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Author Topic: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)  (Read 57471 times)

JNev

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #60 on: May 20, 2014, 08:10:09 AM »

Fascinating article and both points of view are well taken in this.

I appreciate that the real treasure is the story context can provide and would hope that what TIGHAR does as it digs into the physical details of these things is really an extension of context: where it was found and what with is well recorded; now, what thumbprints does it bear that may be relevant to that story, by extension?

I get some 'side challenges' on these things - proper enough since we don't need open-ended 'what ifs' here, and I find the dialogue constructive - but one point is always in the back of my mind: short of definitive DNA or some other smoking fingerprint, these things are 'pointers'.  I'm not sure we can ever prove an Earhart presence unless we find a picture of her holding a particular bottle, say with a chipped corner or other definite identifying feature in evidence; what we can gain is confidence - to build the picture that context can give, and then make a judgment of our own.

And there I go again - making myself "difficult to understand", when in fact it is quite simple: one should ascribe to these things the weight one believes is reasonable, given the best picture that can be developed from them; I may express my opinion of that openly, but I'm not trying to force others to see it my way. 

Consider - if someone found a rag-tag cluster of rotting kapok-stuffed jackets tangled up with a rusting octant and other items including the remnant of what appears to be a lady's shoe from the '30's, all caught on Kingman's Reef and some of it looked a lot like something out of a picture from Earhart's flight publicity shots, I'd pay attention - and that would be a place to consider looking in.  "Markers" is how I think of them.

So these bottles and things are 'markers' to me - and they lie (or did lie) not only among the soil of Niku, but within the greater context of other things - ideas that arose long ago given other things like possible radio calls and notions of what a landplane navigator might well do if primary landfall didn't materialize, etc.  Big picture.

It is all about wanting to know what the story really was.  What we do seems as good as any until someone finds more 'markers' than we have to look at - and of course they are striving to do so, even as we strive to make the most of what we have found.

If nothing else, maybe this platitude will confound some while pissing off some number of others...  ;D  In any case, it's nice to be among the curious who can peel a bottle more finely than an onion.
- Jeff Neville

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Monty Fowler

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #61 on: May 20, 2014, 03:02:36 PM »

What Jeff said. The balm bottle will never, ever, be accepted as the "any idiot artifact" by its legions of detractors ... but ... It already has, and I don't doubt it will continue, to add to our "body of knowledge" about what we think happened on Niku in 1937.

Remember, it takes an awful lot of bricks to build a respectable wall. The mortar that holds TIGHAR's wall together gets a little bit stronger with ever bit of knowledge added to it.

LTM, who finds dry paint really interesting right now,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #62 on: June 12, 2014, 06:13:12 AM »

I wanted to follow up with some marvelous work Greg George did to research the history of Royal Specialty Co., the maker of the "Hair Dresser and Tonic" bottle (photos upstream in thread), which was put forward as an alternative identity for the artifact 2-8-S-2a.   Greg says:  "I have reason to believe the Royal Specialty Manufacturing company of New York was defunct by 1931, when the owner began selling radios, certainly by 1936. when the owner declared bankruptcy.  If the found bottle was a product of this company, it can't have been made later than this.  Meyer Eisenberg operated Royal Specialty Manufacturing Company in New York at least until 1924 (see below).

Eisenberg was selling Philco radios in a variety of locations as Municipal Radio Company in Brooklyn by February 1931.
http://www.newspapers.com/image/#57568877.  According to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle of June 12, 1936, he declared bankruptcy in 1936. However, interestingly, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reports on May 27, 1943 that Eisenberg was among those sending "shaving equipment" to servicemen for what appears to have been a Jewish service club.  A December 28, 1944 Brooklyn Daily Eagle article shows that thousands of such gift packages were sent overseas, and Meyer Eisenberg was vice president of the club."  Supporting clips are attached at the end of this post.

Greg deserves our thanks for that research.

This kind of diligence, which is commonplace in the bulletins and articles on this website, contrasts with the Wikipedia article on Campana Company, stating, in a revision of May 15, 2012 (right around the time that research on 2-8-S-2a was becoming more widely known): "Campana Balm was carried by every U.S. soldier and serviceman to prevent or heal burns."

A few weeks later an Earhart reference was added to the article, which I removed since it had concluded without supporting evidence that Earhart was a "famous user."  I left the serviceman comment in place even though it is equally unsupported.

This calls to mind former comments about TECTIC (the Earhart Conspiracy Theory Industrial Complex).  This forum and organization is often charged by its critics to be lacking in scientific rigor, with research that displays confirmation bias, working backward from an assumed line, conveniently finding things it needs to be true so that it can support its Nikumaroro hypothesis about the fate of Amelia Earhart.  When I read things such as this Wikipedia article, however, I'm led to ponder just which side of the debate is more willing to distort a fact to suit its needs.

Judging by the number and type of criticisms employed, one might assume TECTIC was greatly disturbed by our research on glass artifacts.  They needed to isolate each piece contextually and to discredit it.  They would and will dismiss with fact-free generalities, employing a lesser standard of evidence for disverification than TIGHAR employs for verification.  They are not content with the fact that a few servicemen could have carried Italian Balm with them.  They needed to have every soldier carry it as ubiquitously as the c-ration.  This desperation, as it has been called, is a measure of just how worried these folks have become that TIGHAR just might be right about its hypothesis.

Of course, a friend of mine, one who has been to Nikumaroro many times, on hearing my complaints, remarked that I shouldn't get too worked up by what I read on Wikipedia, since a lot of what may be found there is opinion rather than peer-reviewed research.


Joe Cerniglia
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #63 on: June 12, 2014, 11:20:17 AM »

Of course, a friend of mine, one who has been to Nikumaroro many times, on hearing my complaints, remarked that I shouldn't get too worked up by what I read on Wikipedia, since a lot of what may be found there is opinion rather than peer-reviewed research.

There's a reason that Wikipedia citations are not allowed by most college professors ... and for another thing, it forces the kids to think a little more on their own, and work a little harder, both of which are good things.

LTM, who continues pondering the mysteries of dried paint,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
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matt john barth

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #64 on: June 14, 2014, 09:52:28 AM »

good article thanks for the update.
Matthew J. Barth
 
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #65 on: July 30, 2014, 05:05:15 PM »

I recently acquired this bottle of Campana Italian Balm from eBay.  The label says 1927.  The base is devoid of any embossments, unlike the artifact, which is dated, to the best of our knowledge, to around 1933. 

In her initial 2007 report on the 2-8-S-2a bottle fragment, Jennifer Mass described a white remnant "with a flakey morphology on the center of the bottle bottom."  This flakey remnant was identified as "oil such as rapeseed oil or linseed oil and lanolin."

One of the things that has always puzzled me about the hypothesis the artifact was Campana Italian Balm is that I have never been able to find a bottle of this product with any white flakey accretions.  (Admittedly, I've only located about 4 or 5 examples out of millions that were sold.)

Ric, does the attached photo remind you of that remnant with the flakey morphology?  (I hope his question does not seem flakey.)

Note: These photos may need to be downloaded to a computer for best resolution.  They magnify at an odd scale when simply clicked.
Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
« Last Edit: July 30, 2014, 05:12:32 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #66 on: July 30, 2014, 06:07:01 PM »

Ric, does the attached photo remind you of that remnant with the flakey morphology?  (I hope his question does not seem flakey.)

This is the best photo I have that shows the white stuff. I wouldn't have said it had a flakey morphology. Before Jen described it I had assumed that it was part of an insect cocoon.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Research Bulletin #62: Lotion Bottle (Artifact 2-8-S-2a)
« Reply #67 on: July 30, 2014, 06:44:26 PM »

Thanks Ric.  In her report, linked above, Dr. Mass described two remnants with two distinct morphologies on the bottom of the fragment.  The one in the corner was identified as a proteinaceous silkworm accretion.  The one in the center, perhaps faintly visible in your photo but in any case present at the time of her report, was the one identified as lanolin and oil.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078C
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