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Author Topic: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)  (Read 160776 times)

Leslie G Kinney

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #135 on: June 01, 2015, 03:30:07 PM »

I didn’t think my post would be received with such rancor.  It was meant to be a casual summation of our January Mili Atoll trip which was being discussed on this forum without a proper foundation.  But, I’ll be honest. I was annoyed with the “folklore” comment.  Labeling the three eyewitness accounts as “folklore” irked me. Describing the account as folklore carries a message their statements can be discarded as being hearsay or deprecating.  If Ric’s standards of “folklore” and “eye witness” testimony are interchangeable, I am afraid hundreds of thousands of criminal court conviction based solely on “eye witness” testimony should be immediately appealed. Using the comment, “Is this part of the story,” conveys the same message. Some synonyms for story are: tale, yarns, spiels. 

I said: “The plane was dragged over rails from the north beach area to a spot where it could be loaded onto a small barge on the island’s protected south beach.”  I should have prefaced that statement with “In my professional opinion.”  I should have known better.

Well, here is my professional opinion behind that comment. We found three small steel rail axels each about four feet long on this small island. There are identical axels to be found on Jaluit and Mili, Mili.  According to the locals, the axels can also be found on several other atolls where the Japanese had a military and commercial presence.  In their previously structured state, the axels supported carts or cradles used to haul goods over rails. Knowledgeable locals were questioned about the axels at length. They said they always were on the island as long as they could remember.  (One of the locals was 62) On a trip to the island last year, Dick Spink, diving a couple of hundred yards in front of where in our opinion, the barge had been anchored, discovered a single rail imbedded  in the seabed. He could not free it.  On this recent trip, we spent an afternoon diving for this rail with no success.   No axels were found on any nearby islands.  We did find several of the axels on Mili, Mili.  If you hold to this theory, the question you will surely ask is why were the axels not loaded back on the barge with the rails? I don’t know.  Speculating, I’d guess If 40 young men accompanied this small barge to some other location, maybe there wasn’t room.

According to NARA records and Morison’s History of U.S. Naval Operations in World War Two, Volume VII, there were 26 U.S. aircraft lost over Mili Atoll.  There were 11 Japanese aircraft reported shot down over Mili Atoll. Almost all Japanese aircraft were destroyed on the ground at Mili Mili.  None of the aircraft were reported lost anywhere near this small island. We queried the locals about the known island wrecks (they are confident they know them all). They said there were none within five miles of this island.  Still, the official reports and the locals could be in error.   

Concerning Goerner’s Marshall Island views, Goerner succumbed to the views of Eric Sussman, a Peace Corps volunteer who was assigned to Enajet Island for two years in the sixties.  Sussman corresponded with Goerner for over 20 years.  Sussman convinced Goerner, Earhart had not landed at Mili Atoll.  Sussman never traveled anywhere near Mili, Mili.  If you read Sussman’s letters, they are filled with conjecture and personal opinion.  He did not interview the three locals who witnessed the twin engine plane landing in 1937.  In fact, his letters only describe interviewing a few locals who might have been old enough to recall such an event.  Sussman naively makes no mention that most of the locals living at Enajet and at Majuro in the late sixties had relocated from other atolls after World War Two.

Considering his research was conducted during pre-internet days, Goerner work was outstanding.  But Goerner had an ego.  He wrote disparaging letters to newspapers and reporters attempting to discredit the authors you have mentioned in your links.  Regardless of what Goerner wrote to Rob Gerth in 1989, Goerner later wrote to Ric in March 1990, and to Ed Barnes from Life Magazine in October 1991, that he didn’t believe the Phoenix Island theory. Then, literally on his death bed, Goerner recants and says Earhart landed in the Phoenix Group but was taken away by the Japanese. Perhaps the cancer was too much. 

Andrew asked: “how do you know it doesn't match Japanese manufactured material?”
Answer: This should be doable.  I found in a formerly classified NARA documents, that World War Two era Japanese aircraft aluminum was substantially different than aluminum manufactured in the United States in the 1930’s and 40’s. Those documents detail how the composition was metallurgically different from U.S. aluminum.

By the way, it has been reported Hooven recanted his earlier Phoenix convictions shortly before his death and said he believe Earhart had come down at Mili Atoll.  However, there is no written attribution for this statement.

I am planning on returning to Saipan this August to look for specific evidence relating to Earhart and Noonan.  Dick Spink will be accompanying me on this trip.  Our chances of success are not good.  But it’s one of the last leads that must be done. 

I am currently writing a book on the Earhart disappearance focusing on the Government’s long standing attempt to keep the Earhart mystery just that – a mystery.  I am not going to rehash what has been previously done.  There are some fine books out there, including Ric’s. I am not interested in making money.  Earhart is ancient history for those buying books these days. I do plan on putting every document I possess on the internet for easy review.  At this time, I have no intentions of sharing documents.

I am always open to suggestions.  If Ric or anyone has the need to contact me privately, I am sure you can find my email address on the web or through the mods on this forum. I would be glad to answer your questions. Or, contact Ron Bright, although proceeding me by 10 years, and I didn’t stay long, Ron and I were both civilian agents of ONI/NIS/NCIS.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2015, 03:45:38 PM by Leslie G Kinney »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #136 on: June 01, 2015, 04:10:18 PM »

If Ric’s standards of “folklore” and “eye witness” testimony are interchangeable, I am afraid hundreds of thousands of criminal court conviction based solely on “eye witness” testimony should be immediately appealed.

Not a bad idea.  So far The Innocence Project alone has used DNA to exonerate 329 innocent people who were convicted on eyewitness misidentification.  These victims of the myth of "eyewitness testimony" served an average of 14 years behind bars before being proved innocent.

At this time, I have no intentions of sharing documents.

I think that tells us what we need to know.  Thanks.
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #137 on: June 02, 2015, 09:31:40 PM »

I believe Ric’s reference to “folklore” and “eye witness” should really be taken as anecdotal information and should be taken as such.

Ted Campbell
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Dan Swift

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #138 on: June 03, 2015, 09:37:41 AM »

I am sorry!  My mind is just too simplistic I guess.  It is not physically possible (fuel) for the Electra to have gone to Mili after it was heard and known to be so close to Howland.  It would have had to have gone to Mili first.  But if it crash landed on Mili, it wouldn't have been heard on the radio at Howland.  What am I missing?  How could this even be considered?  Someone help my simply mind.  Crash and sank is the only other option.  And that only if you believe the post lost radio calls were a hoax...all of them. 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #139 on: June 04, 2015, 06:26:32 AM »

Now, now, Dan ... you know better than to try and apply logic and facts to some of the competing Earhart theories.

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
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JNev

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #140 on: June 04, 2015, 07:28:21 AM »

Somehow I have a feeling that if Earhart could see all that goes on in her name today, she'd think most of us were crazy.
- Jeff Neville

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Monty Fowler

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #141 on: June 04, 2015, 07:38:16 AM »

Just so, Mr. Neville sir.

Billy Currigan said it best: "God is great, beer is good, and people are crazy."

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP
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Dan Swift

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #142 on: June 04, 2015, 09:22:03 AM »

Sorry Monty!  I guess I lost my...'simple mind'. 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #144 on: June 26, 2015, 02:20:48 PM »

Well, good for them, but as TIGHAR has learned, splashy press coverage is a long way from, "We solved the mystery."

If they can show some promising metallurgical and paint residue analysis, this will start to look nominally interesting.

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

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #145 on: June 26, 2015, 02:34:47 PM »

I've decided to hold out until someone can show me a serial number on a real part found somewhere, or DNA from remains, etc.

My neck is a bit sore from following the press this far.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #146 on: June 29, 2015, 10:27:30 AM »

Interesting Zero fragment - looks like orangish red oxide primer under Ami-iro grayish paint. Which I have discussed before in this thread. Here's the visual aid: http://colesaircraft.com/collections/most-popular-gallery-ron-cole-aviation-art/products/japanese-a6m3-model-32-zero-relic-display-13-x-19-olive-gray-paint-ron-cole

LTM,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 ECSP

P.S. - the same artist also has an outstanding painting of our favorite Lockheed. Not sure I agree with the pose, but, either way, it's very, very good. I may be ordering one soon.
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
« Last Edit: June 30, 2015, 08:11:53 AM by Monty Fowler »
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JNev

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #147 on: June 29, 2015, 11:22:23 AM »

My gosh what people won't seek out and collect... who'd a thunk it???
- Jeff Neville

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Bob Smith

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #148 on: June 29, 2015, 04:04:56 PM »

The above picture of Spink with the dust cover: the cover looks a little large to fit the Electra. And I don't remember seeing any pictures of the Electra with a dust cover on it! I may be wrong.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Dust cover and cover plate (Richard Spink, Mili Atoll)
« Reply #149 on: June 29, 2015, 04:06:47 PM »

The above picture of Spink with the dust cover: the cover looks a little large to fit the Electra. And I don't remember seeing any pictures of the Electra with a dust cover on it! I may be wrong.

I couldn't find any, either, when this topic first came up.

There are Lockheeds with a different gear design that do have hub caps but, as far as I can tell, all of the 10s had the double-strut like Amelia's.
LTM,

           Marty
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