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Author Topic: why north west  (Read 9521 times)

Craig Romig

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why north west
« on: February 04, 2015, 11:22:44 AM »

Why nw? What made the navy conclude she was nw of howlnd? Was it only because of the clouds that were nw of howland.

Was the navy trying to get her to run north and south to get a signal strength stronger and weaker?

If so both earhart and itasca  wanted to go se. To possibly find howland.
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: why north west
« Reply #1 on: February 05, 2015, 06:16:20 AM »

Good question, Craig.  I stumbled upon this article from a Memphis newspaper written while the search for Earhart and Noonan was proceeding.  The article provides a glimpse into the thinking behind searching north (and south) of Howland, the split opinions and confusion as to where to search, who held those opinions, and why.  The article is difficult to read from the linked photo, so I transcribed it (attached).  This is a debate that continues here and elsewhere to this day and on much of the same evidence.  (This subject is also explored in depth in Finding Amelia.) 

The remarkable thing about the article is that it shows the Nikumaroro hypothesis is not new.  Nikumaroro was in fact one of the earliest of candidates on where to search, and based on good evidence from people familiar with the specifications of the Electra, the navigational practices of Fred Noonan, and radio direction finding of the time.  The idea of searching northward had its adherents, too, who based their beliefs on the contents of a radio message that stated, cryptically, "281 North Howland."

It seems to have been a good idea to chase down both leads to the north and the south, as was done.  So the question basically becomes - if you were reading the Memphis Press-Scimitar in July of 1937, knowing only what they knew then, where would you think would be the most likely place to look?



Joe Cerniglia
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« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 11:12:09 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Dan Swift

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Re: why north west
« Reply #2 on: February 05, 2015, 01:54:29 PM »

Great Article!  4 days later! 
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
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Craig Romig

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Re: why north west
« Reply #3 on: February 05, 2015, 03:53:30 PM »

Thanks. The reason i asked was i had though maybe she didnt follow orders to fly north and south to get a better fix on her position. And maybe they though she should fly further south because they thought she was north of howland to begin with. Even though Ive never seen or heard of any messages to say any of this.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 10:47:21 PM by Craig Romig »
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: why north west
« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2015, 04:58:12 AM »

We are of course venturing into 'would have' territory.  Be that as it may, the person most credibly situated to give orders in a navigational sense, if any were given, would have been Fred Noonan.  The question of 'orders' has a somewhat familiar ring to it.  Were you perhaps referring to Paul Rafford's book Amelia Earhart's Radio, in which he quotes then Treasury Secretary Morgenthau as saying she "absolutely disregarded all orders."?

Edit:  the Morgenthau Transcript is referenced on this website.  I just noticed this.
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« Last Edit: February 06, 2015, 05:20:52 AM by Joe Cerniglia »
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Don Dollinger

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Re: why north west
« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2015, 11:04:22 AM »

Wouldn't "281 North Howland" normally be interpreted as 281 miles North of Howland or was radio protocol back then different as to mean something else, or is it so ambigous as to be very open to interpretation?

LTM,

Don
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: why north west
« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2015, 11:34:27 AM »

Wouldn't "281 North Howland" normally be interpreted as 281 miles North of Howland or was radio protocol back then different as to mean something else, or is it so ambigous as to be very open to interpretation?

LTM,

Don

The message, apparently fragmentary and "blotted" with static, said 281 North Howland, or something like that.  If that's to be taken as the Electra reporting its position, there's no land north of Howland and the Electra cannot transmit in the water.  I wasn't there, but I imagine it was a lead that still had to be checked, in the interests of a responsible search.

Joe Cerniglia
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Craig Romig

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Re: why north west
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2015, 11:00:12 PM »

I had read the quote about not following order somewhere on the net. But i found even more to answer my question  on this page.  http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Hooven_Report/HoovenReport.html#7

It seems that Fred would have made the decision to go south south east.
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