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Author Topic: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?  (Read 86414 times)

Mark Petersen

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #30 on: July 09, 2010, 04:13:58 PM »

I'm sorry guys I just can't keep it a secret any longer.  My book about the disappearance that chronicles the efforts of TIGHAR is completed and will be hitting the book stands soon.  James Cameron has bought the movie rights and plans to Direct and Produce a $400M 3-D epic about the lost flight and disappearance.  My personal Gulfstream G650 is due to arrive any day.  Thanks guys!  :)
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Alan Williams

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #31 on: July 09, 2010, 04:26:01 PM »

 Yeah you go! ---  :D ;) ;D
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #32 on: July 09, 2010, 04:35:05 PM »

Hey, hey, Marty - now you know you put words in my mouth there. 

Just trying to help you clarify what you were saying.   :P


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I simply believe there is a fascinating/captivating story to be told based upon and following from Ric's brilliant work and I'm saying the story of people like you and other TIGHAR members working ingeniously and tirelessly to unravel the mystery and the story of the Niku effort/discoveries would indeed make a riveting book for the general non-technical reader.

" ... and then Fr. Moleski sat down for another four-hour session at the keyboard.  With each keystroke, the conviction grew stronger until he was crying aloud, 'The gidgies!  The gidgies!  Who can decode the meaning of the gidgies?'

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(Speaking of which, I would enjoy reading the diaries of your investigation into the mystery of the bones in Fiji.)

I've read and re-read them many times.  The findings are in "Bones II" and "WPHC Archives" (just expanded last week--see the big table at the bottom of the page).

A "compelling narrative" they're not.  It's a shaggy dog story.  Roger and I eliminated some places from consideration but (so far as we can tell) didn't crack the case.  Now, if you're the kind of person who likes decoding filing systems, then "WPHC Archives" was written with you in mind.   :D

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And, the more I've thought about it, I believe you would be the one to write it.

I'm a believer, but I don't believe everything I hear.  

I believe Ric is the master storyteller for TIGHAR; I'm not worthy to replace the cartridge in his printer.  

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Just imagine the service you would be doing for the whole effort if you wrote a technically/scientifically accurate work that presented the TIGHAR Niku hypothesis in a compelling "story telling" fashion. Wouldn't such a book be not unlike a two hour television special that, again, "told the story"? And, I wouldn't say one wouldn't have to stretch to tell the story of the odyssey of the evolution and pursuit of the Niku hypothesis as a "dramatic narrative". It simply already is a dramatic narrative.

There may actually be several books in TIGHAR's system from those who have paid their dues and shed their blood on Niku--especially if the court of public opinion becomes persuaded that TIGHAR has found Amelia's last resting place.

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Who knows, maybe in a year or two I'll be in an airport or at a bus stop and see multiple copies of your book proudly displayed as the most popular book in the nation. Just think of the additional new TIGHAR members and additional funding that would come from such a "popular" book.   :o

Strange things do happen: "The race is not always to the swift nor the battle to the strong--but that's the way to bet."  I'm betting on Ric and the other full-blooded TIGHARs myself.  I see myself as sitting in the grandstands, watching them play the game.
LTM,

           Marty
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Alan Williams

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #33 on: July 09, 2010, 04:55:06 PM »

Hey, Marty --- I've recognized from day-one that you were a key player that kept the AE/FN/Niku story information archived and flowing. Although Ric is the undisputed Merlin-in-a-cape behind the black curtains, little ultimately happens without organizing information for the public and presenting it in a public forum. Hey, let's write the Grand Unified TIGHAR/Niku Odyssey together  :o !
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 04:56:46 PM by Alan Williams »
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Hilary Christine Olson

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #34 on: July 09, 2010, 08:29:27 PM »

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The findings are in "Bones II" and "WPHC Archives" (just expanded last week--see the big table at the bottom of the pageA "compelling narrative" they're not.  It's a shaggy dog story.  Roger and I eliminated some places from consideration but (so far as we can tell) didn't crack the case.  Now, if you're the kind of person who likes decoding filing systems, then "WPHC Archives" was written with you in mind.[ /quote]




JUst my 2 cents seeing as I just read both a couple of days ago  ......all of them..... every word ,,,,They are well compiled and well written.  Thankyou for making them  very interesting reading.  Hilary
HCO
 
« Last Edit: July 09, 2010, 08:32:41 PM by Hilary Christine Olson »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #35 on: July 09, 2010, 08:38:59 PM »

I've recognized from day-one that you were a key player that kept the AE/FN/Niku story information archived and flowing.

I'm like the guard at the gate of the Emerald City, except not as handsome, articulate, or well-dressed.

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Although Ric is the undisputed Merlin-in-a-cape behind the black curtains ...

He da man.  No Ric, no TIGHAR.

Pat Thrasher--she da woman.  She built the website and produced TIGHAR Tracks--among many other things.

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... little ultimately happens without organizing information for the public and presenting it in a public forum. Hey, let's write the Grand Unified TIGHAR/Niku Odyssey together  :o !

We're living the odyssey here, one post at a time.   :)
LTM,

           Marty
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #36 on: July 10, 2010, 05:50:28 AM »

Along the same lines, what is the most compelling evidence that the 7-site is the site of the castaway remains as mentioned by Gallagher?

The Seven Site was clearly a castaway camp but, for me, the most compelling evidence that it was the LAST castaway camp (the place where Gallagher found the bones) is the presence of what we have come to call "The Skull Hole" - a depression in the ground which, when excavated, was found to be two holes.  There was a small original hole within a much larger later hole.  That is consistent with the historical record that says the skull was initially buried by the islander work party that found it and later exhumed by Gallagher.  It's easy to imagine Gallagher asking, "Now where was it that Koata buried the skull?" and one of the workers saying, "It was right around here someplace."

Another factor that argues for the Seven Site being the final camp is the fact that the artifacts we're finding there appear to be essential items and not the sort of thing one would leave behind when moving to a new camp.

What is the single biggest evidence or gut feel that points to the 7-site?

There is no one big piece of evidence.  It's the preponderance of many big and varied pieces of evidence that make the site so compelling.

What is the compelling evidence that would suggest a site other than the 7-site for the castaway remains?

None that I can think of.

What unanswered questions remain about the 7-site (other than DNA evidence)?   

I'd say the biggest question is whether Fred was there too.

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Mark Petersen

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2010, 01:32:42 PM »

The Seven Site was clearly a castaway camp but, for me, the most compelling evidence that it was the LAST castaway camp (the place where Gallagher found the bones) is the presence of what we have come to call "The Skull Hole" - a depression in the ground which, when excavated, was found to be two holes.  There was a small original hole within a much larger later hole.  That is consistent with the historical record that says the skull was initially buried by the islander work party that found it and later exhumed by Gallagher.  It's easy to imagine Gallagher asking, "Now where was it that Koata buried the skull?" and one of the workers saying, "It was right around here someplace."

Another factor that argues for the Seven Site being the final camp is the fact that the artifacts we're finding there appear to be essential items and not the sort of thing one would leave behind when moving to a new camp.

Ric thanks for chiming in, you've spent more time on Niku than anyone (post PISS colony that is) and you've also invested the time to become the most familiar with the history, artifacts, theories, etc. so in my mind you're the person with the most complete perspective.  So it's good to hear your viewpoints on these questions. 

I agree that the presence of Skull Hole is pretty compelling.  If I recall the first Niku expeditions did a full excavation of the hole and found nothing worthy of burial.  Which is what makes it so easy for me to believe that it is location of the skull.  After all who would go through the trouble to dig two holes in 100 degree heat and then leave them empty. 

Essential artifacts, especially the knife are the clinchers.  I know that a lot of work must have gone into the knife to tie it to directly to AE or FN and I assume that the connection is too tangential to have become logged in the historical record.  Has any work gone on that would preclude the knife as having come from the coasties?

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There is no one big piece of evidence.  It's the preponderance of many big and varied pieces of evidence that make the site so compelling.

Do you have any plans to do a recap of all of the evidence from all of the Niku expeditions up through the Niku 6?  I think a lot of newbies like myself would be interested in getting the bigger picture. 

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I'd say the biggest question is whether Fred was there too.

Definitely an intriguing, but sobering thought.  If we were to conjecture for a moment that both had lived in the camp and Fred expired first while AE was still in a reasonable state of health.  It would make logical sense to bury FN somewhere fairly close (he was a fairly big guy), but not too close.  If that were the case, you would think that AE would have marked the grave with a pile of coral rocks or something.  With that in mind would it be useful to perform a fairly detailed surface survey of the area surrounding the campsite?  It sounds like a lot of hard work clearing brush, but it might yield even more than a smoking gun.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2010, 02:30:53 PM »

Essential artifacts, especially the knife are the clinchers.  I know that a lot of work must have gone into the knife to tie it to directly to AE or FN and I assume that the connection is too tangential to have become logged in the historical record.  Has any work gone on that would preclude the knife as having come from the coasties?

That particular type of knife - an Imperial Cutlery Easy-Open two-bladed, bone handled jack knife - was made from 1930 to 1945 so we can't preclude it from having come from one of the Coasties.  What argues for the kniofe being attributable to the castaway is that it appears to have been deliberately and crudely bashed apart to extract the blades.  I can think of reasons for a castaway to do something like that (i.e. use the blades to make spears for catching fish) but I can't think why a Coasties would do something like that.

Do you have any plans to do a recap of all of the evidence from all of the Niku expeditions up through the Niku 6?  I think a lot of newbies like myself would be interested in getting the bigger picture.

I plan to write a follow-up to Finding Amelia that will do exactly that.  It will be a big project.

If we were to conjecture for a moment that both had lived in the camp and Fred expired first while AE was still in a reasonable state of health.  It would make logical sense to bury FN somewhere fairly close (he was a fairly big guy), but not too close.  If that were the case, you would think that AE would have marked the grave with a pile of coral rocks or something.  With that in mind would it be useful to perform a fairly detailed surface survey of the area surrounding the campsite?  It sounds like a lot of hard work clearing brush, but it might yield even more than a smoking gun.

First you'd need to define the campsite - which we pretty much did on this last trip.
Then you'd need to clear the bush from the surrounding area - but how much of the surrounding area?  Ten meters? Twenty meters?  A hundred meters?
We've done a lot of scouting around in the local area and have found nothing that looks like it might be a grave marker - except - come to think of it - the "G" feature I found in 2001.  It's shown and described on the last page of TIGHAR Tracks Vol. 17 No. 8.  It wasn't a pile of coral rocks but it WAS a marker on the surface of the ground that somebody spent a lot of time making and for which we've never come up with a plausible explanation.  We call it the "G" feature but it's not a G.  It just looks sort of like a G but we have no idea what it's really supposed to be.  It sure doesn't look like an F or an N or an FN .. but still .. it's an unexplained mark on the ground. It never crossed my mind that it might mark the spot where something was buried.  Now that that bell has been rung I feel pretty stupid.  The feature was gone in 2007, apparently obliterated when scaevola growth churned the ground, but i know I could re-locate the spot again.  

Why is it that these forehead-slapping moments always happen AFTER we get back? If I could rewind time back one month it would be easy to excavate the spot to confirm or deny the hypothesis that it marks the spot where something was buried.  Aaaargh!  Anyway, thank you Mark for starting the chain of thought that led to this little revelation.  It's definitely something to put on the list of things to check out on the NEXT trip.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2010, 02:45:34 PM »

First look at the pdf and the feature seems flat.  Somehow i think a western person marking a grave would use a cairn or cross marker from wood.  Would it not be harder work for a casterway to fashion a 'g' symbol from collected white coral?

That saying its based upon western beliefs at my PC in 15C evening temps.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2010, 03:10:18 PM »

You're right.  The feature was flat. There are very few large slabs of coral on that part of the island with which to build a cairn.  It's all coral rubble.  If she made a marker of wood it would rot away within just a few years.  In 2007 Tom King dropped a pencil at the Seven Site.  I found it on this trip with a metal detector. The metal eraser band and the graphite were there.  The wood was completely gone.

But here's another thought. Would AE, an atheist, mark a grave with a cross?  Maybe, out of respect for Fred's nominal Catholicism. Then again, Earhart was into astrology and the paranormal (very fashionable at that time).   Any chance that the shape we call the G has some sort of significance in that world?

Conversely, might the shape have significance in traditional Gilbertese culture, in which case the feature would be most likely attributable to the later colonists.
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2010, 03:16:28 PM »

"G" for grave?  "G" for George?
LTM,

Bruce
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2010, 03:19:39 PM »

Rather than thinking of grave markers maybe we should be thinking of how much effort it would take to dig a grave and mark it when you are possibly short on food, water and health?

Would it be more likely that AE? would place FN? in some form of depression and cover the body with coral, wood, vegitation or other handy items?
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Jason R Baze

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2010, 04:48:07 PM »

Possibly an Astrological Glyph or symbol indicating birth or death month? Interesting Just saw also that the letter G is highly regarded in Free Mason teachings also
« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 04:51:25 PM by Jason R Baze »
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Mark Petersen

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Re: Gardner: Most compelling argument? Biggest missing piece?
« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2010, 06:24:52 PM »

That particular type of knife - an Imperial Cutlery Easy-Open two-bladed, bone handled jack knife - was made from 1930 to 1945 so we can't preclude it from having come from one of the Coasties.  What argues for the kniofe being attributable to the castaway is that it appears to have been deliberately and crudely bashed apart to extract the blades.  I can think of reasons for a castaway to do something like that (i.e. use the blades to make spears for catching fish) but I can't think why a Coasties would do something like that.

Yes a spear seems essential and the most logical way to catch fish, especially in the lagoon.  

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I plan to write a follow-up to Finding Amelia that will do exactly that.  It will be a big project.

I look forward to reading it.  If I recall, Finding Amelia ended with the discovery of the skeleton on Niku and it would make for very interesting reading to read a recap of the detective work that has followed.

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First you'd need to define the campsite - which we pretty much did on this last trip.
Then you'd need to clear the bush from the surrounding area - but how much of the surrounding area?  Ten meters? Twenty meters?  A hundred meters?
We've done a lot of scouting around in the local area and have found nothing that looks like it might be a grave marker - except - come to think of it - the "G" feature I found in 2001.  It's shown and described on the last page of TIGHAR Tracks Vol. 17 No. 8.  It wasn't a pile of coral rocks but it WAS a marker on the surface of the ground that somebody spent a lot of time making and for which we've never come up with a plausible explanation.  We call it the "G" feature but it's not a G.  It just looks sort of like a G but we have no idea what it's really supposed to be.  It sure doesn't look like an F or an N or an FN .. but still .. it's an unexplained mark on the ground. It never crossed my mind that it might mark the spot where something was buried.  Now that that bell has been rung I feel pretty stupid.  The feature was gone in 2007, apparently obliterated when scaevola growth churned the ground, but i know I could re-locate the spot again.  

The "G spot" is very intriguing (no pun intended).  It reminds me of the movie National Treasure (who will be the first among us to figure out the meaning?).  I agree with others that the most logical burial site would be a depression (probably shallow) which could then be filled in with coral rubble or other debris.  If the G was meant as a grave marker, it might not mark the exact spot but instead a reference spot in a neighboring clearing that can easily be seen so that the grave could be relocated.  

Even if the marking was not left by AE and was instead left by the colonists it may have meaning relevant to this project.  Perhaps it was a symbol left by the early colonists marking something relevant like the bones of a white man?  :)

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Why is it that these forehead-slapping moments always happen AFTER we get back? If I could rewind time back one month it would be easy to excavate the spot to confirm or deny the hypothesis that it marks the spot where something was buried.  Aaaargh!  Anyway, thank you Mark for starting the chain of thought that led to this little revelation.  It's definitely something to put on the list of things to check out on the NEXT trip.

Glad to help :)   One question though, for it to be relevant it had to be a feature from 1937 or the early colony days that remained intact until you rediscovered it in 2001, a roughly 60 year time span.  If the scaevola is active enough to churn the site and remove the feature by 2007 (6 years) it seems as though it probably would have removed it during the first 60 years before you first came across it.  

« Last Edit: July 11, 2010, 07:41:57 PM by Mark Petersen »
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