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Author Topic: Betty and Bob  (Read 90888 times)

Ben Stevens

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #15 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.

 
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #16 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
Bill de Creeft

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Greg Daspit

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #17 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.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 06:37:34 PM by G. Daspit »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #18 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, "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 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 said he heard a woman say "Still alive. Better hurry. Tell husband all right."  Page 4 of Betty's notebook 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
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #19 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.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #20 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!
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John A Fisher

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #21 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.     
« Last Edit: March 27, 2013, 11:03:57 PM by John A Fisher »
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #22 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

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Charlie Chisholm

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #23 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.
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John A Fisher

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #24 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.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #25 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
3971R
 
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Charlie Chisholm

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #26 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.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #27 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."
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Tim Collins

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #28 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" ?
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: Betty and Bob
« Reply #29 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 Which evaluates Betty's Notebook.

Here is a video of Ric's last visit with Betty.

Maybe something here will help you out a little.
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
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