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Author Topic: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)  (Read 22506 times)

Gary LaPook

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2012, 05:18:45 PM »

I guess before I posted my rather basic discussion of what I would have expected FN to do at extended LOP I should have read this thread and joined in.  Sorry.  I am a single seat pilot that William may put in the category of "driver".  So I know my navigational analysis may be discredited by him, but I also have read a lot about how overwater navigation was done in those days.  In every case your process would be different if you were:


JB
I have posted many reference works to flight navigation as it was practiced in that era that you might find useful here.

gl
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 02:24:32 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #16 on: July 07, 2012, 10:55:42 AM »

Hey Guys---coming from a non-pilot ( i fix things  ;D), your discussions of navigating is fasinating to me. Keep it coming!  OOPs-----NOT to say pilots cant fix things :o
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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John Hart

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #17 on: July 07, 2012, 01:53:55 PM »

Tom,

I have exceeded my expertise to debate navigation further as there are many more fluent than I, Gary in particular.  I only debate the pilot decision making process and the likelihood of finding two tiny postage stamps (Howland and Baker) depending on atmospherics. Those are hard to glean from Itasca weather reports and even if you did there is a lot of difference looking up from the surface towards the NW-W-SW away from the Sun and looking down from several thousand feet looking generally East.

A prudent aviator makes alternatives (alternates) in case they are unable to land at their intended destination.  They may plan sufficient fuel to try an approach at the intended destination or merely to get into the vicinity and then divert based on the WX observed.  There are complicated military rules for this whole process that I will not get into here.  The different options are similar to what we call Courses of Action (COAs) in the USAF.  Based on the circumstances there are several COAs available to FN as he plans for his alternatives upon arriving and not being able to find Howland.  Before I describe the COAs as I see them one last little bit of nav stuff:  Depending on WX in proximity of Howland FN may or may not have been able to get a sun line (I think doubtful based on Itasca WX report of CU to N and W and their report of being down to 1000 feet presumably flying under the WX).  If no new observation to refine the LOP he is extending his morning (or last) sighted LOP by means of DR (extended LOP or ELOP).  If this be the case he will know he has potential errors not only in azimuth (N/S) but in range (E/W) as well depending on accuracy of actual ground speed.  Not only may he be N/S on the 157/337 LOP at Howland, he may also be E/W.  I think he might not fly an offset in such a case as you have as much chance of missing the target in azimuth as you do to miss it in range.  Either way the COAs do not change drastically if you did an offset but it would mean less fuel remaining upon arrival at your destination used up by the offset.  Means you get to your decision fuel sooner (to be described below).  FN may have saved this decision till he got closer and saw the WX.  So the COAs:

COA 1: Use all available fuel to search for Howland or Baker (which would lead you to Howland or could be landed on although no runway there at that time)  This would result in some form of search pattern the most likely of which is an expanding box oriented 157/337.  This may start at arrival on the LOP/ELOP (no offset) or after flying on the LOP heading after the offset.  It consists of rectangular segments with 157/337 headings to account for azimuth error and 067/247 headings to account for range errors.  The lengths of these legs would be dependent on your estimate of the magnitude of your potential errors in range and azimuth and your assessment of the quality of your nav up to that point and visibility.  Under this COA you search till you find one of the two islands or run out of gas and ditch in the ocean (something I think FN knew meant very bad things)

COA 2:  Turn around and go back the way you came towards Gilberts.  I have already posted why I think this is not likely and I think Gary would agree with that logic so I will not go further with it.  But that would be an "alternate" which I will  describe below.  You could decide to do this right away, or depending on fuel state, do some search pattern first till decision fuel (again promise to define below).

COA 3:  Plan an alternate.  A place to go if you can't land at your destination.  Usually due to WX these days but in this case if you could not find your destination (a challenge FN would have been fully aware of).  So I look around my destination and I find a suitable alternate.  WOW, S Pacific, not much there.  Draw a line around Howland and what do you find?  Baker 40 miles.  Next nearest Winslow Reef (hard to tell as I cannot find it on any current maps but guessing 150ish miles)  Not very good as it is a sunken reef (never extends above low tide) but FN does not know that (Colorado A/C looked for it for two days so they didn't know so it must not have been clearly marked as sunken).  And then all the PIs ~300-400 miles SSE (conveniently ~157).  I've already talked about the Gilberts and they are about the same distance and on a line perpendicular to your route.  So you pick the PIs as they are right on the orientation of your expected LOP and there are a lot of them to account for range/azimuth errors if you have to DR down that way (IE no new sights).  So you figure out how much fuel you need to get there (350 miles is about 2.5 hours or about 100 gallons of gas based on the Kelly J data).  Add a little for mom and the kids (say another 38 gallons will get you another hour out to almost 500 miles).  So you make your decision fuel ~140 gallons.  Now you do whatever you want to do when you get to your destination but when you can't land (cause of WX or you can't find it) you divert.  So maybe you search around a little pair of islands that are hard too see till you run out of gas or you execute your divert plan (which I am confident as I have described that FN had already made up).

That leads me to atmospherics.  I have flown a lot over water at all altitudes.  Usually when I was trying to find an island or ship it was because it was a simulated target.  So I became very familiar with the challenges of finding things depending on atmospherics and in addition to my eyes I had Electro Optical (EO) and Infra Red (IR) systems to help me (plus later GPS).  A lot of that time was done flying out of Homestead FL over the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.  So I saw a lot of the same islands all the time (Keys, Marquesas, Tortugas, etc.) and some days I could see these things miles away and some days not till right on top of them depending on altitude, sun angle, humidity, WX.  FN had too and I think he knew the challenges.  So that leads me to risk analysis.  That is the process by which we choose a COA from our list.  Sort of a "what's the worst that could happen and the likelihood of it?" process.  Remember FN is doing this, not me, and maybe consulting with AE:

COA 1:  Worst: don't find two tiny islands and run out of gas, land in water and drown.  Likelihood? depends on accuracy of Nav and atmospherics.  FN's call depending on his own knowledge and what he finds when he gets there.

COA 2:  Worst: fly right by line of islands perpendicular to line of flight and land in water and drown.  Likelihood? Higher than COA 3.

COA 3:  Worst, do not find numerous islands clustered around the 157 bearing from your destination, run out of gas, land in water and drown.  Likelihood?  Less likely than COA 1 or 2. 

So I choose COA 3.  What did FN choose?  I don't know.  Could he have executed some of COA 1 till a decision fuel and then executed COA 3?  I think so and is my most likely scenario as I suspect they got to the ELOP with more than his decision fuel.  Was he aiming for Gardner?  No, he was aiming for the cluster of the PIs.  Did he land at Gardner?  I don't know...maybe we will soon...maybe we won't.  Doesn't mean they didn't execute COA 3.  Might be on the bottom of the ocean in the PIs somewhere having missed them all. 

So did FN do an offset or direct?  I don't know....doesn't really matter in the end as he didn't find Howland or Baker.  Did he fly around looking for those two tiny specks as the only options till he ran out of fuel?  I personally think that is about as likely as flying blissfully E till he ran out of gas.  But we all get to choose what we want to THINK FN did.  Until we find otherwise that's all we can do.  Debate on, I used GPS and INS so I will not debate Nav processes/techniques further.

Sorry for the novella, LTM
JB

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John Hart

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #18 on: July 07, 2012, 04:10:19 PM »

Wanted to add some post script thoughts in no particular order.

Atmospherics and the typical search patterns:  One of the interesting things about a typical search pattern is that they are designed to cover a large area and therefore usually move the search in some fashion.  Outwards, along a line, or in a shifting pattern.  in almost all cases they are designed to never cross the same piece of sky twice.  I have been involved peripherally in USAF SAR procedures and we practice them.  The interesting part of that is that if you miss what you are looking for at any time during the search (IE you fly near and do not see it) you will never be any closer to it than you are at that specific moment because your pattern in designed to move away from that spot assuming nothing was there.  So, if you assume a search pattern till running out of gas (COA 1 above) and you flew a leg of your pattern 157/337 close by Howland and Baker and did not see them on that leg you probably will never have a better opportunity (IE closer) unless the atmospherics improve visibility range looking from farther away (IE looking E instead of W or S instead of N).  I have stated my experience with atmospherics and I challenge those who believe that all they had to do was get within a certain range of the island and they would see it.  How were they searching?  Was FN trying to navigate or search?  Two sets of eyes are better than one.  What does that do to the quality of his follow on nav?  Cockpit is probably a better place to be to look out, not in his hole in the back.  How familiar were they with Fighter Pilot technique, learned over many years, to focus on a distant object when searching outside for a Tally-Ho?  Your eyes focus close in when you are looking in the cockpit to read instruments, flight or Nav.  If you do not refocus when you make brief looks outside you miss things.  I firmly believe depending on atmospherics that they could have flown very near both Howland and Baker and never seen them.  Look at them on Google Maps.  They are tiny with no appreciable reef.  Calm winds and sea often hurt you as heavy surf around an island is often what you see first.

After watching several TIGHAR broadcasts over the years I admit to being the most skeptical, nay scoffer, of all at each occasion (and I am a regular Discovery, History, AE, et al addict).  And I admit it was not until the latest hype over the 75th anniversary that I approached the subject again and found this forum and the data on it.  It was at that point that I stood back and asked myself what would I do if I did not find Howland?  That process of looking at the environment around Howland and trying to use my own alternate selection processes over many years of flying led me to decide to pick PIs as an alternate and go there at decision fuel.  I had not read all the Betty notebook pages or the radio logs or anything else.  just aviator analysis of options and risks.  Then I became privy to the details in the TIGHAR hypothesis and I support it as a RISK balanced possibility reasonable to be pursued.  I do not stand ready to fight anyone to the ground as some seem to be prepared to do in this forum on that basis.  So please save the bashing for others.  If you want to fight I concede.  You win...you are right.  But boy will I be smiling if they find something.  Not because "I told you so" but because of all the fascinating things that can come thereafter.  If they find nothing, my opinion changes not as I am not anchored to being right and my theory could still be true even if they find nothing.

As for understanding COAs and risk assessment I would definitely recommend learning about Halsey and "The world wonders..."  LTM

Johnboy
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Diego Vásquez

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #19 on: July 08, 2012, 01:50:41 AM »

John,

That was an extremely well-written and informative novella, please don’t apologize – just keep them coming.  A couple of minor points to add though:

A prudent aviator ...

Well then, this may well be the crux of the problem, as has been pointed out numerous times by many throughout this forum.  Although FN may have been a prudent navigator, he wasn’t the PIC.

Your writing reflects that you are a well-trained military pilot with excellent reasoning and solid decision making skills.  AE?  Not so much.  She bet the farm, and her life, on completing this flight, and prudence is not what comes to mind when reviewing, admittedly with the benefit of hindsight, her planning and preparations.  Fame and fortune, and contemplations of same, clearly tend to affect one’s judgment and decision making – they certainly did for AE. By the time she reached Lae, she was low on cash, running out of relevance, and as has been pointed out by others on this forum (Gary?), had already banged up her shiny new plane once and would not be able to find a wealthy benefactor to repair it again.  While you and I may think that any landing you can walk away from is a good one, she probably could not avoid thinking that if she made a survivable landing on one of the Phoenix Islands, she would have been a very famous and bankrupt laughing stock, a discredit to her gender.  If Fred planned out his COAs in advance as you suggest, it seems unlikely he would have done so without discussing them with AE, and she may have weighed in heavily on the plans. 

Also, your COA 3 assumes you have an extra 140 gallons of gas floating around in the tanks.  I like the idea of leaving an extra 40 gallons for mom and the kids, shows prudence and good judgment on your part again.  But if you only had 90-100 gallons or so left when you thought you should be on Howland, that may drastically alter your thinking, and no one really knows how much gas she had left at the point she said “should be on you.”  Gary and others have also mentioned that as you are flying south to the Phoenix Islands, you’d be picking up fixes from speed lines and sun and moon shots, giving you a much better idea of exactly where you are and making it much less likely that you’d want to continue on to the Phoenix Islands, not to mention that they are spaced fairly widely apart and you could just as easily as not miss all of them as well.  However, my navigational knowledge is quite limited and I’ll let others discuss and debate the navigational wisdom of the various COA’s.

But we all get to choose what we want to THINK FN did.  Until we find otherwise that's all we can do. 

Yeah, very well said, and I think it’s great that TIGHAR invites all viewpoints.  Most of us keep open minds, too (although some more so than others).  I’m not sure I agree with your conclusions, but I like the information you provided, not to mention your writing and your reasoning.  I continue to be humbled by the array of accumulated knowledge on this forum, and I too support pursuing the hypothesis and sharing of ideas without bashing or being bashed.

If I was going to be a passenger on a re-creation of AEs RTW flight, I would feel much more comfortable with you as pilot than with AE.   If we had found ourselves in the same situation and not been able to find Howland, I’m sure you could have put us down safely somewhere in the Phoenix group.  I’m equally sure that between us we could have gotten the radio going and would have broadcast our position over and over repeatedly, even just the fact that we were somewhere in the Phoenix group if we didn’t know which island.  I’m gonna warn you now though, if you start wasting our precious limited gas/electricity to start babbling about your suitcase that you left at home in your closet instead of saying “Phoenix Islands, Phoenix Islands,” I’m gonna grab the mic out of your hands, let go of the push to talk button (because that’s what one does if one is talking on the radio and is interrupted by some distraction which one needs to attend to momentarily), and beat you over the head with it (provided I wasn’t loopy from a bump on the noggin during the landing).  Until then, I very much enjoyed reading your posts (I might even look up Halsey and The World Wonders), and please continue to share your thoughts.

Almost certainly,

Diego Vásquez
I want to believe.

Diego V.
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #20 on: July 08, 2012, 05:02:00 AM »

John,

Until then, I very much enjoyed reading your posts (I might even look up Halsey and The World Wonders), and please continue to share your thoughts.

Almost certainly,

Diego Vásquez
That is a well known story about a bad misunderstanding, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_world_wonders

gl
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John Hart

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #21 on: July 08, 2012, 07:04:05 PM »

Diego,

Thanks for a reasoned response.  A couple of things:

Yes of course AE was PIC and very concerned about making a success vice a crack up.  But there are two points I would make that lead me to rely on considering what FN would think and do:

1.  If he had discussed it with her (and I think he did during layover in Lae) he would have emphasized the challenge and the dangers.  "If we get there and cannot find Howland we cannot fly around forever looking for it because if we don't find it we are ditching in very deep ocean and the Itasca is the only thing anywhere near to come find us. The airplane won't float long assuming it doesn't breakup on landing...I've been through a few rough one's in flying boats and they are built to land on water but not open ocean...so we would be swimming pretty soon with no liferaft".  He would have played on her fear of landing in the ocean and prevailed.  "We are going to look till we get to....(pick a number)...and then we are going to...(pick a place) because there are lots of islands there and if we can't land most of them have lagoons that we could ditch in."  He may have said Gilberts and/or PIs (that's what we call a dual alternate) but I have mentioned the danger with the line of the Gilberts and also they had just flown through the WX coming from there which may have ruled against it in his mind when time came to divert.

2.  He might not have discussed it with her but, even if he had and she had disagreed, she would have had no way to tell the difference between his directions to execute a search and a direction towards the PIs.  Obviously when he didn't tell her to turn back N after a while she would get wise but too late by then.

Drove from my home in VA to my job at Robins AFB GA today (9.5 hours so lots of time to think, yes...my life...a sad story) and thought up some other points to ponder:

1.  If down at 1000' due to WX they were probably N and/or W of Howland based on Itasca Wx description of Cu N and W.  This means an error in range short of target and the possibility of an offset to N or error to N.  If you did an error fan of say 3 degrees (that's about 5%) on DR from Howland area SSE (157) that would come closer to centering Gardner in the error fan if you start W or NW from Howland.  Gary has pointed out that Gardner is 159 True from Howland (159 is about 12-13 miles from the 157T line out of Howland).  Doing some more bar napkin math (that's all we have room for in the F-16 cockpit) the PIs are about 240 miles across from Niku to Rawaki in the E which at ~360 NM puts the whole island chain on an arc of about 40 degrees.  So a 3 degree error fan off Howland 157T radial would be ~160 to about ~117 degrees to hit Niku or Rawaki.  Now I did this in my head not on a map with a protractor so Gary may find fault with the accuracy of my data.  Simple 60-1 rule, measuring with a napkin and cutting with your finger, no micrometers or axes.  Center of that fan is Winslow Reef (~150-200NM) and Orona.  West edge is Niku with McKean and East edge is Rawaki with Kanton, Enderbury, Birnie, and Manra.  You could hit that with a Blunderbust from the Howland vacinity.   Move it W from Howland and Gardner would become closer to the center.  Play with that to your hearts content.  Gilberts is also about the same spanning from 3 degrees N to about 2.5 degrees S (about 330 NM miles ) but very much on a line and perpendicular to flight path and much farther away (I haven't meassured but more bar napkin away than PI).  But I now think that may have also been an alternate for him that he rejected due to WX in that direction (it would have been down prevailing wind offsetting the distance).  So yes, I think they had a talk and he said at, I'm guessing, around 140-150 gallons we abandon the search and go for the best alternate.  SSE was best WX and PIs were closest so they went that way.

2.  After reading more of the Itasca radio log stuff I think there was more said than recorded.  I'm not sure how many people were listening in but this was the big game, and the only game in town.  The Super Bowl was on and I bet everyone was listening.  Discrepancies between logs seems to indicate that more people made input than was recorded by the radioman doing the log. I don't think someone made up the "30 mins of fuel left", she may have said that.  What she might have meant was "we have 30 mins fuel till we need to divert".  Assuming they went to Max Endurance speed/power settings (which is what you would do on a search pattern) they may have cut their fuel consumption down well below 38-40  GPH.  30 mins would be say 15 gallons (at 30 GPH) over their 140-150 divert fuel I am guessing.  3 hours of fuel at 40 GPH is 120 gallons so 150 takes you a long way.  All indications I have seen so far folks are giving them much more than that.  So I think 155-160 arrival at Howland Expected location (not actual, where they thought it was, probably NW) is reasonable and they probably had more.  30 mins would give them two 60 NM search legs or two 50 NM legs with a 20 NM cross leg at 120 KGS.  This 30 min call may have come after a NNW to SSE run down from an NW offset which I would assume would be double the offset (40NM offset runs for 80NM or about 40 mins at 120 KGS).  That would total 70 mins of looking.  Lots of time sucking up seat cushion.  Imagine flying around on 157, 247, 337, 067 legs for three hours till you splash.  How much tension then?  Why no more communications during that time?

3.  After diverting, talking to Itasca would have become secondary.  Fred would have focused on navigating again, not looking outside, trying to get some sunline cuts now that they are out of the WX to the SSE.  Amelia would have been dealing with the "oh Sh.. we are not landing at Howland" thoughts and probably did transmit "hey we are going for PIs" but Itasca probably did not hear due to Donut hole in reception described earlier after she switched to 6210.  She would have been focusing on best power settings/speeds for best range and climbed higher in the better WX to improve lookout distance.

Again, I will admit all or none of this could have happened.  I'm just trying to connect some dots.

As for me flying that airplane, I never would have gotten in it...with you or FN.  The more I look at it this was a Rube Goldberg act.  I can only assume FN was desperate for money after quitting his job at PAA, getting married, cracking up his car (that was interesting...what does a hangover do to your dehydration tendencies?) etc.  For a well off man GP was doing it cheap with their lives.  Interesting choice, Howland.  Then I read about the brief battle between USN and RN ships at Kanton in that same timeframe and understand why it had to be a US holding.  I have flown over Ft Jefferson in the Dry Tortugas (and simulated attacking it) many times and it is bigger than Howland.  I have lots of pics of F-16s with it in the background but have not figured out how to post pics (they are big digitals so probably won't work anyway).  The entire island at Howland would fit inside the aircraft parking ramp at Homestead.  No Sir...I'm not going to do it.

I am too smart and you're not gonna send my bones to mother,

JB
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Jeff Carter

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #22 on: July 09, 2012, 01:57:08 PM »

As much time stuck as AE and FN had spent together in a plane  [with no TV, Internet or cell-phone reception ;D ], it is difficult to imagine that they would not discuss contingency plans for radio failure and/or failure to spot Howland/Itasca/Baker on ETA.  Earhart strikes me as an intellectually curious person, who would have wanted to understand FN's plan and the mathematical basis of each action. 

Although box search patterns should ideally be customized according to wind and visibility, it still seems to me that FN might have precalculated a series of search pattern flight paths to be kept in his notebook or perhaps even provided to AE prior to the flight.  So then he could simply instruct AE to fly flight pattern #2, etc.

« Last Edit: July 09, 2012, 03:19:26 PM by Jeff Carter »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #23 on: July 09, 2012, 02:07:19 PM »

At the risk of turning things too speculative, I want to ask a question I asked once before, 10 years ago.

In the jumble of numbers and letters that inexplicably fill Betty's Notebook, which purports to be a fragmentary transcription of a weak radio reception from Earhart, there are several entries that, if you sound them out phonetically (as they were heard), are consistent with broadcasting a LOP of 158-338:

"158 mi. "
"58 338"
"fig 8 - 3. 30"
"Z 38"
"38-3 "
"3"
"30"

By my count, of the 12 fragmentary number transcriptions, that's seven that are consistent with hearing a fragment of someone saying the phrase "one fifty eight three thirty eight," including two that are nearly complete transcriptions of that phrase, once you sound them out phonetically.  Given that I work in sound design, I've always thought that one of the key things about Betty's Notebook to understand is that without context, it's hard to work out what any one fragment of a word really means.  You have to factor that in if you are trying to interpret something like this -- not just what might have been being transmitted, but what was being actually heard and how that would be interpreted by someone that had no frame of reference.

I realize that this is speculative, but to me it's also very striking since the numbers themselves always struck me as something it was improbable a hoaxer would come up with, since it's too obscure and would tend to make people DISbelieve the message (as, indeed, they have).  And AE repeating the line of position in the message both makes some sense in terms of revealing their position, and also give us some sense of what about half of those numbers, mistranscribed in phonetic and fragmentary fashion, might mean.

So here's my question:  would there be any reason at all for the LOP to be shifted by one degree if AE was indeed transmitting them?  I seem to recall that no one could think of any when I first posed this question.  But the repetition of variations of those two numbers, once you sound out the transcription aloud and account for how garbled the transmission would have been, is very striking to me.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #24 on: July 09, 2012, 02:12:49 PM »

A very good point Jeff.
Of all the legs on the round the world trip the Lae to Howland was going to be the toughest and most dangerous and Fred Noonan would have known that. Such a small target in the middle of nowhere and, no way back, he must have known that. Would he have made plans/alternate strategies? wouldn't you?
This must be the place
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Flying north and south on the line 157 337 (LOP revisited)
« Reply #25 on: July 09, 2012, 04:26:52 PM »

At the risk of turning things too speculative, I want to ask a question I asked once before, 10 years ago.

In the jumble of numbers and letters that inexplicably fill Betty's Notebook, which purports to be a fragmentary transcription of a weak radio reception from Earhart, there are several entries that, if you sound them out phonetically (as they were heard), are consistent with broadcasting a LOP of 158-338:

"158 mi. "
"58 338"
"fig 8 - 3. 30"
"Z 38"
"38-3 "
"3"
"30"

By my count, of the 12 fragmentary number transcriptions, that's seven that are consistent with hearing a fragment of someone saying the phrase "one fifty eight three thirty eight," including two that are nearly complete transcriptions of that phrase, once you sound them out phonetically.  Given that I work in sound design, I've always thought that one of the key things about Betty's Notebook to understand is that without context, it's hard to work out what any one fragment of a word really means.  You have to factor that in if you are trying to interpret something like this -- not just what might have been being transmitted, but what was being actually heard and how that would be interpreted by someone that had no frame of reference.

I realize that this is speculative, but to me it's also very striking since the numbers themselves always struck me as something it was improbable a hoaxer would come up with, since it's too obscure and would tend to make people DISbelieve the message (as, indeed, they have).  And AE repeating the line of position in the message both makes some sense in terms of revealing their position, and also give us some sense of what about half of those numbers, mistranscribed in phonetic and fragmentary fashion, might mean.

So here's my question:  would there be any reason at all for the LOP to be shifted by one degree if AE was indeed transmitting them?  I seem to recall that no one could think of any when I first posed this question.  But the repetition of variations of those two numbers, once you sound out the transcription aloud and account for how garbled the transmission would have been, is very striking to me.

It has been mentioned before Adam...

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Forum/Highlights101_120/highlights109page3.html
This must be the place
 
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