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Author Topic: FAQ: Visually Estimating Electra Tire Diameter - old photos  (Read 45498 times)

John Ousterhout

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #45 on: June 17, 2012, 02:01:13 PM »

An excellant photo for analysis - the camera is directly on a parallel line, with minimal parallax.  I get a tire radius 17.9 inches, for an apparent diameter of about 35-3/4 inches.  There remains some error from the remaining angles, but the obvious conclusion is that the tire is pretty close to 36 inches in diameter, just as reported in the Luke field inventory.
Heath's redlines don't quite line up with the fuzzy top and bottom of the tire, and I don't know what he used for a relative dimension.  The cowling is closer to the camera than the tire, so it appears bigger, and the tire smaller.  There are enough bits of the aircraft visible to allow more thorough analysis by computing angles and using trig, but why?
Is there any point in continuing to analyze more photos? 
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #46 on: June 17, 2012, 10:36:39 PM »

Heath asks "Out of curiosity, which photo were you looking at when you measured nearly 36 inches?"
answer: the "June 2 Venezuela 1937" photo. The only clear edges to take dimensions from are the center of the nearest hub, and the forward edge of the nearest tire.  The bottom of the nearest tire is squashed out of shape, and the top is obscured as well as undifferentiable from the far tire, so I used the distance from hub center to foward edge to measure.  The cowling was measured across the major diameter of the forward ring (54 inches), and assumed to be on nearly the same plane as the nearest tire.  There isn't enough tire showing to get an undistorted diameter measurement.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Heath Smith

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #47 on: June 18, 2012, 08:35:03 AM »

John,

After studying the photo I agree that it is not as good as it first appeared. The tire appears to be very under inflated making the measurements difficult. As you mentioned there are no real great reference points however I do think we can make a pretty good estimate.

Could you do a couple more measurements if you do not mind?

Can you verify your measurement / coordinate scheme by measuring the rim flange in multiple areas, taking multiple measurements perpendicular to each other to verify that any distortions in the X-Y plane are accounted for? After doing so, can you please tell me your estimate for the diameter of the rim? It will be interesting to see if we can concur on that diameter. If any modifications are made, please re-verify the cowling diameter. I measured at the thin black line on the cowling. Reading up a bit on the cowling on TIGHAR, an L10E cowling was found to be exactly 53.5 inches.

Next, please take a measurement from the center of the axle to the edge of the tire as shown in the attached picture. Although the camera is not perfectly square to the axle, it should give us the ability to compare measurements.

I do believe that we are both attempting to the best of our ability to take these measurements. It will be interesting to see if we can find a consensus on the measurements.

Thanks.
« Last Edit: June 18, 2012, 08:41:05 AM by Heath Smith »
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #48 on: June 18, 2012, 12:31:31 PM »

Heath, Jeff Glickman has done an analysis of the picture in question, and of the analysis in question. He presented the verbal summary of that at the just-completed Earhart 75 symposium, in which he stated that the round object appeared to have a diameter of about 36-inches. Which would make it consistent with the main landing gear of a certain Lockheed Electra 10E Special according to all published and written records. Jeff uses, among other things, proprietary software that he developed to complete that analysis.

Just for what it's worth, "Mr. Glickman provides expert witness testimony and expert reports for the enhancement, reconstruction and recovery of photographic and video imagery. Mr. Glickman is a Board Certified Forensic Examiner, a Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners, and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. Mr. Glickman previously served Governor Gregoire on the Washington State Forensic Investigations Council which supervises the State's crime labs. He is President-Elect of the American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, Puget Sound Region."

He's staking his professional reputation on saying that that "thing" in that image has a round shape and that appears to be 36-inches in diameter. And that that is consistent with the last know tires and wheels as installed on our favorite Electra.

LTM, who usually trusts the paper he pushes,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #49 on: June 18, 2012, 04:33:08 PM »


Here is a good photo allowing you to compare the cowling, believed to be 54" with the tire. Taken in 1937, Venezuela.

Okay, Heath, I decided to go ahead and play amateur photo sleuth, since that picture you posted of NR16020 being serviced in Venezuela was pretty much side-on from the photographer's point of view.  It's to be hoped, therefore, that problems with perspective will be greatly minimized.

First (see the first attachment below) I brought one of the Harney drawings -- the one that shows both the engine cowling and the main gear (raised) -- into Photoshop.  In red, I drew a vertical line for that portion of the engine cowling that is supposed to have been 53.5" in diameter, and another vertical line from the center of the tire hub out to the edge of the tire. 

There is a nice measurement scale in the lower-left corner of the Harney drawing.  I used Photoshop to create a copy of that ruler, rotated it 90 degrees clockwise, and laid copies up against the two vertical red lines I made.  I hope you'll agree that the one for the cowling shows its length to be just shy of 4'6" (54"), so I call that 53.5" .  Then, the vertical red line for the tire's radius is looking to be something just shy of 1'6" (18"), so I call that 17.5" -- which doubles to 35", of course.  So I feel comfortable that the Harney drawing is faithful to the tire diameter of 35" that the Aircraft Inspection Report documents.

Next, I brought the Venezuela picture into Photoshop, rotated it slightly counter-clockwise (similar to what you had done earlier) so that the place on the cowling is vertical, and drew a red line for the cowling, and another for the tire radius (but I took a horizontal radius so that the "tire squat" would not distort things).  In the first version of the Venezuela picture attached below, I also show the same vertical ruler that I copy-and-pasted from the other photo, off to the left edge and resized appropriately. 

So, in the second variant of the Venezuela picture, I have moved the vertical ruler up against the red line for the cowling, and you can verify that the ruler shows the same length as in the Harney drawing:  53.5".  Now, a horizontal copy of that same ruler is laid against the red line that runs from the hub of the gear to the edge of the tire.  Voila.  That's clearly 17.5" in radius, and therefore the tire is 35" in diameter. 

So, even though I said I'd trust the Aircraft Inspection Report, and I am not a forensic photo analyst, I do come from a long time of Doubting Thomases, and I couldn't resist this exercise.  I'm hopeful that it'll help to show that the tires truly were 35" in diameter -- at least in Venezuela  :D.   
LTM,

Bruce
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JNev

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #50 on: July 04, 2012, 03:56:50 PM »

The 'museum picture' and the 'Bandoeng picture' (both appearing elsewhere in this string so I won't repeat posting them) show a rather definite difference in tire diameter if you compare them side-by-side visually - the museum tire leaves noticably more 'gap' in the mud guard, and for what it's worth, seems 'indexed' to a smaller radius compared to the strut fork as well.  The NR16020 tire in the Bandoeng picture rather more closely fills the mud guard arc and rises a bit higher (visually, for what worth) against the reinforced weldment where the vertical strut-fork 'shoulders' into the sloping strut-fork member.  I think the mud-guard arc proximity consideration is probably rather accurate as-viewed; the strut / tire relationship would appear more subjective, but perhaps is still meaningful for comparison. 

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 09:11:17 PM by J. Nevill »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #51 on: July 06, 2012, 08:46:49 AM »

I believe the inference here is that it was analysts at the State Department that made this claim. This is by definition a blind study, when you are not told what you are looking at.

I doubt very much that it was a "blind study."  Parts of it may have been, but I don't see any way that completely independent analysts could exclude all other airplanes other than the Electra as the source for the landing gear, if it was a landing gear.  What they could do would be to check the steps in Jeff's work to see if there were any obvious errors.
  • Is it a picture of a real object or is it a defect in the negative or the print?
  • Is the image part of the original picture or is it a hoax?
  • Did Glickman scale and rotate the components of the Electra landing gear properly?
  • When scaled and rotated, do the components of the Electra landing gear really fit the image?
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Glickman of course has made no such claim and has stated that the Bevington object is "consistent with" the landing gear and tire from the Electra.

Agreed.  I'm pretty sure that's all that the government analysts agreed to as well.  That is very different from the garbled claim that the peer reviewers worked in the dark and selected the Electra landing gear as the only possible match for the image.
LTM,

           Marty
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #52 on: July 06, 2012, 09:55:18 AM »

The tire in the photograph at the museum is from an L10E that was donated to the museum. The plane was manufactured a few months prior to Earhart's Electra. You can investigate that yourself if you are so inclined.

Heath, I want to take you up on your gracious offer to let me investigate that by myself.  Please provide me with the specifics of which museum has the L10E and where that museum is located.  It's okay if you just provide a link to the museum's website.  I hope you'll also provide details of how you ascertained the manufacture date for that specific aircraft.  Oh, I pray you're not going to tell me that it's the New England Air Museum, and that their Lockheed L10A, c/n 1052 (just 3 numbers before AE's L10E, so obviously "manufactured a few months prior to Earhart's Electra"), is really an L10E!  We'll just have to demand a change in their signage and the disciplining of their curator!  Regardless, how dare they display any Lockheed Electra with tires more suitable to today's paved runways!  Don't they know we're depending on them to help us discover the facts about something that happened 75 years ago? Sheesh! 

Maybe a pretty comprehensive list of museums and other places where the remaining Lockheed Electras are would be of help.

The photographs of the Electra as it made the journey around the globe trump speculation, documentation, and or any other paper evidence that can be produced. This is of course something that can be studied by those with the capability going forward although I doubt there is much interest to do so. I have already done the measurements and am convinced that the tire was not 35 or 36" in diameter.

I'm glad that you're convinced that Amelia pulled a fast one on the inspector from the Bureau of Air Commerce who certified that the tires on NR16020 were 35" in diameter.  Where do you think they secretly swapped the tires?  Miami?  Puerto Rico?  Obviously, I'm still convinced that they were what the inspector said they were.

Concerning the results shared by Jeff Glickman at last month's Earhart75 Symposium, you wrote:

I have had the 4800 dpi image for a couple of months. Personally I do not see anything that resembles an Electra landing gear, tire, and mangled versions of either.

Could you share that 4800 dpi image with the rest of us?  All I've seen is a hand-held shot of Jeff's PowerPoint image on a projection screen, taken by Irv Donald from 50-75 feet away (Thanks, Irv! Love your camera. I still owe you for dinner.), and if that's all you've got to look at, too, I agree that it is quite difficult to interpret -- but then, neither of us is highly trained in photogrammetry, right?  (Gee, do you think it might just be a weird piece of coral?  :D )  But I've got a good excuse -- according to you, I'm challenged to even make enough sense of a clear picture of AE's L10E sitting on the ground in Venezuela to correctly judge the size of its tires.   ::)

... but I would like to see Glickman's analysis of the Bevington oject if he ever decides to publish it.

Wouldn't we all!

"... not having any idea of what they were looking at ..."

I think that in court, that would be known as "hearsay" evidence.  When I heard Dr. Ballard say that in his remarks at the State Department meeting, I smiled and wished for a TV camera to have been focused on the faces of those unnamed photo analysts.  I remember thinking to myself, "Now, Bob, let's not get carried away."
LTM,

Bruce
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #53 on: July 06, 2012, 10:12:53 AM »

Perhaps there was a bit of mis-communication going on there as to the actual events at the State Department but he did make his statement at the podium.

I am attributing the garbling to Ballard himself or to the person who described the peer review of Jeff's work.

I'm not denying that it was said in the Press Conference.  I'm denying that it was a credible statement.  Ballard or someone who spoke with him overstated the conclusion that someone could reach from a "blind" review of the image.

Quote
To have declared that the landing gear as being from a 1937 Electra would be incredulous to put it kindly.

That's why I don't believe that the statement Ballard made at the Press Conference is true.  It is incredible, i.e., not worthy of belief.  (People are credulous or incredulous, not propositions.)

LTM,

           Marty
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Heath Smith

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #54 on: July 06, 2012, 10:19:55 AM »

Quote
Heath, I want to take you up on your gracious offer to let me investigate that by myself.  Please provide me with the specifics of which museum has the L10E and where that museum is located. ...

Maybe a pretty comprehensive list of museums and other places where the remaining Lockheed Electras are would be of help.

The plane is an L10A, the tire is from an L10E that was donated. Please do check it out for yourself. Feel free to contact the museum and discuss it. I am sure they will confirm where it came from.

Quote
I'm glad that you're convinced that Amelia ...Obviously, I'm still convinced that they were what the inspector said they were.

Your evidence of a 36" tire relies on one document, the inspection report. Human being make all kinds of errors, especially when they are lazy. Just look at the Earhart telegrams and radio logs. As an example of clerical errors, how many different times were reported for when Earhart left the ground in Lae? Lights that were 5,600ft high on an atoll? The list goes on and on. To suggest that the inspection report typed up by who know who (likely a secretary) is iron clad evidence is wishful thinking. There was no conspiracy, it was just a simple error. As I stated before, the photographs of the plane during the 2nd attempt do not lie. I leave it to others to analyze the photos, those with the proper tools to do so.

Quote
Could you share that 4800 dpi image with the rest of us?

As Ric and others have pointed out, part of the agreement with the Oxford library is that you can not publish it or share it. That is their agreement you sign. They want to make a couple of bucks, hey, it is their gig and they own it. The total cost is $50-$60 USD (put a few extra bucks on for currency conversion) for a 4800dpi (be sure you specify that resolution). Run down and get a pre-paid Visa and file the application over the Internet. It takes about 3 weeks for them to scan it and send you a link. Why they are re-scanning it instead of just keeping the image on the FTP server is a bit strange. It is about a 150MB image. See attached application form to request the image.

Personally, looking at the image, I see a contiguous circular object that is part of the object. I have no idea what it is, but I cannot see separate pieces like the sector gear, fender, etc. It could be anything from a droplet of water on the lens, a tiny defect, or some real object. I cannot declare that it is identifiable as anything. What is interesting is that there appears to be another object, whitish in color, slightly to the right of the Bevington object, that also appears to be in the photo.

Quote
I think that in court, that would be known as "hearsay" evidence.

Surely someone told Ballard that this Bevington object was a 1937 Electra landing gear identified in a blind study. Who that was only Mr. Ballard could say. It is interesting that such a fundamental point to the photo story was somehow missed by Ballard and repeated.
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 04:14:47 PM by J. Nevill »
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #55 on: July 09, 2012, 09:35:19 PM »

I believe the only one qualified to judge the Bevington object in the photo is someone with photo analysis qualifications. In our case it's Jeff Glickman. I asked Jeff at the Washington conference how a blind study could be done where State Dept experts identified the object as possible landing gear from an Electra. Jeff very clearly stated it was NOT a blind study. The State Dept experts were told what Jeff suspected could be seen in the photo. He said they performed their own analysis and agreed that it "could" be an Electra landing gear but also agreed with Jeff that there was no guarantee that it was.  When I pressed Jeff to give me his own personal opinion and not the official line he said it was his personal opinion that it "might" be landing gear but it also may not be. He cannot and will not guarantee what that object is. This means two groups of experts looked at the photo and both agree it may be landing gear and it might not be. BUT this evidence was strong enough for thHe State Dept to talk with some people and ask them to help TIGHAR with an underwater search. No money but just good old fashioned encouragement.

On another subject....

I, personally, have become quite disenchanted with many forum contributors who make statements that are based on their own opinions and that are not backed up by scientific research. I have been quieter on this forum lately than I really want to be during these exciting few weeks. Why? Because it has not been enjoyable to come here and read about new ideas and theories without bumping into so many posts about how Tighar believers are sheep being led down the garden path blindly by unscrupulous leaders. I know of NO TIGHAR member who has stated the hypothesis is true for sure. Not one. Yet several forum contributors feel compelled to argue or at least act as though TIGHAR has claimed this fact when they know better.

I'm sorry but until evidence is found that proves the hypothesis is true then we, TIGHAR members, will insist that it is an unproven hypothesis. We will continue to believe in the hypothesis until we don't. Let's stop the accusations, the falsehoods and the constant misleading statements.  Let's agree that some people believe the hypothesis will be proven true and others who don't. TIGHAR only has to work at proving our hypothesis. We don't have to prove anything else. Those who believe our hypothesis is false should spend their time and energy in proving what they believe. That's what free speech and democracy is all about.

And don't ever let it get personal. That's inexcusable when we are all entitled to our opinions.

Remember that just saying something out loud doesn't make it a fact. Proof makes it a fact.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 09:54:20 PM by Irvine John Donald »
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #56 on: July 09, 2012, 10:03:35 PM »

Is there any reason now that the expedition is underway why the enhanced picture and the steps in the enhancement process cannot be made public?

They were already made public at the symposium. Jeff Glickman gave an excellent presentation of his qualifications, methodology and technics, and then shared his thoughts.  I personally believe Jeff showed himself as an unbiased researcher using known and accepted photo analysis techniques to reach an expert opinion. It could be landing gear and it might not be.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #57 on: July 09, 2012, 10:34:22 PM »

Your suggesting by the use of the phrase "be released" that the information is being "held" or "unreleased". 

The information was made public at the initial State Dept announcement and at the symposium. I even have photographs of every slide presented by Jeff Glickman. I published a cross section of those on a free web site and posted the link in this forum. No one ever suggested the information could not be distributed.

The information is public. TIGHAR has no reason to be cautious with the information. The information a original photograph and two expert opinions that it "might" be landing gear. 

Are you suggesting that you are as expert,or more expert, than the two groups who ventured their opinions after using modern analytic equipment and techniques where the end result was the opinion that it "might" be landing gear? 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Electra Tire Diameter
« Reply #58 on: July 10, 2012, 02:23:57 AM »

Malcolm

My understanding is that Oxford University who now owns the photo, wanted more money than TIGHAR had available to obtain the full publication rights, so in the deal that was struck with Oxford, TIGHAR was granted only the rights to use them for research purposes, hence the restriction from our Publishing or otherwise making the hi resolution images publicly available.  Presumably anyone including yourself, willing to pay Oxford enough for the rights to publish and distribute the hi resolution photo can have them.

Your insinuation that TIGHAR is somehow withholding the images from being released serves no purpose other than to cast aspersions on the organization.  Given your professional relationship to archaeology, it seems beneath you.  Why continue to fan the flames?  What purpose does it serve? 

I'd like to see all the inflammatory statements cease.  Do the rest of you folks think we could make some progress in that direction?

You can see Jeff Glickman's analysis presentation on YouTube at

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iLxjEU1VJHA

At best, Jeff is willing to say that it MAY be a Lockheed 10E landing gear.  Not proven by any means, but he does estimate the tire-like component at about 36".

Andrew
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 09:10:09 PM by J. Nevill »
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