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Author Topic: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939  (Read 25321 times)

Mark Pearce

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2012, 12:14:12 AM »

Richie Conroy has identified a likely location for the Arundel settlement- with the assistance of the report written in 1929 by J. Thomas, First Officer of the Norwich City.  [Go to Richie’s post of June 28 to see a good aerial photo.]
   
From Thomas’s report-

“…A few coconut palms were found around the NW entrance to the lagoon from which we daily gathered the nuts, but these were not of a very good standard and like everything else which grew on the island, appeared to be in a state of decay. Near the palms we found two disused galvanised roofed huts and a large water tank, all of which were in a state of collapse, but which indicated to us that the island had at one time been inhabited, most probably with a view of growing coconuts, but that this had not proved to be very profitable and had been abandoned..."
   
in the black square is were i think the huts with galvanized roofs were according to this report

here is link to Norwich city report of T. Thomas

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Norwich_City/NorwichCity5.html

John K.--  Very interesting to see that genological website with more info on Robert Corrie, and to learn from 'Silou' [Corrie?]- "...There is a huge extended Corrie family in Kiribati." 

John A. D.--  Yes, "...many members are convinced that the castaway of the seven site has to be Amelia."  I tend to believe all castaways on the island arrived there in a more traditional way- boat/ship/raft.
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 12:33:30 AM by Mark Pearce »
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John Kada

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2012, 08:43:51 PM »


“…Many vessels were wrecked on Gardner Island in the old days, the survivors dying lonely deaths.  Captain Ross found mounds above the graves of sailors when he visited the island 30 years ago, but the skeleton of the last to die was nowhere seen.  Over the whole island there is that brooding spirit of desolation which only uninhabited places have….”

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=AS19291202.2.50&srpos=8&e=-------50--1----0%22gardner+island%22+wreck--

The Too Many Bones section of the Evaluating Emily report (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/15_Carpentersdaught/15_Evaluation.html) tries to make sense of Emily Sikuli's recollection that the bones of about 10 people were found near the wreck of the Norwich City. In this discussion we are told that Gallagher's clerk, Baura Tikana, marked a spot near the Norwich City wreck where bones were found by the colonists clearing land near the shipwreck. Those bones were presumably those of the three Norwich City crewman buried while the survivors of the wreck were awaiting rescue.

Baura Tikana also indicated that "other bones" were found on the island however "he could only circle the entire southeast portion of the island" to indicate where those bones were found. Perhaps Baura Tikana was thinking of castaway reported by Gallagher but he couldn't remember the exact location where these bones were found and thus circled a large area. On the other hand,  Captain Ross's recollection of seeing the several grave sites on his visits to Gardner ca. 1900 suggests that maybe by 'other bones' Baura Tikana meant the bones of several other people, found at various locations around the southeast of the island and thus he couldn't mark a specific location on the map.

This interpretation is admittedly a far out one--why would we have no report of these other castaways from Gallagher?...but I couldn't resist offering it as improbable as it seems.

Speculating sure is fun, isn't it?...

I should also mention here that strangely enough Emily Sikuli's recollections that remains of about 10 people were seen by the early colonists is corroborated by the statements made by John William Jones, an employee of Burns-Phillips, when he was interviewed on Hull Island in 1937 by Itasca personnel (http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/ResearchPapers/Phoenixislands.html). Jones said that the remains of 9 sailors from the Norwich City 'now lie on the beach' there (after being dug up by the non-existant pigs of Gardner Island...).  I have always thought that Emily simply had a faulty recollection of decades-old events, but what Jones told the Itasca in 1937 does sort of match what Emily told Tighar many years later. Hard to believe, and yet quite a coincidence if there was no underlying kernel of truth.

Note added after original post: Jones didn't say where on the the island the bones of 9 sailors were seen, so I suppose they could be the Captain Ross castaways, uncovered and conveniently on display on the beach for Jones' visit to Gardner.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 07:02:02 AM by John Kada »
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John Kada

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2012, 08:24:24 PM »

John T. Arundel, whose company briefly tried to make a go of a coconut plantation on Gardner in the 1890s, gave a lecture in which he talked about McKean and possibly other islands in the Phoenix group at the Geographical Society of the Pacific, in San Francisco on March 3, 1885. Does anyone have a transcript of this lecture? It would be interesting to know what if anything Arundel had to say about castaways on Gardner--or anything else he might have had to say about Gardner, for that matter.

When the Bushnell was surveying the Phoenix Islands in 1939, they noted the remains of a wrecked schooner on the southeastern part of McKean Island (see page 20 in part 4 of the  Bushnell Survey ). Nothing is said in that reference about when this ship might have been wrecked. Except for the period from 1859 to 1870 when the island was mined for guano and aid would presumably have been available, remaining on McKean would have been a death sentence for any sailors who survived the wreck; if they had a useable lifeboat they would’ve headed for a populated island, or at least tried to find a more hospitable uninhabited island. It would be interesting to know when the schooner was wrecked and perhaps Arundel’s lecture would tell us.

One other potentially interesting source of information about the pre-PISS period in the Phoenix Islands might be a newspaper titled the Honolulu Friend. The Bushnell Survey cites this paper as a good source of information on the american guano mining period there.

« Last Edit: August 22, 2012, 07:01:24 AM by John Kada »
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John Kada

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2012, 10:40:30 PM »

It looks like Arundel's lecture was eventually published in the New Zealand Herald (first reference). The second reference might have something interesting about Gardner during Arundel's time. I found these references at: http://www.trussel.com/kir/gilbiba.htm.

Arundel, John T. 1890. The Phoenix Group and other islands of the Pacific. in: New Zealand Herald, 5.7.1890, 12.7.1890. (Read before the Geographical Society of the Pacific... San Francisco, 3rd March, 1885...).

Arundel, John T. 1897-1912. Correspondence 1897-1912. 1 microfilm reel 35 mm, PMB 493 (The correspondence is chiefly with Lord Stanmore (Stanmore, Arthur Hamilton-Gordon, 1st baron [1829-1912]) of the Pacific Islands Company Ltd, and later the Pacific Phosphate Company Ltd, of which Arundel was the vice-chairman.) (Microfilm copy of original held by Department of Pacific and Southeast Asian History, Research School of Pacific Studies, The Australian National University, Canberra.). Pacific Manuscripts Bureau, Canberra. ANL.
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Matt Revington

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #19 on: August 23, 2012, 09:11:20 PM »

There was another ship at Gardner just a few months before AE's flight

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=EP19370224.2.131&srpos=14&e=-------10--11----2gardner+island--

The same ship had also been there a couple years earlier

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=AS19350417.2.108&srpos=18&e=-------10--11----2gardner+island--
Although this isn't a lost ship or cast away tale this post is more appropriate here than where I originally posted it
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #20 on: August 24, 2012, 05:00:24 AM »

There was another ship at Gardner just a few months before AE's flight

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=EP19370224.2.131&srpos=14&e=-------10--11----2gardner+island--

The same ship had also been there a couple years earlier

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&cl=search&d=AS19350417.2.108&srpos=18&e=-------10--11----2gardner+island--
Although this isn't a lost ship or cast away tale this post is more appropriate here than where I originally posted it

Yes, the schooner HMS Leith, a warship of the British Navy, paid visits to the various Phoenix Islands during the time just before the AE/FN disappearance, as part of the diplomatic dance between Great Britain and the United States that was arising over establishing airways and intermediate landing spots for air commerce in between the United States and Australia/New Zealand.  I wrote about those visits in a Forum post about 18 months ago, in response to Chris Johnson's topic "Fred! Where are we?".
LTM,

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #21 on: August 24, 2012, 08:40:37 AM »

... I wrote about those visits in a Forum post about 18 months ago, in response to Chris Johnson's topic "Fred! Where are we?".

I started an article in the Ameliapedia in June of this year to track accounts of "Visitors to Nikumaroro."  I've added links to the two articles in this thread, but don't presently don't have the peace of mind needed to read them carefully and add them to the list.
LTM,

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Matt Revington

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #22 on: August 24, 2012, 10:47:05 AM »

A quick search found that this tour company running trips to Niku had been mentioned this spring by a couple of posters but it could be
added to your island visitors page Marty
http://www.pacific-expeditions.com/voyage_options/2012_dates.asp
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #23 on: August 24, 2012, 11:38:44 AM »

A quick search found that this tour company running trips to Niku had been mentioned this spring by a couple of posters but it could be
added to your island visitors page Marty
http://www.pacific-expeditions.com/voyage_options/2012_dates.asp

Thanks, Matt.

All I can do right now is to put it under the "needs work" section.

There has to be some kind of chronological order imposed.  What is of interest is visitors (vs. inhabitants) who might have left things before they were found the the British or by TIGHAR.  Looks like those Niku expeditions were for 2011-2012.
LTM,

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Matt Revington

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #24 on: August 24, 2012, 11:53:15 AM »

A quick search found that this tour company running trips to Niku had been mentioned this spring by a couple of posters but it could be
added to your island visitors page Marty
http://www.pacific-expeditions.com/voyage_options/2012_dates.asp

Thanks, Matt.

All I can do right now is to put it under the "needs work" section.

There has to be some kind of chronological order imposed.  What is of interest is visitors (vs. inhabitants) who might have left things before they were found the the British or by TIGHAR.  Looks like those Niku expeditions were for 2011-2012.

Yes pre 1937 visitors are the most relevant but uncontrolled access to what from our point of view is an archeological site is troubling, I'd hate to think what a visitor with a twisted sense of humour could leave on the island to mislead future investigations, ie vintage flying goggles etc.  The more people that wander through the island the more tainted  any future finds would be.  Of course this is a selfish view and one can't expect Kiribati to preserve the island indefinitely just for Tighar.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2012, 02:18:35 PM by Matt Revington »
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Alan Harris

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #25 on: August 25, 2012, 01:58:31 PM »

. . . the "well-known island identity" was the Samoa Shipping and Trading Company, Ltd. who were issued an Occupation License for a term of 87 years on January 1st, 1914.  The manager of the company, Captain Allen, "made several visits to Gardner for the purpose of cutting and loading timber for ship repairing but no other use was made of the island."

Unless we're talking about a very small quantity of timber being cut and loaded into a very small boat, it would seem that CPT Allen would have had sizable work crews occupied on Niku for several days per visit.  This is another possible source of artifacts, fire remains, bird/turtle bones, etc. in the post-1914 time period.  I have searched the forum and Ameliapedia and found very little about these "timbering" visits, but of course that may reveal only poor search technique on my part.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #26 on: August 25, 2012, 02:09:28 PM »

Timber cutting visits!

Kanawa is a good 'hard wood' tree and certainly good for shp repairs.

Buka and Ren are softer wood, less likly candidates?

If Kanawa was the tree of choice puts them in the vacinity of Kanawa Point and The Seven Site unless these areas account for whats left on the islands from those expeditions.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #27 on: August 25, 2012, 05:11:29 PM »

Unless we're talking about a very small quantity of timber being cut and loaded into a very small boat, it would seem that CPT Allen would have had sizable work crews occupied on Niku for several days per visit.  This is another possible source of artifacts, fire remains, bird/turtle bones, etc. in the post-1914 time period.  I have searched the forum and Ameliapedia and found very little about these "timbering" visits, but of course that may reveal only poor search technique on my part.

Nope--you're right.

There is very little about the timbering visits.

I've only made a little note about them recently in "Visitors to Nikumaroro." 

If the question came up in the old Forum, it's not something I paid any attention to. (I checked--I don't see anything there, either.)

Not everything Ric or other researchers know has been transferred to the website.  The stuff that's here--which, apparently, discourages some newcomers--is just part of the story.

I note that there is some misrepresentation going on.  A few folks seem to think that TIGHAR's view is that "no one visited the island after Arundel and before 1937."  I don't think that proposition can be found in any of TIGHAR's official position papers.
LTM,

           Marty
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« Last Edit: August 25, 2012, 05:14:11 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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Alan Harris

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #28 on: August 25, 2012, 05:34:42 PM »

Marty, thank you for taking the time to check and reply, it relieves my anxiety that 52 people would reply to say that I had simply missed an obvious article or document giving more detail on this topic!   :)
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John Kada

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Re: The castaway -- ships and boats lost between ~1919-1939
« Reply #29 on: September 29, 2012, 08:06:34 AM »


"...for the sake of fully exploring the possible alternative explanations for the origin of Gallagher's castaway it would be worth knowing about any other vessels lost in the area over the relevant time frame."


Maybe Mr. Corrie [see below] and his four female companions eventually came ashore on Gardner Island after they disappeared in 1915, and the last surivor became Gallagher's castaway.  Could one of the ladies have had a freckle cream jar with her?
 
========================   


The Sydney Morning Herald, Friday 25 February, 1916, page 4

MISSING TRADER.

"Captain J R Handley of the steamer Germania, which arrived from the Gilberts, Nauru, and Solomon Islands yesterday, reported that no news had been received of the trader Mr. Corrie, who disappeared while on a voyage from Maiana to Tarawa in May last, and that it was generally believed throughout the group that he was dead.

"Mr. Corrie, together with his wife, two daughters, and the wife of another trader named Milne, left Maiana for the Government station at Tarawa in May last. The journey was one of about 17 miles, and was being made in a 26 ft sailing boat. The party was never heard of again.

"Captain Handley said that there was a possibility that Mr. Corrie might have been blown out to sea, and might have made for the two Phoenix Islands, which are about 220 miles away. With his long experience he would know the locality of these Islands, and it was possible that he might have made for one of them when he found that he could not reach his destination."

Mark- when I first read your post I was of the mind that the sextant box N.O. number was of WWI vintage, ruling out the Corries. But the torpedo boat watch N.O. numbers are suggesting the sextant box may be well older than WWI. So maybe we should be asking ourselves whether the Corrie women, or Mrs. Milne, their unfortunate guest passenger, had freckles...
« Last Edit: September 29, 2012, 08:10:33 AM by John Kada »
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