Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 7 8 [9] 10 11 ... 16   Go Down

Author Topic: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)  (Read 136840 times)

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5333
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #120 on: May 30, 2015, 08:43:58 AM »

Andrew is correct.  The piece was salvaged from a trash bin in the Lockheed repair shop by David Kenyon.  It is the port side top of the outboard horizontal stabilizer. The Lockheed decal was added by Kenyon's son many years later.  Shortly before Kenyon's death at 94 he sold it to a Lockheed 12 owner named Patrick Donovan with whom I am in touch.  The artifact is for sale for $25,000.
Logged

Jeff Lange

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #121 on: May 30, 2015, 09:18:21 AM »

Now it makes more sense- the decal was throwing me off, as it should be on the upper outside vertical stabilizer according to my trusty TIGHAR model. Thanks for the clarification Ric!
Jeff Lange

# 0748CR
 
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #122 on: May 30, 2015, 10:02:09 AM »

There were something like 28 WWII aircraft that went down in and around the Marshall islands near Mili Atoll.  Lots of source material for scrap aluminum and cover plates.

Andrew

Quite so, Andrew. And let's not forget that while the Allied losses are pretty well documented as to date, type, and circumstances, the Japanese loss records are not nearly as complete, or accessible to the public at large. And ... one of the favored Japanese primer coats for aircraft, for a time, was a rusty orange-reddish shade. Sound familiar? Not to mention the bright red national insignia, which would, over time, fade to a reddish-orange.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Michael HALL

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #123 on: May 30, 2015, 10:55:38 AM »

Hi everyone,

Been always from the scene for a while now, but of course with the latest expedition on the way my interest has come back round ;)

Today I found an article in the UK paper Daily Mail, you guys probably have seen this and dismissed it but all the same made interesting reading more so as he thinks he has plane parts

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-3103327/Mystery-Amelia-Earhart-s-disappearance-soon-solved-Metal-analysis-prove-landed-Marshall-Islands.html

Interested in everyone's thoughts?

<<Moved from "General Discussion" and merged with the ongoing thread>>
« Last Edit: May 30, 2015, 11:33:18 AM by Russ Matthews »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5333
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #124 on: May 30, 2015, 12:05:48 PM »

This is more about the media appetite for anything related to Earhart than about any real news. The culprit is Nat'l Geographic. they started the recent buzz about Spink with a story yesterday titled One Man's Dogged Search for Amelia Earhart

As we all know, Spink scarfed up some aluminum pieces on Mili that may be from an airplane or airplanes. As far as I know, nothing has been identified.  The Nat Geo article talks says, "At a gathering of researchers near Seattle, a piece of Amelia Earhart’s plane is reverently passed hand-to-hand around a conference table."  The article also says,
"Both Alcoa and Parker are analyzing the pieces recovered from the Marshall Islands to determine whether the metal and paint match Earhart’s plane."

Exactly how do they plan to do that?  First they need to determine the detailed composition of the metal and paint of the known piece of Earhart's plane (the rescued-from-the-trash-bin piece from the horizontal stabilizer).  That's a destructive process.  Is Pat Donovan going to let them hack a chunk out of his $25,000 artifact?  Let's say he's okay with that.  Do they now have a reference sample for comparison to the bits and pieces they collected at Mili?  Only if those bits and pieces are part of the original, unrepaired parts of the airplane.  NR16020 was built in the spring of 1936.  The repairs were done a year later.  Was there any change in the recipe for 24ST ALCLAD during that year?  That's an important question in our analysis of 2-2-V-1 and we haven't been able to find an answer. 

We know from the testing done by Lehigh Testing Labs that the 24ST ALCLAD used to build Electras in 1935 was different from later versions of 24ST ALCLAD.  We don't have any information about the composition of Japanese aluminum.

In short, I don't see how anyone could reach a supportable conclusion about the origin of the pieces Spink retrieved at Mili regardless of the test results.

Let's back up a step and ask if there is reason to suspect that aluminum bits and pieces found at Mili atoll are any more likely to be from NR16020 than aluminum scraps you might find in your back yard. The answer, of course, is no. Aside from conflicting and unsubstantiated folklore there is zero evidence to suggest that Earhart was ever anywhere near Mili and there is abundant archival, photographic, analytical, and artifact evidence to suggest that she was somewhere else.  Spink has enthusiasm and some money but, as far as I know, no training in historical investigation.

It's disappointing that National Geographic would give any credence to Spink's claims but, like the Smithsonian, Nat Geo's reputation for scientific rigor is not always justified.
Logged

Michael HALL

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #125 on: May 30, 2015, 12:48:22 PM »

Great reply, it will be interesting to see what they finally conclude from this, my guess Nat Geo are after some good media coverage and will pursue their findings. Lets hope Tighar get the real hard evidence next month :)
Logged

Leslie G Kinney

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #126 on: May 30, 2015, 08:46:59 PM »

I have not posted on this forum for 15 years, but Ric’s comments are worthy of a response.

I am a long time Earhart researcher, a retired senior federal agent manager who has devoted the past ten years exclusively to tracking down the Earhart mystery. I have submitted 100’s of FOIA’s and copied the entire contents of the Goerner collection at the Nimitz Museum. I have spent thousands of hours conducting research at various archives, museums, libraries, holdings, etc., and have interviewed a lot of old men now all dead. I must have amassed 10,000 documents relating to the Earhart mystery. I have received assistance from Japanese historical researchers who have assisted in translating pertinent sections of the Senshi Sosho’s 102 volumes. I have traveled extensively in the Central Pacific and South Pacific. I have journeyed numerous times to the Marshall Islands and to the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas. I am completely familiar with all of the Earhart theories.

With that said, I am a firm believer Earhart went down in the Marshalls and met her fate on Saipan. During the course of my research I have uncovered “one” document written by a U.S. military department branch that would stand up to court scrutiny. This document indicates our military had evidence Earhart had been in the custody of the Japanese in the Marshalls. Only one document, that’s it!  However, I have found many documents that would lead one to believe Earhart landed in the Marshalls. 

There were three eyewitnesses to the Earhart landing at Mili Atoll which Ric categorizes as “folklore.” That is Ric’s kind way of saying brown skinned people can’t be believed.  There is another eyewitness: a Japanese/Marshallese medic who treated a man and a woman on the deck of a Japanese ship at Jaluit in 1937.  There are fascinating accounts of the Japanese conscripting 40 young Marshallese men from other islands to assist in pulling a twin motored plane onto a barge at Mili Atoll.  There are of course, many members of our military who saw official documents detailing the government’s knowledge and interest in tracking the captive Earhart in her journey through the Marshalls on her way to Saipan.

This past January, I was one of the seven men including Dick Spink, who scoured a small three acre island at Mili Atoll for five days under the sponsorship of Parker Aerospace. Nearby, were other small islands.  Accompanying us was a technician from a global company which conducts ground penetrating radar searches worldwide. We were also equipped with five solid metal detectors.  At low tide, we walked out on the island’s coral laced north shore reef.  We got a few solid hits but it was useless to dig. The coral is welded together like fused pieces of iron several feet deep.  I doubt a three yard bucket would make a dent in that stuff.  Back on the island, we found numerous pieces of aircraft aluminum mostly buried 12 to 18 inches deep.  The original 1937 Marshallese eyewitnesses were fishing at a nearby fish trap inside the lagoon when the plane landed on the island’s northern coral reef about 400 yards away.  The fish trap still exists.  About ten days later, the plane was dragged over rails from the north beach area to a spot where it could be loaded onto a small barge on the island’s protected south beach. The island’s original 1937 west beach had receded well within the confines of the island. All the artifacts were found along this north south corridor. 

The artifacts are currently being tested by Parker Labs and Alcoa against appropriate known samples of Japanese, Lockheed Model 10 aluminum specific to the Earhart era, and samples of American aircraft aluminum of the World War Two era. We long ago discounted the first piece found, a plate originally described as being an APU cover.  Earhart’ plane had no APU covers.  It’s certainly an aircraft plate but not necessarily an APU cover plate.  There are no serial numbers or ID tags on any of the pieces found at Mili Atoll.  We are "hoping" for the following results: the artifacts came from a U.S. aircraft built in the mid 1930's; that the aluminum is consistent or identical with the aluminum used by Lockheed for its Electra Model 10's built in 1935 and 1936.

Spectrographic analysis of the artifacts having residual paint is being completed.  However, the Earhart aircraft was partially repainted during Lockheed's reconstruction of Earhart's Electra.  I doubt the paint analysis will stand up to scientific scrutiny since it very well could have come from a different batch than the sample owned by Mr. Donavon.   What we do hope to eliminate is Japanese paint.  Time will tell.
Logged

Andrew M McKenna

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 636
  • Here I am during the Maid of Harlech Survey.
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #127 on: May 30, 2015, 10:50:54 PM »

Leslie

Thanks for your post.  It is nice to hear from someone directly involved.  Just with TIGHAR expeditions, there is more to the story than meets the press, so to speak, and I'm glad to hear that you guys are at least trying to seriously pursue your hypothesis. 

The problem I have is that Spink (and apparently yourself) touted the now apparently discounted APU cover (and dust cover) as being a piece of Earhart's Electra, but your posting is the first I've heard indicating that it has been discounted (by whom?).  If it was collected 3 years ago, why did it take so long?  This was not discussed in the Nat Geo piece, so the discounting of past finds was a bit glossed over, no?

The fact that none of the artifacts collected by your group can be conclusively connected to Earhart's L-10 puts you in the same boat with many other researcher's, including TIGHAR, who consistently take criticism about the collection of useless aviation junk on Pacific islands unrelated to Earhart.  The current press on the latest finds falls short given the claims of Earhart provenance.

Furthermore, your hope to match the aluminum to Earhart's aircraft will be interesting, but how do you know it doesn't match Japanese manufactured material?

You and the Mili hypothesis are likely to be subject to significant scrutiny in this Forum and elsewhere, and it is my hope that you will put your best information forward for critical review regardless of the outcome.

Can you provide photos of the artifacts recovered, and describe for us the archaeological rigor by which their discovery was recorded?

Much appreciated.

Andrew

Logged

David Alan

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 15
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #128 on: May 31, 2015, 01:04:42 AM »

Mr. Kinney,

By stating,

There were three eyewitnesses to the Earhart landing at Mili Atoll which Ric categorizes as “folklore.” That is Ric’s kind way of saying brown skinned people can’t be believed.
clearly you think Ric's general dismissal of "folklore" is racially based.

So here is my kind way of saying you are a troll:        Sir, you are a troll.

To be clear, courtesy of the Urban Dictionary, the definition of a troll is:
One who posts a deliberately provocative message to a newsgroup or message board with the intention of causing maximum disruption and argument.

If you wish to present the tangible research you purport to have, please do so.  I and probably most every other person on this forum without an ax to grind, will welcome it openly.  Some members of this forum may not agree with it, and if such be the case, they are just as likely to counter it with reasonable discussion and presentation.  Such is the nature of any scientific method of research:  Research, present, discuss and debate.  Such is one reason this topic, Alternatives to Niku Hypothesis, was established.

Personal attacks on individuals seem to go over very well on some other forums, and if that is the venue you wish to pursue, please go there and do not bother to post here.  I, for one, do not appreciate incivility.

Wishing you well,

d alan
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5333
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #129 on: May 31, 2015, 08:40:16 AM »

I have not posted on this forum for 15 years, but Ric’s comments are worthy of a response.

Thank you.  Let me echo Andrew McKenna's appreciation for the opportunity to get beyond the press and discuss these issues directly.
David Alan is mistaken.  You are not a troll.  You are someone who wants to be taken seriously.  You think you are right and you want others to agree with you.  I totally get that because I am in the exact same position - so I sincerely welcome your participation in this forum.
I have a few questions, comments, and requests. 

I am a long time Earhart researcher, a retired senior federal agent manager who has devoted the past ten years exclusively to tracking down the Earhart mystery.

I presume you mention your previous career as way to establish your credentials.  Could you please tell us more?  You describe yourself as "a retired senior federal agent manager."  That's pretty vague. Were you a federal agent or a manager of federal agents?  What sort of agent(s)?  CIA? IRS? FBI?  What's your educational background?  Do you have training and/or previous experience in investigation?  I'm not just being nosy.  These questions are important.  If I told you that I've been studying brain surgery as a hobby for the past ten years I don't think you'd assume that I was competent to operate on you.

I have submitted 100’s of FOIA’s and copied the entire contents of the Goerner collection at the Nimitz Museum.

Then you are surely aware that Fred Goerner eventually discounted the possibility that Earhart was ever in the Marshalls.  I have attached an excerpt from a letter that Goerner wrote to TIGHAR member Rob Gerth on April 13, 1989.  We have a stack of correspondence from Goerner dating from the early years of the Earhart Project.  Fascinating stuff.  We really need to get it all scanned and posted to the TIGHAR website.  (Time, time, time ...)

During the course of my research I have uncovered “one” document written by a U.S. military department branch that would stand up to court scrutiny. This document indicates our military had evidence Earhart had been in the custody of the Japanese in the Marshalls. Only one document, that’s it!

By all means, produce the document!

There were three eyewitnesses to the Earhart landing at Mili Atoll which Ric categorizes as “folklore.” That is Ric’s kind way of saying brown skinned people can’t be believed.  There is another eyewitness: a Japanese/Marshallese medic who treated a man and a woman on the deck of a Japanese ship at Jaluit in 1937.  There are fascinating accounts of the Japanese conscripting 40 young Marshallese men from other islands to assist in pulling a twin motored plane onto a barge at Mili Atoll.  There are of course, many members of our military who saw official documents detailing the government’s knowledge and interest in tracking the captive Earhart in her journey through the Marshalls on her way to Saipan.

I'll forgive your accusation of racism and attribute it to ignorance rather than malice.  My comments about "folklore" (aka "oral history", "eyewitness testimony", "anecdotal recollection") have nothing to do with the skin color of the informant.  The problem with accepting stories as evidence is that you have to decide whose stories to believe.  Why is Emily Sikuli, who remembered seeing the wreckage of an airplane on the reef at Nikumaroro, less credible than Bilimon Amaron who remembered treating a man and a woman on the deck of a Japanese ship at Jaluit in 1937?  We learned that stories are not reliable evidence while searching for the White Bird in Maine in the 1980s and '90s. The white folks of Washington County regaled us with a well-established body of folklore about how the missing French transatlantic flight had come down in the Round Lake Hills - but after 20 expeditions we ultimately realized that there was nothing there but stories.  Stories may help lead you to hard evidence (documents, photographs, artifacts) as they have at Nikumaroro, but by themselves they are just stories. This is a fundamental aspect of historical investigation - one that the Japanese Capture Crowd has never grasped. Read Tom King's excellent peer-reviewed paper Amelia Earhart in the Marianas: A Consideration of the Evidence

This past January, I was one of the seven men including Dick Spink, who scoured a small three acre island at Mili Atoll for five days under the sponsorship of Parker Aerospace. Nearby, were other small islands.  Accompanying us was a technician from a global company which conducts ground penetrating radar searches worldwide. We were also equipped with five solid metal detectors.  At low tide, we walked out on the island’s coral laced north shore reef.  We got a few solid hits but it was useless to dig.

You got hits out on the reef flat??? With what, the GPR or the metal detectors?  You think there is metal buried in the coral?  I don't see how that is possible. There is no active coral growth on reef flats. 

Back on the island, we found numerous pieces of aircraft aluminum mostly buried 12 to 18 inches deep.  The original 1937 Marshallese eyewitnesses were fishing at a nearby fish trap inside the lagoon when the plane landed on the island’s northern coral reef about 400 yards away.  The fish trap still exists.  About ten days later, the plane was dragged over rails from the north beach area to a spot where it could be loaded onto a small barge on the island’s protected south beach. The island’s original 1937 west beach had receded well within the confines of the island. All the artifacts were found along this north south corridor. 

That paragraph liberally mixes fact with speculation. You can't DO that.  You say the plane was dragged over rails.  Are the rails still there or is that just part of the story? You need to produce an accurate map showing where each piece of metal was found and you need to show how you know that the beach has receded.

The artifacts are currently being tested by Parker Labs and Alcoa against appropriate known samples of Japanese, Lockheed Model 10 aluminum specific to the Earhart era, and samples of American aircraft aluminum of the World War Two era.

How is Parker qualified to analyze aluminum alloys?  Who at Alcoa is doing the testing?  What documentation do they have that establishes the elemental breakdown of Alcoa 24ST ALCLAD throughout the 1935 to, say, 1943 period?  We would desperately like to have that information.  A word of caution:  Do NOT take the word of the Alcoa engineers who are doing the testing.  Insist on historical company documents.  We got burned on that when Alcoa in Pittsburgh did testing for us in 1996. There is "folklore" at Alcoa.

Spectrographic analysis of the artifacts having residual paint is being completed.  However, the Earhart aircraft was partially repainted during Lockheed's reconstruction of Earhart's Electra.  I doubt the paint analysis will stand up to scientific scrutiny since it very well could have come from a different batch than the sample owned by Mr. Donavon.   What we do hope to eliminate is Japanese paint.  Time will tell.

The best you can hope for there is "consistent with" unless you can prove that the paint used on NR16020 was unlike any other paint used on aircraft up through WWII.

In summary my advice is, if you want to be taken seriously produce all of your evidence and invite responsible scrutiny and debate. Secrecy is the hallmark of the amateur. Passionate assertions of your own certainty may get you some media coverage (they love that) but the only thing that really counts is substance. 

I'll continue to engage in this discussion to the extent that I can find time but with departure of the Niku VIII expedition one week away that's going to be limited.
Thanks again for sharing your information with us.
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #130 on: May 31, 2015, 08:56:00 AM »

An excerpt from Goerner's 1989 letter:

"It was almost as if they did not want to hear ANYTHING which might not support their conclusions ... What was amusing but not surprising was that they were calling each other names and threatening lawsuits against one another within months ..."

The more things change ...

LTM, who will go back to his morning coffee now,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2910
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #131 on: May 31, 2015, 11:52:26 AM »

An excerpt from Goerner's 1989 letter:

Here's a quick OCR of the .pdf Ric posted:

Excerpt from letter Fred Goerner wrote to TIGHAR member Rob Gerth on April 13, 1989:

"I truly believed the north of course theory was the most probable at the time I wrote THE SEARCH FOR AE in 1966, and I chose Mili as the most logical landing place. Through the assistance of Dr. Dirk Ballendorf, who was Deputy Director for our U.S. Peace Corps activities in the Pacific, I was able to disabuse myself of that conjecture by 1969. Dr. Ballendorf assigned a fine young American named Eric Sussman to assist me with the people of Mili Atoll. Mr. Sussman spent nearly two years in Mili as a Peace Corps Volunteer, and he interviewed every Marshallese there who was old enough to remember anything about the pre-WWII years, especially 1937. A story existed about a woman pilot being picked up somewhere in or about the Marshalls in 1937, but Mr. Sussman satisfied himself and consequently satisfied me that Mili HAD NOT BEEN the landing place of the Earhart plane. It is more than a little surprising that Vincent Loomis, Oliver Knaggs, Buddy Brennan, Paul Bryce, Jim Slade and all the other people who visited Mili in the late 1970's and early 1980's and made such extravagant, unsupportable claims, did not even attempt to contact me before they made their "expeditions". It is almost as if they did not want to hear ANYTHING which might not support their conclusions and what they were trying to promulgate to their investors. What was amusing but not surprising was that they were calling each other names and threatening lawsuits against one another within months after their returns to The States."
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5333
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #132 on: May 31, 2015, 12:01:09 PM »

Thanks Marty.  Incidentally, the all-caps emphasis in that letter was original. Based on the work he did with inventor Fred Hooven on the bearings PanAm took on the post-loss radio signals, Goerner came to believe that Earhart had come down somewhere in the Phoenix Group - but he couldn't let go of the stories he had heard on Saipan so he theorized that the Japanese somehow and for some reason had come and kidnapped her and taken her to Saipan.
Logged

Michael HALL

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 30
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #133 on: May 31, 2015, 03:42:45 PM »

Well least my post seemed to have brought two sides together! I did not expect that  :o
Logged

Jeff Lange

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 116
Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #134 on: June 01, 2015, 05:27:27 AM »

I will be interested in seeing if Mr. Kinney responds to some of these posts his post generated. I, too, would like to see his documentation of the finds, the "one" document, and other data.

I just hope he doesn't wait another 15 years before posting again!
Jeff Lange

# 0748CR
 
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 7 8 [9] 10 11 ... 16   Go Up
 

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 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP