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Author Topic: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise  (Read 132951 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #90 on: November 17, 2013, 07:47:23 PM »

Not trying to pick on Jeff nor Neff, just that so much of the navigation discussions (admittedly far more adroit than I) speculate on all the ways the crew would NOT have ended up at Gardner; but what we have is a body of evidence consistent with just that, a landing at Gardner.  I'm all for hard questions that challenge the evidence and the hypothesis, but those questions and challenges have to be based on evidence, not speculation about what the crew would have, should have, or may have done.  Or at the very least, if we are to speculate, let's try not to make declaritive statements based on our speculative ponderings.

Well said.
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JNev

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #91 on: November 19, 2013, 06:23:52 AM »

Not trying to pick on Jeff nor Neff, just that so much of the navigation discussions (admittedly far more adroit than I) speculate on all the ways the crew would NOT have ended up at Gardner; but what we have is a body of evidence consistent with just that, a landing at Gardner.  I'm all for hard questions that challenge the evidence and the hypothesis, but those questions and challenges have to be based on evidence, not speculation about what the crew would have, should have, or may have done.  Or at the very least, if we are to speculate, let's try not to make declaritive statements based on our speculative ponderings.

Well said.

Who made a declaritive statement?
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #92 on: November 19, 2013, 07:41:06 AM »

All of history is a judgment call, to a greater or lesser extent. Unless something was recorded immediately after it happened (and even then it is subject to the frailities of the human mind), all we are left with is imperfect records and assumptions. With which we make the best judgment we can of what may have happened.

At first my thought was "huh?"  But, Monty runs deep - and indeed, history is the "agreed upon set of lies", sayeth some wag of the past.

That wag was Napoleon Bonaparte. 

But to me, the nature of TIGHAR's quest is not to write probable history, but to go look for a lost airplane, find it if they can, conserve it if possible - and in the process end the mystery.  That is my narrow view given what I understand of TIGHAR's role in this things as taken from her own charter.  If we dabble toward 'conclusions' based on what we have now, we merely have 'the best idea of what happened, barring a better solution being found with as much evidence, such as it may be'.

"Probable history" is the only kind of history there is and "dabbling toward conclusions based on what we have now" is the best we can ever do.   We always want more than we have now but at some point each of us says "That's enough to convince me."  The debate comes down to how much is enough - and that is always an individual decision.

Look for a lost airplane?  In all probability the airplane is gone.  All we can do is look for whatever bits and pieces remain.  How much will be enough?  Do you need something that is unquestionably from a Lockheed 10 (until somebody questions whether it is really from a Lockheed 10) or do you need something with a serial number that can be matched to records of NR16020 (only the engines, prop hubs and prop blades had serial numbers that we know)?  Does "preponderance of evidence" count for anything or, like my old friend and nemesis Tom Crouch at NASM, do you maintain that TIGHAR has found nothing of significance in discovering the fate of Amelia Earhart?

I look back on all that we have learned and discovered and recovered over the past 25 years and it seems to me that our biggest problem is not a lack of evidence but rather an over-abundance of evidence.   To illustrate what I mean, answer this question:  Why does TIGHAR think the Earhart flight ended on Gardner Island?  If you're a dedicated TIGHAR you can probably list a half dozen pieces of evidence that support the hypothesis.  If you're a skeptic you can probably list a half dozen pieces of evidence that you feel can be explained away.  Either exercise is like dancing on the tip of an iceberg.  What is needed is for the entire corpus of research and analysis to be pulled together and presented in a way that makes it accessible and easy to understand.  That's my next book  Finding Amelia - The Castaway of Gardner Island.   Regardless of what more we find (or don't find) next summer, the story of what we've already found needs to be written.
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John Balderston

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #93 on: August 09, 2019, 10:10:10 AM »

In 1937 there were three air navigators of similar experience and reputation - peers and giants: Gatty, Weems and Noonan.  All three pioneered routes, held patents for air navigation inventions, and firmly established the art and science for those that followed.  In 1935/1936 Fred taught every other navigator in Pan Am's Pacific Division the techniques for navigating the Pacific.  His methods are well known and documented; establishing an LOP, and offsetting to one side of a destination among them.  I'm on the road and don't have references handy, but will provide when I get home.
Following up on a post on Fred Noonan's navigation methods . . . from 2013 (talk about turning in late, partially completed homework  :-[).   I found this piece through a secondary source "Earhart's Flight Into Yesterday", Safford, Laurance with Cameron A. Warren and Robert R. Payne, Paladwr Press, McLean, VA 2003.  "Earhart's Flight", pg. 103, quotes Paul Mantz' biography "Hollywood Pilot", pgs. 118 - 120:

"What happens in celestial navigation" Paul asked Noonan, "when you have only one star, or only the sun, or you can't get a second line of position to intersect the first one and give you a fix?"

"Simple," Noonan replied.  "Lay out speed lines.  Shoot a series of sun observations, for instance, at half-hour intervals.  You'll get a series of base lines at right angles to a line running through the sun.  How far they are apart tells you how much distance you've covered in each half-hour.  You can then use dead reckoning and advance your speed line to your destination, and estimate when you'll be somewhere on the base line running through it."

"Yes," Paul pressed.  "But how can you know whether you're to the left or to the right of your course?"

"You can't."  Noonan said.  "So, turn off course before you get to your ETA [estimated time of arrival] line, maybe ten, twenty degrees.  Make a deliberate error, say, to your left.  Then when your ETA comes, turn right and fly until you find your island."

BTW, I read "Earhart's Flight" because of the gravitas of the author, Capt. Laurance Safford, who in the mid-1930's headed the Navy's radio intelligence dept. (OP-20-G).  In WWII his work was instrumental in defeating the Japanese, and he is considered the father of US Navy cryptology.  During his retirement years Capt. Safford had been researching the Earhart disappearance, but passed away before finishing his work.  Warren and Payne posthumously organized and published Safford's papers.  While any insight into Capt. Safford's lines of inquiry is important, it is not an authoritative work on the Earhart mystery, IMO.
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
« Last Edit: August 12, 2019, 11:58:44 AM by John Balderston »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #94 on: August 09, 2019, 10:39:25 AM »

Safford et al forgot that it was never the plan for Noonan to find Howland by celestial navigation.  His job was to get the flight close enough for Earhart to use RDF to fine-tune the approach - essentially the same system PanAm used except, at PanAm, ground stations took bearings on signals sent from the inbound Clippers and told the radio operator what heading the pilot should fly.  In Earhart's case, the plan was for Itasca to send signals and AE would take a bearing using her loop antenna.  To Itasca's surprise, when Earhart got within radio range she asked the ship to take a bearing on her.  They explained they couldn't take a bearing on the frequency she was using (3105 kHz), but couldn't hear them.  it wasn't until she reached the advanced LOP ("We must be on you..") that reverted to the original plan and she asked Itasca to send signals, but she asked for signals on a frequency far too high for her system to respond to.
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J West

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #95 on: November 10, 2019, 09:50:38 PM »

In 1937 there were three air navigators of similar experience and reputation - peers and giants: Gatty, Weems and Noonan.  All three pioneered routes, held patents for air navigation inventions, and firmly established the art and science for those that followed.  In 1935/1936 Fred taught every other navigator in Pan Am's Pacific Division the techniques for navigating the Pacific.  His methods are well known and documented; establishing an LOP, and offsetting to one side of a destination among them.  I'm on the road and don't have references handy, but will provide when I get home.

Hi again y'all, just rereading this old thread, noticed a possible slight omission from the 'noted '30's aviators' reference by John B above.
Not sure if one, then well-known, Jimmie Mattern quite measures up, but he did make two 'around the world' flight attempts in 1932 and 1933, in Lockheed Vegas, albeit failed ones.
He was also a P-38 Lightning test pilot [1938 on], and later marketed the "Mattern Flight Computers" and other related tools. I thought that he invented and patented them, but not sure, I have some of them.
Jimmie Mattern was also an author and radio show host [among many other things].
 
In researching this, I just ran across his 1936 "Cloud Country, Book 2, Hawaii To Hollywood" book on eBay. Which I promptly bought  ;] .
Looks quite interesting from the description [try to insert 3 pics below], may have some AE and FN references [separately att], or maybe it was read by them? Can't wait to receive it, I'll post any pertinent AE and/or FN info within back here, if any.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jimmie_Mattern

John
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Don White

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #96 on: November 10, 2019, 10:31:16 PM »

Interesting how it seems every oil company of the 1930s sponsored a pilot for publicity purposes. P-p-pardon the alliteration.

LTM,

Don
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J West

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Re: visual counterfeit , navigation and subsequent demise
« Reply #97 on: November 14, 2019, 06:22:37 PM »

Interesting how it seems every oil company of the 1930s sponsored a pilot for publicity purposes. P-p-pardon the alliteration.

LTM,

Don

Don,
I initially noticed that oil company connection too, when first looking over the book's eBay listing and figured that it appeared to be a bit of a 'vanity' or 'celeb' type publication of its' era.
I read the pages that were posted on the eBay listing for the Jimmie Mattern book and it reads a lot like one of those grocery store checkout 'celeb' mags, hoping the whole book has a bit more substance though.
But am guessing that there might be a few AE and/or FN references therein, can't hardly go wrong for $12+s&h, eh? I noticed similar marketing tie-ins in the early '60s working in a gas station after school.

For a large part of the 20th Century, business entities like oil, autos, alcohol, tobacco, etc., had a pervasive influence in American culture [and elsewhere]; just look at old movies and tv shows. Hey, I kicked tobacco in my early 20's, never drink much, and doing my [slow] best to go alt-energy with EV transport and tools, solar and wind.

Those early pilots, and many others, had to dance with the promoters with the deep pockets; flying was and is an expensive avocation. After all, Amelia Earhart and G Putnam lined up much of their own aviation financing in a similar fashion.
John
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