Advanced search  
Pages: [1]   Go Down

Author Topic: Camping on the Beach  (Read 14335 times)

Brad Beeching

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
Camping on the Beach
« on: June 23, 2013, 07:59:23 AM »

In the discussion regarding the new photos someone suggested that we might get an indication of where "Camp Zero" may have been. I was wondering if the shoreline has changed very much since '37? How deep is the sand right at the tree line or on the open beach? I was thinking that IF our intrepid duo made an initial camp just under the trees, that any metallic items may have "sank" in the sand. IF they salvaged any equipment at all from the plane, and they thought to grab the equipment covers (engine covers etc), do we know how robust these covers may have been? I'm thinking that IF they created a shelter with the tarps/engine covers, it may have deteriorated beyond recognition in the 15 months that elapsed between landing and photos being taken.

Maybe they salvaged allot of stuff from the plane, maybe not, but Lambrecht said he saw "Signs of recent habitation". Maybe what he saw was an awning erected at Camp Zero? Do we have any data on what the tides may have been like AFTER the Lexington departed the area? Until now I had confined my speculating to the period 7/2/37 to 7/9/37, but in thinking about Camp Zero, I asked myself "What would have stopped them from salvaging more equipment from the plane after the high tides retreated and the plane became visible again?"

B
Brad

#4327R
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2013, 09:15:57 AM »

I was wondering if the shoreline has changed very much since '37?

Comparing the 1938 photo to modern satellite imagery - no significant change.

How deep is the sand right at the tree line or on the open beach?

No sand at all. Just coral rubble.

In my opinion, no one in their right mind would  camp on that beach.  Any camp would be back in the buka forest where there is shade.

I was thinking that IF our intrepid duo made an initial camp just under the trees, that any metallic items may have "sank" in the sand. IF they salvaged any equipment at all from the plane, and they thought to grab the equipment covers (engine covers etc), do we know how robust these covers may have been? I'm thinking that IF they created a shelter with the tarps/engine covers, it may have deteriorated beyond recognition in the 15 months that elapsed between landing and photos being taken.

The engine covers were made of "Grenfell Cloth", close-woven cotton twill.  I would expect them to be in pretty rough shape after 15 months exposure to the UVs at Niku.

Maybe they salvaged allot of stuff from the plane, maybe not, but Lambrecht said he saw "Signs of recent habitation". Maybe what he saw was an awning erected at Camp Zero?

Lambrecht told Fred Goerner that he saw "markers of some kind."  That doesn't sound like an awning.  My guess is that Lambrecht may have seen piles of vegetation out on the beach which AE/FN intended to set alight to signal a ship.  The Colorado aircraft caught them off guard and they couldn't get to the piles in time.  Pure speculation.

Do we have any data on what the tides may have been like AFTER the Lexington departed the area?

We can hindcast the tides to any date.

Until now I had confined my speculating to the period 7/2/37 to 7/9/37, but in thinking about Camp Zero, I asked myself "What would have stopped them from salvaging more equipment from the plane after the high tides retreated and the plane became visible again?"

Once the plane goes over the reef edge I don't think a return to salvage anything would be possible.

Logged

Brad Beeching

  • T3
  • ***
  • Posts: 158
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2013, 10:14:54 AM »

The thought behind my question about the beach was if the tree line had retreated further inland, "Camp Zero" might actually be closer to the ocean than we might think. In viewing the picture of the "beach" I see what you mean. just rocks. But you seem to be enjoying some shade right on the edge, I wonder if they did as well? I wonder if they spent the fist few days that close to the sea as well?

Quote
Once the plane goes over the reef edge I don't think a return to salvage anything would be possible.

Ok, now I'm confused... I understood that the plane has landed, then after a few days gets inundated, or otherwise wadded up in the surf, then eventually sinks over the edge. I guess my confusion comes with the photos of reflections consistant with metal in the passage, reports of debris visible to the natives, pictures of stuff sticking up, etc. etc. If it went over the edge never to be seen again, what mechanism threw this material back out of the ocean depths and up into the light of day? Are the currents that strong? My experience with beaches and the ocean is limited to the Texas Coast so please bear with me.  :-\

I just figured that the plane is knocked down, or flipped over in the high surf at the time of Lambrecht's fly over, and that a period of time may have elapsed between the plane being in the surf and washing back and forth before the sinking over the edge.

So do you think that the plane gets pulled off the beach and sinks pretty quickly? Do you think the plane was more or less intact when this occurs or do you think it was ripped to shreds before sinking?

B
Brad

#4327R
 
« Last Edit: June 23, 2013, 10:21:49 AM by Brad Beeching »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2013, 10:38:23 AM »

So do you think that the plane gets pulled off the beach and sinks pretty quickly? Do you think the plane was more or less intact when this occurs or do you think it was ripped to shreds before sinking?

We need to make a clear distinction between the beach and the reef flat. We can be quite certain that it was never on the beach.  It seems to have been on the reef flat quite close to the reef edge from July 2 until sometime between the evening of July 7 and the morning of July 9.  IF it was knocked off its gear and pushed across the reef flat before going over the edge, that action could have ripped open the fuel tank drains on the belly. One of the main land gear assemblies appears to have separated (just as it did in the Luke Filed accident) and become jammed in the reef edge.  The airplane could have ended up in roughly 40 to 100 feet of water just past the reef edge and stayed there for some time - maybe several years - before going over the cliff and ending up where we see the anomaly at 600 feet.  During the time it was in relatively shallow water, storm action could have torn pieces free which were then tossed up on to the reef flat to wash up on the beach or, if buoyant (the floor panels were wood), into the lagoon and ultimately on the lagoon shore.

This is, of course, all hypothetical but it's a scenario that seems to fit the available clues/evidence.

Logged

Bill Mangus

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 420
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2013, 11:07:05 AM »

Hi Ric,

In the past you've said the closer you get to the 'beach' the more convoluted and difficult to traverse the reef becomes.  What's the path like between you guess of the Electra's position and the 'low trees' in your image above. 
Logged

Glenn McInnes

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 18
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2013, 11:07:46 AM »

Hi Ric,

Maybe a silly question but is it possible that the landing gear (Nessie) could have separated from the aircraft due to a rough landing with the other gear remaining intact? If so,I am just wondering if the radio could be operated if only one engine was working.

If landing so close to the reef edge you would think they would (I would) try and move the aircraft to a safer part of the reef closer to shore.Obviously if the Electra was resting on one wing and perhaps some other damaged parts it would not be possible to do this.




Glenn
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2013, 11:15:04 AM »

Answering both of the preceding questions:
The only "landable" part of the reef flat is near the edge.  The reef surface between the hypothetical plane location and the beach is far too jagged and pitted to permit moving the plane.  Just walking over that area is dangerous and must be done slowly, preferably with a stout walking stick.  Once you get to the beach, in order to reach the low trees, you have to scale steep incline of coral rubble (see the photo I posted earlier).
Logged

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 3006
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2013, 11:20:37 AM »

In the past you've said the closer you get to the 'beach' the more convoluted and difficult to traverse the reef becomes.  What's the path like between you guess of the Electra's position and the 'low trees' in your image above.

Howard Alldred, may he rest in peace, said that there was a "boat channel" between the reef and the beach.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #8 on: June 23, 2013, 12:40:09 PM »

Brad, it was probably me who mentioned camp Zero! I don't expect it to be identifiable as such from the negatives (I'd love to be wrong) but hope that it will give TIGHAR some areas to search.

As to what may be there, who knows but I'd hope they rescued too much from the wreck and had to leave some when they moved towards the seven site.

Can't wait for Ric and Jeff to jet off to New Zealand and get the pictures.
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #9 on: June 23, 2013, 01:23:19 PM »

I'm hopeful that the 1938 photos may show us some items on the reef flat and in the surf that would have no other logical reason to be there.

I have absolutely no hope that TIGHAR will ever find Camp Zero, for the simple reason that that end of the island has been subjected to numerous violent storms, with the consequent overwash from storm tides, and the temporary nature of Camp Zero, to be found, would depend on it remaining relatively undisturbed.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Chris Johnson

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1069
  • Trying to give a fig but would settle for $100,000
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2013, 01:26:25 PM »

Monty! You may well be right, but I live in hope.  The seven site was found and gave up some clues even though there is evidence of other visitors to muddy the story.  It worth a look :)
Logged
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2013, 05:46:47 PM »

On the newer pictures from bing maps, there is an interesting bit of vegetation that looks different than the surroundings.  Given that tighar has had high resolution pictures of this area as recently as the last expedition...I'm sure it's either known or nothing, but couldn't find anywhere it was mentioned.

I have attached a screenprint with an arrow.
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6097
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Camping on the Beach
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2013, 07:01:07 PM »

On the newer pictures from bing maps, there is an interesting bit of vegetation that looks different than the surroundings.  Given that tighar has had high resolution pictures of this area as recently as the last expedition...I'm sure it's either known or nothing, but couldn't find anywhere it was mentioned.

I have attached a screenprint with an arrow.

Nothing there on the half-meter resolution GeoEye image taken July 18, 2012.
Logged
Pages: [1]   Go Up
 

Copyright 2024 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 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP