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Author Topic: Items that may have floated away from Electra / What to look for that may have gone ashore?  (Read 31829 times)

Gus Rubio

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Greetings,

I just found the link to the inventory taken of the Electra's content after the Luke Field crash, and it got me to wondering what items aboard, or indeed what parts of the plane itself, might have floated away from the island, or washed into the lagoon, once the plane began to break up.  Empty fuel tanks spring to mind, depending on how rigidly they were attached to the plane's structure.  Upon coming loose they may have been torn open and sunk, for example.

Note that this is not meant to suggest searching for such items, just a line of conjecture to keep the ol' gray matter limber.  Reminds me of the grand staircase from the Titanic, which I've I recall having heard suggested that it may have broken loose and floated away relatively intact, ending up who knows where.  The mind boggles.

-Gus
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Items that may have floated away from the Electra
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2010, 07:06:20 PM »

I just found the link to the inventory taken of the Electra's content after the Luke Field crash, and it got me to wondering what items aboard, or indeed what parts of the plane itself, might have floated away from the island, or washed into the lagoon, once the plane began to break up.  Empty fuel tanks spring to mind, depending on how rigidly they were attached to the plane's structure.  Upon coming loose they may have been torn open and sunk, for example.

Your guess is as good as anybody's.

The lagoon has been searched in various ways: shoreline, magnetometers (in some places, I think), the ol' Mark I eyeball, and sonar.  I seem to remember divers being towed back and forth, too--and having to dodge coral structures while doing so.

If there is or was some large staircase from the plane in there somewhere, it hasn't shown up yet.

LTM,

           Marty
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Items that may have floated away from the Electra
« Reply #2 on: December 20, 2010, 09:00:06 AM »

I would think that pretty much anything that washed ashore or was easily accessible in the lagoon would have been collected and utilized in some manner to make other items, as Ric and other Niku searchers have noted.  I have seen, mainly in South America, locals carting off all manner of items from dumps on AF bases.  They make the most magnifcant items from the stuff we were routinely discarding as trash that either is not available to them or very expensive to purchase like scraps of metal (tin and aluminum) bits of plexiglass, angle iron, you name it, they would find a use for it.  In a place like Niku where aluminum, stainless steel, etc, is not available I would surmise these items would have found many uses.

LTM

Don
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Items that may have floated away from the Electra
« Reply #3 on: December 20, 2010, 09:38:14 AM »

I would think that pretty much anything that washed ashore or was easily accessible in the lagoon would have been collected and utilized in some manner to make other items, as Ric and other Niku searchers have noted.  I have seen, mainly in South America, locals carting off all manner of items from dumps on AF bases.  They make the most magnifcant items from the stuff we were routinely discarding as trash that either is not available to them or very expensive to purchase like scraps of metal (tin and aluminum) bits of plexiglass, angle iron, you name it, they would find a use for it.  In a place like Niku where aluminum, stainless steel, etc, is not available I would surmise these items would have found many uses.

TIGHAR Central has drawers full of aluminum combs and the like collected from various surveys of the village sites. 

Even the piece of Alclad may have been used as a cooking sheet, if I remember correctly.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Items that may have floated away from the Electra
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2010, 05:15:54 PM »

Per FAA TC Data Sheet 590, the L10E is the 'same as' the L10A (ref: TCDS 550 for that model) except for the engines (bigger R-1340s), so her empty weight would have been close to the 10E at around 6400 pounds or so - except a bit higher to start with (more engine / cowl / exhaust, etc. weight) and that NR16020 was highly modified with extra tankage, etc.  She could have easily gone well over 7000 pounds, I believe, empty - in fact maybe more like 8000 pounds or so (does anyone have that post-mod data from Lockheed?  Never seen it).

Lockheed Electra 10E Special.
LTM,

           Marty
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Greg Daspit

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What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2012, 02:35:09 PM »

Assuming they salvaged items from the plane wreck and took them ashore, or to the NC camp or took them aboard the NC, what would those items likely be?
If they were taken to the NC or NC camp and scavanged later by villagers, did you put an ad in the paper of the islands the villagers later moved to, and identify what your looking for, so someone could come forward with the missing items?
This includes the sextant and inverting eye piece, and parts of the plane since they were known to take plane parts with them before.
Sorry if this was already mentioned.

3971R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #6 on: May 29, 2012, 02:04:30 PM »

Quick thought
If she were using the inverting eye piece to start fires, that could explain why the fire features are spread out, because that is where the sun was hitting at the time.
3971R
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #7 on: May 29, 2012, 04:57:53 PM »

Hey Jeff---What if it was JUST Amelia, because Fred was incapacitated? Maybe that was Greg's question?
See you in DC!!!
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 06:59:07 PM »

Fred had a watch, sun glasses and a hat. The watch and sun glasses may not have weathered away.
See pictures. The one using the plane for shelter to see the watch, Fred pointing for the sun glasses.
I think I saw a picture of a canteen somewhere.
The luggage may have had metal parts that survived
3971R
 
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Brad Beeching

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 07:12:30 PM »

Well.... we don't know what they did, we can only assume what they might have done had they landed on Niku. But since I have a great amount of fun speculating on what might have happened after the landing, I'll just throw out a few ideas. For the sake of conversation, lets assume that the Luke Field Inventory items are what made it on the plane for the flight to Howland. Using that list, there are quite a few items that I would find useful from the comfortable perspective of 75 years and air conditioning. I'll list them by sheet and item number, and leave it to you to look them up.
Sheet 1
item 2
item 7 & 8 combined minus everything but the fishing tackle, and linen products
item 10 thru 15
items 22 thru 24 an ax?
Sheet 2
item 33
item 43
Sheet 3
item 54 (and if taken, may explain the zipper at the 7 site)
item 66
item 67 (sorted to remove aircraft parts)
item 68 thru 75
item 80
Sheet 4
All navigation insruments and maps.

Brad

Brad

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richie conroy

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2012, 06:24:41 AM »

Maybe Tighar has a list of items amelia asked to be shipped with fuel to howland island

And what ever is on the list, u can mark off luke airport inventory list
We are an echo of the past


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Greg Daspit

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2012, 10:21:00 PM »

Example of one of the first aid kits listed in the Luke field inventory
3971R
 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 10:32:45 PM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #12 on: June 15, 2012, 10:25:02 PM »

Possible example of the other First Aid kit in the Luke Field inventory
3971R
 
« Last Edit: June 15, 2012, 10:34:11 PM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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Brad Beeching

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #13 on: June 17, 2012, 09:07:30 AM »

I was looking over the Luke Field Inventory with an eye towards researching every item on the web, then posting the link to the result here. It turns out that it is difficult to do easily and not take a dogs age to accomplish. But while I was looking at a few items, I was struck by the comparison of those items with modern versions. Where an item weighed pounds in 1937, the modern equivalent might weigh ounces. And the bulk of even the smallest items when compared to the modern equivalent is amazing! What a difference!

I was thinking that maybe they didn't move all that they wanted or needed because they couldn't. It is my opinion that IF they landed on the reef, they were both injured in a "not so smooth" landing. see: Mrs. Mabel Larremore . From Bettys Notebook I get the impression the injuries were indeed serious and maybe included broken bones. So IF that indeed was the case, how much stuff could they actually move out of the plane, across the reef and under cover?

I was also thinking that with the number of radio transmissions reported over the first days they were pretty well glued to the aircraft. Could that have caused them to "freeze" and do nothing to improve the situation in the fear of missing an answer? Could they have run out of time to move equipment to shore because they waited too long for rescue? Did the plane sink before they could salvage enough stuff to ease survival? Just a few thoughts...

Brad
Brad

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« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 03:31:31 PM by Brad Beeching »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What are the things to look for that were taken ashore?
« Reply #14 on: June 17, 2012, 10:46:47 AM »

Brad, I was thinking the same thing. That they did not get a lot to shore based on those assumptions, including:
1.The radio messages describe injuries
2. The first surveys of the island describe extreme difficulty in transporting cargo across the slippery reef and note that in the future supplies should be easy to carry
3. At first they were so tired from the flight they just slept in the plane at night.
4. That they simply expected someone to find them for the first few days.
5. The lack of things found. (could be because colonist already scavanged them).
6. The number of radio messages imply they spent a lot of time in the plane, maybe under the wing during the day where they put some boxes or luggage to sit on and keep above a few inches of water
I think the list should inlcude what they usually had on them and could survive 75 years such as  lighters, glasses, shoes, belt buckles. Then the items like food and water containers, first aid kit, small luggage bag.

I added the first aid kits because I think they may have found pieces of a metal box at the Seven Site that could be the First Aid Kit, something they were likely already using before leaving the plane
http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,18.0.html

The thing I find interesting is reports of wreckage being seen years later, which implies she could have attempted to salvage more, but couldn't

My theory is she was scouting when she ended up at the Seven site. I think her leg may have been hurt and was using a crutch and she needed shoulder straps to carry stuff, including the Sextant box (see my sketches in the Join the Search section about the little clips) and First aid kit had connections for a strap. The benedictine bottle may have had a cord wrapped around it.
http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,17.75.html

There may have been a base camp closer to the plane but most of the items were scavanged by colonist.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 10:50:22 AM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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