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Author Topic: What happened with the moon  (Read 57211 times)

Ted G Campbell

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2013, 04:02:57 PM »

Frederick Young

I found your analysis very interesting.  I have a question for you;  if the navigation process was as sophisticated (I have no experience in celestial navigation) as you have laid out in your post, what are the possible errors FN could have made in his calculations resulting in their missing Howland?

Ted Campbell
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Frederick Frick Young

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #31 on: December 01, 2013, 05:26:59 PM »

Thanks Bill for you interest

At this time I don't want to express my theories, but discusss them.
This is only my 2nd post here and until I have established some sort of trust here at TIGHAR, I rather stick to the subject of whether or not FN used the MOON's LOP to acquire a fix. 

I'm not here to agree or disagree with anyone's hypothesis.

And at this time my opion means nothing. :)

My question to you or anyone else is, what do you think of the crash course in celestial navigation?

Thanks all for reading and please try to learn a bit about navigation with the material I've attempted to provided.

I'd like to answer any specific questions, but not discuss theory.

As you might gather, from the provided link above, I'd rather teach fishing than fish.  :) 

Fred



 
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Frederick Frick Young

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #32 on: December 01, 2013, 06:41:36 PM »

Hi Ted,

As I tried to answer Bill, and created a new subject  ???, I'm new here. Different message board, different protocal. :)
Obviously I don't know what to do after being timed out and attempting to come back in just to find all was lost.

Until I've extablished some sort of trust here at TIGHAR, I'd rather not exlpress my opinions.

At this time I'm only interested in what your or anyone's thoughts are after reading what I'd writing.

Fact or Fiction Agree or Disagree and why!

I have some more ideas to present for discussion.

Please folks understand I'm not here to prove or disprove how Amelia may or may not have ended up at Gardner Island. I'm excited as anyone can be to find the truth. Rather than discuss or well on the end, I'd rather focus on the means.

You know like established beliefs that may or may not be factual.

As example. The 157/337 LOP is a myth pure and simple. Invented by someone who knew nothing about navigation I'd guess. That LOP would have only been true if AE and FN had arrived at W176, the longitude of Howland island, and they just happened to be dead reckoning directly to Howland at a heading of 67 degrees mag at the very moment of sunrise. As it was they were two hundred miles away, and hadn't turned to an offset heading of 67 +/- 10  or so degrees to offset an approach on one side or the other.
Anyway, not matter, 176 degrees, the longitude of Howland was their ONLY LOP to locat howland no matter when they arrrive at the said longitude.
Instead of a 90 degree turn in heading, think of if as aa turn to 176 degrees true heading due south or north (depending on their offset heading ) no matter what their heading was at the time they reached the NS176 degree LOP.

The sextant in the daytime only knows longitude. The only logical thing to do was to use it for what it was intended. I use the term LOP for longitude here but a better term description might be circle or LINE of uncertainy. That circle or line would vary depending on the accuracy of the sextant, which I already mentioned above, and their visibility east or west of 176 degrees at what ever altitude they were flying.

One more thing while we're on the subject of navigation.
I laugh when I keep hearing that AE and FS had no ideal which direction the wind was blowing. Please folks, you have to agree AE was and Ace PILOT the thousands of hours and flying anything that had wings. Why do you think she was cluless as to the direction and magnitude of the wind? My flight instructor forced me to find out.
The simple proceedure it this! Make a wide coordinated 360 turn at one fixed speed. As you're turning watch the IAS very closely. When da need go up your IAS is increasing and you're fliing into (running against the wind, we all know the song) and when da need go down we flying with the wind. (Sorry I'm have a funny memory here) At two point while fling in the circle da needle stay in da meddle. I know I' being funny, I told youi I could laugh when hearing some of these thing being said. Now of course you have acquired 3 differnet speed IAS readings. For instance, when flying east 120, north 110, west 120 and south 130 knots. I'll bet there's not one person who read this that can't tell us which way the wind was blowing and what magnitude of it was.

Thanks for response

Fred
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #33 on: December 01, 2013, 10:54:17 PM »

Fred, I appreciate your attempt to answer me; couldn't find it!
But no matter...was just interested in your thinking on a subject in which I have no knowledge.
I flew on the nap of the earth for 25 thousand hours, and survived by never losing sight of it, as long as I could stay in the air and at the point where I could not do that it was time to put the plane down while I could...
So we are/were in two different worlds.

But I have to say: IAS is indicated air speed...and that won't change no matter what the wind is doing..or which way you turn, as long as the airplane keeps doing what it is doing as long as that is what you ask it to do...'by definition'...in my world.
You mean Ground Speed, right?...and that's where the navigation comes in, and that's where I withdraw !?!
Peace...

My approach to this is pretty primitive; I am convinced they got there, so something they did had that result....and that is where I would  look, I'm convinced of that!
At 81 years old, I hope every day for something new to show up!
But I do not have anything other than an interest...their fates were decided long ago, and I'm not strong enough or wealthy enough to contribute....or knowledgeable enough to argue any point!

It may even be that the answer to the question is somewhere on the ground, under a tree or where a tree used to be!...it's a very hard place to get to, and to look on!...it could take years...or it could happen tomorrow!

Back to watching...

Bill
Bill de Creeft

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JNev

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #34 on: December 03, 2013, 04:31:27 PM »

So, Fred - if FN used the moon and had all those shots, why would the flight have become so lost?

Personally I believe it remains possible that FN was able to get comparatively few shots in the night (weather) and that had the moon been shot in the morning that a better realization of where the flight was relative to Howland in N-S terms might have been noticeably helpful.

But I am interested in how you 'know' what shots Fred had and how you are able to know it; didn't realize it was knowable.

As to trust, what is the fear, that someone might challenge your thinking?  Anything ventured in a forum like this is going to be not only subject to challenge, but probably challenged indeed, so I feel for you if you are waiting for a non-critical / non-individually-thinking audience in which to advance your ideas.  Good luck with that, but hats off - actually you've already expressed quite a few opinions, so your feet are good and wet.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #35 on: December 03, 2013, 09:03:25 PM »

Fred,

Whoa, I think you just stepped over the line by calling the reported North/South line a “myth”.  This was recorded in the ship’s log at the time.  What makes you think it’s a myth?   Do you have information we don’t have.  Please explain.
Ted Campbell   
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Frederick Frick Young

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #36 on: December 03, 2013, 09:31:40 PM »

Hi Jeffrey,
Thanks for the response.

So, Fred - if FN used the moon and had all those shots, why would the flight have become so lost?

I'm not sure what you mean by "so lost." The plane has never been found. On what grounds to you qualify the statement? I could be 10 miles from Howland so some believe.   

Personally I believe it remains possible that FN was able to get comparatively few shots in the night (weather) and that had the moon been shot in the morning that a better realization of where the flight was relative to Howland in N-S terms might have been noticeably helpful.

Not really, In fact the higher in elevetion the less accurate the shot. There was little discernable difference in the azimuths of the sun and the moon by morning.

But I am interested in how you 'know' what shots Fred had and how you are able to know it; didn't realize it was knowable.

Fact:
The MOON was the perfect candidate for celestial navigation that night.
1. Experience: I’ve been a a student of celestial navigation for a number of years.

2. Research: The criteria for taking sextant shots is well known.
The first and most important consideration is the brightness of the heavenly body in which the navigator uses to acquire a fix.

The second is the azimuth in relation to the course being traveled. In this case the MOON. Once over the horizon it would be the number one choice, for both of these reasons.

3. Common sense: Once the MOON is visible its brightness alone tends to obscure other stars around it that would normally be easier to read. If you don’t know what I mean the next time you look at the moon notice how its brightness tends to do as I’ve said.         


I’m surprised so many folks here believe that FN had taken very few celestial fixes during the night of July 2, 1937 due to weather conditions.

I can’t in go long with this. The L10E had the capability for flying to a ceiling of 19,000 feet. Is there proof that there was heavy cloud cover above that altitude the entire night? Sorry I’m not buying that, however remote the possibility I suppose it still does exists.

I refuse to believe that stratospheric clouds condition could obscure the MOON at night or the SUN during the day at those altutudes. This old bird has spent many a nights star gazing. I’m what many may refer to as an “outdoors person.”

Could anyone explain what factual information that has led you to believe otherwise and why he DID NOT use the MOON to take a fix?

As I’ve said all alone “Show me the facts.”  I’m not here to disprove or prove any theories about the end. I’m here to discuss the means. In this entire thread no one has even suggested that FN used the MOON for anything other than it was there that night.
At the equator MOON rise at horizon was around 1230 GCT. Over 5 hours before AE reported that they were 200 mile from Howland 1744.

As to trust, what is the fear, that someone might challenge your thinking?  Anything ventured in a forum like this is going to be not only subject to challenge, but probably challenged indeed, so I feel for you if you are waiting for a non-critical / non-individually-thinking audience in which to advance your ideas.  Good luck with that, but hats off - actually you've already expressed quite a few opinions, so your feet are good and wet.


I think that much of what your calling opinion is fact. The fact that the MOON was in very two different locations from one day to the next is at fact. I'm sorry you didn't understand the crash course in celestial navigation. See, that the fear, of stateing facts and getting accused of it them being opinion.

As the saying goes, "Don't confuse me with facts my mind is made up" ,,,hopefully doesn't apply to me. :)

Here are some Non Facts: Things that I believe but have no proof of so are not facts. One the other hand I’m not one who believes in coincidences either.
I believe that the entire flight eastward from Oakland was timed for this flight in mind that the MOON would be in the perfect cycle. I believe the exact timing from when they departed from Lae was timed for their arrival at Howland at dawn, just as it was when they flew from Oakland to Hawaii. I believe the 200 miles out report was the distance they were at the IDL at W180 degrees. I believe the 5x5 radio signal at 2013 suggests that they were very close to the Itasca at the time of transmission. Coincidences, perhaps, but carry logical weight. I could argue these points forever, and never convince anyone so what’s the point.

Thanks for reading all.

Fred

 
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 09:42:31 PM by Frederick Frick Young »
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Frederick Frick Young

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #37 on: December 03, 2013, 11:46:05 PM »

Fred,

Whoa, I think you just stepped over the line by calling the reported North/South line a “myth”.  This was recorded in the ship’s log at the time.  What makes you think it’s a myth?   Do you have information we don’t have.  Please explain.
Ted Campbell

Ted, Thanks for the response.

As far as the 157/337 LOP, I'd forgotten about the radio communication to the Itasca.

That doesn't change the facts That she couldn’t have been.

Let me explain.
 
I believe she was simply reading the information that she had in front of her on her flight plan, which had been determined at departure some 18 hours beforehand.
 
What any team needs to be succeed is that each person on the team know and perform their particular function to the best of their ability by following the plan. In this case the team consisted of a pilot, a navigator, and various radio operators at Lae, the Itasca, and anyone else she contacted alone the way.
 
AE’s job as pilot was to fly the plane and communicate with the radio operators.
 
The radio operator’s job was to listen, respond and log the information period. All these people have a plan in front of them. In this case if was called the flight plan.
 
 FN’s job as navigator was to compile a flight plan file it and make any changes alone the way.
 
Flight plans change constantly the moment after departure, due to changes such as the route, weather, and even the performance changes of the aircraft. However, after departure there’s no way of changing the information that others have in front of them.
 
The 157/337  LOP is based on the “sun line” at sunrise at Howland. However, they weren’t anywhere near the longitude of W176 degrees at the time of sunrise at Howland.
 
At 200nm from Howland they would have been somewhere near the longitude of W180 degrees or near the IDL. Since the sun line changes constantly during the day, FN as navigator, already knew the flight plan had changed. He would have no reason to put them on that particular LOP. No one else did and even it they had, it wasn't there job to worry about it.
 

Well before the time of the that particular radio report FN already knew that the LOP wasn't going to be correct and too soon to have computed just what the required LOP would be necessary to fly the sun line upon arriving at the longitude of W176 degrees (Howland).           
 
So we ask ourselves, why would she report it then? There are several possible reasons.
 
My thoughts are that she was simply reading the information she had in front of her on the flight plan, which had been determined at departure hours beforehand.
 
Call it a white lie. If she'd reported anything other than what was on the flight plan it would just add confusion and alter what the radio operator was expecting her to report.  In the military with a secrete clearance, we called it the “need to know” basis.

The flight plan that was filed would have included an average GS speed of 140 knots since it was the AVERAGE GS of all the flights before this one. Had they maintained the GS they would have reached Howland at sunrise. That is evident from the original east west flight from Oakland to Hawaii. There's no mystery or coindence about it. Navigation at that time was safer at night using two to three stars to determine a lon/lat fix. During the daylight hour with only the SUN and occasionaly the MOON limits reading to longitude only.             

 
I haven't figured it out exactly because no one knows just exactly when they would have reached the W176 longitude , but using an average GS of 111- 140 and before the reported LOP they'd reached the sun line for an approach to Howland their LOP would have been somewhere around 127/307. Of course That LOP would only be valid for a few minutes. 

I also wouldn’t be surprised if FN just decided to just fly all the way to the W176 degree longitude then fly directly 180 degrees true south. It would have been safer. Especially since it was such a long time since he’d been able to acquire a latitude fix. At least that’s what I’d have done. But to avoid any confusion, I’d let Amelia report what was on the flight plan.
Keep in mind that once an approach LOP is established and they turn onto it the only method of acquiring the destination is the use DR from then on or until Fred knew they had passed the W176 degree longitude. Once he knew that then they would fly the prescribed square search for a period of time. After that period of time expired, Fred would have no choice but to fly to the W176 lon. and fly a true 180/360 NS LOP since that would be the only known. As I said the approach LOP is null and void after a one time shot at it using DR only.

Fred           
« Last Edit: December 03, 2013, 11:49:43 PM by Frederick Frick Young »
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Bill de Creeft

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #38 on: December 04, 2013, 12:45:09 AM »

Hello Fred...

I was able to follow your last couple of posts, and have no quarrel with what you have written.

Because i don't know where your thinking has taken you, I am curious if you have studied "betty's notebook", and if you found any of the numbers (headings, distances??) interesting...?
I got pretty excited soon after i came on the forum because I thought there was some significance to a set of numbers rhat might have been a position close to landing on Gardner....since than it has been more complicated for me and I don't know what to think !?!

But for many reasons I still think that's where they ended up....so where does your thinking take you?

I don't want to go back through my thoughts and observations ...nor does anyone want me to !...it's all on the forum under my signature...but my experiences with low freq. radio messages over a distance...one of them sitting in Alaska and overhearing a sailboat going into Darwin talking on 2512 to the Harbormaster one night...but no point in talking about stuff on the ground unless we think it's the same ground...I guess we're talking for now about whether they would or could have gotten there; as you know I think they did.

I don't think I'll ever know enough to follow your thinking enough to come to the same conclusions, so I'm just asking for you to tell me what you think and allow me to see if it fits!

I want to dig where the Amelia style 'E' was in white coral rock !!

Bill
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #39 on: December 04, 2013, 08:19:45 AM »

3971R
 
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C.W. Herndon

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #40 on: December 04, 2013, 10:18:02 AM »

I’m surprised so many folks here believe that FN had taken very few celestial fixes during the night of July 2, 1937 due to weather conditions.

I can’t in go long with this. The L10E had the capability for flying to a ceiling of 19,000 feet. Is there proof that there was heavy cloud cover above that altitude the entire night? Sorry I’m not buying that, however remote the possibility I suppose it still does exists.

I refuse to believe that stratospheric clouds condition could obscure the MOON at night or the SUN during the day at those altutudes.

As a former commercial pilot with over 30 years flying experience I will not get into a discussion of navigation here, but I will question your implication that FN could have made "moon shots" at altitudes up to 19,000 feet. I do not question that the 10E Electra, when loaded within normal limits, could climb up to that altitude. I do have a doubts that the crew, since there is no evidence that I have seen that indicates there was supplemental oxygen on board, could have functioned at that altitude.

Here is a link to a Wikipedia article about Aerospace physiology which explains why I don't think it would have been possible. If you would rather read a more detailed discussion of this topic, see this FAA discussion of the subject. Pay particular to the section starting on page 3.1.

I don't dispute that FN could have made sightings during the night, only that he could have made them from that altitude.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Tim Mellon

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #41 on: December 04, 2013, 01:12:14 PM »

Woody, I would agree with you about 19,000 for more than just several minutes. But I've done 15,000 in my Tomahawk for more than an hour without ill effects. And 15,000, for the purpose of his argument, is probably not much different than 19,000 in terms of cloud cover.

Tim
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Greg Daspit

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #42 on: December 04, 2013, 02:36:14 PM »

Fred,

Whoa, I think you just stepped over the line by calling the reported North/South line a “myth”.  This was recorded in the ship’s log at the time.  What makes you think it’s a myth?   Do you have information we don’t have.  Please explain.
Ted Campbell

As far as the 157/337 LOP, I'd forgotten about the radio communication to the Itasca.

That doesn't change the facts That she couldn’t have been.

Let me explain.
 
I believe she was simply reading the information that she had in front of her on her flight plan,

Fred         

Recorded(as in written down) radio communication is one of the few documented pieces of information on their navigation.
Regarding the LOP. Yes, the Sun came up before they were close to Howland but the theory is the LOP was advanced. It’s based on AE giving that line and when she said it. At least that is my understanding and it makes sense to me.

Also,  I find it hard to believe AE would tell what you call a “white lie” about what course they were flying on so as not to cause “confusion and alter what the radio operator was expecting her to report” 
Is there evidence the radio operator had this flight plan with 157/337 written on it so he could have possibly been confused?  Where is the flight plan documented?
edit:
Itasca logs regarding flight preparations
Intended Route to Howland

It’s seems to me providing the LOP was information AE gave on where they should look if they had to ditch. 
I just don’t understand the logic of telling a lie on what line you are on when you have not found the island you are looking for in the middle of the pacific yet, and you are low on gas.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: December 04, 2013, 06:37:56 PM by Greg Daspit »
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Frederick Frick Young

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #43 on: December 04, 2013, 07:42:57 PM »

Woody, I would agree with you about 19,000 for more than just several minutes. But I've done 15,000 in my Tomahawk for more than an hour without ill effects. And 15,000, for the purpose of his argument, is probably not much different than 19,000 in terms of cloud cover.

Interesting you guy brought that up.  http://books.google.com/books?id=qcKs-TO2jZAC&pg=PA33&lpg=PA33&dq=did+amelia+earhart+use+oxygen+when+flying&source=bl&ots=q-xW13zL71&sig=SjksQBVGv7165eevczNk_6ZeBjc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=_JqfUtFnlM7IAcGXgIgP&ved=0CHoQ6AEwCQ#v=onepage&q=did%20amelia%20earhart%20use%20oxygen%20when%20flying&f=false
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Tim Mellon

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Re: What happened with the moon
« Reply #44 on: December 04, 2013, 08:30:14 PM »

Interesting your guy brought that up.

Fred, to be honest, I can't think of anyone at TIGHAR that would consider me one of their guys.

I just tell it as I see it.

Tim
Chairman,  CEO
PanAm Systems

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