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Author Topic: So Where Are Fred's Remains?  (Read 21961 times)

Bill Mangus

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #30 on: March 16, 2018, 11:56:54 AM »

Would have been nice if he'd recorded "where" it was thrown away, if he knew!!

Strikes me that so much of what Tighar has discovered over the years misses by just "this much" of being the elusive smoking gun which would solve this mystery to everyone's satisfaction.  People die or become incapacitated just before Tighar finds something they could help identify (Bo McKneely and 2-2-V-1 come to mind) or files are thrown out/lost in a fire (WPHC files and W R Carpenter shipping logs for Gallagher's trunks).  Seems something doesn't want the mystery solved!  (Cue more music!!)
Bill Mangus
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« Last Edit: March 16, 2018, 12:56:16 PM by Bill Mangus »
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Pat Fontaine

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #31 on: March 16, 2018, 01:56:10 PM »

Second pot of coffee hasn’t helped, and I’m flummoxed by these items.

Some observations (probably obvious to those who have looked at the pieces for 17 years...)

1.  Location of holes.  In the photo with the white background and the wood screw to the left of the two pieces (the ‘white photo’) the two holes in each piece appear to be parallel to the long axis of the piece, but slightly off centerline.  I don’t believe this is significant - I’ve owned a few pieces of antique furniture that had hardware with similar characteristics (flaws?).  I think it might suggest that the pieces were hand made (thinking one-at-a-time craftsman, rather than factory mass production).   And to be clear, I do not want to imply that I think these were part of any furniture.

2.  Saw tooth cuts.  In the photo with the blue background (‘blue photo’), the teeth on the oval piece look to be cut perpendicular to the plane of the oval; whatever cut them (or filed them) was at 90 degrees.  However, in the white picture, the teeth cut in to the rectangular piece appear to be cut at a slight angle as if whatever cut the teeth was not at 90 degrees.  I’m guessing here, but I’d say appx 22 degrees (looks about half of 45 degrees).  I also believe we’re looking at the top side of the rectangular piece as it was cut.  For it to be the bottom of the piece, the cuts would angle back underneath the piece (an undercut) and that’s a very cumbersome cut to make.   Think of cutting a 2x4 with a hand saw - you typically hold the handle with the saw angled towards you and it produces an angled cut.  It can be held vertically to make a precise vertical cut, but to hold it away from you makes for a very difficult cut to make; much more so on such a small piece.  I don’t know if this suggests more craftsman production, or that they were made by two different people/processes, or one person at different times. 

3.  Right handed person?  I found it noteworthy that the rectangular piece might have been cut by a right handed person as the bevel in the cuts are angled off to the right (look at the center ‘V’ cut in the rectangular piece in the white picture and see how the right side of the cut is more beveled than the left side.  It’s the same on the left V; the right V is harder to tell as the right side of the V is worn down quite a bit). 

4.  Screws and saw teeth.  Both screws are in the holes closest to the teeth.  In the white photo, the metal around the screw holes appear depressed as if the screws were tightened very firmly.  This is more apparent in the smaller oval piece than the long rectangular piece, although both have that look.  If the screws were tightened firmly, that might suggest that doing so would force the edge with the teeth to dig in to something to better hold the piece in place.

5.  Wear in the non-screw holes.  Both ‘non-screw holes’ (white photo) appear to be just a little smaller than the screw holes, and have some wear in the 3 and 9 o’clock position.  Again, the wear appears more noticeable in the oval piece, but looks to be present in the rectangular piece as well.  This suggests to me that something rubbed at 3 and 9 o’clock; laterally to the long axis of the pieces.   I don’t know if we can form any conclusions from that, but it seems to me that if something actually pulled at 3 and 9 not only might it cause wear, it might well eventually place lateral stress on the piece causing it to want to pivot on the screw (hope that makes sense).  The teeth biting in to whatever they were up against would resist any pivot motion, but that would be a extremely clunky way to secure the piece.  That makes me think that whatever caused the 3 and 9 wear was more likely an either/or motion from one position to the other.  Think of the rod often used to hold the hood of a car open - it’s either down or up and what wear it causes on the ‘pivot hole’ is most likely from one of those positions.  Not suggesting a support rod arrangement, only that the wear might be from a similar ‘this or that position’.  The only other way I can think of to make that wear (oval piece) would be if something like a rod was inserted into the hole and repeatedly wiggled back and forth: 3 to 9 to 3, etc., but I think that would also cause the piece to rotate around the screw.

These are just my observations. None of this gives me any clues as to what the pieces might be, how they were used, or whether this is the way they were originally made or something fabricated in the field.  I’m starting to mutter to myself...
Pat
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Bill Mangus

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #32 on: March 16, 2018, 02:06:51 PM »

Pat, you need to take a look at all the rest of the unidentified bits and pieces collected over the years.  These are good observations, closer and deeper than anything I've seen about them.  Well done!
Bill Mangus
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #33 on: March 16, 2018, 02:24:17 PM »

Just to throw some avgas on the fire, in 2007 we found two tiny washers that just may be associated with the Gidgies.
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Bill Mangus

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #34 on: March 16, 2018, 02:43:11 PM »

I'm thinking AE levered the gidgies out somehow to get to a piece of aluminum like what is shown in Pat's sextant box.  Andrew, is there a similar piece in the Brandis box?

Perhaps she saw the aluminum as something to replace the jackknife blades after she broke/lost them.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #35 on: March 16, 2018, 02:53:04 PM »

I think the Gidgies were homemade (probably by Fred) modifications to the sextant box mounted to wooden structures inside the box.  Amelia was using the box as a carry-all, not a sextant box.  The wooden structures were in the way and Amelia ripped them out. Gallagher found the cleaned out sextant box. The wooden structures left behind rotted away leaving the Gidgies.
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Pat Fontaine

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #36 on: March 16, 2018, 04:02:56 PM »

Ric,
Your comments about Fred making them sparked a thought; another WAG, actually.  I seem to recall reading somewhere that his navigation table in the rear of the aircraft was the folding type (I’ve scoured the site, but can’t find the reference, so I might be in error).  If it was the folding type, having some homemade ‘stops’ screwed in to the table to keep it in the stowed position might be something to explore.  That might explain the extra holes too: some small bungy cord type of thing latched from one hole across the table to the other hole would keep the table in the stowed position. 

The thing I keep stumbling over is the screws and their relation to the pieces.  If, for example, they were part of the box or the table stowing system, why take the time to remove the screws?  Particularly if it were the table - the expressed belief is that the aircraft wasn’t inhabited during the heat of the day, and folks were up in the cockpit on the radio at night.  And if the aircraft was washed off the reef, taking the time to unscrew the screws seems like a stretch to me... unless you scrounged parts and useful things every time you left the aircraft.  But a box (or other portable item) that can be grabbed quickly and later plundered for survival ‘stuff’ sounds more palatable.

Gads... let me call it a day before I kill what gray cells I have left.
Pat
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Pat Fontaine

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #37 on: March 16, 2018, 04:20:52 PM »

Washers: those are some strange looking washers.  The hole in the middle looks much too large for the amount of metal ringing it.  It makes me think of a life ring.  The inner edge in the center hole and the outer edge do not look too badly corroded (relative to their assumed age) so I wouldn’t think they’re the remains of larger washers that have corroded over time down to the size in the picture.
I can’t see the underside, but if I didn’t know any better, I’d say they look more like grommets than washers, especially the one in front of the rectangular piece in the second picture. 
Pat
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Don White

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #38 on: March 16, 2018, 04:30:06 PM »

I keep thinking those little things look like some hardware I've seen before, but I don't remember exactly what. I think the teeth are meant to hold them in position. I inherited my grandfather's collection of hardware oddments. He saved and re-used likely bits, and I do too. Seems I've seen something like this somewhere--but in a lifetime of collecting, buying and selling old stuff, it could have been 50 years ago.

LTM,
Don White (not the D. White who made the 1946 sextant, though my father was a ship captain and master celestial navigator)

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #39 on: March 16, 2018, 04:38:13 PM »

I keep thinking those little things look like some hardware I've seen before, but I don't remember exactly what.

You and everybody else.  :-\
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #40 on: March 16, 2018, 04:42:16 PM »

Washers: those are some strange looking washers.

They're not metal.  Not sure what they're made from.  They're pliable.  Maybe rubber.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2018, 10:49:38 AM »

My two cents; ..... it seems that the markings left by the screw heads on the gidgies would rule out the pliable washers from being installed under the screws, unless they were added later on during a re purposing event. As Pat brought out there seems to be wear patterns at 3/9 o'clock, and the oval also seems to have a wear spot at 6/12, depending on which side is up. I have been looking at different tags and fobs, and wonder if the objects may have been key fobs at one time, or tags, thus the one original hole....the teeth and hole nearest the teeth added later during a re-purposing. As far as the wear at the locations Pat pointed out,....if a key ring were inserted into that smaller original hole and when used to turn a lock, the cycling back and forth could create wear at those points, while turning the lock cylinder clockwise/counterclockwise, and the high noon or six o'clock wear could be from the contact between key ring and fob when inserted time and again into lock-sets. It appears that there is rounding of material around the smaller original hole to suggest wear from something rubbing against the metal there.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-METAL-KEY-CHAIN-FOB-AMERICANA-AIRWAYS/263542871718?hash=item3d5c6116a6:g:~GIAAOSwi6JapEtT

https://www.etsy.com/listing/181214973/vintage-french-brass-hotel-number-signs?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=vintage&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=findings&ref=sr_gallery-1-38

I favor tags a bit more than fobs, due to the limited use keys would have on a pacific island during the 30's/40's....the wire attached to tags could create wear patterns similar to fobs, if reused multiple times.
Some manufactures seem to make both shapes pictured, see attachment
« Last Edit: March 17, 2018, 11:32:05 AM by Jerry Germann »
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Steve Oster

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2018, 11:23:48 AM »

Might they be eyelets from a long-lost shoe? 

"An eyelet is a hole that is punched into the shoe's upper that allows shoelaces to be threaded through. Eyelets are commonly reinforced with a metal or plastic grommet that covers the holes and prevents fraying."
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2018, 11:30:13 AM »

Might they be eyelets from a long-lost shoe? 

Interesting thought Steve.  I want to look into that.  Thanks.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: So Where Are Fred's Remains?
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2018, 11:43:24 AM »

Interesting, what appears to be a flaw,..was it repeated several times during manufacture? Duplicates out there? A clue to find the source of manufacture?
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