discards one of her own shoes, and hobbles on to the Seven Site where she expires. Thus accounting for the peculiar distribution of shoe parts between Aukaraime South and (we think) the Seven Site, and the Bevington-Maude rubble heap, but of course NOT accounting for the bones near the shipwreck.
Sheesh, anyone for aliens?
Ric, the text precedes KDN with SIGNED. This is telegram/radiogram format for indicating a SIGNATURE. KDN is definitely a set of initials.
Been there/done that...
The SIGNED means the signature of the person sending THIS telegram. Not the signature or call sign of what the kid heard. It would be worded differently.
In telegrams, the message always ends with "signed" or "signature" to indicate a break between the text and the sender’s signature.
The most probable reason the message was dissed was on account the fact it was heard "near" (NOTE WELL, "near") 16 MHz. This was of course the "wrong" freq... not 3105 or 6210... but it could have been a harmonic and they probably never even considered that possibility.
Okay, but I see no indication in this message that it’s a dismissal of the message at all. On the contrary, it appears to be a validation.
The story goes that at 8:35 Hawaii time on Sat 3 July 37, Pan American Airway monitors reported four distinct breaks in a carrier wave on AE’s frequency "seemingly in response" to instructions broadcast earlier by KGBM in Honolulu.
According to Dick Strippel, researcher, this transmission was a "Putnam gimmick" because of the technical improbabilities. KGBM transmitted the message on its regular broadcast band 1320-kHz, a standard AM band. Strippel contends that "unless Amelia Earhart had a broadcast-band radio specifically tuned to this station, there was no way she could have received it."*
He adds that "hundreds of thousands" of Hawaii and West Coast stations heard the the KGBM message to Earhart.*
Betty’s note book contains ’KGBM" penciled in. The technical question is did AE have a broadcast -band radio aboard and if so tuned to that station. If she didn’t, then Betty heard another radio station, maybe KGBM, or someother radio source.
The dramatized March of Time radio broadcast re-creating the Earhart event including a two way conversation between Earhart and Itasca was carried by 36 stations of the "Red Network," including KGBM, Honolulu.*
Question: were any of the St. Petersburg or area radios part of the Red Network? (A check with local stations there should quickly resolve that.) If Betty heard only an estimated 1.75 hours, intermittently, and catching only fragments, those intercepts may be reconcilable with her notetations.
*(SOURCE: Amelia Earhart: The Myth and Reality, Dick Strippel, pub 1972.)
Strippel reports many other well known alleged intercepts of AE, including Randolf’s in Rock Springs, Wy on 5 July 37.p These technical aspects may or may not negate the Earhart intercept by Betty, but should be a high priority in this investigation.
There were two KGMB broadcasts and the responses were more complicated than you describe. The entire KGMB episode is well documented in the official radio messages.
Dick Stripple’s allegation that the broadcasts were "a Putnam gimmick" is truly outrageous and shows a fundamental failure to accept GP’s genuine anguish over the disappearance of his wife.
Earhart’s WE 20B receiver was certainly capable of tuning to KGMB’s frequency and doing so would have been a logical thing for Earhart to do.
I think we have already conclusively eliminated the March of Time broadcasts as part of this puzzle. Even supposing that Betty happened to miss the musical cues and the Itasca part of the fictionalized conversation, the shows were only a half hour long and the transmissions Betty heard went on for more than three times that long.
For Cam Warren
>Rich’s use of Gene
Vidal’s quote that Earhart
I have spent over a month with the Assistant Archivist at the Vidal Collection 6013, American Heritage Center and specifically, box 19, Pages 1-97, at the Univ. of Wyoming. He dedicated far more time than an archivist would normally do for us, and believe me, he did not find one single reference to the Vidal’s reference that AE intended to return to the Gilberts. (See my earlier posting of 26 Sep 00). If Vidal’s remark is at Univ of Wyoming no one has yet to find it and it ain’t where the authors have referenced the cite.
Rich told Dustymiss that indeed it was an accurate cite, and Dustymiss is writing back that we are unable to find it. Brink relates the same story and told me he was there but he can’t cite the source.
Ready for a new and interesting anecdote? I recently received an email from a gentleman in New Zealand by the name of Rob Gorman who mentioned, very much in passing, that he had run into an old pilot in Fiji back in the 1970s who told him that Earhart and Noonan had ended up on Nikumaroro. I asked him to elaborate and this is his reply:
You state, in your usual unequivocal fashion:
>the case for Niku
is sound and the case for Mili is not, and
How do you define "is"?
While personally I lean heavily to the "splashed en route" theory, AE’s destination could likely be the Gilberts (after all, she told Vidal that was her "alternate") or Canton, much larger -- and hence easier to spot -- and with nice broad beaches. (And her trusty "Pacific Air Pilot" recommended it!) If she got to Mili, it was most likely on a Japanese boat, but a lot more (obviously misguided) folk are sure she showed up there . . . .
It all comes down to methodology doesn’t it? That’s how you decide what you believe. If you believe the Gilberts were an alternate because Rich and Brink say Vidal said so (even though their citations don’t check out), and if you believe that they had a copy of a classified government publication with them just because somebody told Goerner they did, then you can believe all sorts of things and reach all sorts of conclusions and be in very good company among the ranks of "Earhart researchers".
I believe I’ve seen that document, sent by Adm. Pye (at that time), and it was mostly useless information regarding winds and currents. It mentioned no airports, or other emergency landing information. The document was supplied to AE in November/December 1936 timeframe, and was kindly returned in approx. January of 1937. The documentation resides at the National Archives.
You saw transmittal and return paperwork to and from Earhart? I wonder if that file was classified at the time Goerner was doing his research. If he had seen it he would have known it was nothing to get excited about.
At the risk of opening old wounds; based upon a cursory knowledge of celestial navigation, and based upon a cursory review of the notebook and the 1K postings over the last 10 days, I raise the following questions:
1. Is a LOP altitude sensitive; i.e. If FN is over Howland on July 3rd at 8:00 and at an altitude of 1,500 feet MSL, would the LOP be different if he were on the ground at the same time and position?
2. Is a LOP time sensitive; i.e. if his navigational chronometer broke on landing (crashing) and he was unable to get a reliable time hack, would an error of several minutes on his wristwatch affect the LOP?
3. Is a LOP date sensitive; i.e. if FN took a LOP on July 3rd, would it change on July 8th at the same time and place?
4. Can a bubble octant and a sextant perform all of the same functions; i.e. can an octant produce each of a LOP, Lat. and Long; can a sextant?
5. Depending on your response to #4 above, is it possible that FN could only calculate a LOP and not Lat. or Long.?
6. Depending on your response to #2 above, could a time error cause the creation of a LOP of 158/338 for Gardner?
7. Depending on your response to #3 above, could the progression in dates from July 3rd to July 6th, 7th, 8th etc cause a change in a LOP?
8. Assuming all of FN’s equipment is in working order and he is accurate, is there a date on NIKU thats its LOP is 158/338?
9. Would the change in altitude from 2,000′± MSL to 10′± MSL cause a shift in the LOP?
10. If FN was severely hurt, could he talk AE through the process of calculating a LOP with either a sextant or an octant and what would the theoretical amount of error be; would he be equally able to talk her through a Lat./Long. equation?
11. Is it possible that only a LOP could be calculated with some of the equipment at hand and not an accurate Lat./Long. by either AE or FN?
It appears to me that the "speaker" in the notebook is trying to give some form of position report; there are too many coincidental numbers ( 1’s, 3’s, 5’s and 8’s) to ignore, and it appears that they could be a 158/338 LOP, but AE or FN couldn’t, for whatever reason calculate Lat./Long., and since they couldn’t find Howland in the first instance, didn’t know a distance or bearing from Howland, although they could presume that because they headed southeast, that they were in the Phoenix Group. They would also assume/presume since they had given a LOP on the 3rd that logic would dictate that they would be along the 157 component if they were on land, since the 337 component takes them into the deep blue pacific northwest of Howland. I am convinced there is significance in the various numbers if we can figure out how to interpret them.
Targets up--shoot away.
Mike, these are good questions and I’d like to invite responses from the Celestial Choir.
I have a question for piston engine pilots on the Earhart Forum. Is it common practice to gradually step up in altitude as your fuel load burns off during very long flights where maximum range is critical?
Aerodynamically, maximum range is achieved when the airplane is flying at a speed producing the maximum lift-to-drag (L/D) ratio. At any other speed, obtainable range will decrease as fuel weight diminishes because drag increases. To maintain or closely approximate maximum L/D over long durations such as Amelia Earhart faced, one may maintain the initial velocity and gradually gain altitude; or maintain altitude and slowly retard speed.
The L/D change with time is subtle, but not trivial in context with the duration of Amelia’s flight. For example, I believe she flew for approximately 9 hours at 10,000 feet during the last half of her journey to (near) Howland. At the beginning of this 10,000 foot element of her flight, V max range was 135 mph for a gross weight of 11,700 pounds. At the mid-point (4.5 hours) aircraft gross weight was down to about 10,600 pounds where optimum speed was 128 mph. At the end of 9 hours (about the time she descended to 1,000 feet), the best speed was 122 mph and gross weight had diminished to around 9,400 pounds. Brake horsepower required for these three speeds was about 356, 306 and 256, respectively.
Conversely, Amelia may have pushed the Electra to greater altitude as time passed, holding power constant. If so, she would have begun this leg of her flight profile at 10,000 feet and then stepped up to 12,500 feet as the fuel burn continued to reduce gross weight.
I tend to doubt that she flew above 12,000 feet due to the possibility of oxygen deprivation. In fact, I strongly suspect she flew at a constant power setting and constant altitude generally following Kelly Johnson’s recommendations. If so, she did not obtain maximum theoretical range from the Electra.
This is a topic that Elgen Long tried to address in his recent book, but didn’t quite manage to accomplish. In any event, I would welcome thoughts from pilots on the Forum.
My own two cents is that what you do with your increased capability due to fuel burn-off depends on your priorities and the wind. If getting there sooner is a higher priority than range you’ll sacrifice optimum L/D for an earlier arrival, and you’re not going to go higher in any event if you’re already bucking a headwind and you think it’s even worse upstairs.
The reference that Gerald indicates severe weather in late 1939/ early 1940:
Reference: Gerald’s letter to H.E. Maude 20 December, 1939 while Gerald is on Beru Island. He specifically references the North Westerly storms that have been hitting the area for some weeks and that future weather is expected to be the same! He indicates to Maude that travel may be difficult due to inability of the "John Bolton" to travel in such adverse weather. So both Gerald’s letter and the NZ reference quite clearly confirms very bad weather in late 1939/ early 1940.
You are quite correct that Gerald mentions bad weather in late 1940 as well, however the above noted reference is dated 20 Dec. 1939 and specifically is in reference to the severe North Westerly storms of late 1939/ early 1940.
YES ... the grave adjacent to the NC are of intriguing interest!
Thanks Gerry. You’re absolutely right. I had missed that. Looks like there was bad westerly weather in the December/January period in all three years (1938/39; 1939/40; and 1940/41).
> Okay, but the
bottom line is that the "INVESTIGATION [that was done]
One might translate "THOUGHT" as "alleged by the kid but not believed by the investigators."
Pat just spent a half hour diagraming the sentence. (She can do that stuff. I must have been absent that day.) The subject of the sentence is "investigation reveals signals heard near sixteen megacycles" and the predicate is (the implied verb "are") "thought to be from KHAQQ".
If the sentence had said "Investigation reveals signals thought to be from KHAQQ heard on sixteen megacycles" it could be interpreted to mean "we found out that the signals were heard on the wrong frequency", but, again, that is not what it says.
Of course, we have no way of knowing what the person who wrote the sentence meant to communicate. I wonder if we have any indication in later messages or press reports how the sentence was interpreted at the time?
The Luke Field Inventory lists two Western Electric 631B microphones as being on board in March 1937. I would be willing to bet this was the same type mic she used on the final flight.
The purpose of the audio-gain adjustment resistors, which Hue Miller pointed to earlier, is not only to increase gain in quiet environments or reduce it in noisy ones, but also to adjust the current in the microphone circuit for different microphones... a carbon microphone is, itself, a resistor. Talking into the mic moves a diaphragm, which acts upon the "button " carbon element, compressing it and varying the mic’s resistance in accordance with the speech. A carbon mic must be energized by means of a voltage applied so that current can run through the mic. Usually this voltage is between 1.5 and 10 volts, depending upon the "resting" (no voice applied) resistance of the mic element.
Most carbon mics have a nominal "resting" resistance of between 90 and 250 ohms.
The resistors and jumpers (to short out one or more of the resistors) in the audio circuit would be arranged to limit the current through the mic, to avoid "cooking" the element by having too many milliamperes flow through it... this would ruin the sensitivity of the mic, or destroy it.
Such a gain-adjustment circuit is often used in commercial land mobile (business, public safety) radios today... yes, some still use carbon mics.
Having the resistors and associated jumpers inside the radio, rather than using a simple "gain control" knob, avoids having nontech types with no understanding or appreciation of how the circuit works, FUBAR it by "cranking up the gain."
I will check to see if one of my microphone-collecting friends has a WE631B mic.
LTM (who is known
for her penetrating voice) and
For the uninitiated, FUBAR is an acronymn for Fouled Up Beyond All Repair (politely put).
A number of postings over the past two weeks have skirted or flirted with the issue of operating the radio on batteries for an indeterminate period of time as opposed to operating them from the engine generator set. In order for any survival hypothosis to work, the plane had to first land or ditch and float. If it ditched and floated any radio operation had to be battery powered. Most of the "radio" posts I have seen over the past year seem to indicate one hour to two hours maximum for operating the radio solely from battery power, if at all. While that time frame would cover "Bettys" notes, it wouldn’t appear to cover all of the other time frames indicated by the other post-loss messages (Wyoming, Canada, and Vermont are the ones that have been recently mentioned) some of which are becoming more viable as additional facts come to light.
Can the gentleman (or gentleperson) who recently analyzed the post-loss messages provide us with a spreadsheet showing date, time, and duration of those messages he believes could be valid. Obviously if "Betty’s" log matches the time/date/duration for Canada’s or Wyoming’s or other possibly valid messages, and that mutually inclusive window is less than two hours the batteries are possible, but if each time/date/duration is mutually exclusive, (as I expect) we need to stay within a "fuel window" for possible operation of an engine/generator set to sustain the radio. That window appears to be four to six hours max. The various radio messages may work to further TIGHAR’s hypothisis of a NIKU landing since a date/time/duration matrix that would be more than two hours but less than six could only have been made if the aircraft could operate the engine that drove the generator set.
Targets up--shoot away
A few corrections.
The radio won’t work at all if the airplane is afloat because critical components are under water.
The radio does not work off the generator when the engine is running. It always works off the battery. The generator just recharges the battery.
There has been no comprehensive listing of alleged post-loss radio messages corrected to Greenwich time. That needs to be done and posted on a spreadsheet (as you suggest) on the TIGHAR website. I’ll draw up the basic layout and we’ll get something put up that we can all start working on.
The name is Charles Randolph Jr., then age 13. My orginal source is a UP release datelined July 5, 1937 at Rock Springs, Wy, appearing in the Honolulu Star Bulletin. A staff writer was a James Sullivan. It was a headline. A second source is Strippel’s book but he doesn’t cite an orginal source.
I’m in contact with an investigative reporter of the Rock Springs newspaper who said she would attempt to check out Randolph, the story from her paper’s archives, court records, etc. The reporter is the one who told me about the Earhart and Electra photo at Rock Springs. Also the status of the KDN inquiry.
Sounds like a good start.
This may come as a shock to some who think otherwise, but neither Doris Rich nor Cam Warren were making up stories about the Vidal quote. IT ABSOLUTELY, POSITIVELY IS in the Vidal Collection at the U. of Wyoming. (I’ve already sent a transcript to "Dusty Miss", who promised to forward my message to you, Ron.) It’s listed in the voluminous inventory -- you just have to look a little more carefully. Pinpointing its location was accomplished by yours truly (a diligent researcher, I must modestly admit), and actual recovery was by archivist Matt Sprinkle, based on a rough copy of Ms. Rich’s notes. (Admittedly, Doris had the box number wrong.)
Besides Rich and Goerner, Vidal was quoted by researcher J. Gordon Vaeth, who spoke to Gene Vidal on several occasions.
Sorry your Assistant Archivist spent a month looking but still missed the target. That should be a lesson to all Earhart researchers (amateur or professional) to never give up hope, even if the object doesn’t seem to be where its supposed to be! (Bayes Theorem of Selective Probability, anyone?)
What is this? Are you saying that you have known all along that the document is there and its correct location? How long have you had this information?
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