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Would Amelia Earhart have made an in air radio broadcast saying she was going to land on an island?

Very high probability
- 3 (50%)
High probability
- 2 (33.3%)
Possibly
- 1 (16.7%)
Probably not
- 0 (0%)
Absolutely not
- 0 (0%)

Total Members Voted: 6


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Author Topic: The last hour+  (Read 8348 times)

Jeffrey Pearce

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The last hour+
« on: December 11, 2016, 04:49:59 PM »

Page 206 in the Longs' book shows that Earhart was sent the July 1 Howland surface wind speed of 14 mph from the northeast and the 9000 feet above sea level winds of 31 mph from the east-northeast. Could Earhart have increased her altitude in the last moments of the flight to use the much faster higher altitude winds as a tailwind and thereby go further on her north south line of direction? Would this have increased her speed and miles flown significantly in the last few minutes of flight? Also, why did we not hear more from Earhart after her last in air broadcast at 0843 IST, Page 210 in the Longs' book. At this point she had been flying her line of position 157-337 for some undetermined time since her previous in air broadcast ending at 0803 IST when she reported(in her 0742 IST in air broadcast) she was circling at 1000 feet? Did Earhart not broadcast from the air after 0843 IST or did she broadcast but wasn't heard?
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 05:02:13 PM by Jeffrey Pearce »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2016, 06:05:59 PM »

Page 206 in the Longs' book shows that Earhart was sent the July 1 Howland surface wind speed of 14 mph from the northeast and the 9000 feet above sea level winds of 31 mph from the east-northeast.

By what means was this information sent? 

If by code, she and Noonan didn't receive it--neither could transcribe code fast enough.

If by voice, what evidence do you have that she received it?  I don't see any acknowledgments in the transmissions heard from NR16020 during the fatal flight.

Quote
Also, why did we not hear more from Earhart after her last in air broadcast at 0843 IST, Page 210 in the Longs' book. ... Did Earhart not broadcast from the air after 0843 IST or did she broadcast but wasn't heard?

Your guess is as good as anybody's, I suppose.

Mine: reception was not as good on her "daytime frequency" (6210 kcs) as on her "nighttime frequency" (3105 kcs) for that distance.  The transmission timeline shows that nothing was heard from her on 6210 kcs until she was four hours out.
LTM,

           Marty
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2016, 06:24:16 PM »

Page 206 in the Longs' book shows that Earhart was sent the July 1 Howland surface wind speed of 14 mph from the northeast and the 9000 feet above sea level winds of 31 mph from the east-northeast. Could Earhart have increased her altitude in the last moments of the flight to use the much faster higher altitude winds as a tailwind and thereby go further on her north south line of direction?

As Long points out, Earhart had already left Lae when Itasca's message arrived so she never saw it.  Therefore she could not take any action based on that report.  Even if she had received it, climbing to take advantage of winds aloft would put her above the scattered cloud deck, preventing her from seeing what she was looking for.

Also, why did we not hear more from Earhart after her last in air broadcast at 0843 IST, Page 210 in the Longs' book.

The last transmission came at 08:55 Itasca time. See Last Words.

At this point she had been flying her line of position 157-337 for some undetermined time since her previous in air broadcast ending at 0803 IST when she reported(in her 0742 IST in air broadcast) she was circling at 1000 feet?

Earhart did not say she was circling.  See Things Not Said.

Did Earhart not broadcast from the air after 0843 IST or did she broadcast but wasn't heard?

There's no way to know, but if she broadcast on 3105 on her next scheduled transmission time at 09:15, her signal was blocked by an attempt by Itasca to contact her on 3105.  If she was transmitting on 6210 she was too close to Itasca to be heard on that frequency.  When she left Lae she had an arrangement to make position reports on 6210 every hour at 18 minutes past the hour.  Lae didn't hear her until she had been gone for four hours.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2016, 06:26:05 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2016, 04:43:29 PM »

Marty,

I do not have Elgin Long's book with me so I cannot use it to reply BUT I WILL GIVE YOU A THOROUGH REPLY WHEN I HAVE THE BOOK IN FRONT OF ME. I will answer each of your questions when I can again reference the book. I do remember in recalling the book that Earhart was sent Howland Island surface and I believe 9000 ft wind data for a period of days before she left Lae. This wind data was obtained via weather readings obtained at Howland Island. This is my understanding.

Thanks to you.

Jeff
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« Last Edit: December 12, 2016, 04:46:03 PM by Jeffrey Pearce »
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2016, 06:06:11 PM »

Marty,

I just spent probably over an hour composing a somewhat detailed reply to your post but I guess the time police caught me and deleted what I had written. I'll try again tomorrow. I will add that it just seems realistic to think that Earhart and Noonan had some kind of knowledge about the winds at Howland.

Jeff
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #5 on: December 13, 2016, 06:53:00 PM »

I just spent probably over an hour composing a somewhat detailed reply to your post but I guess the time police caught me and deleted what I had written. I'll try again tomorrow. I will add that it just seems realistic to think that Earhart and Noonan had some kind of knowledge about the winds at Howland.

What did they know, and when did they know it?

What were the real winds like when they had to make decisions about how to fly their course?

What evidence do you have to answer either of those questions?  Sources, please. 

And, even if they did have some accurate information, what evidence do you have that they, in fact, did what you think they should have or would have done?  AE did lots of things that seem not to have been a model of rational planning (e.g., not providing the right frequencies to the Itasca for the kind of equipment she had on board the aircraft).  Lots of people would not have made the kind of mistakes that she made.  She could have done things differently that would have broken the accident chain; fact is, she didn't.
LTM,

           Marty
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2016, 04:41:32 PM »

Marty,

Concerning your Dec. 11 post "By what means was this info sent?". All I could find is on page 206 of Long's book as follows-"Thursday, July 1, the Itasca sent the ship's 1200 IST(Itasca Ship Time) weather report and Howland Island's 1300 HST(Honolulu) weather and upper-air observations combined into one message to Earhart at Lae.". As Ric and Long state, Earhart was already en route to Howland. Quoting Long, also from page 206, "On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29 and 30, the Itasca exchanged messages about weather and communications with Earhart while they waited for word of her departure from Lae.". Page 210 of Long reveals the Itasca radiomen sent weather reports by CW (Code) on 7500 kilocycles at 25 and 55 minutes after the hour WHEN THEY FOUND OUT SHE WAS IN FLIGHT. NMC San Francisco told them to slow down the Morse code speed to ten words per minute for Earhart. Quoting from Long, page 206, for Thursday, June 24,  "The Itasca's regular 1300 IST weather report was combined with Howland Island's 1200 HST weather and upper air observations into one message. The surface wind at Howland Island was out of the east at 15 mph, and the wind aloft at 10,000 feet was blowing out of the east at 34 mph.". Unless otherwise proven wrong, I think Earhart could have learned of some of the data that was in the Itasca's regular weather reports prior to her departure from Lae. I do not have factual information to answer your other question posted on Dec. 11, and I quote  you "If by voice, what evidence do you have that she received it?".

Concerning your three questions posted on Dec. 13, "What did they know and when did they know it?, as I said in the preceding paragraph and quoting myself, "Unless otherwise proven wrong, I think Earhart could have learned of some of the data that was in the Itasca's regular weather reports prior to her departure from Lae.". Concerning your second question posted on Dec. 13, and I quote you, "What were the real winds like when they had to make decisions about how to fly their course?", I do not know if Earhart was aware of this information. But as I have indicated twice previously herein there are the Itasca regular weather reports.

Concerning your third question posted on Dec. 13, and I quote you, "What evidence do you have to answer either of those questions?", I have responded to the third question in the preceding paragraph.

Thanks, Marty.

Jeff
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« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 04:53:51 PM by Jeffrey Pearce »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2016, 05:25:06 PM »

"Unless otherwise proven wrong, I think Earhart could have learned of some of the data that was in the Itasca's regular weather reports prior to her departure from Lae."

The Chater Report details the weather reports Earhart received prior to her departure from Lae. None of them came from Itasca.

If you need more proof that she did not learn some of the data in Itasca's regular weather reports, the complete record of Itasca's radio activity - transmissions and receptions - is in the Jacobson Database on the TIGHAR website.  You want Group 8 in Radio Messages.

As for understanding any of Itasca's weather reports sent in code while she was in flight, Chater Report, "On enquiry Miss Earhart and Captain Noonan advised that they entirely depended on radio telephone reception as neither of them were able to read morse at any speed but could recognise an individual letter sent several times. This point was again mentioned by both of them later when two different sets at Lae were used for listening in for time signals.
« Last Edit: December 15, 2016, 05:26:44 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2016, 06:28:21 PM »

Concerning your Dec. 11 post "By what means was this info sent?". All I could find is on page 206 of Long's book as follows-"Thursday, July 1, the Itasca sent the ship's 1200 IST(Itasca Ship Time) weather report and Howland Island's 1300 HST(Honolulu) weather and upper-air observations combined into one message to Earhart at Lae."

OK.  Those were observations.  That means that that weather was already happening THEN.  The question is what was happening later, when she and FN were up in the air.

Quote
As Ric and Long state, Earhart was already en route to Howland. Quoting Long, also from page 206, "On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 29 and 30, the Itasca exchanged messages about weather and communications with Earhart while they waited for word of her departure from Lae."

I'm a little confused.  The first message you refer to was July 1.  Now we're back one or two days earlier.

Quote
Page 210 of Long reveals the Itasca radiomen sent weather reports by CW (Code) on 7500 kilocycles at 25 and 55 minutes after the hour WHEN THEY FOUND OUT SHE WAS IN FLIGHT.
NMC San Francisco told them to slow down the Morse code speed to ten words per minute for Earhart. Quoting from Long, page 206, for Thursday, June 24,  "The Itasca's regular 1300 IST weather report was combined with Howland Island's 1200 HST weather and upper air observations into one message. The surface wind at Howland Island was out of the east at 15 mph, and the wind aloft at 10,000 feet was blowing out of the east at 34 mph." Unless otherwise proven wrong, I think Earhart could have learned of some of the data that was in the Itasca's regular weather reports prior to her departure from Lae. I do not have factual information to answer your other question posted on Dec. 11, and I quote  you "If by voice, what evidence do you have that she received it?".

That still is my question.  You are assuming two things: 1) that she and FN heard the transmission and 2) that they were able to decode it.  Perhaps they did.  Perhaps they didn't.  I can't "prove" you wrong.  You cannot "prove" yourself right.

Quote
Concerning your second question posted on Dec. 13, and I quote you, "What were the real winds like when they had to make decisions about how to fly their course?", I do not know if Earhart was aware of this information.

Any information sent was sent from observations made BEFORE she got into the area.  Did the conditions stay the same?  Or did they change (as happens, sometimes happens with weather)?

Quote
Concerning your third question posted on Dec. 13, and I quote you, "What evidence do you have to answer either of those questions?", I have responded to the third question in the preceding paragraph.

Agreed.
LTM,

           Marty
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #9 on: December 16, 2016, 01:36:26 PM »

Thank you, Ric. Is it possible, concerning your December 15 remark, and I quote, "the complete record of Itasca's radio activity - transmissions and receptions - is in the Jacobson Database on the TIGHAR website.  You want Group 8 in Radio Messages." that the complete record may have not included some of the transmissions? I wish to say, here, that the discussion that has been carried out in the last few days concerning weather and winds was initiated by me to investigate whether or not Amelia Earhart could have utilized the faster upper air winds to get her to the south along her line of position. I believe I have pretty much completed my research into this. At this point I don't know what more sense it makes to dwell into this. That is not to say that there could be some additional comment.

Thank you.

Jeff
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« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 02:44:51 PM by Jeffrey Pearce »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #10 on: December 16, 2016, 01:50:32 PM »

Is it possible, ... that the complete record may have not included some of the transmissions?

Randy Jacobson compiled the records directly from the ship's radio logs.  Any transmissions that are not included would have to be transmissions that were not logged. By regulation, all radio activity was supposed to be logged. I'm not aware of any evidence that the regulations were not followed.
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #11 on: December 16, 2016, 02:14:40 PM »

Marty,

Concerning your Dec. 15, Reply #8, and I quote you, "OK.  Those were observations.  That means that the weather was already happening THEN.  The question is what was happening later, when she and FN were up in the air."

The observations show a trend over the time period they represent. Upper level winds were stronger and showed a progression from the east on June 24 to being from the east northeast on July 1, a subtle change that would project a flight into a more southerly direction.

For your comment, and I quote you, "I'm a little confused.  The first message you refer to was July 1.  Now we're back one or two days earlier.", yes, I can see the confusion, but, the information is correct as far as the dates and the weather information.

Thanks, Marty.

Jeff
Member 3396S
« Last Edit: December 16, 2016, 02:43:14 PM by Jeffrey Pearce »
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2016, 03:54:47 PM »

Concerning the Chater Report that Ric mentions in his Dec. 15 Reply #7 above the following appears therein and I quote the Chater Report, "On July 1st all weather reports received were dated June 30th. Several radios received on July 1st were taken away by accident by Miss Earhart (both original and copy) and consequently we have no copies available. "

I am unsure as to what is meant by the words "Several radios received on July 1st were taken away by accident by Miss Earhart (both original and copy)and consequently we have no copies available. "

Jeff
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2016, 04:00:54 PM »

I am unsure as to what is meant by the words "Several radios received on July 1st were taken away by accident by Miss Earhart (both original and copy)and consequently we have no copies available. "

It means Amelia left with the only copies of several radio messages seh received on July 1st.  We don't know who the messages were from or what they said, but anything Itasca sent should have been recorded in the ship's radio log and we have the log.
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Jeffrey Pearce

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Re: The last hour+
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2016, 05:36:08 PM »

Thank you, Ric, for your help.

Jeff
Member 3396S
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