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Author Topic: Mystery Debris  (Read 14454 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #15 on: July 29, 2017, 07:06:52 AM »

Regardless of where the debris at the NW tip came from, any wide-area underwater search for Electra debris will, of course, include the area north of where the plane presumably went into the water.
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Brian Tannahill

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #16 on: July 29, 2017, 09:26:43 AM »

Ric,

Am I correct in thinking that the Mystery Debris was not recovered from the island?  These two pieces are heavy, and the transportation costs could be significant.

A piece of steel this size weighs around 250 pounds / 115 kg. (36 x 48 inches, x .5 = 864 cubic inches; a cubic foot is 1728 cubic inches, so this is one half of a cubic foot.  A cubic foot of steel weighs about 500 pounds.)  The rivet holes would reduce the weight somewhat, and the measurements are approximate, but that should be a decent estimate.

Some other questions, assuming for the moment that these pieces are from the Norwich City:

Could the fire on board the Norwich City have damaged the rivets so that they deteriorated more quickly than the rest of the piece?  And a related question, is there any evidence the piece was exposed to fire?

Is the pattern of rivets - double rows of rivets at the edge, and a single row within the piece - characteristic of any particular part of the ship?

It took a lot of force to warp the metal into its current shape.  Could this piece be from a section of the NC that was twisted when the stern broke off?

An additional possibility, and this might be closer to wild speculation:  Could these pieces have been used as counterweights on a pulley system, for hauling equipment or people up the tower? 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #17 on: July 29, 2017, 09:42:59 AM »

Am I correct in thinking that the Mystery Debris was not recovered from the island?

Yes, you are correct.

Could the fire on board the Norwich City have damaged the rivets so that they deteriorated more quickly than the rest of the piece? 

I don't know if that's possible. None of the other pieces of NC wreckage has missing rivets.

And a related question, is there any evidence the piece was exposed to fire?

I don't know. What would such evidence look like?

Is the pattern of rivets - double rows of rivets at the edge, and a single row within the piece - characteristic of any particular part of the ship?

I don't know enough about the ship to answer that.

It took a lot of force to warp the metal into its current shape.  Could this piece be from a section of the NC that was twisted when the stern broke off?

Maybe, but it looks too thin to be hull plating.

An additional possibility, and this might be closer to wild speculation:  Could these pieces have been used as counterweights on a pulley system, for hauling equipment or people up the tower?

I don't know, but I doubt it.
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Brian Tannahill

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #18 on: July 29, 2017, 10:38:13 AM »

And a related question, is there any evidence the piece was exposed to fire?
I don't know. What would such evidence look like?

I've seen sheet aluminum discolored from being close to a flame.  Steel might show a similar discoloration, especially from an intense fire such as the Norwich City, but that's way beyond my expertise.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #19 on: July 29, 2017, 02:41:18 PM »

(snip)
But the rivet holes suggest it was very old. At the same time its level of corrosion looks very different than the steel at the Norwich City wreck. It could have been out of the water or buried for a long time.
How could rivets erode away and leave the main piece relatively un corroded?
How could that piece have broken up without some rivets remaining?
How could a broken piece like that possibly be part of something that floated?
It’s all weird. My best guess is the pieces are from the Norwich City and were used for some purpose near that site. Rivets may have been removed by man for that purpose. After being used it was abandoned and left somewhere near the shore.


Googling a bit, I came upon this site;  http://njscuba.net/artifacts/obj_hull_steel.php ...seems the old time rivets dissolve more readily than the material that it holds together.
But that information doesn't seem to help much with how the rivets disappeared from this sheet,( does not rule out mother nature or man's hand), though I favor mother nature, as it would seem a huge task to remove those rivets without leaving chisel marks surrounding the holes, or using a large enough drill on that isolated island, all the while with the sheet out on the reef or still attached to the parent body.
 It is interesting that the plate debris we see around the Norwich City winch has all the rivets intact, however what of the constantly submerged plates on the bottom of the ship, or those that had fallen off early on in the eroding process and into the water nearby, .....it would be interesting to observe to see if rivets are present in them or not.
As far as what appears to be warpage on the sheet,.....factory shaping to create the contours in the hull?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2017, 08:14:30 PM by Jerry Germann »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #20 on: July 31, 2017, 11:08:59 AM »

We now have a second photo of the mystery debris.  It seems to be a single piece. It’s apparently L shaped and it is clearly a piece ripped from a larger structure. For a piece of plate to rip like that, the larger structure has to be immobile (the classic irresistible force hitting the immovable object) and the rivets must be present and strong when that happens.  Two of the edges are finished edges that were once riveted to the larger structure with double-rows of rivets.  There’s no damage to the finished edges so they must have separated from the larger structure due to the loss of the rivets.  So we have an implied two-part sequence:
1. A big chunk gets ripped out of a larger, stable structure.
2. Rivets holding the big chunk together eventually weaken and drop away, allowing the piece we see on the North Cape to separate.

Finally, the piece must arrive on the shore BEFORE a subsequent event deposits a big ol’ coral rock on top of it.

I still have no idea where the thing came from but I think there’s more of it offshore the north cape. I have to wonder if there was a ship lost out there that we don’t now about.
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Leon R White

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #21 on: July 31, 2017, 12:19:35 PM »

A look at the coral pieces on the metal, suggest they were part of, or came from similar, metal.  The highlights appear to show marks matching a rivet, or rivet-like item. (Enlarge to see.)  There are other marks that might be related to the imprint of an object.  At the top circle I suppose there could be some kind of metal, or frame, or? with a numeral similar to a "4."  I had to reduce the detail in my photo to upload it, so the "4" looks like a 2, but if you ck out Ric's original you might see something there.

Conclusion? Looks like a piece of metal with some rocks on it.

L
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #22 on: July 31, 2017, 12:30:48 PM »

I think you're pushing it Leo.
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Matt Revington

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #23 on: July 31, 2017, 01:18:45 PM »

Footings for the bilby towers for use on soil were supposed to be as shown in the attached diagram with a board inserted into a 4 foot hole and the  inner and outer towers bolted to it.  I wonder if the Bushnell anticipated that this would not be possible on the coral reefs and picked up scrap plating from some port to bring to the island.   Then they could just anchor the plate to the concrete pads they poured and bolt the tower legs to the plate.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #24 on: July 31, 2017, 01:45:42 PM »

I wonder if the Bushnell anticipated that this would not be possible on the coral reefs and picked up scrap plating from some port to bring to the island.   Then they could just anchor the plate to the concrete pads they poured and bolt the tower legs to the plate.

Yeah, but the L shape would be hard to explain.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #25 on: July 31, 2017, 03:26:50 PM »

The finish on  the Mystery Debris looks less “crusty” than any of the examples I have seen of NC debris so far. 

Can we compare the Mystery Debris to Norwich City steel that went through different environments? For example:
1.   Steel that is on the reef getting water and air every day.(One example already provided)
2.   Steel underwater a long time. For example, what does the steel on the stern that was discovered by ROV in 2012 look like?
3.   Steel above the water level most of the time( like on the very top part of the boiler that was above water for most of the time. Any other close up pictures of the boilers?).

Assuming the NC shipwreck is the culprit, it’s hard to see how debris, that can’t float, went that direction and got that far without several other examples seen between it and the wreck.
It could be the way it moved is the anomaly. For example, take the boiler disappearance Bill Mangus mentioned before. What is interesting about the boiler is it could move differently than other debris and its top parts had less exposure to water for a longer time. Maybe if storm surge forced it on its side it could roll far relatively quickly. I don’t see any familiar pattern to the rivets but maybe it rolled with other parts it was connected to, and then that part became detached when rolling over the north edge.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2017, 03:53:54 PM by Greg Daspit »
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #26 on: July 31, 2017, 05:49:20 PM »

Talking about contrary movement; Ric check me on this. Prevailing winds and current are from NE, pushing most debris SW towards the opening to the lagoon. I may be incorrectly remembering but wasn't the NC driven aground in a NW gale? If a similar storm happened in the past year or so,that would have driven the missing boiler and perhaps other items towards the point in question.
Bill Mangus
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #27 on: July 31, 2017, 07:58:08 PM »

I wonder if the big bit in photo #1 is part of the boiler that went missing sometime last year.  The multiple-row rivet pattern in photo #1 seems close to what can be seen of the remaining boiler in the upper-right corner of photo 2.
Bill, Can you point me to where it was reported that a boiler went missing last year?
3971R
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #28 on: July 31, 2017, 09:00:36 PM »

Bill, Can you point me to where it was reported that a boiler went missing last year?

He may be referring to "The Long Farewell."
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Mystery Debris
« Reply #29 on: July 31, 2017, 10:02:15 PM »

Bill, Can you point me to where it was reported that a boiler went missing last year?

He may be referring to "The Long Farewell."

Thank you Marty.
I mistakenly thought "Tank 3" was the boiler in the images I had seen before. The boiler is noted as missing in the 2015 picture. I don't see it in the 2010 picture. It seems to have been shifty.
3971R
 
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