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Author Topic: FAQ: Parts from Luke Field repairs  (Read 15543 times)

Mike Piner

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FAQ: Parts from Luke Field repairs
« on: August 26, 2010, 12:45:54 PM »

Many times I've looked through the photos and items in the Purdue Amelia Earhart collection.  This time a love leter caught my eye.  George Putnam writes to Amelia that He Loves her, and writes we should save some of the parts from the crash and send to Purdue, That we may need them for the "book".  I wonder if any tigers have searched at Purdue to see if any parts are there.  It is Item # 1115.  Maybe some of the new folk could enjoy perusing this great collection.  Google "purdue, Amelia Earhart collection".  LTM   Mike Piner #2777
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 08:28:38 PM by J. Nevill »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2010, 10:22:18 PM »

Many times I've looked through the photos and items in the Purdue Amelia Earhart collection.  This time a love leter caught my eye.  George Putnam writes to Amelia that He Loves her, and writes we should save some of the parts from the crash and send to Purdue, That we may need them for the "book".  I wonder if any TIGHARs have searched at Purdue to see if any parts are there.  It is Item # 1115.

I haven't heard of that letter before.

I think that the History Detectives show in 2008, to which TIGHAR contributed, would probably have turned up any scrap metal at Purdue.  But it wouldn't hurt to contact Purdue and ask them what they've got, if that interests you.

Quote
  Maybe some of the new folk could enjoy perusing this great collection.  Google "purdue, Amelia Earhart collection".  LTM   Mike Piner #2777

I've got that on one of our "links" pages.  If people want to recommend more good links, you can post them in this thread.
LTM,

           Marty
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Ashley Such

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2010, 07:06:19 PM »

Found the letter!

http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=1984&REC=12

Neat!  Notice that he says, "ask Lockheed to put in a corner for us."

If the box of souvenirs was assembled, it may have gone astray at Lockheed in the press of getting ready for the second attempt.  Or perhaps the Navy balked at shipping a box of scrap metal to the mainland.  Or AE may have decided it wasn't worth the effort.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Mike Piner

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #4 on: September 02, 2010, 01:39:24 PM »

Wed, September 1, 2010 5:00:50 PMRe: Amelia Earhart Collection
From: Archives Staff <spcoll@purdue.edu>View Contact
To: MICHAEL PINER <mikejeanpiner@bellsouth.net> 


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dear Mr. Piner,

I have checked the finding aid for the Earhart collection, the collection files,
and spoken with the Women's collection archivist and could not locate any
reference to parts of Earhart's airplane being transferred to Purdue.

I am sorry that we were unable to fulfill your information request.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth Wilkinson
Processing and Public Services Archivist
Karnes Archives & Special Collections Research Center

Quoting MICHAEL PINER <mikejeanpiner@bellsouth.net>:

> Sir
> Below is a request to Prof. Morris.  His staff answered, informing me that he
>
> has moved to Fla St.  If you could refer my E-mail to the proper person in
> charge of the Amelia Earhart Collection, I would greatly appreciat it.
>
> Professor Morris:
> I am a member of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery,
> TIGHAR,
> see http://www.tighar.org.
> I have been looking at all the items on The Purdue Amelia Earhart collection,
>
> which is an excellent collection , and honors the memory of Amelia quite
> well. 
> I believe I have found that you are an administrator of that collecton.  If
> this
> is true, I would like your help.  Item#1115 of the collection is a letter
> sent
> by Mr Putnam to Amelia expressing his love for her, and says to her that "We
> should save some of the parts from the Luke Field crash" , "might be useful
> for
> the book", "send to Purdue"  We are wondering if any "parts" were sent, and
> if
> so, can a search be made to ocate them at Purdue. 
>
> Anything you can help in this matter, might be useful.  For  example,
> anything
> sent to Purdue from the Lockeed plant at Alameda California might be very
> helpful to find answers as to whether AE landed on Gardner Island July 2,
> 1937.
>
> Thank you, Michael Piner, #2777


Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections
This is the result of finding who is in charge of the collection, A Prof Morris.  You can see that he has movet and the staff did a cursory search, not a physical search.  Mike Piner
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Mona Kendrick

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #5 on: September 02, 2010, 02:19:35 PM »

I visited the Purdue collection many times in person in past years when Helen Schroyer, the archivist who preceded Prof. Morris, was in charge.  Ms. Schroyer never mentioned any Luke Field parts . . . not that I knew to ask.  But I tend to think the subject would have come up in our many conversations about the collection if the parts were there.  BTW, Sammie Morris is a she, not a he.  :)

Mona
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Mike Piner

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #6 on: September 02, 2010, 04:00:10 PM »

What Great connections you have Mona, I should have known by the spelling.  There could be a corner somewhere with an unopened box.  Mike LTM
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #7 on: September 02, 2010, 04:56:44 PM »

I have checked the finding aid for the Earhart collection, the collection files,
and spoken with the Women's collection archivist and could not locate any
reference to parts of Earhart's airplane being transferred to Purdue.

Everybody with whom Roger and I spoke at the University of South Pacific denied
having a fossil collection from Gilchrist until we dug up the letter of thanks from
USP to the good doctor.  We were shown the collection in a "basement" storeroom
(not fully underground but underneath what we Americans call the "first floor")
within twenty minutes of bringing a copy of the letter to the campus.

After that, it only took ten or fifteen minutes to make sure that the only things
in the collection were fossils and the like.  One drawer in the collection was
locked, but it was too small to hold a skull and pelvis.

Roger obtained the letter by tracking down Gilchrist's lawyer and persuading him
to help us.  It was a nice piece of detective work.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Lisa Anne Hill

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2012, 01:48:17 PM »

Hi - question/thought from a newbie to the Forum -

Does anyone know of a way to determine scientifically if the aluminum found on Niku (specifically 2-2-V-1) can be matched to the scrap of aluminum (presumably) from the Luke Field crash (artifact 2-9-L-1; see A Piece of the Grail? on TIGHAR website)? I'm thinking of some sort of forensic testing but suspect that probably all the aluminum manufactured then was very much alike.
Just a thought!

Lisa
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2012, 09:30:42 PM »

Does anyone know of a way to determine scientifically if the aluminum found on Niku (specifically 2-2-V-1) can be matched to the scrap of aluminum (presumably) from the Luke Field crash (artifact 2-9-L-1; see A Piece of the Grail? on TIGHAR website)? I'm thinking of some sort of forensic testing but suspect that probably all the aluminum manufactured then was very much alike.

I'm personally not optimistic about getting a usable fingerprint from batches of aluminum.  Other TIGHARs do think it is worth exploring.  Even if each batch of aluminum does have its own spectroscopic signature, it seems to me that you would have to make a lot of assumptions about the relationship between some piece of aluminum found on Niku and a reference sample taken either from NR16020 or some other Electra.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: February 03, 2012, 09:34:39 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Bill Figeley

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #10 on: March 24, 2012, 09:10:25 AM »

Hi - question/thought from a newbie to the Forum -

Does anyone know of a way to determine scientifically if the aluminum found on Niku (specifically 2-2-V-1) can be matched to the scrap of aluminum (presumably) from the Luke Field crash (artifact 2-9-L-1; see A Piece of the Grail? on TIGHAR website)? I'm thinking of some sort of forensic testing but suspect that probably all the aluminum manufactured then was very much alike.
Just a thought!

Lisa

New to the forum, joined to ask this same specific question.  It seems to me that Lockheed's aluminum manufacturing technologies of the day were more than likely highly proprietary due to be the industry leader of the day.  My engineering brain tells me molecular orientation, density, impurities, and oxidation rates can be determining factors of origin for such an advanced material (for its day) as aircraft aluminum.  Obviously, to have a control sample (artifact 2-9-L-1) is pricess, and would certainly lend itself to providing a baseline for analysis of any suspect aluminum found on the atoll.  To me, this avenue is worth the allocation of some human and financial resources.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #11 on: March 24, 2012, 11:00:24 AM »

It seems to me that Lockheed's aluminum manufacturing technologies of the day were more than likely highly proprietary due to be the industry leader of the day.

In a forensic setting--i.e., one in which all claims are subject to "reasonable doubt"--we may not just assume that Lockheed manufactured its own aluminum in a proprietary fashion.

Alcoa, yes.  Lockheed, maybe not.

Quote
My engineering brain tells me molecular orientation, density, impurities, and oxidation rates can be determining factors of origin for such an advanced material (for its day) as aircraft aluminum.

The thought that each batch would have a unique signature does not seem to fly in the face of probability.

But where research is needed--and controlled studies to boot--is in determining the size of identifiable batches, the amount of material produced from each batch, and the extent to which one airframe would be assembled from a single batch.

Pick a Lockheed airframe from the 1930s--any airframe.  Run your identification tests on samples taken from the interior and the exterior of the plane.  If all of the samples of the various parts show the same signature, then perhaps the method might be of some use.  If you can't show the likelihood of all the parts of one plane being made from the same batch of aluminum, then you don't have a reliable tool to use in identifying bits and pieces of aluminum from Niku.

As my engineering friend says, "One observation is worth 10,000 expert opinions." 
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #12 on: March 25, 2012, 09:31:55 AM »

Nice, my first post and I get more or less flamed by a know-it-all.

I have been a member of TIGHAR for 12 years

I've read most of the content on the website more than once.

TIGHAR sent me to Fiji in 2003 with Roger Kelley to look for the Niku bones.

I am the root administrator for the website and one of the moderators of the Forum.

I am one of the principle authors of the wiki.

This is not the first time this suggestion has come up in this Forum.  I expressed my doubts about the idea in July of 2010.  That was roughly eleven years after this exchange in an older version of the Forum:

Subject: Aluminum Isotopes
Date: 4/6/99
From: Randy Jacobson

It is not the isotopes of Al that can be measured, but the impurities always found with Al in its manufacturer. You could probably determine different batches of Al used during the same year. Then the issue becomes what is original to compare the Niku samples to. I contacted some geologists who do ion mass spectrometry, and they said it would be easy to calculate parts per trillion or less for any sample of aluminum, but it does cost money. This was well before the time that TIGHAR took their pieces to Alcoa for overall analysis. It still might be worth doing, if someone can come up with the bucks (approx. 50-100k for thorough analysis of a variety of samples).

From Ric

Lockheed did not build each Model 10 from a discrete batch of aluminum. The best you could come up with would be something like, "This aluminum found on Niku seems to be from the same batch of aluminum that was used to build Earhart's plane. Of course, we don't know how many other planes of what types may have been built from that same batch or whether aluminum from that batch hung around for years and may have been later used for wartime repairs, etc."

I can think of better ways to spend $100,000.


I don't consider it "flaming" to ask you to think about the kind of evidence that you have to provide to meet the standard of "reasonable doubt" about your proposal.  I don't know it all, but I know enough to be qualified to question whether spectroscopy will be of my use in establishing or disestablishing the Niku hypothesis.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
« Last Edit: March 25, 2012, 09:35:41 AM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Ricker H Jones

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #13 on: March 25, 2012, 10:38:28 AM »

The owner of the "Piece of the Gail" was approached to submit the Luke Field aluminum artifact for an NAA (Neutron Activation Analysis) for comparison with the Niku artifact, but he was reluctant to do so.  Such an analysis would have been problematic for the reasons Marty explained, and the fact that aluminum posited to be from the Electra could have been from the batch used for its repair following the Luke Field accident-- not from the original manufacture.  Your suggestion, however, has merit.
Rick J
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: parts from Luke Field repairs
« Reply #14 on: March 25, 2012, 02:01:22 PM »


As my engineering friend says, "One observation is worth 10,000 expert opinions."

Nice, my first post and I get more or less flamed by a know-it-all.
Welcome, Bill --

Don't look upon anything anyone writes as a "flame" ... they're all "learning opportunities."  :D  And the Forumites welcome you and want to help you learn as much as you can.  Really.

The none-too-subtle point is this: there is a monstrous amount of well-stated information on the TIGHAR website itself, supplemented by a lot of thoughtful articles in the Ameliapedia -- so much written stuff that its sheer volume is daunting.  And then there's the "Forum" -- which is a free-for-all of theories, conjectures, suppositions, and blatant blowing of horns, all of which makes for either delightful banter or frustrating garrulousness, depending upon ones mood or point of view.

And no matter which of the several "search" mechanisms are available for the website, Ameliapedia, or the Forum, I've found that being able to find things I'm looking for often a great challenge.

Don't view what Marty wrote as a flame, please.  His point is an important form of instruction.  I notice that in your initial post, you wrote

New to the forum, joined to ask this same specific question. 

But go back and look carefully at that first post of yours:  nary a question mark in sight throughout the rest of your post.  Instead, you posit, in authoritative manner, a theory about things ... things that, it turns out, have been bandied about in both the new and old Forums for literally years, and beaten to death with a stick.  But, as I said, sometimes it's hard to find those long-ago items.

If you mean to ask a question, you'll find lots of people eager to draw you into the discussion.  But present yourself as some kind of knowledgeable authority (even if you are!) and be prepared to have others both share and challenge.  A thick skin will sometimes be needed.

By the way, I've got lots of bruises from things I've written here.  But I've learned to take everything in the spirit it's really meant:  we're all seeking the truth, and we do like to share what we know with others.

Oh, one last thought about your first post.  You wrote
Quote
To me, this avenue is worth the allocation of some human and financial resources.
Donations are always welcome! :)

LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
« Last Edit: March 26, 2012, 06:36:31 AM by Bruce Thomas »
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