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Author Topic: Emily Sikuli and Nessie  (Read 58989 times)

Shannon Council

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Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« on: March 22, 2012, 01:13:03 AM »

Pardon if I asked this last year on the forum, my memory cells have been erased like an Etch A Sketch, after watching the assorted GOP candidates pontificate on CNN. Has anyone in TIGHAR contacted Emily Sikuli since the initial Nessie photo was re-examined? It seems that Nessie is what she talks about here, when referring to airplane wreckage sketched by a line and circle:

http://tighar.org/Publications/TTracks/15_1/carpentersdaugh.html

LTM

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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2012, 04:23:09 AM »

As far as I know, we have not been in touch with Emily since the photo re-examination. 

She was interviewed in 1999 by Ric and Tom, and again in 2003 in Fiji.  If born in 1926, she'd be 86 years old today.  I don't even know she is still with us, for that matter, but if we have the chance it would be good to see her reaction to the photo.

Andrew
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 08:09:38 AM »

I went back to the Emily Sikuli interviews to refresh myself on how she describes the airplane parts on the reef.   

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/15_Carpentersdaught/15_Interviews.html

I've copied everything that refers to the airplane parts below, weeding out the rest of her interview in case anyone else is interested and so we can have it all in one place.  Her story is really extraordinary given what has been independently revealed in the Nessie photo.  I always scratched my head about what she must have seen since we were thinking aluminum wreckage, but now her story makes sense.  It is amazing that we have her interviews, and can now connect the dots after 13 years.

Distilled, she indicates a lone rusty steel "strut" or tube, about 20 cm in diameter and perhaps 10 to 12 ft long (4 arm spans?) with a round thing at one end, visible at low, but not high tide, and located pretty much right where Nessie is seen in the Bevinton photo. 

I find it interesting that certain words are used, such as the word "struts"  and "steel frames"

In Ric's 1999 analysis of Emily's story,
http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/15_Carpentersdaught/15_Evaluation.html
he says:

"With photographic confirmation that there was something there, and in the absence of a good alternative explanation for what it might be, it makes sense to accept Emily’s second-hand identification of it as a working hypothesis. If further photographic research can establish that the material which is present in Bevington’s October 1937 photo (a contemporaneous, primary source document) is from an aircraft, the implications are obvious. Air traffic over the remote reaches of the Central Pacific prior to October 1937 was extremely rare and is very easy to catalog. Only one airplane from this period is missing."

Little did he know that he'd already cropped out the part of the photo that would later reveal Nessie.


from the first TK interview - July 15, 1999.
>>>>>>>>>>>
TK:   We are all interested about the bones in the box. Can you tell us something about the circumstances of that day?
ES:   
The bones were found in the sea on Nikumaroro. There was a boat that was wrecked, but that boat belonged to New Zealand and that part of the island was named for New Zealand. Where the boat was on the reef. Not too far from there, is where the plane came down. [shown map at this point, she indicates area north of Norwich City on reef]

[Up to this point the interviewers had not said a word about an airplane, just the box, the bones, and her father. However, Foua Tofiga had talked with Emily, arranging for the interview, and later recalled that he had mentioned that we were interested in bones and an airplane.]

TK:   Where were the parts of the airplane?
ES:   Not far from where the ship was. Not toward the village but away from it. The struts were there. [holds up hands in circle, apparently indicating that the struts were round in cross-section, about 20 cm. in diameter] It was around that area were the bones were found. Could be bones from the ship or the airplane. During the westerlies, heavy swells took the rest of the bones away.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>


TK:   Did you see the plane fall?
ES:   No, it was already there when I came. I came in 1938–1939, when I was 11 years old. I left in December 1941. The steel of the plane was there sometime before we got there. [asked specifically about aluminum, she says no] Fishermen found the bones. They were frightened and they brought the story of them to the Onotoa man.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
 
TK:   Please clarify about the bones. Were the 10 skeletons/bodies separate from the bones that were put in the box?
ES:   The bones of the 10 people were toward the shoreline, but these bones [the bones in the box her father made]were found on the reef near the remaining parts of the plane. People decided these bones were from the people from the plane. When I used to go to the place, the bones of the 10 people were still there. People who found the bones near the plane were frightened to touch them. They told Teng Koata of the bones and he told Gallagher. Koata had them collect the bones for Gallagher. Until I left the island, I hadn’t heard anything about what had happened to those bones. The government put restrictions that children were not to frequent that area.
TK:   Did people use parts of the airplane?
ES:   I don’t know for sure. When we got there only the steel frames were left, only the long pieces were there. We were frightened to go close to the plane. Where the shipwreck was – the remainder of the plane was not very far from there. The waves were washing it in low tide. The 10 people had complete skeletons. Looking at those people, they could be tall people. They were very long. People were afraid of all the bones in both places.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

And from the second interview with RIc, July 27, 1999

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
RG:   When Dr. King and Kris talked to you before, you told them about an airplane wreck on Nikumaroro when you got there. I’d like you to tell me what you know about that. I’d like to hear your story.
ES:   When we went there, no plane came during that time. Until we came off, no plane had come. We only heard that there was a plane that crashed near that ship.
RG:   Let me repeat this back to be sure I understand. No plane arrived or crashed while you were at the island. But, people said that before the people came a plane had crashed there near the ship. And when you refer to the ship you mean the ship that was on the reef, that was aground.
ES:   It is true.
RG:   Did you ever see any part of that plane?
ES:   Only the frame, a piece of steel. [Mr. Tofiga offers clarification, &“Uh, it’s not a piece. The term she uses ‘afiti,’ it could be this long or this long.” Moves his hands close together then far apart. “ But it’s steel. Only the framework.”]
RG:   And where was this piece?
ES:   Nearby that wrecked ship. It was not far from there. From about here to that house. [She points to a house across the road.]
RG:   OK. That's probably 100 meters. Was it on land or in the water?
ES:   On the rocky part. It was not far from where the waves break.
RG:   Let’s look at a map. If you could show us the shipwreck?
ES:   Is this the part called Nutiran? [points to northwestern end of island] Maybe this is the place. [points to the small ship symbol on the map] It was not very far from that place.
RG:   [explaining map] This part here is the rock. The waves of the ocean break out here. The beach with the sand is here.
ES:   That means this is where that plane was. It was not very far from the ocean where the waves break. That’s why the parts of the plane got carried away quickly. That frame was also very rusty.
RG:   Could you put a mark on the map where the plane was?
ES:   [marks the map] It was here.
RG:   And on the back of the map could you draw a picture of what you saw?
ES:   It was a long steel. [draws a line] There was a round part of it. [adds a small solid circle at the end of the line] I do not know what part of the plane it was. We were forbidden to go there. I was following my father. When I went there my father stopped me.
RG:   Did you go out on the rock or did you only see it from where the sand is?
ES:   Only from the sandy part.
RG:   How big was this piece?
ES:   About four arm spans. [holds her arms out]
RG:   So it might fit in this room?
ES:   
Yes, barely. It was a big plane. [the room was perhaps twelve feet long]

RG:   How did you know that this was part of an airplane?
ES:   I heard it from those who were there before us that it was part of an airplane.
RG:   So the people on the island said that this was part of an airplane.
ES:   Yes.
RG:   Did the people know anything about the people who were in the airplane?
ES:   I didn’t hear a story in connection with that.
RG:   Were there ever any bones found on Nikumaroro?
ES:   Yes.
RG:   What can you tell us about the bones that were found?
ES:   Some Gilbertese went to fish, they saw in the shallows some pools, at the place where the plane crashed, some bones, and they knew these were human bones because of the skull bone. They went and reported to Teng Koata, there were bones. So from that they assumed that these must have been the bones of those who were in the plane when it crashed. These were under the plane, near the plane. This was near the top end of the steel.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>



RG:   Do you know if the European knew about the airplane wreck?
ES:   In that connection I really no not know. Perhaps.
RG:   But Koata knew about it?
ES:   Yes. The Gilbertese people because they were there before.
RG:   Was there ever a time when Koata left the island?
ES:   No. Also, when those people went there the airplane had already crashed before. There were no people there.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

RG:   When you saw the piece of steel from the plane wreck, you were with your father?
ES:   Yes, I was accompanying my father.
RG:   And what was he doing there?
ES:   Because he usually goes out to search out the various trees. The government only allows him to go in.
RG:   Did you see the plane wreck just one time or many times?
ES:   Two times. When we passed that place I saw it. He wouldn’t let me go out to the wreck because of the government ban.
RM:   What color was the wreckage that you drew on the map?
ES:   It was very rusty.
RG:   What color rust?
ES:   Very red. When it is seen at low tide. Not observable at high tide. At low tide it could be seen. Very rusty, bad, useless.
RG:   Was there other wreckage or debris around it or all by itself?
ES:   Nothing.
RG:   Did the people in the village have any pieces?
ES:   No.
RG:   You saw none of the other parts of the plane. The aluminum, the shiny parts?
ES:   No, all gone. Nothing.
>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 01:41:40 PM »

WOW----Thanks Andrew!
Bones near the wreckage could have been from anyone---but, since we have little evidence of Fred---perhaps those were his? No way to prove it now, but it might tie in to the theory of Fred being disabled in the Electra and perishing in it. 
This is wayyy beyond me, but I know Ric & Co. will find the answer.
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 02:02:33 PM »

"Thirteen Bones" by Tom King offers as plausible an explanation for the various bones stories as any I've read.  Check it out.
Bill Mangus
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 02:53:04 PM »

The WOF fits in nicely with this as well  :)

Ref the bones, how could they remain in a 'pool' in such a dynamic environment? Unless the errosion adhered to in 'bones' applied.

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John Kada

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #6 on: April 24, 2012, 11:28:03 PM »

Andrew,

There is independent corroboration for the part of Emily's story having to do with the bones of ten people being found near the wreck of the Norwich City.

When the Itasca visited Hull Island in November 1937, a British Administrator stationed on Hull, named John William Jones spoke with visitors from the Itasca. The Itasca visitors later reported that "Mr. Jones told us of the wreck of the Norwich City lying on Gardner Island. She struck in 1919, and the Makoa saw her recently and stated there was much good material aboard her such as anchors, winches, etc. The bodies of nine men lost in the wreck, drowned or killed by sharks (he said) were buried ashore, but wild pigs dug them up and their skeletons now lie on the beach."

Many of Jones's details are clearly wrong, but all the same he reports in 1937 that the bones of nine people could be seen on Gardner, while Emily remembered the bones on ten people being seen by the colonists at some point during her time on the island between 1938 and 1941. This information from Mr. Jones has been discussed before (I will not try to find a link) but thought it was wort pointing out.

It seems pretty remarkable to me that those bones would persist in such a harsh environment for years after the Norwich City accident, but here we have two independent sources telling us that that indeed did happen.

Incidentally, isn't this Mr. Jones the same fellow that Lambrecht spoke to when he landed his seaplane in Hull's lagoon?...
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 11:32:45 PM by John Kada »
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John Kada

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #7 on: April 24, 2012, 11:54:39 PM »

By the way,

The excerpt from the Equatorial Cruise report that I cited above indicates that crew from a Burns-Philp company boat called the Makoa visited Gardner in 1937, seeing the washed-up bones and exploring the wreck of the Norwich City. I'm sure some Tighar members are aware of this visit, but I've never seen it mentioned before and thought it was worth pointing out as a notable early visit to Gardner.

« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 12:06:46 AM by John Kada »
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 12:17:27 AM »

Before we become too excited about the rusty aircraft parts supposedly sighted on the reef, could I simply point out that the Electra had an all aluminium structure (Edit: except parts of the undercarriage and the engine mounts - no large structures), and also that aluminium doesn't rust. So we come back the fact that if Emily saw rusting structural elements in the sea they could not have been from the Electra.

I quote the passage -

"RG:   Did you see the plane wreck just one time or many times?
ES:   Two times. When we passed that place I saw it. He wouldn’t let me go out to the wreck because of the government ban.
RM:   What color was the wreckage that you drew on the map?
ES:   It was very rusty.
RG:   What color rust?
ES:   Very red. When it is seen at low tide. Not observable at high tide. At low tide it could be seen. Very rusty, bad, useless.
RG:   Was there other wreckage or debris around it or all by itself?
ES:   Nothing.
RG:   Did the people in the village have any pieces?
ES:   No.
RG:   You saw none of the other parts of the plane. The aluminum, the shiny parts?
ES:   No, all gone. Nothing."


What then did she see? I suggested elsewhere that she was seeing galvanized iron structures, possibly pipes, from the Norwich City which overtime had had the shiny zinc coating abraded from them and were therefore rusting. Long exposure to sand grains in moving water, as on a reef subject to tidal action, will do that.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 02:16:45 AM by Malcolm McKay »
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 03:27:14 AM »

Malcolm

I'm not suggesting that Emily saw any aluminum, she specifically says she didn't see aluminum, only the rusty stuff.

RG:   You saw none of the other parts of the plane. The aluminum, the shiny parts?
ES:   No, all gone. Nothing.

I'm thinking the landing gear only - rusting away, with the rest of the aircraft floated off the reef into the deep where we will hopefully find it in reasonably large pieces this coming July.

By the way, I believe the main wing spar which ran throughout the cabin was made of steel, not aluminum.  That would be about the largest structural member found within the entire aircraft, but it wasn't tubular as described by Emily, but the landing gear structure was.

{UPDATE - OK, the main beam through the cabin was not steel.  Not sure where I got that notion, seemed odd, but I thought it came up in some previous discussion.  I guess I'm suffering from information overload!}

As for the bones, who knows.  It could be that when she was there the graves of the NC victims happened to be dug up by the pigs / stormy weather, and were being washed all over the beach / reef.  If they were stuck in a hole out on the reef, I can imagine them being there for a while, but not too long.  There is still NC debris stuck in holes out there, but of course it tends to be metallic.

Andrew
« Last Edit: May 04, 2012, 07:12:08 AM by Andrew M McKenna »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 08:01:08 AM »

Ok I'll bite----Mr McKay----what is YOUR theory, and stand on this investigation? I ask, because every point that is made---even by people that have BEEN to Niku--Ric, Andrew, Tom King, and many others--seems to have a counterpoint of negativity with you.
There is evidence of something on the reef. What that is , is not for guessing; its for investigating. That is precisely want is going to happen in July. Ric & Co is GOING to Niku, to use today's technology to get a visual image (and perhaps a hard example) of what we all have been looking at for months.
Whether that wreckage is NR16020, or a plane that we dont know about isnt the question. The question is what is it? The theory states that AE & FN landed the Electra on Niku, just north of the Norwich City. That theory has been debated here and other places for years. Crash and sank is debated. Where? If you have a theory, lets hear it, and we can all debate it. I had several I posted on this forum. Yeah, some were wayyyy out there, but you know what---so was flying around the world in 1937.
There are alot of people on this forum, and connected with this investigation that are alot smarter than me. Some with much more to do than sailing around the pacific looking for a bunch of aluminum and steel. BUT----when the theory begins to match up with some possible evidence, an investigation is warranted.  lets see what that investigtion finds.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 08:06:07 AM »

The box beam and spars were aluminum (see tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Research/.../10.../10_Wreckphoto.html).  One of the Wreckphoto's clearly shows some of the engine mount steel tubing.  There would not appear to be any steel Electra parts much longer than about 8 feet (main gear struts), or perhaps only a few feet long (engine mount structure).  Does anyone know of any other large steel structure parts on the Electra?
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 11:05:20 AM »

possibly the gear retract wheel----maybe about 2.5-3 feet?
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 11:38:52 AM »

The engines come to mind. If they still had parts of the mounts still attached this could be discribed as being an item with tubes or struts with a round object on the end. Perhaps she saw two objects and associated them as one. It's not a far stretch to imagine that both (engine and landing gear) would be in the same general location after a break up. That may be the difference in her estimation of the size of the object she saw and the actual size of the Electra landing gear. Also, were those adolesent arm lengths or adult arm lengths she used to discribe the size?
LTM,
Dave
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Emily Sikuli and Nessie
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 11:42:35 AM »

Don't forget that over time your memory of things, shapes and sizes changes.  Here in the UK people of my age often remenis over the much loved biscuit the Wagon wheel and suggest that it has become smaller.  This is a child to adult memory problem such as Dave points out.  When your young things seem bigger  :o

forum discussion on the subject
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 11:46:41 AM by Chris Johnson »
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