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Author Topic: Post-Loss Language  (Read 96262 times)

Jeff Scott

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #75 on: October 09, 2015, 11:17:27 AM »

The word 'ship' as synonym for aircraft seems to have been part of the lingo of those early aviators. It would be interesting to know if the general public of the time used it in this fashion.
I tend to doubt it.

Joe,

Here is some possible evidence that the use of the term "ship" for airplane was common in the mid-1930s.

Shirley Temple was of course a major star during that era. Her popular movie "Bright Eyes" of 1934 featured the song "On the Good Ship Lollipop."  The Good Ship Lollipop was not actually a maritime vessel, but an airplane.  Note that she sings the song in the cabin of a commercial airliner:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLLSqpYyPD8

Although the projected views out the windows seem to be at ridiculously low altitudes (are the taxiing down Rodeo Drive??), comparing the cabin to pictures suggests it matches the DC-2.

http://www.airliners.net/photo/KLM---Royal/Douglas-R2D-1-%28DC-2-142%29/0982336/L/

Shirley even sounds like a young Amelia in the making!

Quote
Some day I'm going to fly.
I'll be a pilot too.
And when I do, how would you
Like to be my crew...

On the good ship lollipop.

Sorry, but I also can't resist posting this clip. CDR Riker apparently followed Shirley aboard the Lollipop: "It's a good ship."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N_XjXeWyfxM
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Jeff Scott

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #76 on: October 09, 2015, 11:23:30 AM »

Well, apparently I should have looked at the Wikipedia article. It confirms my observations:

Quote
Shirley's aviator father died in an airplane crash before the film opens, and she now spends most of her time at the Glendale, California airport with her godfather, bachelor pilot James "Loop" Merritt (James Dunn), and his dog, Rags. After Christmas morning she hitches a ride to the airport. The aviators bring her aboard a ship and taxi her around the runways, where she serenades them with her rendition of On the Good Ship Lollipop.

Quote
American Airlines and the Douglas Aircraft Company, recognizing the potential of the film in advertising air travel, cooperated in the production and distribution. They provided a DC-2 aircraft for the exterior shots while a true to scale mock up was provided for the interior scenes. In the famous Good Ship Lollipop scene, members of the University of Southern California football team served as extras.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #77 on: October 09, 2015, 11:42:07 AM »

  Still, It's hard for me to get my head around that someone who is in a desperate survival situation would deliberately dull their senses.  Perhaps as a pain killer, for physical pain?  Psychological pain?  Fear control? 


In Fred's defense,.... when I mentioned Fred may well have been inebriated, ...I agree with you, I don't think it was intentional on his part,.....maybe, over medicated, would be a better term. I don't see Amelia making another attempt at contact, with Fred exhibiting obvious signs of being in an intoxicated state, rather,it may have taken time from Fred's last dosage ( just prior to the attempt) , until the effects showed themselves while in the plane.
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 11:59:42 AM by Jerry Germann »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #78 on: October 09, 2015, 12:40:37 PM »

But, is it possible that the alcohol was part of the supplies left on the island by the rescuers of the Norwich City crew?

In a word, yes. Not the American beer bottle but certainly the Benedictine.
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #79 on: October 09, 2015, 02:54:30 PM »

From Ric: 
Quote
In weighing the chances that Fred's apparent irrational behavior was alcohol-induced we're not starting from zero. Three facts bear on that possibility:
•  Whether he was fired or quit, there is no doubt that Fred had a drinking problem at the time he parted company with Pan Am in late 1936/early 1937.  His drinking was probably behind the failure of his first marriage and may have been the cause of a couple of car accidents. His association with AE and his marriage to Mary Bea were an attempt to put his life back together. 

Ric, not in any way challenging your concept that FN had a drinking problem, but I would enjoy knowing a bit more, specifically what your sources are for his drinking at the time of his departure from Pan Am.

Do we know if there was any reference to alcohol in the police reports of the vehicle accidents?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #80 on: October 09, 2015, 04:56:58 PM »

Ric, not in any way challenging your concept that FN had a drinking problem, but I would enjoy knowing a bit more, specifically what your sources are for his drinking at the time of his departure from Pan Am.

Do we know if there was any reference to alcohol in the police reports of the vehicle accidents?

You're free to challenge me on anything I say.  Fred's drinking has long been a scape-goat in the Earhart disappearance.  Stories abound and can be found in most of the Earhart biographies but what has always been lacking is any kind of contemporaneous written documentation that Fred had a drinking problem.  There is certainly no indication of anything like that in the records of his maritime career and the police reports of his automobile accidents reportedly do not mention alcohol. 
Eight years ago I received an email that seemed to indicate that written proof does exist.  It came out of the blue addressed simply to info@tighar.org; subject Fred Noonan.


"Hello,
This may sound very crazy but I am in possession of letters from Fred's wife
Jo detailing his drinking, and partying on his flights to Honolulu. I have a
letter written by Fred to my wife's grandmother(my wife's stepfathers father
was Frank Brown, who was an early figure in PAA. Frank died in Central or S.
America of appendicitis while establishing PAA routes in the late 1920's and
early '30's). We have a framed 8x10 professional portrait of Fred which is
autographed to my wife's grandmother. The last item, which I never saw
before today is a postcard in an envelope, my wife's grandmother wrote the
following on the envelope, "This card was written by Mr. Noonan on his
fateful flight with Amelia Erhart on her round-the-world trip when they both
lost their live. This was the last communication anyone received from either
of them before they perished at sea when their plane failed to reach a safe
landing port after leaving New Guinea, homeward bound" Fred expected to
reach the states before the card.
My wife's mother recently passed and left her these items and we are
exploring possible options. We are interested in a possible sale or a tax
deductible donation. If interested we can scan a few items.
Thanks,
        Wm. Schildgen & Teri Noland-Schildgen"

I immediately replied:

"Hi,

Thanks for writing.  Your email does not sound a bit crazy.  We knew that Fred Noonan and his first wife Josephine were having trouble and I always suspected it was due to the pressure Fred was under at Pan American.  That Jo would have written to close friends about her concerns is hardly surprising.  As you probably know, Fred and Jo were divorced in early 1937 and Fred re-married almost immediately.

The letters you describe would be very interesting to us.  Fred's drinking problems have long been the subject of rumor, stories, and speculation - but very few contemporary written sources have come to light.  Your letters could shed important light on that subject.

We also know that Fred wrote many letters and post cards home to friends and family during the world flight.  Several of these have surfaced in recent years and have given us a much clearer picture of Fred Noonan's life and personality. Your letters could be an important addition to that fund of knowledge. That the postcard is "the last communication anyone received from either of them" is rather doubtful. Earhart made a telephone call from New Guinea to the Herald Tribune in New York and sent several telegrams prior to her departure.  Nonetheless, all of these  primary source documents are historically important. Whether they are financially valuable is a different question.

Despite the continued public interest in the Earhart mystery, original documents relating to the case do not bring significant prices at auction.  Case in point: An item was recently put up for bid on eBay that was described as "Amelia Earhart's Original Flight Plan" for her 'round the world flight.
(http://cgi.ebay.com/AMELIA-EARHART-ORIGINAL-FLIGHT-PLAN_W0QQitemZ22003131651
4QQihZ012QQcategoryZ378QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)
The winning bid was $26.  Fortunately, the winning bidder was one of our researchers. The item turned out to be not "Amelia Earhart's Original Flight Plan" (of course) but a transcript of the personal diary kept by one of the wire service reporters aboard the Coast Guard cutter ITASCA.  A tremendously important discovery from an historical perspective, but even as  "Amelia Earhart's Original Flight Plan," it brought only $26 on eBay.

As historical researchers, our interest is in the information contained in the documents, rather than in the physical documents as collectibles.  We are, however, able to - and often do - accept contributions of original documents.  We're a recognized 501 (c) (3) public charity and all contributions are tax deductible to the full extent of the law.  We would give you a letter with a generous estimate of the dollar value of your contribution.  We're not a licensed appraiser of Earhart-related historical documents, but neither is anyone else and getting an appraisal of something like this would probably cost several times what the collection is worth.

One of the biggest concerns about a newly-discovered collection like yours is that it not end up in the hands of a private collector or Earhart buff who will keep the information private. As a nonprofit historical foundation, it is our policy and practice to make new information publicly available via our website (www.tighar.org) and in our journal TIGHAR Tracks. My recently-released book "Finding Amelia - The True Story of the Earhart Disappearance" (U.S. Naval Institute Press, 2006) includes a DVD with hundreds of primary source documents - letters, telegrams, reports, maps, ships' logs, etc.  If you like, I'll be happy to send you a complimentary copy.

I hope you'll decide to donate the collection to TIGHAR.  In the meantime, I would very much like to see scans of the material and I'll be happy to answer whatever questions you may have.  You can reach me at this email address or by phone during the east coast business day at 302-994-4410

Best regards,
Ric"

Schildgen did phone me and we discussed the letters.  He read me several passages but he never sent me scans and then he stopped replying to my emails. I don't know why. I think the letters are probably genuine and, from the bits that Schildgen read to me over the phone, it sounds like the brutal schedule of the transpacific Clipper service combined with the generous pay the crews enjoyed was more than Fred could handle.   
« Last Edit: October 09, 2015, 04:59:38 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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Dale O. Beethe

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #81 on: October 09, 2015, 07:01:59 PM »

My guess is they were not thrilled to have you telling them something they thought was going to be a financial windfall wasn't that valuable (financially speaking).  I collect antique firearms, and I've had the same experience with people when they find out Grandpa's old rifle isn't going to buy them a trip to Hawaii.  Too bad, as it sounds like it could have been interesting information.
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #82 on: October 09, 2015, 07:51:25 PM »

Ric said:
Quote
from the bits that Schildgen read to me over the phone, it sounds like the brutal schedule of the transpacific Clipper service combined with the generous pay the crews enjoyed was more than Fred could handle.   

Can you share any specific details he read you of her accusations about Fred's drinking?

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Jerry Germann

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #83 on: October 10, 2015, 12:17:55 AM »

         Of course my tenative intrepretation of "We can't bail out" leads to the oft asked question about FN: if he was behaving so abnormally, what had happened to make him that way? Well, that project is somewhere between the back and front burners on my "to do" stove. (By way of a trailer, I have an idea about what happened to FN that no one has yet come up with.) Guthrie

Ok, Dr Ford,

You haven't gave kudos to anyone yet for solving the reason for Fred's behavior, so....If alcohol is off the table ,..what else besides a head injury???? Well , I am here to take another stab at the answer....Does the answer to Fred's behavior, come from a tiny bottle...if no,not alcohol, what?..... Well if Fred were in need of something to ease his pain , certainly Amelia wouldn't object to using treatment issued from a first aid kit! The Luke field inventory contains two such kits..http://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Documents/Luke_Field.html ....one seems rather basic, bandages and the like...the Bauer and Black #42 ...but the other, the Burroughs Wellcome & CO. "Tabloid" model, well , that one seems to contain more, ... much more ...Here is a link; http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2014/01/14/tabloid_medicine_kits_burroughs_wellcome_first_aid_kits_placed_with_famous.html
Inside we find such things as ....Morphine, yes that is great for pain,....what else ...Humm, a little opium, perhaps ....what are the side effects of these? Opium...http://www.drugs.com/sfx/opium-side-effects.html   Morphine....http://www.drugs.com/sfx/morphine-side-effects.html
Now, I can't know for sure this first aid kit was carried aboard , when they lifted off from Lae, just as I can't say any alcohol was aboard....but if it was, and it was used by Amelia, in her treatment of Fred, is that the project you have going on inbetween the burners?
If not, well then, on to Idea C....but I don't have that yet.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 08:04:07 AM by Jerry Germann »
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jgf1944

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #84 on: October 10, 2015, 10:04:42 AM »

Ok, Dr Ford, You haven't gave kudos to anyone yet for solving the reason for Fred's behavior...
    Hi Jerry. I am just absorbing. Actually, I have planned for the near future a get together with a colleague to do what is called a differential diagnosis relative to what might have caused FN's apparent unusual, if not bizarre, behavior. We will write down every scrap of post-lost info about FN's behaviors (which of course includes his putative words). Then we will list all of the causes that could reasonably explain the FN information. The goal is to figure out how the causes differ from each other (thus the term "differentiate"). For example, regarding head injury and alcohol, it might be decided that these differ in terms of opportunity for occurrence. If there was a post-lost chance for a head injury but no chance for alcohol consumption, as in no alcohol aboard the Electra, then alcohol can be eliminated from the "causes" list. Now remember folks, I used that only as an example; as I said, the differential diagnosis work is yet to come.   
     I think you are spot on with what you wrote, Jerry: "Is it possible that a duo cause/condition existed to explain fred's words and actions…" A psychological ground rule is that behavior has multiple causation; each of us is attracted, for instance, to the Earhart mystery for more than just one reason. My intuition, which I will set aside to do the scientific analyses, is that FN's apparent bizarre behavior was caused by more than one variable; the accompanying intution is that one of those variables may have been a psychiatric condition; but we will see where all that shakes out once the differential diagnosis work is done. Ciao.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #85 on: October 10, 2015, 10:10:32 AM »

Can you share any specific details he read you of her accusations about Fred's drinking?

They weren't accusations.  This was a woman conveying her frustration and anxiety about her relationship with her husband to a close friend.  Fred's first wife was Josephine Sullivan.  Fred and Josie were married on July 11, 1927 in Jackson, Mississippi.  They lived in New Orleans while Fred worked as a mariner. He was hired by Pan Am in 1930 and moved to Miami.  He was the station chief in Haiti for a while.  In 1935 he became the senior  (and only) navigator for the newly-formed Pacific Division.  He developed over-water navigational techniques in test flights over the Caribbean from the Pan Am seaplane terminal at Dinner Key. He moved to California when the Pacific Division began the Pacific survey flights in 1935.  I don't know whether Josephine was with him through all those moves.

Once the survey flights were completed Pan Am started passenger service across the northern Pacific.  The schedule for aircrews was brutal.  In the passages from the letters that Schuldgren read to me over the phone Josie complained of Fred being gone so much and that he was spending up his pay drinking and buying drinks for his buddies during layovers in Hawaii. She also wrote that he had a car accident in Hawaii that was due to drinking. This would all be in the latter half of 1936.

Fred was divorced from Josie in Juarez, Mexico on March 3, 1937 just ten day before he joined Earhart's team.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #86 on: October 10, 2015, 10:33:13 AM »

Is it possible that a duo cause/condition existed to explain fred's words and actions.....Maybe both injury and alcohol contributed. July 2nd , Larremore message, mentions a head injury......

No, it does not.  Larremore wrote, "She stated that her navigator Fred Noonan was seriously injured.  Needed help immediately. She also had some injuries but not as serious as Mr. Noonan."

The only other credible post-loss signal to mention an injury is the one reported by Thelma Lovelace heard on July 7th.
"My navigator is badly hurt. We are in need of medical care and must have help. We can't hold on much longer."
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #87 on: October 10, 2015, 10:42:13 AM »

In looking up answers to these questions it becomes clear to me that much more needs to be done in comparing the language reported to have been used in the several credible post-loss messages that had intelligible content.
I just don't have time right now.  I'm trying to get TIGHAR Tracks written but it's hard to stay focused.  Fresh research is always more fun.
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Diane James

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #88 on: October 10, 2015, 02:10:47 PM »

Ric wrote:
Quote
Josie complained of Fred being gone so much and that he was spending up his pay drinking and buying drinks for his buddies during layovers in Hawaii. She also wrote that he had a car accident in Hawaii that was due to drinking.

It's all in the semantics, of course, but FN having a few howling off-duty nights with buddies doesn't qualify as alcoholism per se, it doesn't seem to me. 

I can remember --or more likely not completely remember!-- somewhat frequent times in my college days when I had a few too many. OK, Fred wasn't a college kid in '36 and '37, he was a responsible grown man, but it's not hard to understand a guy away from home and stuck in a miserable layover (been there!) tilting down a few across an evening with some friends, and maybe even a few too many.  If people had seen me in my alcohol-induced behavior back in my college days they might easily have thought me a "heavy drinker" or an "alcoholic" when in fact neither was really true of me. 

I'm as ready as anyone to crucify Captain Noonan if indeed he was flying, or even driving, while intoxicated. But it seems to me that a man of his stature and noted accomplishments is entitled to the benefit of the doubt. There seems to be an attitude among many that it is an established fact that he was an alcoholic, and I am still waiting to be convinced of that.

That he drank, OK, so did probably half of the American population in those days. That he drank to excess; most of us have at one time or another.  But to attribute full-blown alcoholism to him based on only the evidence I have so far see seems to me to be an inappropriate stretch.

Ric, Shuldgren related Josie accusing Fred of having been drinking in the auto accident in Hawaii in 1936.  You said there was no police reporting of alcohol involvement in Fred's other accidents; do we have the PR from this one?
Diane James
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Post-Loss Language
« Reply #89 on: October 10, 2015, 04:42:05 PM »

For the record, I see no evidence that Fred was an alcoholic, i.e. that he was addicted to alcohol.  There do seem to be indications that he self-medicated with alcohol to an inappropriate degree under stress.  I've known quite a few people who do that. 

Today we're adamant about "24 hours between bottle and throttle" but it was not always so.  Paul Mantz regularly mixed alcohol and avgas in liberal quantities.

Ric, Shuldgren related Josie accusing Fred of having been drinking in the auto accident in Hawaii in 1936.  You said there was no police reporting of alcohol involvement in Fred's other accidents; do we have the PR from this one?

No.  I had never heard on of an accident in Hawaii.  On April 4, 1937  (Fred's birthday) Fred and his new wife Mary Bea were involved in a head-on collision car accident near Fresno. Fred skinned his hand, Mary Bea was cut on the knee and scalp, and the driver of the other car and the infant with her were “cut and bruised but not seriously hurt” according to the April 5, 1937 Oakland Tribune. Fred was cited for driving in the wrong lane, but there was no mention of alcohol. In his 1966 best-seller, The Search For Amelia Earhart, Fred Goerner alleges that “a notation at the bottom of the ticket said: No injuries. Driver had been drinking.” But there were injuries. Mary Bea, in fact, spent some time in the hospital.  We've never seen the accident report.
« Last Edit: October 10, 2015, 04:46:23 PM by Ric Gillespie »
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