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Author Topic: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?  (Read 10993 times)

Marty McFly

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Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« on: June 12, 2013, 04:30:07 AM »

I have always assumed that any pilot, lost at sea, would land around any island they were nearest to if that they had any reasonable doubt they would not have enough fuel to make the next plot of land.  Under the assumption that, when lost at sea; a guarenteed landing on an island offers a better chance of survival and rescue than a potential landing in the middle of the ocean; behavioral psych.  So I beleive that AE and TN would have landed near an island (Gardner potentially) with some fuel remaining rather than continue out at sea with the hopes of finding Howland and end up with no fuel mid-flight.  Eventually, however, I abandoned this behavioral-psych approach for a, albeit more illogical, mid-ocean approach.  I simply couldnt make sense of why neither the plane nor any "absolute" trace of AE or TN had ever found had they landed near an island; certainly the remnants of their crash and short-lived survival would have been found had they intentionally planned out and executed a near-island landing given their piloting and survival experience.  This brings me to my question.....Why, if this really is the resting spot of AE and TN (Evidence seems to suggest it truly might be), do the events leading up to their eventual deaths seem so illogical; given the assumption they actually wanted to survive, thrive and be rescued from Garder?  AE was a highly experienced pilot and TN an experienced boat captain, aviator, and veteran "ship-wreck-survivor," so why did they do such a poor job at planning thier landing, survival and rescue?  Wouldnt a long time veteran pilot know how high rescue planes would fly and know being spotted would be impossible without a large signal that could be seen from that altitude (ex...a giant wooden S.O.S or carrying pieces of the Electra's panneling as signaling mirrors, or ripping out large sections of the light/medium brush on the island to make a signal sign{think Nasca Lines}, etc...)?  If they were on a dry island and suposedly landed their plane in the shallows of the reef, wouldbn't either of them have known to gather the remaining oil from the engines to, basically, light Garner island on fire to create a 3,000ft tall smoke signal?  Wouldnt they have gathered as many parts and supplies from the Electra as possible, as well as have fashioned the appropriate survival tools for survival and wouldnt those peices have remained on the island?  Etc...Etc.....Etc....I just don't understand why AE and TN would, being so experienced in multiple fields, intentionally plan out this Gardner island "planned crash" and end up with a survival plan involving virtually none of the potential resources they could have had available, and, maybe even not, coming up with the rescue plan of just waving thier hands around on the beach as a plane goes by.  This does not seem like the survival or rescue plan of two incredibly experienced "sea-adventurers" who had time, albeit potentialy brief, to look over Gardner island from a bird's eye view and reference their skills and experience to plan out an integrated landing/surviving/rescue strategy with the resources and knowledge they had available.  If this truly is the resting place of AE and TN; does anyone have a theory as to why their actions contradict the intuitive thinking of someone about to crash a plane near an inhospitable small Pacific island who has the assumable intention of surviving and being rescued?  Ive been thinking about this for a while and it just doesnt make sense.  If anyone has any theories, please let me know.           
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2013, 12:07:42 PM »

Marty, or whatever your name is, I would gently suggest that you reconsider your characterization of our two favorite missing aviators and the use of the word "experienced."

LTM, who knows what he doesn't know,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2013, 12:23:11 PM »

... that AE and TN would have landed near an island ...trace of AE or TN had ever found ...AE was a highly experienced pilot and TN an experienced boat captain...I just don't understand why AE and TN would...the resting place of AE and TN...Ive been thinking about this for a while and it just doesnt make sense.         
Let's start with a fact and go from there.  His name was Fred.
LTM,

Bruce
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Tim Gard

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2013, 04:19:17 AM »

Ive been thinking about this for a while and it just doesnt make sense.         

There is extensively rewarding reading about the TIGHAR Hypothesis at this site. It's best comprehended by starting with the Lae departure. I can recommend reading Ric's record of the events in "Finding Amelia" to really have the pieces of the puzzle connect comprehensively.

/ Member #4122 /
/Hold the Heading/
 
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #4 on: June 13, 2013, 06:04:24 AM »

Wouldnt a long time veteran pilot know how high rescue planes would fly and know being spotted would be impossible without a large signal that could be seen from that altitude (ex...a giant wooden S.O.S or carrying pieces of the Electra's panneling as signaling mirrors, or ripping out large sections of the light/medium brush on the island to make a signal sign{think Nasca Lines}, etc...)?     
There is a lot of material in your questions to which responses can be fashioned, but it would take time.  They are interesting questions.  They do not arise from having studied the subject material but they do reflect misperceptions that have been reflected elsewhere by those more knowledgeable.  There has been a lot of recent discussion of late concerning why Earhart and Noonan would not have carved their names on a tree, or why has the G feature not been interpreted as the initial in Earhart's last name. This, of course, reinforces the need to heed Mr. Gillespie's long-standing admonition against, for want of a better name, the "Would have" fallacy. As for the G feature, I do suspect, but do not know, that there is something about it that is relevant. However, discussion of that matter belongs in another thread.

I would like to point out, relative to your comment about the absence of any large legible distress signal from the island, that Greg Daspit, about a year ago, posted a thread about the possible discernment of an S.O.S. on the bow of the Norwich City in two photographs. At the risk of committing a flagrant "would have" error of my own, I would like to remark on this. I've looked at the thread, studied the picture both here and the version on p. 146 of Dr. King's book, Amelia Earhart's Shoes, and I must say I really don't see any SOS there.

No, what I see is S, period, O, period, S, period.  I want to remark as well that the pdf attachment Mr. Daspit posted on how this "sign" could have been painted was extremely well done. It even came complete with people drawn to scale in the illustration. Nice job, Greg!

I can't say for any certainty whether AE or FN painted SOS on the bow of the Norwich City, but upon re-reading a Norwich City report and the Board of Trade Inquiry, I fail to see any mention of the Norwich City survivors having embarked upon such an ambitious project. Surely it would have been remembered and mentioned in their detailed survivor's account.  I also fail to understand how various populations on Nikumaroro after the survivors would have felt the need to paint such a message. But again, I am trespassing upon a well-worn fallacy and do not mean to offend those sensitive to its incursion.

Looking at TIGHAR's Radio Signal Catalog, I can find 6 signals in which the phrase S.O.S. is mentioned.  McMenamy heard (signal 2115MC) "KHAQQ - SOS - southwest Howland" and Charles Miguel (signal 31455ML) heard "SOS calls." Arthur Monsees (signal 90200MS) heard "SOS KHAQQ EAST HOWLAND LIGHTS TONIGHT MUST HURRY CANT HOLD."  Mr. and Mrs. George Roland (signal 90300RD) "heard Amelia Earhart, SOS, calling SOS. Can’t last much longer," but this could have been heard on the March of Time broadcast so must therefore be discounted. These four signals were determined to be not credible and therefore we should ignore them.  However, two of the signals were judged credible. Mabel Larremore (signal 30800LE) said she "heard her SOS loud and clear." Perhaps she was using the term SOS colloquially, but it's impossible to know.  Betty's Notebook (signal 52130KK) has two mentions of SOS.

The short answer, Marty, to your questions is this: You say you do not understand why AE and FN would not have done something.  They might have done several things you posit they did not do, and here is just one example.  But I need to be careful as well to say that I am using a veiled "would have" to respond to your "they should have" and therefore what I say needs to be labeled as opinion rather than judgment of any fact.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078 ECR

« Last Edit: June 13, 2013, 01:29:35 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Jim Doughty

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #5 on: June 13, 2013, 09:22:27 AM »

Hi Marty,

A few other points worth considering:

There are reasons to suspect Noonan may have been incapacitated. Less so in Earhart's case, but (a) if Noonan was injured or dead, that left her without physical help in creating a big signal and (b) even without direct indications that Earhart got hurt, Niku seems to be a place where you can count on getting hurt or sick before long. Considered alongside the survival needs of the moment, jobs like carving trees, painting hulls etc. may have been too low on the priority list for them to handle.

Consider also that there are really two kinds of signaling. One has the objective of helping you get found alive -- the big fire, the markings on the beach, etc. Perhaps also an SOS on the Norwich City. The other has the objective of letting people know you had been there -- and that you didn't survive long enough to meet them yourself. (Or that you'd been there and left.) Signals like that include tree carvings and other small-scale signs that no one would ever see from a circling plane.

It's possible Earhart and/or Noonan made a rapid transition between two states: First, focused on rescue and survival, and expecting to leave Niku soon by some means. In which case, why bother to carve a tree? Then, incapacitated, perhaps aware the end was near, but no longer able to leave signs.
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Bob Jones

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2013, 11:54:07 AM »

As mentioned above, my first thought is some injury to one or both of them.  My second thought is dehydration.  How much could they have done with minimal fresh water.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Contradiction to Intuitive Thinking?
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2013, 07:41:54 PM »

would be impossible without a large signal that could be seen from that altitude (ex...a giant wooden S.O.S      

I would like to point out, relative to your comment about the absence of any large legible distress signal from the island, that Greg Daspit, about a year ago, posted a thread about the possible discernment of an S.O.S. on the bow of the Norwich City in two photographs. At the risk of committing a flagrant "would have" error of my own, I would like to remark on this. I've looked at the thread, studied the picture both here and the version on p. 146 of Dr. King's book, Amelia Earhart's Shoes, and I must say I really don't see any SOS there.

No, what I see is S, period, O, period, S, period.  I want to remark as well that the pdf attachment Mr. Daspit posted on how this "sign" could have been painted was extremely well done. It even came complete with people drawn to scale in the illustration. Nice job, Greg!

Thanks Joe, You made my day
3971R
 
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