Earhart Project Research Bulletin
July, 2002
Artifact 2-6-S-45

Secrets of the Knob

Symbol #16

Analysis and photos courtesy Jeff Glickman, Photek Imaging.


This is an analysis of photomicrographs of symbol #16 on TIGHAR artifact 2-6-S-45, commonly known as “the knob.” The photos are visually degraded because of the JPEG format which is used to enable email transmission.

This analysis contains 3 images which are separately annotated. Symbol #16 is heavily encrusted, and damaged.


Original Image: This is the original image of symbol #16.

Notes:

  1. Short, straight, horizontal edge.
  2. Inner curved edge.
  3. Curved top edge.
  4. Concavity.
  5. Flow area.
  6. Curved lower edge.

A 1 needs a narrow width, horiztonal top. There is no support for this as symbol #16 has a wide, curved top. A 1 needs long vertical edges. There is no support for this in symbol #16. This excludes a 1.

A 5 needs a wide horizontal top, a top left corner, and a short left-hand vertical edge from the top. This is no support for any of these features. This excludes a 5.

A 7 needs a wide horizontal top, and a diagonal from the lower left to the upper right. There is support for neither. This excludes a 7.

A 4 needs a left-hand vertical edge, or a diagonal from the middle-left to the upper right, and a vertical right edge. There is no support for any of these features. This excludes a 4.

A 0 requires a curved top and bottom, which symbol #16 has, but requires either convex or straight left and right edges, neither of which are present in symbol #16. This excludes a 0.

A 9 requires a closed loop on the top and a diagonal line from the lower left to the upper right. There is support for neither. This excludes a 9.

A 6 requires a short-edge inthe top right, whereas symbol #16 has a conflicting short edge in the top left. This excludes a 6.

An 8 requires a closed loop on both the top and the bottom. Symbol #16 does not appear to have a closed loop on top. This probably excludes an 8.

A 2 requires a short edge to the top left which is present in symbol #16. A 2 also requires top curvature which is present in symbol #16. A 2 also requires a diagonal from the lower-left to the upper right. There is contradictory evidence, but not necessarily exclusive, as the extent and location of lower flow is unclear in symbol #16. A 2 also requires a wide flat bottom. There is contradictory evidence, but not necessarily exclusive, as the extent and location of lower flow is unclear in symbol #16. A 2 is a possible candidate for symbol #16.

A 3 requires a short edge to the top left which is present in symbol #16. A 3 also requires a concavity on the right-hand edge which is present in symbol # 16. A 3 also requires lower curvature, which appears to be present in symbol #16.

 

Outline: The yellow overlay is the visible portion of the symbol’s outline. This overlay is the partial outline for a “3” which is supported by the evidence.

Conclusion: The symbol features suggest TIGHAR artifact 2-6-S-45 symbol #16 is probably a three (“3”). The most likely first alternate is a two (“2”). The most likely second alternate is an eight (“8”).

 

Jeff Glickman • Photek • Board Certified Forensic Examiner • Fellow, American College of Forensic Examiners • 503-949-6200

Symbol #16

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