Advanced search  
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Down

Author Topic: Nauticos Search Continues  (Read 29094 times)

Daniel R. Brown

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 54
Re: Nauticos Search Continues
« Reply #45 on: January 30, 2017, 01:20:29 PM »

Here:

http://nauticos.com/amelia-earhart-search/

"In late February a team from Nauticos with stratospheric explorer Alan Eustace and aviation pioneer Elgen Long will depart Honolulu for the vicinity of Howland Island, 1,600 miles to the southwest, to complete the deep sea search for Amelia Earhart’s lost Lockheed Electra. Adding to the work conducted during prior expeditions in 2002 and 2006, the team plans to complete a sonar survey of about 1,800 square miles of seafloor, an area believed to contain the aircraft. The expedition will use autonomous underwater technology to image the ocean floor nearly 18,000 feet below."

Dan Brown, #2408
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5167
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Nauticos Search Continues
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2017, 01:36:37 PM »

Thanks Dan. 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5167
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Nauticos Search Continues
« Reply #47 on: March 11, 2017, 07:03:35 AM »

For those who don't follow the TIGHAR Facebook page, interest in the current Nauticos search prompted me to offer what I hope is an unbiased explanation of the Crashed & Sank Theory.  I've reproduced it here and invite your comments.

UNDERSTANDING CRASHED & SANK

Some followers of the TIGHAR Facebook page have a hard time understanding why anyone would spend millions of dollars searching for the Earhart Electra in the deep ocean near Howland Island. Others feel that an expedition so well-funded must be well-researched.

The rationale behind the current Eustace Earhart Discovery Expedition is illustrated, but not well-explained, on the Nauticos Expedition Portal website. Although we don’t agree with it, TIGHAR is familiar with the reasoning behind the Crashed & Sank Theory in general and the current deep sea search in specific. As a service to our Facebook followers we offer this recap of the reasoning behind the search.

Crashed & Sank is based upon the assumption that the Earhart Electra ran out of fuel shortly after the last in-flight radio transmission heard by the Coast Guard cutter Itasca. In her last transmission she described where she was (“We are on the line 157 337”) and what she was doing (“Running on line north and south.”) She also said she would repeat the message on her other frequency but no further in-flight transmissions were heard. Adherents to Crashed & Sank insist that nothing further was heard because, at that moment, the engines quit from fuel exhaustion and Earhart was too busy or too upset to announce that she was going down. To explain why the Electra ran out of fuel several hours before it should have, Crashed & Sank makes assumptions about imprudent fuel management and speculative equipment failures based upon selective interpretations of Earhart's ambiguous position reports.

There are, of course, other possible explanations for no further transmissions being heard, but if you make the assumption that the plane went down very shortly after the last transmission, the question becomes where was the plane at that moment? To answer that question, Nauticos relies on something called “RENAV,” a reconstruction of the plane’s navigation based on assumptions about Noonan’s navigation and the reported strength of Earhart’s transmissions heard by Itasca. Beginning at 2:45AM local time that morning, Itasca periodically heard radio calls from Earhart. The loudness and clarity of the calls indicated how far away the plane was. Radio operators in those days rated receptions on a 1 to 5 scale, Strength 5 being the maximum. As the plane drew closer the signals got stronger. There was no meter aboard Itasca to measure the strength of receptions. The assignment of a strength number to a particular reception was a judgment call by the individual operator. On the morning of July 2, the only strength numbers recorded in the Radio Log were for the last receptions when she was closest to Howland. At that time Itasca was hearing her at Strength 5. Later, after the search had failed, strength values were assigned to her earlier transmissions based on the radio operators’ recollections.

In reconstructing the aircraft’s navigation the Eaustace/Nauticos expedition uses the recollected strength estimates for the earlier transmissions and draws conclusions about the aircraft’s distance from Howland at those times. They also make the assumption that Noonan intentionally offset his approach to Howland to the north.

The map on the Nauticos Expedition Portal website shows the plane’s theoretical course changes as it tried to find Howland, ending in presumed fuel exhaustion and a crash at sea in the area they are searching.
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5167
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Nauticos Search Continues
« Reply #48 on: March 11, 2017, 07:13:05 AM »

"Understanding Crashed & Sank" has, so far, been read by over 16,000 people, some of whom had good questions.  I responded with a couple of explanatory postings.

A REASONED DISCUSSION OF CRASHED & SANK – PART ONE

Too often, comparisons of the various theories about the fate of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan amount to little more than “sound and fury signifying nothing.” We at TIGHAR believe – perhaps naively – that reasoned discussion is the only avenue to an informed evaluation of the proposed possibilities.

In a comment to “Understanding Crashed & Sank,” TIGHAR Facebook follower Jeff Schulze cites what he considers to be two “pluses” in favor of the Crashed & Sank theory. They are good points that are frequently misunderstood. I’ll address the first one here and the second one in a subsequent posting. My purpose is not to argue but to present clear distinctions between documented facts and selective interpretation.

Jeff feels there is “High statistical probability of crashing and sinking. This is based on: "gas is running low" within a couple hundred miles of howland (from Amelia's radio transmissions and opinion of Itasca's radio operator), the shear ocean vs. land surface area, poor visibility, being fatigued, possibly disgruntled at each other, and flying at only 1,000 feet of altitude.”

Let’s look at each of these points.

• Did Earhart really say “gas is running low”? That depends on whom you believe. The only real-time sources for what Amelia said are the two Radio Logs of USCG Itasca and, unfortunately, they do not agree. As Earhart was approaching Howland, two radio operators were on duty aboard Itasca, Radioman 3rd Class William Galten and Radioman 3rd Class Thomas O’Hare. Each sat in front of a telegraph key, a microphone, a typewriter, and a clock. They usually listened for signals using headphones but receptions could also be broadcast over a loudspeaker. They typed what they sent and what they heard into the log noting the time of each entry.
That morning, both operators were listening on Earhart’s “nighttime” frequency, 3105 kHz, and her transmissions were being broadcast over the radio room loud speaker.
At 07:40, O’Hare logged, “Earhart on now. Says running out of gas. Only ½ hour
left. Can’t hear us at all.”
At 07:42 Galten logged, “KHAQQ calling Itasca . We must be on you but cannot see you. But gas is running low. Been unable to reach you by radio. We are flying at 1000 feet.”
Both operators were clearly reporting the same transmission heard over the loudspeaker. The two-minute time discrepancy is unexplained but it could be that their clocks weren’t synchronized. Note that Galten directly quotes what he heard Earhart say while O’Hare paraphrases what he understood her to mean. Earhart was still transmitting an hour later and said nothing about running out of gas at that time, so O’Hare’s version of the message would seem to be less credible. His reference to “½ hour” may be transposed from her 06:45 transmission in which she said “Please take bearing on us and report in half hour.”

Let’s accept that, at 07:42 (or so), Earhart said “gas is running low.” Like many of Amelia’s in-flight radio reports, it’s not very helpful. How low is “running low”? We’re forced to speculate based on other information. We know that she left New Guinea with 1,100 gallons of gas. We know that, if she followed the fuel management plan designed for her by Lockheed’s Kelly Johnson, she should have had roughly 24 hours of fuel. We know that the flight to Howland was expected to take 18 to 19 hours. We know that a 20% reserve was standard for long distance flights, so 24 hours of fuel for a 19-hour flight is about right. That all makes sense.

Her comment “but gas is running low” was heard 19 hours and 12 minutes into the flight. “We must be on you but cannot see you. ” Her destination has not appeared, she doesn’t know why, she has not been able to contact Itasca, and she is now burning into her reserve. “Gas is running low” seems to me to be a perfectly appropriate comment and does not necessarily imply imminent fuel exhaustion.

• “The shear ocean vs. land surface area.” No doubt about it. Lots of ocean, not much land. If there is no evidence that the plane reached land it seems reasonable to assume it ended up in the water. If there is strong evidence that the plane reached land, the size of the ocean is irrelevant.

• “Poor visibility.” The visibility was not poor. Itasca’s Deck Log records visibility of 20+ miles (the maximum) that morning. It is, however, true that cloud shadows can make islands difficult to make out.

• “Being fatigued, possibly disgruntled at each other.” They were certainly fatigued but I’m aware of no reason to think they were disgruntled at each other.

• “Flying at only 1,000 feet of altitude.” We know from Itasca’s Deck Log that there was a deck of scattered clouds that morning, as there is almost every morning in that part of the Pacific. As any pilot can tell you, if you’re flying above a scattered cloud deck you can’t see landmarks ahead. Flying at 1,000 feet was not a sign of distress or imminent disaster.
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5167
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Nauticos Search Continues
« Reply #49 on: March 11, 2017, 07:18:21 AM »

A Reasoned Discussion - Part One brought this comment for Jeff Schluze.

"Thanks for the information. Again, no arguments from me, just a desire to learn more about the subject from you.
When I said "poor visibility", I was referring to both the scattered cloud cover that you mentioned, as well as them flying at only 1,000 ft. I'm not suggesting that the 1,000 ft. altitude was any sign of distress. Do you know what the ceiling height was that day? I assumed since they were choosing to fly at 1,000 ft, the ceiling must have been low. I know from doing a little flying myself just how little you can see at that low of an altitude.
As far as being disgruntled, do you feel there is any validity to the story (as shown in the movie "Amelia") of Noonan drinking the night before the flight and Amelia being upset about it? Or is that just Hollywood BS?
I'm looking forward to "part two", addressing the lack of radio transmissions in the time period I mentioned.
Thanks for all of your efforts TIGHAR"

To which I replied:

The story about Noonan getting drunk the night before surfaced many years later. It is not mentioned in any of the contemporary accounts of their stay in Lae. Earhart's comment "personnel unfitness" in a telegram to her husband has often been taken out of context to mean that Noonan was drinking. Here's what really happened

Earhart's original plan was to takeoff for Howland Island the day after she arrived in Lae (June 29). Early the next morning she sent a message to Itasca saying she would depart at midday if the weather forecast reached her in time, but a few minutes later she changed her mind. She sent a telegram to her husband saying:
“Radio misunderstanding and personnel unfitness probably will hold one day."
What Earhart meant by “radio misunderstanding” is obvious. During the previous day’s flight from Australia, confusion about frequencies had prevented her from establishing radio contact with Lae. The misunderstandings would have to be sorted out and the radios tested before she could undertake the long and difficult flight to Howland.

Her reference to “personnel unfitness” seems equally clear. Amelia’s wire to her husband was sent at 6:30 AM local time in Lae. The previous day’s eight-hour flight from Australia had capped a week of early mornings and frustrating delays. It is hardly surprising that Earhart and Noonan did not feel up to immediately setting off on a journey that was expected to take a minimum of eighteen hours.

As for the Hilary Swank film, the less we say about that the better. The ghost of Fred Noonan will haunt the author of that screenplay to his grave.
Logged
Pages: 1 2 3 [4]   Go Up
 

Copyright 2017 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP