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Author Topic: The Navigator's Bookcase  (Read 29624 times)

JNev

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« on: June 06, 2011, 09:48:34 AM »

... A considerable amount of time and money has been spent on discoveries, "evidence", and theories only to find that they lead to a dead end. ...

One of my all-time favorites is the navigator's bookcase.  TIGHAR found the bookcase during Niku I in 1989, presumed that it was from the Electra, then, through some really excellent historical research, demonstrated that it was not from the Electra.  

Much agreed - this is one of the greatest things about TIGHAR to me - having the guts to pursue the truth and call a dead-end for what it is and never allowing a presumption to stand beyond being an element of discovery in the investigation of a theory, unless proven.  It is not a "failure" when the truth is sought, found and told; every piece of evidence will not come to support the case - but every piece will be thoroughly investigated and used to help tell the truth about what can be discovered - and those that do support will be priceless.  ALL will help tell the Niku story in the end, whatever it is - AE or not.

The bookcase is a prime example of the principle, and TIGHAR is nothing if not principled - thanks, Marty.

LTM -
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: June 06, 2011, 09:51:41 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Alex Fox

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 12:11:23 PM »

Good points, Jeff.  Plus, even if the Niku theory ended up not being true (I hope it is), all the research and articles on the evidence, interviews, communication failures, history, etc. nevertheless make it a noble endeavor.  So much more background and history is available having gone through the search.  Ultimately my hope is that the plane or parts of it is definitively found.
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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2011, 07:06:02 AM »

the navigators book case is an odd example if you read the wiki.

Ric says that this particular book case was a modified PBY part used in early model B24's (B24C and B24D) while the plane that crashed and was not recovered on canton was a B24J. A large difference between the two model ranges as the early models were 10" shorter and had no nose gun. the case must have come from a different wreck
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Ric Gillespie

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2011, 09:30:27 AM »

the case must have come from a different wreck

"Must have" is like "would have" - a guess masquerading as a fact.  I agree that, based on our understanding of the evolution of the Consolidated Model 32, there shouldn't have been a PBY bookcase aboard a B-24J but I can't find a B-24C or D that was lost anywhere in the region.
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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2011, 09:44:20 AM »

the case must have come from a different wreck

"Must have" is like "would have" - a guess masquerading as a fact.  I agree that, based on our understanding of the evolution of the Consolidated Model 32, there shouldn't have been a PBY bookcase aboard a B-24J but I can't find a B-24C or D that was lost anywhere in the region.

no worse than "most likely" when it goes against the facts that you have.

the model J was a very different aircraft than the model C/D. when you have a part number that came on a specific model aircraft you can't point to the nearest plane that you already KNOW came with a different part number. I have no way to tell for sure but the first 100 or so b24's were converted to model C and D's. I'm guessing these were the only planes that actually had the pby shelf.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2011, 04:37:14 PM »

... not sure the bookcase means much unless it can be tied to the Electra somehow - which so far I believe Ric is saying has not been done.

I think it goes much farther than that.  I don't think TIGHAR hopes for any tie between the Electra and the navigator's bookcase.

The part number, holes, and fittings are a perfect match for a B-24.

These may well have been the first questions I asked on the old Forum: "Did TIGHAR find such a box? If so, how was it disqualified?"  I've placed Ric's full answer in the Ameliapedia article on the Navigator's Bookcase.
LTM,

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Ric Gillespie

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2011, 05:31:06 PM »

At least one PBY DID visit Gardner - not sure how it can be ruled out as a qualified source for the bookcase.

PBYs from Canton regularly resupplied the Coasties with perishables.  I have manifests for many of the flights.  I can tell you how many pounds of ham, tins of mayo, and cases of beer they brought on any given flight. There is no record of any PBY being damaged at Gardner and the bookcase in question has the specific features and mounting holes for a B-24.
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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2011, 06:33:48 PM »

the case must have come from a different wreck

"Must have" is like "would have" - a guess masquerading as a fact.  I agree that, based on our understanding of the evolution of the Consolidated Model 32, there shouldn't have been a PBY bookcase aboard a B-24J but I can't find a B-24C or D that was lost anywhere in the region.

no worse than "most likely" when it goes against the facts that you have.

the model J was a very different aircraft than the model C/D. when you have a part number that came on a specific model aircraft you can't point to the nearest plane that you already KNOW came with a different part number. I have no way to tell for sure but the first 100 or so b24's were converted to model C and D's. I'm guessing these were the only planes that actually had the pby shelf.

At least one PBY DID visit Gardner - not sure how it can be ruled out as a qualified source for the bookcase.  Probably not likely, but who knows?  We seem to assume a 'wreck' had to be the source, but maybe the PBY crew yanked the thing out for some reason of use known only to them and it got left behind.  'Out there' a bit, but stranger things have happened - and point is that could be a 'source' for the bookcase.

Then again, not sure the bookcase means much unless it can be tied to the Electra somehow - which so far I believe Ric is saying have not done.

LTM -

Jeff the comment about the bookcase really has nothing to do with the search for Amelia. I was merely pointing out a big stretch of facts by Ric. I see Ric and Marty pointing out the dangers of guessing all the time. I just found it irresistible to point out an obvious stretch when Ric had already stated the facts that did not match his guess at where it came from.

Sorry for the distraction.
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Ric Gillespie

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2011, 06:59:54 PM »

I was merely pointing out a big stretch of facts by Ric. I see Ric and Marty pointing out the dangers of guessing all the time. I just found it irresistible to point out an obvious stretch when Ric had already stated the facts that did not match his guess at where it came from.

It came from somewhere.  Perhaps you'd care to offer a suggestion.  No fair saying, "A B-24D."  What B-24D?  The losses on the South Central Pacific are well documented (people tended to pay attention when airplanes went missing). 

There was a PB4Y-1 (Navy B-24) of VB 106, BuNo 32102, that disappeared en route from Canton to Funafuti on 20 October 1943. Might have had the right bookcase aboard but how do we get it to
Gardner?

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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2011, 07:42:09 AM »

It came from somewhere.  Perhaps you'd care to offer a suggestion.  No fair saying, "A B-24D."  What B-24D?  The losses on the South Central Pacific are well documented (people tended to pay attention when airplanes went missing). 

There was a PB4Y-1 (Navy B-24) of VB 106, BuNo 32102, that disappeared en route from Canton to Funafuti on 20 October 1943. Might have had the right bookcase aboard but how do we get it to
Gardner?

I do not need a loss list to know that a part that was ONLY used on B24C/D and PB4Y-1's would not be found on a B24J. it just makes no sense. however the PB4Y-1 loss that you mention IS very interesting. Especially considering the amount of B24 parts found on Niku and the fact that it's flight path would have passed directly over Niku. Is it not just as reasonable to theorize a similar fate for the PB4Y-1 as we are for Amelia?? I know it is much more likely that this plane crashed on or near niku than a part being salvaged from a B24J that was never on it.


here is the excerpt from the bookcase link:
Early examples of the Consolidated Model 32 (B-24C and some B-24D/PB4Y-1 aircraft, a total of 1,653 machines) were equipped with PBY bookcases. Later, Consolidated designed a special bookcase for the Liberator which carried a 32F... part number.

"The best candidate might be the B-24J that crashed on the reef at Canton in 1944 but was not salvaged. We've long suspected that many of the B-24 parts we've found on Niku, such as the navigator's bookcase that was found a few meters from where we later found 2-2-V-1, are pieces of that wreck that washed ashore at Canton


here is a google map showing the relationship between the PB4Y-1's flight path and Niku.


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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2011, 07:57:28 AM »

I do not need a loss list to know that a part that was ONLY used on B24C/D and PB4Y-1's would not be found on a B24J. It just makes no sense. However the PB4Y-1 loss that you mention IS very interesting. Especially considering the amount of B24 parts found on Niku and the fact that its flight path would have passed directly over Niku. Is it not just as reasonable to theorize a similar fate for the PB4Y-1 as we are for Amelia? I know it is much more likely that this plane crashed on or near Niku than a part being salvaged from a B24J that was never on it.

You can't mount the box in a PB4Y using mounting holes spaced properly for a B24 and vice-versa.

"The Grail"  shows how the bookcase did not have the proper mounting holes for installation in a PBY.

When you are making up theories to account for the facts, you must first make sure that you've got all the facts that need to be accounted for.  To put it another way, the holes in the box shoot holes in your PBY theory.
LTM,

           Marty
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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2011, 08:15:43 AM »

You can't mount the box in a PB4Y using mounting holes spaced properly for a B24 and vice-versa.

"The Grail"  shows how the bookcase did not have the proper mounting holes for installation in a PBY.

When you are making up theories to account for the facts, you must first make sure that you've got all the facts that need to be
accounted for.  To put it another way, the holes in the box shoot holes in your PBY theory.

Martin, you are getting confused by model numbers. the PB4Y-1 is the Navy designation for a B24 bomber (similar to a C/D model) a PBY is a consolidated Flying boat that just so happened to have it's bookcase modified for use in early B24's.

all of the navy PB4Y-1's were originally ordered for the airforce and transferred to the navy when built. the particular PB4y-1 that ric mentioned was built as an air force B24D model.

"Consolidated B-24D-110-CO Liberator 40882 to USN as PB4Y-1 32102"
from here: http://www.joebaugher.com/usaf_bombers/b24_29.html


that means that the air force transferred B24 serial #40882 to the navy as serial #32102


this is what the pb4y-1 would have looked like (no distinctive nose ball turret in this model)


this is a PBY-1:

« Last Edit: June 09, 2011, 08:27:10 AM by Kevin Weeks »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2011, 09:10:03 AM »

Martin, you are getting confused by model numbers. The PB4Y-1 is the Navy designation for a B24 bomber (similar to a C/D model) a PBY is a consolidated Flying boat that just so happened to have its bookcase modified for use in early B24s.

All of the navy PB4Y-1s were originally ordered for the airforce and transferred to the navy when built. The particular PB4Y-1 that Ric mentioned was built as an air force B24D model.


I see that I was wrong.  Thanks for the clarification and the pictures.  Most helpful!  I've expanded the article on artifact 2-1.
LTM,

           Marty
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Kevin Weeks

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2011, 09:17:52 AM »

Martin, you are getting confused by model numbers. The PB4Y-1 is the Navy designation for a B24 bomber (similar to a C/D model) a PBY is a consolidated Flying boat that just so happened to have its bookcase modified for use in early B24s.

All of the navy PB4Y-1s were originally ordered for the airforce and transferred to the navy when built. The particular PB4Y-1 that Ric mentioned was built as an air force B24D model.


I see that I was wrong.  Thanks for the clarification and the pictures.  Most helpful!  I've expanded the article on artifact 2-1.

I fully understand the mistake. the navy designation really can throw wrench into this converstation if you don't have a firm grasp on WWII aircraft. I read in one of the write up's that Ric found a part # that they could directly trace to the framework of a PB4Y-1 as well. it really makes me wonder if the native tales of a plane on the island are from the PB4Y-1. makes me wonder if the wheel that was seen/found would better match a B24 as well.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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The Navigator's Bookcase
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2011, 09:52:38 AM »

... the PB4Y-1 loss that you mention IS very interesting. Especially considering the amount of B24 parts found on Niku and the fact that its flight path would have passed directly over Niku. Is it not just as reasonable to theorize a similar fate for the PB4Y-1 as we are for Amelia? I know it is much more likely that this plane crashed on or near Niku than a part being salvaged from a B24J that was never on it.

OK.  That makes sense now.

LTM,

           Marty
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