Forum artHighlights From the Forum

June 17 through 24, 2001

(click on the number to go directly to that message)
1 Eleven Minute Gap II Ron Bright
2 Re: Eleven Minute Gap II Randy Jacobson
3 LOP Speculation Dave Porter
4 Earhart Heard Fone Michael Hyman
5 Left Turn on the LOP Dick Pingrey
6 Re: False Memories Patrick Gaston
7 News From the Linnix in Kiribati Christian D.
8 Re: Left Turn on the LOP Alan Caldwell

Message: 1
Subject: Eleven Minute Gap II
Date: 6/18/01
From: Ron Bright

You have some excellent points relating to the alleged two transmissions, one at 08:44 and the "last" at 08:55. Your observation that the "...running north and south.." that follows the signal strength notation at 08:44 appears to be pefectly aligned seems to refute the two separate transmissions. My copy of the original does not look like it was reentered. The entry though is puzzling as it is enclosed in parens, with a (?). Why would you do that if you heard it right?

Dwiggins indeed got all of his information from Paul Mantz as written in Hollywood Pilot, and we know that Mantz continued to dig for information concerning AE's last hours. Namely his letter to Mrs. FDR about the Coast Guard search. Where Mantz got his information about the 08:55 transmission is unknown and not cited.

Galten was maintaining the primary log and entered the 08:44 transmission and most likely the "...north and south..." transmission. My O'hara log runs out at 0757, so I'm not sure he wrote anything thereafter.

And adding a bit more mystery to the log entry at 08:44-46 is Capt Thompson. In his report to the San Francisco Coast Guard re the radio transmissions he adds in parenthesis: (Other persons in radio room heard this transmission the same). He then adds the "We are running north and south". Question is what transmission did the "other persons" hear? The running north/south or the "Wait Listening on 6210 KCS".

Note: Thompson said this transmission (inference just one) came on 3105 by voice a S5, and nothing heard on 6210.

As you can see I'm not advocating there were two transmissions, agreeing with your analysis, but where in the world do such distinct reports come from? I have emailed Osborne for her source of the matrix.

Ron Bright

From Ric

Look at the log. Earhart's 08:43 transmission caught these guys totally by surprise.

Remember that these log entries are being made in real time so when, for example, the number "44" is typed at the end of a line, the event described on that line must have happened before or exactly at 44 minutes past the hour.

Look at the log and take out the later overstrikes that "correct" the times.

  • From 08:34 to 08:41 Galten is calling Earhart on 3105 but his calls are unanswered.
  • At "44" Galten is "Listening 3105" but hears "nil". At that same moment "CRM" (Chief Radio Man Bellarts) is "tuning up the T-16 (transmitter) for transmission to NMC (San Francisco).
  • The next entry is "NMC this is NRUI (Itasca), 12600 (the frequency), Unanswered" and the time notation is "45-". That little "-" is significant because normally it would be followed by the another number to bracket the time of the attempted transmission, but the entry is never completed.
Instead, the "44" time notation is overstruck with two "X"s and "42" is typed in. The "45" is overstruck with two "X"s and "43" is typed in. then below that is added:
KHAQQ to Itasca we are on the line.....etc. ... 3105/A3 S5
The time noted for this entry is "43". The "(?/KHAQQ transmission We are running..." entry is tacked on and the "43" is xed out and another "43" is typed in. It's a mess.

The next entry is:

Listening on 6210, KHAQQ from NRUI, heard you ok on 3105, sent on 7500 Kcs
and the time "44-6"

As far as I can see, there is only one way that the log can end up looking the way it does. It must have gone something like this:

Having bought O'Hare's claim that he heard Earhart say "half hour gas left" at 07:42, by 08:42 with no further word everybody thinks that the plane is down in the water. Bellarts begins tuning up the tranmsitter to call Coast Guard headquarters in San Francisco to tell them that Earhart is down and the ship is going to go looking for her. At about 08:42 Galten notes that he is still listening on 3105. Before he completes that line Bellarts arrives in the radio room with orders from the captain to contact San Francsico. Galten notes down that Bellarts is tuning up the T-16 and logs the time at 08:44. At 08:45 he makes the first call to San Francisco but gets no reply. He types "45-" and at that moment somebody says something like,

"Bill! Did you get that?"
Galten: "Get what?"
"Earhart! She was just back on!"
Galten: "When?"
"Couple of minutes ago!"
Galten: "What did she say? I was trying to raise NMC."
"I heard it clearly. She said, 'KHAQQ to Itasca, we are on the line 157 337. We will repeat message. Will repeat this on 6210 Kcs, wait.'
Galten: "Okay, about two minutes ago? That would be 08:43. I'll have to change some of these times." He juggles the times to keep it looking chronological and makes the entry.
Somebody else: "Yeah, I heard it too. She also said something about "running on line north and south."
Galten: "That was part of that same 08:43 transmission?"
"Yeah, I can't believe you didn't hear it."
Galten: "I told you, I was trying to raise San Francisco. I'll add in the bit about running on line but I'm going to put a question mark on it because you don't seem sure about exactly what she said."

It looks to me like none of the three radio operators heard the 08:43 transmission. The receiver that was tuned to 3105 was going out over the speakers in the radio room and on the bridge. Galten probably missed the 08:43 transmission because he had put on his headphones to try to contact San Francisco. O'Hare, across the radio room from Galten, totally missed the 08:43 transmission and never does make any mention of the switch to 6210, but it was not his job to listen for Earhart and he may have been listening for incoming administrative messages on headphones on another frequency. Cipriani on Howland missed it because, by then, his batteries were down and he was out of business.


Message: 2
Subject: Re: Eleven Minute Gap II
Date: 6/19/01
From: Randy Jacobson

The real question is where did 0855 come from? It came from one of the radiotelegrams from the Itasca that day or the next day. I don't have access to my detailed logs right now, but someone mistakenly said AE's last transmission came at 0855. A typo perhaps, when the intention was 0844? I dunno. But that is the first report of an 0855 radio message from AE: a few hours to a day after the fact. All contemporaneous documentation shows the last message at 0843-45.

Ron Bright wrote:

>I'm sure those guys would be shocked to know that 64 years later people would
>be analyzing every word in every message.
>I like your "real time" analysis and conclusions that the typing of the log
>ended up being a "real mess". Point here is those last transmissions are
>pretty rough approximations. According to Cam Warren, Osborne said her matrix
>showing the last transmission at 08:55 was in "error". I guess even books can
>make mistakes! Only Dwiggins is left with the 08:55 record.

From Ric

That's always the problem with unfootnoted secondary sources. Somebody makes a mistake and everybody wonders if maybe they know something no one else does.

Message: 3
Subject: LOP Speculation
Date: 6/19/01
From: Dave Porter

I was looking over and thinking again about what you've called the "navigational logic" of the LOP, and what others have called the "Phoenix Islands catcher's mitt." This is obviously speculation on my part, as it is a "would've, could've, should've" scenario, but here goes:

You reach the LOP, and Howland isn't there. Absent any assistance from Howland/Itasca, the ONLY reason to turn left on the LOP is if land is in sight in that direction. Even IF Howland is that way, it's the ONLY thing that way besides a whole lotta water. However, Howland MIGHT be the other way, and even if it isn't, a bunch more islands ARE. You've used up 20 of your 24 hours of gas, you're in a land based airplane, and there's no land in sight. There MIGHT be one tiny speck of an island north of you, but there's FOR SURE several larger islands south of you, possibly including the one you're looking for.

Admittedly, I'm not a pilot or a navigator, and even most of the conspiracy theories are older than I am, but given that situation, I'm gonna do an immediate right turn onto the LOP every time.

Targets Up. You may fire when ready.

LTM, who hates left turns
Dave Porter, 2288

Message: 4
Subject: Earhart Heard Fone
Date: 6/19/01
From: Michael Hyman

Last week I applied for membership in TIGHAR. I hope you will act upon my request favorably.

Like Mr. Katz of the forum, I too, became interested in the AE&FN story through the work of Mr. Goerner in the 1960s.

As a teenager in the 60s, late June and early July meant two things, summer vacation from school and just maybe, some new information on the AE and FN mystery.

I have spent some time reviewing the forum, and I must admit you are correct. All of the TIGHAR projects do indeed teach how to better understand the scientific method. My daughter, however, thinks I am an Amelia Airhead because I spend so much time reading about AE&FN.

I have read and reread the Log Jam posting on the web site and I have one nagging question. Does the Leo Bellarts original log prove that AE did indeed hear the Itasca broadcast on frequency 3105 Kc.?

I call your attention to the three entries at 2:45, 3:45 and 4:53 Am on that fateful day. The first and third of these three entries both say Heard Earhart. To me those two entries clearly state that Itasca heard Earhart. But it is the middle message at 3:45 Am that tasks me. The log says, Earhart heard fone. To me, that means AE said she heard Itasca. Then the log goes on to talk about how she will Lisson on hour and half on 3105. The end of the message reads Sez she to give extra emphasis to the point that this is AE talking.

What does this mean to the Niku hypothesis? Is it possible that enough antennae existed to allow AE to hear Itasca prior to 3:45 Am? What was the last Itasca broadcast on 3105 Kc prior to 3:45 Am? Is this why she waited until almost 9:00 AM to abandon 3105 Kc., which was a night time frequency when it was clearly daylight for several hours? Could the fact that AE knew that she was able to communicate with USCGC Itasca convince her that she should run down the LOP until she reestablished communications with Itasca and then formulate a strategy to find a place on the LOP to land? Absent further communications from Itasca could she have just let the LOP guide her to Niku where she landed and tried to communicate with anyone who was listening?

LTM, Who now spends eternity with her two girls.
Michael Hyman

From Ric

>The log says, Earhart heard fone. To me, that means AE said she heard Itasca.

I think it means "Earhart (was) heard (on) fone." and the rest of the entry merely says what she said ("sez she"). Later, at 07:42, she quite specifically says "...beeen unable to reach you by radio...".

>What was the last Itasca broadcast on 3105 Kc prior to 3:45 Am?

They sent the weather on fone at 3:35 but Earhart had said that she would only be listening for messages on the hour and half hour. At 3:35 she shouldn't have even had her earphones on. At 3:30 they had sent the weather in code on 7500.


Message: 5
Subject: Left Turn on the LOP
Date: 6/20/01
From: Dick Pingrey

Probably every pilot would look at the situation proposed by Dave that when AE and FN reached the LOP with no island in sight the obvious decision would be to turn right (south) to insure landfall.

Keep in mind that AE and FN really wanted to find Howland because the whole mission is lost if they don't land on Howland. If they were south of Howland they are nearer to alternate landing options then if they are north of Howland. Thus if they turn north for 15 minutes they may just find Howland. If not they can there turn south and still be in range of islands if they were, in fact, south of Howland all along. After 15 minutes (make that 5 minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes or what every they think their fuel allows) they turn south. If they were north of Howland all this time then it should appear as they continue to the south. If they were south all the time they still should have sufficient fuel to reach one of the islands in that direction.

Thus, I think the most likely thing that happened was a short flight to the north and then a long flight to the south until some island appears.

Dick Pingrey 908C

Message: 6
Subject: Re: False Memories
Date: 6/20/01
From: Pat Gaston

Herman wrote:

>Now wait a minute! If Bugs Bunny isn't a Disney figure and
>never was in Disney Land/World, who was that rabbit I shook hands with when
>visiting Disney World?

Herman, that was Roger Rabbit, who (to the uninitiated) could indeed be confused with Bugs Bunny, and who did ride in the Main Street Electrical Parade with Mickey & Co. (Roger actually was drawn in the Tex Avery style, which was closer to Warner than to Disney.) I was at Disneyland just two weeks ago, and Roger is still featured prominently in what is now called the "Parade of Stars."

All of which just goes to prove the value of the peer-review process. The good perfessers seem to have started from the mistaken premise that no one could possibly have seen a cartoon rabbit at a Disney park, hence all such memories had to be "false." In fact, many of these recollections probably stemmed from encounters with Roger or another Disney character, Bre'r Rabbit. Non-Toonheads commonly refer to any cartoon rabbit as "Bugs Bunny," but that doesn't mean the entire memory was false -- more likely a case of mistaken identity.

Methinks the profs need to go back to the drawing board.

LTM (who admits to being a little harebrained)
Pat Gaston

Message: 7
Subject: News From the Linnix in Kiribati
Date: 6/20/01
From: Christian D.

"Linnix" is the local name for the LINe and phoeNIX islands. Also the name of a Ministry.

I just came back from 3 weeks on Xmas Is. Things are just beginning a dramatic change there: NASDA, the Japanase "NASA", has started on the construction of a very big, deep water wharf on the ocean side.

Starting in October they'll use it to land equipment etc, to start the conversion of an old airstrip at the far end of the island, to make it useable to land the Japanese robotic space shuttle -it is unmanned. The project is called "Hope-X". The first phase calls for launching in Japan, with only the landing taking place in Xmas...

Long term plans had been to make Xmas into a full-fledge space port, with the launching capabilities as well. Now that NASDA is commited with phase one, chances are that the island will eventually see billion dollars construction projects...

Some people hope that the deep water wharf will entice a main container-ship line to stop at the island again: that means quick affordable imports from North America's West Coast, instead of Australian imports which have to be transhipped in Tarawa...

Now for a bit of scoop a little less off-topic: a couple of sources have mentionned that a sort of "mini P.I.S.S." recently got underway. No full time setlers, just contract workers; they go to the southern Phoenix for harvesting beche de mer, seaweed, cut copra, etc... Apparently the patrol boat of the Kiribati Navy supports them. I could not get specific details for Niku... The whole thing seems to be run from Tarawa, for workers from the Gilberts.

How does this affect TIGHAR? Possibly, some manpower could be hired to cut lines in the bush? In Xmas, scuba gear is sometime used for collecting the sea-cucumbers, so there is a possibility one could hire local divers in Niku to help explore the reef-edge canyons??? Or hire help to set up an addition to the Kiribati Camp, in order to get a land-based Tighar camp for a few months????

That's all the news... People are still migrating to Xmas from the Gilberts; Xmas Is gives the feeling that it is the place where things are happening in Kiribati...

Christian D.

From Ric

I'm familar with the "mini P.I.S.S." operation. Seventy couples were recruited to work on Orona (Hull) for $AU25/week for a contract period of one year. They have to agree to not have any kids while they're there. The first group went out early this year but got sick from eating toxic fish. If the experiment on Orona goes well, they may expand to Manra (Sydney), but there are no plans to set up an arrangement like this on Niku.

The cost of transporting workers to and from Niku would more than offset any benefit of hiring workers from Orona.

Message: 8
Subject: Re: Left Turn on the LOP
Date: 6/23/01
From: Alan Caldwell

> Probably every pilot would look at the situation proposed by Dave that
> when AE and FN reached the LOP with no island in sight the obvious decision
> would be to turn right (south) to insure landfall.

Dick, I think almost every pilot or non-pilot could come to the same rationalization if they were all equally aware of the known facts. I think your scenario is unclear, however. It seems to imply they may have turned right as soon as they got to where they thought Howland was and didn't see it. I don't think you meant that. Don't lose sight of the fact they were there in the vicinity of Howland for about an hour before they ended up doing whatever they did. They said they "....must be on you...." at 7:42 and at 7:58 they "....are circling..." and at 8:43 they report "....on the line 157 337...."

They already had their LOP and had computed a ground speed and moved the LOP to where they believed it would run through Howland considerably before they arrived at the 7:42 position because they were now down to 1,000' and could not do celestial there. The LOP could have been obtained from a moon fix much earlier than a sun line and both would have produced the same LOP. Go to the USN observatory web page if you wish to verify that. Of course it also could have been a sun line but it makes no significant difference.

Now consider that Noonan at least thought he knew where he was. At 7:42 he believed he was at or close to Howland where he thought it was plotted. Keep in mind we don't know if FN had the correct coordinates for Howland or the erroneous 5 mile off coordinates. In any case whatever AE did in that hour FN had to keep track of and plot their position constantly or they would truly have been lost until he could climb to a suitable altitude and obtain another fix.

It is therefore unlikely AE "circled" as it would have been hard to plot. More than likely they would have set up a race track like a normal holding pattern to use a methodical search pattern. I can think of no other possibility other than foolishly flying aimlessly about. They would have flown this pattern around the plotted position of where they thought Howland was. Where else?

After an hour I assume they believed they had covered the area sufficiently to accept they weren't going to find Howland and they would have either departed SE for the Phoenix group as being the only reachable land or decided to keep searching until they ran out of gas and ditched. The latter choice seems foolish given no radio contact and having already made that search.

If you or anyone else sees a fallacy in this reasoning AND a reasonable alternative plan let me know.


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