TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart Search Forum => General discussion => Topic started by: Ben Stevens on March 26, 2013, 10:58:52 AM

Title: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ben Stevens on March 26, 2013, 10:58:52 AM
Hello,

In the post-loss signal catalog (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog6.html) Betty is assumed to have been listening on July 5, 1630 to 1815 EST, or 2130 to 2315 Greenwich Mean Time (GMT). Bob Brandenburg marks as a hatched area in Figure 11 of his tide reconstruction paper in the latest issue of Tighar Tracks. According to Bob’s tide reconstruction, the tide level was about half a meter below the bottom of the Electra's tires during this period. So from Bob’s tide reconstruction the plane was well clear of sea level at this time—the wheels weren’t even wet—and it would have been possible for Amelia and Fred to make the broadcast that Betty heard.

However, I see a discrepancy. On the next to last page of Betty’s notebook
 (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html)
she reports hearing AE saying: "Water knee deep-let me out" , and on the final page Betty records AE saying: "knee deep over". When interviewed by the Ric about her notebook, Betty's recollection was: "in here she was saying the waters coming up like she could see water rising" and "that sounds like she was having trouble getting water so high the plane was slipping".

So Betty’s notes have Amelia saying that the sea was sweeping knee deep under the Electra, and  Betty’s adult recollection to Ric was that the Electra was slipping under the influence of the sea washing underneath it. But Bob Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction has the reef high and dry, during Betty’s listening period on July 5. I checked Bob Brandenburg’s charts to see if perhaps on another day the tide level during 2130 to 2315 GMT corresponded to a knee-deep tidal level but it appears not. On all but one day the tide level was pretty far below the level of the Electra’s wheels; the one day the tide level reached the wheels was July 2, but even then the water level barely reached the wheels, and that was at the very end of Betty’s listening period although Betty has Amelia first saying ‘water knee deep’ a some time before 22:30 GMT, when the tide level had not yet even reached the Electra’s wheels.

So, the notion that the tide level was knee deep beneath the Electra when Betty was listening, and that the Electra was slipping under the influence of the sea, doesn’t seem to fit in well with the results of Brandenburg tide study. Or, am I missing something?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 26, 2013, 11:22:58 AM
So, the notion that the tide level was knee deep beneath the Electra when Betty was listening, and that the Electra was slipping under the influence of the sea, doesn’t seem to fit in well with the results of Brandenburg tide study. Or, am I missing something?

No, that's true.  Good point.  It does appear to be a discrepancy.  Thoughts?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 26, 2013, 11:38:43 AM
Storm surge?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 26, 2013, 11:44:14 AM
Storm surge?

No storms were recorded in the region at that time, but it doesn't take a storm to create large swells.  Brandenburg's graphs are based on calm conditions.  Ocean swells could send knee-deep water running over the reef surface even at low tide.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John B. Shattuck on March 26, 2013, 02:23:35 PM
Betty caught lots of fragments; hard to know if there was more or the context AE was making.  i.e. "water is knee deep...when we have to stop transmitting" etc.  I think the more definitive point is the presence of a transmission when a transmission is possible.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ben Stevens on March 26, 2013, 05:42:03 PM
Storm surge?

No storms were recorded in the region at that time, but it doesn't take a storm to create large swells.  Brandenburg's graphs are based on calm conditions.  Ocean swells could send knee-deep water running over the reef surface even at low tide.
Ric

The idea about swells occurred to me, too. But the complication I see there is that waves break when they reach shallow water. So since the water level under the Electra was nil, the swells would have broken well before reaching the Electra (remember, the tide level was around -0.6 to -0.7 meters lower than the bottom of the Electra’s wheel during the time Betty was listening) so I can’t see the swells passing knee deep under the Electra.  Maybe after the swells broke, sheets of water would run up the reef, but that doesn’t sound to me like what Betty reports, and I can’t see how the plane would move under those circumstances.

Another point about swells, however, is that swells would be rolling in at high tide as well. On July 3 the high tide at 14:00 GMT reached to the propeller clearance limit, 10 inches below the radio dry limit. So, a swell of 10 inches or more around the time of high tide, which seems quite mild, would have put the radio permanently out of commission.  The higher of the two high tides  on July 5, looks to have gotten to within about 6 inches of the radio transmitter dry limit, so a swell of more than 6 inches would have put out the radio. And at high tide, the water was deep enough, I think, for swells to reach the Electra.

So, reconciling the Betty story with Bob’s tide reconstruction, and factoring in the effect of swells, does in my mind does cast some doubt about who it was Betty really heard --Amelia, or other random radio transmissions. Also, it now seems to me that the possibility of even modest swells  at high tide raises doubts about whether the Electra was in any condition to transmit any of the credible radio signals received on July 5  or later.

Hmmn, interesting…
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 26, 2013, 07:25:46 PM
So, reconciling the Betty story with Bob’s tide reconstruction, and factoring in the effect of swells, does in my mind does cast some doubt about who it was Betty really heard --Amelia, or other random radio transmissions.

Random radio transmissions?  Could you be a little more precise?  Betty's notebook, irrespective of her later recollections, is a transcript of a near-panicky person who claims to be Amelia Earhart, calling for help and trying to deal with a second person who is acting irrationally.  Betty either heard genuine radio transmissions from Earhart, or she heard hoax radio transmissions from someone pretending to be Earhart, or a radio play about Earhart - or Betty made the whole thing up and her notebook is a fraud.  I'd like to hear your argument for any of those or, if there is another possibility we haven't thought of, please tells us - but "random radio transmissions" is not sufficient.

Also, it now seems to me that the possibility of even modest swells  at high tide raises doubts about whether the Electra was in any condition to transmit any of the credible radio signals received on July 5  or later.

Of course there is the possibility that the Electra was in no condition to transmit, but if that was the case we need a credible alternative source for the credible signals..
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John A Fisher on March 26, 2013, 10:09:07 PM
Betty caught lots of fragments; hard to know if there was more or the context AE was making.  i.e. "water is knee deep...when we have to stop transmitting" etc.  I think the more definitive point is the presence of a transmission when a transmission is possible.

It could be as you say a series of disconnected transmission fragments but that only answers the question by inventing a circumstance to explain it. The acceptable solution I suggest is to answer the question with information that explains it. As it stands it is fair to say that the apparent discrepancy opens to doubt previous interpretations. In other words if that is a true transcript then if Earhart was in water that deep she could not be transmitting. That is the rebuttal, if I have understood it correctly, that is related to the dismissal of claims that they could have transmitted from a floating Electra.   :)   
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 27, 2013, 01:37:49 AM
I'm new to the forum but not new to the subject (see my intro, and the comments I made concerning "158 338" and my comments concerning prop clearance) but I've been following the discussion the last couple of days...
There still is skepticism about the radio transmission, and that skepticism seems to have influenced the search in the past.
To repeat myself, I flew with shortwave my main connection with my airplanes my office, the boats I was servicing, and other aircraft, here in Alaska, for years before everyone switched to side-band.
Also the FCC, in their wisdom, made us move off of 2512 because it was not an aircraft frequency so we could no longer talk to a boat when it was having a problem and calling for help; I won't go into how many times we saved boats and even lives over the years...we went to 3411 and listened to blueberry pie recipes from the lodges.
Then we all went to Marine VHF and we could all watch out for each other on that
My point is, that sitting in my house in Homer Alaska, I have heard boats in australia...heard a sailboat talking to the radio in Darwin as clear as a bell, for hours...so i absolutey believe Betty, as I said last week.

So tonight I opened google earth and brought up Howland I., took a straight line to Gardner I. , went down that line to the position that Betty repeated *twice*..."309 S" and look where it puts you ....
 
I don't have a way to measure miles, or to show the heading on the google map
( and I can't find  "165 E" (it should be "west" shouldn't it?)
But that's what Amelia said on the radio.. Fred had been injured and was 'out of it'..."309 S   165 E"
I think they were following 158 degrees down from the Howland area and at '309 South' latitude they saw an Island ahead of them and got busy getting ready to land...That much comes out of Bettys notebook; all we have to do is believe her.
If it's too far to see the island  from that spot it just means that's the last position they took and then there was land straight ahead.
Has anybody put that on a chart to see where it is?
Fred did the research...all we would have had to do is believe them and go there...

I still have the old late-thirties Stromberg Carlson big radio in my log cabin...just needs about 60 feet of longwire but hasn't been plugged in for about 30 years!
we used to listen to the marine forecast on it.

Bill

Says "Shortwave...Aircraft...Broadcast"
 Come see if we can pick up Amelia !?!
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 27, 2013, 09:40:16 AM
It could be as you say a series of disconnected transmission fragments but that only answers the question by inventing a circumstance to explain it.

"Disconnected transmission fragments" is not a viable explanation for the phrases transcribed in Betty's Notebook.

The acceptable solution I suggest is to answer the question with information that explains it.

Agreed.

As it stands it is fair to say that the apparent discrepancy opens to doubt previous interpretations.

Agreed.  There needs to be a reasonable possible resolution (or resolutions) to the apparent discrepancy.

In other words if that is a true transcript then if Earhart was in water that deep she could not be transmitting. That is the rebuttal, if I have understood it correctly, that is related to the dismissal of claims that they could have transmitted from a floating Electra.   :)

Not so.  The Electra could still transmit in "knee deep" water.  The discrepancy is that, in Betty's Notebook, Noonan expresses concern about "waters high" and "waters knee deep" and "knee deep over," but Brandenburg's water level calculations indicate that the reef surface at the plane's supposed location in calm sea conditions is nearly dry.
There is no reference in Noonan's comments as to where the water is high, knee deep, or knee deep over.  If Betty can hear Noonan he must be in the cockpit where the microphone is.  Noonan is therefore judging the water depth by looking out the cockpit window. That's difficult.  He can't see the wheels from the cockpit. He may have been way off - especially in his irrational, panicked state.

Another possibility is that the aircraft did not stay in one location on the reef for the several days that credible post-loss signals were sent. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 27, 2013, 11:10:56 AM
From the Time & Credible Signals figures in the latest TIGAR Tracks issue, the high tides were getting higher and higher each day during the July 2nd to July 8th period.  If they could taxi, they may have wanted to move the plane to what they thought was a better location like the crew of the Coydon did when they landed on a reef with rising tides. The Coydon crew said "The reef looked higher a little further on and, since we appeared to have landed undamaged, we started to taxi towards it" (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/64_ReefLanding/64_ReefLanding.htm).  I think it is a possibilty AE and Fred may have decided to take a similar action and in trying to relocate, got stuck for a while in a lower spot. The path to a higher spot may have involved a route that crossed lower spots.  Note the number of credible signals tapered off after July 5th. Maybe some of the few remaining credible signals on the 6th to 8th were powered by what power was left on the battery? Either from being out of gas or stuck in a different spot where the props could not run as much anymore?
There are Betty's notes which indicate the crew's concern about the battery. "watch that battery" (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html).
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 27, 2013, 11:34:03 AM
We always had much better radio contact with the floatplanes if we were sitting on the water...I could easily talk to the FAA in FBX when I was sitting on the lake in Homer (that is normal operations; not like what we're discussing, of course, but worth keeping in mind) but not as well when in flight.
As long as the antennae is not touching the water, it would help to have water helping the "radio ground"by having the belly in the water.

As a side note, when everybody up here had a CB radio in their cars and airplanes, we continiully could not hear each other because of "skip" from Los Angeles freeway!...two way conversation with a station called "Billy Goat Gruff" who was at the scene of an accident on the freeway and I was tryig to call the office to get some fuel down to the lake here in town !!
So random radio contacts from anywhere on the globe was no big deal !

So back to the subject: If I recall correctly; the generator was on the right engine...which gear collapsed and when?
Was Nessie torn off and the plane stationary and one wing resting on the reef?
What does that do to the situation...the right engine would not run so it would have had to be the left engine that was down...if that was a factor at all...if the could run at "dry times" and then transmit just on battery at night when the reception was best...they were not running the engine while they were using the radio..."no hum from the engine " reported and it would have been too loud in the cockpit to be talking at the required 1500 rpm to produce voltage...
Lots of factors!
As for the Location: if you fly down 158 degree heading from Howland Is. to Gardner Is you pass through 3 deg. 9Minutes South and then 4 minutes 28 minutes South to Niko......now look at what Amelia told Betty...
I just don't have the mileage available to me and breakfast is about to be thrown out, I am told !?!
Later!
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 27, 2013, 01:02:24 PM
OK Ric...Couldn't find "reply" because I hadn't hit log-in recently enough !!

I want to clarify my degrees and minutes thing...

From Betty's notebook , and thats quoting Amelia who is quoting an injured Fred Noonan...so lt's of garbleing, I get this: "If you hold 158 degrees from here (Howland Is?) you will get to the nearest land (Phoenix Is Group)."

Ok; if you fly 158 degree track to the Island Group you come down through Position 3 degrees  9 minutes South, at which point I suppose you could see Gardner Is. which is at 4 degrees 28 minutes South.

Question: How many miles from 3 deg 9 min S to 4 deg 28 min S....? Could they see gardner that far away??

If that distance is too far to see Gardner, then I believe that they took that position and the NEXT thing they saw was Gardner so didn't bother at that point with position fixes because they were committing to a Landing...then Fred got injured in the landing and Amelia was left without an effective navigator.
If it turns out that they could have seen the Island at that point, it gets even simpler...He took a fix, wrote it down, and they flew to the Island and they landed...at 4 degrees 28 minutes South. (or whatever it really is)

The distance from 3 deg 9minutes South to 4 deg 28 minutes South looks to be about the last fifth of the difference from Howland to Gardner.

We don't know what the distance is from where he picked up the 158deg. (157)/338(337) or what actual heading she had to hold on the compass (unless the wind is dead on your nose, you are going to have to crab into the wind to hold a coarse)
But he was the best Navigator going and whatever he told her to do, she did it...she had flown the atlantic solo, don't foget)

So now tell me where this all falls apart...??

It's all been available since I was that 5 year old kid in California who saw the Lexington leave "to go look for Amelia Earhart"
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 27, 2013, 01:36:47 PM
Question: How many miles from 3 deg 9 min S to 4 deg 28 min S....? Could they see gardner that far away??

Gardner is 4° 32' S.  From 3° 9' S it is 97 nautical miles to Gardner.


Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 27, 2013, 02:34:10 PM
I'm going to let that soak for a while !?!
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ben Stevens on March 27, 2013, 04:18:47 PM
So, reconciling the Betty story with Bob’s tide reconstruction, and factoring in the effect of swells, does in my mind does cast some doubt about who it was Betty really heard --Amelia, or other random radio transmissions.

Random radio transmissions?  Could you be a little more precise?  Betty's notebook, irrespective of her later recollections, is a transcript of a near-panicky person who claims to be Amelia Earhart, calling for help and trying to deal with a second person who is acting irrationally.  Betty either heard genuine radio transmissions from Earhart, or she heard hoax radio transmissions from someone pretending to be Earhart, or a radio play about Earhart - or Betty made the whole thing up and her notebook is a fraud.  I'd like to hear your argument for any of those or, if there is another possibility we haven't thought of, please tells us - but "random radio transmissions" is not sufficient.

Also, it now seems to me that the possibility of even modest swells  at high tide raises doubts about whether the Electra was in any condition to transmit any of the credible radio signals received on July 5  or later.

Of course there is the possibility that the Electra was in no condition to transmit, but if that was the case we need a credible alternative source for the credible signals..

The purpose of Bob Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction was to determine whether the timing of the tide levels at Niku in the days after the Electra’s disappearance is consistent with the chronology of radio receptions that Tighar has characterized as credible. Discussing this issue is the main point of my post. Asking whether the credible signals might have originated from somewhere other than the Electra is an interesting question, but it is an aside from the matter of what Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction tells us about the Electra as a source of Betty’s radio reception or the other post-loss radio receptions.

So, what Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction suggests to me is that, at the least, some of the narrative that has taken root from reading Betty’s notes and from her later recollections is inconsistent with conditions at the Electra at the time Betty was listening to her radio. A few possibilities for how to explain this discrepancy have already posted here. I’d say that at the least, the narrative we have all taken from Betty’s notes and recollections -- of knee deep water and the plane slipping -- now seems somewhat unlikely (BTW, please be clear that I do not doubt Betty heard something or think she is/was a hoaxer).

 Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction tells us that for the Electra to have been the source of the credible radio receptions,  the sea must have been remarkably calm during the several high tides that occurred during the period these radio receptions were received. If I understand Brandenburg’s study, the radio transmitter would have been rendered inoperable unless incoming swells/waves were less than ~ 10 inches during the high tide at ~1400 GMT on July 4; less than ~12 inches during the high tide at ~ 0300 on July 5; and less than ~6 inches during the high tide at 1500 GMT on July 5. These requirements come directly out of Brandenburg’s study, they’re not something I made up. It is possible that sufficiently calm seas prevailed to keep the Electra’s radio transmitting, but the sea would have had to be remarkably calm at those three high tide periods. We can all decide for ourselves how probable we think that is. This seems to be a significant new realization that we now have thanks to Bob Brandenburg’s study, and those are two important take home lessons from Bob’s study, in my mind.

 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 27, 2013, 04:47:47 PM
Hi Gang
Couple of things to fine-tune :
Seems to be 109.6 miles ... the best  alt for 985's (P&W engines) in a twin Beech (for instance) is 8,000 and distance to horizon at that altitude is 109.6 miles  ...interesting , but proving nothing,of course!
(but suppose they were  cruising at that altitude by a chart for the engines and at that point they saw a smudge on the horizen and took a reading...)
Ric is right , on the co-ordinates...they should be " 4 deg 38 minutes 29 seconds" for Niko...I interposed min and sec (and they are not using seconds in the position...

I still don't understand the 165E part...it should be "west" if it's longitude... but it is my opinion that there has been a tendency to call misunderstood things "mistakes" when they could have been actually, just misunderstood!
So I have aproached this as going by what we have been told and not by imagining possibilities if it doesn't fit what we think....I think that has put us within 100 miles of Niko, rather than into a cold sea somewhere northwest of Howland Is.

All this comes so far from Betty's notebook... I would like to talk to her while we are both alive and see what she can add to or clarify...it might ring a bell or clarify a phrase she heard.
I, too, will not be indignant if I am wrong...but nothing handed to us from the past should be explained away if not understood...Something will be proved to have been part of the answer someday and some of us can't wait around...I have the Lifetime Guarrantee on any water heater I buy !?!
"3   9 South" ...yes; but" 165 E"...?? Oh well...I think we have land spotted, and right now that looks dam' good !!
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 27, 2013, 05:33:00 PM
Brandenburg’s Tides and Credible Signals figures show they had an area that allowed for the credible transmissions. The blue line is the tide where the reef is .43 meters higher than point A.  Point A is next to the Norwich City.  However, there  are places on the reef lower than the spot where the plane was estimated to be in the study.
The plane itself could be used as a gauge to see the tide was getting higher each day and if it was possible, they may have thought to taxi to somewhere they thought they could tie down to before the tide took the plane. For example, tying to the Norwich City near point A has these advantages:
Gets the plane closer to a huge visual magnet
Closer to a high point to climb up to look out and signal
Shorter distance to offload supplies than taking them across the slippery reef to shore.
Less distance to travel if used as a camp. Especially important when there is enough water for sharks, like after transmitting and you want to leave the plane.
 Based on the Bevington Object’s location, that N.C. scenario may not have worked. But like the Croydon crew, the point is they may have tried to relocate. Maybe to somewhere lower to provide an option to anchor the plane and save it.

They could have tried to taxi to a place where conditions allowed them to wedge a stake into an existing crack in the reef, a place lower than where they were transmitting.

They could have moved to a place to secure the plane and found it didn’t work, then moved back up the slope.

They could have left the plane at a high point one day and the next morning found it blown or pushed to a lower place and had to taxi back to the high point.
Seems like a lot of possibilities and there are other places on the reef that allow for a time when Betty could have heard the signal and where the water may have been knee deep. Lack of good tie down options seems like a reasonable explanation for movement of the plane by wind, water force or choice. Maybe even a combination of movement of the plane and swells could be  an explanation.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Joe Cerniglia on March 27, 2013, 07:16:20 PM
So, what Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction suggests to me is that, at the least, some of the narrative that has taken root from reading Betty’s notes and from her later recollections is inconsistent with conditions at the Electra at the time Betty was listening to her radio. A few possibilities for how to explain this discrepancy have already posted here.
A few scattered thoughts, which are the only ones I seem to have these days...One other possibility not mentioned yet is that the date of Betty's receptions may not have been July 5th.  Bob Brandenburg stated in his paper (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.pdf), "Betty heard signals from 4:30 PM to 6:15 PM local time, but did not recall the date on which she heard the signals. So, computer simulation runs  (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/BettyProb182531a.pdf)were conducted for the time period of interest on each day from July 2nd through July 9th, 1937."  Looking at the numbers I can see how one might make an educated guess as to which date she had the best chance of hearing at the clock times she stated. The 5th is reasonable, but that guess wouldn't rule out some other dates as well.  The signal catalog says "signal propagation and other factors" determined the July 5th date, but I'm unable to determine beyond the links I've cited what those factors were.  Did Betty say she was home from school, thus ruling out the holiday of July 4th?

Your thesis, if I understand correctly, is an interesting one. You posit the water level was too low during the time Betty is supposed to have been listening (the 5th) to have caused the effects of "knee deep" water.  I might only suggest the inconsistency may cast more doubt on the growing certainty expressed in this thread (but not by TIGHAR so far as I can tell) in the date of Betty's reception than in the "narrative that has taken root" from Betty's transcription.

Side note, and probably inexcusable thread drift, but I'll venture it:
My own research into Betty's notebook led me to look for any radio messages in which there might be a word to word correspondence with the snippets Betty heard and what others were reporting. Howard Coons' account (http://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2206&dat=19370705&id=MgctAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rNQFAAAAIBAJ&pg=4298,1112285) said he heard a woman say "Still alive. Better hurry. Tell husband all right."  Page 4 of Betty's notebook (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html) begins with the word "hurry" and ends with the words "Will you please [static] all right!"  A few words tally; maybe a statistician could tell me how likely that is. The interesting part is if you sum Coons and Earhart, you can compose a credible complete sentence that in context makes perfect sense because it is something people in emergencies are often known to say:
Both heard: "Hurry."
Betty heard: "Will you please"
Coons heard "tell [my] husband [I'm]"
Both heard: "all right!"

Coons said he heard what he heard 1:16 am California time, on July 5th.  That's 4:16 am where Betty was in Florida, so the time correspondence is not so great. 

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078 ECR
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 27, 2013, 07:37:07 PM
The signal catalog says "signal propagation and other factors" determined the July 5th date, but I'm unable to determine beyond the links I've cited what those factors were.

The other factors are these.

Notations at the top of the pages indicate that Betty heard what she heard starting at 16:30 and ending at 18:15  EST - which would be 10:30 to 12:15 at Niku and 21:30 to 23:15 GMT. 

On the first page of notes, one of the first entries is an apparently garbled phrase (spoken by Amelia, according to Betty's later recollection) "W40K Howland port or W O J Howland port." Whatever Earhart actually said, she was apparently attempting to get a response from Howland.  Noonan, in the context implied by the rest of the notebook, is irrational and panicky.  He makes the comment "waters high." He's frightened and he wants to abandon ship. Apparently seeking to calm him down, AE says "Here , put your ear to it."  Put his ear to what?  Probably the headphone ear piece.  She has been calling Howland and hears a response.  She wants Noonan to hear it so that he will calm down.  This would be occurring at or very shortly after 21:30 GMT.

At 21:30 GMT and again at 21:35 GMT on July 5, ITASCA sends a transmission to Earhart in Morse code.  If Earhart heard it she wouldn't be able to understand it but it would be an encouraging sign.

Monday, July 5 is the only day on which we see this kind of possible correlation between Betty's notebook and the Itasca log.  There is also the point that Betty's father came home from work during the time she was hearing AE, so the event apparently happened on a weekday. That would seem to eliminate Saturday July 3 and Sunday July 4.  Also, the Coast Guard's dismissal of her father's news that Betty had heard distress calls from Earhart was reportedly based on it being old news that Earhart was calling for help.  That would seem to eliminate Friday July 2.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ted G Campbell on March 27, 2013, 09:26:13 PM
Ric,

Can we triangulate where “Nessie” might be with regard to the location and down slope on the reef?

The reason I ask:  If the left gear is in a hole on the reef and the right gear is on a flat surface the right engine may be high and dry;

1.   the right engine powered the generator
2.   the attitude of the aircraft would have been right wing high, cockpit/front of the aircraft high, tail down and left   cabin door low to the sea/surf
3.   the radio dyno under the co-pilot seat high and dry but the rear of the aircraft getting “knee high with water”

Wave action on the tail forces the aircraft to turn counter clockwise eventually failing the left gear (“nessie”) and releasing the aircraft of spin into the surf and depths there in – no more engine running and no more radio transmission.

This scenario is consistent with Betty’s notebook, post loss radio logs and Bob’s tidal charts!
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John A Fisher on March 27, 2013, 09:44:25 PM
As an observation - I see a rather worrying trend creeping into this discussion which is an emphasis on an effort to verify Betty's notebook rather than to consider the wider issue regarding water heights on the reef which to me anyway indicate, as Ben has opined, an environment in which the aircraft was actually free of danger from being washed off so, if we extend that analysis, then we could expect that it was therefore not unreasonable to expect it to be visible during the Navy search fly over. Which as we know it wasn't.

If the notation about "knee deep water" in the notebook is not consistent with the tidal data - I suggest that discrepancy must be accepted and that the wasting of effort to prove the Notebook be put to one side and for the moment view it as a red herring. In my reading over many months, as a guest, of many of the threads where the notebook is discussed I gained the clear impression that TIGHAR were not so to speak putting all their eggs in that one basket. To me the Notebook has internal textual problems that make its use uncertain as evidence that Earhart and Noonan landed on the island - the Notebook is what it is but it is not the task of TIGHAR to further its claims to be a true record at harm to the larger quest.     
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ted G Campbell on March 27, 2013, 10:06:57 PM
Ric,

We need to ask Betty when she notes a number in her log does it come in as a “word” or a “number” e.g. 158 can be transmitted as 158 – a number as in one hundred fifty-eight or 2) 158 – a number as in one fifty eight or 3) as a series of numbers such as one, five, eight.

The point being is the way the number sequence is remembered the better we can asses what was really transmitted by AE.

As an illustration go to www. rhymezone.com

Let’s take the number 158 (see above):

1)   one hundred= a hundred; fifty eight = fifty eight.  Results in “a hundred fifty eight.

2)   One = an; hundred = hon; fifty = easy; eight = flight.  Results in “ an   easy flight”

3)   1=1; 5=5; 8=8 or 1= spun; 5= survive; 8=alright. Results in “ spun, survived and all right”

How Betty heard the numbers is very important in how we evaluate her recollection.

Ted Campbell

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Charlie Chisholm on March 27, 2013, 11:57:08 PM
It seems to me that Amelia would have probably mentioned in any radio transmission, that at some time the water was knee deep at the plane, and so the rescuers should hurry up and find them.

Just because she is transmitting the fact that the water has been knee deep, does not mean the water was knee deep at that exact time. It would just be an important thing to get out in any transmission that the water has been knee deep at times and the plane could float away.

The hysterical Noonan trying to get out of the plane could likewise have no connection to knee deep water at all - he could have just been hysterical and out of control and wanted to get out of the plane for some other reason.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John A Fisher on March 28, 2013, 03:05:51 AM
Ric,

We need to ask Betty when she notes a number in her log does it come in as a “word” or a “number” e.g. 158 can be transmitted as 158 – a number as in one hundred fifty-eight or 2) 158 – a number as in one fifty eight or 3) as a series of numbers such as one, five, eight.

The point being is the way the number sequence is remembered the better we can asses what was really transmitted by AE.

As an illustration go to www. rhymezone.com

Let’s take the number 158 (see above):

1)   one hundred= a hundred; fifty eight = fifty eight.  Results in “a hundred fifty eight.

2)   One = an; hundred = hon; fifty = easy; eight = flight.  Results in “ an   easy flight”

3)   1=1; 5=5; 8=8 or 1= spun; 5= survive; 8=alright. Results in “ spun, survived and all right”

How Betty heard the numbers is very important in how we evaluate her recollection.

Ted Campbell

As there is no recording that requires clairvoyance - perhaps the psychic at the seminar could be of use.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 28, 2013, 10:48:28 AM
It seems to me that Amelia would have probably mentioned in any radio transmission, that at some time the water was knee deep at the plane, and so the rescuers should hurry up and find them.

Just because she is transmitting the fact that the water has been knee deep, does not mean the water was knee deep at that exact time. It would just be an important thing to get out in any transmission that the water has been knee deep at times and the plane could float away.

The hysterical Noonan trying to get out of the plane could likewise have no connection to knee deep water at all - he could have just been hysterical and out of control and wanted to get out of the plane for some other reason.

Good observations Charlie
The signal faded in and out.
Important parts of AE’s sentences may be missing either by the fading out or by Fred interrupting

For example:
 “Knee deep over” could be “Not able to transmit when water gets knee deep. Over”
They could simply be describing the situation they have been in over the past days and what they expect to happen again.

In the other case AE’s sentence may have been interrupted by Fred
“Water’s knee deep – let me out ” could be AE intending to say “water’s knee deep at high tide”. But she was interrupted by Fred Yelling “Let me out”
 Betty notes here “AE and Man—in here he was yelling”
It makes sense Fred was yelling “let me out” since typically AE sits under the hatch and he was complaining of the heat. Which leaves “Water’s knee deep” being said by AE before Fred’s yelling.


Also Fred and AE may have had a different perspective of the tide if AE side window was facing the shore and Fred’s was facing the ocean. 

“N.Y.” or something sounds like New York seems to be what they were trying to say most. It was repeated at least 9 times
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Charlie Chisholm on March 28, 2013, 11:48:31 AM
Yes, saying something that "sounded like" New York City is one of the most compelling things recorded by Betty. And there is a very logical reason for that to be the thing she repeated the most.

If you say Norwich City over and over and then you say New York City over and over, they already sound very alike. Throw in weak fading signals and it becomes very likely that Amelia was saying "Norwich City" over and over again, knowing that if anyone looked up that ship, they would also know her location.

Some have said that it is unlikely she would have said this and would have said "Gardner" over and over or "Phoenix Islands" over and over, but I think it's highly probable they really had no idea where they were and were not at all confident they were on Gardner. After all, they had just spent hours looking for Howland after a very long flight without success, and then flown hundreds of miles on the LOP southeast. But they did not know their starting point for that flight south, so they may not have known exactly what reef they were on, or even if they were in the Phoenix group.

The ONE thing they knew for sure that would identify their location was "Norwich City". By saying the name of the wrecked ship over and over, they were certain to convey the correct information as to their location.

As for Betty recording "N.Y." over and over again, she may have thought she was hearing "New York City" and was just quickly abbreviating  that. After all, in a quick jotted down notation, should would not have written "N.Y. City", she would most likely have written just "N.Y.".

It's important to note that she stated and emphasized when discussing her notes that it was "something that sounded like New York" - not that it WAS New York, but something that "sounded like" New York.

If you interpret that to mean something that sounded like "New York City", then "Norwich City" is a very close match.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 28, 2013, 12:04:52 PM
As an observation - I see a rather worrying trend creeping into this discussion which is an emphasis on an effort to verify Betty's notebook rather than to consider the wider issue regarding water heights on the reef which to me anyway indicate, as Ben has opined, an environment in which the aircraft was actually free of danger from being washed off so, if we extend that analysis, then we could expect that it was therefore not unreasonable to expect it to be visible during the Navy search fly over. Which as we know it wasn't.

I see no worrying trend nor do I see an effort to "verify" Betty's notebook.  Betty's notebook has been subjected to intense scrutiny for more than 12 years and no one has come up with a rational challenge to it as an authentic, if imperfect, transcription of radio distress calls from the Earhart Electra.  We have acknowledged an apparent discrepancy between Brandenburg's water level calculations for a particular point on the reef surface over time and references to knee deep water in transcribed phrases we attribute to Noonan. A number of reasonable explanations have been offered.
It is not true that Brandenburg's water level calculations show the aircraft to have been free from danger of being washed off the reef - quite the contrary. 

If the notation about "knee deep water" in the notebook is not consistent with the tidal data - I suggest that discrepancy must be accepted and that the wasting of effort to prove the Notebook be put to one side and for the moment view it as a red herring.

The discrepancy has been accepted, addressed, and found to be rationally explainable.  The Notebook can never be "proved" and there is no effort to do so.  All we can do is mine it for clues that may help us refine our search. 

In my reading over many months, as a guest, of many of the threads where the notebook is discussed I gained the clear impression that TIGHAR were not so to speak putting all their eggs in that one basket. To me the Notebook has internal textual problems that make its use uncertain as evidence that Earhart and Noonan landed on the island - the Notebook is what it is but it is not the task of TIGHAR to further its claims to be a true record at harm to the larger quest.   

TIGHAR has made no claims that Betty's Notebook is a "true record."  We find it to be one of 57 examples of "credible" reports of post-loss radio calls from the lost aircraft - and an extraordinarily rich one - but we do not hold it up as proof that Earhart and Noonan landed at Nikumaroro.  From your many months of reading as a guest you must know that strawman attacks like this are no longer tolerated.  You may also be aware that banished trolls sometimes sneak back in under false identities, but they always reveal themselves by their disruptive misrepresentations.  Goodbye Mr. "Fisher."
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Tim Collins on March 28, 2013, 01:49:56 PM
How Betty heard the numbers is very important in how we evaluate her recollection.

Do we know if it was "one-fifty-eight" or "one-five-eight" or even "one-hundred-fifty-eight" ?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: C.W. Herndon on March 28, 2013, 03:50:25 PM
Do we know if it was "one-fifty-eight" or "one-five-eight" or even "one-hundred-fifty-eight" ?

Tim, If you have not read it, here is Tighar's Research Document #17  (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html)Which evaluates Betty's Notebook.

Here is a video of Ric's last visit with Betty.  (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WcTGz4O_Yq4&feature=youtu.be)

Maybe something here will help you out a little.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Leon R White on March 28, 2013, 05:19:03 PM
This is probably the wrong place but i can't find it in the topics.  Has any attempt been made to theorize as to what the rest of Betty's transcribed Amelia notes mean?  If not, should this be the start of the topic?  It would seem to be important if any of the other text corroborated something and I thought sure that someone would have taken a whack already.

thnks
Leon
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 28, 2013, 07:57:48 PM
Do we know if it was "one-fifty-eight" or "one-five-eight" or even "one-hundred-fifty-eight" ?

No, we don't know and asking Betty now would not give us a reliable answer.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ted G Campbell on March 28, 2013, 08:44:46 PM
Ric,

I rarely disagree with you and your opinions but here I do.  You are a pilot, as am I, and we have been taught how to use the radio with regard to transmitting information.

I know times have changed since the 1930’s but I doubt that the basic communication skills have change very much over the years.  If you were to report a heading, distance, waypoint, etc. in any form other then digit by digit ATC would be all over you.

Betty, on the other hand was a young girl without pilot training (this is an assumption on my part) and therefore would not know the proper protocol regarding radio communications.  Today Betty may not know the proper protocol but if she responded to the question of “how did the numbers come across” and she said digit by digit I think that would be significant.  On the other hand if she responded the numbers came across as a “value – all run together” that also would be significant.

If all run together – no harm done and no further inquiry necessary.  If digit by digit – one more reason to believe the record is legitimate (not proof) but an added level of confidence.

Asking has no harm as I see it.

Ted Campbell
 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 29, 2013, 01:12:50 AM
Asking has no harm as I see it.

Anything Betty tells us now is a recollection of an event that happened over 75 years ago.
If I ask Betty she will probably give us an answer and it would be her best attempt to recall what she heard but there would be no way for us to know whether her recollection was accurate. That is true of everything she has told us that elaborates upon what is written down in the notebook.  What she wrote in July 1937 is a reliable record of what she heard, or thought she heard. Anything she wrote or said later, or may say now, is based on memory - and memory is not reliable.  Some of the passages in her notebook are explanations and clarifications that she added years later.  They are based on memory and, as such, are less reliable than the original transcription, but we tend to accept them as equal in reliability to what she wrote when she was sitting in front of her radio. They are not. They are valuable because they are explanations and clarifications that predate her association with TIGHAR and her knowledge of our hypothesis, but they do not carry the same weight as the original transcription.  Similarly, the explanations and clarifications that she provided in the 2000 videotaped interview are valuable but there is no way to know how accurate they are.
So if I ask her now whether the numbers she wrote down were heard as separate digits or whole numbers, whatever she says will be used to draw conclusions that are built on sand.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Dan Swift on March 29, 2013, 06:37:54 AM
Back to the accuracy of the date, what did Betty's Dad do for a living?  I am sure that has been discussed but I missed it.  That 'could' help determine if he worked on Saturday or Sunday.  And school was out for summer for Betty.  And the only difference in any day was whether your parent(s) were home or at work.  The days could run together when out of school for three months, but IF you father did or did not work on a particular day such as a weekend day, then it would be memorable. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: William R Davis on March 29, 2013, 07:50:14 AM
I thought I might offer what I viewed about tides. I grew up on Cape Cod driving my Jeep out on the large sand flats on the north side. At low tide and the wind is off shore, the flats can often extend out much farther than when the wind is on shore. If the wind is brisk and on shore, it can reduce the flats considerably. Yet sky can be blue and clear. There is this link that may explain better:

http://noc.ac.uk/f/content/using-science/Info_Tides_and_meteorological_effects.pdf

The elevation of the reef flats would need to be taken into account. I don't know if it would be possible to get a wind speed and direction for the day in question?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 29, 2013, 09:33:33 AM
Back to the accuracy of the date, what did Betty's Dad do for a living?  I am sure that has been discussed but I missed it.  That 'could' help determine if he worked on Saturday or Sunday.  And school was out for summer for Betty.  And the only difference in any day was whether your parent(s) were home or at work.  The days could run together when out of school for three months, but IF you father did or did not work on a particular day such as a weekend day, then it would be memorable.

Ken Klenck worked for the power company in a 9 to 5 weekdays office job.  He also sometimes did pick-up work as a handyman but it seems unlikely that he would be doing that on the 4th of July.
BTW, the reason the Klenck family had a fancy home radio was because employees of the power company got a discount on electric appliances.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Randy Conrad on March 29, 2013, 11:05:01 AM
In reference to Betty's notebook...is it possible Ric...that the numbers that are running together are in reference to an aeronautical or maritime map coordinates. The reason I say this is because there was a part of her writing that was "fig.8". It almost suggests that she might have been using her map to give her coordinates. And beings how Amelia wasn't quite up to navigating...I believe she went off of what she had at the time. Another thing to think about...is when I was younger some maps went off of alphabetic and numeric sequence to pinpoint certain grids on a map!!! I believe with Betty's notebook that these numbers or digits are in fact genuine, and it proves that Amelia was reading off of something, because Fred was too injured to navigate anything. Also, in this notebook I noticed words like Bob and Uncle....was Amelia trying to speak in military dialogue. Like A..Alpha...B...Bravo....C...Charlie....Just a thought!!!
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Dan Swift on March 29, 2013, 11:09:12 AM
There you go Ric!  Then it was the 5th. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 29, 2013, 11:33:01 AM
In reference to Betty's notebook...is it possible Ric...that the numbers that are running together are in reference to an aeronautical or maritime map coordinates. The reason I say this is because there was a part of her writing that was "fig.8". It almost suggests that she might have been using her map to give her coordinates. And beings how Amelia wasn't quite up to navigating...I believe she went off of what she had at the time.

I think that is entirely possible.  She doesn't know where she is.  Noonan is out of his head but there are notations on his charts that may mean something to somebody so she reads them into the microphone.

Also, in this notebook I noticed words like Bob and Uncle....was Amelia trying to speak in military dialogue. Like A..Alpha...B...Bravo....C...Charlie....Just a thought!!!

You're referring to phonetic alphabet.  It existed back then but was not in wide use and the phonetic words for the letters were different than they are today.  The phonetic alphabet in 1937 was the one in use since 1927 (http://olive-drab.com/od_phonetic_alphabet.php).  "B" was Boy and "U" was Unit.  Earhart's radio call sign, KHAQQ, said according to the phonetic alphabet in use at that time, would be (believe it or not) King Hypo Affirmative Quack Quack.  Can you imagine AE saying that instead of KHAQQ?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Dan Swift on March 29, 2013, 12:03:20 PM
"Hypo Affirmative Quack"  Now that makes sense!  LOL! 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 29, 2013, 12:26:20 PM
"Hypo Affirmative Quack"  Now that makes sense!  LOL!

Makes you wonder whether the FCC was editorializing when they assigned that call sign.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: jgf1944 on March 30, 2013, 01:50:58 PM
Hi Betty and Bob Bloggers;
   When I study B's Notebook, I do not invest much in the clarifications that Betty made in 2000. For example, toward the end of the notebook observe that she has FN exiting the aircraft with AE to follow. If the exit point was the forward hatch, the departure order is not SOP, which always called for AE out first so she would not be stepped on. Also, check out the important transcription "Waters knee deep -- let me out." Betty associated those words to AE and the man--in here he was yelling. What that literally says is that AE and FN simultaneously said Waters knee deep. Does strike you as accurate? as realistic? If it does not, then you must make your own interpretation, per either AE or FN saying Waters knee deep. But when you do that, you have injected a contaminant into the data. I think B's Notebook can be seductive in terms of what all researchers are looking for: a fount of truth and beauty! Realistically, I think the Notebook has a few of kernels of truth to nourish us on the long journey. Just a thought. All Best, J.G. Ford.     
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ben Stevens on March 30, 2013, 06:48:37 PM
We have acknowledged an apparent discrepancy between Brandenburg's water level calculations for a particular point on the reef surface over time and references to knee deep water in transcribed phrases we attribute to Noonan. A number of reasonable explanations have been offered. 

A number of explanations have been offered, but I’m not as convinced as you are that any of these help explain the discrepancy.  Perhaps rather than trying to go through these one by one, I’m wondering, perhaps I can ask Ric  a question: if you were to update the Betty’s Notes in Ameliapedia, what would you give as the one or two best explanations for the Bob/Betty discrepancy?

On the ‘swells at high tide’ issue, there has been little or no commentary so far. Since there has been a lot of intervening commentary, remember that according to Bob’s tide reconstruction, the radio transmitter would have been rendered inoperable due to flooding unless incoming swells/waves were:

- less than ~ 10 inches during the high tide at ~1400 GMT on July 4;

- less than ~12 inches during the high tide at ~ 0300 on July 5;

- and less than ~6 inches during the high tide at 1500 GMT on July 5.

I think that it is fair to say that, unless seas were fortuitously calm for our unfortuitous aviators, many of the post loss transmissions, including the one Betty received, would not have occurred.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on March 30, 2013, 06:50:45 PM
I think it's always important when looking at any of these post-loss messages to think not just phoenetically but in terms of people tending to translate unknown information in terms that fits into their realm of experience.  I.e., if someone said the uncommon word "detritus" most people would not immediately understand it, and would first try to fit it into their own experience (e.g.  "Detroit what?").

I've always thought fig.8 was 58 -- another occurrence of the 158/338 fragments which seem to keep repeating throughout the notebook. 

Back to the topic at hand...this seeming discrepancy, rather than calling things into serious doubt, seems to me to have potential to give us some serious insight as to what happened. 

I know that the current theory is the plane got dragged over the reef.  Is there any reason to assume that this happened all in one day?  Consider, if you will, the possibility that the plane was being dragged a measurable distance towards the reef flat by each receding tide.  If that's possible, then consider the possibility that by the 5th, the plane had gotten so far into the deep water that Earhart started to fear that she was about to lose the plane and that each potential transmission might be her last.  It also contributes mightily to understanding the panicked atmosphere within the plane and the obsession with the water level.  Betty's Notebook, which I tend to believe, did always strike me as being a bit over the top....HOWEVER, if the situation is the plane is getting closer and closer to the reef edge every day and into deeper water, and there's a very real possibility that this transmission might be their last, it explains both the panicked atmosphere and why this particular transmission went on so very long....they might have seen it as their very last chance to transmit.

It also dovetails with what little we know of what happened next.  After July 5, little to no radio activity.  By July 9, there (apparently) is no visible plane and, (again apparently, we don't know for sure) no sign of Earhart and Noonan on the beach, either.  If the plane goes over July 5-6, that gives our heroes 3-4 days to assess their situation, fail to be rescued, and then to possibly decamp. 

It all tracks to me...better, in fact, than it has done up 'til this point.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on March 30, 2013, 10:12:30 PM
Just an addendum to what I wrote above.

I had a gander at the TIGHAR Tracks and from what I can see, the available tide data does support the little hypothesis I laid out above -- though it would indicate one sudden movement rather than a gradual day-by-day one.  There is a slew of radio transmissions the night of July 4-5, culminating at high tide.  The tide then goes out.  The Betty's Notebook transmission takes place several hours later, just upon a rising tide.  It is also the LAST of the big bundle of transmissions.  After that, there are very, very few credible transmissions, and none for many hours after that.  So it does support, to the extent possible, the theory that the plane was moved substantially toward the reef with the tide on the morning of July 5, and that explains the resulting freakout/marathon transmission/surf anomaly/rapid cessation of further messages that surrounds Betty's Notebook.

I didn't know any of this when I posted the above, but that all dovetails to me.  I've always been personally skeptical of the post-July 5th transmissions.  It just seems to me more statistically likely that the plane's out of action at that point then the messages, for whatever reason, dwindled down to few and far between where they had come very frequently prior to that.  It also makes more sense to me in explaining why AE and FN (if he lived) were nowhere to be found on July 9...4 days is a long time to be hanging around a hot beach where there ain't no plane and no radio.  And I don't recall there being anything in particular about any of the post-July 5 messages to identify with Earhart other than frequency.  IIRC they were all carrier waves and things of that nature, which could conceivably have other sources.  Someone correct me if i have that wrong.

Ric and others more knowledgable I'm sure will see the flaws in the theory.  Looking forward to reading them.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 31, 2013, 12:08:00 AM
To sum up some of the possibilities:
Conditions may not have been calm.
The view of the water may not have been clear enough to give an accurate depth.
FN may not have been in his right mind. 
Signal fading in and out causing missing fragments of sentences that may provide context
The plane may have moved to a lower part of the reef
Any combination of the above.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on March 31, 2013, 01:08:05 AM
even on a calm day there is usually a big wide swell that isn't obvious but if you are standing on a beach holding a floatplane  while  waiting for a passenger, the swell can scrub you in and and move you 'down' the beach according to the tide.
Not at all like a lake. Also if you are near a lagoon opening, all that is increased depending on the size of the tide.
It would be very hard to predict or guess at what would be happening at the edge of the surf on any island in the open pacific I think.
You have to have about a couple of thousand feet of altitude to make out the overall swell pattern for planning an open sea landing. (Primary, Secondary and Tertiary) and the biggest ones don't make waves but can be moving 30 miles an hour so you have to find the trough.
Not trying to tell war stories but just to point out the reality involves forces not obvious in books and graphs...
The old navigation "maps" the Pacific Islanders used were recreations of the swell for each island and they navigated hundreds of miles from island to island by the picture of the swell they patterned from sticks.... fascinating to contemplate when you see them...and speaks of a very active situation.

It would be very scary to be in a plane scrubbing back and forth at the edge of the surf with an airplane that large...even with the Otter I've had to fling myself across a float and crawl into the cabin and taxi back to shore to get back to where passengers were waiting.
The electra wasn't quick to exit from under those conditions, from what I have seen...you couldn't wait until the last minute and just step out of it.

Also something to complicate the predicted area of the debris field...down the beach with the tide and towards/from the lagoon opening ...and then over the edge ??

Poor Souls.

At least i do not believe they went down at sea without at least some hope and a chance at Life

Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Randy Conrad on March 31, 2013, 04:27:33 AM
After reading John's post...I myself am starting to question exactly how Earhart and Noonan left the plane...When you say Waters Knee Deep...Is that from standing in water on the beach...or is that water standing in the plane? If I remember right at the conference, the plane has to be on dry land in order for the radio to work!  Also, John made the comment about exiting the plane. Let's take a scenario in this situation...They are coming in real fast into Niku, and not being able to slow down much. They land very hard and the plane is now bouncing around like crazy as it hits the reef. When it does, it sends it into a tail spin and causes some damage. The wheel prop is broken and is being dragged along before it comes to a complete stop. By now, Fred is pretty much banged up in the back of the plane...and Amelia, is somewhat shaken and nervous from the landing, but is alright. Here is what I would like to know...Did Amelia exit the plane from the pilot seat through the top hatch or did she crawl over the fuel tanks to get to him? If Fred is supposedly banged up pretty good...my thoughts are that the back of the plane took some significant damage. Kind of like the fuel tank area or wherever. Also, Betty describes Fred trying to get out of the plane and Amelia making him get back in. Would you send someone back into a plane that is filling up with water and is knee deep? Just a thought! Also, lets take it another step further...Amelia needs to get back into the plane to send a radio message. How does she get into the cockpit? From the top hatch or the rear hatch door on the back of the plane? Remember the water is now knee deep. So that makes Amelia have to hurry to get to the cockpit to make that call. There's the possibility that the left wing is damaged and broken off, which leaves her only the ability to use the back door. She's gotten in through the back door, and its being filled with water as we speak. She crawls over the fuel tanks to get to the cockpit. In the meantime, water is continuing to fill up the plane from the back. She has no where to go... Soon its coming in from the front. What does she do? They are pretty much rendered helpless. Also, with water filling up the plane...did Amelia throw out anything that would have been made valuable. Or did she have enough time? It sounds more and more like they only had minutes to spare.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on March 31, 2013, 02:01:16 PM
The question about why AE would make an injured FN get back into the plane is a good one (particularly as it would be extremely hot in there).  I don't think it's much of a reach though...if FN is indeed sick and suffering some kind of psychic break, but ambulatory, she'd almost have to keep him with her at all times to keep an eye on him. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on March 31, 2013, 03:18:23 PM
TIGHAR Tracks shows the estimated Taxi and Park Area on page 59. 
Some thoughts based on the estimated park area and plane orientation:

The message was during the morning so the sun was in the eastern view, then overhead.
They may have covered the fixed cockpit windows to keep it cool. So the view may have been limited.

Also:
It looks like there may be a pool between the landing area and shore.
They may have had to wade through the pool  to get back and forth to the plane, even at low tide. Maybe they had to swim at high tide?
If Fred was hot and wanted to get out and get to shore, he may have wanted the water in the escape route to be no more than knee deep so they can wade thru it and get to shore. The water was rising at the time per Brandenburg’s Study so Fred may have thought they had to leave before it was too late.
Maybe they had bad experiences with sharks waiting too long in the previous days.

See attached pdf for illustration.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: richie conroy on March 31, 2013, 07:16:09 PM
Hi All

regarding the plane's position i believe that the 158 338 was the line in which the plane was sitting on reef either facing 158 SE or 338 NW were on reef am unsure,

i think the 391 065 was what the directional gyro was reading

just a thought

Thanks Richie 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 31, 2013, 08:10:31 PM
Perhaps rather than trying to go through these one by one, I’m wondering, perhaps I can ask Ric  a question: if you were to update the Betty’s Notes in Ameliapedia, what would you give as the one or two best explanations for the Bob/Betty discrepancy?

I see no need to update Betty Notes in Ameliapedia. Betty's Notebook is full of "discrepancies" - information that doesn't make sense to us - but we weren't there, we're not privy to information that only AE and FN had, we don't know what their situation was.  Greg Daspit has nicely summarized five possibilities that have been suggested to explain the apparent discrepancy between comments in the notebook about knee-deep water and Bob Brandenburg's calculations of water depth for a particular spot on the reef. I'll add a sixth.  Maybe the airplane was not in that spot at the time Betty heard what she heard.

On the ‘swells at high tide’ issue, there has been little or no commentary so far.

Probably because it's a non-issue.  There is no way we can know what swells there were at high tide.  Something appears to have caused the credible transmissions to stop after the early evening of July 7 and somehow removed the airplane from view by the time the Navy fliers were there on the morning of the 9th.  Going over the reef edge and sinking or being obscured by the surf is the only explanation we've come up with. If you have a better one, please let us know.

I think that it is fair to say that, unless seas were fortuitously calm for our unfortuitous aviators, many of the post loss transmissions, including the one Betty received, would not have occurred.

That dog won't hunt.  When I was there last summer, at almost exactly the same time of year as we're talking about, the seas were calm for several days and then, late one morning and quite unexpectedly, a squall suddenly kicked up, the wind shifted and picked up to about 30 knots, wave height increased, and we were forced to cease operations for the rest of the day.  The same thing happened when we were on the island in June 2010. A week of calm weather and then one day a big squall came through, drenched everybody and tossed everything around.  No big weather system.  Just a big-ass squall. I've attached a picture of it bearing down on the island.  Ugly SOB.

In short, in June/July at Nikumaroro there is nothing unusual or fortuitous about long periods of calm weather punctuated by occasional severe squalls featuring high winds, driving rain (in 1991 we had hail), and significant chop on the ocean, on the reef and in the lagoon.  Many of the squalls come up from the southeast, like the one in the photo. I can easily see the wind and waves generated by one of those monsters pushing the plane over the edge.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 01, 2013, 12:17:16 PM
Ric, were these trips deliberately planned for a time of year near the Earhart disappearance for the sake of finding conditions as close to those she would have seen, or is the timing more random typically?  It does seem valuable to take in all one can including 'conditions' - my guess would be 'no accident'?

Yes and no.  The timing of trips is always governed by ship availability and we've learned (the hard way) not to go out there between November and April (the equivalent of hurricane season in that part of the world). 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Tim Mellon on April 01, 2013, 07:50:32 PM

The message was during the morning so the sun was in the eastern view, then overhead.
They may have covered the fixed cockpit windows to keep it cool. So the view may have been limited.


I have a capture from the 2010 High Definition video that shows exactly that: the pilot's glare-shield lined with magazines and stamped envelopes as if to block the sun. Remember, in the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun would have been in the North at noon: approximately 25 degrees below vertical at Latitude 4 degrees South.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on April 01, 2013, 08:20:01 PM

The message was during the morning so the sun was in the eastern view, then overhead.
They may have covered the fixed cockpit windows to keep it cool. So the view may have been limited.


Remember, in the dead of winter in the Southern Hemisphere, the sun would have been in the North at noon: approximately 25 degrees below vertical at Latitude 4 degrees South.

Didn't they have those cardboard fold out shade things then. :) I believe in the Time and Tide article, all signals before Betty’s were in darkness except for one about an hour after sunrise.  As mentioned before, it seems like a pattern of using the radio in cool periods.  Or the pattern is due to propagation and that’s when they were more likely heard.

Maybe an event like a squall broke the previous pattern of staying cool in the shade. They possibly saw this squall as the last chance to salvage supplies, so waded out to the plane in rising "knee deep" water, and used the radio for what they thought could be the last time.

If a Squall out of the SE  blew the plane (http://www.wjla.com/blogs/weather/2011/11/watch-strong-wind-gusts-blow-aircraft-away-13615.html) NW from the farthest estimated taxi area, the search area may extend at least 200 meters north of Point S.

In this article (http://articles.philly.com/2013-01-19/news/36417581_1_tighar-wreckage-jeff-glickman) Ric already mentions looking more north
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 02, 2013, 01:36:15 AM
Good point...and breaking the transmission pattern by sending in the morning is another piece of evidence that something had happened that may have put the plane in imminent danger...like it having moved closer to the reef and further into deep water after the last tide had gone out.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on April 02, 2013, 09:07:19 AM
Agreed, The Betty/Bob discrepancy and the timing of Betty’s signal breaking a pattern may explain something.  It could be the event that pushed the plane over the edge, but based on later credible signals it could be an event in a series of plane movements. Exacerbated by lack of mooring points in the hard flat reef.

Possible sources of plane movement are:
1. Taxi
  a. To get to a higher spot
  b. To get to a mooring point, even if at a lower spot
2. Wind
3. Water Force. (wind blown waves)
4. Tide floating plane

Scenarios based on those possible movement sources:

Taxi
They could have seen a threat (Squall or Next Tide), and they could have broken pattern and moved from a higher spot to a lower spot to get to a mooring anchor point. For example a crack, hole or the N.C

Wind
If a Squall came and they were ashore, they could have seen the plane moving and broke pattern and rushed out to see what they could do. Maybe stopping it at a lower knee deep level.  If Wind moved the plane and they could taxi, they could then taxi back to the high point.

Water force
Same as Wind scenario above, but If they used Chocks, the plane may have rotated out of them from water force.  The phrase “Watch that Battery” fits the water force scenario because the water may be too high for the props to turn at that desperate time. Again, if they could taxi back after the water stopped being blown, they could possibly get back to the high point and that could explain the later messages. Or the later signals were from a lower spot(allowing props to turn with water at 1’-4”)  and they didn’t get back to the highest spot.

Tide
In the night before Betty’s late morning transmission(edit: if on the 5th), there were credible signals during high tide and a credible 6 a.m. transmission after high tide so in that case, if the tide moved the plane, they may have stayed with it until they stabilized it or tried to maximize radio time before the tide took it farther out.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ben Stevens on April 02, 2013, 11:23:45 AM
Perhaps rather than trying to go through these one by one, I’m wondering, perhaps I can ask Ric  a question: if you were to update the Betty’s Notes in Ameliapedia, what would you give as the one or two best explanations for the Bob/Betty discrepancy?

I see no need to update Betty Notes in Ameliapedia. Betty's Notebook is full of "discrepancies" - information that doesn't make sense to us - but we weren't there, we're not privy to information that only AE and FN had, we don't know what their situation was.  Greg Daspit has nicely summarized five possibilities that have been suggested to explain the apparent discrepancy between comments in the notebook about knee-deep water and Bob Brandenburg's calculations of water depth for a particular spot on the reef. I'll add a sixth.  Maybe the airplane was not in that spot at the time Betty heard what she heard.


I didn’t ask that you update Betty’s Notes in Ameliapedia -- don’t know why you think I did.

I did ask which explanations for the Betty/Bob discrepancy seemed most plausible to you. You referred me to Greg Daspit’s list of five possibilities. I’ll post reply to Greg’s post when I have an opportunity to do so.

You suggest a sixth possibility: “Maybe the airplane was not in that spot at the time Betty heard what she heard.” This is not discussed in Bob’s paper. Where was the plane when Betty heard what she heard, when did the plane move there, and what caused it to move?


On the ‘swells at high tide’ issue, there has been little or no commentary so far.

Probably because it's a non-issue.  There is no way we can know what swells there were at high tide.  Something appears to have caused the credible transmissions to stop after the early evening of July 7 and somehow removed the airplane from view by the time the Navy fliers were there on the morning of the 9th.  Going over the reef edge and sinking or being obscured by the surf is the only explanation we've come up with. If you have a better one, please let us know.

 I don’t agree with you that the possibility of waves flooding the Electra’s radio at high tide is a ‘non-issue’. We’re in agreement that we don’t know what the wave heights were. How then does it follow that we can discount the possibility that waves at high tide disabled the Electra’s radio? All that would have been required to do the job were ~ 10 inch waves during the high tide at ~1400 GMT on July 4; ~12 inch waves during the high tide at ~ 0300 on July 5; or ~ 6 inch waves during the high tide at 1500 GMT on July 5. Those are quite modest wave heights. Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction simplifies the ocean to a level surface, but after all, the ocean surface is not flat as depicted in the Brandenburg paper. Maybe the waves were sufficiently low to allow the Electra’s radio to keep broadcasting through these three ‘near misses’ but then again, maybe not. We can’t be sure. Rather mild wave action at times of high tide would have silenced the Electra’s radio before a number of the ‘credible’ radio signals, including Betty’s, were received.


I think that it is fair to say that, unless seas were fortuitously calm for our unfortuitous aviators, many of the post loss transmissions, including the one Betty received, would not have occurred.

That dog won't hunt.  When I was there last summer, at almost exactly the same time of year as we're talking about, the seas were calm for several days and then, late one morning and quite unexpectedly, a squall suddenly kicked up, the wind shifted and picked up to about 30 knots, wave height increased, and we were forced to cease operations for the rest of the day.  The same thing happened when we were on the island in June 2010. A week of calm weather and then one day a big squall came through, drenched everybody and tossed everything around.  No big weather system.  Just a big-ass squall. I've attached a picture of it bearing down on the island.  Ugly SOB.

In short, in June/July at Nikumaroro there is nothing unusual or fortuitous about long periods of calm weather punctuated by occasional severe squalls featuring high winds, driving rain (in 1991 we had hail), and significant chop on the ocean, on the reef and in the lagoon.  Many of the squalls come up from the southeast, like the one in the photo. I can easily see the wind and waves generated by one of those monsters pushing the plane over the edge.


But how calm was calm, Ric?— so calm that 6 inch waves didn’t pass over the reef at high tide?...10 inches?...12 inches?  If it were me out there, I think I’d perceive 6 to 12 inch waves to be a calm sea. Can you really be sure that the waves weren’t 6, 10 or 12 inches during those calm conditions you described?

I recall reading more than once on the forum or in other Tighar sources that walking on the reef during high tide is a difficult thing due to surf action.  Searching on the forum, I found this post by you, Ric  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,331.msg3280.html#msg3280) in which you say:
You don't need to swim or body surf to get from the beach to the outer portion of the reef where we think the plane was - if you make the trip at low tide.  Even so, the reef surface is jagged and extremely slippery in many places.  You carry a stout walking stick and you go slowly. When the tide is in it's really not practical to venture out on to the reef.  The surf will knock you down and the sharks will take it from there.”

I also note in Bob’s paper that in the “Testing the Tighar Hypothesis” section, the action of surf on the plane is explicitly stated to be part of hypothesized conditions during the period:

 “ The TIGHAR hypothesis—that Earhart landed her Lockheed Electra 10E on the Western reef of Niku on 2 July 1937, and sent radio signals from there until 8 July 1927, when tide and surf forced abandonment of the aircraft…

So, your post, and Bobs remarks in his paper run counter to the notion that wave action on the reef can be ignored. So I would say, to borrow a colorful turn of phrase from you, ‘this dog does hunt’. I think it has caught something that has so far been missed. The possible effect of tides on whether the Electra could transmit should not be dismissed as a non-issue.

Finally, a bit farther along in the same section of Bob’s paper I quoted above Bob writes: “The hypothesis was tested with respect to each constraint, in the context of a northbound landing approach over the Norwich City wreck, as was flown by helicopter simulating an Electra landing…”

A video of this is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL9FGsvB3E8). As it turns out, the tide was high at the time of the simulated flyover. About 17:00 into the clip helicopter flies over the remains of the Norwich City and we see the Electra landing area. Swells can clearly be seen moving over the reef towards the shoreline. I have attached a still of this view to this post; this still, and video it was taken from, nicely illustrate the ‘waves at high tide concept’ I’ve discussed (please note: I am not saying that the conditions seen from the helicopter were the same as in early July, 1937).

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 02, 2013, 02:59:41 PM
"You suggest a sixth possibility: “Maybe the airplane was not in that spot at the time Betty heard what she heard.” This is not discussed in Bob’s paper. Where was the plane when Betty heard what she heard, when did the plane move there, and what caused it to move? "

You make good points, Ben...but even if Ric himself hasn't addressed it, the rest of us have been discussing this very question for the last couple of days.  There's a pretty plausible scenario for the plane to have been pulled out towards the reef by surf action, and as I and others have pointed out, it fits what we know of the transmission time, tide time, and sequence of events.

I just want to go back over the question of what happened after Betty's Notebook.  I still think the panicked atmosphere in the cabin, and the sudden drop-off in messages after that point, strongly suggest that the plane went over the edge soon after that (or at the very least, that they thought it would, and that subsequent messages from the plane, if they did occur, must have been difficult to achieve for some reason, such as inaccessibility of the plane).

I'd like to take a quick look at the post-Betty's Notebook credible messages:

July 6 0300 local:  Mrs. Ernest Crabb in Toronto hears what she thinks are AE/FN for the third time.
July 7 0025 local:  Itasca hears two long dashes with faint voice.
July 7 0120 local:  Itasca hears more or less the same.
July 7 0130 local:  Thelma Lovelace in New Brunswick, Canada hears the following:  "“Can you read me? Can you read me? This is Amelia Earhart. This is Amelia Earhart. Please come in.” Earhart then give her latitude and longitude, which Thelma wrote in a book, and continued: “we have taken in water, my navigator is badly hurt; (repeat) we are in need of medical care and must have help; we can’t hold on much longer.”  This may be the same transmission as the Itasca one(s) above.
July 7 2018 local (July 8):  Itasca hears "weak Radiotelephone signals.  Talk of Earhart."

Looking over TIGHAR's rationale for rating these credible, as usual, the logic tracks to me.  I am skeptical of Mrs. Crabb though -- she overheard conversations on three separate days.  I'd just like to point out that the only other cases of people hearing AE and FN more than once (other than folks in the South Pacific) were hoaxers.

Now let's go to the "time and tide" chart in the new TRACKS.  The July 6 transmission occurs at near high tide.  All three July 7 transmissions occur just after low tide, at the very beginning of the rise, basically the same conditions as Betty's Notebook.

So this, to me is very suggestive...first, I think there's a strong suggestion we can blow out the July 6 message entirely...for reasons stated above, plus it being the only message received that day, and IF the plane moved toward the reef, the water would have likely been too high at that point to send.  Or, an alternate scenario is that AE and FN had to undertake some kind of recovery effort for the plane, and after accomplishing that were only able to get one message out before the water got too high.

The July 7 messages, I have to agree, are not as easy to dismiss, and where they occur relative to the tide coming in is very suggestive.  The content of the one decipherable message even more so:  she talks of taking on water and Fred being seriously hurt.  Tracks both the content of the immediately previous message in Betty's Notebook AND the theory that the plane has been moved from its previously shallow resting place and is being dragged out to sea.  It all fits.  Interestingly for the first time a lat/long is given...is it possible they were able to determine this on July 6?  Seems unlikely with Fred out to lunch.  But it's interesting that the only message with a lat/long is about the last one.

The last message I'm on the fence about.  "Talk of Earhart" could conceivably refer to talk in the radio room...it doesn't explicitly say Earhart was mentioned in the message.  But who else would be radiophoning in the South Pacific?  Probably no one.  I don't really know what to make of this message (I don't have a clear enough grasp of it in relation to the prior ones), so I'm going to set is aside for a second.

So what more can be theorized from this?  Granted, this is speculation, but I think we can squeeze a few more drops out of this data:

1.  No, or virtually no, messages on July 6 suggests that something happened that day.  Most likely possibility is that after the tide receded on July 5, AE and FN were able to get to the plane and move it back, but it would appear not very far.  If the Crabb message is authentic, it suggests that this was achieved at around 1300 local, and that given the high tide that day, they were able to move the plane fairly close to its original spot.  If the Crabb message was NOT authentic, then they may have only been able to bring the plane back as far as the BN location per the broadcasts the next day.

2.  July 7....timing of messages relative to tide, along with the content of one of them, suggest the plane is back in deep water again.

3.  There may have been another attempt to move the plane back resulting in the final message, but I confess I have no idea where that particular data point fits into the puzzle.

4.  Looking at the timing of the radio messages, provisionally accepting the credible messages as being (mostly) from Earhart, a timeline could be constructed that theorizes as to their actual activities on the first several days.  Periods of long radio silence for example suggest sleep time....and from there other things could be hypothesized.  Speculation, yes...but grounded in good probability, and as someone else suggested, it may illuminate a path for further research.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Tim Mellon on April 02, 2013, 09:19:07 PM

 I don’t agree with you that the possibility of waves flooding the Electra’s radio at high tide is a ‘non-issue’.

(Ben, although I agree with 99% of your analysis, I believe you may be skating on thin ice.)

I would like to introduce the revolutionary concept that AE and/or FN may have actually taken the precaution of unbolting the HF radio from the floor underneath the Navigator's desk and moved it on top of the desk (which was no longer needed for navigation). Likewise the auxiliary battery, which sat adjacent. After all, according to the Luke Field Inventory, they had all the tools necessary to accomplish such a feat, and it probably would have consumed no more than half an hour of effort. People under tremendous duress tend to become resourceful.

This would allow for the possibility of waves approximately two feet higher than originally assumed.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 02, 2013, 11:24:11 PM
There are two additional issues bearing on the question of Betty’s radio reception that I think are missing from this discussion.

One is the Bob’s Brandenburg’s analysis of the probability of Betty’s radio receiving a transmission from the Electra titled Harmony and Power (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.htm). This analysis seems to indicate that on July 5, that probability of a reception was 0.00114, roughly 1 in 800 during the 2100 to 2130 GMT time interval; it was 0.0000029, or 1 in 330,000 during the 2130 to 2230 GMT interval; and it was 0.000020, or 1 in 50,000 during the 2230-2314 GMT interval. See attached table for details.

These are pretty low odds. Using Bob’s analysis to choose between two possibilities, the first being that what Betty’s heard radio transmissions from Amelia and Fred, and the second being that Betty heard radio transmissions about Amelia and Fred, Bob’s analysis for July 5 strongly suggests the latter possibility is the correct one, doesn’t it?

The second issue is that we don’t really know what day Betty heard what she heard, because she didn’t record that information. Let me repeat that: we don’t really know what day Betty heard what she heard, because she didn’t record that information. Here I cite Tighar’s Research Document #17, titled Betty’s Notebook (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html), which forthrightly states

“One afternoon in July – the exact date is not known – at about 3 p.m. Betty was sitting on the floor in front of her family’s radio console…” etc.

Betty was definitely listening at some point after the Electra disappeared, but how long afterward we do not know. Ric rules out the weekend, but there is no way for us to know which weekday it was. It could have been July 6, 7, 8, or July 12 through 15 for that matter. Betty’s notes don’t tell us. The odds of Betty receiving a broadcast from the Electra are a lot worse on July 6 though 9 than they are for July 5. But we can’t rule these days out because we have no documentary justification for doing so. One can’t simply suggest that Betty must have heard her messages on July 5 because that was the optimal day for her to have heard the Electra transmit from Nikumaroro. The idea that the Electra was on Niku is not a proven fact, it is a hypothesis that Tighar is testing with evidence such as Betty’s notebook. If you say Betty must have been listening on July 5 because that was the day with the best reception probability then you are making a circular argument.

On July 6-8, the Brandenburg calculates much lower probabilities for Betty to have heard Amelia and Fred speaking, thus on those days it is even more probable, according to Bob Brandenburg's analysis, that Betty heard something other than a transmission from the Electra. If Betty was listening after July 9 (as she could have been because we don’t know what day she was listening) then she certainly didn’t hear a broadcast originating from the Electra on Niku, Lambrecht’s fly-over rules out that possibility entirely.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 03, 2013, 01:15:41 AM
Fair point Al...I am reasonably certain though that the July 5th assignment does not solely rest on it being the most likely propagation day.  If it was, then I'd agree with you...that alone isn't enough.  Maybe someone can chime in on this.  Because I remember this coming up some years ago and there were a bunch of reasons why July 5th was pegged as the day.  One reason I am harping on this theory about the plane being swept out to sea so much is that I originally thought Betty's Notebook, by virtue of the general confusion displayed and the length of it, had to have been very soon after they landed.  I like this theory better, and it happens to fit...but I remember plumping for July 2 years ago and it having been fairly well disproven it couldn't have happened then.  Anyway.  Someone will know.  I'm just a grunt here who pipes up when I get an idea I haven't heard anyone else say yet.

You also make a good point that it could simply be that on, for instance, on July 6th propagation conditions were such that nobody could hear anything they sent.  A good caution against reading too much into the data.

I do want to say that I think that there is no harm, and in fact possibly great benefit, in provisionally accepting certain unproven things as true to see if, by deduction, you can intuit more information from that.  Betty's Notebook is unproven and TIGHAR's case is a strong one, but it's all circumstantial.  However, if you keep that in the back of your mind at all times, it can be productive to take a non-skeptic position to see if it reading all the available evidence suggests anything further.  For instance, as I said, assuming that the credible radio reports and the tide charts are all what they purport to be, you could take a pretty decent stab at guessing when AE and FN slept, and from that you might be able to, for instance, gauge how far from the plane their camp may have been.

It's all speculation but speculation that hangs together with the available information can be used to form a hypothesis...and it can give one more to chew on and possibly, prove or disprove.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 03, 2013, 05:17:18 AM
Adam,

My thinking on this stuff is influenced by earlier threads. I am pretty sure that there was no solid reason ever given for preferring July 5 over later days.



Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John Ousterhout on April 03, 2013, 07:07:29 AM
It's been suggested that when Betty wrote "here, put your ear to it", it indicated that Amelia was talking to Fred, telling him to listen to the earphones.  Keep in mind that when transmitting, the receiver was off, so there was nothing to hear as long as the microphone switch was held down. If Amelia heard something on the earphones, and wanted Fred to hear it too, why would she transmit?
I have a hard time believing AE would transmit while talking to Fred.  That sounds more like a radio program to me, with actors playing the parts of Amelia and Fred talking to each other.  In a radio program, we would expect to hear both Amelia and Fred talking to each other.
As others have said, what Betty recorded may have been a mix of different broadcasts.  She also wasn't writing down everything she heard.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Greg Daspit on April 03, 2013, 08:30:18 AM

 I don’t agree with you that the possibility of waves flooding the Electra’s radio at high tide is a ‘non-issue’. We’re in agreement that we don’t know what the wave heights were. How then does it follow that we can discount the possibility that waves at high tide disabled the Electra’s radio? All that would have been required to do the job were ~ 10 inch waves during the high tide at ~1400 GMT on July 4; ~12 inch waves during the high tide at ~ 0300 on July 5; or ~ 6 inch waves during the high tide at 1500 GMT on July 5. Those are quite modest wave heights. Brandenburg’s tide reconstruction simplifies the ocean to a level surface, but after all, the ocean surface is not flat as depicted in the Brandenburg paper. Maybe the waves were sufficiently low to allow the Electra’s radio to keep broadcasting through these three ‘near misses’ but then again, maybe not. We can’t be sure. Rather mild wave action at times of high tide would have silenced the Electra’s radio before a number of the ‘credible’ radio signals, including Betty’s, were received.

I think that it is fair to say that, unless seas were fortuitously calm for our unfortuitous aviators, many of the post loss transmissions, including the one Betty received, would not have occurred.

Would 6” to 12” waves get through the skin of the plane into the cabin?
I think a small wave hitting the plane may move it, and the movement could cause sloshing of water already in the cabin, but not necessarily raise the water level in the cabin, other than what more water got in through gaps that flooded it.  And the more water in the cabin, the more force needed to move the plane to make it slosh.

Also, a 12" wave may only be 6" higher than what would be level? I'm not sure of that on a reef condition.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 04, 2013, 12:51:38 AM
Adam,

My thinking on this stuff is influenced by earlier threads. I am pretty sure that there was no solid reason ever given for preferring July 5 over later days.

LOL...no doubt we'll soon know!

As for BN more likely being a radio play or a series of broadcasts taken together, this has been suggested, and rebutted fairly convincingly, a number of times.  I'm not going to repeat the arguments (someone else might) but they're persuasive and also the same ones that leaped to my mind when I was considering whether to believe it or not.

This is the thing:  extraordinary claims DO require extraordinary proof.  HOWEVER, it is not necessarily less "likely" that some woman heard Amelia Earhart on her radio than plumping for another more mundane explanation that doesn't fit the known facts.  It's a trick of the human mind to automatically reach for a more comfortable, "known" explanation if something extraordinary happens.  And a certain degree of skepticism is very good to have -- but if it pushes you to reach an even more unlikely and improbable solution just because it's more mundane, then you're not really reaching a logical conclusion.  You're just being pushed around by a different kind of bias...in considering all evidence, you have to accept that sometimes, extraordinary things DO happen.

This was hashed out at length a while back when there were some agents provacateur on the board...but the thing is, if you don't believe Betty's Notebook, far and away the most likely explanation is she made the whole thing up.  I know that's something people don't want to attribute to this woman but look...take sentiment and bias out of it and look at it logically, that's where the probabilities lie.  If you believe she heard something, but not AE, then there's all kinds of things you have to account for (e.g. why a radio show that goes on for 2 hours, why no one else heard it) to get an alternate explanation.  It's just as I said above...just because it's more mundane, and thus a more comfortable answer, doesn't make it more likely or possible.  To be more likely, it has to fit the facts better.  Knocking a hole or two in a hypothesis doesn't get you there...unless there's fewer holes in the alternate hypothesis.  If you don't like the AE theory, and you want a probable explanation for the notebook that fits the facts squarely, there it is:  she made it up.  If you don't like either explanation, well, then that's a problem.  But that isn't enough in and of itself to raise other explanations to the level of probability, even though it may feel like it...because again...mundane answers are simply more comfortable ones and there's a tendency to not apply the same burden of proof to them.  Kind of the reverse:  "unextraordinary claims don't require much proof at all."  Except from a logical and not visceral standpoint, that is not true.  And sometimes, things are just exactly as they appear, even if they beggar belief.

If you think about it, a lot of peoples' problem with BN is that the notes don't make any sense, and AE or FN are not acting in a way they are expected to behave.  I see that as one of the biggest indicators of its authenticity.  Take a look at the messages of the known hoaxers to get a sense of what I mean.  They're crafted to be EXACTLY what people would expect such a message to sound like.  "We're floating in a plane and our position is bla bla."  Or whatever.  BN is nothing of the kind.  All those crazy numbers, the garbled transmission, the elements that don't seem to make any sense...who would make that up?  Or, for that matter, put it together in broadcast form?

If BN DID hear something, and it wasn't AE, then it probably was a very extraordinary confluence of events...possibly even less probable than the one we're weighing now.  But let us not forget, on either side of the question:  low probability events do happen, every day, all the time.  We don't think about them precisely because most of them ARE mundane.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 04, 2013, 10:57:37 PM
Adam,

In one part of your post, you say “…a certain degree of skepticism is very good to have -- but if it pushes you to reach an even more unlikely and improbable solution just because it's more mundane, then you're not really reaching a logical conclusion…”

To me, you’ve just described your own analysis here. You’re ignoring the more likely conclusion in favor of the less likely one. And the far less likely one, at that.
 
Remember that Bob Brandenburg’s Harmony and Power study (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.htm) found the probability of a reception by Betty on July 5 to be quite low. The odds were roughly 1 in 800 during the first hour she was listening, 1 in ~330,000 during the second hour, and 1 in ~50,000 during the last hour or so she was listening. Isn’t the logical, most likely, conclusion that whatever it was Betty heard, it was not Amelia and Fred?

Perhaps if the same facts are presented outside the context of Betty’s Notebook you’ll think differently:

Thought Experiment # 1: Let’s assume on the next Niku expedition Dr. King finds a human finger bone at the Seven Site. It is carefully collected to avoid DNA contamination and brought back to the states and analyzed. The lab results indicate that there is a 1 in 800 chance that the finger bone belonged to Amelia. What is your conclusion about whose finger bone Dr. King found? What if the DNA analysis produced a 1 in 50,000 probability, or a 1 in 330,000 probability that the finger bone was Amelia’s?

Now, remember also that we don’t know what day Betty actually heard what she recorded in her notebook. In my reading on this web site, I’ve seen no update to what Tighar Research Document #17 tells us about Betty’s Notebook, which is: “One afternoon in July – the exact date is not known – at about 3 p.m. Betty was sitting on the floor in front of her family’s radio console…” etc. We have no evidence to choose July 5 as the date that Betty heard what she heard, rather than some other weekday that week, or even a weekday the following week for that matter. The probability of a reception was much lower for Betty on those other days, and we have no reason to rule any of those other days out.

So, now, onto Thought Experiment #2

Thought experiment #2 begins with Tighar history: Dr. Kar Burns reanalyzed Dr. Hoodless’s bones measurements using Fordisk (http://tighar.org/Publications/TTracks/14_2/14-2Bones.html). She concluded, with caveats, that there was a 65% chance the castaway was a female, 35% chance the castaway was male.

Now, for the purposes of the thought experiment, let’s suppose that we learn that Dr. Hoodless notebook contains measurements of 5 partial skeletons, and we have no way of knowing which set of measurements were taken from the Niku Castaway because Dr. Hoodless’s notes don’t tell us. One set of measurements yields the 65%/35% ratio, the other four sets all yield 50%/50% gender ratios* when analyzed using the identical Fordisk program used by Dr. Burns. What can be logically concluded about the gender of the castaway?

(note to readers: this is hypothetical example—no need to make a post telling me that we know Dr. Hoodless’s measurements were of the Niku skeleton!).

If you can see how my two thought experiments are essentially equivalent to the two points I raised about Betty’s notebook:

1) The probability of reception on July 5 was low, and
2) Betty might equally well have been listening on several other days with poorer probabilities for reception

then it would be interesting to know if they have changed your conclusions (Adam or others) about Betty’s Notebook.

If my little thought experiments don’t change your mind, so be it. You are free to believe what you wish to, of course. But if Bob Brandenburg’s probability analysis is correct, the chances that Betty heard Amelia, even on the ‘best’ day, were pretty slim.

It has been interesting to think about all the issues surrounding Betty’s notebook, radio transmissions, tides, etc. The collection of information Tighar has amassed here is a great resource for studying this and other issues. I have been more interested in the land search and the sea search—actual artifacts—than the radio transmissions, and I guess in the end, for me the Betty story is compelling, but most probably a false lead in the Earhart disappearance mystery. I do hope to get away from posting on this thread and back to reading and posting on some of the threads that pursue other leads in this fascinating mystery.

----
* statistical sticklers will note that I should have made the odds for a Female at least a little less than 50%, but I think the general point is clear.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 04, 2013, 11:19:56 PM
Al...

Nice post, but it doesn't really offer much new food for thought, I'm afraid.

1. "In one part of your post, you say “…a certain degree of skepticism is very good to have -- but if it pushes you to reach an even more unlikely and improbable solution just because it's more mundane, then you're not really reaching a logical conclusion…”

To me, you’ve just described your own analysis here. You’re ignoring the more likely conclusion in favor of the less likely one. And the far less likely one, at that."

Actually, quite the opposite.  As I said before, if you don't buy Betty's Notebook on propagation grounds (or any other), you have a perfectly plausible scenario in front of you:  she made it up.  I didn't ignore a more likely conclusion.  I was the one who pointed it out.  What I'm saying is the (to you more probable) conclusion that "she heard something but it wasn't AE or FN", while it sounds nice, breaks down as soon as you're asked to provide the WHAT.  Such a "what" may exist but if you can't produce it, then no.  It's not more likely.  That's exactly what I'm saying.  Such a "what" may exist, yes.  I already posited that, too. But I have yet to hear a third explanation that has fewer holes/inconsistencies to overlook than the AE scenario.  They're simply more mundane, everyday explanations that SOUND more plausible.  But they don't fit what is in the notebook and the known facts.

Basically you're saying "there must be some other explanation," and because the two most likely ones are unbelievable to you, that undefined third explanation is by definition more likely.  'Taint so.  It's just more intuitive to you because you don't like the likely explanation (Betty made it up) nor the unlikely but proven possible explanation which best fits the known facts otherwise (it's exactly what it purports to be).  If you can't come up with a specific third explanation that better fits the facts, then maybe there really ISN'T one.  Or there is one, but no one's thought of it yet (totally possible).  But until someone produces that, I'm certainly not going to assign it a high degree of likelihood, and you have no real basis for it either.  I get where you're coming from on a gut level, and you may even be correct...I'm just disputing your assessment of probabilities.

Unlikely things happen...every day.  AE sent soundwaves out into the ether for several days.  And one girl somewhere in the world gets lucky and catches part of it?  That's really not all THAT improbable.  Instead, it could have been Joe Blow in Eskimo, AK with a 1 in 1,000 shot.  It's just statistics...big enough sample space, enough random things making the world turn....people win the lottery all the time.  Weird coincidences happen all the time.  With much longer odds than 1 in 800.

2.  "Betty might equally well have been listening on several other days with poorer probabilities for reception".

Well not EQUALLY well, but I already took your point.  I already agreed that if that's the only basis for the July 5th ID, it's not enough to hang one's hat on.  I'm waiting for someone else to chime in on this, because my recollection is different from yours.  But I honestly don't know.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 06, 2013, 09:18:47 AM
I don’t agree with you that the possibility of waves flooding the Electra’s radio at high tide is a ‘non-issue’. We’re in agreement that we don’t know what the wave heights were. How then does it follow that we can discount the possibility that waves at high tide disabled the Electra’s radio?

We can't and we don't discount the possibility. There are many events that COULD have happened that would invalidate Betty's Notebook as a legitimate record of a radio call from Earhart.  The plane could have crashed in New Britain. The plane could have crashed at sea.  The plane could have crashed upon landing at Gardner. Waves could have disabled the radio.  The list is endless.  The question we must ask is the same one we asked of all of the other reported post-loss receptions.  Are Betty's notes "credible," that is, is there anything about Betty's Notebook that disqualifies it as being a record of a communication from the Earhart Electra. 

Rather mild wave action at times of high tide would have silenced the Electra’s radio before a number of the ‘credible’ radio signals, including Betty’s, were received.

That's true, but as we both acknowledge, we have no evidence that such wave action occurred.  We do, however, have credible reported signals that suggest such wave action did not occur until after the last credible signal on the evening of July 7 (Niku time).

I think that it is fair to say that, unless seas were fortuitously calm for our unfortuitous aviators, many of the post loss transmissions, including the one Betty received, would not have occurred.

But how calm was calm, Ric?— so calm that 6 inch waves didn’t pass over the reef at high tide?...10 inches?...12 inches?  If it were me out there, I think I’d perceive 6 to 12 inch waves to be a calm sea. Can you really be sure that the waves weren’t 6, 10 or 12 inches during those calm conditions you described?

Of course not, any more than I can be sure that Betty didn't make the whole thing up.  We're not talking about certainty.  If we were, we'd be celebrating the conclusive solving of the Earhart mystery.  We're talking about assessing probabilities.  That's what investigation is all about.

I recall reading more than once on the forum or in other Tighar sources that walking on the reef during high tide is a difficult thing due to surf action.  Searching on the forum, I found this post by you, Ric  (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,331.msg3280.html#msg3280) in which you say:
You don't need to swim or body surf to get from the beach to the outer portion of the reef where we think the plane was - if you make the trip at low tide.  Even so, the reef surface is jagged and extremely slippery in many places.  You carry a stout walking stick and you go slowly. When the tide is in it's really not practical to venture out on to the reef.  The surf will knock you down and the sharks will take it from there.”

I stand by that.  The surf on the reef flat doesn't need to be anywhere radio transmitter height to knock you on your butt.


I also note in Bob’s paper that in the “Testing the Tighar Hypothesis” section, the action of surf on the plane is explicitly stated to be part of hypothesized conditions during the period:

 “ The TIGHAR hypothesis—that Earhart landed her Lockheed Electra 10E on the Western reef of Niku on 2 July 1937, and sent radio signals from there until 8 July 1927, when tide and surf forced abandonment of the aircraft…

So, your post, and Bobs remarks in his paper run counter to the notion that wave action on the reef can be ignored. So I would say, to borrow a colorful turn of phrase from you, ‘this dog does hunt’. I think it has caught something that has so far been missed. The possible effect of tides on whether the Electra could transmit should not be dismissed as a non-issue.

Let me try to clarify it for you.  The available evidence suggests that tides and surf action on the reef from July 2 until the evening of July 7 were not of sufficient height to disable the transmitter.  Some action, probably wave action at high tide around sunrise on July 8 (Niku time), washed the aircraft over the edge.  Exactly when the aircraft was abandoned and whether Fred got out is a matter of speculation.  Somebody seems to have been aboard and transmitting on the evening of July 7.  The last reasonable chance to get ashore may have been in the wee hours of July 8 as the tide was coming in and the surf was picking up - not a pleasant prospect in the dark.  All of this is what the available evidence suggest to me.  I do not pretend to assert that it is what happened.

Finally, a bit farther along in the same section of Bob’s paper I quoted above Bob writes: “The hypothesis was tested with respect to each constraint, in the context of a northbound landing approach over the Norwich City wreck, as was flown by helicopter simulating an Electra landing…”

A video of this is available on YouTube (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DL9FGsvB3E8). As it turns out, the tide was high at the time of the simulated flyover. About 17:00 into the clip helicopter flies over the remains of the Norwich City and we see the Electra landing area. Swells can clearly be seen moving over the reef towards the shoreline. I have attached a still of this view to this post; this still, and video it was taken from, nicely illustrate the ‘waves at high tide concept’ I’ve discussed (please note: I am not saying that the conditions seen from the helicopter were the same as in early July, 1937).

I was in that helicopter. Yes, it's a good illustration of how waves move across the reef flat at high tide.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Scott C. Mitchell on April 06, 2013, 10:05:10 AM
What would be the effect on the aircraft if the propeller was rotating and big solid swell raised the water level momentarily to substantially impede the propeller?  If AE and FN were trying to eke out a few last radio transmissions before the aircraft is dragged into the surf or over a drop-off (a scenario that has been described in this thread), it is easy to imagine them transmitting regardless of the rising water.  Would the impact of propeller blades on the water merely stop the rotation, or could it send propeller parts flying all over?

I must say, this most recent discussion triggered by Bob's excellent article in Tighar Tracks and the observation of Betty's transcript possibly occuring during a zone of rising water level has offered a new appreciation of the last few desperate days of the castaways.

Scott
#3292
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 06, 2013, 10:52:19 AM
It's been suggested that when Betty wrote "here, put your ear to it", it indicated that Amelia was talking to Fred, telling him to listen to the earphones.  Keep in mind that when transmitting, the receiver was off, so there was nothing to hear as long as the microphone switch was held down. If Amelia heard something on the earphones, and wanted Fred to hear it too, why would she transmit?

Remember that Betty did not hear an uninterrupted dialogue and there is no indication in the notebook of how much of a pause or delay there was between the transcribed words and phrases.
Notations at the top of the pages indicate that Betty heard what she heard starting at 16:30 and ending at 18:15  EST - which would be 10:30 to 12:15 at Niku and 21:30 to 23:15 GMT.  Unfortunately Betty didn't jot down the date so we have to look for clues within the transcription as to which day it might have been. 

On the first page of notes, one of the first entries is an apparently garbled phrase (spoken by Amelia, according to Betty's later recollection) "W40K Howland port or W O J Howland port." Whatever Earhart actually said, she was apparently attempting to get a response from Howland.  Noonan, in the context implied by the rest of the notebook, is irrational and panicky.  He makes the comment "waters high." He's frightened and he wants to abandon ship. Apparently seeking to calm him down, AE says "Here , put your ear to it."  Put his ear to what?  The headphone ear piece is the only thing I can think of that makes sense.  She has been calling Howland and hears a response.  She wants Noonan to hear it so that he will calm down.  This would be occurring at or very shortly after 21:30 GMT.

At 21:30 GMT and again at 21:35 GMT on July 5, ITASCA sends a transmission to Earhart in Morse code.  If Earhart heard it she wouldn't be able to understand it but it would be an encouraging sign.

Monday, July 5 is the only day on which we see this kind of possible correlation between Betty's notebook and the Itasca log. 

Remember also that we don't know exactly how the Electra's radio system worked.  It appears that, unlike the usual arrangement, the transmitter and receiver did not share a common antenna where keying the transmitter automatically took the receiver off line.  Transmitter and receiver seem to have been completely separate systems each with its own antenna.  There was a curious panel of five toggle switches on the cockpit "shelf" in front of the co-pilot seat (illustration attached).  It looks like she could:
• Select between 6210 Kcs ("DAY") and 3105 Kcs ("NITE 3105") crystals.
• Select between code ("C.W.") and voice ("Phone").  This may have been basically an off/on switch for the 500 Kcs crystal.
• Select between receiver on ("REC") and receiver off ("OFF")
• Select between microphone on ("MIKE") and microphone off ("OFF").  This may have been in lieu of a push-to-talk button.  Some of the early push-to-talk buttons were stiff and AE may have wanted to be able to just flip the mic on and talk.  Pure speculation but I can't think what else that toggle could be for. 
• Select between transmitter on ("TRANS") and transmitter off ("OFF")

I have a hard time believing AE would transmit while talking to Fred.

I don't, especially if that toggle was a push-to-talk lock down.

  That sounds more like a radio program to me, with actors playing the parts of Amelia and Fred talking to each other.  In a radio program, we would expect to hear both Amelia and Fred talking to each other.

We would also expect to hear a narrator, music, and commercials.  TIGHAResearchers have received a CD with an audio recording of the July 8 March of Time broadcast - the only known show that attempted a re-enactment of events associated with the Earhart disappearance and search (then going on).  It's very apparent that what Betty and others who reported hearing post-loss transmissions heard was nothing like a radio show.

As others have said, what Betty recorded may have been a mix of different broadcasts. 

Betty does not remembering changing the dial so it's hard to see how she could be picking up a mix of broadcasts.

She also wasn't writing down everything she heard.

If she (or her father when he came home) had heard something that debunked the idea that they were hearing a genuine call from Earhart, do you think her father would have taken the notebook to the Coast Guard or that Betty would have remained as passionate as she did throughout her later life?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 06, 2013, 11:01:07 AM
What would be the effect on the aircraft if the propeller was rotating and big solid swell raised the water level momentarily to substantially impede the propeller?

Nothing good.  Depending on how fast the prop was turning it could bend the prop tips causing a severe out-of-balance condition and extreme vibration.  If the water was enough to cause a sudden stoppage it could bend the crankshaft.  In any case, a water strike would probably mean game-over for running the engine.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John Ousterhout on April 06, 2013, 11:35:42 AM
Do we have any reports of someone hearing Amelia's AND Fred's voices (or any other 2nd person on board) over the radio at the same time? If so, that would add a lot of credence to the hot-mike idea.
I see from http://tighar.org/wiki/Radio_equipment_on_NR16020 that the switch configuration on the final flight is uncertain.  Prior to re-reading it, I hadn't noticed that the switchology had likely been changed in some unknown ways.  This may mean that the radio switch arrangement prior to the last flight might have prevented the situation in which both an open mike and reception on the earphones happened at the same time. If so, then there wouldn't be prior examples.
 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on April 06, 2013, 11:47:15 AM
I got my multi-engine sea rating in a Grumman Goose at Catalina Island in 1957 and I can tell you the airplane just about submerges on take-off and water drenches the engine and propellor and you are blind for a few moments...at take-off rpm.

I have also slid off a beach in the Otter on ice into chest deep water (minus 5 deg. F.) and tried to taxi out with about 5 inches up the blades and thought the engine mount would break and went swimming to get to the beach...so I don't think there is any rule but "at idle" isn't the answer.
But no; it won't break the propellor.

I was one of the ones who discussed the effects of idle rpm on even a calm day because of the prop picking up spray.
The plane stationary on the water will pick up spray even 8 or 10 inches above the surface...and the engine will be at a higher rpm than 900 rpm (as was tested) because the voltage regulator and the reverse current relay will need a positive charge to kick out...It's been many years since we used the old carbon pile reg. and went to the solid state type...so I'm talking about a long time ago and I'm 80 + so I'm discussing with "half my brain tied behind my back" and I had not intended to belabor the point...But I think it will be somewhere about 1200 to 1500 rpm before the reg. kicks in and you've got voltage to the battery and showing a good charge.
I melted all the wire under the panel in the Beaver trying to taxi at idle on floats without a working reg. system and propped it to get home and the mechanic worked all night so I could fly the next day
If you are sitting on the edge of a 1000 foot drop, and the plane is "slipping" and the copilot is suffering from a head injury and you have at best a very difficult airplane to exit....then you won't be going by a water surface that clears the prop by a few inches; you are worrying about blowing water all over the right engine.
I once pulled 30 tons of herring off a beach with the Beaver idling at less than 900 rpm so we're not talking about what the equipment  is acting like...we are talking about a fearsome operation that has to be at night (radio reception) and it is my claim that they ran it during the day and transmitted at night...still concerned with tide, but different factors.
You don't really  want me want me to go through this point by point...And I don't want to!
But I have HEARD transmissions from Darwin here in Alaska by obviously a very unusual situation, or I would not remember it ...we flew for years and talked to the office and to boats on those frequencies AE was using; I have pulled up to boats out in the opens sea...you will be going up and down on that big swell you cant even see and it takes a skiff to transfer the halibut a friend is giving you...have done the same thing for lobster off catalina is....50 years ago.
You are going to rise and fall even on a "calm" day.
that swell scrubs you in and out towards the water, and drags you sideways along the beach too...As I discussed earlier.
Amelia will be "proven" one way or another...nothing I say will help or hinder, because I'm no good at theories...I just intrude to offer actual experiences...will no longer attempt at navigation (in my world you lay out a ruler on a chart, say there[s where I want to go, and this is what I need to do to make it happen. I think they did.

I am convinced Betty heard what she says, I'm convinced that Ae and FN got themselves to Gardner, and I'm convinced the bones were hers...
Anything else that I've read goes against anything that I've learned over a long active life...
End of rant; don't know where to post where it will help...but we keep plowing old ground !
I believe in Tighar and their  theories and Ric, I believe your patience is endless !?!
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 06, 2013, 12:04:02 PM
Do we have any reports of someone hearing Amelia's AND Fred's voices (or any other 2nd person on board) over the radio at the same time?

Both Betty and Mrs. Crabb heard two people - a woman who said she was Amelia Earhart and a man who was with her - speaking back and forth to each other in the same transmission.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Randy Conrad on April 06, 2013, 02:18:20 PM
As I've been reading the past couple of days, I'm convinced with alot of you that Betty's notebook is definately genuine! Also, with her hearing two voices I'm wanting to know Ric that in 1937 when people spoke through two headsets, wouldn't you have to be at a designated distance to avoid feedback? Also, does anyone know for a fact if Fred was in the co-pilot's seat during the last few minutes of transmission on the morning she vanished. The reason I say that is if Fred was up in the nose of the plane with Amelia..he most likely would have walked away from the plane with her without minimal injures. Had he been at the back of the plane where  he did most of his navigating..then that would tell the story of why he was wanting to get out of the plane, because he suffered major injuries from being tossed around. I honestly feel that this explains why the two could speak so well without all the interference noise in the background...She was in the nose of the plane and he was at the back of the plane. Also, if Fred suffered injuries from what Betty described in her notebook, whats to say that the back half of the plane broke apart already! If this is the case..then can they still start the  engine without having the rest of the plane become imbalanced???
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ted G Campbell on April 06, 2013, 05:39:15 PM
It seems to me that the MIC on-off switch controlled the intercom.
Ted
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: jgf1944 on April 06, 2013, 05:57:16 PM
I honestly feel that this explains why the two could speak so well without all the interference noise in the background...She was in the nose of the plane and he was at the back of the plane.
  Hi Randy. If FN was aft, why would he repeatedly command/order (check Betty's Notebook) AE to let him out of the aircraft? Being next to the door, he could have simply opened it and stepped out.
   John.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Scott C. Mitchell on April 07, 2013, 10:24:43 AM
When you review the transcript of Betty's Notebook, it is gripping how so many of the captured phrases deal with an anxious awareness of water levels and some kind of apparent movement of the aircraft, both in the intended transmission and background talk:  "Water's high". . ."it's going". . . "water's knee deep". . . "we can't bail out". . . "knee deep over". . . and Betty's notation:  "She [AE] was having trouble, getting water so high the plane was slipping."  You also hear what can be characterized as "last words" -- when you're in a hopeless situation and your remaining objective is to fling out a final personal message in the short time that is left - such as AE's "get the suitcase from my closet" and possibly Fred calling out to his wife.  It is chilling to contemplate that Betty not only picked up a message from AE, but what appears to be what AE and FN may have thought was their last transmission.

Scott
#3292
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 07, 2013, 08:08:23 PM
It seems to me that the MIC on-off switch controlled the intercom.
Ted

There was no intercom.  The crew communicated by passing written notes even when they were both up front.  Verbal communication was almost impossible due to engine noise and deafness caused by long exposure to it.  When Merrill and Lambie flew the other 10E Special to England in May 1937 they landed deaf.  Linda Finch, on her 1997 commemorative flight around the world in a 10E, used a modern noise-cancelling headset but still had difficulty.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: richie conroy on April 08, 2013, 03:52:28 PM
Hi All

I have narrowed down as best i can the following 5 pages on Purdue  http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/results.php?CISOOP1=exact&CISOFIELD1=CISOSEARCHALL&CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOBOX1=Search+%26+rescue+operations&CISOSTART=1,1

relating to telegrams in the search and rescue of Amelia and Fred hope this helps

Thanks Richie
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 08, 2013, 05:27:18 PM
I have narrowed down as best i can the following 5 pages on Purdue

What are you trying to nail down?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: richie conroy on April 08, 2013, 07:17:31 PM
Nothing nailed, just telegrams from search and rescue documents that show even Howland Island were possible receive in, signal's from Amelia's plane on 5th or 4th July etc Not just Betty  :)

(http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cgi-bin/getimage.exe?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=2014&DMSCALE=12.62626&DMWIDTH=600&DMHEIGHT=600&DMX=0&DMY=0&DMTEXT=%22Search%20%26%20rescue%20operations%22&REC=9&DMTHUMB=1&DMROTATE=0)

http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/item_viewer.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=2014&CISOBOX=1&REC=9
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 08, 2013, 08:19:52 PM
Nothing nailed, just telegrams from search and rescue documents that show even Howland Island were possible receive in, signal's from Amelia's plane on 5th or 4th July etc Not just Betty  :)

Richie ol' buddy, you're re-inventing the wheel and we've already built a bullet train.  Brandenburg and I spent 12 years assembling, databasing and evaluating reported receptions of post-loss radio transmissions from Earhart. Everybody tends to focus on Betty's Notebook because there is so much information there to puzzle over, but other receptions are far more difficult to explain away.

One of my favorites:
Look at Record number 51, code 40650HD (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog3.html)
During the search, the U.S. Department of Interior radio operators on both Howland and Baker were listening for Earhart on 3105 KHz.  At 8:20pm on the night of July 3rd, the radio operator on Baker Island heard a strong and clear transmission from "the Earhart plane." In the original log entry the signal is described as "strength 4 (out of 5), readability 7 (out of 10)."  The calculated probability of Baker Island being able to hear a signal sent on 3105 from Earhart's transmitter if she was on Gardner Island is .96 .  That's pretty close to a slam-dunk.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 12, 2013, 10:36:27 PM

Remember that Betty did not hear an uninterrupted dialogue and there is no indication in the notebook of how much of a pause or delay there was between the transcribed words and phrases.
Notations at the top of the pages indicate that Betty heard what she heard starting at 16:30 and ending at 18:15  EST - which would be 10:30 to 12:15 at Niku and 21:30 to 23:15 GMT.  Unfortunately Betty didn't jot down the date so we have to look for clues within the transcription as to which day it might have been. 


This is something that I've been confused about. The introduction to Betty's Notebook (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html) seems to indicate that Betty started listening at about 3PM her time and listened till about 6:15 PM, i.e., "One afternoon in July – the exact date is not known – at about 3 p.m. Betty was sitting on the floor in front of her family’s radio console...The transmissions continued to come in, off and on, for about three hours until 6:15 p.m". But here Ric is saying that Betty started hearing what she heard at 4:30 PM her time, and Bob Brandenburg's probability calculations in Harmony and Power (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.htm) only cover the period from 4:30 to 6:15 PM, as per Ric's comment above.

I suspect a 4:30 PM start is assumed here (and by Brandenburg) because of the "since 4:30  5:10" written at the top of the third page of Betty's notes. But I was under the impression that the two previous pages of the notebook record what Betty heard from about 3 to 4:30 PM.

Am I missing something? What is the timeline for Betty's Notes? (I'm not asking about dates here, just times)



Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 13, 2013, 10:48:34 AM
I might as well ask my follow-up question:

What are the probabilities of Betty receiving a transmission from the Electra during the 3:15 to 4:30 PM time period on July 5 and the other weekdays?

Alf
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 13, 2013, 11:03:22 AM
This is something that I've been confused about. The introduction to Betty's Notebook (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html) seems to indicate that Betty started listening at about 3PM her time and listened till about 6:15 PM, i.e., "One afternoon in July – the exact date is not known – at about 3 p.m. Betty was sitting on the floor in front of her family’s radio console...The transmissions continued to come in, off and on, for about three hours until 6:15 p.m". But here Ric is saying that Betty started hearing what she heard at 4:30 PM her time, and Bob Brandenburg's probability calculations in Harmony and Power (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.htm) only cover the period from 4:30 to 6:15 PM, as per Ric's comment above.

I suspect a 4:30 PM start is assumed here (and by Brandenburg) because of the "since 4:30  5:10" written at the top of the third page of Betty's notes. But I was under the impression that the two previous pages of the notebook record what Betty heard from about 3 to 4:30 PM.

Am I missing something? What is the timeline for Betty's Notes? (I'm not asking about dates here, just times)

The answer is simple.  I was wrong about the three hours.  That Research Bulletin was written in 2000 when we first found out about the notebook.  We've learned a lot since then, but it's our policy to not go back and correct errors in Research Bulletins and technical papers.  They are historical records of what we thought at that time.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 13, 2013, 11:05:11 PM
This is something that I've been confused about. The introduction to Betty's Notebook (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Notebook/notebook.html) seems to indicate that Betty started listening at about 3PM her time and listened till about 6:15 PM, i.e., "One afternoon in July – the exact date is not known – at about 3 p.m. Betty was sitting on the floor in front of her family’s radio console...The transmissions continued to come in, off and on, for about three hours until 6:15 p.m". But here Ric is saying that Betty started hearing what she heard at 4:30 PM her time, and Bob Brandenburg's probability calculations in Harmony and Power (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/HarmonyandPower.htm) only cover the period from 4:30 to 6:15 PM, as per Ric's comment above.

I suspect a 4:30 PM start is assumed here (and by Brandenburg) because of the "since 4:30  5:10" written at the top of the third page of Betty's notes. But I was under the impression that the two previous pages of the notebook record what Betty heard from about 3 to 4:30 PM.

Am I missing something? What is the timeline for Betty's Notes? (I'm not asking about dates here, just times)

The answer is simple.  I was wrong about the three hours.  That Research Bulletin was written in 2000 when we first found out about the notebook.  We've learned a lot since then, but it's our policy to not go back and correct errors in Research Bulletins and technical papers.  They are historical records of what we thought at that time.

Ric, what was it that initially had you thinking she was listening for three hours, and what was it you learned since 2000 that makes you now think you were wrong about the three hours? Is there a discussion of this somewhere on the site?

Based on the times written at the tops of pages 3 through 5, it seems pretty clear that these pages record what she heard between 4:30 PM and 6:15 PM. My thought was that pages 1 and 2 were written prior to 4:30, since Pages 1 and 2 precede pages 3 through 5. What is the rationale for believing pages 1 and 2 were recorded after 4:30 PM?

If we can’t be very certain that Betty’s first two pages were written 4:30 PM, isn’t it important to know what transmission probability Bob Brandenburg calculated before 4:30 PM? Did Bob do a calculation for say, the 3:30 to 4:30 PM time period? If so, what were his results?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 14, 2013, 08:08:19 AM
Ric, what was it that initially had you thinking she was listening for three hours, and what was it you learned since 2000 that makes you now think you were wrong about the three hours? Is there a discussion of this somewhere on the site?

I'm trying remember why I wrote that she had been listening for three hours.  It may be that John Hathaway, the guy who first contacted us about his neighbor Betty, had originally told me that she listened for three hours and I hadn't worked out the time for myself yet.  But, from the beginning, Betty was clear that she started hearing Earhart at around 4:30.  The time isn't precise because it was only after she had been listening for a while that it occurred to her that she should note time - so there no time notations at top of the first two pages and at the top of page three we have "since 4:30" and "5:10."  I don't know any way to interpret these numbers other than "I just realized I should be keeping track of the time.  It is now 5:10.  I've been hearing this since 4:30."  At the top of page four she writes, "5:30 1 hr."  I interpret that to mean, "It is now 5:30.  These signals have been going on for one hour." At the top of the page five, the final page, she writes "6:00".  I interpret that to mean, "It is now 6:00."  Then she writes, "end at 6:15."  Obviously she had to have gone back and inserted this after she was sure that there were going to be no more transmissions so, like 4:30, it is an estimate rather than real-time notation.

These time notations are useful in that they give us some idea of how the various phrases were spread out over time.  The paper in the notebook is lined. Each line contains a phrase that Betty chose to enter on it's own line.
• The phrases on the first two pages (38 lines) were heard between 4:30 and 5:10 - 40 minutes, call it an average of about one line per minute. 
• The phrases on page three (19 lines) were heard between 5:10 and 5:30 - 20 minutes, again roughly a line a minute. 
• The phrases on page four (18 lines) were heard between 5:30 and 6:00 - 30 minutes. That's roughly one line every minute and a half.
• The phrases on page five (16 lines) were heard between 6:00 and 6:15 - 15 minutes.  We're back to about a line per minute.

So the notebook is fairly consistent in the average rate of reception (one transcribable phrase per minute) except for page four where the rate of reception was about 50% slower.  One phrase per minute is pretty darn slow.  Of course, within each page, many of the phrases are clearly conversations between AE and FN with each line representing the words of one speaker, so what we really have are bursts of receptions with spans of several minutes between - which is consistent with Betty's recollection of sometimes having time to go to other pages and work on her sketches between transmissions from Earhart.

We could probably go further with this kind of time-span analysis of the notebook.  Fascinating stuff.

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 15, 2013, 12:06:41 AM
Ric,

Although Betty remembered decades later that she started listening at 4:30, as you often point out yourself, people’s recollection of past life events can be flawed. I think I read that when you visited Mr. Bevington in England a few years ago, he misremembered some significant things about his time on Nikumaroro; I know for sure than in the Ameliapedia article on the Norwich City,  (http://tighar.org/wiki/SS_Norwich_City)you point out that Dick Evans, a veteran of the Niku/Gardner Loran misremembered things about the wreck of the Norwich City. So, I don’t know how sure we can be that Betty was correct about what time it was when she started to listen. It occurs to me for instance that, the ‘4:30’ entry on page 3 of her notebook might be what made Betty think that 4:30 was when she started listening, i.e., her recall of that decades-old event was influenced by having re-read her notes of the event.

As for interpreting the time information in Betty’s notes, the time information is ambiguous, isn’t it? If it is inadvisable to rely on Betty’s decades-old recollection about when she was listening, why assume that 4:30 corresponds to the start of page 1? Why didn’t Betty just flip back to page 1 and write ‘since 4:30’ at the top of page 1, if that was when she started her note taking? To me, it seems equally plausible that ‘since 4:30’ at the top of page 3 indicates that 4:30 was the time Betty started page 3, and pages 1 and 2 are things she recorded prior to 4:30; Betty wasn’t keeping track of time prior to 4:30 and thus there are no time entries on those two pages. Page 4 has “5:30 1 hr” written at the top, but the 5:30 isn’t paired with another time.  You’re assuming the end time of page 4 was 6 PM so that it meshes with the “6:00 end at 6:15” written at the top of page 5. I can understand why that seems reasonable to you.

But, a somewhat different timeline seems just as plausible to me. I take the “4:30 and 5:10” on page 3 to mean she started page 3 at 4:30 and the last intelligible line she heard was at 5:10; for the next 20 minutes or so Betty heard only garbled transmissions. Betty started a new page (page 4) at 5:30 and recorded on page 4 till 6 PM. Page 5 then represents what Betty heard in the 6PM to 6:15 time interval.

To summarize this timeline:

-Page 3 corresponds to 4:30 to 5:10 PM; 19 lines/40 minutes = 0.5 lines per minute (lpm)
-Page 4 corresponds to 5:30 to 6:00; 18 lines/30 minutes = 0.6 lpm.
-Page 5 corresponds to 6:00 to 6:15; 16 lines/15 minutes = 1 lpm.

Averaging over pages 3 to 5 we have 53 lines in about 90 minutes, about 0.6 lpm. 

Pages 1 and 2 would have been recorded in about 1 hour  (38 lines/0.6 lpm=  60 minutes) and thus these two pages could represent the 3:30 to 4:30 time period based on the average lpm for this alternate timeline.

Now, I’m not saying that this timeline is more plausible than the one you suggested, Ric, but it seems as plausible as the one you suggested.

So, I think it’s plausible that the first two pages of Betty’s notebook record things she heard prior to 4:30 PM. Did Bob Brandenburg calculate probabilities for 3:30 to 4:30 PM? If so, it would be worth going back and seeing what his results were.

In the spirit of the confidence assessment exercise you announced earlier today, I think this is worth looking at.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 15, 2013, 07:39:54 AM
Now, I’m not saying that this timeline is more plausible than the one you suggested, Ric, but it seems as plausible as the one you suggested.

I must say that your interpretation of the time notations in Betty's Notebook strikes me as odd. It's based entirely on a "three hours" statement I made in 2000 that I've said was an error.  I don't know where I got it - certainly not from the notebook, maybe from John Hathaway.  If I got it from Betty (which I don't think was the case) it was, as we've said, an anecdotal recollection that is, by definition, unreliable. Ask yourself this.  If I had not written "three hours" would you now be speculating that the receptions started at 3 PM? 

The notebook has to stand on its own. According to the Oxford English Dictionary,"since" means "From that time till now. In positive clauses implying continuity of action. ...".   To interpret "since 4:30" to mean the continuity of action applies to only that page when all of the other time notations do not use the word "since" seems to me to be linguistically unsupported.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 15, 2013, 10:50:44 PM
Now, I’m not saying that this timeline is more plausible than the one you suggested, Ric, but it seems as plausible as the one you suggested.

I must say that your interpretation of the time notations in Betty's Notebook strikes me as odd. It's based entirely on a "three hours" statement I made in 2000 that I've said was an error.  I don't know where I got it - certainly not from the notebook, maybe from John Hathaway.  If I got it from Betty (which I don't think was the case) it was, as we've said, an anecdotal recollection that is, by definition, unreliable. Ask yourself this.  If I had not written "three hours" would you now be speculating that the receptions started at 3 PM? 

The notebook has to stand on its own. According to the Oxford English Dictionary,"since" means "From that time till now. In positive clauses implying continuity of action. ...".   To interpret "since 4:30" to mean the continuity of action applies to only that page when all of the other time notations do not use the word "since" seems to me to be linguistically unsupported.

Ric,

I think you may have misunderstood my last post. My interpretation is not based on your “three hours” statement, it’s based on an alternate interpretation of Betty’s notes.

I explained this above, but let me try explaining it again a little differently. The difference between your interpretation and the alternate interpretation comes down to the matter of what place in the notebook Betty’s “since 4:30” notation is referring to.

Your interpretation is this:

- while Betty is making notes on page 3, she realizes that the time is a significant piece of information to record, so she writes “since 4:30” at the top of page 3 to indicate that she started hearing stuff at 4:30 PM. Page 3, however, in your interpretation, corresponds to the 5:10 to 5:30 time period.

The alternate interpretation is:

-while Betty is making notes on page 3 she realizes that the time is a significant piece of information to record, so she writes “since 4:30” at the top of page 3 to indicate that page 3 corresponds to stuff she has heard since 4:30, as opposed to the previous two pages, which record stuff that she heard before 4:30.

Page 3: Stuff Betty has heard since 4:30; Pages 1 and 2: stuff that Betty heard before 4:30. I don’t see an OED problem.

Now, in the alternate interpretation, pages 1 and 2 were recorded before 4:30. Assuming that Betty was recording lines pages 1 and 2 at the average rate that she recorded lines on pages 3 to 5, we get 3:30 PM as the time she started page 1, as calculated in my previous post. My previous post also gives the time periods for pages 3, 4, and 5.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the Teacher’s Answer Key to Betty’s notebook. All we can do is interpret the somewhat ambiguous time notations Betty made. If 4:30 was the time Betty started on page 1, I find it odd that she didn’t simply flip back two pages from where she was in her notebook and mark the top of page 1 with “4:30”. You perhaps still don’t like the alternate interpretation. I guess we're even.

Bob Brandenburg calculated probabilities for more than one day in July (see attached) because we don't know what day Betty’s notes were recorded. I think that since it’s unclear what time Betty began listening – 3:30 or 4:30 -- reception probabilities for  3:30 to 4:30 are worth knowing, for the same reasons that reception probabilities a number of days in July are worth knowing.

So, I’m still wondering about the question I asked in my previous post. Has Bob calculated radio reception probabilities prior to 4:30 PM on the days in the attached chart? If so, what were his results?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 16, 2013, 08:23:10 AM
I think you may have misunderstood my last post. My interpretation is not based on your “three hours” statement, it’s based on an alternate interpretation of Betty’s notes.

Oaky, thanks.  I see where your'e coming from but I still think it's linguistically shaky.

Bob Brandenburg calculated probabilities for more than one day in July (see attached) because we don't know what day Betty’s notes were recorded. I think that since it’s unclear what time Betty began listening – 3:30 or 4:30 -- reception probabilities for  3:30 to 4:30 are worth knowing, for the same reasons that reception probabilities a number of days in July are worth knowing.
 

As you see, Bob's calculations for each day start at 2100GMT - 1600 (4 pm) in St. Pete.  If you're curious about the propagation probabilities from 3:30 to 4:30 you're only missing the first half-hour.

So, I’m still wondering about the question I asked in my previous post. Has Bob calculated radio reception probabilities prior to 4:30 PM on the days in the attached chart? If so, what were his results?

I'd be surprised if that half hour changed our mind about anything. I'd rather not disturb Bob right now.  He's finishing up a detailed buoyancy analysis of the airplane to help answer the rather important question of how and for how long the plane would float.  Once that project is finished he may be willing to run the numbers for 3 pm to 3:30 pm.

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 16, 2013, 05:35:59 PM
There's one other thing about focusing only on the long probabilities of a Betty's Notebook-type reception that bugs me.  Besides what I said earlier about the fact that people do indeed win the lottery, that in a world full of a people tuned (at that time) to short-wave radios and the number of transmissions, it really isn't all THAT unlikely somebody somewhere would pick some of them up...

The other thing to keep in mind is that what Bob B. has shown is that such a reception, while theoretically unlikely, IS possible.  So when considering Betty's Notebook, it's not as if TIGHAR has not met the threshhold of possibility or conceivability.  It would not surprise me if at some later date some previously overlooked data point about radio reception, weather conditions, antenna conductivity or some other factor would arise and we'd discover that the odds of reception in that particular case were not so long after all...it's another one of those things where, if conditions are right, they're right and things will happen.  And science and our understanding of such things advances all the time in any area.  We function based on the knowledge we have at the moment.

You simply can't reject Betty's Notebook on propogation probability alone.  It IS shown to be possible, based on the information and knowledge we have, that it is authentic.  That burden being met,it has to be evaluated, not just in light of the theoretical probability of reception, but all other factors, including the (I think greater) unlikelihood of an alternate radio broadcast (which has such magical propogation properties that, indeed, only one person in the world seems to have heard it!) that could account for what Betty says she heard.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 16, 2013, 07:05:49 PM
BobBrandenburg explains:
Propagation conditions are constantly changing, due to multiple factors, including the daily sunspot number.  For a given propagation path and day, ICEPAC computes the signal strength statistics for computing reception probability -- at hourly intervals centered on GMT, 0000, 0100, 0200, etc.  The user enters, inter alia, the daily sunspot number (available from the National Geodetic Center database) -- which affects the degree of ionization in the ionosphere -- and ICEPAC does the rest, using built-in statistical distributions developed from decades of empirical data.   Since signal strength is computed at hourly intervals, the reception probability is assumed to remain constant throughout each one-hour period.  For example, the reception probability at any time between 1530Z and 1630Z, on a given path, for a given date, is assumed to be the same as at 1600Z.  Since there can be a significant difference from hour to hour, one might be tempted to interpolate, but there's no data as to how the signal strength varies versus time within a one-hour period.  It could be linear, or complexly non-linear, so any interpolation would be a wild guess.

The time boundaries in the table were chosen to match the period during which we think Betty heard signals.  Each probability applies for a one-hour period, centered on the GMT hour, so the probability during the 30-minute period before each hour is the same as the probability during the 30-minute period immediately following the hour. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Joshua Doremire on April 17, 2013, 01:08:19 PM
What would be the effect on the aircraft if the propeller was rotating and big solid swell raised the water level momentarily to substantially impede the propeller?

Nothing good.  Depending on how fast the prop was turning it could bend the prop tips causing a severe out-of-balance condition and extreme vibration.  If the water was enough to cause a sudden stoppage it could bend the crankshaft.  In any case, a water strike would probably mean game-over for running the engine.

For the layperson can you go into more detail of prop to water contact? At minimum RPM to light the generator the wind from the prop will affect the water, spray making impact less severe by the spray already breaking surface tension... I can't find any references to prop strikes and water except it 'is like throwing rocks through the prop'. So to me the 'damage' from the prop contacting a wave is not clear or easy to find info on.

How would Amelia know it is time to shut down from water being too high? Vibration from the engine, water spray suddenly covering everything? 

...
You don't really  want me want me to go through this point by point...And I don't want to!
...

I would love to see point by point by someone who has life experience with this. It would be interesting to read your point of view even if you think it is boring and common knowledge to you - I would find it very interesting. I don't think Amelia would have experience with this plane near water like this, but, adapting to it appears to have been done by them.

How well are aircraft engines, especially the generator, able to handle a conductive salt water spray? I assume they handle non-conductive rain in flight.

As far as the comments about surge in the water levels on a wave. The surge is not going to instantly flood the transmitter because the water would have to 'leak' into the airplane. The transmitter isn't sitting exposed on a table on the beach rather it is in a leaky 'boat'. It would take steady high water to flood things out. During the low water part of the wave the water could be leaking back out.

Could the engines be hand propped to start or did they have to conserve enough battery power to start the engine? Could they transmit until the battery went dead then 'push start' the engine so to speak? With the amp draw of this old radio I doubt transmit time would be very long. (I think transmit battery life was covered in the radio report.) In short did the transmit durations exceed battery life to where an engine had to be running?     
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 17, 2013, 06:12:43 PM
I'll let Bill deCreeft address your questions about the effect of salt water on props and engine components.

Could the engines be hand propped to start or did they have to conserve enough battery power to start the engine? Could they transmit until the battery went dead then 'push start' the engine so to speak? With the amp draw of this old radio I doubt transmit time would be very long. (I think transmit battery life was covered in the radio report.) In short did the transmit durations exceed battery life to where an engine had to be running?   

Yes. The transmit durations far exceeded batter life and I think it's safe to say that hand propping an R-1340, especially while standing on a slippery reef, would be out of the question.  Aside from the compression, just the height of the prop blades would be a problem.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 17, 2013, 10:41:27 PM
I don't see much about post-loss receptions from Australia or New Zealand. The post-loss catalog has only one fairly vague example. The population of Australia and New Zealand in 1937 was maybe about 5 to 10 percent of North America's, so fewer radios down there to pick anything up. But perhaps radio transmissions from Niku would propagate better to Australia and NZ than to the USA or Canada. Not a sure thing -- perhaps another thing for Bob Brandenburg to do is to calculate transmission probabilities to a one or two cities in the two countries to see what the probabilities are. Anyway, my question is: has Tighar searched through Australian newspaper archives for stories of post-loss receptions? I know I've seen a link to a digital archive of Australian newspapers; that might be a place to start, if this has not already been done.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 17, 2013, 11:29:49 PM
BobBrandenburg explains:
Propagation conditions are constantly changing, due to multiple factors, including the daily sunspot number.  For a given propagation path and day, ICEPAC computes the signal strength statistics for computing reception probability -- at hourly intervals centered on GMT, 0000, 0100, 0200, etc.  The user enters, inter alia, the daily sunspot number (available from the National Geodetic Center database) -- which affects the degree of ionization in the ionosphere -- and ICEPAC does the rest, using built-in statistical distributions developed from decades of empirical data.   Since signal strength is computed at hourly intervals, the reception probability is assumed to remain constant throughout each one-hour period.  For example, the reception probability at any time between 1530Z and 1630Z, on a given path, for a given date, is assumed to be the same as at 1600Z.  Since there can be a significant difference from hour to hour, one might be tempted to interpolate, but there's no data as to how the signal strength varies versus time within a one-hour period.  It could be linear, or complexly non-linear, so any interpolation would be a wild guess.

The time boundaries in the table were chosen to match the period during which we think Betty heard signals.  Each probability applies for a one-hour period, centered on the GMT hour, so the probability during the 30-minute period before each hour is the same as the probability during the 30-minute period immediately following the hour.

Thanks Ric, I think I understand Bob’s calculation method a little better now. It’ll be interesting to see what Bob comes up with for the pre-4:30 period.

I’m confused about one thing, though. If understand it correctly from Bob's explanation, signal strength was computed at hourly intervals, with a constant reception probability throughout each one-hour period. But Bob’s chart doesn’t show one-hour intervals starting on the hour (e.g. 2100-2200, 2200-2300, 2300-2400 GMT); instead, the intervals in Bob’s chart are 2100-2130, 2130-2230, and 2230-2315 GMT.  I am guessing then that the probability Bob lists in his table for 2130-2230 is a time-weighted average of the calculated probabilities for 2100-2200 and 2200-2300, and the probability for the 2230-2315 interval is the time-weighted average of the calculated probabilities for 2200-2300 and the 2300-2400 intervals. I see a potential problem with this: if the calculated probabilities for 2200-2300 are much lower than for the one hour intervals before and after, the way the Bob’s table combines the probabilities would de-emphasize that fact. 

Let me try to clarify what I mean with a simple example:
 
Let’s say Bob has calculated a 99% reception probability for both the 2100-2200 and 2300-2400 GMT intervals, and he has calculated a 1% reception probability for the 2200-2300 GMT interval. If we chart the probabilities for 2100-2130, 2130-2230, and 2230-2400 GMT using time-weighted averages based on the above probabilities, the results would be:
 
2100-2130            99%
2130-2230            50%
2230 -2300           50%
 
The chart makes it look like Betty’s probability for reception never got worse than 50% over the full 2100 to 2300 period, even though the reception probability was 1% for a whole hour between 2200 and 2300 GMT.

In the actual case of Bob’s table, I don’t know how much it matters, but my hypothetical example shows that to properly understand the probabilities over Betty’s reception period, the whole-hour probabilities need to be displayed, i.e. probabilities for 2000-2100, 2100-2200, 2200-2300, and 2300-2400 GMT. Or am I misunderstanding something?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Dave McDaniel on April 18, 2013, 12:47:56 AM
 HI! I'm not Bill but I'll give it a shot! The proper term for this is called "Sudden Stoppage". When a prop/rotor is suddenly slowed or stopped physics take place, sometimes very dramatically, and sometimes it is more subtle. Think pieces of shrapnel flying verses the engine losing RPM momentarily. I think the high Power/RPM=shrapnel picture is pretty much self-explanatory! However at low RPM, (revolutions per minute) the effects are much more subtle. But the physics still prevail.
 First, if you're a smoker, grab a cigarette, If not, a empty paper towel roll will work.This would represent the crankshaft or propeller shaft of the engine. Next, hold one end steady and twist the other end. You will notice, your tube or cigarette has wrinkles in it. The end that you twisted would represent the engine crankshaft under load. The stationary end would represent the propeller where it attaches to the crankshaft. This wrinkling is call plastic deformation. It is normal and lends itself in a very practical way in everyday applications  and is used in various formats in todays turboshaft aircraft to give the flightcrew indications of engine performance. This is all very well thought out by the engineers and is designed into the operational limitations of normal and emergency operations as it applies to aircraft powerplants and drivetrains. Now, Twist the tube to the point that the tube splits open and you have gross plastic deformation. This would be an example of sudden stoppage in the extreme, catastrophic Failure. Not good.
 In the case of a radial engine, attached to that shaft are rods, pistons, and valve train components, throughout 360 degrees, all dependent on doing their thing in correlation to the crankshaft, in degrees of rotation. So twisting the crankshaft, beyond design limits, even just a few degrees in a millisecond throws this wonderful, orchestrated event into chaos. Kind'a like the mixing a beautiful waltz and slam dancing! With the expected results! And none of it good!
  OK. Back to the less spectacular stuff. This crankshaft also drives "accessory" items that are driven by gears and shafts, Mounted on "Pads" or Common mounting points . All very critical to the various system that they support. This would include the starter/generator, engine oil pump,hydraulic pump and magneto. The latter required for ignition. These accessory items, back in the day, and still in some cases today, were designed with an intentional design flaw! The shafts that drive them were designed to shear or fail if they should seize (bearing/mechanical failure) or remain engaged when they shouldn't(starter) so they wouldn't cause a fire due to overheating or to prevent them from taking out another system. It is very possible that a "sudden stoppage" or abrupt deceleration in engine RPM could cause failure to anyone of these systems. The exception being the engine oil pump which is usually direct drive and does not have a "necked" or shear shaft.
 So what would happen to the prop if a six or twelve inch wave hit the prop at idle? in my opinion, not a lot at flat pitch and idle. But, it would surely have got their attention! No doubt it would have resulted in a torque moment throughout the air frame. Would it cause a catastrophic failure in and of itself? In my opinion, No. Why? Propellers are designed to flex under load to a point and would have had the only damping effect besides gear lash on the engine/gearbox assembly.  But the momentary shock may have caused secondary failure of some of the other systems as mentioned above due to the abrupt shock in the gear train.
 Would this effect the starter? probably not, unless they were starting the engine when the wave hit. Could they hand prop the engine for a start? Sure.
 Would it start? Most likely it would. But remember, one of those accessories was the magnetos. The sole source of ignition. Each engine had two independent mags for this reason.
 Would there be abnormal vibrations? probably, but to what extent? That depends. The wave (only one! doubtful. I've never heard of a 12" rouge wave. I figure it would take a minimum of 20 seconds from cutting the fuel mixture to engine stoppage (rotation) . Not including reaction time.) striking the prop would have been only momentary, but the impact to the engine mounts could have been significant. They are ruggedly built but are not designed for that kind of abuse. Think about what happens when you throw a wet towel into a ceiling fan!(on a personal note: It's only funny when you do it the first time!) Also on the bulkhead that the engine mounts pass thru are where the cannon plugs connecting these various systems and there controls could in someway have been effected by movement of the engine mounts and torsional wrinkling of the sheet metal they mounted to or that they were grounded to.  Accumulative effects.
 As to your question of personal experience as to the effect of sea spray in close proximity to a prop would have, I'd have to say minimal effect. I've done a lot of low-level overwater flight, Military(<10') with nothing other than leaving streaks on the blades.
 I do know, as one of the last accidents that I investigated be for leaving the US Army, a tail rotor strike on a 2 foot tall bush resulted in 2 serious injures and the loss of a aircraft. Sudden stoppage of anything important that rotates is not good!
 I hope this has answered some of your questions. Hopefully it will provoke more. I just can't believe I got it done on one page!
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 18, 2013, 06:49:04 AM
Thanks Ric, I think I understand Bob’s calculation method a little better now. It’ll be interesting to see what Bob comes up with for the pre-4:30 period.

I don't think you're quite there yet.  Bob wrote:
"Since signal strength is computed at hourly intervals, the reception probability is assumed to remain constant throughout each one-hour period.  For example, the reception probability at any time between 1530Z and 1630Z, on a given path, for a given date, is assumed to be the same as at 1600Z."

Bob did his calculations for the top of each hour, starting with 2100 GMT (4 pm) - so the probabilities of 2030 GMT (3:30 pm) are assumed to be the same as those shown for 2100 to 2130. To get that last half hour you're looking for (2000 to 2030 - 3 pm to 3:30 pm) he's need to run the numbers for 2000. 

The chart makes it look like Betty’s probability for reception never got worse than 50% over the full 2100 to 2300 period, even though the reception probability was 1% for a whole hour between 2200 and 2300 GMT.

I don't think you're reading the chart correctly. The probability of reception was never better than 0.0021. 

In the actual case of Bob’s table, I don’t know how much it matters, but my hypothetical example shows that to properly understand the probabilities over Betty’s reception period, the whole-hour probabilities need to be displayed, i.e. probabilities for 2000-2100, 2100-2200, 2200-2300, and 2300-2400 GMT. Or am I misunderstanding something?

The whole hour probabilities are displayed. For example, the numbers for 2130-2230 are the numbers for the hour spanning 30 minutes on each side of 2200. For 2030 GMT use the "2100-2130" numbers. 
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on April 18, 2013, 12:56:09 PM
Hi Gang & Ric
I got to this machine at 12 midnight last night so left it until morning and now can't find the "I'm not Bill " reply!
(I have a grand-daughter that I dearly love who is applying to colleges for her first year and I just can't get to this set when she drops by !?!)
I have already pointed out that the radial engines on a Grumman Goose, for instance, are immersed in salt water on take-off, you are just about blind for a few seconds if you are taking off where there are swells (Catalina Is.)...so the engine (R985's) won't quit and the props won't break...I have seen propellors so eroded by water spray that the leading edges are split down the length and curling back...and being filed by a mechanic to a blunt edge and sent out the door !...but not on an airplane I owned or even was flying !?!
So that's not the point.
I just was pointing out that calculations of possible transmit times on an airplane marooned on a reef and subject to tides and swells can't be calculated down to fractions of an inch based on calm water and and the prop clearing the water for purposes of charging the battery...if you are taxiing and moving forward along the surface you will move past the little whirlpool of water under the prop, and normally you would be around 900 to 1000 rpm.
Most of the prop spray  comes with a careless turn downwind with poor technique...it's all in any good book on water operations...and a sign of a good hand is a smooth propellor!
I doubt if that was a factor to Amelia where she ended up...
With the old generators, the engine speed has to get up to the point where the charge builds up, the reverse current relay kicks in, and the old carbon pile regulator kicks in and you can slow down and idle along.
I'm ready to make a point here but one more anecdote:
The radios we had in the airplanes were 'short wave' just like AE's, and I'm very familiar with the 'magic' involved in using those radios...a good "Static Chaser" was worth whatever it cost to get him to come around and tune everything up !!

I was dropping off Stream Guards...college kids with a folding kayak and a rifle, and we sneaked around and dropped them off in different bays where they watched for illegal fishing boats..."Cops and Robbers" stuff and more like a game to us pilots...
I was dropping them off so even though I was only a few bays away from where the fleet was, I had come from a different direction so no one knew I was there.
Skipping all the details of a good story, I dropped the guys off and they paddled away around the corner and the Cessna didn't like the hot engins so wouldn't start (my fault, of course...I wasn't "gentle enough') I ran the battery down, the tide started in and I ended up standing behind the airplane on a rock holding the airplane by the tail aimed at each incoming wave and wet up above my waist for hours...
Couldnt let go of the tail to climb in and use the radio and couldn't even take more than a few seconds to climb in and grind the battery down again to save myself and the airplane...cold wet hungry and more worried than mad by then.
Finally the kids came paddling back after hours to see why they never heard me take off so we trailed the kayak and with one of us on each float we paddled the plane around the corner where there was a beach.
With a dead battery I tried to reach my wife at our office but no answer anywhere call ing "anybody that can hear me"
Tried 2512 (the boats right around the corner and my office about 70 miles away) tried 3411( 'aircraft', and the FAA in Anchorage)...nothing.
Caught a spawning salmon and found out I had no matches and 'the kids ' had gone off to set up camp back in the bay in the bushes..so now I was going to be hungry.

I tried all this, the tide came back in, I lost my beach and since the plane was floating again and I was going to start paddling again I tried the radio again...and got a station in Bethel...hundreds of miles away and my battery was really about cold!!
Couldn't believe it !!
He said he would call my wife in Homer , my battery/radio died again...and a couple of hours later here came my Competion with a spare battery and a grin !
"I hear you're up the Creek without a paddle."
I had the short wave next to my bed for 20 years even after we all went side band...I told you before; lying in bed in the middle of the night...so loud and clear it woke me up, I heard a sailboat going into Darwin, Australia talking to the harbormaster...for several hours...and never again.

So you get the point and ...even though I have plenty more stories... and here's what i want to stay.

I don't need proof or explanations that Betty heard AE...on a reef with FN with a head wound beside her(or near enough that you could hear them taking to each other) and with the tide coming in and she asked for help and the people who held her life in their hands had lots of reasons why it could not be her...they didn't think a young girl was saying anything of value so Amelia died.
I have found people on a beach freezing to death after 13 days, hours after a coast guard flew past them "And he looked out the window at us and he didn't care..."
Because I saw footprints and flew around until they could get out of the bushes they were huddled in and wave a branch at me...I called the CG copter back and had him pick them up because it was dark by then and there were rocks and i was in a Widgeon amphib...I had to call them twice because the said they had already "done ' that bay...etc etc.

She called, someone heard her...they found a place to land, and they died there, you will find the pieces of the plane you need to "prove it (I think I have already seen picture of those pieces) if I had any money I would pay for the whole expedition...but it's too late to save AE.
It's a mystery to be solved and I have been in it's grip since I saw the Lexington 75 years ago... but I'm a pilot...if you say it will fly I'll fly it; you dont need to tell me why...and if Betty says she heard AE I believe it...you don't need to tell my why!
I'm 80, I've had a valve replaced in my heart, my memory is shot and I can't put words together..I won't be flying again.
She is there, and you will find where she was, and in a sense, ...Where she is !
That's all the help I can give you.
Bill
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Will Hatchell on April 18, 2013, 01:52:02 PM
Bill:

I thank you for your take on this. I respect your logic and sound judgment on this topic. It's so refreshing to have someone who has personal knowledge and is direct and doesn't beat around the bush! You're a valuable resource here on this forum!

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: John B. Shattuck on April 18, 2013, 01:54:22 PM
I do so love his posts...
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bill de Creeft on April 18, 2013, 02:38:16 PM
I must be getting old and soft...but you guys made me feel good !!

(isn't this whole deal really neat !?!)

Thank you.
Bill
www 'dot' alaskaseaplanes 'dot' com
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Tom Harnish on April 18, 2013, 04:21:20 PM
Bill, share the story about your Otter (on wheels) sliding off an icy beach into the water. If there was ever any account that would prove that a few waves won't destroy an engine that's the one. In fact, the image I have is rather like Amelia's situation (without the ice, of course).

I'm a flyer, too, a mere fledgling compared to Bill with his 30,000+ hours whom, I'm proud to say, was the pilot/parson at my wedding. My wife and I operated a Beechcraft C-45 for almost 10 years, a bird easily mistaken for AE's Lockheed.

The Beechcraft Model 18 was designed by Ted Wells and the Lockheed 10 by Hall Hibbard, and there are those that say they look, not very but suspiciously, similar. But I digress.

The C-45 had the same R-985s, though not as powerful as AE's, and virtually identical electrical system. All of which is to say that I vote that Bill knows what he's talking about (as if there was any doubt) when he says you had to get the engines up to about 1500RPM before the system would start to charge the batteries. There seems to be a lot of confusion about that point, so perhaps Bill's account will lay that issue to rest.

They say the way you sculpt an elephant is to get a big block of granite, and chip off everything that doesn't look like an elephant. Seems to me finding Amelia and Fred should be the same process. Only problem is some folks keep slapping goop back on the sculpture, often in the wrong place and for the wrong reasons, so it makes it hard to see exactly what the thing looks like.

It'd be interesting to see a curated collection of information, a database, of everything that has been collected, and (like intelligence data) rate it by reliability of the source and how critical the information is. Then you can start chipping off stuff, perhaps even with the help of smart statistical analysis, that doesn't look like Amelia's final resting place.

To close, a short story about Noonan. Over the years I've owned and operated several Travel Air biplanes. I found the first at Van Sant Airport north of Philly, a place run by a likable old timer by the name of Bill Smella. He told me about flying as a passenger with Noonan in a gutless 90hp OX-5 powered Travel Air on a hot day. Those of you who fly can probably guess the rest of the story. Yup, they put it in some trees at the end of a runway in New Jersey, and Billy assured me it wasn't the plane's fault. Seems Fred was flying high already...a typical state of affairs, Smella assured me.

I'm not saying all those details are accurate, but is fun to know that I'm only "2 degrees of freedom" away from our adventurous heroes.

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 18, 2013, 08:03:10 PM
The whole hour probabilities are displayed. For example, the numbers for 2130-2230 are the numbers for the hour spanning 30 minutes on each side of 2200. For 2030 GMT use the "2100-2130" numbers.

Oh, I see--I thought Bob's 1-hour probabilities were centered at 30 minutes into the hour. Hence my difficulty understanding how portions of two 1-hour intervals were combined.

Ok, one more question, since it came up a couple of time in this thread: What reason, if any, is there to believe that Betty's Notebook was recorded on July 5 rather than, say, July 7 or July 8?
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 18, 2013, 08:48:13 PM
Ok, one more question, since it came up a couple of time in this thread: What reason, if any, is there to believe that Betty's Notebook was recorded on July 5 rather than, say, July 7 or July 8?

I think that question is superbly answered on page 174 of Finding Amelia (http://tighar.org/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=36&product_id=64). The entire book is one you won't be able to put down until you have read it cover to cover ... and then start reading again from the beginning. Happy reading!
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 18, 2013, 09:31:00 PM
Ok, one more question, since it came up a couple of time in this thread: What reason, if any, is there to believe that Betty's Notebook was recorded on July 5 rather than, say, July 7 or July 8?

I think that question is superbly answered on page 174 of Finding Amelia (http://tighar.org/store/index.php?route=product/product&path=36&product_id=64). The entire book is one you won't be able to put down until you have read it cover to cover ... and then start reading again from the beginning. Happy reading!

Thanks Bruce,

I happen to have Finding Amelia, although I haven't had a chance to read it yet. I have an 800 page biography of Thelonius Monk to get through first. And I'm a slow reader.

I'll assume you're referring to this on page 174 of the paperback edition:

"Although Betty did not write down the date, the events described in her notebook dovetail with the Itasca radio log on the morning of Monday July 5..." etc.

I went to the post-loss catalog (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog4.html) to check this and sure enough I see message #141 received by the Itasca at 2130Z and message numbers 143 and 144 at 2135 and 2152Z, respectively. Betty's reception is nestled among these at #142 in the catalog.

But now I have yet two more questions:

1) I don't see probabilities associated with these three Itasca receptions;

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)."  If we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?

-Alf


Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 18, 2013, 10:17:44 PM
But now I have yet two more questions:

1) I don't see probabilities associated with these three Itasca receptions;
The messages you cite from the signals report (#141, #143, and #144) are instances of Itasca transmitting, so that the reception probability is not applicable; hence those entries are listed as "n/a".  Compare that to entries when Itasca logged having heard something, such as #50 or #52 (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog3.html).

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)." But the Itasca was listening on 3105 kHz. So, if we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?
That's an interesting question. I'm not sure what frequency Itasca was listening on at that time; could you cite where it's stated one way or another? I cannot find an entry in the signals catalog that compares to the passage you quoted from page 174 of Finding Amelia ("dovetail with the Itasca radio log on the morning of Monday July 5...") which, frankly, puzzles me a lot.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 18, 2013, 10:31:56 PM
But now I have yet two more questions:

1) I don't see probabilities associated with these three Itasca receptions;
The messages you cite from the signals report (#141, #143, and #144) are instances of Itasca transmitting, so that the reception probability is not applicable; hence those entries are listed as "n/a".  Compare that to entries when Itasca logged having heard something, such as #50 or #52 (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog3.html).

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)." But the Itasca was listening on 3105 kHz. So, if we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?
That's an interesting question. I'm not sure what frequency Itasca was listening on at that time; could you cite where it's stated one way or another? I cannot find an entry in the signals catalog that compares to the passage you quoted from page 174 of Finding Amelia ("dovetail with the Itasca radio log on the morning of Monday July 5...") which, frankly, puzzles me a lot.

Bruce, I was trying to figure out which receptions you were referring to when you cited Finding Amelia, page 174 and thought you were referring to #141, 142, and 143. Thanks for clarifying that.

Quite frankly, I don't know what on page 174 you were referring to. Perhaps you could spell it out for all of us, or at least for me ???

........
note added: OK, re-reading your post Bruce, it looks to me that you too thought there was a credible Itasca reception in the catalog, based on page 174.

additional note/question: Does it make sense for Itasca to be transmitting on 3105 (as per catalog entries 141, 143, 144) and Earhart/Noonan to be transmitting on 6210? How would this work--would  Earhart/Noonan listen on 3105 but transmit on 6210 ? Now I'm getting more confused...
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 19, 2013, 12:10:03 AM

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)."  If we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?

-Alf

No, I don't think so.  I'm not a radio expert, but I'm pretty certain each harmonic is a double of the prior one, and not a multiple of the first.  So it would be 3105, 6210, 12420, 24840.  So, the 4th, and not the 8th harmonic.  Although come to think of it that would be the 3rd harmonic.  So I guess someone else can chime in and explain that part.
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 19, 2013, 05:59:25 AM

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)."  If we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?

-Alf

No, I don't think so.  I'm not a radio expert, but I'm pretty certain each harmonic is a double of the prior one, and not a multiple of the first.  So it would be 3105, 6210, 12420, 24840.  So, the 4th, and not the 8th harmonic.  Although come to think of it that would be the 3rd harmonic.  So I guess someone else can chime in and explain that part.

Adam,

24840 is the 8th harmonic of 3105. A harmonic of a wave is a frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency, i.e. if the fundamental frequency is f, the harmonics have frequencies 2f, 3f, 4f, . . . etc.
Read this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic), for instance.

-Alf
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 19, 2013, 01:08:42 PM
additional note/question: Does it make sense for Itasca to be transmitting on 3105 (as per catalog entries 141, 143, 144) and Earhart/Noonan to be transmitting on 6210?

Sure.  Why not?

How would this work--would  Earhart/Noonan listen on 3105 but transmit on 6210 ? Now I'm getting more confused...

That's certainly possible.  She could have the 6210 crystal selected on her transmitter and tune her receiver to 3105.


Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Al Leonard on April 19, 2013, 09:39:39 PM
2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)." But the Itasca was listening on 3105 kHz. So, if we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?

That's an interesting question. I'm not sure what frequency Itasca was listening on at that time; could you cite where it's stated one way or another? I cannot find an entry in the signals catalog that compares to the passage you quoted from page 174 of Finding Amelia ("dovetail with the Itasca radio log on the morning of Monday July 5...") which, frankly, puzzles me a lot.

Bruce,

I’m still puzzled, too. I think ‘Itasca Radio Log, Position 2, Smoothed’ contains the source material for the quote I took from page 174 of Ric’s book ("Although Betty did not write down the date, the events described in her notebook dovetail with the Itasca radio log on the morning of Monday July 5...").

In the Position 2 Log, I can find post-Loss Radio Signal Catalog entry #141 (Itasca transmission at 10:00AM local time), as well as #143 and #144 (Itasca 10:05AM and 10:22AM transmissions); see the attachment.

The only signals that Itasca received around this time are a 9:57 AM reception on 3105 kHz and a ‘very faint signal’ on 3105 kHz at 1152 AM; an entry at 1125 AM in the log says ‘No signals on 3105 or near’. Itasca received these two signals on 3105 kHz, so if they were from the Electra, then Earhart was transmitting on 3105 kHz and that would mean Betty would have been listening on the 8th harmonic. But chances of a reception on the 8th harmonic of 3105 are nil, aren’t they, because ‘transmitter output on such a high harmonic is nil’, according to the Background section of the Post-Loss Radio Signal Catalog (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Brandenburg/signalcatalog.html).

Besides the unlikelihood of Betty hearing 8th harmonic transmissions, the information recorded by the Itasca radio log don’t strike me as providing very strong validation of a July 5 reception, anyway. The 11:52 reception is described as ‘very faint’, and in neither the 11:52 or the 9:57 receptions was anything reported that would indicate an intelligible message.

Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Bruce Thomas on April 20, 2013, 08:11:44 AM
Al, thanks for hauling out the Itasca radio logs and checking them for those times. The thought had occurred to me to do that, too, but I got sidetracked with all that television news out of Boston. It appears to me what you've found may indicate a need to update the signals catalog to explicitly account for those weak receptions by Itasca that are mentioned in Finding Amelia.

The ways of electromagnetic propagation are an enduring mystery to me.  I ask myself, "To what extent would a long-wire transmitting antenna's orientation favor a signal being heard in Florida, thousands of miles away on the eighth harmonic, while virtually masking its reception by a receiver mere hundreds of miles away (but positioned essentially 90 degrees away from the Great Circle path to Florida)?" That's why the probability figures in the signals catalog don't hold as much sway with me. In my mind's eye, I imagine the Electra being swung about by the tides, and the last outgoing tide the morning of July 5 at Niku dragging the tail of the plane around so that the ventral transmitting antenna is oriented in a direction that favors the Florida path. (Cue the theme to The Twilight Zone.)
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Adam Marsland on April 20, 2013, 02:58:07 PM

2) The Itasca reports these receptions as having been heard at 3105 Khz; the catalog entry for Betty's reception says she was listening on "24840 kHz (the 4th harmonic of Earhart’s day frequency – 6210 kHz)."  If we believe the Itasca receptions were from Earhart, then doesn't that mean Betty would have had to be listening on the 8th harmonic, not the 4th? What would the probability of that be?

-Alf

No, I don't think so.  I'm not a radio expert, but I'm pretty certain each harmonic is a double of the prior one, and not a multiple of the first.  So it would be 3105, 6210, 12420, 24840.  So, the 4th, and not the 8th harmonic.  Although come to think of it that would be the 3rd harmonic.  So I guess someone else can chime in and explain that part.

Adam,

24840 is the 8th harmonic of 3105. A harmonic of a wave is a frequency of the signal that is an integer multiple of the fundamental frequency, i.e. if the fundamental frequency is f, the harmonics have frequencies 2f, 3f, 4f, . . . etc.
Read this Wikipedia article (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harmonic), for instance.

-Alf

The wiki article only refers to harmonics in music, but I accept that the fundamental principle ought to logically be the same.  So I should have kept my mouth shut on this one...particularly since I'm a musician.  :)

When you're wrong, you're wrong...
Title: Re: Betty and Bob
Post by: Ric Gillespie on April 22, 2013, 10:21:21 AM
To close, a short story about Noonan. Over the years I've owned and operated several Travel Air biplanes. I found the first at Van Sant Airport north of Philly, a place run by a likable old timer by the name of Bill Smella. He told me about flying as a passenger with Noonan in a gutless 90hp OX-5 powered Travel Air on a hot day. Those of you who fly can probably guess the rest of the story. Yup, they put it in some trees at the end of a runway in New Jersey, and Billy assured me it wasn't the plane's fault. Seems Fred was flying high already...a typical state of affairs, Smella assured me.

I'm not saying all those details are accurate, but is fun to know that I'm only "2 degrees of freedom" away from our adventurous heroes.

I know Van Sant airport well.  Used to fly a Stearman out of there in the 1970s.  Bill Smella must have been there before that.  Noonan got a commercial pilot's license in 1930 but he was living in New Orleans at the time. Then he went to work for Pan Am in Haiti. Can't imagine why he'd be flying in New Jersey but it's possible. What seems less likely is that he would be flying drunk.  Noonan does not seem to have had a drinking problem prior to about 1936 and the pressure of maintaining Pan Am's killer schedule of trans-Pacific Clipper flights.