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Author Topic: Maid Recovery  (Read 30760 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #15 on: November 15, 2013, 04:35:23 PM »

Is there a ball park figure for such a recovery and conservation?

A don't-hold-me-to-it ballpark would be about $1 million.

Was the TIGHAR survey a full survey? I don't know what a full survey would entail.

We did as much as we legally could.  We could not excavate so we could only survey what nature had exposed.  See attached illustration.

Here's a 'what if' Next Niku draws zip, any chance of switching to either MOH or the Deverstators?

We can walk and chew gum at the same time.  The delay in recovering the Maid has nothing to do with the Earhart Project or lack of desire.  As Matt says, there are practical reasons of the delay. Everybody thinks it should be simple, but it's not.  As for the Devastator, that project has been moving forward for years, but due to its intensely political nature we have not been able to talk about it.
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2013, 06:20:36 AM »

Maybe a compromise would be a 'Archaeology' style survey with extensive footage and photos for an online display or static display at the appropriate museum.

Been there, done that - in 2007.  We can't publish the photos and video without revealing the exact location of the aircraft - which would doom it to destruction.

Here's a photo of the Maid of Harlech taken from Google Earth which does not reveal the location of the aircraft due to proximity and angle. As shown in the survey drawing, the aircraft is pointing towards the North and is partially covered with sand.
Tim
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PanAm Systems

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #17 on: November 16, 2013, 07:08:55 AM »

Here's a photo of the Maid of Harlech taken from Google Earth which does not reveal the location of the aircraft due to proximity and angle. As shown in the survey drawing, the aircraft is pointing towards the North and is partially covered with sand.

You're just as wrong about the Maid as you are about the Electra. 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #18 on: November 16, 2013, 07:22:07 AM »

Everybody thinks it should be simple, but it's not.  As for the Devastator, that project has been moving forward for years, but due to its intensely political nature we have not been able to talk about it.

That's pretty much TIGHAR in a nutshell - find the Electra? Easy! All you need to do is look in precisely the right spot! How hard could that possibly be, anyway? From my comfortable armchair quarterback throrn, it seems to have gone on for an unnecessarily long time - let's wrap this one up and move on to the next one. Same thing with the Devastator. How hard, really, is it to yank that sucker up from the bottom of the lagoon? And the Maid of Harlech is dirt simple! Anyone could have that sucker up on dry land with a half-days work with a backhoe.

*exaggeration off* Real life, I have found in my brief span of time on this rock, is far more obtuse than we like to think. Wishing for things to be simple doesn't often make it so.

LTM, who's pretty sure he can handle the truth,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
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« Last Edit: November 16, 2013, 07:34:29 AM by Monty Fowler »
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Robert Elliott

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #19 on: November 16, 2013, 10:11:41 AM »

I have been in contact with Matt Rimmer and am pleased with the opportunity to work with him as needed to preserve and display the Maid , including a personal visit to meet him at some point. As I said, since my retirement July 1st I can devote more time to this project. Many folks in the UK are deeply interested in this project and in fact, I was contacted by The Cambrian News this past week and they pounced on the opportunity to publish an article on the Maid, which appeared Thursday. We wanted to keep the Maid in the public eye an also be positive about it. TIGHAR did a magnificent job on the survey. Now we want to build on that.
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2013, 10:24:29 AM »

I have been in contact with Matt Rimmer and am pleased with the opportunity to work with him as needed to preserve and display the Maid , including a personal visit to meet him at some point. As I said, since my retirement July 1st I can devote more time to this project. Many folks in the UK are deeply interested in this project and in fact, I was contacted by The Cambrian News this past week and they pounced on the opportunity to publish an article on the Maid, which appeared Thursday. We wanted to keep the Maid in the public eye an also be positive about it. TIGHAR did a magnificent job on the survey. Now we want to build on that.
Here's a shortened version of the Cambrian News article. (Apparently one has to pay extra to view the entire article.)
LTM,

Bruce
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Matt Rimmer

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2013, 10:59:29 AM »

Maybe a compromise would be a 'Archaeology' style survey with extensive footage and photos for an online display or static display at the appropriate museum.

Been there, done that - in 2007.  We can't publish the photos and video without revealing the exact location of the aircraft - which would doom it to destruction.

Here's a photo of the Maid of Harlech taken from Google Earth which does not reveal the location of the aircraft due to proximity and angle. As shown in the survey drawing, the aircraft is pointing towards the North and is partially covered with sand.

Tim, I'm afraid I gave up on google earth long ago, it just doesn't have the detail to be precise enough to ID anything IMO. On the beach and especially in the shallows at low tide there are all kinds of anomalies, from seaweed to mussel beds, and a redundant sewerage outlet which someone pointed out to me as he was convinced it was a part of The Maid.

Matt. 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2013, 11:15:34 AM »

I'm with you on Google Earth, Matt. What we sometimes forget, while marveling at the images of the Earth as we have never seen it, is that these "pictures" were taken by satellites, pretty high up in the sky, and subject to the same image-processing biases as any other electronic document would be.

It's easy to see things when you want to. Look at the case of Steve Fossett in 2007. Lots of people took to Google Earth to look for his plane wreckage; they succeeded in squandering an enormous amount of the aerial and ground searcher's time. The only way to be really sure is to put on your boots or swim fins or whatever and actually go to the physical location. There's no substitute for ground-truthing. TIGHAR has been around the block often enough to know that (I still chuckle about the giant red blob affair).

LTM, who probably needs new glasses anyway,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2013, 03:06:44 PM »

Lots of people took to Google Earth to look for his plane wreckage; they succeeded in squandering an enormous amount of the aerial and ground searcher's time.

I participated in the Mechanical Turk.  It was an interesting exercise. 

The aerial and ground searchers ought not to have "squandered" any time if they did not like the look of the Google imagery.  They didn't have to look at any e-mail from anybody if they didn't want to.  Live and learn.
LTM,

           Marty
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Dan Swift

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #24 on: November 18, 2013, 01:37:24 PM »

Nice one Ric! 
Nailed it!
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
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JNev

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #25 on: November 19, 2013, 08:48:42 AM »

Can't we all just be nice... sheesh...

I'd be more inclined to drop a twenty now and then in the glass jar at a museum to see conserved history IF -

We could find the traction among the public to actually make it happen, gain the substantial means to do it, and then see happy-others dropping their twenties in too -

All of which might make for a more productive / less acrimonious environment in places like this.

So, how do we do that?
- How, after years of promoting in various ways, do we finally find a way to get the public / museums excited about the intent to 'raise 'em as they are, conserve 'em and show 'em that the public can see', and -
- Can we bolster such an approach and make real tracks with it so that we become more 'doers' than 'sayers' about these semi-obscure efforts?

I don't mean to criticize by comparing 'doers' and 'sayers' at all, please no defensiveness - moreover I may share some frustrations with people like Ric and others out there - how do we make these things find traction?

One voice here added a bit of positive light -

I have been in contact with Matt Rimmer and am pleased with the opportunity to work with him as needed to preserve and display the Maid , including a personal visit to meet him at some point. As I said, since my retirement July 1st I can devote more time to this project. Many folks in the UK are deeply interested in this project and in fact, I was contacted by The Cambrian News this past week and they pounced on the opportunity to publish an article on the Maid, which appeared Thursday. We wanted to keep the Maid in the public eye an also be positive about it. TIGHAR did a magnificent job on the survey. Now we want to build on that.

So to borrow from Capt. Elliott, how do we build on that?
- Jeff Neville

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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #26 on: November 19, 2013, 07:25:31 PM »

Jeff Neville,

How do we build on that?

I believe the most rewarding way to "... build on that" in these instances of recovery (conserve and show) vs. recover (reconstructed and show) is to put the historic human figure clearly in the picture.

I am sure that even in the case of AE/FN's Lockheed 10, if enough of the aircraft is recovered someone would suggest it be reconstructed to the state it was in when it disappeared.  What a marvelous display it would be - just step in and pretend to fly.  What's missing in this picture-the human element?

Put the wrinkled up pieces of the aircraft along with all other pieces of evidence on display and what you have is an animate object that is associated with a human tragedy that makes one pause.


A real life example of the foregoing is the memorial of the USS Arizona.  What's more poignant a floating Arizona or a solemn display as she rests?

Ted Campbell
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JNev

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Re: Maid Recovery
« Reply #27 on: November 20, 2013, 06:47:54 AM »

Good points, Ted.  Yamamoto's 'end' was dramatized by the exhibit I mentioned earlier.  The USS Arizona remains commissioned to this day, obvious reasons.  Vets who survived her can have their ashes interred there.

I've somewhere mentioned seeing the pilot's seat from Wiley Post's last airplane - the Sirius-Orion-Explorer hybrid - said artifact distorted and crushed, just as it was when Post was crushed to death in it.  It sits in a lone case, probably not much noticed as anything other than an oddity - and of course the museum refrained from garish explanation of what the item was exactly, and how it came to be the way we see it.  The observer must know the history to 'get it'.

And walking away from that exhibit - the first encounter with a civilian-disaster artifact that I can recall, I had to ask myself if I had truly done the right thing in studying it closely and considering Post's last moments.  Did I do well to take photographs of such a thing?  I knew the details - I am intimately familiar with how the two bodies were found, and how their condition was shielded at the time.  Rogers, crushed in the cabin - sever impact injuries; he'd been in his sleeping bag for warmth.  Post, sitting in that nose cockpit (similar to that of the Vega 5 series arrangement) crushed and disemboweled when the engine rammed back into his person: the reason the seat is so distorted is because poor Post was sandwiched between the brutal force of the engine and relatively unyielding properties of the seat and bulkhead behind it.  A dreadful scene.

There's some contrast here to me, between military history and civilian: Yamamoto and Arizona both figure into the national consciousness in major iconic ways, no doubt.  When Yamamoto was shot down and killed - gunned down as it were, it was a huge historic war event, however one sees it or cuts the ethics of it.  BTW, I don't regret it nor as an American would I ever apologize for it - he was a 'war lord' who was a worthy target - call it assassination if you will; Bin Laden was no more worthy for the taking than a Japanese Admiral in WWII as far as I am concerned. 

Same for the Arizona - hallowed 'ground' there - she stands as tall under the waves as Gettysburg, Flanders, you name it.

Earhart?  At least with the prospect of a Niku theory we have a chance of discovering a less-violent end in the airplane than poor Post suffered.  But it still gets violent, if 'Thirteen Bones' and other views ever prove true - it had to have been at least a gruesome ending of dehydration, possibly hunger and debilitating injury, infection or disease - and a final insult to the human victim by nature's own devices, possibly while the human was in a state of awareness.

But in the airplane?  Not likely if Niku is correct - so that artifact would be relatively sterile of the garish things I've mentioned.  It would be more of an icon of her last existence, finally understood - but also perhaps approaching a gravestone of sorts - even if she wasn't near it at the end.

Post's seat is one thing; had that crushed airplane been displayed I'd have turned away - I hope.  I've seen the pictures.  I've also - like Ric and many others, seen the real aftermath of many a fatal crash, up close and too personal.  But hopefully NR16020 did not issue the coup d' grace to our brave, lost aviators and we'd have a neater decision to make.

But will the public buy?  What is it that they will get from 'interpreting' a long-submersed and buried P-38 (which was not involved in a fatal accident, pilot having swum away to fly another day)?  Curiosity?  What is the lesson - "this is what a P-38 looks like after an unintended ditching near a coast, after 7 decades of exposure"?  Don't get me wrong - I hope this comes off - but I believe it could be an important test case of what the public gets from it and how well they accept it.

In terms of ethics, no one died in it.  In terms of ethics, as to Yamamoto and any sensitivity, I say "tough shit", I WANT to know how they got him (and respect that he was very westernized and not without some peculiar empathies for America (mostly cautions, I think) - but also a mortal enemy).  In terms of ethics, there lies Arizona - deserving of solumn recognition - a pause and reflection of what was sacrificed in those terrible moments in that place - we refuse to let her die, after all.

Oh, the stories need to be known - and when there were people lost it should be recorded and told as best we can interpret it.  But do I want to see the wrecked remains of the P-38 that Capt. Robert de Vlieg was lost in (a friend of my dad's) in the CBI theatre?  Too personal - he was a line pilot in a photo outfit and deserves individual respect.  YMMV, but I would not want to see the shattered cockpit that he likely died in displayed in a museum in situ, too much. 

Earhart's plane?  I don't know - except of course we want to find it and 'understand' what happened.  Are we prepared to find a machine that did not find its end as we thing, e.g. a harsh water landing that may have mortally wounded its occupants?

It is just not a clear path to me as I think it all over.  There can be many ethical questions.  Those who find wrecks and rebuild are often criticized for overlooking the human history attached to that wreck, and losing evidence of it for all time in their haste to recover a rebuildable wreck.  I abhor the loss of human story in those things - but am ambivalent as to the airframe being restored.

Matter of balance - and what works.  What will the public 'buy' - ultimately that is what pays the bills to allow any sort of effort to develop.  All I can say is that while there are a lot of good ideas, I think we're treading on fairly new ground with this prospect of retrieving and displaying wreckage - it is not all so clear as-yet.  Not like looking at an 800 year old Viking ship which is far past projecting any sense of tribal loss as we gaze at it - as opposed to seeing shoes and such from the Titanic.

So, how to build on that?  Carefully, I'm sure.
- Jeff Neville

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