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Author Topic: 1938 Aerial Photos  (Read 299757 times)

Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #285 on: January 09, 2014, 05:52:30 PM »

Totally worth going to NZ, I think. We know more now than we did before, and in the end, these pictures may provide a useful cross check if still more new information develops.

LTP, tries to pick his pics,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #286 on: January 09, 2014, 05:56:44 PM »

Totally worth going to NZ, I think.

Absolutely.  Everyone always wants, and even expects, dramatic discoveries.  When they don't appear, some imagine them. But progress and success come in baby steps interspersed with disappointment. 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #287 on: January 09, 2014, 06:02:16 PM »

Progress and success come in baby steps interspersed with disappointment.

Whoa ... I see a new TIGHAR motto on the horizon ... shoulder patches ... embroidered leather jackets ... the works!

LTM, who knows a winner when he sees it,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #288 on: January 09, 2014, 06:45:16 PM »

Whoa ... I see a new TIGHAR motto on the horizon

We have lots of bumper-sticker wisdom:

"Expeditions consist mostly of carrying large heavy objects over difficult terrain in bad weather."

"The definition of a successful expedition is the same as for a successful landing - it's any one you can walk away from."

"The hardest part of any expedition is raising the money."

"Stuff is hard to find."

"There are a lot of places in the woods."

"At the end of the day if you can't put what you did on a map you just wasted a day."

Then there's the Adventure Series:

"Never go looking for adventure. It will find you."

"Adventure is what happens when things go wrong.

"Adventure is what you get instead of results."

"Adventure never happens now.  Adventure exists only as memory."

"Adventure is discomfort and terror remembered from the perspective of security."
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Ross Devitt

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #289 on: March 09, 2014, 08:50:09 PM »

Quote
I'm writing up a Breaking News piece for the TIGHAR website.  Having now captured all of the individual frames from the lo-res contact sheets, there are 45 frames total.  Some are near duplicates but every part of the island was photographed from several angles. Let's recognize what we have here. Fifteen months after the Earhart disappearance and before anybody has set foot on the island, we have original large-format negatives on fine-grain, high-quality film of aerial photos for every part of the atoll. Unbelievable.
I'm reading this after long absences from the forum, but I would like to offer an update.   
I see references to the Maude party being on Gardner around October 1937, but there was another party (it would appear to have been the Resident Commissioner for the area) was on the beach at Gardner in February 1937 - 4 months before Earhart may have got there, which makes it 7 months before Maude arrived. 
Which of course, means that if she landed somewhere near the Norwich City there should have still been a flag pole on the beach, and a fairly new sign.

The document I have detailing the visit is unsigned, other than "I have the honour to be, Sir, Your Excellency's most obedient servant,  Resident Commissioner,".
It is on letterhead of "Gilbert and Ellice Islands Colony, Office Of The Resident Commissioner, Ocean Island.  Marked Confidential (as all Govt correspondence was) and dated 28th May 1937.

It is sent to "His Excellency, The High Commissioner For The Western Pacific,"

On another island he notes "A small stone mound was hastily erected close to the landing place, on top of shich the flag was planted and a notice-board with the usual inscription placed at the base".

That, in combination with the mention of raising the flag and leaving a notice board at Gardner, is what makes me think there just might have been remnants of a flag there if Earhart landed.

It seems at least the sign may have still been there when the NZ survey party was there.  I wonder if, assuming Earhart made it to Niku, there might have been some sort of message in the vicinity..

The photographs would have been taken fifteen months after the Earhart disappearance and Nineteen months SINCE anybody had set foot on the island. 

However 4 months before Earhart disappeared, there was an exploration of Gardner Island on the 15th February 1937 and they hoisted 'the flag' and placed a notice board was placed at the edge of the scrub, 50 yards south of the landing place.  The landing place was mid way between Reef Pt and S.W. Point.

This party spent two hours exploring the island and noted that on 15th Feb 1937, a few months before Earhart disappeared, there were only a dozen or so coconut trees growing on the island, but also that there were, in their words, 'millions of coconut crabs'.

Lambrecht said "Most of this island is covered with tropical vegetation with, here and there, a grove of coconut palms. Here signs of recent habitation were clearly visible but.."
I wonder if he saw something left from the visit by LEITH only 4 months earlier?  But I'll make mention of that in a separate post.


Cheers,

Th' WOMBAT.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 02:50:41 AM by Ross Devitt »
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Steve Lee

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #290 on: March 09, 2014, 10:45:34 PM »

This will do nothing to solve the Earhart mystery--it's a little mystery in itself.

In the current view of Nikumaroro in Google Earth,  I noticed a small feature that looks like a pond near Baureke Passage (see attached photo). Now, I don't really think this is a pond, but I'm wondering what it is.

I don't recall seeing this feature in previous satellite photos of the island, so I'm wondering if it shows up in the 1938 photos, or others of the area (I recall in the Tighar Tracks article titled 'Gallagher's Clues', that US military planes took photos of this part of the island that documented colonist land clearing in this area. I know nothing like this is indicated in the map of Gardner produced by the NZ survey.  I suspect no Tighar ever came across it on an expedition. So, what is it? When did it appear on the island...The Mystery of Gallagher's Pond...

« Last Edit: March 09, 2014, 10:47:53 PM by Steve Lee »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #291 on: March 10, 2014, 06:12:18 AM »

I don't really think this is a pond, but I'm wondering what it is.

I'm pretty sure it is a Sherman tank.

I don't have time to do an overlay just now.

"Those who have eyes to see will see."   ::)
LTM,

           Marty
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JNev

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #292 on: March 10, 2014, 07:07:20 AM »

I don't really think this is a pond, but I'm wondering what it is.

I'm pretty sure it is a Sherman tank.

I don't have time to do an overlay just now.

"Those who have eyes to see will see."   ::)

It's not an L10E.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #293 on: March 10, 2014, 07:50:02 AM »

I suspect no Tighar ever came across it on an expedition. So, what is it? When did it appear on the island...The Mystery of Gallagher's Pond...

Been there.  Seen that.  No mystery.  It's a little salt water pond.  Natural sink hole.  It's there in the 1938 aerial photos.
We passed by it in 1991 while exploring that area.  I have a ground level photo in the archives.
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JNev

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #294 on: March 10, 2014, 08:07:57 AM »

I knew it was not an airplane, and it looked like a down-home sinkhole to me.  Thanks Ric.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #295 on: March 10, 2014, 10:05:51 AM »

Does anything the review team found in the photos even remotely suggest the structured "markers" that the British may have left, i.e. their flagpole and notice board claiming Gardner?

LTM, who sees what he sees,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ross Devitt

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #296 on: March 10, 2014, 04:44:37 PM »

The report by Resident Commissioner J.C. Barley who traveled aboard Leith describes the landing place as "at a spot practically midway between Reef Pt. and S.W. Point. Then it
 says "The flag was hoisted and a notice-board placed in position at the edge of the scrub about 50 yards south of the landing place.

The NOTES also by Resident Commissioner J.C. Barley in Leith say "Good landing at half-tide (or more) was found at western end over the reef in small bay about 400 yards south of Reef Point.  Further on  - "Very conspicuous wreck high up on reef just south of Reef Point..."
and "Flag planted and board erected close to the edge of the scrub about 50 yards south of the landing place in the centre of the bay between Reef Point and South West Point.

That, and maybe some help from Google Earth's ruler tool and visuals from the set of photos might help narrow it down, along with the NZ survey team's description since it seems they may have described finding the notice-board.

Ok, back again.   I seem to recall in one of the NZ survey team reports two signs or notice boards.  In Feb the flag was hoisted and the notice board was left, but there was no mention of a pile of stones as on at least one other island.

However in October on the next visit "A large cairn was built in a conspicuous position midway between the wreck and the lagoon passage, surrounding a flagstaff and notice board.  As similar notice boards were erected at the other islands, a copy of the inscription is enclosed.

GILBERT AND ELLICE ISLANDS COLONY
ADMINISTRATIVE VISIT TO GARDNER ISLAND
HMCS "NIMANOA" - OCTOBER 1937

        M.L. SINGLETON,                                        H.E. MAUDE,
MASTER , HMCS "NIMANOA"      ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER, G & E.I.C.


(Similar boards were placed on the other islands.

*********

So it seems from reading notes and reports from February and October that there were two notice boards placed on each island. 

And that there was a flagpole stuck in the ground in Feb, but a bigger one with a large stone cairn around the base erected in October.  These references should show exactly where to look in the new high res photos. 
Ric, I would really like to see the cairn if these detailed descriptions help to find it in the 1938 photos.

UPDATE - Jeff Victor Hayden has just rediscovered the stash of documents that contain the references I've used at http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/5/simple-search?query=phoenix+islands&sort_by=0&order=DESC&rpp=10&etal=0&start=0

Thanks Jeff.

Cheers,

Th' WOMBAT
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 08:25:50 PM by Ross Devitt »
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Steve Lee

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #297 on: March 10, 2014, 07:39:08 PM »

Ah, so Gallagher's Pond really is a pond. Mystery solved.

That's a relief, because I was girding for battle with Moleski on whether the 'tank' was a Sherman or a Lee  :D.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 09:45:41 PM by Steve Lee »
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John Ousterhout

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #298 on: March 10, 2014, 08:56:03 PM »

More likely a Matilda.   Recall it was a British colony island.  No obvious explanation why it turned into a salt pond, although I suspect asking a Tommy tank driver might offer a clue...
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: 1938 Aerial Photos
« Reply #299 on: March 11, 2014, 01:06:34 PM »

UPDATE - Jeff Victor Hayden has just rediscovered the stash of documents that contain the references I've used at http://digital.library.adelaide.edu.au/dspace/handle/2440/5/simple-search?query=phoenix+islands&sort_by=0&order=DESC&rpp=10&etal=0&start=0

Thanks Jeff.

Cheers,

Th' WOMBAT

Amazing that these documents have been digitized, and I found one interesting nugget after a few minutes of browsing. In the "Memorandum. Local Steps to be Taken if and when Approval of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme is Received" on page 6, detailing first aid supplies, it was noted that:

"The party is particularly liable to suffer from fish poisoning, dysentery, coral sores, and tropical ulcers."

There were lots of ways to die on Niku, especially back then. Imagine what it must have been like for someone facing a medical emergency with only a few, or no, supplies. Not pleasant.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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