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Author Topic: Lets Look Forward  (Read 13386 times)

richie conroy

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Lets Look Forward
« on: July 25, 2014, 08:20:54 PM »

Hope we can move on from the past few month's

and start a fresh

Clear mind Same objectives

Thanks
We are an echo of the past


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Paul Chattey

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2014, 07:40:18 PM »

Do we have any information on what kind of landings she did along the way?  If there was a landing at Nikuk I understand that it was probably rough.  Earlier rough landings, if any and if we know, might have contributed to weakening the airframe and breaking it up in the last, possible, landing.  This won't solve anything but I have to wonder.  I lived in Fortaleza Brazil in the 1960s and saw enough very early photos of the city to gather the city was urban-ish but outside the city limits it was mules and ox carts.  Not sure what that might say about the landing field though I do wonder. 
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JNev

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2014, 09:58:18 AM »

Lots of things are possible, and maybe this new 'generically hopeful' thread is a place to take a fresh breath and share my own view of where this whole search for Earhart happens to be at the moment (as I see it, of course).

As to the reef landing and possible effects on the machine, this is presently being explored in "Earhart's Radio Transmitter" (out of thought for the effect of a hard landing on the radio set / being compromising, etc., apparently).

A view from this crow's nest, looking back, about and forward to the extent I can -

- Earhart's disappearance has proved to have longer legs as a mystery to be solved than most others in history that I can think of - the murder of "The Black Dahlia", Judge Crater, and even Jimmy Hoffa and others like those in history all seem to pale in terms of interest in 'gotta know what happened to that lady pilot'.  At least in terms of piquing the public's interest in the press on occasion, and perhaps in terms of the endearing publications offered about the mystery.  Even Elvis seems to rest in peace in the past decade or so, at least by comparison.

- Alternate aviation mysteries even pale - White Bird - itself probably far more important than Earhart's flight, and Paul Redfern's truly mysterious disappearance and some related intrigue laced 'survival' stories fade into the footnotes compared to the cottage industry that Earhart has become.

So we have this long-simmering semi-public yearning to "know" what became of the aviatrix.  I say 'semi-public' because the broader public only awakens and supports in much of any way when they hear something that sounds a lot like "Earhart has been found".  Otherwise, it seems to be we, the 'semi-public' who lurk in the shadows of places like TIGHAR (well, argue what one will, there ain't but one place where this kind of material and posting appears, like it or not) keep tugging at what we might see metaphorically as loose threads in an old sweater.  And we are guided on occasion in our discipline by those of keen intellect who might correct my use of "metaphorical" to "allegorical"  ;) - and if so, it is welcome as a reminder to be disciplined in one's thought and expression and lend the most possible credence to the effort.

*Ahem*

So here we are.  We have before us a field of various beliefs, and to-date, zero positive physical proof of where Earhart ended her last flight.  There are more 'camps' than I care to count - writers and researchers abound about lost at sea, blind-folded and shot by the Japanese, same - after being picked-up on Gardner by the same entity, spy / captured, crashed in jungles on islands far to the west of Howland, you name it.  It's out there and you can subscribe to one or all by way of interest, or if you've a mind to be firm in your belief, you can fully commit to one particular idea.  One of these - in whose parlor I now sit and write (allegorically) holds to 'testing the hypothesis' of a landing on Gardner, now Nikumaroro. 

What each of these have in common is a head personality that breathes life into the theory held by his own faction.  This is much the same throughout the 'industry', as I see it: it takes a Ric Gillespie, an Elgen Long or a Colin Cobb to sustain an organized interest in the various theories about Earhart's disappearance.  Make of each of these what you will - love 'em, hate 'em, treat them with indifference or listen to each and follow as you will - but know this: there would be little or no organized searching or real debate about this fascinating loss if not for them and their individual drive.

Hucksters?  Scientific investigators?  Modern Ahabs?

Judge as you will, caveat emptor.  I'm a social libertarian when it comes to this.  I personally see them as strongly the third category - "Ahabs" - protagonists who will pursue the rare whale, to the very depths in which the men can no longer breath, if necessary. 

Ahabs don't come cheap, or without pain; they commit creaking wooden vessels to open seas where monsters lurk, and their ships bear colorful crews - some of whom quietly carve their own coffins, others who blindly flail at the beast from flimsy boats, others who murmur mutiny due to the bruises of command, and still others who call to the crew to board a more promising vessel.  It's all in there, wherever you go.

I also see degrees of the second - investigators of a degree of scientific honesty; most seem to try hard to ensure scientific credibility is applied to their efforts, however flawed - or wanting, as some may see, that may be at times be in an imperfect world.  Others differ as they will, but I see a high degree of this within TIGHAR.  It is not and never will be perfect, and the promotional aspects that occur within that nest of course will offend some.  It ain't a pure world or pure process.

The first?  Huckster?  You judge for yourself, but I can see where the public may take the often sensational claim or viewpoint as highly promotional.  Is that a crime?  Take a look around your household and make an honest assessment of how you chose to purchase most of the things in your life and then ask yourself if you didn't listen to someone's pitch about nearly every one of them - that's how we get the word out and build a following.  I take it with a grain of salt: "no bucks, no Buck Rogers".

Taken as a whole we then have a competitive industry: each of these 'camps' vies for public support and affection in its own ways.  Generally, each argues as to why their own theories are more sound than the next one and each depends on the fickle public to buy its wares to support the cause of the individual Ahab.  'Ahab' in this sense is not entirely fair, because there are organizations behind at least some of these which are merely headed by an Ahab.  So it is with TIGHAR (and I hope Ric does not take offense at being 'labeled' an 'Ahab' here, but I do see him as one who will never let go of this quest until proof is found - either by himself or another).

So much for Jeff's view of 'the industry'.  What has the industry laid before us?

At the moment, we have before us a number of competing theories - call them "Alternatives to the Niku Hypothesis":

- There are, for instance, various forms of 'crashed and sank'; "Stratus", for example, which promises to lay bare whether Earhart 'crashed and sank' in a place and manner consistent with their beliefs, mainly as theorized by former TIGHAR contributor Gary LaPook.  Gary has excellent knowledge of celestial navigation and is a follower of Fred Noonan's career.  He is a very smart man with excellent mathematical and analytical skills to bolster his research.  Gary and Stratus, by information published on their site, believe some crucial points of fact have been overlooked that point specifically to a place in the ocean where Earhart can be found.  They are not revealing where that is, exactly, or precisely what the missing points are and how they apply - but that can be had by making a sufficient donation to the planned effort and signing a confidentiality agreement.  Presumably their theoretical resting place lies outside of the considerable "lawn" that was "mowed" by Nauticos up near Howland Island; or perhaps they see a 'gap' in something Nauticos reported, I'm not entirely sure.  The Nauticos effort was so thorough that we apparently don't need to look further there, but maybe Stratus sees a 'hole' others don't see, I'm not sure.  I like Gary and respect his intellect, and wish him and Stratus well - but at the end of the day they hold exactly what all others in this chase hold: an idea.

- We have also at least one entity out there believing that Earhart crashed in the jungles of East New Britain - far to the west of Howland.

- And for another, we have TIGHAR.  Uniquely focused on the idea that Earhart found herself at a loss as to landfall at Howland, but clinging to the advice of Noonan, followed a line of position along headings 157-337 degrees (one being the reverse of the other) to the SSE, finally, where after some time she may well have found Gardner island, as it lies somewhat near an extension of that line in that direction.

Does TIGHAR hold more than 'an idea'?

For some of us, yes.  Read these pages.

Whatever one thinks of what TIGHAR has found, two things set TIGHAR apart from the other camps, at least to-date:

- TIGHAR has gone to "the site" she believes marks the end of the flight and collected "things" that can be studied as they may relate to Earhart;

- TIGHAR provides a site for sharing and discussing these things.

I won't get into the criticisms some have of how those things happen, don't happen, or get treated - except to point to my comments above and consider them as you will.  I personally find value in the effort here as I remain fascinated, as apparently do many, by the loss of Earhart and how nature has kept the answer a secret for so long.

So I invite others to take up the spirit invited by Richie here and consider the mystery as you will.  It is an interesting dialogue; I can't tell you how to take the personalities - I like peace and pursuing curiosities, but all kinds tend to show up.

None of this answers the question that still burns in me, however: why are we so hell-bent on finding out what happened to Earhart?  Good question, I think (pats self on back) - and I think it has to do with the notion of 'the aviatrix'.  How can we allow Nungesser and Coli, and Redfern to molder in oblivion while we turn tide and coral back to find Earhart?  Sorry ladies, but the chauvinist that Earhart so despised steps in: from this man's point of view, I still feel like there is a lady in distress; she got in too deep - and we have to find her. 

A guy does that and I only look so long before having to admit 'dammit, he really did it'.  With a lady pilot, NEVER - it was a brave act, if foolish - and that the public hardly cared about her flight at the time until she was lost matters not: the same thing that drove interest then does now, perhaps with more fervor.  Noonan was there, yes, but he himself does not drive the visceral interest that Earhart does - at least in this breast.

Redfern, Nungesser and Coli and others like them still drive an interest, but it's not the same as Earhart.  This seems to be the fuel that the Ahabs become both fed and intoxicated by.  I dunno,  your call where you are concerned.

So yep, fresh start on existing ideas - and I guess any new ones worthy of picking at.  Win, lose or draw, this camp or another, let's go find the missing lady...
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: July 27, 2014, 12:05:47 PM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Will Hatchell

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2014, 01:56:46 PM »

Jeff,

I agree that we should and must look forward. That being said, I would also hope that the forum will once again become a forum for open debate of the very fine underwater photo analysis that Tim has done over the years, that is, unless there are as yet some legal constraints which must be observed? I would be most disappointed should the forum not welcome serious analysis and debate of all evidence, opinions, and theories – from all members – ultimately leading the the eventual resolution of AE and FN's fate (on Gardner Island) in the Pacific in 1937. I'm sure there are other members of this forum who would concur?
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JNev

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2014, 04:12:50 PM »

Jeff,

I agree that we should and must look forward. That being said, I would also hope that the forum will once again become a forum for open debate of the very fine underwater photo analysis that Tim has done over the years, that is, unless there are as yet some legal constraints which must be observed? I would be most disappointed should the forum not welcome serious analysis and debate of all evidence, opinions, and theories – from all members – ultimately leading the the eventual resolution of AE and FN's fate (on Gardner Island) in the Pacific in 1937. I'm sure there are other members of this forum who would concur?

I can't speak for TIGHAR, only myself.

I'm all for the 'open debate' of all 'fine' analyses.

That said, two things appear reasonable to wish for:

- 'Fine analysis' should rise to a reasonable standard and not just our strong feelings; that's not to discourage new ideas and directions to explore, as I see it, but to encourage a high personal bar when it comes to our assertions and claims; and

- In following that, maybe we can all strive to join in the spirit and more readily recognize a dead horse when we smell one. 

I think it's largely in our hands as contributors: do we want a free-for-all 'blog' where we can assert or detract at-will and bitch ad nauseam when we disagree, or do we want to promote a more productive academic discussion, more worthy of a 'forum'?

If those are reasonably met and the latter nature of discussion is desired per my second point, then you surely have a champion in me. 

I 'look forward' to such as this.
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2014, 08:12:53 AM »

If I may offer an analogy:

Managing this Forum is a bit like building a railroad.  Our purpose is to lay down track that will lead to our desired destination.  Some lines of track begin to look like sidings that will lead nowhere.  In the past, as foreman of the construction crew, I have shut down work on those tracks.  Perhaps it would be better to run a looser railroad and let people build tracks that go off in unconventional directions.  Maybe they'll find a way to the destination that we haven't thought of.  Or maybe their tracks will lead into territory so weird that  only the weird will ride them.

The main thing I want to avoid is confusion about which tracks TIGHAR considers to be the Main Line.  I'm not sure how to do that.  Suggestions welcome.
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JNev

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2014, 08:44:20 AM »

Good points, Ric. 

Although I favor a serious 'mainline' for the railroad, I suddenly see a lot of value in your suggestion, and maybe that is in the spirit that Will suggested.  So maybe in the end it would be more productive to 'let it fly' more, if we can afford the digital space.  Seems like we should be able to.

Will that affect the 'mainline'?  As I think about it now and what you've just said, I don't really think it will detract, at least not so badly - if at all.  Maybe the good will of it will encourage more to participate.  And as more do join in at a basic level of discussion perhaps, more might go on to grow into the more productive discussions.

How to govern the thing?  People can choose what discussions to join, or not join - let them; the serious matters will grow on their own as a pattern of serious scholarship should be attractive and evident where the serious, more productive topics are emerge; if some wither, they speak for themselves.  I see it as a form of "natural selection", if you will, rather than the gardener imposing the shears so much.

That means not worrying about pinching off the discussions that aren't seen as so productive, or worrying too much about how a particular point or discussion 'makes us look': we can tolerate a lot, and the serious discussions speak for themselves.  People by and large can judge well enough what TIGHAR sees as seriously productive, or not so much, especially given time and free rein to explore.  I believe we can trust that process, and lessons learned from the past should tell us that some get upset at seeing too much steerage applied (strings closed, etc.) and maybe the distractions that come from that are worse than simply allowing things to run more of a natural course.  And of course the rules of civility must always apply.

So I favor your idea, and I hope some of my thoughts might help.  It seems to me that TIGHAR's main positions have matured enough that a lot can be well tolerated here, and we may just grow from a move in this direction.
- Jeff Neville

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« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 08:46:56 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2014, 09:02:01 AM »

Topics that get off track could be split from the previous topic and the off track posts could be redirected to the Extraneous Exchanges section with a post added indicating what got it off track. If they find an interesting route or find a way back on track, then that line could be moved to the appropriate section.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2014, 09:06:43 AM »

Topics that get off track could be split from the previous topic and the off track posts could be redirected to the Extraneous Exchanges section with a post added indicating what got it off track. If they find an interesting route or find a way back on track, then that line could be moved to the appropriate section.

All well and good, let's just remember that the "conductors" of this particular railroad are all volunteers, with the exception of Ric, and moderating the forum should not be Ric's full-time job. Nor should it be any volunteer's full time job. So are we capable of some self-policing?

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

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2014, 09:19:09 AM »

Topics that get off track could be split from the previous topic and the off track posts could be redirected to the Extraneous Exchanges section with a post added indicating what got it off track. If they find an interesting route or find a way back on track, then that line could be moved to the appropriate section.

I like the idea of a separate section for lines of inquiry that divert from TIGHAR's main line but sending them to Extraneous Exchanges (aka Oblivion) may imply prejudice that we don't intend.  How about if we created a section called Other Ideas and describe it as "Lines of inquiry not officially endorsed by TIGHAR." or "Whales not hunted by Ahab"  ?
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JNev

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2014, 09:27:16 AM »

How about "Alternate Lines of Inquiry" created under the Earhart panel?

We've had some suggest that anything other than 'General Discussion' is oblivion, but that's not so - it is merely that all sub-panels cannot be "#1" under Earhart; agreed that "Extraneous" might bury too deeply, so I would favor "Alternate..." under the "Earhart" panel - and helping people realize we're not burying anything.

Can do in a heartbeat if desired.
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2014, 09:33:59 AM »

Alternate Lines of Inquiry described as Lines of inquiry not officially endorsed by TIGHAR.

So let it be written.  So let it be done.
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JNev

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #12 on: July 28, 2014, 09:48:33 AM »

Aye, Cap'n Ahab, 'tis done!  Thar she blows...
- Jeff Neville

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Paul March

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #13 on: July 28, 2014, 09:49:11 AM »

Alternate Lines of Inquiry described as Lines of inquiry not officially endorsed by TIGHAR.

Understanding the impossibility of pleasing everyone, such a proposal seems very reasonable.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 09:55:13 AM by Jeffrey Neville »
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Lets Look Forward
« Reply #14 on: July 28, 2014, 09:51:57 AM »

Posting or starting topics in the appropriate section is something we should self-moderate more. I save my “favorites” link to open to the Main Index of the forum instead of opening directly to the popular General Discussion section. 

I like the analogy of the railroad. It would be an interesting railroad map that shows how the Seven Site was zeroed in on, starting from Niku I, and how the area of the underwater search was arrived at and narrowed. The map probably has spurs, dead ends and reopened lines. The converging lines are the really interesting ones but you never know what someone might find it one of the spurs or “dead ends”.
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« Last Edit: July 28, 2014, 09:56:34 AM by Greg Daspit »
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