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Author Topic: The Expedition for Amelia  (Read 13950 times)

Chris Johnson

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The Expedition for Amelia
« on: May 09, 2014, 03:36:23 AM »

Yet another team of crashed and sankers looking for finance to mount an expedition.

The Expedition for Amelia

Looks like they have 'suspect' targets from the last expedition that they wan't to go back and have a look at.  Sound familier?
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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2014, 08:05:04 AM »

Mr. Timmer has been down this road before, http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/34_RaceAmelia/34_RaceAmelia.html.

I wish his team the best. My money's on TIGHAR.

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

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2014, 08:12:39 AM »

It gets more peculiar to me over time how many are 'on the cusp' of solving the mystery for all time... all of course cannot be right about that.

TIGHAR still stands in contrast to the others in my view in that she at least has some cool stuff found, whatever it all comes to be.  The others, by comparison, seem almost to use the vast Pacific ocean like a Ouiji board - 'must have crashed an sunk here because it is so BIG, and doncha just know it... and only I know WHERE!!!'

Sorry - no disrespect toward any, and I'm a fan of those who care to search.  But some seem more plausibly focused than others - and you can guess whom I believe is the more focused in that way... all I'm going to say about that.
- Jeff Neville

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Jeff Lange

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2014, 10:17:23 AM »

What has always bothered me about groups searching for an aircraft that has supposedly "crashed and sank" in open water is that EVEN if you knew precisely where it hit/landed in the water, the variables regarding how long it floats vs. how fast it sinks, and then what type of descent it takes as it sinks, and further complicated by the depth of where it happens, become astronomical. The cone of area to search would just get wider and wider. Add in the fact that a sinking craft may hit underwater currents and move laterally great distances before reaching the seabed and it quickly becomes unimaginable to do. That is why I have zero faith in any effort to search the open ocean for the final resting spot of Amelia's craft. I, too, will stick with our theory and plan of attack.
Jeff Lange

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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2014, 10:43:53 AM »

Playing along with their heartfelt theory for a minute ... look at the "sonar target" they want to find again, and what they think it represents - our favorite Electra, pranged into the ocean floor vertically, with one wing nearby. About 200 feet nearby, according to the scale on the sonar image.

Think about that.

Assume that a wing does separate from the fuselage at the time of ditching. Or heck, even as the plane is on its way down to the seafloor. A partial wing weighs a lot less than the rest of the aircraft. Fluid physics tells you that those two pieces are going to behave quite differently on the way down, with one primarily a flat object and subject to all kinds of "planing" or "spiraling/fluttering" motions, and the other of a shape that might lend itself to some kind of "planing," or going sideways as much as it goes down. But neither one is going to fall straight down to the ocean floor 17,000 feet below.

And the odds of both pieces landing within a few hundred feet of each other at the end of their 17,000-foot journey? To steal a line from one of TIGHAR's expert witnesses, "vanishingly small."

Or so it seems to me. Everyone is free to believe what they want to believe.

LTM, who finds dry paint really interesting right now,
TIGHAR No. 2189 CER

P.S. - Their model Electra looks like the old Willams Brothers kit to me; someone didn't do a very good job filling in the centerline fuselage seam.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: May 10, 2014, 06:39:19 AM by Monty Fowler »
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JNev

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2014, 06:43:46 AM »

I believe Messrs. Lange and Fowler have touched on a vexacious fact where 'crash n sank' is concerned (and despite what TIGHAR has reasoned and found, I'll never say it can't have happened... until we prove 'Niku's the place') -

The only truly good way to find the lost bird in the open depths is by mowing a very, very large lawn.

'Heartfelt theory' is well put, Monty.  So many succomb to that 'just gotta be right' feeling for any number of reasons (please don't ask me how I know that all too well...), but fact is, no matter how excellent someone is at understanding navigation and the forces in play that day in 1937, etc. there's still no absolute way to 'channel' what really went down out of the ghosts of Earhart and Noonan - and they remain the only witnesses to the actual event of loss and all that it entailed.

And more to the point of the big, big lawn - if the bird did hit the sea and crack-up, exactly right - the remains wouldn't approach the density of a Titanic (which was subject to the same forces you mentioned and did settle in a way that affirms that) - a lost wing could easily be many miles from a fuselage, etc.  'Vanishingly small' does appear to be an apt way to view the statistical prospect of a wing lying conveniently near other major wreckage...
- Jeff Neville

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #6 on: May 12, 2014, 07:36:31 AM »

'Vanishingly small' does appear to be an apt way to view the statistical prospect of a wing lying conveniently near other major wreckage...

And yet, strange (improbable) things do happen.

If we're just imagining scenarios, then I can imagine that the wing may not have broken off until late in the descent.  Suppose one wing bent or broke at impact.  The entire airframe might then corkscrew as it descended, resulting in a late breakaway near the bottom.

We won't know for sure until they go take a look at the site they've identified to see what caused the interesting sonar returns.

Same goes for TIGHAR, of course.  The next expedition might be able to settle the question of whether there are identifiable Electra pieces downhill from what seems to be the most attractive place to land on the reef.
LTM,

           Marty
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Michael Calvin Powell

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #7 on: May 12, 2014, 12:55:28 PM »

FYI.  Can't imagine he could raise two million dollars through a kickstarter campaign.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/5/12/5708398/dana-timmer-fundraising-kickstarter-amelia-earhart

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JNev

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2014, 06:18:17 AM »

It's interesting but about $2M seems to be the price these days to get any decent focus on a given area of interest in the remote Pacific.  Takes a lot of confidence to want to get into that at a kickstart level.  I wish him well but there's not enough there for me to have a lot of confidence, just MHO of course.

Not to totally dismiss what those guys are seeing - Marty also makes a very apt point - strange things do happen.  And if the remains of NR16020 did come to rest as TIGHAR hypothesizes then we may yet see some very odd things on Niku's slopes as well.

Not that we haven't already seen some peculiar things generated by the quest at Niku: one man's amorphous anomaly might be the next guy's el dorado in terms of the lost aviatrix - strange things happen indeed.
'Vanishingly small' does appear to be an apt way to view the statistical prospect of a wing lying conveniently near other major wreckage...

And yet, strange (improbable) things do happen.

If we're just imagining scenarios, then I can imagine that the wing may not have broken off until late in the descent.  Suppose one wing bent or broke at impact.  The entire airframe might then corkscrew as it descended, resulting in a late breakaway near the bottom.

We won't know for sure until they go take a look at the site they've identified to see what caused the interesting sonar returns.

Same goes for TIGHAR, of course.  The next expedition might be able to settle the question of whether there are identifiable Electra pieces downhill from what seems to be the most attractive place to land on the reef.


Added - as usual, I find more depth in Marty's writings after a second pass -

We have to accept that even the Niku hypothesis comes down to a fairly fine point: the reef flat seems like such a relatively inviting spot to land (compared to other areas on Niku) that our airplane search there is essentially based on that assumption.  Just imaginging for a moment, suppose we're off by a mile?  'What if' Earhart chickened out due to some observation of roughness on the reef and opted instead for the really more treacherous areas of the beach elsewhere?

'What if' managed to have a survivable but damaging landing elsewhere, and the bird was finally swept off of that location?

Just silly imaginings on my part.  I think the hypothesis is sharp for good reason and we have to accept some bounding since we cannot explore without limit.  But the point is well made - we are dependent on an assumption of some not-less-than strange circumstances when we focus anywhere in that vast ocean.  We have to accept the limits those boundaries bring.
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: May 13, 2014, 06:30:12 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Monty Fowler

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #9 on: May 13, 2014, 12:37:14 PM »

At the rate these Howland Island Lawn Mowing Club expeditions are proliferating, we're going to need a scorecard to keep them all straight - and a traffic cop out there on the water to make sure there's no mowing in unapproved lanes or whatnot.

LTM, who finds dry paint really interesting right now,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR no. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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JNev

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #10 on: May 13, 2014, 01:41:42 PM »

At least none of these who search seem willing to let the mystery reach its 80th birthday, I'll give 'em that. 

And I can understand the bug -

I've longed for an answer since I was a youngster and read my first book on the disappearance.  I'd not heard of Earhart before that, and it was my mother who took an interest in my reading and told me of her recollections from that time - that really fostered my interest.

Looking back that would have put the mystery at less than 30 years old at the time.  Now it's approaching 77 years?  Just where does that corroding hulk lie...
- Jeff Neville

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Kent Beuchert

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #11 on: May 24, 2014, 07:37:40 PM »

 From the various arguents put forth on this website, with plausible evidence and logic, it would
appear that Amelia had considerable reserve fuel, and therefore  I would deem it unlikely that
she would end up ditching close to Howland, without ever having seen it.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #12 on: May 25, 2014, 08:25:44 PM »

I said a number of years ago that all these groups should consider a "joint venture approach to the mystery - why not?
Ted Campbell
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JNev

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2014, 06:54:11 AM »

From the various arguents put forth on this website, with plausible evidence and logic, it would
appear that Amelia had considerable reserve fuel, and therefore  I would deem it unlikely that
she would end up ditching close to Howland, without ever having seen it.

I believe you make a very good basic point.
- Jeff Neville

Former Member 3074R
 
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JNev

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Re: The Expedition for Amelia
« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2014, 12:18:52 PM »

I said a number of years ago that all these groups should consider a "joint venture approach to the mystery - why not?
Ted Campbell

We ought to at least wish each other well, IMO.  It is a noble thought, joint ventures; it is a big ocean and a strange world where many things can have happened.  It is realized that search resources are scarce and ground coverage must be 'smart' - but why discourage anyone who has the guts to raise the means to go after their favored hunting ground?
- Jeff Neville

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