TIGHAR

Amelia Earhart Search Forum => General discussion => Topic started by: Bob Smith on March 25, 2015, 05:26:39 PM

Title: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 25, 2015, 05:26:39 PM
In pouring through the immense record of accomplishments and discovery and the techniques used on a remote deserted island, I have observed some instances where some methods might be improved for more efficient use of time and your (my) money. As you may or may not know, my expertise is in mechanical engineering ( design of engine and aircraft parts) and during my semi-retirement, in landscape methods and technology (mowing grass). You may find these suggestions helpful:
   1. From some of the pictures showing clearing and setup methods, I can see it might be a good idea to take a good heavy duty chain saw for the underbrush-- a weeny air powered weed wacker won't do it. And a knowledgeable person to operate, with an eye for safety.
   2. Wear denim jeans or similar pants and heavy boots - gloves, etc.as well as eye shielding and a construction helmet while cutting. It may be hot but if you are injured it won't matter. After living in Arizona desert for 17 years with 120 deg, I know its just better.
   3. Take a heavy hammer and chicken wire fencing to put up around your main camp, may help get a better sleep and lunch.
   4. Athough Ric appears fairly good shape, others may need a strict diet and exercise before they leave in June.
   5. Take an extra large ice cooler and tub size plastic box for emergency dips in the middle of the day. Thanks for listening, Bob
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Ric Gillespie on March 25, 2015, 06:42:46 PM
   1. From some of the pictures showing clearing and setup methods, I can see it might be a good idea to take a good heavy duty chain saw for the underbrush-- an air powered weed wacker won't do it. And a knowledgeable person to operate, with an eye for safety.

The air-powered loppers (they're not weed whackers) work well for fine, selective cutting.  For mass clearing, chain saws can't be beat.  We use them extensively courtesy of STIHL.

   2. Wear denim jeans or similar pants and heavy boots - gloves, etc.as well as eye shielding and a construction helmet while cutting. It may be hot but if you are injured it won't matter. After living in Arizona for 17 years with 120 deg, I know its just better.

Good advice.

   3. Take a heavy hammer and chicken wire fencing to put up around your main camp, may help get a better sleep and lunch.

We don't sleep on the island and we don't mind the crabs joining us for lunch.

   4. Athough Ric appears fairly good shape, others may need a strict diet and exercise before they leave in June.

I'm in better shape than I was in 2010 (maintaining an 11 acre farm and training horses will do that) and our team for this expedition is generally in better shape than the 2010 crew. Physical fitness wasn't an issue in 2012.  We just sat on the boat the whole time except for one tourist day ashore.

   5. Take an extra large ice cooler and tub size plastic box for emergency dips in the middle of the day.

LOL!  And who is going to lug this extra large ice cooler around? 
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 26, 2015, 12:26:29 PM
I was under the impression the cooler gets lighter the more beverage is stached in it...
The real reason I was going through the archives was to see if I could find any more info on the engine and airplane that somebody wanted to believe was from the island. I didn't find an ending or solution to that riddle.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 26, 2015, 02:38:19 PM
The real reason I was going through the archives was to see if I could find any more info on the engine and airplane that somebody wanted to believe was from the island. I didn't find an ending or solution to that riddle.

Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bruce Thomas on March 26, 2015, 02:38:58 PM
I was under the impression the cooler gets lighter the more beverage is stached in it...
The real reason I was going through the archives was to see if I could find any more info on the engine and airplane that somebody wanted to believe was from the island. I didn't find an ending or solution to that riddle.

To chase the ending of the saga of the search for that engine, check the entry on Ameliapedia for Kanton Island (http://tighar.org/wiki/Kanton_%28Canton%29_Island). It refers you to an article in TIGHAR Tracks about 8 years ago.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 26, 2015, 04:30:07 PM
Thanks Bruce and Marty for your suggestions and advice. As you know I am learning the ropes. I spent too much time on the first reply and got bumped off before I could post it but basically I was saying that the items 2 and 3 inMarty's post are the articles that I read that made me ask the question. I read them again and I still have the question: " what happened to the engine and the airplane"? Ric makes the point that of course we don't have the time or money to chase all over the islands, but it becomes almost as much a mystery as Amelia and her whereabouts. We should concentrate where we believe the most progress can be made in the most efficent manner. Some day though I hope we can check Kanton or other places more thoroughly. I don't believe floating bottles can be that acurate, and other notions are simply just wrong even if more romantic! There are artifacts and unidentified junk in the debri field  that could possibly have come from other places. Maybe things from Niku have gone to other places..
By the way it sounds like the Fiji Princess cruise ship is full and overbooked. Maybe some of the passengers would rather go to Kanton Island with a couple of shovels.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 26, 2015, 04:38:52 PM
"what happened to the engine and the airplane"?

The Canton engine was dumped and buried by the runway.

TIGHAR searched for it before the 2003 paper which demonstrated that it could not have been helicoptered in from Niku.

The plane in the wreck photo is a Japanese military aircraft.  None of us knows what island it was on.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on March 26, 2015, 07:01:22 PM
The plane in the wreck photo is a Japanese military aircraft.  None of us knows what island it was on.

Agrihan Island? http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/55_WreckPhotoResolved/55_WreckPhotoResolved.htm (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/55_WreckPhotoResolved/55_WreckPhotoResolved.htm)

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 26, 2015, 07:23:15 PM
Agrihan Island? http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/55_WreckPhotoResolved/55_WreckPhotoResolved.htm (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/55_WreckPhotoResolved/55_WreckPhotoResolved.htm)

Thanks, Monty!  I had missed that.   :)
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 27, 2015, 07:45:47 AM
OK! That makes it better to understand about the plane. Maybe I'll go to China someday to visit the stored version. And the engine will probably still be on Kanton when I drive by with my backhoe. You guys are very patient! I' m going to practice hyperlinking..
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 30, 2015, 07:44:42 AM
An interesting article and set of photos came to my attention as I was looking for information on other aircraft that had been rescued from the ocean. This one was a WWII German bomber raised from the English Channel that probably others here have seen. But the amount of corrosion and crust on the skin struck me as being interesting. Though aluminum obviously corrodes or oxidizes similar to iron and steel, but with a different chemical composition, I had not seen a large piece of aluminum that had been in salt sea water for 70 years and didn't really know how much corrosion would be attached or what it would look like. Given, the English Channel has a different environment of temperature, currents, salinity, or whatever, there is certainly not any shiny surfaces that reflect in the sunlight! I don't know if this plane was painted and the Electra was not, so the Electra probably, if anything, would be more corroded than the airplane in this picture.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: JNev on March 30, 2015, 08:33:30 AM
Great pix.  Sobering to consider how badly decomposed Earhart's Electra may be after all this time in sea water.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 30, 2015, 10:57:43 AM
<<<<<<<<<<
Quote from: Bob Smith on March 25, 2015, 05:26:39 PM
   3. Take a heavy hammer and chicken wire fencing to put up around your main camp, may help get a better sleep and lunch.

Ric's reply:
We don't sleep on the island and we don't mind the crabs joining us for lunch.
>>>>>>>>>>>

Some of us have slept on the island, and while it usually isn't the best night's sleep, it can be enjoyable.  Sleeping on the ground is certainly an invitation for entanglement with crabs and other critters - the centipedes may be worse than the crabs.

The answer is to get off the ground and into a hammock where the critters can't get to you.  The crabs sit around in a big circle where they can smell you, and climb up some of the tree trunks trying to find you, but navigating the hammock attachment straps is pretty tough for a crab. 

It is the combined noise of lots of crabs all scuttling about looking for fresh meat that keeps you awake.... clickity clickity clickity all night long.  :-)

I'm hoping to stay ashore at least one night during Niku VIII as for me it is worth dealing with the crabs to enjoy a night on Nikumaroro.

Andrew
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: JNev on March 30, 2015, 11:48:14 AM
I shall think of you enjoying that night in the hammock as all those crabs sit about in a circle sharpening their claws...  ;)
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Krystal McGinty-Carter on March 30, 2015, 12:49:17 PM
So I guess a tent is out of the question? A hammock sounds lovely but the idea of circling crabs gives me the heebie jeebies.

Krystal "Not-so-Crabby" McGinty
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bill Mangus on March 30, 2015, 12:54:07 PM
I think this begs for a picture; Andrew in the hammock surrounded by crabs.  This needs to be well documented for TIGHAR posterity! :D
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on March 30, 2015, 01:27:57 PM
So I guess a tent is out of the question? A hammock sounds lovely but the idea of circling crabs gives me the heebie jeebies.

Krystal "Not-so-Crabby" McGinty

I have a story about tents being able to keep critters out ... but I shudder at the possible nicknames telling it would generate for me.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: JNev on March 30, 2015, 01:30:07 PM
I think this begs for a picture; Andrew in the hammock surrounded by crabs.  This needs to be well documented for TIGHAR posterity! :D

...he'd best be careful or it may be a photo with Andrew's snorkel sticking up out of a swarm of crabs...  :P
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Krystal McGinty-Carter on March 30, 2015, 01:48:29 PM
So I guess a tent is out of the question? A hammock sounds lovely but the idea of circling crabs gives me the heebie jeebies.

Krystal "Not-so-Crabby" McGinty

I have a story about tents being able to keep critters out ... but I shudder at the possible nicknames telling it would generate for me.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP

Cant be anything nearly as bad as my "Killer Bunny in the Forest" story.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: JNev on March 30, 2015, 02:16:49 PM
I dunno... they don't call him "'Skunky" Fowler for nothin'...  ;D
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 30, 2015, 05:03:39 PM
I see there's a new picture in Google Earth of Gardner Island. Better hurry back.. looks like somebody's fishing in our spot!!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on March 30, 2015, 09:40:52 PM
Here's a photo of me in 2001 during Niku IIII getting ready to sleep in a makeshift "hammock" at the 7 site made by Jim Morrissey out of fishing net and tree limbs, complete with a few crabs a-gathering - see the little orange monsters.

Was a restless night, but I wouldn't trade it for anything given the sunrise the next morning - photo also attached.

Andrew
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Jeff Lange on March 31, 2015, 05:52:43 AM
Clickity clickity clickity is crab speak  for "Fresh meat!"
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on March 31, 2015, 09:17:17 AM
I see there's a new picture in Google Earth of Gardner Island. Better hurry back.. looks like somebody's fishing in our spot!!

Oh? Links are a beautiful thing.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR no. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bill Mangus on March 31, 2015, 09:57:23 AM
Great pictures, Andrew!

I think we need a Niku Calendar.

Which month would you like, Andrew? :D
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Krystal McGinty-Carter on March 31, 2015, 03:09:17 PM
Oh Andrew, how I envy you! Im an experienced back country camper who has been in an emergency survival situation (After a flash flood) I could survive Niku! Take me with you! Although the boat thing could be difficult. Im a bloody coward when it comes to boats!

Krystal "Bushwoman Betty" McGinty
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 31, 2015, 04:07:52 PM
Monty: sorry I took awhile to figure out how to move a frame out of google, but this is what I was refering to as a new google update. It looks new to me, anyway. The clouds have moved away from the wreck area making it a little clearer.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 31, 2015, 04:57:08 PM
Oh? Links are a beautiful thing.

Agreed, but Google Earth is an application that needs to be downloaded and installed on your own computer.

After you have done that, just search for Nikumaroro Island, Phoenix Islands, Kiribati.

Then you can zoom around the island.  The details on the shipwreck are pretty amazing--and I'm sure they are not the highest resolution available.  That's reserved for customers.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 31, 2015, 05:21:19 PM
Yes, and they keep getting better resolution. Pretty soon we'll be able to see Andrew in his hammock with his pack of crabs!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 31, 2015, 05:41:44 PM
One other short note about Google Earth if you're thinking of downloading it make sure you have the real, "one and only" Google Earth, and maybe Marty knows some more about this. There are so many subjects now having Google or Googlearth or something similar in the name that its difficult to get the right one without a third party grabbing you and making you pay a fee for their service. Google Earth is supposed to be free I think, or was when I downloaded it years ago. Don't use Google Maps, it's not the same..
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on March 31, 2015, 05:44:24 PM
One other short note about Google Earth if you're thinking of downloading it make sure you have the real, "one and only" Google Earth ...

I think this is the real deal.  The domain name is correct:

https://www.google.com/earth/ (https://www.google.com/earth/)
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on March 31, 2015, 06:09:20 PM
Oh, joy, another download ...

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on March 31, 2015, 06:22:41 PM
I see there's a new picture in Google Earth of Gardner Island. Better hurry back.. looks like somebody's fishing in our spot!!

Bob - I see the wreck of the Norwich City, which is not especially remarkable. What do you see that qualifies as "fishing in our spot?"

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on March 31, 2015, 08:08:42 PM
Nothing especially spectacular, Monty.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: George Lam on April 01, 2015, 06:29:39 PM
Nothing especially spectacular, Monty, but I got you to look at it didn't I ??

"Made you look" would have been a little more fitting for today, don't you think?
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on April 01, 2015, 07:02:50 PM
Yes, Greg of course you're right but I was debating whether to write anything today since I'm superstitious! But that is a good picture, don't you think? How did Google Earth get that picture of this tiny island out in the middle of nowhere? I bet they don't have any street level views!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Tim Gard on April 03, 2015, 03:03:59 AM

I think this is the real deal.  The domain name is correct:

https://www.google.com/earth/ (https://www.google.com/earth/)

Many thanks for the info Marty.

Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Monty Fowler on April 03, 2015, 11:09:50 AM
Having downloaded and played with Google Earth for a bit, I wonder how genuinely useful it is, despite the fact that you can get up close to the landscape and "fly" over it, so to speak. My gut tells me that a LOT of computer gimmickry is going to to enable Google Earth to do that, with all the consequent image distortions, biases, and all manner of other digital deviltry. It's a carnival funhouse kind of thing, but I feel it has limited genuine research value, at best.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR no. 2189 ECSP
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on April 03, 2015, 11:47:07 AM
The most useful thing I find to use Google Earth for is the street view available in cities where the car mounted camera (gumball machine) has been through. and the comparison you can do between the present view and a previous view they uploaded earlier to see the changes. (How the grass looks in front of your house year to year; how many new buildings have been built,, etc.) It is of little use if you want up to date views, since the picture may be a month or a year old. But not bad for free!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on April 03, 2015, 12:10:40 PM
Having downloaded and played with Google Earth for a bit, I wonder how genuinely useful it is, despite the fact that you can get up close to the landscape and "fly" over it, so to speak.

There is a thread dedicated to Google Earth on this Forum:

"Google Earth Coordinates / .kmz files for the Earhart Project (http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,391.msg4450.html#msg4450)"

I've very much enjoyed looking around Niku, measuring various distances, playing with overlays, etc.

I'm happy to give it space on my computer, FWIW.   :)
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on April 03, 2015, 02:23:34 PM
I have just read some of the threads and files of the above, Marty: Google Earth Coordinates/.kmz files .... and think it is excellent. Shows what what can and was done using Google  Earth!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on April 04, 2015, 08:13:49 PM
Here's hoping all of you have an incredible day tomorrow, and the week ahead brings more funds!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on April 09, 2015, 05:05:21 PM
Would it be possible to, or usseful to partner with Google to use one of their street view cameras on the island? They have back packs or whatever they or we could conjure up to use it most anywhere.   http://www.google.com/maps/about/images/behind-the-scenes/about/solution-carousel3_2x.jpg
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Andrew M McKenna on April 09, 2015, 05:37:42 PM
Huh, you never know unless we ask....

amck
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on May 23, 2015, 07:24:11 AM
I notice in the briefing that most emphasis is placed on the area north of the inlet. Have you lost interest in the "anomaly" or is that in another chapter?
Also wish there was a part of the team that was more interested in serious machinery, like at least a brush cutter with a saw blade for cutting underbrush (Stihl has them) and mesh reinforced gloves (great crab-grabbers) for heavy duty clearing to get to items you can see only when you get there... OK maybe not an ice chest, but wouldn't it be an advantage to have more goodies stached there rather than having to wait to get back to the ship for refreshment? Or what if a storm comes up and you're unable to get back to the ship before you're back pack runs out?
Meanwhile we'll be waiting for pictures of the guys in action with the tweezers and spoons or whatever as you uncover all the new artifacts in an archaeologically correct manner!
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Martin X. Moleski, SJ on May 23, 2015, 08:25:57 AM
I notice in the briefing that most emphasis is placed on the area north of the inlet. Have you lost interest in the "anomaly" or is that in another chapter?

The briefing was for the team that is going ashore.

The other team members have been preparing for their ROV work behind the scenes.

Quote
Also wish there was a part of the team that was more interested in serious machinery, like at least a brush cutter with a saw blade for cutting underbrush (Stihl has them)

TIGHAR developed its own pneumatic loppers for clearing scaevola--I believe the design came from Jim Thompson, our GIS expert.  The team also takes chain saws.  They have learned what works.  They know how to clear ground when they have to.  But they can't clear the the ground at random.  Step one: find targets.  Step two: clear what needs clearing.

Quote
... maybe not an ice chest, but wouldn't it be an advantage to have more goodies stached there rather than having to wait to get back to the ship for refreshment? Or what if a storm comes up and you're unable to get back to the ship before you're back pack runs out?

I'm pretty sure Ric and the veterans have got contingencies covered.  People have stayed overnight on short notice--and with great zeal and delight.

Nobody is more anxious about covering all the bases than Ric is: food, water, tools, first-aid kits, plans for this kind of emergency or that kind of emergency, etc. 

Shipping, packing, transporting, offloading, preserving gear is a series of tradeoffs.  Decisions have to be made about what can and cannot be provided.  Those decisions were made weeks, if not months ago.  If the gear is not already in transit, it will be very shortly.  FedEx has been WONDERFUL over the years providing free shipping.  I think they are still one of the corporate sponsors for TIGHAR, all year long, every year.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Leon R White on May 26, 2015, 12:16:32 PM
On another note:
Has it been a practice to do a "Lessons Learned" assessment on the prior expeditions?  A formal one?  I mention it as it isn't too late, perhaps, to perform such a thing on the last expedition, which should have offered ALOT of lessons on project management and confirmation of specs etc.  JPL had that small problem in crashing into Mars, and they have some fairly talented people there.  The contingencies are usually where it falls apart -  what if the thing that never breaks, breaks?  and so on.  Just running the alternatives often highlights a detail that could be adjusted or changed in the 'everything works' scenario.  An outsider is often a good facilitator to ask embarrassing questions.

In any event - best of luck.  If history is any lesson, you'll need it.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 29, 2015, 04:44:39 PM
Has it been a practice to do a "Lessons Learned" assessment on the prior expeditions?

I hope you're joking.  We try hard to make NEW mistakes.  We're very successful.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Leon R White on June 01, 2015, 11:11:13 AM
I wasn't joking, of course, but I still wish you good luck and god speed.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Bob Smith on June 02, 2015, 04:42:08 PM
Fanny Mae's or whatever other failure mode analyses have come up since I was in the biz are never very popular; first you have to admit there is a possibility of failure, then figure what better could be done to avoid it, when you already did that during the initial planning (supposedly), but they can be very useful if performed properly. I think TIGHAR has informally done this whether they realize it or not.
Title: Re: Observations
Post by: Leon R White on June 24, 2015, 01:17:54 PM
Maybe now would be a good time to start the 'lessons learned' effort.  At least as far as ROVs go.  All fingers are crossed here for a last minute success.