Forum artHighlights From the Forum

January 1 through 6, 2001

(click on the number to go directly to that message)
Top Three Reasons Kenton Spading
Meyers-Briggs Test Dave Bush
Satellite Photos Dan Postellon
Radio Propagation Tom Byers
Re: Radio Propagaion Tom Byers
Re: Satellite Photos Pete
Castaways Dennis McGee
Re: Radio Propagation Mike Everette

Message: 1
Subject: Top Three Reasons
Date: 1/2/01
From: Kenton Spading

Randy J. wrote:

>I’ve not bet the farm (yet) on the Niku hypothesis, but I sure do like the
>methodology, tenacity, and sheer determination involved in the historical
>research. Besides, it is the journey, not the destination, that is the most
>important thing in life. I rather like this particular keeps
>my mind sharp.

Thank you for summing this up rather nicely. I agree with your thoughts. I too am enjoying the journey immensely and indeed it does keep ones mind sharp.

My..."List the Top 3 Reasons" had/does have two purposes.

No. 1. Attempt to (as Randy stated) sharpen Forum members thoughts as to why the Niku Hypothesis is valid and worth testing. Every once in a while, as the body of evidence matures, you have to reassess how you have arrived at the point in the journey you have choosen to take. When you are on a trek, you should always study your compass once in a while and compare it to the folks you are following.

No. 2. To test a Forum-related Hypothesis of mine that suggests that the Forum membership (and the non-Forumite population) is comprised of basically three types of individuals as follows:

a. (Forum Type E’s) These are people who favor the Niku Hypothesis for mostly Emotional (Type E) reasons albeit good reasons. Those reasons echo Dennis M’s reply. TIGHAR’s methodology is good (test an hypothesis), TIGHAR is credible (peer review accepted), TIGHAR has evidence (artifacts), TIGHAR shares its research (the Forum) etc., etc.. These folks like the Hypothesis because it sounds good and it makes for a nice story. A bunch of pieces of information form an interesting relationship (LOP, dado, plexi, bones etc.) and they all seem to line up about right. Type E’s insist that it just cannot be all coincidental. In general these folks place the odds that Earhart/Noonan ended up on Niku at approx. 70 percent with a sizable number coming much higher. Type E’s tend to be inpatient with folks who like to resolve picky details

b. (Forum Type S’s) These folks find the Niku Hypothesis interesting from a Scientific (Type S) stand point....almost by default as scientists love hypothesis of any sort. Type S’s enjoy all the same things Type E’s favor (methods, credibility, research etc..) as those are solid scientific principles. But Type S’s are more cautious than Type E’s as evidenced by both Randy J’s and Marty M’s response to the Top 3 question. Type S’s recognize the fact that a group of seemingly UNRELATED variables could be related (e.g. El Nino). In turn, a group of seemingly RELATED variables could be totally unrelated (e.g. sunspots and droughts in the U.S.). A scientists reputation, among other things, is dependent on not being lured by either one of these mistresses until the facts clearly fall into place. Some would argue that because of this, most scientific investigations move too slow. In general these folks place the odds that Earhart/Noonan ended up on Niku at not more than 60 percent with a sizable number around 50/50 or below. If you are between 60 and 70 percent you need to get off the fence and form an opinion :).! Type S’s tend to be inpatient with folks who prefer to ignore picky details.

c. (Forum Type ENS’s) These are people who approach the Earhart mystery from an Emotionally Non-Scientific (Type ENS) angle. They are very, very emotionally attached to a Non-TIGHAR theory and do not feel a need to follow the scientific method. They choose not divulge their sources or worry about issues involving anecdotal stories or other such details. You either agree with them or you don’t and there is not much room for debate. Type ENS’s are inpatient with both E’s and S’s.

We need E’s, S’s and ENS’s in this world and in this investigative journey. All tend to keep the other side honest while at the same time rolling their eyes at each other (e.g. what the hell is that *%@# thinking!). All three types have contributed to this investigation. In fact in the past month alone all three have done things to move this investigation forward.

I caution folks to be more tolerant of the various Forum member types. Perhaps TIGHAR needs a Meyers-Briggs type of test to help people to work better together.

Kenton Spading, Type S, 1382CE, Myers-B ESTP, (who enjoys debate with S’s, E’s and ENS’s)

From Ric

Okay, I’ll bite (and demonstrate my ignorance). What’s a Meyers-Briggs test?

Message: 2
Subject: Meyers-Briggs
Date: 1/2/01
From: Dave Bush

The Meyers-Briggs test is actually a "personality" categorizing "test". There are no correct or incorrect answers. Each anwer places you in one of several types of "personalities." There are a number of such tests, some more involved than others. With the Meyers-Briggs, there are about 200,000,000 questions that you have to answer (actually only 3 questions, but asked over and over and over again with different formats in order to insure that you actually answer every one of them identically --- however, if you answer everyone of them EXACTLY the same, they think you are being a smart ass, so you have to miss one out of every ten to seem NORMAL because no one is that consistent in their personality --- except me, I miss the one in ten ON PURPOSE, so they won’t think that I am a smart ass, tho I still get accused of it on occasion). Psychological tests are always a lot of fun because you can play with the answers and get a different "personality" on every test (or give them the personality they are looking for on that particular occasion). They anticipate that everyone will answer the test based on the way they would actually respond in everyday life, thus clumping you into one of three types of personalities. Type "A", "E" or "S" for some tests or into quadrants for others where you have factors that put you on a sliding scale depending on whether you are under stress or understressed or whatever. There are probably a dozen or more and they are always being re-defined as the psycho-analytical types learn more about our psyches.

Dave Bush

From Ric

Ohh okay. I know the tests you mean.

Actually there are only two kinds of people in the world. Those who divide everything into groups and those who don’t.

Message: 3
Subject: Satellite photos
Date: 1/2/01
From: Dan Postellon

Unfortunately, not of Niku or Howland. There is a good 4 meter resolution photo or Baker Island at SpaceImaging. One of the US coral reef programs recently bought a lot of images from these people, but I can’t find out if it included Niku. Their website says that you can see underwater to a depth of 30 meters, which is deeper that you would want to dive for any prolonged period. You can play around with the larger image, even with a program like Microsoft Picture It, and enhance the outlines of old buildings on the island. Is anyone interested in pursuing buying a custom one meter photo of Niku? The price is out of my range.

Dan Postellon Tighar #2263

From Ric

If there actually was such a creature we should probably find a way to get our hands on it.

Message: 4
Subject: Re: Radio Propagation
Date: 1/3/01
From: Tom Byers

Lo-band "very high frequency" (VHF) (40 mHz) military radios normally communicate on a line of sight. However, when. there is a peak in the sunspot cycle (every 11 years) they can send and receive for thousands of miles resulting in unwanted interference with local communications. The last peak was about 1990 and the cycle may well be peaking again. (VHF was not used in aviation until after WW2.)

The radio equipment on the Earhart flight used what is known as "high frequency, 3 -30 mHz" (HF) . The 3 mHz would be used at night while the 7 mHz was used during the day. My guess is that the normal range would be several hundred miles.

Tom Byers (Springfield, MO)

From Ric

If I’m not mistaken (and if I am I’ll hear about it) there was some VHF used for plane-to-plane communication during WWII.

Earhart’s particular radio set up and its capabilities have been and will, I’m sure, continue to be the subject of much debate on this forum.

Message: 5
Subject: Re: Radio Propagation
Date: 1/5/01
From: Tom Byers

I wonder if any photos exist of the radio equip used by Earhart.

Tom Byers (Springfield, MO)

From Ric

If you mean photos of the equipment when it was installed in the airplane, very few. Most of it was hidden from view. The receiver was under the copilot’s seat and the dynmotor was under the pilot’s seat. The transmitter was on the floor of the cabin under the navigator’s table. There is a photo of AE sitting on the tranmsmitter before the table was installed. A few cockpit shots also show the remote for the receiver.

Message: 6
Subject: Re: Satellite Photos
Date: 1/6/01
From: Pete

I re-read the post, and got to thinking. There was an outfit that was selling images from Soviet satellites I saw in an old catalog. I wonder, if Canton Island was a missile test facility, maybe of those sats passed over Niku on its way to view Canton. I’m not sure what the resolution would be. There may even have been a pass of Niku to see if the Loran station was restored, or any tracking systems installed.

I’ll have to try a Net search for images like that, and report what I can come up with.

Here goes......

Message: 7
Subject: Castaways
Date: 1/6/01
From: Dennis McGee

Have there been any papers written on the emotional and psychological effects be being marooned? I’m serious.

I know there have been studies on POWs, survivors of all types of disasters, etc., but has anyone tried to get into the head of a person who is hopelessly (?) lost/marooned/abandoned and document the evolution of the individual’s metal and emotional health. (But then maybe if a person is hopelessly (?) lost/marooned/abandoned, by definition no one can find them and therefore there is no opportunity to learn from that experience.)

I hesitate to take any clues from Hollywood’s versions of this problem -- Tom Hanks’ Castaway, Robinson Crusoe etc.-- but that seems to be about all we have to go on.

I’m not even sure if this would be applicable to our problem, but then again . . .

LTM, who always wants to be saved!
Dennis O. McGee #0149EC

From Ric

I’m not aware of any studies but I would think that there would be tremendous variation in individual response due to all sorts of factors --- more so than, say, with POWs who at least have some military training in common.

You mention Robinson Crusoe and I think its an important point. Defoe’s novel was based upon the real-life experiences of a Scottish castaway by the name of Alexander Selkirk. The book has long been a staple of English literature and was read by virtually every well-educated English-speaking child until Gen X. I would be very surprised if Amelia Earhart had not read it. Robinson Crusoe is a cultural text book for what to do if you’re marooned on a desert island.

  • Return to the ship before it breaks up to salvage anything of use.
  • Find a source of fresh water.
  • Make optimal use of local materials.
  • Establish your campsite someplace where you have adequate shelter but can easily access a lookout post where you can watch the horizon for ships.
  • Beware of visitors. They may be cannibals or pirates.
The other classic literary castaway is Ben Gunn in Stevenson’s Treasure Island. The message there is that people marooned on islands tend to go bonkers. Having been marooned on a few myself, it’s a valid observation. ("You wouldn’t happen to have a piece of cheese on you ... would you?").


Message: 8
Subject: Re: Radio Propagation
Date: 1/6/01
From: Mike Everette

For photos of the receiver (exterior and interior), look in Modern Aircraft Radio, a 1937 textbook... darn it I cannot remember the author, but it’s listed in the bibliography of my 8th Edition article on the equipment.

The transmitter is little more than a "black box" outside.

Some of the old aviation mags like "Southern Flight" and "Aero Digest" have full page Western Electric ads which show this equipment nicely. Look for the 20-series receivers (20A, 20B0 and the 13-series transmitters.

LTM (who knows a picture is worth 100 words) and
Mike E.

From Ric

We have copies of those ads. We should scan them and drop them into your 8th Edition article.

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