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Author Topic: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless  (Read 62996 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #30 on: August 10, 2015, 04:58:59 PM »

Your $125 should buy you the chance to be represented on the board!

Craig is represented on the board.  Without members there would be no TIGHAR.  All of us who serve on the board are keenly aware that members of the organization will not continue their financial support if they feel that the organization is not giving them value-for-value. Renew rates traditionally run around 80%, far better than most nonprofits.  You were a member for a time but you decided not to renew and now your tone is somewhat hostile.  Clearly we did not succeed in delivering value-for-value to 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 #31 on: August 10, 2015, 05:22:36 PM »

Here in the UK charitable organisations are encourage to elect representatives who may be workers or low paying members.


TIGHAR is a board-driven organization.  The general membership does not vote and does not elect board members.  Board members are nominated, elected, re-elected (or not) by the other board members.
As I understand it, the British system for funding charitable organizations is quite different from what is done over here.

We look for board members who can:
• Provide oversight for the Executive Committee who run the day-to-day affairs of the business
• Set sound policies and procedures for how the organization conducts its business
• Provide financial or in-kind service support
• Help with development (a euphemism for fundraising)

We look for bright, successful people who are committed to the goals of the organization. 


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #32 on: August 10, 2015, 05:59:50 PM »

Your system seems alien to me but flawed (my opinion, take it, leave it delete it)

My understanding of the British system is that charitable organizations do not generally solicit or receive donations directly from the public in return for tax deductions but are allotted their funding by the government from money raised through government-run lotteries.  Do I have that right?
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Bruce Douglas Evans

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #33 on: August 11, 2015, 04:09:18 AM »

UK Charities are predominately funded by direct donation from the public. Donations are also be-quested in wills, and a proportion of funding comes from the UK lottery.

I do not have any accurate figures to hand, but I am sure they are available on the internet. The main Lottery funding in the UK is split between charities, sport and cultural projects. Local community project funding is a large part of the charity section funding.

However by far the largest income to charities in the UK (and overseas and disaster funds), is by public donation. Either by direct giving or fundraising activities. Government funding for charities does exist, but is a small percentage of the amount donated. The main area of government funding is for overseas disasters and self help projects. Digging wells, provision of seeds and agricultural equipment for example.

I am sorry to say Ric that your assumptions concerning the UK are incorrect.

I hope that the search for Amelia's Electra will continue to a positive conclusion, but as more time goes by, this must realistically become more difficult. From what I have read on this forum, it seems apparent that a properly funded expedition to concentrate on an underwater search, is really the last option to establish the truth or not of previous observations. The original plan for the last expedition using "professional" equipment would seem the best chance of success. However being unable to raise the necessary funding is a major stumbling block, and I wish you the best in raising the required funds going forward. Further searches on land would unfortunately seem to be less important at this time, taking into account the years passing, and the destruction by the sea and weather of the various sites?

I admire your positive approach to the scientific data and artifacts that have been found, and agree that it would be to easy to put a positive spin on something, without looking at the ways to disprove the evidence.

Happy hunting

Bruce Evans
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #34 on: August 11, 2015, 06:46:28 AM »

Prompted by the responses from Bruce and Chris correcting my misimpression of the UK system (thank you) I did some research on line.  The process of setting up, governing, and funding charitable organizations is quite different in the UK than it is in the U.S. with far more government regulation and far less incentive for public giving than we have in this country.  Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing depends on your personal perspective but TIGHAR is based in the United States. We're a U.S. 501 c3 public charity and that is the context in which we have operated for over 30 years.  That said, we're always open to suggestions for how we can make TIGHAR better.
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Dale O. Beethe

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #35 on: August 11, 2015, 06:58:14 AM »

Transparency can definitely be a good thing, but when people "out of the loop" can vote on the direction a group like TIGHAR will go, you can also end up spending valuable (and limited) time and resources looking for banjos and toilet paper.  Unlike government funded groups, if someone doesn't like the way TIGHAR does business, they don't have to give them money.  Essentially, it's a vote of confidence (or not) with your dollars. (Personally, if I were a billionaire, I'd hire them a submersible and tell them to look wherever they needed to look.  Then they could move on to other stuff, like the White Bird.)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #36 on: August 11, 2015, 08:03:22 AM »

I hope that the search for Amelia's Electra will continue to a positive conclusion, but as more time goes by, this must realistically become more difficult.

Let's remember that the search for Amelia's Electra is only one aspect of TIGHAR's investigation.  The Electra may or may not still exist in any discoverable form. Our larger purpose is, and always has been, to test the hypothesis that the missing flight ended at Gardner Island (now Nikumaroro). 

From what I have read on this forum, it seems apparent that a properly funded expedition to concentrate on an underwater search, is really the last option to establish the truth or not of previous observations.

That's true if the previous observations you're referring to are the observation of possible underwater aircraft wreckage in sonar and video.

The original plan for the last expedition using "professional" equipment would seem the best chance of success.

I wish it was that simple.  The Phoenix debacle in 2012 was the work of "professionals."  It's not enough to turn over the search to someone in the business who has good credentials (Phoenix is the U.S. Navy's primary contractor for underwater recoveries).  Selecting the right technology and the right vendor requires judgement.  There's an old saying, " Good judgement comes from experience.  Experience comes from bad judgement."  I hope we've made enough mistakes to know what is needed to find whatever is there - IF there is anything there. 
 
However being unable to raise the necessary funding is a major stumbling block, and I wish you the best in raising the required funds going forward.

Thank you. 

Further searches on land would unfortunately seem to be less important at this time, taking into account the years passing, and the destruction by the sea and weather of the various sites?

Let's think about that.  Doing a wider, deeper underwater search with the right technology will be expensive but the pay off, if successful, would probably be conclusive.  Sponsorship would require someone who was willing to take that risk. It has been done before. Much more money has been spent on unsuccessful deep water searches around Howland Island than on all the TIGHAR expeditions put together. Of course, those were commercial ventures funded by investors hoping to get a substantial return from exhibiting the aircraft. TIGHAR can offer nothing but a hefty tax deduction and the satisfaction of helping to conclusively solve an iconic mystery.
Further land searching would be far less expensive. The Seven Site is a proven and productive archaeological site that, so far, has not been damaged by over-wash.  Further work there would be likely to turn up more artifacts related to the castaway and could conceivably produce something that could be linked directly to Earhart or Noonan.
Expeditions, like politics, are the art of the possible.  If funding for the high-stakes underwater search is not forthcoming should we try for further archaeology at the Seven Site?

I admire your positive approach to the scientific data and artifacts that have been found, and agree that it would be to easy to put a positive spin on something, without looking at the ways to disprove the evidence.

We don't spin and nobody tries harder than we do to disprove the evidence.  Those who disagree with our interpretation of an artifact or a body of data may call it spin, but spin is an intentional misrepresentation to obtain a desired response.  We never, ever do that.  Our interpretation may turn out to be wrong, maybe even naively optimistic, but it's always honest.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 08:06:00 AM by Ric Gillespie »
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Bruce Douglas Evans

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #37 on: August 11, 2015, 08:36:57 AM »

Hi Ric

I concur with your observations on the possible path to further investigation. The professional tag that I used was meant to refer to the original plans for the underwater work, using the submersibles that were going to be supplied by the University, I forget which one, but Hawaii springs to mind. I do not have a clue in reality what would constitute a professional outfit and your knowledge will be superior to mine.

There was not meant to be any dissension in any of my comments, and I used the word "spin" to emphasize that you did not use this method of pumping up the conclusions, that could be drawn from your findings. I have always admired the honesty and caution that you have displayed.

I do have a minor caveat to add to the charitable sector comments that I made. The government does allow charitable donations from business against tax, providing they are going to registered charities. Furthermore if you donate as an individual, and you are a taxpayer, they will add a tax allowance to your donation, thereby increasing the value to the charity. This tax top up does not impact in any way on you as an individual, it is just a "gift" from the state.

One final point that I would make, is that the UK public has a much deserved reputation as generous givers, although some odd statistics do crop up. The most money apparently goes to Donkey sanctuaries! Not sure i honestly believe this, but the statistic is quoted quite frequently!

To end, I repeat my hope that the mystery will be solved in the not too distant future, and my best wishes and support goes with you, on whatever the next expedition concentrates on. You are doing a good job under sometimes trying circumstances, and I commend you for it.

Bruce Evans

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2015, 08:48:44 AM »

Thank you Bruce.
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ibscas

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2015, 05:28:20 PM »

Craig is represented on the board. 

Whoa, hold the boat, when is my payroll check?   :D :D :D
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Jon Romig

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2015, 08:29:59 PM »


Further land searching would be far less expensive. The Seven Site is a proven and productive archaeological site that, so far, has not been damaged by over-wash.  Further work there would be likely to turn up more artifacts related to the castaway and could conceivably produce something that could be linked directly to Earhart or Noonan.
Expeditions, like politics, are the art of the possible.  If funding for the high-stakes underwater search is not forthcoming should we try for further archaeology at the Seven Site?

I heartily support the idea of further archaeology on land, and would support it financially (in my very limited way), whereas I did not support Niku VIII.

The case for more land archaeology is extremely clear: a number of objects have been gathered on land that have contributed greatly to Tighar's progress on the search and and on the development of a preliminary understanding of events after the landing.

Underwater? Virtually nothing has been achieved. At a cost of millions of extremely scarce dollars, with lawsuits (past and possibly future), lost reputations, unbelievable amounts of energy, time and monies expended with no result, years passing without measurable progress on Niku, the partial exhaustion of the Tighar community, etc.

I recognize the appeal of the underwater search but I do not believe that Tighar has ever observed or detected a single piece of evidence there. I would call the entire litany of Tighar's underwater searches "Hail Marys" - very low probability, high risk efforts that should be reserved for when one is completely out of other options. But Tighar was (and is) not out of other options that can be pursued at lower cost with a higher probability of making progress.

Tighar has been acting like Seattle's Russell Wilson passing to Lockette on the last (real) play of the Super Bowl when all he had to do was hand off to Marshawn Lynch for the touchdown.

Jon
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« Last Edit: August 11, 2015, 08:42:39 PM by Jon Romig »
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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 #41 on: August 11, 2015, 09:12:31 PM »

I don't have any sympathy whatsoever for calls to subcontract expedition planning to a "professional" organization.

No one knows Niku better than Ric.

He is a consummate professional.

Spending more money on consultants would not have made a bigger search possible on Niku VIII.

I think TIGHAR did what it could with the funds it had this year; given the sudden withdrawal of support from FedEx, it was go with what TIGHAR could afford to ship or lose the money already guaranteed to Nai'a.

It was a good decision to go.

It was bad luck it didn't work out.

Of course, with hindsight, anyone could plan a better Niku VIII.   ::)
LTM,

           Marty
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JNev

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #42 on: August 12, 2015, 09:17:34 AM »

To each his own it would seem as to 'by land or by sea', with all due respect - and yes, the cost of the expansive undersea examination would be tremendous.  And yes, dollars are always scarce - resources always are, by definition, or they'd have no value as 'resources'.

It is then a question of how one who has it would spend the money.

Ric himself has indicated that a 'wider deeper' undersea search would be needed to make further progress, if I follow his postings here correctly.  I agree with that approach - IF Earhart's plane is at Niku, it MUST be placed deeper (and possibly wider) than we've been able to look so far.  To TIGHAR's credit, it appears to me that the land case is essentially exhausted now, as is the near-shore / relatively shallow areas off the reef flat.

As to 'professional management', I certainly recognize personal affinity - and have nothing against it.  I also would never claim to know anyone who knows Niku better than Ric - he's been there far more times than probably any living Kirabati resident, for one thing - and certainly more than any of the rest of us.  From an experienced 'program' point of view, however, I take a more impersonal view -

And it is actually toward enhancing Ric's capabilities, were such a search to be done - not robbing him of credit for his knowledge or implying anything negative in particular -

Except that there are professionals available who are far more expert at the details of such searches than TIGHAR's leadership can possibly be: people and organizations who've done such searches for decades for a living / reason for existence. 

So, this is a point on which honest men may disagree - I can appreciate the loyalty as-stated, but believe much more is at stake in the programmatic view if an such expensive search is to be undertaken.

And the problem gets back to 'resources' and how to attract those who possess enough of it / them to make such things happen - they too may well be looking at all corners of any such prospect to understand how all known / learned risks are being mitigated and how the details are being shaped to ensure success.  It seems to me that Ric is the 'idea' man in this, and can provide a great deal of high-level oversight - but the 'how to' of a detailed sub-sea search is best contracted to an entity that can truly handle that with aplomb from start to finish.

IF one can attract the kind of sponsorship that is needed by a) confidence in the Niku arrival theory, and b) demonstrating a large-tent / success-bent plan that can provide greater confidence than we've known before: it would be gargantuan in relative terms.
- Jeff Neville

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #43 on: August 12, 2015, 09:37:10 AM »

To TIGHAR's credit, it appears to me that the land case is essentially exhausted now, as is the near-shore / relatively shallow areas off the reef flat.

I would agree that the near shore/relatively shallow areas off the reef flat at the western end of the atoll have now been thoroughly searched - a very real and important accomplishment of the Niku VIII expedition.
I emphatically do not agree that the "land case is essentially exhausted." I agree with Jon Romig that further archaeological work on land is likely to produce more information and artifacts that will increase our understanding of events.
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Bob Smith

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Re: New light on the study of the Nikumaroro bones by Dr Hoodless
« Reply #44 on: August 12, 2015, 10:12:28 AM »

I agree with most of what you say, Jeff, about wider-deeper and probably longer searches, the likes of which TIGHAR has never seen. Spend more, discover more, of course will probably come along with this theory. The Hail Mary was ingenious as a last resort in light of what was used and the excellent results obtained. Use that ingenuity and combine it with the proper tools, as TIGHAR has done in the past, only on a much larger scale, and the results would be fabulous. Solving a puzzle requires much more wrong moves than right moves, but when it's solved, it's solved! Moving from the small to the humungous and the chances of solving a large puzzle become realistic. It doesn't seem to my small mind that looking through an area with a sifter and brush will find what we are really looking for. All due respect to the land crews and those involved with searching land areas, that's where the after-effects and smaller, lighter articles would occur. We're looking for a Plane Here, aren't we??

Bob S.
 
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