Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Other Surveys!  (Read 14045 times)

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Other Surveys!
« on: December 29, 2014, 10:46:18 AM »

Looks like the Maid re surfaced earlier this year and another interested body ad a good look at her! Maid of Harlech. Any updates or are we still focused on the AL patch?
Logged

Andrew M McKenna

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 635
  • Here I am during the Maid of Harlech Survey.
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2014, 12:11:14 PM »

Very nice. 

Looks somewhat more exposed than when we were there in 2007.  The right hand boom which we couldn't see then, is visible and largely intact.

Surveying it is one thing, getting it out of there and stabilized is another problem.

Andrew

Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2014, 02:43:08 PM »

Some dangerous thinking about just turning up with some lifting gear and a shovel.

Exactly, Chris. Sometimes "any publicity" can definitely be a bad thing. And if "they" tried anything along those lines, you can pretty much bet that the Maid would end up in itty bitty pieces.

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

Judith Davies

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #3 on: January 02, 2015, 04:34:49 AM »

I was advised that an attempt to lift the plane would be carried out March 2015 at the spring tide.  Is this still the plan
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2015, 09:10:06 AM »

Is this the Ministry of Defense or some group of freebooters with a backhoe?

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

Judith Davies

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #5 on: January 03, 2015, 05:15:56 AM »

spoke to man on Harlech beach on several occasions in september 2014 who had technical information about the plane and  said they were trying to arrange lifting using copper dam, possibly March 2015 during the spring tide.  Several people were present and were discussing this.  Taking the plane to Lampeter was mentioned.
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 2901
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #6 on: January 03, 2015, 09:31:13 AM »

spoke to man on Harlech beach on several occasions in september 2014 who had technical information about the plane and  said they were trying to arrange lifting using copper dam ...

He probably said "cofferdam," which means that they would make some kind of dam enclosing the site, pump all the water out of it, and then excavate the aircraft.

This sounds very reasonable to me, although the problem is how to preserve the various metals exposed to the air during the digging. 

Excavating the airplane under water with a cofferdam to prevent currents might be good.  The water itself would keep the metal away from the air until it was time to haul parts of the plane up.  Dam, excavate underwater, pump dry, pick up, pickle.

Is the plane worth that much work?  I don't know.  I think the reason it is so interesting is that it is so close to shore--looks like it would be easy to pluck from its resting place.

A cofferdam was used to turn off the American side of Niagara Falls in June of 1969.

LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Judith Davies

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 3
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2015, 10:41:02 AM »

thank you very much for that advice  re the dam.    Would still like to find out if the plane is being  lifted in March 2015, if any info I would be grateful as I walk the beach most days from March to November.
Logged

Bruce Thomas

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 645
  • Now where did I put my glasses?
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2015, 11:31:23 AM »

A video, a lot of it shot using a UAV, shows the Maid of Harlech being inspected by a "Survey Team" apparently in early 2014.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
Logged

Andrew M McKenna

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 635
  • Here I am during the Maid of Harlech Survey.
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2015, 01:32:16 PM »

We talked about a lot of these issues when we did the survey in 2007, and as you might imagine, it probably won't be quite as simple as going out there and lifting it out at low tide.  Even in March, low tide only lasts so long, so the plan has to account for what happens if they are only half way finished when the moon decides to move the sea back on shore.  The tidal swing is something between say 8 and 12 ft, which is a lot of water to move back and forth twice a day, and a formidable opponent to any activity on the beach.

A cofferdam is probably a good plan, but since the aircraft is only exposed for a few hours at low tide, I think the dam should be used to keep the water "in" around the aircraft, and in effect perform an underwater recovery.  Trying to keep the sea out will be a bigger problem than keeping it in given the extent of the tides which are pretty significant.  Getting the cofferdam in place will take time, expertise, and money.

The other problem they will face is that the airframe will likely be completely full of fine sand, and if simply lifted into the air, could have structural failure of the skin or airframe due to the immense amount of weight contained inside the airframe.  That is a recipe for recovering a bunch of big pieces rather than an aircraft.  Lifting it under water would perhaps lessen this problem, and would allow for the sand to be washed out of the airframe before trying to lift it out of the water.  There is a good underwater archaeology department at the nearby university that ought to be brought into this picture.

Next, the aircraft sits in the intertidal zone between a marine nature sanctuary seaward, and a second nature sanctuary shoreward.  Both preserves need to be convinced that the plan put into effect will not cause any environmental damage to their preserves, and that included getting the heavy machinery onto the beach needed to do any kind of lifting, cranes, backhoes, cofferdam pile drivers, barges, trailers, etc.  None of that stuff is currently allowed on the beach for any reason.  In addition, those nature preserves are very concerned about any toxic spills of any kind, be they from the aircraft or the equipment brought in to do the work. 

Next is the issue of what happens to it when they get the airframe off the beach, how will it be conserved, preserved, or what?  Where will it end up?

And lastly, it is unclear to me that anybody has the right permissions, permits, and licenses (including from both nature preserves) to attempt any of this in a legal manner.

I as much as anyone, having put my hands on that aircraft in 2007 during our survey, would love to see it recovered, but it should only be done by someone who has the resources to do it right.

Simply going out at low tide in March and trying to lift it out of the sand doesn't quite sound like the right plan.  I'm eager to hear more, and I hope my impression is overly negative.

Happy New Year

Andrew
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #10 on: January 04, 2015, 11:42:45 AM »

What Andrew said.

Simply saying, "Grab your shovels and go too it, lads!!!" guarantees one thing and one thing only - The Maid will end up in a bunch of unrecognizable pieces. Not that things like permits and plans and permissions have EVER stopped some of the more brazen wreck "recoveries."

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP

Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Andrew M McKenna

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 635
  • Here I am during the Maid of Harlech Survey.
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2015, 03:26:48 PM »

Chris

Could you provide some links to "other forums" discussing this recovery idea?

Thanks

Andrew
Logged

JNev

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 778
  • It's a GOOD thing to be in the cornfield...
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2015, 06:23:04 PM »

Don't you find that 'talk' a bit tongue-in-cheek?

I do, and suspect - however well meant, there's some over-reaction here in taking it too seriously.  I rather doubt an impromptu effort could find the legs to get there in any meaningful way anyway.

Now I'm off to kidnap Lincoln's remains...  ;D
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
Logged

JNev

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 778
  • It's a GOOD thing to be in the cornfield...
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2015, 07:32:12 AM »

There's always the danger of some plundering of stuff like shipwreck debris - and mostly that's harmless (the sea's done more to destroy and disburse N.C. stuff than the occasional visitor could do anyway).

The 'Maid' is not immune to some degree of vandalism or plundering, no doubt - and will be subject to that threat as long as it rests where it presently does.  But the wholesale robbery of the artifact isn't very likely.  It really isn't easy to reach most of the time, and the area seems somewhat well protected.

Seems to me if we're that concerned with it, the best approach is to somehow find sponsorship for preserving it against the real threat - the "teeth of time" as has been said here before.  Nature probably remains a bigger threat than idle-talkers, despite her 'sleeping in the sand'.  I've seen the CSS Hunley twice - first while still having her innards excavated, and recently having been gone through and now in the de-concretion / salt extraction phase.  Time and nature are not the friends of these articles.

That means 'preservation' - and takes us to the argument of 'restoration or preservation' - and unfortunately, the 'market' for 'preservation', i.e. stablizing her 'as-is' so the public can see what time and elements do to a ditched P-38, is apparently weak.  That takes us to the more obvious urge among those able to support such things: to restore 'Maid' to her former glory as a flying machine.

I don't know the answer to that - it is in the public's hands in a sense, I suspect.  What will be paid for by those who would enjoy 'Maid's' emergence from the mud?  To see her soaring and on display at airshows as a like-new P-38, or as a representative of 'what happens to a very interesting airplane after a fairly mundane, survived loss?  The only thing interesting about the loss was the goof of running out of gas - she was not a combat victim per se.

So how to weigh 'Maid' against, say, Earhart's Electra?  No comparison: the 'Maid' (to my thinking) is a mundane story of loss - not much there to draw me to stand in amazement at her deteriorated but preserved state; the Electra on the other hand, wherever she rests, is a very compelling artifact that can tell the story of how Earhart truly met her fate.  If it is ever found and recovered, it would be a shame in my view to do other than strictly preserve the Electra for study - and I think those with the means to do so would by and large agree enough to help make that happen. 

Another case comes to mind - that of my favorite 'Golden Age' pilot, Wiley Post and his loss in a hybrid Lockheed 'Orion-Explorer' (fuselage and tail from an Orion, a wing from an Explorer - which with over-sized floats proved to be a fatal combination).  I've read all I could find on the man and of his loss, and was thunderstruck when I realized I was suddenly studying, in person, the very pilot's seat poor Post perished in during that crash at Point Barrow.  The Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington has the seat and some other remnants of that historic airplane on display in a glass case.  Having read in detail how Post's body was found, I found myself facing the distorted seat that his own body had wrecked from the forces in that crash - eerie, and a bit goulish in a way.  Yet there it was - a true aviation artifact that tells a story of how that flight ended.  There's definitely a place for these things: that seat, restored, would be a travesty; it is odd to study something so sepulchral, I admit - and yet it is important for those who care about what happened.

So it would be with, say, Earhart's airplane, by example: were it a 'crash', I wouldn't relish looking at what the bodies inside did to surrounding structure or seats, such as with Post's artifact, but it would be important to interpret and understand.  On the other hand, if not a crash but as TIGHAR hypothesizes, whatever is there would be just as important to interpret: is there evidence of a landing mishap?  Was a gear sheared away (lefthand in particular)?  What nature has done to the carcass during all these years of utter mystery as to her loss is a part of the story too.  What of so many other things relating to the lost Electra and her last flight?  And it would be priceless: who wants to risk totalling a 'restored' Earhart Electra for the sake of an airshow demonstration???

Sorry to go on so but it occurred to me to illustrate what I think are the considerations that go into these efforts and what direction is sensible to those who pay for them.  Post's seat is gut-wrenching to see, yet priceless.  I understand better now what happened on that terrible day in Point Barrow and can put it to rest, somewhat; it also reminds me of how committed the man was to his cause and how personal the cost was.  Maid?  If I'd run out of gas and ditched her, I'd be happy to see her fly again...

So personally, I don't see 'preservation as-is' with Maid - she'll either rot to pieces in time where she lies, or eventually be rescued and 'restored' so as to find the public's support in some fashion in my opinion: there is no compelling story of her loss such as with Earhart's Electra or Post's crashed Orion-Explorer.

Meanwhile I can't take bar-talk (or web-speak) too seriously - it is probably mostly restlessness over the thought of a presently largely intact P-38 just 'sitting out there for the taking' - and really knowing she's not so easy to 'take'.  No doubt there's a threat that souvenir hunters may chip away at her at some time or other - but I suggest those doing the talking are the least likely to become culprits.
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 08:10:39 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
Logged

James Champion

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 63
Re: Other Surveys!
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2015, 06:36:55 PM »

Lets remember that with the CSS Hunley no attempt was made to raise it until everything - organization, funding, people, long-term facilities, conservation plans, and custom lifting fixture were in place. Then, and only then, did they recover it.

Sounds like they are doing the Maid of Harlech all backwards. If so, they will end up with a lot of scrap and finger pointing. Not only that, an aircraft that has been buried and filled with seawater/sand is going to weigh more than a steam locomotive, and be as delicate as a tin toy.
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   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