Amelia Earhart Search Forum => General discussion => Topic started by: Ric Gillespie on May 13, 2018, 02:27:54 PM

Title: Is the Earhart Mystery Solved?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 13, 2018, 02:27:54 PM
New blog post https://tighar.org/wordpress/thoughts-investigation/is-the-earhart-mystery-solved/
Title: Re: Is the Earhart Mystery Solved?
Post by: Randy Jacobson on May 14, 2018, 06:33:58 PM
Interesting.  Since I started (circa 1992?) helping research the disappearance, I believed the best approach is to find some evidence that AE could not have made it to Nikumororo; in other words, can the hypothesis be disproven?  I scoured all of the documentary telegrams and radio reports, put them in chronological order, so that I could best determine the winds and cloud conditions during the flight, along with knowledge of how FN navigated.  This resulted in the Monte Carlo simulation of her flight up to the point when she said "we are on you but cannot see you".  After that, there is no navigational information available to determine what she did until she said "we are on the line 167/337".  I researched fuel consumption as well, and found that the possibility of her making it to Nikumororo was real and positive.  All of this was in the mid-90's.  Since then, TIGHAR has accumulated an awful lot of evidence also supporting the hypothesis; some lines of research didn't pan out, but nothing was found that could disprove the basic hypothesis. 

The chances of finding aircraft parts with serial numbers is beginning to become vanishingly small, given budgetary constraints.  DNA evidence may be the last hope for conclusive proof, but is also proving difficult to achieve.  The only other way to attack the hypothesis is going in the opposite direction: is there any evidence that she ended up elsewhere?  Despite my work, radio signal analysis by others, tidal analysis, numerous sonar cruises to find plane debris west of Howland, multiple expeditions to Saipan, etc., none of these efforts have been able to disprove the Niku hypothesis.  Sure, there are people vehement that she crashed and sank, or was captured, but there is no evidence (only anecdote and mostly unverifiable anecdotes at that) to support any of the alternatives.  And what about alternative explanations for the articles found on Niku?  Taken one item at a time, there's always a reasonable alternative explanation, but when taken as an ensemble, it becomes harder and harder to explain all of them away. 

So I tend to agree with the blog.  Absolute proof requires extraordinary evidence and that is always in short supply. 

Title: Re: Is the Earhart Mystery Solved?
Post by: Ric Gillespie on May 15, 2018, 07:43:39 AM
At this point, were the Earhart Electra to be found somewhere else, or real evidence found that she was held by the Japanese, we would be faced with a mystery far bigger than the Earhart disappearance.  What the hell happened at Nikumaroro?
Title: Re: Is the Earhart Mystery Solved?
Post by: Scott C. Mitchell on May 21, 2018, 10:23:28 AM
What a story the Nikumororo hypothesis could tell, if we could somehow fill in the gaps.  All we have are the aircraft radio signals, both airborne and landed.  We caught a glimpse of the desperation and pathos of the castaways in Betty's Notebook.  At the start, there would have been overwhelming relief at spotting the island; then a sense of triumph that Amelia somehow managed to land the Lockheed on the barren spit of shoreline; curiosity as they explored the beached ship and the rest of the island.  There must have been arguments, self-questioning over navigation, episodes of bucking each other up, moments of hope and vast gulfs of despair.  A frantic scramble out of the jungle for fruitless waves and shouts at the receding search aircraft.  Most of the human story is lost to us.   The end would be so mournful, it's doubtful the story would be picked up by any media.  The movie Amelia copped out on all that by just showing the ever-closer surface of the sea as they (allegedly in the movie) crashed and sank.  / Scott #3292