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Author Topic: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless  (Read 65002 times)

Jeff Scott

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2015, 12:06:21 PM »

Dr. Wright,

Thank you for taking the time to compose this paper and sharing your perspectives on the subject of the 1940 bones discovery.

I have a related question not directly covered in the paper and hope you can provide some insights as an anthropologist.

Regardless of whether the bones were three years old or 100 years old, a factor that has puzzled me is how few of them remained.  When found by the islanders, nearly the entire torso had vanished and even some relatively large bones from the arms and legs. I can see how small bones from the hands and feet could have been dragged off by the local wildlife or carried away by wind and rain, but is it normal for so much of a skeleton to vanish?

The most likely explanations I can think of are 1) animal removal or 2) storm activity.  However, the fauna of Nikumaroro doesn't appear to be large enough to carry off or devour an entire torso.  Also, the description of where the remains were found indicates it was some distance from and shoreline and fairly sheltered, so it doesn't sound likely that overwash from a storm would have reached the skeleton.

What forces could account for such a complete removal?  And could these factors provide any insights to their age?

Thank you.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #16 on: July 06, 2015, 02:16:53 PM »

“One of the authors, Wright, developed an alternative forensic craniometric software application CRANID (Wright, 2008 and Wright, 2012) with a larger sample base and a broader worldwide spread than the cranium samples used in FORDISC."

I don't blame Dr. Wright for wanting to demonstrate that his software is better than the competition but I find his paper short on historical accuracy and long on bias.

"In the case of the Nikumaroro bones, the skeletal evidence was lost during World War II. Subsequent attempts to trace the bones indicate that they were moved to Australia, probably Sydney, but no further evidence has been found."

Not true. No one knows what happened to the bones. McPherson recommended that they be sent to Australia but Sir Harry Luke nixed the idea.

“Upon receipt of the Hoodless report, Macpherson concluded that the remains were not those of Amelia Earhart and the case was closed without further action.”

Not true.  McPherson made no such judgement.  It was Secretary Vaskess (who was not a medical man) who suggested that further inquiry was pointless.  The case was not closed.  Investigation into the sextant box and other artifacts continued.

Hair?  Last week I saw Boobies carrying all manner of stuff up into the Buka trees to build their nests.

Rate of deterioration of remains?  No mention of the taphonomy experiments done on Nikumaroro by Kar Burns.

"The sextant case was identified in 1941 as English or French make, “of some age” and used as a receptacle."

Not true.  The sextant box was not identified in 1941. TIGHAR research has shown that the numbers documented to have been on the sextant box clearly indicate it was a Brandis U.S. Navy surveying sextant, the same kind used by Noonan as a "preventer" (back-up) instrument.

and so on....

We should probably put Dr. Wright's paper up on the TIGHAR website along with a detailed rebuttal but meanwhile I'm not going to lose any sleep about whose bones Gallagher found.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 02:27:53 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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Hal Beck

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2015, 07:54:01 PM »

“We should probably put Dr. Wright's paper up on the TIGHAR website along with a detailed rebuttal but meanwhile I'm not going to lose any sleep about whose bones Gallagher found.

So far you haven’t responded to any point of substance made in the Cross & Wright paper, which after all, wasn’t about who made the sextant box or where the bones ended up. 

If Cross & Wright make points you find to be valid, you should acknowledge them, and if they make points you find aren’t valid, you should say why you disagree.  That’s how legitimate research works, and legitimate research is what Tighar is doing, isn’t it?  I would strongly urge you to respond to the Cross & Wright paper in a responsible way.  Ducking reasoned criticism does a disservice to Tighar's many followers.
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 07:57:19 PM by Hal Beck »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #18 on: July 06, 2015, 08:34:36 PM »

“We should probably put Dr. Wright's paper up on the TIGHAR website along with a detailed rebuttal but meanwhile I'm not going to lose any sleep about whose bones Gallagher found.

So far you haven’t responded to any point of substance made in the Cross & Wright paper, which after all, wasn’t about who made the sextant box or where the bones ended up. 

If Cross & Wright make points you find to be valid, you should acknowledge them, and if they make points you find aren’t valid, you should say why you disagree.  That’s how legitimate research works, and legitimate research is what Tighar is doing, isn’t it?  I would strongly urge you to respond to the Cross & Wright paper in a responsible way.  Ducking reasoned criticism does a disservice to Tighar's many followers.

I could have sworn I just wrote that we should put the paper on the website along with a detailed rebuttal - or are you just trolling?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #19 on: July 06, 2015, 08:39:18 PM »

“We should probably put Dr. Wright's paper up on the TIGHAR website along with a detailed rebuttal but meanwhile I'm not going to lose any sleep about whose bones Gallagher found.

If Cross & Wright make points you find to be valid, you should acknowledge them, and if they make points you find aren’t valid, you should say why you disagree.

By my count, Ric made six points illustrating his view of the paper, then indicated--as you quoted--that TIGHAR should do "a detailed rebuttal."

The link to the study was posted on June 19.  That was during week two of the just-completed expedition.

Ric is a great man.  I feel honored to be working with him.  But he's human.  Do you suppose you could give him a little while to decompress from the expedition before demanding a full workup on the bones issue?
LTM,

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Bill Lloyd

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #20 on: July 06, 2015, 09:09:21 PM »

So far you haven’t responded to any point of substance made in the Cross & Wright paper, which after all, wasn’t about who made the sextant box or where the bones ended up. 

If Cross & Wright make points you find to be valid, you should acknowledge them, and if they make points you find aren’t valid, you should say why you disagree.  That’s how legitimate research works, and legitimate research is what Tighar is doing, isn’t it? I would strongly urge you to respond to the Cross & Wright paper in a responsible way.  Ducking reasoned criticism does a disservice to Tighar's many followers.


Mr. Beck,
I have observed this project and forum for several years now and notwithstanding the severe criticisms that I and  others have proffered about the events associated with this not for profit organization, I can truthfully attest that as a general rule, "ducking reasoned criticism" simply does not happen.

Responses are almost always submitted in a responsible and professional way, although I often to do not always agree. I suggest that you read Martin X Moleski comments re the bones above and the links that he provides. Father Moleski seems always to provide professional responses with supporting documentation. I would expect nothing less from a Jesuit priest

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Hal Beck

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2015, 10:43:46 PM »

“We should probably put Dr. Wright's paper up on the TIGHAR website along with a detailed rebuttal but meanwhile I'm not going to lose any sleep about whose bones Gallagher found.

So far you haven’t responded to any point of substance made in the Cross & Wright paper, which after all, wasn’t about who made the sextant box or where the bones ended up. 

If Cross & Wright make points you find to be valid, you should acknowledge them, and if they make points you find aren’t valid, you should say why you disagree.  That’s how legitimate research works, and legitimate research is what Tighar is doing, isn’t it?  I would strongly urge you to respond to the Cross & Wright paper in a responsible way.  Ducking reasoned criticism does a disservice to Tighar's many followers.

I could have sworn I just wrote that we should put the paper on the website along with a detailed rebuttal - or are you just trolling?

Actually, you didn’t say that you will respond to the Cross & Wright paper, you merely said that you “should probably” do so; that's a bit less definite, no?  I quite reasonably suggested that you respond in a serious way to legitimate criticism of Tighar research — you’re suggesting I'm “just trolling”?…
« Last Edit: July 06, 2015, 10:56:18 PM by Hal Beck »
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Hal Beck

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2015, 10:54:45 PM »

By my count, Ric made six points illustrating his view of the paper...

Do you recall that I wrote that Ric hadn’t responded to points of substance in the Wright & Cross paper?  By your count, how many substantive points did Wright& Cross make, and which of these did Ric address?

...then indicated--as you quoted--that TIGHAR should do "a detailed rebuttal.

“should probably”; see my reply to Ric’s post above.  Whether Ric’s response (if there is to  be one) succeeds in actually rebutting Wright & Cross is something I’m not going to lose any sleep over.


The link to the study was posted on June 19.  That was during week two of the just-completed expedition.

Ric is a great man.  I feel honored to be working with him.  But he's human.  Do you suppose you could give him a little while to decompress from the expedition before demanding a full workup on the bones issue?

Sure Marty.  You ‘should probably’ make a post to the forum telling us all when Ric has finished decompressing.
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Chris Murphy

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #23 on: July 07, 2015, 01:08:11 AM »

Easy there, Hal. I think that any reasonable person would expect a period of "decompression" (for lack of a better word).  Well, at least I think that this is true of anyone who has gone on a one-week vacation to Disney World -- let alone a three-week trip to the far side of the world.

I would rather wait for a well-thought rebuttal than a hasty one.
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JNev

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #24 on: July 07, 2015, 06:12:41 AM »

Then 'decompression' deserves silence rather than a point-by-point (which indicates he believed he was making a substative reply) dismissal and accusation of trolling whenever one finds criticism to be incovenient or annoying.

That said, I'm all for Ric having time to decompress, good point.  Perhaps in due course he can muster a professional review of the matter and produce a more qualified response, since Ric - as he's often pointed out about others, is not himself qualified in this area of science.  I'm all for him having that chance.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #25 on: July 07, 2015, 07:01:40 AM »

Would that I had the luxury of "decompressing." 
Wright's paper is a serious challenge to a cornerstone of the Niku Hypothesis and TIGHAR will address it seriously - but right now there are higher priorities. 
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Bill Lloyd

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2015, 07:30:37 AM »

Mr. Beck,
You have made your point abundantly clear. You are now simply being argumentative.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2015, 07:25:22 AM »

We are in contact with Dr. Richard Jantz who co-authored Amelia Earhart's Bones and Shoes
He has read the Cross/Wright paper.  He's traveling at the moment but he is interested in re-examining the case with the better tools now available. We should be able to get started early next month.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #28 on: August 10, 2015, 01:51:50 PM »

Confirming that we are now working with Dr. Richard Jantz to re-examine the whole issue of the castaway bones found on Gardner/Niku in 1940. Much has changed since Amelia Earhart's Bones and Shoes was written in 1998.  At that time we had not begun excavating the location on the island where the bones were found, had not discovered the significance of the numbers reported to have been on the sextant box; had not conducted experiments to determine how mammal bones deteriorate in the island environment, etc.  Also, since 1998 new databases and techniques for assessing gender, height and ethnicity have been developed that are superior to those used in both the TIGHAR paper and the Cross/Wright paper.
Our purpose is not to refute Cross/Wright but to objectively re-asses a cornerstone of the Niku Hypothesis based on the best data currently available.
This is not going to happen quickly.  We're hoping to have something ready to publish by the first of the year.
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ibscas

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #29 on: August 10, 2015, 04:22:42 PM »

Sure Marty.  You ‘should probably’ make a post to the forum telling us all when Ric has finished decompressing.

Hal, you 'should probably' relax, have a beer and let the organization handle the research in the fashion that they feel is best.  Even if it's not up to your expectations, the people on the forum aren't a board of directors to direct what happens and when.  I think your point was made.  There are lots of things I would love to see more information on but I don't believe I'm in a position to aggressively push for it.  My $125 didn't buy me a seat at the table, it simply supports a research effort that has worked hard up to this point and needs funding - funding to do things like sit down and write rebuttals to other peoples opinions (of which there are many).

Although, seriously, guys, my $125 really should be more than enough to buy a bloody boat to go out again  :P
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