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Author Topic: October 1937 exploration  (Read 77560 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #30 on: June 29, 2010, 03:17:39 PM »

My gut feeling is the leaders of the search were too caught up in the belief she landed at sea "so whats the point of looking further"

It's a bit more complicated than that.  As I explained in Finding Amelia, Colorado's search had focused on the Phoenix Group for good reasons but the battleship's CO, Captain Wilhelm Friedel, was under pressure to get headed back home to the U.S. west coast.  Friedel had 196 NROTC cadets aboard and federal law prohibited the Navy from keeping the kids at sea more than 60 days.  The CNO was all over him to get out of there. The aircraft carrier Lexington was on its way to take over the search and and it was expected that Lexington would resume the search of the Phoenix Group, but Friedel insisted that the islands had been thoroughly searched.  Lexington's officers already had a plan drawn up to search vast swaths of open ocean with planes in line abreast formation.  They were happy not to have to mess with the Phoenix Group and, instead, concentrated their search north and west of Howland.
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Michael HALL

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2010, 03:18:06 PM »

Yes its on the main site, sorry way too much info to go digging but if i come across it later I will post the links.

This brings me back to my heory that AE and FN where long time expired by october as yes there were tracks but no sign of life.

I still question where they would of slept as i do not see sleeping on the ground as being even remotely possible taking into account the crabs. I wonder if they built some sort of Hammock which was later used by new inhabitants for material in other structures.
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Michael HALL

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2010, 03:21:54 PM »

Cant wait to get my copy, I think it will answer many of my outstanding questions.

But from what you have just posted, my thoughts come back to the biggest failure in land and sea search of the time. And I do think there is little excuse for them not to have been found and found alive. But sadly we can not change history.
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Alan Williams

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #33 on: June 29, 2010, 03:39:03 PM »

Ric's book is brilliant - thoroughly researched and thoroughly compelling. Reading the book you'll understand how the loss and search became riddled with misinformation, casual attention to detail, presumption... then the covering to hide presumption, failure to effectively communicate, and ultimately wild proclamations without basis. To me the book is really a study in how systems fail.

I find it entirely amusing when reading something like an historic interview where a key player is saying, "Well, forty years later I can say we probably searched as well as we possibly could have. We made all the right decisions." Well, either they really believed that or clearly they had learned to believe it. WHAT ELSE would they say?...
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 03:41:30 PM by Alan Williams »
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Mark Petersen

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #34 on: June 29, 2010, 03:51:25 PM »

WHAT ELSE would they say?...

Indeed.  Who wants to go down in history as the person who missed the prime opportunity to save Amelia Earhart?  But if Ric is successful at finding the smoking gun, that is exactly how they will be remembered. 

I have no doubt that had GP been in one of the planes from the Colorado, the overflight of Niku would have been longer and any "Signs of Recent Habitation" would have been thoroughly investigated. 
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Alan Williams

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #35 on: June 29, 2010, 04:27:04 PM »

History, particularly recent history, is riddled with voices of reason saying something like, "You've interpreted the problem incorrectly. What you're suggesting is a step in the wrong direction. Let's do what we know has worked in the past." And guess what? Even when the voices of reason are proved to have been right, are they retroactively vindicated? Not at all. Unfortunately, not at all.

When Ric and staff does find the smoking gun, even though Ric thoroughly, thoroughly documented what went wrong and how they could have probably found her while still alive. It will simply be reported that, "Well, too bad the original searchers didn't know what we know now. Yes, Ric and TIGHAR have stumbled upon the remains." I believe Ric and TIGHAR will get well earned and deserved recognition, but I don't believe the extent of the failure of the original bumbled search will be revealed.
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 04:19:54 AM by Alan Williams »
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Michael HALL

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #36 on: June 29, 2010, 05:43:47 PM »

Wow - looks like my thread here has caught many peoples attention 35 replies and counting ;)

Do I win a prize?  ;D
« Last Edit: June 29, 2010, 05:46:12 PM by Michael HALL »
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Chris Johnson

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #37 on: June 30, 2010, 02:55:06 AM »


If you look through the site you will see that TIGHAR has photographic evidence of tracks leading to the Lagoon and Windward Shore from the Seven Site.

Eh?  I hadn't heard this before (my apologies for playing catchup).  I checked the FAQ but didn't see mention of footprints.  By site do you mean the Forum or elsewhere on the website? 

Link for your information;

http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Research/Bulletins/21_RecentHab/21_RecentHab.html
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #38 on: June 30, 2010, 04:50:00 AM »

I love the last line in that Research Bulletin I wrote in February 2000.
"In any event, this part of the atoll clearly merits further attention."

Yeah.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #39 on: June 30, 2010, 06:46:59 AM »

Do we know why the seven site clearing is like it is? As opposed to being covered by bush.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #40 on: June 30, 2010, 07:54:01 AM »

Do we know why the seven site clearing is like it is? As opposed to being covered by bush.

LOL!!  Yeah, we know. We busted ass for three days clearing the bush.  Every time we return to the site we have to start over, cutting and hauling out the dense bush that grows back between expeditions. It's brutal, dangerous work with chainsaws and pneumatic loppers (powered with scuba tanks) in 100° heat. The worst part is dragging the cut bush out to the lagoon and ocean shore.

Aerial photography from 1937 and 1938 shows that site was open forest then. The trees were later cut down and coconuts were planted, but the planting failed and the area grew up to dense bush.
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Alan Williams

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #41 on: June 30, 2010, 09:03:11 AM »

Hey, Ric! I've noticed Stihl is one of TIGHAR's sponsors and sure enough I've seen some Stihl chainsaws in several photos. Hey, take me with you on the next expedition! ...In addition to several degrees including computer science and geography w/minor in anthropology, senior roles in several technologies including air photo interpretation, GIS/GPS (geodetic GPS), systems & database administration, familiarity with small engines/all types of workshop tools and equipment and similar and having seen a lot of ocean beaches surfing ...I'm one heck of a good woodsman with my Stihl chainsaws and similar equipment!  ;D
« Last Edit: June 30, 2010, 09:13:49 AM by Alan Williams »
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Michael HALL

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #42 on: June 30, 2010, 09:10:46 AM »

Hey, Ric! I've noticed Stihl is one of TIGHAR's sponsors and sure enough I've seen some Stihl chainsaws in several photos. Hey, take me with you on the next expedition! ...In addition to several degrees including computer science and geography w/minor in anthropology, senior rolls in several technologies including air photo interpretation, GIS/GPS (geodetic GPS), systems & database administration, familiarity with small engines and similar and having seen a lot of ocean beaches surfing ...I'm one heck of a good woodsman with my Stihl chainsaws and similar equipment!  ;D

LOL join the queue I think ;)

I can do absolutely none of the above impressive stuff but can make an awsome English breakfast fry up, do I qualify? ;)

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #43 on: June 30, 2010, 09:16:13 AM »

You guys both sound like good prospective victi...I mean...team members.  You'll want to sign up for the next TIGHAR Aviation Archaeology Field School (a pre-requisite to selection for the team). We won't be doing one this year.  Not enough time.  But we're planning one for September of 2011, probably in Utah.
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Michael HALL

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Re: October 1937 exploration
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2010, 09:18:29 AM »

wahey! Looks like a trip to Utah next year for me then :)
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