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Author Topic: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream  (Read 444949 times)

Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #570 on: February 27, 2013, 07:03:57 AM »

I do not see the freckle cream jar as a diagnostic artefact because it comes from a locale which, if I understand the various archaeological assessments provided by TIGHAR and some interesting commentary from another archaeologist who posted here some time back correctly, is seriously corrupted in terms of the overlapping and intertwined activity at the site. Given that TIGHAR's own consultant archaeologist has misgivings who am I, a simple interested bystander, to argue with that.

You and some others obviously ascribe different gradations of value to various lines of evidence.  I accept that and quite frankly I really don't see why it poses some identity crisis for TIGHAR, as you imagine.  What's wrong with pursuing multiple lines of evidence?

In the next few days, I'd like to get past the epistemological questions and talk about what Greg George told me regarding the idea for soil sample analysis.  If this is no longer a subject of interest, I'll reserve it for our later presentation, in which I trust some members of the public not here represented might be mildly interested.

I see a lot of straw men assigned here, to Ric, to Tom, to one and all.  Because sentence by sentence, I really don't disagree with anything said in the last couple of posts in terms of what we have or have not proven.  Yet you say I do disagree.  I don't get it.

But I think there is a larger point on which I and, yes, the "archaeological consultant" do disagree, and that is on the value of archaeological field research.  It would be helpful if those who have criticized would list those most promising avenues for research they are personally pursuing and the steps they are taking to contribute to that effort. (Tim Mellon, your generosity and heart is legendary, and appreciated.  I hugely respect it, so please do not consider yourself included in this comment.) I and the team working with me are in fact doing our very best, both in terms of our time and our limited resources. We think it worthwhile.  We do not think we are solving the Earhart mystery but merely helping to build a circumstantial case.  We are not about to be dissuaded by the criticisms.

Here's what Dr. King, the consultant archaeologist had to say about the straw man advanced in his name this morning:

"I think it's a silly argument, and I wouldn't pay much attention to it.  If my quick read of the posts is accurate, the critics are basically saying "It's not a smoking gun, so ignore it."  That's a juvenile way to conceptualize research, and not worth attending to."

Maybe I should have taken his advice.  But I must add that one thing that you are doing, which is quite valuable, is to cause me to take a very critical look at my field notes and to question things I've been told.  Is my case on this or that point - the hazmat argument I made earlier is an example - as good as I believe it to be?  What are its strengths?  What are its weaknesses?  For that part of the discussion, you do have my gratitude.

Joe Cerniglia
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william patterson

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #571 on: February 27, 2013, 07:43:01 AM »

1. We don't know what mixture this jar held.
2. We dont know what year the glass was produced.
3. We don't know if Amelia ever used whatever this glass held.
4. We dont know if Amelia carried the unknown substance, from the unknown dated jar when flying on her last trip.
5. We dont know if this jar was marketed to women.

 It is getting tiresome hearing that "no other European woman was lost in the Phoenix chain 1902-1940. Well, first of all we don't know if that is a true statement or not, and secondly we don't know this jar was used by a European or American woman! With statements like that, is it any wonder why Reuters or Discovery picked up and ran with this "freckle Cream" hypothesis?

There are just too many "we don't knows" for this jar to be considered even the most tenuous of evidence for Earhart being on Niku.
An analogy would be finding a partial label of a cigarette pack next to a 1980 murder victim in a field. Then saying this is somehow evidence that a certain suspect committed the crime. Well we would have to know the following-
1. Did the suspect even smoke? We cant say for sure.
2. Did the paper pack arrive there the same time as the victim or was it deposited another time? Another Unknown
3. Did the suspect smoke that brand, and has he ever been seen with that brand of smokes? Another Unknown.

But we do know the paper pack was made from 1960 to 1975 and that is close to 1980, and the suspect might have smoked, so the suspect might have been near the victim.

Given those facts,I doubt anyone would seriously believe the cigarette pack had any connection to the suspect at all.
This Cream jar is exactly the same as the cigarette pack, so many unknowns, so little relevance, yet it was reported as possibly
exciting new evidence.
Now some would say that is a  bad analogy because this isn't a criminal case, or some might say we have to look at the "context of the jar and how it along with other artifacts and known history" make this jar important.
I say nuts to that idea.
Like somehow lots of non relevant artifacts strenghten each other in evidence weight. Does 1 plus 1 equal 3? Is this a new math?
That "half a loaf", or "half a bridge" theory is new math to me and is reaching beyond the scope of real evidence into the world of making an exciting journalistic story.

If one piece of evidence has zero connection to Earhart, then 5 other equally non relevant artifacts do not combine and somehow become relevant and assume a greater weight. Each piece and artifact has to stand on it's own merits. The Jar has to have a proven connection to Earhart to be taken seriously. So to each his own standard, but for me, this doesn't meet the minimum of any relevance at all.  All we have is a possible skin care product in a jar which was most likely made between 1900-1930 and Earhart was also flying over the pacific in 1937. That's it. Nothing more.
That is weaker than iced tea.
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Matt Revington

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #572 on: February 27, 2013, 08:09:18 AM »


If one piece of evidence has zero connection to Earhart, then 5 other equally non relevant artifacts do not combine and somehow become relevant and assume a greater weight. Each piece and artifact has to stand on it's own merits. The Jar has to have a proven connection to Earhart to be taken seriously. So to each his own standard, but for me, this doesn't meet the minimum of any relevance at all.  All we have is a possible skin care product in a jar which was most likely made between 1900-1930 and Earhart was also flying over the pacific in 1937. That's it. Nothing more.
That is weaker than iced tea.

I disagree with your analysis William, while no single piece of circumstantial evidence from the 7 site is in itself convincing the body does carry more weight, every piece does not have to conclusive. 

A quote from the wiki site on circumstantial evidence ( of course wiki must be taken with a grain of salt)

"Circumstantial evidence is evidence in which an inference is required to connect it to a conclusion of fact, like a fingerprint at the scene of a crime. By contrast, direct evidence supports the truth of an assertion directly—i.e., without need for any additional evidence or the intervening inference.
On its own, it is the nature of circumstantial evidence for more than one explanation to still be possible. Inference from one piece of circumstantial evidence may not guarantee accuracy. Circumstantial evidence usually accumulates into a collection, so that the pieces then become corroborating evidence. Together, they may more strongly support one particular inference over another. An explanation involving circumstantial evidence becomes more valid as proof of a fact when the alternative explanations have been ruled out."
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 08:14:09 AM by Matt Revington »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #573 on: February 27, 2013, 09:54:51 AM »

Quote from: Alan Harris link=topic=261.msg23884#msg23884 date
In my opinion we tend to use "science" as a rather fuzzy and elastic concept on these pages.  I suspect that your textbook was referring more to basic scientific research or inquiry, as in:  "What the heck is gravity?" or "Is 'string theory' valid or a bunch of nonsense?". 
Not at all. The book in question was discussing, in context of the quotation, why it was that atmospheric constituents of Titan, one of Saturn's moons, appear to be escaping into space when measured conditions seemed to argue against that occurrence.  This is not epistemology or abstract questioning; it's scientific inquiry aimed at a very specific problem.

Quote from: Alan Harris link=topic=261.msg23884#msg23884 date
The order of the day is applied science: investigation into concrete things according to scientific principles, aka forensic investigation.
Couldn't agree more.

Quote from: Alan Harris link=topic=261.msg23884#msg23884 date
Imagine the chief of an FBI laboratory coming in and asking, "OK, guys, what can you tell me about the origin of the murder bullet and the gun that fired it?  It's our most critical evidence"  And the reply coming back, "Chief, our inquiry has been very diligent and we're proud to say that we've managed to come up with 22 new questions to ask you about it."  I don't think so.  Even civil servants would get fired for that.
Civil servants don't seem to have the best track record on Earhart's disappearance.  Maybe this is why.  Seems to me a woman named Betty had some information and some questions for some civil service agents a while back.  As I recall their response was about what you describe.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078 ECR
« Last Edit: February 27, 2013, 10:06:46 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Lauren Palmer

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #574 on: February 27, 2013, 10:18:49 AM »

Whatever/whose-ever the stupid ointment comes out to be: Even if AE comes back from the grave to claim it's hers, apparently some would still not believe it, judging by some of the comments here. I had a college German professor (a Nazi officer from WWII) claiming no German Nazi hurt any Jew.  Since I wasn't born at the time to watch, I cannot refute him "scientifically" then or now, according to some of these readers I'll bet!
We need to get out of the trees and start looking at the whole forest, I think. :-*
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #575 on: February 27, 2013, 10:38:32 AM »

Perhaps I have gone beyond the scope of the original question but personally I can see no firm evidence to safely assume anything about the jar or its relations with Earhart or anyone else.

You didn't even answer the original question but you have confirmed my suspicion that you are more interested in flinging down caltrops (nice metaphor) than in any rational assessment of the evidence.  We'll continue to assess the likelihood of what the jar contained and who brought it to the island based on the research and testing we're able to do. 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #576 on: February 27, 2013, 10:54:10 AM »

We need to get out of the trees and start looking at the whole forest, I think. :-*

Thank you Lauren.  The jar is one tree in a forest of artifacts, faunals, features and archival records that clearly describe the presence of a castaway, almost certainly a 1930s female, who lived and died at the Seven Site.  Rather than offer evidence of who such a castaway might be, if not the 1930s female who is known to have disappeared in the region, the Naysayer Brigade attacks a single aspect of a single artifact and does it with bird dung no less.  Such desperation is a measure of the strength of our hypothesis.
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Dan Swift

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #577 on: February 27, 2013, 01:29:04 PM »

Well said Lauren!  And well said Ric! 
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #578 on: February 27, 2013, 01:42:09 PM »

Rather than offer evidence of who such a castaway might be, if not the 1930s female who is known to have disappeared in the region, ...

Ric, of course you may be correct that there was a castaway at the Seven Site, possibly a female of stature comparable to Amelia Earhart. But that does not mean that the castaway was Amelia Earhart, I am sure you will agree.

The sequence I now believe in based upon my extensive search of the deep via the Xtra High Definition videos is as follows:

     1. NR16020 lands on reef 2 July 1937;
     2. Radio transmissions are heard by at least six credible witnesses for three days;
     3. Lambrecht overflies Nikumaroro 9 July 1937 and observes signs of "human habitation" but reports no sighting of lost aircraft.

IMHO, the aircraft must have been washed off the reef in the several days between the last transmission and the time of the Lambrecht over-flight. And inasmuch as I believe, through observation, that essentially the entire aircraft lies directly off the shore from the so-called "Bevington Object" (which may or may not be one of the landing gears from the subject aircraft) and that within the debris field I believe I can see the bodies of the two crew members of NR16020 (in a somewhat disturbing configuration), I then do not see how one or both crew members could have walked to the Seven Site, set up camp, cooked birds and fish, strewn artifacts to be found by future generations, and then returned to the aircraft to be swept off the reef before the arrival of the US Navy.

But maybe I am missing something. I will keep an open mind.
Tim
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Will Hatchell

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #579 on: February 27, 2013, 02:55:59 PM »

Well said, Tim! And based on your own direct observations through hours of studying the evidence at hand.
Hatch

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Dan Kelly

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #580 on: February 27, 2013, 04:59:33 PM »

Perhaps I have gone beyond the scope of the original question but personally I can see no firm evidence to safely assume anything about the jar or its relations with Earhart or anyone else.

You didn't even answer the original question but you have confirmed my suspicion that you are more interested in flinging down caltrops (nice metaphor) than in any rational assessment of the evidence.  We'll continue to assess the likelihood of what the jar contained and who brought it to the island based on the research and testing we're able to do.

With respect Mr Gillespie I did answer the original question - but because I am not a hostile witness on the stand required to give yes/no answers I pointed out how loaded your question was as to what was required by it and what can be implied by simple yes/no answers.

In a nutshell show me data that demonstrates conclusively that the jar did indeed contain a mercury compound freckle cream by also ruling out contamination from environmental factors and I will accept that it is a freckle cream jar. Then show me evidence that Earhart had a clear glass jar of Dr Berry's Freckle Cream (one that had appears to have been out of production for over 15 years) on her last flight and I will accept that you have found her. Is that unreasonable? Now there isn't a strawman there at all that I can see, but no doubt someone will find him hidden.  :)
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Alan Harris

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #581 on: February 27, 2013, 05:51:22 PM »

. . . a clear glass jar of Dr Berry's Freckle Cream (one that had appears to have been out of production for over 15 years) . . .

No offense to you personally, Mr. Kelly, but just in general: unless new dating evidence has been shown that I've missed, it's been getting a little sloppy here recently about the jar's production date, e.g. casual references to "1905-1935", "1900-1930" and the like.  Hazel-Atlas advertising shows that sales of cosmetic jars in clear glass ceased in 1917, so it's 20 years.  Complete production records for H-A have not been found and so this is not conclusively proved to be the last possible date, but in my opinion everything that has so far been exhibited supports and adds weight to that date, and nothing firmly contradicts it.  Again, I have not scrupulously followed the topic on a daily basis, so please correct me if there are recent discoveries/developments.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Dr. Berry's Freckle Cream
« Reply #582 on: February 27, 2013, 06:06:25 PM »

In a nutshell show me data that demonstrates conclusively that the jar did indeed contain a mercury compound freckle cream by also ruling out contamination from environmental factors and I will accept that it is a freckle cream jar.

To do that we would have to do a chemical analysis of the dung of birds that have been dead for 75 years.

Then show me evidence that Earhart had a clear glass jar of Dr Berry's Freckle Cream (one that had appears to have been out of production for over 15 years) on her last flight and I will accept that you have found her. Now there isn't a strawman there at all that I can see, but no doubt someone will find him hidden.

Your straw man isn't hidden at all.  You set up the straw man that we are asserting that the jar belonged to Earhart even though we have repeatedly said that the jar can never be proof that Earhart was there.   It's clear that you are either unable or refuse to engage in honest discussions about the evidence.  Goodbye Mr. Kelly.
I think Jeff is right.  This thread has run its course. We'll open a new thread on the jar when Joe Cerniglia is ready to make his full report.
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