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Hilary Christine Olson

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Fire words
« on: June 04, 2010, 08:52:20 PM »

It may be interesting to see if the fires spell a signal  for help eg SOS ......If that was the case then you could possibly predict where the near one would be.  Once they have burned they would make dark areas  that have a chance to be seen in daylight.   Hilary
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2010, 12:10:04 PM »

Nice idea but i feel that the casterway would have to spend more time looking for Water and food than spend building elaborate fire rescue features.

It is more likely that they had a driftwood fire on the beach, ready to light if they saw a passing boat or plane.
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Rick Anthony

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #2 on: June 09, 2010, 05:13:27 PM »

I think the evidence is strong that the seven site is the castaway camp, but with several fire features being found I'm wondering if it also might have been a picnic destination for the villagers. Perhaps there is a way to date the contents of each fire feature? I'm no expert, but don't believe Carbon-14 dating is useful over such a short time interval. I'm wondering if there might be alternative methods of doing the dating.

LTM

Rick
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Tom Doran

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #3 on: June 11, 2010, 08:24:45 PM »

<<One of the things TIGHAR seems to be working on is a better understanding of how the Coasties may have used this site.  >>

It seems the Coast Guard guys spent time at the Seven Site, probably plinking away at trees and rocks.This guess is based on my experience of what guys with guns do when they have nothing better to do.

Would they have been catching and roasting birds and turtles? Probably not.

Do we know what species of birds the bones came from? Chicken bones would tell us one thing. Bones from seagulls or songbirds would tell a different story.

Tom D.
Atlanta
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 09:17:26 PM »

Do we know what species of birds the bones came from? Chicken bones would tell us one thing. Bones from seagulls or songbirds would tell a different story.

Some of the bird bones were lost for a few years--in the hands of a friendly but (apparently) disorganized ornithologist.  I don't think a report came back with the bones. 
LTM,

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Erik

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 03:06:43 PM »


Can we rule out the Ring Of Fire may have been a result of one of H. E. Maude's expeditions?

At the top of PAGE 75 he says...
"We lay in a circle under the shade of the giant “buka” trees by the lagoon, ringed by fires as a protection against the giant robber crabs..."

At the bottom of PAGE 81 he says...
"After five days at sea we again reached Gardner, and slept our first night under a large tarpaulin, ringed by fires as before."

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2010, 05:04:25 PM »


Can we rule out the Ring Of Fire may have been a result of one of H. E. Maude's expeditions?

I don't know how much we know about the eleven fires found at the Seven Site (so far).

Maybe the research yet to be done will help answer that question.

Great question, great links.  Thanks!
LTM,

           Marty
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2010, 07:16:40 PM »

The fire features are more or less linear - more like the Mad Hatter's "Clean cup. Move down." than a Ring of Fire. Dr. Sharyn Jones, is an anthropologist at the University of Alabama who specializes in Pacific island cultures.  She analyzed the 1401 fish bones recovered from the fire features in 2007 and found that the species of fish and the way they were prepared was not consistent with indigenous populations. Maude was never anywhere near the Seven Site. 

We don't (yet)understand the multiplicity of fires.
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Erik

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #8 on: July 20, 2010, 03:44:05 PM »

Maude was never anywhere near the Seven Site. 

It appears they walked the whole island over the course of as many as three days, looking for well sites, finding anchorages, etc. 

On page 74 and page 75::
"...the island was thoroughly explored from end to end; holes were dug and the soil examined..." and
"We spent three days on Gardner..."

Bevington's Diary mentions:
"Maude took one side and I took the other..." ;
"We got to the bottom, rounded it and moved up the shore, entering on the other side of the lagoon." ;
"By now it was 2 p.m. and the sun was bang overhead; the island was much larger than charted and was a good eight miles round...";
"We found many interesting things including signs of previous habitation"

Is is possible they were nearby the 7 site, just not documented that thouroughly?

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2010, 04:53:06 PM »

Ric met Bevington in 1992 and has maps marked by Bevington along with video of the interview.  Of course, the interview was 55 years after the event and time plays tricks on memory, but the location of the various rings of fire was probably pretty clearly established.
LTM,

           Marty
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Bill Lloyd

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #10 on: July 20, 2010, 06:53:03 PM »

Ric met Bevington in 1992 and has maps marked by Bevington along with video of the interview.  Of course, the interview was 55 years after the event and time plays tricks on memory, but the location of the various rings of fire was probably pretty clearly established.
Is that video available for viewing?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2010, 07:43:36 PM »

Bevington had no recollection of any rings of fire.  The video of the interview has not yet been digitized but when it is we'll put it on the TIGHAR website.
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Erik

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #12 on: July 21, 2010, 09:55:31 AM »

Bevington had no recollection of any rings of fire.  The video of the interview has not yet been digitized but when it is we'll put it on the TIGHAR website.

Sounds like the interview with Bevington specifically touched on the topic of rings of fire.  How did he account for Maude's reports explaining the use of fire rings to keep away crabs?  Also, curious to a snapshot of Bevingtons demeanor and overall impression of how the interveiw went.  Were the maps detailed or of the hand-drawn variety?

There are teeming millions of us [or at least hundreds : )] willing to donate our time and equipment to transfer those interviews to digital format!  In the meantime, can members view the oringinal video in the TIGHAR library's reading room?  ;)
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #13 on: July 21, 2010, 11:57:16 AM »

The fire features are more or less linear - more like the Mad Hatter's "Clean cup. Move down." than a Ring of Fire. Dr. Sharyn Jones, is an anthropologist at the University of Alabama who specializes in Pacific island cultures.  She analyzed the 1401 fish bones recovered from the fire features in 2007 and found that the species of fish and the way they were prepared was not consistent with indigenous populations. Maude was never anywhere near the Seven Site. 

We don't (yet)understand the multiplicity of fires.

Are the fire features roughly parallel to the beach? If so the castaway may have built them in the hopes of signaling a passing ship or plane.  Multiple fires facing the beach would probably be better than one large fire.  Once constructed though it makes sense that they would be used.  For example the castaway might use one while always trying to keep a number (maybe 3-4) in reserve.  If they did this then it seem possible that they would use one, then move down the line and use the next while building new ones at the end of the line to replace those that have been consumed at the top of the line, all while keeping a number ready to make a larger signal. 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Fire words
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2010, 09:29:01 PM »

Sounds like the interview with Bevington specifically touched on the topic of rings of fire.

 Not that recall.  I just don't remember hims saying anything about fire rings. It has been a long time since i reviewed the video.

 How did he account for Maude's reports explaining the use of fire rings to keep away crabs?

He didn't.

 Also, curious to a snapshot of Bevingtons demeanor and overall impression of how the interveiw went. 

Eric Bevington was what Rudyard Kipling had in mind when he wrote "....send forth the best ye breed."  They don't make 'em like Eric anymore.  Even in his 80s he was tall, handsome, distinguished, kind and totally devoted to the subjects of the Empire whom he had served for most his adult life. When I spent a couple days with him at his home in the south of England in 1990 he was preparing for a trip to Tarawa to visit old friends.  We compared notes about Nikumaroro and I complained that getting ashore always involved getting your feet wet. He said, "No, no you're doing it wrong. You have the boys carry you ashore."

Were the maps detailed or of the hand-drawn variety?

I brought a large photocopy of a detailed map which he marked. He didn't have any maps.

There are teeming millions of us [or at least hundreds : )] willing to donate our time and equipment to transfer those interviews to digital format!  In the meantime, can members view the oringinal video in the TIGHAR library's reading room?  ;)

If we had a reading room I wouldn't risk the old tape.  We'll play it once to digitize it.
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