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Author Topic: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?  (Read 20225 times)

Bruce Thomas

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I have found an interesting document on the Internet that deals with the topic of the NZ Pacific Aviation Survey, as I continue to fan my hopes that the Arundel structures will be discernible in the newly acquired New Zealand photos.

In this initial post, my intention is simply to establish that on December 1, 1938, when the Superwalrus overflew Gardner Island taking photos, the NZ Pacific Aviation Survey party had not had time to have set up any structures that could be misinterpreted as the Arundel structures in photos taken that day.

The Ameliapedia article about Nutiran states that
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Nutiran was the site of John Arundel's failed coconut planting project in the 1890s, which left ruins of structures with corrugated iron roofs noted by both survivors of the Norwich City wreck in the late 1920s and early survey teams about ten years later.
I interpret “early survey teams about ten years later” to refer to the NZ Pacific Aviation Survey.

In the report by First Officer J. Thomas of SS Norwich City he says this about the state of the probable remains of the Arundel buildings in 1929: 
Quote
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.
Despite what’s written in the Ameliapedia article, I cannot find anything in the NZ reports I’ve read that speak about those remains. That’s why I’m interested in whether the sharper photographs taken from the Superwalrus that Ric has brought back will show any indication of the “ruins of structures with corrugated iron roofs,” for that may provide an indication of what Lt. Lambrecht meant by “signs of recent habitation.”
 
I’ve just found an interesting document on the Internet:  THE STRATEGIC SIGNIFICANCE OF THE PACIFIC ISLANDS IN NEW ZEALAND'S DEFENCE POLICY, 1935-1939. Reading that shows how later scholarly documents can contain information that conflicts with original source documents. This document (a Master’s thesis written by Felicity Caird in 1987 at the University of Canterbury, Christchurch, NZ) may be of interest for other reasons, since it speaks to the military interest in the air defense of New Zealand through use of the Phoenix Islands. There was clearly a national secrets element here that could shed some light on the "let's keep it quiet" response that Gerald Gallagher received from Vaskess when Gallagher posited that the skeletal remains found on Gardner Island could have been those of Amelia Earhart. (By the way, in my quick scan of this thesis of nearly 200 pages I see no mention of Amelia Earhart or of the PISS. But HMS Achilles’ voyage at the time of Amelia’s disappearance is covered.)

From the thesis, beginning near the bottom of page 106, there’s a description of the arrival of Leander and Yanawai at Gardner Island in 1938:
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From Fanning Island the Leander proceeded to Gardner
Island where she arrived on 28 November. Although the
Yanawai arrived on the same day she had dropped a survey
party off a week earlier. Unfortunately one of the
surveyors, Jim Henderson, injured himself and had to be
taken out of the expedition and on to the Leander. Several
other difficulties and problems arose at Gardner Island,
with the transportation of supplies ashore from the Yanawai and
also with the local water supply situation. On the
island the surveyors found there was potential for both a
water and a land aerodrome. Cochrane concluded Gardner
Island was more suitable for aviation purposes than either
Canton or Enderburg Islands and could prove to be a
valuable alternative to Hull Island.68
The footnote attributes this information as coming from “Cochrane to Jones, Survey of Pacific Islands, AIR 1 103/2/6” and “Driscoll, Airline, pp. 54-55”

“Cochrane” refers to Sir Ralph Cochrane, who arrived in New Zealand in late 1936 as a Wing Commander “to advise the Dominion Government on Air Defence,” and later to be designated Air Vice-Marshal . His correspondence with “Jones” refers to Fred Jones, the Defence Minister for New Zealand. Ian A. Driscoll authored “Airline:The Making of a National Flag Carrier,” Auckland, Shortland Publications, 1979.

But the date of 28 November given by Ms. Caird differs from what’s in the General Report on Activities and Results written by RNZAF Squadron-Leader E.A. Gibson (Esmond Allen Gibson), in charge of the New Zealand Pacific Aviation Survey. And the comment that Yanawai had dropped a survey party off a week earlier is not mentioned by Gibson; and anyway, since one of the source documents says (by Gibson, below) that Yanawai sailed from Suva on the 24th, it is highly unlikely that Yanawai could have dropped a survey party off a week earlier than November 28! Perhaps by “she” Ms. Caird means that Leander had dropped off a party on Gardner a week earlier? But the phrasing certainly makes it seem that it was Yanawai. And earlier in her thesis, Ms. Caird wrote, about Leander,  that, “The NZPAS’s first call was at Hull Island, on 21 November,” which seems to rule out a stop at Gardner Island by Leander. 

The description of the arrival at Gardner Island by E.A. Gibson is:
Quote
Meanwhile the Yanawai having sailed from Suva on the 24th November arrived at Gardner Island in the Phoenix Group on the 30th November at 6 a.m. where the Leander was contacted on the 1st December and use made of the Naval personnel for landing six European officers and men with their stores and equipment.

The 3rd in command of the Pacific Aviation Survey, E.W. Lee (Bill Lee), prepared a report in March 1938 in which he reports about the arrival of Yanawai at Gardner Island. He gives the same date of 30th November as E.A. Gibson, although the arrival time he states as later in the morning.
Quote
I have to report that, leaving Suva on the 24th November, 1938, at 5.45p.m. per the chartered vessel M.V. Yanawai, the New Zealand party arrived off Gardner Island at 11.30a.m., 30th November. The afternoon was spent searching unsuccessfully for an anchorage and a landing was made on lst December, the vessel mooring to the wreck Norwich City. Unloading of gear was commenced but was a very slow process owing to there being no opening in the reef thus necessitating all gear being landed through the surf onto the reef and then manhandled ashore a distance of about 12 chains. H.M.S. Leander arrived at 8.30a.m. and the assistance of the warship’s company was sought and granted to assist with the handling of the gear.

LTM,

Bruce
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« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 05:21:44 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2013, 05:52:56 PM »

In this initial post, my intention is simply to establish that on December 1, 1938, when the Superwalrus overflew Gardner Island taking photos, the NZ Pacific Aviation Survey party had not had time to have set up any structures that could be misinterpreted as the Arundel structures in photos taken that day.

Make that Supermarine Walrus - Supermarine being the name of the manufacturer and Walrus being the type name. The company later built a somewhat sleeker aircraft, type name Spitfire.

The photos show Yanawai standing off Norwich City and Leander parked off the south side of the island opposite Bauareke Passage.  I think it's a safe bet that the photos were taken before Yanawai began moving supplies ashore.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #2 on: July 17, 2013, 06:26:59 PM »

Bruce,  isn't the wreck of the Norwich City a "sign of recent habitation"?  Why do we assume buildings?  Also what did Lambrecht by "recent"?  That's a relative term is it not?  On that lonely island would "any" sign of habitation be considered "recent"?  The remains of the buildings, remains of Norwich City life boats, water tank , the wreck itself are,IMO, what he likely meant.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #3 on: July 17, 2013, 06:57:58 PM »

Bruce,  isn't the wreck of the Norwich City a "sign of recent habitation"?  Why do we assume buildings?  Also what did Lambrecht [mean] by "recent"?  That's a relative term is it not?  On that lonely island would "any" sign of habitation be considered "recent"?  The remains of the buildings, remains of Norwich City life boats, water tank , the wreck itself are,IMO, what he likely meant.
All quite right, Irv. It's all relative.

I'm glad you mentioned the life boats, for I hope they can be spotted in the NZ photos as well.

But it's quite an insignificant matter compared to the most important question we all want answered: were Amelia and Fred "recent" inhabitants of Nikumaroro/Gardner Island as well?  :) 
LTM,

Bruce
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2013, 08:04:55 PM »

"Recent" enough for the Colorado search crews to take time to do repeated zooming and circling to get an answering wave from possible inhabitants. So recent enough to think someone may still be there.
Lambrecht seemed (IMHO) to describe the Norwich City as different feature.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: July 17, 2013, 09:12:56 PM by Greg Daspit »
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2013, 08:53:08 PM »

I think AE was smart enough to stay here Bruce.  I found this image.  The key however can't be directly tied to her but I think its likely as she didn't plan to stay on Gardner like other inhabitants.  But she was definitely smart enough to make the choice.


Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #6 on: July 17, 2013, 09:07:46 PM »

I think AE was smart enough to stay here Bruce.  I found this image.  The key however can't be directly tied to her but I think its likely as she didn't plan to stay on Gardner like other inhabitants.  But she was definitely smart enough to make the choice.
Finally! Something beside coral from the 2010 Wire & Rope video!  ;D
LTM,

Bruce
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2013, 01:26:51 AM »

I think AE was smart enough to stay here Bruce.  I found this image.  The key however can't be directly tied to her but I think its likely as she didn't plan to stay on Gardner like other inhabitants.  But she was definitely smart enough to make the choice.
Finally! Something beside coral from the 2010 Wire & Rope video!  ;D

That's the 2012 footage Bruce  ::)
This must be the place
 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2013, 04:07:16 AM »

Thanks Bruce,

Interesting reading and something to keep me busy today :)
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Joshua Doremire

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #9 on: July 18, 2013, 04:00:03 PM »

I think AE was smart enough to stay here Bruce.  I found this image.  The key however can't be directly tied to her but I think its likely as she didn't plan to stay on Gardner like other inhabitants.  But she was definitely smart enough to make the choice.




This would be an artifact left after 1952. The first Holiday Inn opened in 1952.
TIGHAR # 4274R
 
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 04:04:57 PM by Joshua Doremire »
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #10 on: July 18, 2013, 04:30:22 PM »

Ah Ha!!  Probably a coastie then!!
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #11 on: July 18, 2013, 04:57:10 PM »

Ah Ha!!  Probably a coastie then!!
Well, no, Irv. The Coasties were gone by about 1946.

I think we'd better go back and review the video of Ric's first jump down from the launch onto Nikumaroro back in 1989 ... maybe we can spot something flying out of his cargo pants at about 7:41.   ;D
LTM,

Bruce
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #12 on: July 18, 2013, 05:07:05 PM »

Dang!!  Well how about....  Ah Ha!! It must have been Ric's!  Does that work? 

I really have to make better fakes. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Diego Vásquez

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #13 on: June 01, 2014, 06:07:52 PM »

I may have missed it, but I never heard an answer to Bruce's question that started this topic:  Are the Arundel buildings visible in the NZ photos?  Are there any updates on this topic question from the NZ photo group?

Diego
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Diego V.
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Will the Arundel structures show up in the New Zealand photos?
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 09:17:03 AM »

I may have missed it, but I never heard an answer to Bruce's question that started this topic:  Are the Arundel buildings visible in the NZ photos?  Are there any updates on this topic question from the NZ photo group?

Diego

No, we didn't see anything in the 1938 photos that looks like it might be the Arundel structures.  We see what are probably wells dug by the Maude/Bevington expedition and we see one of the Norwich City lifeboats, but no Arundel structures.  As I recall, somebody saw them "in a state of collapse." Who was that? The Norwich City survivors?  Bevington?  The NZ surveyors?  I don't remember and I don't have time to run it down.  could be important.  When did the Arundel buildings go away - and why?
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