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Author Topic: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air  (Read 122835 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #60 on: November 17, 2011, 01:03:42 PM »

Another interesting point that Lambert makes is that he doesn’t see the broad reef flat adjacent to the Norwich City as a possible landing site.  Does this imply the high tide was in and ruling out the flats and that left the lagoon as the only possible land site?

The tide was high when Lambrecht was there.  We know that from the photograph and from our own calculations.  He had no way of knowing that the reef dried at low tide and offered a possible landing area.
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Erik

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #61 on: November 17, 2011, 02:02:43 PM »


I'm curious to know realistically what signs of inhabitation could of been left by Earhart and noonan in just 7 days. The signs that the pilots seen must of been dismissed as unimportant hence no real follow up.

The Colorado pilots were under the impression that all of the islands had native populations, so we might be justified in assuming that whatever Lambrecht saw did not strike him as being uniquely non-native.  We might also ask what it was about whatever he saw that caused him to believe it was "recent."  So - what might Lambrecht have seen that was not necessarily non-native, would not be expected to survive for very long ("recent"), and might later be described as "markers of some kind" (plural).  If he saw a campfire why didn't he say he saw a campfire?  Or did he see several campfires and didn't recognize them as such and called them "markers of some kind?" 
What were the "markers" made of?    He may have recognized the "markers" as something that would be washed away if waves washed over the beach in a storm - hence they must be "recent."  Were the "markers" simply marks tramped out in the sand?  Cut vegetation laid out in a pattern?  If you're going to do that, why not spell out words?
HELP or even just AE.  It has always puzzled me.

I believe the term "markers" was sometimes used interchangebly to refer to rock cairns, flagpoles and other types of methods to lay claims to territories back then.  If I'm not mistaken didn't some of the other islands (birnie, edenbury, etc) have rock cairns from previous habitations.  Either from indigenous groups or claims by unknown groups trying to "mark" their turf sand for purposes of "We got here first, this is ours"?

Could Lambrecht simply have been using the term "markers" in this context? 
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Erik

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #62 on: November 17, 2011, 02:28:53 PM »

I thought so.  Thanks for the confirmation.  Perhaps that explains the use of the term markers.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #63 on: November 17, 2011, 03:21:12 PM »

The fact that Lambert couldn't see the dry reef at low tide - the landing strip - and didn't see the plane in the lagoon leads one to the idea that he came to the conclusion that AE couldn't have found Gardner and landed there.

Depending on how deep the water gets where we now think a landing gear is stuck - therefore Lambert doesn't see it - leads one to believe by the 9th of July the Lockheed is gone and supports the thesis that is why the post lost transmission are over by the 7th of July.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #64 on: November 17, 2011, 05:32:37 PM »

Perhaps that explains the use of the term markers.

Except that Lambrecht used the plural.  In 1937 there was only one sovereignty notice on Gardner.  On February 15, 1937 HMS Leith called at Gardner to erect a flagpole (with Union Jack) and a "notice board" proclaiming the island the property of His Majesty King George VI.  The event is recorded in Leith's log and in two reports, "Visit to the Phoenix Group in HMS Leith in Feb. 1937" and "Notes on Various islands of the Phoenix Group visited in HMS Leith in Feb. 1937." 

The landing was made in the spot where the landing channel was later blasted through the reef.  The flagpole with notice board was erected "at the edge of the scrub about 50 yards south of the landing-place." There is no mention of a cairn.

If Lambrecht saw a flagpole flying a British flag would he describe that as "markers of some kind?"  If the flag was gone after five months, would he have described a bare pole with a board on it as "markers of some kind" and "signs of recent habitation?"   I don't know, but it doesn't seem to fit very well.
If the notice board left by Leith is the "signs of recent habitation" Lambrecht repeatedly "circled and zoomed" he was doing it a long way from where we think AE and FN were.

« Last Edit: November 17, 2011, 06:17:42 PM by Bruce Thomas »
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richie conroy

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #65 on: November 17, 2011, 06:54:06 PM »

thing is though, earlier today my lad broke screen on his 10" notebook so i connected it via vga connection to my 42" flat screen, an then copy an saved photo's from forensic imaging 2, as i was on forum before he broke it, anyway because of resolution u can see what he meant by recent habitation as there is path ways thru scaevola from seven site to airplane shaped opening, an if it were path ways from last inhabitants in late 1800's it would have grew back by time he flew over, but as its overgrowth that has been flattened recently it hadnt.
We are an echo of the past


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richie conroy

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #66 on: November 17, 2011, 07:09:06 PM »

We are an echo of the past


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #67 on: November 17, 2011, 07:40:53 PM »

The apparent "trails" appear in the Dec. 1. 1938 aerial photo.  For an in-depth discussion see "Not-So-Happy Trails"
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #68 on: November 18, 2011, 07:45:05 AM »

I noticed on the sketch attached to Lambrecht's report that their flight path over Gardner approached from the NE.  To an observer camped near the Norwich City at 08:00 on an early July morning, that direction would have been obscured by the trees and roughly in the morning sun.  In other words, there would have been no warning of approaching aircraft to anyone who might have been in that location.
Almost nothing is recorded of the detailed flight path over the island.
The flight departed to the SE.
What would a rational survivor on the NW part of the island do if a flight had suddenly appeared from the East, and departed to the south east?  Staying on the NW part of the island when evidence of help might seem to be to the East and South?
One more thing I noticed from the sketch - Lambrecht's plotted return path to the ship passed within roughly 15 NM of Gardner, also to the east of the island, travelling from south to north.  That's close enough to be heard and seen from Gardner, under decent conditions.  The winds at the time were "northeast to east, 13-15 knots...", making the east side of the island in the lee of the wind, and therefore quieter and better able to hear aircraft in the distance.
To get from one side of the island to the other is a slow process.  Anyone seeing aircraft overhead on the NW shore might not have time or inclination to move to the Eastern shore.  They might not even be aware of the direction of approach, nor of departure.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Rich Ramsey

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #69 on: November 18, 2011, 09:13:58 AM »

Can we at least all agree on the bottom-line fact that Amelia and Fred were not seen by the Colorado's planes?

There are only two conclusions that can be drawn from what we know about what they saw:
- They saw "signs of recent habitation" on an island that hadn't been inhabited since 1892
- They didn't see any people

I have not had the time to read all of these posts. Just think the back and forth is pointless as to the chances of them being spotted from there are are of any percent. The facts are they were not found, or not meant to be reported as found. I don't see the point in debating weather or not they could of scene them. We should be putting this energy to use as to where they were rather where they could of been spotted.

Ric, I did have a question. I am not sure you or anyone can answer it but I'll ask anyway. When you say [- They saw "signs of recent habitation" on an island that hadn't been inhabited since 1892] does that include the Norwich City? I ask because I am wondering if that could be the "sings" they are talking about. They crew was there a few day's and did make a rather large camp on shore, if I am not mistaken I think i read there was a long boat left from the rescue as well. Could these be the signs they saw and maybe signs of Amelia and Fred, but wrote them all off as part of the survivors of the Norwich? Heck, it was High Tide, parts of the plane could of still been on the reef but mistaken as debris from the Norwich. 

Just some conjecture on my part.
"Hang Tough"
Rich
 
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 09:17:51 AM by Rich Ramsey »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2011, 09:42:59 AM »

When you say [- They saw "signs of recent habitation" on an island that hadn't been inhabited since 1892] does that include the Norwich City?

No. 

I ask because I am wondering if that could be the "sings" they are talking about. They crew was there a few day's and did make a rather large camp on shore, if I am not mistaken I think i read there was a long boat left from the rescue as well.

The NC survivor's camp was back in the trees, not out in the open. 

Could these be the signs they saw and maybe signs of Amelia and Fred, but wrote them all off as part of the survivors of the Norwich?

I think we established that, according to the 1939 Bushnell survey, there were three lifeboats washed up. (What happened to the fourth one? Burned up with the ship? Drifted away?)  None of the lifeboats is visible in the 1938 aerial photo of that shoreline, so all of the boats must be up in the vegetation (indeed, the New Zealand survey photographed one of them in the bushes).  The only way they could get there is if there had been sufficient storm activity to flood the beaches.  That's a big storm - certainly big enough to obliterate footprints, campfires or anything else on the beach.

Heck, it was High Tide, parts of the plane could of still been on the reef but mistaken as debris from the Norwich.
 

Certainly possible.
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Tim Collins

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2011, 10:07:50 AM »

To me the most naturally frustrating aspect of all this is the "signs of recent habitation" that wasn't pursued beyond the over flight. Certainly we have the luxury of 20/20 hindsight (no little thanks to all TIGHAR's research) which causes us to say that any signs of recent habitation, given the circumstances, should have warranted further investigation for either rescue or recover, but it clearly didn't for Lambrecht or his superiors. So I'll go out on a limb and say that he probably didn't see anything that could have been associated with AE or her situation = aircraft associated elements.  Would I be right in assuming that there was no (official or otherwise) threshold of evidence that would have actually required a further investigation, and that it all rested on realtime judgement by the searchers? Though this may seem obvious, I am wondering just what rules or guidelines for search Lambrecht was operating under.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2011, 10:22:20 AM »

Would I be right in assuming that there was no (official or otherwise) threshold of evidence that would have actually required a further investigation, and that it all rested on realtime judgement by the searchers? Though this may seem obvious, I am wondering just what rules or guidelines for search Lambrecht was operating under.

If there were any official guidelines nobody mentioned them.  It's clear that Lambrecht and Co. were looking for an airplane but it's also clear that they paid close attention to signs of people. In fairness, we should remember that Gardner was only the second island they looked at.  This was a rescue mission.  For all they knew AE and FN could be near death on the beach at the next island.  Landing in the lagoon would be dangerous and accomplish little.  It's not like they could taxi to shore, get out and look around.  The water near the lagoon shore is way too shallow.  Lambrecht landed at Hull but only because there were people there who could come out in a canoe and talk to him. For Colorado to heave to and send a boat ashore through the surf would be hazardous and would probably take all day.
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Rich Ramsey

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2011, 10:37:39 AM »

Ric, thank you for your answers. They were as I expected and what I thought. But as with everything in this search the words "if only" comes to mind. If only they went back, if only the bones were kept track of, if only more was done.
"Hang Tough"
Rich
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Odds of Spotting Survivors from the Air
« Reply #74 on: November 18, 2011, 10:51:22 AM »

... if only more was done.

We'd have to find some other great mystery to solve.  ;D
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