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Author Topic: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?  (Read 1362 times)

Scott C. Mitchell

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Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« on: June 28, 2018, 07:25:38 AM »

One hears that NASA still has reams of unexamined data from the Apollo expeditions.  What about TIGHAR search records?  Are there any similar caches of information--sonar recordings, underwater camera video, island soil samples, etc.-- that were of low priority when first gathered on the island trips, that still await the tedious process of examination and cataloging? 
Scott
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Jon Romig

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2018, 12:58:08 PM »

Hi Scott,

I believe (trust) that almost every piece of raw data or artifacts that might have been useful has already been examined by TIGHAR. That is why you have not received a reply, Scott. You ask a question that can't be answered. If something was seen to have any value, it was almost certainly examined. The only exception might (might) be data from Niku IX.

Yes, there must be other unexamined data. Of course. But in the last few years the most productive sources of new knowledge have been previously-reviewed data that were subjected to re-examination: the new research using the bone measurements being the best example.

Other research might be pursued that combines existing data with apparently unrelated information, producing new knowledge - tide tables with signal logs for example, or photo analysis and bone measurements. We should remain alert to more of these possibilities.

I might be wrong but I think that continuing to re-mine previously examined data will be the most productive path. Things that were worth looking at once are very likely to be worth looking at again. This requires us to be open to new hypothesis and interpretations, use new scientific tools, and to be willing to challenge existing conclusions. It is interesting to note that the new (and extremely productive) research on the bones was spurred by a contrary "finding" by other scientists. Nothing better proves the value of the scientific method, and shows how the progress of science over time allows us deeper insight into existing data.

Jon
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Jon Romig

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2018, 02:08:14 PM »

In support of the thesis in my earlier post regarding the value of re-mining existing data, the bones were:

1. Collected in 1940
2. Examined and documented by Hoodless in 1941
3. Analyzed by Hoodless in 1941
4. Re-analyzed by Burns, Jantz, King, and Gillespie in 1988
5. Re-analyzed by Cross and Wright in 2015
6. Re-analyzed by Jantz in 2018

Each of the four analyses, spanning 77 years of scientific study, led to new conclusions about the bones. All were part of a progression towards the detailed and well-supported understanding that we now have.

Jon
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2018, 07:39:50 AM »

I owe Scott Mitchell an apology.  Upon reading his question I immediately began composing a reply along the same lines as Jon Romig's response, but before I finished and posted my reply something else cropped up that needed my attention and I inadvertently closed the Forum window. It was only upon reading Jon's posting that I realized that my reply to Scott had been lost and never posted.

Jon is exactly correct.  Our best way forward is in looking for new insights in the wealth of data we have collected over the past thirty years. Jantz's re-examinatioin of the bone measurements with the help of new data on Earhart that we were able to collect through forensic techniques is a perfect example. 

Jon's mention of the tide tables with signal logs couldn't be more prescient.  Since April, I have been immersed in what started out to be simple article for TIGHAR Tracks about the post-Loss radio signals.  I soon discovered that there is much more information in that data than we had realized. I alerted Bob Brandenburg and we began working on what has become Post-Loss Radio Signals Catalog and Analysis 2.0. The new catalog presents a simplified chronology of the signals and includes tide/signal graphs and short summary narratives make the story the signals tell more accessible.

Here's a short preview:
We already knew that most (88%) of the credible post loss receptions occurred during the first three nights and only at times when the water level on the reef was low enough to allow an engine to be run to keep the batteries charged. But within that pattern there is another pattern.  Each night, there are “active” periods of time lasting about an hour during which credible receptions are heard, followed by “silent” periods when no credible signals are heard.  The “silent" periods always last over an hour and typically last about an hour and a half, then the pattern repeats until high tide or daylight. We don't know the reason for the silent periods but we have a hypothesis that can be tested.

We also find that - from the timing of the signals, the water levels on the reef, and our first-hand knowledge of the island - we can quite reliably chart when Earhart and Noonan were aboard the Electra and when they were ashore. Balancing this information against the evolving language in the handful of intelligible voice messages (Larremore, Paxton, Randolph, Coons, Lovelace) provides a clearer picture of the deteriorating situation faced by AE and FN.

The full report will be published in the upcoming TIGHAR Tracks. Attached is an example of one of the new graphs.   

 

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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2018, 02:43:33 PM »

Scott

I too agree that re-examining data we've already analyzed is often very productive, and there are several examples where re-examination has yielded results that either do or do not support TIGHAR's general hypothesis.  Examples would include the navigator's bookcase (eventually determined not to be Earhart Related) the water tank at the 7 site (initially dismissed as Earhart related, but now central to locating the castaway camp and the castaway's last resting spot), the Blucher Oxford shoe (looks like hers, but re-analysis shows it isn't the right size), and the Bevington photo which we examined intensely for more than a decade, only to discover that we were looking at a cropped version that excluded what turned out to be the most interesting part of the photo.  No doubt there are other examples.  Some of these items have turned out to be red herrings, generally determined to be so by our own re-analysis, but they sustained the project in odd ways that allowed us to collect more data over time that has proven to be much more interesting.

All of that doesn't really answer your question regarding caches of information that haven't been examined, or fully examined.  While I think most data has been examined to some degree, I don't think that we can say that everything we've ever collected has been exhaustively analyzed.  There was sonar fish data from very early on (1989?) that seems to have been lost to the sands of time in some Govt. Office, and there is magnetometer data from the lagoon that is apparently in some format nobody can read, and sonar mapping from the lagoon that was collected, reviewed in the field, but probably never re-examined.  All of that stuff was inconclusive at the time it was examined, and unlikely to yield much now, particularly if it was collected in areas we no longer think are likely target areas.  Then there are the some 100,000 photos and some 1000-2000 hours of video that has been taken over some 12 expeditions.  How do you prioritize what you want to look at again?

If you are looking for projects to work on, I know we've talked about trying to put all the data into a GIS database system that would allow integration and sorting by expedition, year, location, and whatever other characteristics we can determine would be useful.  We haven't pursued this because it is a huge project given the amount of stuff we've collected over the years, would suck up a huge amount of resources and man hours.  It would be important for the archaeological scientific aspect of the project and Kiribati history, but in the end probably would not help us in solving the Earhart mystery.  Given the limited resources, the time and effort would be better spent on current research, or organizing another expedition. 

Lets find the Naval Observatory calibration records which could show us that a sextant with the right number pair was in the Naval inventory. 

Lets find a higher resolution photo of the right side of the Electra so we can better understand the patch that was installed.

I'm sure there are other projects Ric might suggest, but those two are projects anyone can work on.

Best

Andrew
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #5 on: July 05, 2018, 12:20:37 PM »


Each night, there are “active” periods of time lasting about an hour during which credible receptions are heard, followed by “silent” periods when no credible signals are heard.  The “silent" periods always last over an hour and typically last about an hour and a half, then the pattern repeats until high tide or daylight. We don't know the reason for the silent periods but we have a hypothesis that can be tested.
 
That's interesting. Insufficient engine cooling because the plane is on the ground, and/ or the inability to face the wind, causing overheating after about an hour and the need for a cooling off period?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #6 on: July 05, 2018, 12:49:17 PM »

That's interesting. Insufficient engine cooling because the plane is on the ground, and/ or the inability to face the wind, causing overheating after about an hour and the need for a cooling off period?

Bingo. My friends at Covington Aircraft Engines (where we did the battery charge/fuel consumptions tests in 2009) tell me that if the airplane is stationary, 900 RPM will not generate sufficient airflow to keep the head temperatures and oil temperature within limits.  The engine will overheat after about an hour and you’ll need to shut down and let it cool before you fire it up again. All we need to test that hypothesis is a hot day and a willing soul with a North American T-6.  Same engine.  No cowl flaps.
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Scott C. Mitchell

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2018, 08:48:32 PM »

Thank you all for your encouraging and informative replies.  This latest analysis of the correlation between the radio signals and the condition of the aircraft sounds fascinating.  The reason for raising the issue of unexamined data was to explore ways the cadre of Armchair Tighars could contribute by analysis of data.  My other scientific interests include astronomy.  The inspiration for the original question came from the Galaxy Zoo project, in which rank volunteers are used to catalog galaxies in Hubble images according to types, orientation, and other observable features, and it is amazing what has been accomplished so far.  Perhaps similar large-scale data reduction has a role to play with the Tighar mission.  Not an original thought -- I know several members have patiently examined the library of undersea videos, for example.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2018, 09:28:03 AM »

Perhaps similar large-scale data reduction has a role to play with the Tighar mission.  Not an original thought -- I know several members have patiently examined the library of undersea videos, for example.

Here's a project.  You'll recall that in October of last year the Scripps Institution research vessel R/V Falkor did a survey of the deep corals in the Phoenix Group.  Dive 81 covered a track off the northwest end of Nikumaroro using a sophisticated ROV called SuBastian.  About a hundred TIGHAR volunteers watched the live-stream video looking for possible airplane wreckage.  Nothing obvious turned up, but on October 28, 2017 TIGHAR member Hilary Olson sent me the attached screen capture of something that looks more airplane-like than coral-like, but as we know all too well, underwater video invites pareidolia.  There is no scale and a single still image can be deceiving.  We need to view the whole video sequence to make a judgment about what we're looking at. 
The problem is, we don't know where in the 10-hour video the object was encountered.  The red time bar across the bottom of the screen is only for that portion of the dive, not the whole dive.  All we know is that the object was encountered at a depth of 1502m and that the ROV was headed south. I haven't had time to wade through the video trying to find it.
The entire mission is online at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bfcE2BWAYNE&t=24s.  Oddly, the tag at the top left of the screen capture is not present in the online video and it has the dive number wrong.
I've attached two maps of Falkor's track. One is a general view of the entire track and the other is overlaid on a map of TIGHAR's 2012 survey to show where the ship went with relation to the area we covered.  The contour line interval is 100 meters. The numbered dots on the map are possible targets identified by the AUV side-scan sonar.  The colored "snail trails" are the paths of the ROV we used to check out some of the targets. The targets we checked were all coral chunks and ship wreckage. We couldn't take the ROV deep enough to check out the deeper targets.
The 1502m depth of the object in the screen capture suggests it was out away from the island farther than the area we covered in 2012.
The airplane could be out that far if it floated and drifted for a time before sinking.  Let's find the image in the video and see what we think.
« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 09:32:56 AM by Ric Gillespie »
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2018, 10:12:36 AM »

Try this link instead:

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67vIDMBWGKs

Start looking at 2:40:35.

The screen grab comes up at 2:53:20.

They hover over this area until 3:06:00 when video becomes cloudy.
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« Last Edit: July 08, 2018, 10:37:28 AM by Bill Mangus »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2018, 10:24:32 AM »

Try this link instead:

     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=67vIDMBWGKs

That's the link for Dive 71, but that dive was nowhere near Niku.  It starts and 1602m and goes gradually shallower as it works its way up a seamount.  At 1502m the ROV is headed east and the image we're looking for does not appear.  The lighting is complexity different and the ROV is headed East, not South.

The tag on the screen capture is wrong. The image we're looking for is in Dive 81.

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Leon R White

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2018, 10:56:25 AM »

Does any Tighar have a copy of the original dive that they made themselves from their desktop?  If so, could I get a copy of that?  There are some other possible differences between the posted version and the original I'd like to check, and I erased my own copy in a horrible accident.
Thanks
Leon
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Does TIGHAR have any unexamined data?
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2018, 11:21:54 AM »

Disregard.  My bad.  Bill Mangus is right.  The image is in Dive 71.  Nowhere near Niku.  It begins at about 2:53 and the camera lingers for a long time.  It's clearly not a manmade object, just rocks and background sand. At 2:55 the narrator (Randi Rotjan) talks about it.

In Dive 81 Bill spotted something at 7:47:10 that could be construed to be a rectangular sheet of aluminum with a fractured edge. The depth is 1051m.
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