Forum artHighlights From the Forum

June 10 through 16, 2001


Contents:
(click on the number to go directly to that message)
1
Exploring the Reef Edge Blake Herling
2
Old Airplanes Dennis McGee
3
Great Exploration Hoaxes Marty Moleski
4
The AIA Dennis McGee
5
False Memories Ric Gillespie
6
Re: False Memories Marty Moleski, Mike Holt
7
Eleven Minute Gap Ron Bright

Message: 1
Subject: Exploring the Reef Edge
Date: 6/11/01
From: Blake Herling

After reading the posts about ideas concerning exploring the reef edge canyons & the dangers it presents, I wanted to throw out an idea. Would it at all be possible in the reef flat environment to search the canyons from ontop of the reef flat using some sort of video camera sealed in a watertight housing & fastened to the end of a boom?

I'm not sure what kind of distances the canyons represent, but I thought if you could dip the camera in the water toward the shallow end of the finger & walk it out toward the reef edge (within reason) you might be able to cover the most dangerous portions of the fingers without as much of a risk to life, or limb. And at that point if something shows up that warrants further investigation beyond video images you could then put the diver in the water. I'm thinking very low tech so as to keep the expedition as simple as possible, so along those lines I would think that a low lux video camera sealed in a housing that could be swivled & attached to a telescoping aluminum pole might do the trick. You could even employ more than one unit & that way maximize time on the island by walking a canyon with the camera in the water, reviewing the tape & then moving on to the next canyon & repeating the process. Even if it took 2 or 3 people to handle/stabilize a unit in that situation, by removing the complexity of maintaining a divers gear in the reef edge environment I would think you could maximize your time searching the canyons imeasurably. Not to mention reducing the risk to a diver.

The reason I throw this out is I saw a documentary of a guy who filmed great white sharks off the islands of northern California using a simple video camera setup. He secured his inside a plastic sports drink type cooler (like you see on the sidelines at football games) that he had cut the bottom out of & replaced with a piece of acrylic. He then cut a hole in a surf board installed the cooler in the hole & threw the whole thing out in the water keeping ahold of it with a deep sea fishing rod & reel. The pictures he got were amazing.

However I was thinking a boom/pole type setup so you could have control over where the camera was aimed & could lower it closer to the bottom of the fingers as needed.

My questions are however...Is there any way to recharge camera batteries while at Niku either on the boat during the night, or maybe with some sort of solar charger? And is the reef flat out toward the fingers always too violent to make this possible? If so, could it be done from a zodiac safely? Just thought I'd throw the idea out. In all its far reachingness there's gotta be some machinists out there on the forum who could engineer a nifty little aluminum housing with a lense & a telescoping pole.

Looking forward to Sept.
Blake-


From Ric

After reviewing the videotape shot in 1989 and talking to the divers, exploring the canyons from underwater should not be a problem if the sea is relatively calm. If the sea is rough there is probably no way to do it safely. We'll have three weeks on site at a time of year that is historically quite calm. We should get at least a few good days.


Message: 2
Subject: Old Airplanes
Date: 6/13/01
From: Dennis McGee

Ric wrote:

>Old airplanes that are returned to service are not
>preserved. The act of making them safe to fly destroys them as historic
>aircraft while preserving the sight, sound, smell and experience of the
>flying them.

Amen.

During my days as a docent at the Smithsonian's NASM restoration and preservation facility in Silver Hill, Maryland, guests always asked the same question: "Can these airplanes fly."

Ignoring that straight line, I always explained that the aircraft were NOT restored to flight-worthy status for a variety of reasons, primarily because the Smithsonian's charter forbids it.

Nonetheless, I then pointed out that even if the aircraft were 100 percent accurately restored, few pilots would want to trust their lives to 40 year-old rubber/poly seals, 60 year-old hydraulic and electrical systems, or 80 year-old fabric coverings.

LTM, who'll miss Silver Hill
Dennis O. McGee #0149EC


From Ric

The Smithsonian's preservation policies leave much to be desired – but that's a different topic.


Message: 3
Subject: Great Exploration Hoaxes
Date: 6/14/01
From: Marty Moleski

[DESPERATE EFFORT TO STAY ON TOPIC BEGINS HERE]

The issue that the world will have to believe in TIGHAR's testimony about what the Niku team finds came up about two weeks ago. I argue that the Any Idiot Artifact (AIA) will not persuade all of the idiots of the world that the case has been settled because of any number of (virtually untestable) hypotheses that could be dreamed up to account for finding (or salting) Electra parts on Niku.

I read a book last week entitled Great Exploration Hoaxes by David Roberts. The ten hoaxes are:

  1. Sebastion Cabot and the Northwest Passage
  2. The Shadow of LaSalle: Fr. Louis Hennepin
  3. Defoe in Madagascar
  4. The Tragedy of Abyssinian Bruce
  5. Captain Adams Runs the Colorado
  6. Dr. Cook and Mt. McKinley
  7. Did Peary Reach the North Pole? (No.)
  8. Admiral Byrd and the National Geographic Society
  9. The Hardest Mountain in the World
  10. Alone in the Atlantic
All ten stories show how hard it is to obtain "proof" that something has or has not happened on expeditions. They also show how careful researchers can establish beyond ***REASONABLE*** doubt that the feats claimed by the hoaxers were false.

Marty #2359


From Ric

We got our first hard lesson on this subject in 1992 when we announced that we had solved the Earhart mystery with the shoe parts and airplane debris we had found on Niku. Nobody disputed that we had found the stuff where we said we found it, but what seemed to us like more-than-adequate verification of our basic hypothesis was clearly not sufficient to satisfy other Earhart researchers whose criticisms were duly reported by the media. Our own further research has eliminated or cast doubt upon some of our 1992 evidence, but new evidence has also come to light. We still think we're right. Of course, we're now hoping to find evidence much more convincing than anything we've had before but I have to wonder if Marty is right:

>the Any Idiot Artifact (AIA) will not persuade all of the idiots of the world that the
>case has been settled because of any number of (virtually untestable) hypotheses that could be
>dreamed up to account for finding (or salting) Electra parts on Niku.

LTM,
Ric


Message: 4
Subject: The AIA
Date: 6/14/01
From: Dennis McGee

Marty Moleski said: "I argue that the Any Idiot Artifact (AIA) will not persuade all of the idiots of the world . . ."

True. But then we don't need to convince all of the idiots of the world, nor even some of the idiots of the world. We need only to convince ourselves and the scientific community.

There is no tangible reward for solving this mystery other than the knowledge of solving the mystery. Or as a friend (who was hoping I might mend my ways :-) ) once told me: The reward for a life well lived is a life well lived.

LTM, who mended her ways
Dennis O. McGee #0149EC


Message: 5
Subject: False Memories
Date: 6/16/01
From: Ric Gillespie

I thought you guys would get a kick out of this press release from the University of Washington passed along by TIGHAR archaeologist Tim Smith:

"I tawt I taw a bunny wabbit" at Disneyland: New evidence shows false memories can be created.

About one-third of the people who were exposed to a fake print advertisement that described a visit to Disneyland and how they met and shook hands with Bugs Bunny later said they remembered or knew the event happened to them.

The scenario described in the ad never occurred because Bugs Bunny is a Warner Bros. cartoon character and wouldn't be featured in any Walt Disney Co. property, according to University of Washington memory researchers Jacquie Pickrell and Elizabeth Loftus. Pickrell will make two presentations on the topic at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society (APS) on Sunday (June 17) in Toronto and at a satellite session of the Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition in Kingston, Ontario, on Wednesday.

"The frightening thing about this study is that it suggests how easily a false memory can be created," said Pickrell, UW psychology doctoral student.

"It's not only people who go to a therapist who might implant a false memory or those who witness an accident and whose memory can be distorted who can have a false memory. Memory is very vulnerable and malleable. People are not always aware of the choices they make. This study shows the power of subtle association changes on memory."

The research is a follow-up to an unpublished study by Loftus, a UW psychology professor who is being honored by the APS this week with its William James Fellow Award for psychological research; Kathryn Braun, a visiting scholar at the Harvard Business School; and Rhiannon Ellis, a former UW undergraduate who is now a doctoral student at the University of Pittsburgh. In the original study, 16 percent of the people exposed to a Disneyland ad featuring Bugs Bunny later thought they had seen and met the cartoon rabbit.

In the new research, Pickrell and Loftus divided 120 subjects into four groups. The subjects were told they were going to evaluate advertising copy, fill out several questionnaires and answer questions about a trip to Disneyland.

The first group read a generic Disneyland ad that mentioned no cartoon characters. The second group read the same copy and was exposed to a 4-foot-tall cardboard figure of Bugs Bunny that was casually placed in the interview room. No mention was made of Bugs Bunny. The third, or Bugs group, read the fake Disneyland ad featuring Bugs Bunny. The fourth, or double, exposure group read the fake add and also saw the cardboard rabbit.

This time 30 percent of the people in the Bugs group later said they remembered or knew they had met Bugs Bunny when they visited Disneyland and 40 percent of the people in the double exposure group reported the same thing.

"'Remember' means the people actually recall meeting and shaking hands with Bugs," explained Pickrell. "'Knowing' is they have no real memory, but are sure that it happened, just as they have no memory of having their umbilical cord being cut when they were born but know it happened.

"Creating a false memory is a process. Someone saying, 'I know it could have happened,' is taking the first step of actually creating a memory. If you clearly believe you walked up to Bugs Bunny, you have a memory."

In addition, Pickrell said there is the issue of the consequence of false memories or the ripple effects. People in the experiment who were exposed to the false advertising were more likely to relate Bugs Bunny to other things at Disneyland not suggested in the ad, such as seeing Bugs and Mickey Mouse together or seeing Bugs in the Main Street Electrical Parade.

"We are interested in how people create their autobiographical references, or memory. Through this process they might be altering their own memories," she said. "Nostalgic advertising works in a similar manner. Hallmark, McDonald's and Disney have very effective nostalgic advertising that can change people's buying habits. You may not have had a great experience the last time you visited Disneyland or McDonald's, but the ads may be inadvertently be creating the impression that they had a wonderful time and leaving viewers with that memory. If ads can get people to believe they had an experience they never had, that is pretty powerful.

"The bottom line of our study is that the phony ad is making the difference. Just casually reading a Bugs Bunny cartoon or some other incidental exposure doesn't mean you believe you met Bugs. The ad does."


Message: 6
Subject: Re: False Memories
Date: 6/16/01
From: Marty Moleski, Mike Holt

Ric wrote:

> I thought you guys would get a kick out of this press release from the
> University of Washington passed along by TIGHAR archaeologist Tim Smith:

Yes, I did get a kick out of it! Thanks for passing it on.

> The scenario described in the ad never occurred because Bugs Bunny is a
> Warner Bros. cartoon character and wouldn't be featured in any Walt Disney
> Co. property ...

Notice that the study depends upon proof of a negative: if the researchers are not sure that BB never appeared at Disneyland, then the study is nonsense. ;o) "Th-th-th-that's all, folks!"

Marty


From Ric

Oh God, not again.


From Mike Holt

Thanks for this one, Ric. This topic became a favorite of mine when I set up a business for a woman who claimed to be a multiple personality (29 different persons). She was adopted, and I found her missing sister and her birth parent's names. Most of what she "remembered" was total fiction.

> The scenario described in the ad never occurred because Bugs Bunny is a
> Warner Bros. cartoon character and wouldn't be featured in any Walt Disney
> Co. property, according to University of Washington memory researchers
> Jacquie Pickrell and Elizabeth Loftus. Pickrell will make two presentations
> on the topic at the annual meeting of the American Psychological Society
> (APS) on Sunday (June 17) in Toronto and at a satellite session of the
> Society for Applied Research in Memory and Cognition in Kingston, Ontario, on
> Wednesday.

I'm going to look for this one. Elizabeth Loftus is one of the guiding lights in the struggle against false memory planting. I think she was almost the first to write about it.

> "The frightening thing about this study is that it suggests how easily a
> false memory can be created," said Pickrell, UW psychology doctoral student.

When I read Lost Star, I wondered about this. McMenamy might be the first one to check for false memory but he's certainly not alone. After all this time and all this publicity all sorts of very vivid memories will begin to surface.

I'm fairly certain that Betty may have developed some of the same memories, but she has her transcript; it's very difficult to write her off.

> "Creating a false memory is a process. Someone saying, 'I know it could
> have happened,' is taking the first step of actually creating a memory. If
> you clearly believe you walked up to Bugs Bunny, you have a memory."

This is what I saw in the multiple personalities I met. All it takes is some hint of what memory might get attention for them, and they'll create it in excrutiating detail.

Oh, well.

AIA suddenly sounds pretty good, doesn't it?

LTM (who remembers the garden party with Joe Stalin)
Michael Holt


From Ric

We worked some with Dr. Loftus way back in the late '80s when were searching for The White Bird in Maine and were finding lots of anecdotal recollections but damn little else. It was the beginning of developing the historical investigation methodology that has become the cornerstone of the Earhart Project.


Message: 7
Subject: Eleven Minute Gap
Date: 6/16/01
From: Ron Bright

With a slow forum, here is a puzzling alleged eleven minute gap regarding AE's final transmissions to Itasca as reported by two researchers.

Carol Osborne and Don Dwiggins report that at 08:44 AE transmitted the "...line of position..." message and then eleven minutes later at 08:55 AE transmitted "... we are running north and south." (see Osborne's matrix p.290) All other researchers/authors report that the message contained both phrases at 08:44.

Significance. At 08:44, AE said she was switching to 6210, and thus her 08:55 transmission most likely came in on 6210. This would mean that her radio was working quite well after the "last". Thus the switch didn't affect her transmission ability. (The 6210 worked quite well from Lae out some 800 miles. If so skip zones shouldn't come into play.)

Now it is possible that the the "north and south" entry was entered later when Thompson, Bellarts, et all got together to piece together an accurate transcription.The log is ambiguous and certainly permits an interpretation of an added signal inside the parenths (?...":

KHAQQ TO ITASCA WE ARE ON THE LINE 157 337 XX WL REPT MSG WE WL REPT THIS ON 6210 KCS WAIT, 3105/A3 S5 [The signal strength should be the last typed word]

Then comes the questioned entry:

(?/KHAQQ XMISSION WE ARE RUNNING ON XX N ES S LINE.

All typed in/over "43" in the margin.

Everthing in the parenths, above, could have been inserted after the "S5" sometime later when the log was being reconstructed. There was room on the time "43" line after the S5 to add that and as a result the "on N ES S Line" appears in the time margin after the vertical line.

The 'LSNIN 6210 KCS" / KHAQQ DE NRUI HRD U OK ON 3105 KCS ,7500" appears on time line 44-46. It is a separate entry and of course Itasca was going to listen on 6210 as that is the frequency AE said she was switching to.

If there was a eleven min gap between the 08:44 and the 08:55 transmission on the 6210, the radio working capability changes. The next 3-4 hour absence of broadcasting is more inexplicable.

The main problem is that only Dwiggins and Osborne,who do not offer a source or cite, report this gap. Rollin Reineck also postulates that AE broadcast for a short time after the alleged last at 08:44 based on an official memorandum. I'm sure the forum would have some thoughts on this "rosemary" gap. Have you or anyone else heard of " two " separate broadcasts??

Ron Bright


From Ric

I have no idea where Osborne got her "matrix" and anything Dwiggins got probably came from Mantz. None of those people was aboard the Itasca. You are, of course, correct that Bellart's original log could have been altered later, but if it was, somebody managed to get the platen precisely aligned with the rest of the line – a very difficult thing to do and not done in other known alterations to the log.

It's clear from the Bellart's log that the "we are running..." phrase was heard after the operator thought that the message had ended and had typed in the frequency and signal strength notations. I see no reason to think that the delay was 11 minutes rather than more like 11 seconds. If it came in 11 minutes later it must be the case that neither Galten nor O'Hare entered it in their logs at the time it was heard but that it was later added to Galten's log but not to O'Hare's. Just doesn't make any sense.

LTM,
Ric


Back to Highlights Archive list.

About TIGHAR Join TIGHAR TIGHAR Projects TIGHAR Publications Contract Services
The TIGHAR Store Blog TIGHAR Forum Contact TIGHAR TIGHAR Home

Copyright 2018 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org  •   Phone: 610.467.1937   •   JOIN NOW