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 71 
 on: November 30, 2018, 08:17:52 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by J West
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,

Therein lies a tale.  Way back when we were first considering whether the Nikumaroro hypothesis was worth testing, I discussed it with my old friend Tom Crouch at NASM.  He said, "As I recall there was a Smithsonian ichthyologist (fish guy) named Schultz on a US Navy expedition that surveyed those islands back before the war.  I think he wrote a paper.  It should in the Castle (Smithsonian headquarters building).  I'll be happy to check it out for you."

I thanked him profusely.
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

Hi y'all, I'm newly registered, but have been lurking for decades. Fascinating history. I'll try to do an intro over on that thread WIGART.

About this USS Bushnell topic: starting a few months ago (slow, yes, have my own 'ship'- AKA: Hole in water you throw time and money into). I really dug into it (from my limited resources) using my Ancestry Fold3 access. I have concentrated before on my uncle's WWII destroyer, the USS Boyd, DD-544; uncle was an MM2c, KIA off Nauru with 12 other shipmates on 8 December 1943 (their Captain was LtCmdr U.S.G. Sharp, later ADM and comcicpac during early VN war) .

I have the Muster Rolls for the entire "1939 Survey Area, South Pacific Is." expedition, from the Bushnell's Norfolk departure onward. A fair amount of information can be gleaned from even Muster Rolls. I made a rudimentary 'Movement of Ship' doc from it.

The four hydrologists (surveyors) embarked at Norfolk on 4 March 1939, bound for Guantanamo Bay, Cuba to start, and remained through the vessel's next assignment into 1940 (at least).
The ichthyologist was embarked in San Diego on 1 April 1939, and left the ship on its' first return to Honolulu, in July/August 1939, after the initial cruise to the survey area.

The crew and ship spent a fair amount of time in their base port, Naval Station, Tutuila, American Samoa (Pago Pago).
One hydrologist's wife (Witt) is listed as a passenger on one of the Bushnell's several non-survey excursions, to some outlying AS islands for a Flag Day event that may have lasted a week (looked like a party cruise...among others, embarked a large AS Navy rate band, wives, children, servants, etc).
The ship's crew was usually between 195-210 enlisted, with probably 10-15 officers. No officer roster found yet, I do have a 1939 Navy "Directory" which lists all Navy and USMC officers and assignments, but it would be a massive job to filter out the Bushnell's officers from that pdf.

The civilian survey crew's names and titles were:

Kennedy, George F.  Assoc. Hydro Eng.  (presumed the lead, as a report was written by him and is in the ships' Survey Papers on TIGHAR here (Part 4, pp 8-10): https://tighar.org/wiki/USS_Bushnell_Survey_(1939) )

Bigelow, Henry W. Jr.  Asst Hydro Eng.
Witt, Edward J.  Asst Hydro Eng.
Lang, Sheldon  Junr. Hydro Eng.
Schultz, Leonard P.  Ichthyologist


 :)  John

(edit)  Notice that my comment is still open to 'modify', so I'll try to add the source pdf pages for the "List of Nonenlisted Passengers of USS Bushnell" here (more as a test of upload):
"at date of sailing from Pearl Harbor, T.H. for 1939 Survey Area Date 17 April 1939" (and San Diego to PH)





 72 
 on: November 30, 2018, 05:39:48 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by James Champion
But the benedictine bottle is a bottle and floats. Of all the things discussed it the the most likely item to have possibly washed ashore and been collected by the castaway. It would be very useful for survival.

 73 
 on: November 30, 2018, 06:23:52 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Kevin Weeks
I like the night time plotting as a way for the box to have gotten to the 7 site. makes sense to me.
as for the benedictine bottle being used by them, I have a harder time if it was for alcohol. can't see them getting that many plot points done in one evening and also being drunk! if that was the case I wouldn't be surprised if our castaway was a member of the crew! lol.

now... we would be getting into something less likely here... BUT.... we know the earlier new zealand expedition had to do a similar but less complete survey over a longer period of time. they mention drinking the medicinal brandy over christmas as well as supplementing their rations with local foods. it's a possibility that this survey crew spent the night at some point out of camp doing the same thing. campfire, turtles etc. could all come from them. likely?? cant say, but not impossible.

 74 
 on: November 29, 2018, 07:53:30 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Maybe this is a question for another thread, but why would Tom Crouch say something that was obviously untrue?

I don't think he was intentionally lying.  I think he didn't read carefully.  When I say I don't trust him, I mean I don't trust him to be careful. I've seen it several times.  In the 2010 Discovery Channel documentary he said, "Are you telling me that Betty Klenck was the only person to hear Amelia Earhart's distress calls?"

I could cite other examples.

 75 
 on: November 29, 2018, 06:30:54 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Alfred Hendrickson
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

Maybe this is a question for another thread, but why would Tom Crouch say something that was obviously untrue?

 76 
 on: November 29, 2018, 04:01:09 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Bill Mangus
According to my handy-dandy moon phase calculator, the waning moon was about 20% full on 7 Nov 39. We don't know what evenings they may have been shooting the stars down by the Seven Site but, depending on cloud cover, the party would have had at least some natural light to augment the flashlights they presumably carried. Still pretty dark though to go wandering around in strange territory. Easy to not notice bones, etc in the underbrush.

 77 
 on: November 29, 2018, 03:13:21 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,

Therein lies a tale.  Way back when we were first considering whether the Nikumaroro hypothesis was worth testing, I discussed it with my old friend Tom Crouch at NASM.  He said, "As I recall there was a Smithsonian ichthyologist (fish guy) named Schultz on a US Navy expedition that surveyed those islands back before the war.  I think he wrote a paper.  It should in the Castle (Smithsonian headquarters building).  I'll be happy to check it out for you."

I thanked him profusely.
A couple weeks later he called and said, "I read Schultz's paper.  He was all over that island.  No sign of anything unusual."
Just for the heck of it, the next time we were in DC, Pat and I stopped by the Castle and looked at Schultz's paper ourselves.  He was not aboard for the November cruise.  He was never on Gardner.  I've never trusted Tom Crouch since.

 78 
 on: November 29, 2018, 01:33:21 PM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Matt Revington
This journal at the Smithsonian might give some details of the Bushnell expedition,
https://siarchives.si.edu/collections/fbr_item_modsi5773

Schultz, Leonard Peter, part 6 : log for navy surveying expedition, USS Bushnell, Phoenix Island, 1939
"The Bushnell left San Diego on 1 April 1939 for Hawaii and then on to the Phoenix Islands [Phoenix Group] and other islands of the Pacific Ocean. Localities include Canton Island [Kanton], Enderbury Island [Enderbury Atoll], Hull Island [Oronoa], McKean Island [McKean Atoll; McKean Island], Swains Island, Rose Island, Tutuila Island [Tutuila], and others. Schultz records travel and field research activities, collections made, descriptions of specimens, natural history observations, life on the ship, and expenses. Several collections were made using poison at reefs. Pasted into the volume are colored sketches of fish, field maps, correspondence, tickets, and other documents relating to field work and travels."

Gardner Island is not  mentioned in the abstract but we know the Bushnell went there so it must be among the "and others"

 79 
 on: November 29, 2018, 08:26:27 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Ric Gillespie
Interesting hypothesis.  I think we're making progress. Is there evidence that the Bushnell surveyors were on the island overnight?  Yep.  See pages 14 and 15 in the Bushnell Report (https://tighar.org/aw/mediawiki/images/0/0a/Bushnell_Part_2.pdf)

Bushnell arrived at Gardner early on the afternoon of November 4, 1939.  The next day they got all their gear and personnel ashore. Bushnell then left to go survey Carondelet Reef. It looks like the party left on Gardner consisted of 2 hydrographic engineers, 2 officers, and 21 men.  They also recruited the 16 native laborers to help.  The first job was to erect the three steel towers which are variously described as being 100, 90 or 80 feet tall. They mapped the outline of the island by taking azimuth readings from observation points along the shoreline to the towers, but first they had to have good lat/long coordinates for each of the observation points.  That had to be done at night when they could see the stars (see the highlighted section on Azimuth Readings).  This was done by the two hydrographic engineers accompanied by one man. They appear to have recorded the lat/long for all the sites in one "evening."  That's a big job that must have taken all night and it would involve at least one crossing from the ocean side to the lagoon side.  If that crossing took place near the Seven Site because the ocean-front vegetation was thinnest there, it would be easy to miss the skull and skeleton in the dark.  It they then took the sextant out of its box to make a celestial observation from the lagoon shore it would be easy to misplace the box in the dark.  No time to search for it.  Gotta keep moving.

I like it. No overnight camping. No campfire. No clambake. No discarded shoe. No lost sextant. Just a box misplaced in the dark with the inverting eyepiece still secured.
The April 1940 the work party finds the box and one of the laborers rips out the inverting eyepiece, removes the lens, but later throws it away.  They find the skull and bury it.  The box is of no interest and they live it there.

The water cask is a possibility, but what about the Benedictine bottle?  It must have been somewhere near the box or the skull.  Either the Bushnell boys left it there (they misplaced the sextant box because they were drunk?) or the castaway had it and it rolled own the hill like the skull.  FWIW, Kilts said the "cognac bottle" had "fresh water in it for drinking."  The surveyors certainly didn't need to carry drinking water in Benedictine bottle and we have good archaeological evidence that the castaway had a system for collecting, and boiling drinking water. It's logical they she also had some means of storing purified water.



 80 
 on: November 29, 2018, 05:28:51 AM 
Started by Ric Gillespie - Last post by Randy Jacobson
An interesting thread, and an important clue provided that the Sextant Box was from the Bushnell.  Which leads me to an alternative hypothesis to explain some of the "7" site findings.

Suppose the Bushnell survey party on that part of the island did not leave the island every late afternoon to go back aboard ship.  Because this particular crew was on the far side of the island, they stayed overnight at least one night near the 7 site.  They knew this ahead of time, and brought a cask of water (chain and stopper), a Benedictine bottle, along with other items.  They augmented their evening meal with clams found in the lagoon, along with birds, turtles, etc, accounting for at least one of the camp/fire sites.  Having drunk the Benedictine bottle, they leave it behind.  They inadvertently leave the Sextant box. 

They fail to see/smell the prior camp/fire sites left by AE and the corpse/bones, easily enough explained by poor visibility through the bush and the survey was focused primarily on the lagoon and ocean shoreline, vice the interior portions of the island. 

What I am proposing is that not all of the items purportedly ascribed to AE at the 7 site are hers, particularly the Benedictine bottle and the western style of clam openings---these may well be due to the Bushnell survey party.  This situation is the classic archeological problem of just a listing of items found without proper context and location information. 

Just throwing this out for discussion.

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