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Author Topic: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?  (Read 9635 times)

Clarence Carlson

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173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« on: June 04, 2014, 04:48:20 PM »

While doing an internet search I ran across the July 10th, 1937 front page of The Argus, an Australian newspaper. In the article they are noting that American officials are doubting that the radio signals received have come from the Earhart plane. They note that a man named Conrad Mendant claimed to have heard radio signals indicating a position of "173 West Longitude, 5 South Latitude". I do not recall seeing this information anywhere on the Tighar website. Perhaps I missed it. Does anyone know the backround on this?

Argus News, July 10, 1937

Clarence Carlson
Clarence Carlson
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2014, 05:35:03 PM »

While doing an internet search I ran across the July 10th, 1937 front page of The Argus, an Australian newspaper. In the article they are noting that American officials are doubting that the radio signals received have come from the Earhart plane. They note that a man named Conrad Mendant claimed to have heard radio signals indicating a position of "173 West Longitude, 5 South Latitude". I do not recall seeing this information anywhere on the Tighar website. Perhaps I missed it. Does anyone know the backround on this?

Argus News, July 10, 1937

Clarence Carlson

There are two entries in the Post-Loss Signal Statistics (at the bottom of the last page, for 9 July) indicating that an amateur radio operator had heard those exact coordinates. One operator is identified in Winnipeg, the other in Great Falls. No name given for either operator.

In another TIGHAR document, that has the supporting detail for the aforementioned Post-Loss Signal Statistics, the Winnipeg operator is identified as a "Mr. Hauer". This is found at the top of the page number 546.

In the old TIGHAR Forum, on 3 December 2004, a forum member named Jack Clark reported having researched a couple of Australian newspapers (including the the The Argus) and finding the report about "Mr. Conrad Mentant" and his report of those coordinates. There are several subsequent comments by Ric and others about this matter.
LTM,

Bruce
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Clarence Carlson

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2014, 05:40:44 PM »

Thank you Bruce, I will follow up on that.
Clarence Carlson
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #3 on: June 04, 2014, 07:48:58 PM »

Transcription errors help to deepen mysteries, Clarence. Above, I typed "Hauer" as the name recorded in the second link I gave. But going back into that file and reading more closely, it turns out the font used made the middle letter, a "v", look like a "u". So it was actually shown as "Haver".

Then in the third link, from the old Forum, Ric states that the fellow's name is "Ray Havens" living in Ohio. (No telling about the name of the guy in Winnipeg!)

That got me thinking about the name that you quoted from The Argus, "Conrad Mendant". As you can see, I went and read the article and correctly copied "Conrad Mentant" from the article.

But then, why isn't Conrad Mentant mentioned in the TIGHAR documents? I think I know why. The TIGHAR documents say that an unnamed amateur in "Great Falls" heard those coordinates. Great Falls, Montana, is only 50 miles from the smaller town of Conrad, Montana. There's not much typographical distance between "Mentant" and "Montana", is there?

After feeling triumphant about making that leap of logic, I went back and delved further into the December 2004 forum entries, and lo, a forumite states that Ray Havens was not from Ohio (as claimed by the New York Herald Tribune), but from Conrad, Montana.

It's simply amazing how meticuously so much has already been researched and is found in the many years of Forum entries, isn't it?

Reporters, bless 'em, manage to jumble up facts as they rush to meet a deadline. I remember how my father (whose first name was William) was the object of an assassination attempt in Saigon back in 1961. When the news hit the U.S. newspapers (including the venerable New York Times), his first name had been transformed into Howard. That's a rather bizarre jumbling that had always puzzled me. How does one get "Howard" out of "William"? But in the past month, in a family scrapbook, I came across a directory of Americans in Saigon that was published by the U.S. Embassy in late 1960. There are about 1,100 names, mostly U.S. gov't employees. And there, just a couple lines up from my father's entry in the directory, is one for a Howard Thomas. I figure a zealous reporter picked the wrong Thomas from the directory and went with that. Later news reports, following an embassy news release, listed my father with his correct name.

Moral: always read news articles with a few grains of salt! Likely as not there'll be some kind of factual error lurking.

LTM,

Bruce
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Clarence Carlson

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2014, 09:38:26 AM »

Bruce

Your pointing me to the older threads was very helpful, thanks again. This clarified some points and, as you mention, became a bit of mystery in itself.
I was able to find the July 8 Oakland Tribune, mentioned by Angus back then. It specifically mentions that the presumed hero of the story, Ray Havens, heard the radio signals at 9:40 pm which would have made the date July 7th or earlier. I thinks it worth a little more digging.

More Radio Signals Look on page three.

Clarence Carlson
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« Last Edit: June 05, 2014, 09:41:03 AM by Clarence Carlson »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2014, 09:51:08 AM »

I think it's worth a little more digging.

Go for it. Dig away!  It's amazing how much information is still available even all these years later. 
LTM,

           Marty
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2014, 10:43:08 AM »

Yes...follow it up, Clarence !

It leaves one with a '70 plus' year sense of frustration to see the information floating around at the time, coming up against the rigidity of Officials...
Shees !?!

But I have griped about this before...thank Goodness for the persistence of Tighaar; it won't help Amelia, but it may teach a lesson.
More Power to our Arm !!

Bill
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Clarence Carlson

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Re: 173 W Long 5 S Lat?
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2014, 10:25:07 PM »

Just to close the loop: Using Newspapers.com I was able to view the news report in the Helena MT Independent Record, dated July 8, 1937. Mr Havens was said to be using a new commercial Philco receiver listening to 3105 kc when he heard the presumed Earhart message at 2240 MST July 7th. However on checking Tighar's analysis of the alleged message, found here Post Loss Signals Message 80540, this is listed as "not credible". This analysis seems reasonable so I can't see doing much more with it.

Thanks to those who offered encouragement. Now I just have to find another place to dig
Clarence Carlson
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