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Author Topic: The Earhart Matrix  (Read 9192 times)

Ted G Campbell

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The Earhart Matrix
« on: March 30, 2010, 08:21:43 PM »

Ric,

What matrix do you use to rationalize the four aspects of the Earhart search in order to point the way to a solution to the ultimate riddle of what happened to Amelia Earhart on that July day in 1937?

•   Historic documentation – Lae take off films, radio logs, DR bearings, the Gardner Bones file, etc.
•   Antidotal recollections – the beginning of the Earhart hypothesis, the original Coast Guard memories, Emiley’s recollection, Betty’s note book, etc.
•   Physical evidence – Plexiglas, shoe parts, aircraft aluminum, makeup mirror, etc.
•   Scientific process – bones analysis, lanolin bottle, cosmetic determination, and possible DNA evidence.

What hole(s) in this matrix need to be filled in order to satisfy a “smoking gun” criterion required by opposition/doubters - even though they don’t place the same obligation onto themselves?  It does seem strange that year after year hundreds of (thousands) of dollars are donated to progress the TIGHAR investigation – where the other theories seem to have stalled out – basis the findings and rational of the ever expanding explanation of what really happened to AE and FN.

Ted Campbell
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2010, 09:43:38 PM »

What matrix do you use to rationalize the four aspects of the Earhart search 

I never thought of it as a matrix. I'm not sure I even know what a matrix is. I do know that "smoking guns" are in the eye of the beholder.  Every one has his or her own threshold for deciding when they consider a case to be "proven."  Historical investigation is not an adversarial system. There is no Prosecution and there is no Defense. There is no winner and there is no loser.  We're simply trying to find out what happened.  All four aspects that you list are unreliable, some more so than others. (Anecdotal recollection is certainly the least reliable.) The strongest indication that a particular hypothesis is true is when it is supported by several aspects independently.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2010, 07:19:41 PM »

Ric,
An example of a possible matrix that I questioned is as follows:

Let’s say;
Axis A = Historic Documentation

Axis B = Physical Evidence

Axis C = Scientific Process

and the scale of each axis is 1 to 10 depending on the strength of Antidotal Recollection i.e. 0 = Third Party Hear Say and 10 = Proven Fact

Start with the “Bones File”.  The antidotal evidence starts off as zero (the Cost Guard) recollection and ends up as a 10 with the finding of the PISS file.  This scaling applies to all axis.

Axis A:  The initial findings were that of a native.  More modern analysis suggests an European female.  Scale the findings of the native as 0 and the European female as 10.  Point on the A axis 10.

Axis B:  A makeup mirror is found on the island.  Scale the chance of finding a makeup mirror on an isolated Pacific Island as 0.  Scale the fact that a makeup mirror was found on the island and it very comparable to a 1930’s compact mirror as a 10.  Point on the B axis 10.

Axis C:  As a result of a scientific analysis of a sample of what appears to be makeup residue it’s suggested the sample is from a 1930’s compact.  Scale the chance of finding a sample of American makeup on an isolated Pacific Island as 0.  Scale the fact that makeup from the 1930’s was found on the island as a 10.  Point on the C axis 10.

Conclusion that can be drawn from the above matrix is:

1)   A female European skeleton was found on an isolated Pacific island, 2) a makeup mirror similar to what AE owned was found on the island, 3) the makeup chemical analysis matched that of what was available in the 1930’s.
Therefore, there is a basis for a very high probability that there was a European female who had with her a compact on the island.

Finally, try the same matrix analysis for the Plexiglas, aluminum sheet, the shoe soles, etc. and I think you will demonstrate an analytical approach to the TIGHAR thesis that Niku was indeed the last resting place of AE. 

When you get progressive results showing (by the axis) 10,10,10 and you plot the entire body of evidence you have a very convincing argument and a pictorial depiction on your thesis.
Ted Campbell
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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2010, 06:46:02 PM »

Wait ... this isn't the Keanu Reeves thread? Darn.

While I understand the concept of using an matrix to prove a hypothesis (working in grants administration at a university) it seems to me that you are putting an artifical, i.e. self-determined, value on each criteria, which makes the resultant matrix worthless as far as it's ability to prove or disprove anything.

A native found some bones. OK, let's give that a ZERO value. Why? Because it was a native? Because a white or "civilized" person didn't see or record the bones find? I can see one of my researchers demolishing just that one thing in less than two minutes of reasoned debate. I would venture to say that even if TIGHAR found AE's skull there this year and proved it beyond a doubt with mitrochondial DNA, heck, even with a dental match, there would still be people who would insist, "Yeah, she died there AFTER being captured while spying on the Japanese and then tortured - they dumped her there to make it look like an accident!"
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2010, 10:39:53 AM »

Monty,

You may have missed my point concerning the scaling of the value of a particular artifact found.

I suggested using the strength of Antidotal Recollection as the basis of a scale.  Let me try and explain:

While testing a hypothesis one will run into many "hearsay" accounts of something happening.  In my example I suggest using the Coast Guardsmen's recollection of hearing from a Niku resident that someone found bones on the island that they thought were AE's - I gave this account a value of 0.  Why?  There wasn't any proof of this account at the time it was received e.g. a suggestion that an investigation was carried out, that the bones were packaged and sent on the authorities, etc.

However, many years later a government file was found that reported that indeed there had been bones found on the island and there was a suggestion that they could be that of AE.  Also within that file were bone measurements that when subjected to modern analysis suggest they could be that of AE - I then gave this account a value of 10.

The "who", in who said what, in the beginning is not important the statement was only a starting point on a journey.

Ted Campbell
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2010, 10:58:47 AM »

The term is "Anecdotal" as in anecdote, not "Antidotal" as in antidote.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Earhart Matrix
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2010, 02:05:47 PM »

Ted, while I grant you that this can be an interesting intellectual exercise, it can never be more than that, an exercise, for some of the reasons I've noted - assigning arbitrary values to pieces of evidence, and what does constitute evidence, after all? Who sets that standard? It's an interesting journey but I honestly can't see it ending at a door marked "The Solution."

Others may see it differently and say, Yep, that proves it or, But what about ... ?
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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