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Author Topic: Shoe Parts  (Read 12376 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2018, 07:41:19 AM »

Would Earhart have the energy and time to produce such wear on a shoe's sole, in whatever time frame she may have had?

Without a doubt.  Archaeological evidence at the site (charcoal, ash, partially burned fish and bird bones. turtle bones, clam shells) suggest that the castaway was in residence there for a matter of weeks and probably months.
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Friend Weller

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2018, 08:55:35 AM »

.... suggest that the castaway was in residence there for a matter of weeks and probably months.

Stating the obvious but worth noting:  slopping through tide pools, swatting at the pesky varmits, wetting and drying cycles, etc., would also be hard on the footwear of our castaway above and beyond "simply" walking on the coral rubble.  This could become more of a problem with misplaced footfalls as the castaway became weaker over time.
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Jerry Germann

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2018, 07:28:46 PM »

          Definitely a harsher environment than the normal shoe was manufactured to endure, indeed.
          However; if one of the theories concerning why what seems to be differing gender shoes found near the bones is thought due to an injury the wearer had sustained, thus requiring a larger shoe on the injured foot to accommodate the swollen limb...would that suggest that Earhart had access to two pairs of shoes,.... in effect doubling up her usable shoe life?
           Stoutish  sandal or heavy walking shoe , I believe was the description that Gallagher used to describe his find...how would one differentiate between a man's and a woman's sandal?
           Did the castaway's injury ever heal enough,and the swelling go down so that the wearer could switch back to his/her normal sized pair....until they wore out, then due to necessity switch back to the usable , but larger pair? It didn't seem to happen in this case..as it seems the bones were found near or with the two different shoe styles.
           
« Last Edit: November 15, 2018, 07:42:30 PM by Jerry Germann »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #33 on: November 15, 2018, 08:39:23 PM »

The simplest explanation is that she came ashore wearing one of her shoes on her good foot and one of Fred's on the injured foot and did not think to, or have time to, bring along other shoes.
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Jon Romig

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #34 on: November 22, 2018, 06:54:24 PM »

The simplest explanation is that she came ashore wearing one of her shoes on her good foot and one of Fred's on the injured foot and did not think to, or have time to, bring along other shoes.

Aren’t we attempting to re-evaluate the artefacts in the context of new knowledge about the sextant box?

The evidence is that there was a man’s shoe found at the seven site. Occam’s razor says that there was a man there too.

We now know for sure that there WAS one or more men at or near the seven site at the right time, as a man almost certainly left the sextant box at the site.

Also note that:
1. the sextant box arrived on Niku in the possession of an American, and
2. the shoe was very likely a western type shoe that could/would have been worn by an American, not an islander.
These two facts appear to reinforce each other - two pieces of male, western gear left at the seven site supports the idea that a western man left both.

Ergo, it is possible that a man left this shoe at the seven site, or it is possible that AE left this shoe at the seven site. My bet is on the man, but your mileage may vary.

BTW, I am not arguing that someone from the surveying crew necessarily left the shoe, only that a (western) man likely did. It could have been Fred who left the shoe, which also satisfies Occam’s razor: a man’s shoe = the presence of a man.

Jon
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #35 on: November 23, 2018, 01:49:53 AM »

The evidence is that there was a man’s shoe found at the seven site. Occam’s razor says that there was a man there too.

Occam's razor, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.

Angels or gods are the simplest explanation of stars.

Nuclear physics, thermodynamics, gravitational theory, quantum electrodynamics and the story of the Big Bang are a lot more complex, but the complexity is required by the information we have about the history of the universe. 

After a careful search, Gallagher collected one (1) man's shoe and one (1) woman's shoe. 

People who wear shoes usually have two (2) feet.

One person with two shoes SEEMS simpler to me than two people with one shoe each.

This is not a knockdown argument, and it could be false. 

Strange things do happen.

Quote
My bet is on the man, but your mileage may vary.

'zackly.

The presence of a man at the site with Amelia does not contradict the Niku hypothesis. 

It's a variation on a theme.

The likelihood of a man wearing a woman's shoe to the Seven Site seems small.  Occam's Razor suggests to me that it means that the woman who brought the shoe also left the skeleton.

YMMV.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #36 on: November 23, 2018, 08:43:29 AM »

After a careful search, Gallagher collected one (1) man's shoe and one (1) woman's shoe. 

We can't say that for certain. In his early correspondence (Sept. 23 through October 17) Gallagher mentions only the part of the sole of a woman's shoe.  On October 26, Secretary Vaskess tells him "Organised search should be made in the vicinity and all bones and other finds, including box, sextant and shoe, should be forwarded to Suva by the first opportunity for examination."

Gallagher received that telegram but then his radio went down and there was no further communication with the outside world until after the first of the year.  Gallagher's letter that accompanied the bones to Fiji, written on Dec. 27, 1940 says, "The larger of these packages is the coffin containing the remains of the unidentified individual found on the South Eastern shore of Gardner Island; the second package is the sextant box found in the immediate locality and contains all the other pieces of evidence which were found in the proximity of the body."
But he doesn't list "all the other pieces of evidence."

On July 1, 1941 Steenson examined "all the other pieces of evidence" and wrote:
"Apart from stating that they appear to be parts of shoes worn by a male person and a female person, I have nothing further to say.
Those corks on brass chains would appear to have belonged to a small cask.
"

Gallagher made at least two searches of the site - one prior to Sept. 23, 1940 and one after October 26, 1940. It appears that he found the parts of a man's shoe or shoes, possibly more parts of a woman's shoe or shoes, and the corks with brass chains during the second "organized search" ordered by Vaskess on Oct. 26.

The challenge is to explain the presence of a woman's shoe(s?) and a man's shoe(s) at the site. The woman's shoe(s?) is easy.  The post-loss radio signals put Amelia Earhart on the island. There were no other women on the island who wore shoes up to the time of Gallagher's discovery in 1940.  The castaway bone measurements fit Amelia. The woman's shoe(s?) were brought to the site by Amelia.
The man's shoe(s?) is tougher.  There were plenty of men on the island prior to Gallagher's discovery. In chronological order  - Norwich City survivors, Fred Noonan, Gilbertese laborers, NZ surveyors, Bushnell surveyors. 
• The Norwich City survivors were on the island before 1940 but they never went anywhere near the site.
•  Fred Noonan could have left his shoe(s?) at the site and moved on to die at some undiscovered location.
•  The Gilbertese laborers were at the site before Gallagher but they did not wear shoes.
•  NZ surveyors and Bushnell surveyors wore shoes but putting one of them at the site and  abandoning his shoe(s?) without noticing the dead castaway would make Occam roll over in his grave.

There are no slam dunks, but there is evidence that Noonan was severely injured and died in or near the plane and that Earhart had an injured ankle.  The only explanation for the man's shoe(s?) at the site that is supported by evidence, however slim, is that it was brought there by (or on) Amelia.
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Jon Romig

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #37 on: November 23, 2018, 05:15:21 PM »

The evidence is that there was a man’s shoe found at the seven site. Occam’s razor says that there was a man there too.

After a careful search, Gallagher collected one (1) man's shoe and one (1) woman's shoe. 

People who wear shoes usually have two (2) feet.

AE brought 206 bones to the seven site. 13 bones were found including only one tibia. From your argument I assume that the castaway could not have been AE as she had two legs.

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Jon Romig

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #38 on: November 23, 2018, 06:03:15 PM »

After a careful search, Gallagher collected one (1) man's shoe and one (1) woman's shoe. 

•  NZ surveyors and Bushnell surveyors wore shoes but putting one of them at the site and  abandoning his shoe(s?) without noticing the dead castaway would make Occam roll over in his grave.

1. The evidence strongly suggests that the man’s shoe part was found during Gallagher’s second search, thus was either hidden or (more likely) found at a distance from the bones - further afield than was searched the first time. In the scaveola brush i assume it would not be strange for one of the surveyors to not notice a fully decomposed (no smell) and disarticulated (hard to see) two year old partial corpse (a few bones only at that point?) nearby, so IMO it is not unlikely after all for the shoe(s) to end up near the bones.

Whoever left the sextant box also missed seeing the bones.

2. We have already accepted that Niku will destroy footwear “at a rapid pace”, so surveyors abandoning shoes, or parts of shoes, anywhere on the island is quite possible.

3. Perhaps the man who lost part of his shoe DID see the remains, but either:
Was spooked and never reported it, or
Reported it and nothing was done. All may have assumed it was the remains of an islander and not worthy of further action.

Jon
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« Last Edit: November 23, 2018, 06:10:17 PM by Jon Romig »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #39 on: November 24, 2018, 06:19:49 AM »

AE brought 206 bones to the seven site. 13 bones were found including only one tibia. From your argument I assume that the castaway could not have been AE as she had two legs.

I was arguing from what was FOUND (parts of man's shoe, parts of a woman's shoe).

You have constructed a paper tiger, as if I were reasoning from what was NOT found.

I would rate your "argument" as a swing and a miss.

YMMV.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #40 on: November 24, 2018, 08:18:53 AM »

The explanation that Amelia was wearing one of Fred's shoes due to an injury is admittedly cumbersome, but it's plausible in that the hypothetical action ascribed to Amelia is logical.
If would be "cleaner" if we could eliminate the parts of a man's shoe from the equation, but any explanation for how the man's shoe parts got there must also be plausible.
I don't think we're there.


1. The evidence strongly suggests that the man’s shoe part was found during Gallagher’s second search, thus was either hidden or (more likely) found at a distance from the bones - further afield than was searched the first time.

Agreed.

In the scaveola brush i assume it would not be strange for one of the surveyors to not notice a fully decomposed (no smell) and disarticulated (hard to see) two year old partial corpse (a few bones only at that point?) nearby, so IMO it is not unlikely after all for the shoe(s) to end up near the bones.

Except the scaevola wasn't there in 1940.  Aerial photos show the site was open forest in July 1937 and June 1941. The dense scaevola grew in after the trees were cleared and the coconut planting failed.

Whoever left the sextant box also missed seeing the bones.

True.
The laborers who found the skull didn't see the skeleton. The skull was buried about 20 meters from where the rest of the skeleton was found.  Assuming that the skull was buried near where it was found, we can say that a person could come within 20 meters or so of the skeleton without seeing it.

2. We have already accepted that Niku will destroy footwear “at a rapid pace”, so surveyors abandoning shoes, or parts of shoes, anywhere on the island is quite possible.

The island is rough on shoes, but not to the point that you carry around a spare pair. Soles wear out, but shoes don't fall apart on your feet.

3. Perhaps the man who lost part of his shoe DID see the remains, but either:
Was spooked and never reported it, or
Reported it and nothing was done. All may have assumed it was the remains of an islander and not worthy of further action.

So let's say we have a Bushnell surveyor who, for some reason is passing from the ocean beach to the lagoon shore, or vice versa, and happens to choose a route that takes him through the Seven Site area.  He passes close to, but not close enough, to see either the skeleton or the skull - or he sees them and the word never gets out for some reason.  Highly speculative but not implausible, but there are three other requirements.

•   He must have the sextant box with him and the box has to have been altered to be used as a "receptacle" rather than as a box for carrying a sextant.
•   He must abandon the box.
•   He must also abandon at least one of his shoes.

The site is extremely remote.  We know the castaway was there.  We know the laborers were there, apparently drawn to the site by the presence of kanawa trees. We know that Gallagher was there, drawn to the site by the laborers' story.  I can't think of anything that would draw a surveyor to the site, much less abandon a modified sextant box and one of his shoes. 
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #41 on: November 26, 2018, 11:53:12 AM »



The site is extremely remote.  We know the castaway was there.  We know the laborers were there, apparently drawn to the site by the presence of kanawa trees. We know that Gallagher was there, drawn to the site by the laborers' story.  I can't think of anything that would draw a surveyor to the site, much less abandon a modified sextant box and one of his shoes.

do we know how dense the growth of kanawa trees were there?? most of them are reported as being on the western side of the island.

the surveyors were there because it was "close" to where they were surveying and as you said, it was the easiest place to get from the lagoon to the reef side in that area of the island. there was a team doing a land survey and a team doing a lagoon survey.

another question I had for you is the lagoon side near the 7 site. I seem to recall (seem to recall saying that phrase a lot lately  ::) )   that one of your theories for a castaway to make their way to such a remote location was to have easy access to both the lagoon and the reef. is the lagoon side of the island easily accessible for any usable purpose?? it looks like it's marsh and overgrown in both old and new pictures?? do turtles even make their way to that portion of the island??
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #42 on: November 26, 2018, 12:11:24 PM »

do we know how dense the growth of kanawa trees were there??

No.  We know there was at least one kanawa tree there and we know from aerial photos that there were lots of trees there, but we cannot tell which ones were kanawa.

the surveyors were there because it was "close" to where they were surveying and as you said, it was the easiest place to get from the lagoon to the reef side in that area of the island. there was a team doing a land survey and a team doing a lagoon survey.

That still doesn't explain the how a modified sextant box and a shoe got left at the site.

another question I had for you is the lagoon side near the 7 site. I seem to recall (seem to recall saying that phrase a lot lately  ::) )   that one of your theories for a castaway to make their way to such a remote location was to have easy access to both the lagoon and the reef. is the lagoon side of the island easily accessible for any usable purpose?? it looks like it's marsh and overgrown in both old and new pictures?? do turtles even make their way to that portion of the island??

There is no marshland on the island. There are clam beds in the lagoon shallows. There's an old one a couple hundred yards west of the Seven Site. Both the ocean side and lagoon side shorelines are edged with dense vegetation.  Turtles come ashore to lay eggs in the ocean beach.    We've seen tracks in the beach near the Seven Site.  I've seen turtles mating in the lagoon.
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Kevin Weeks

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #43 on: November 27, 2018, 08:39:31 AM »

ok, judging by the lack of markings on the new zealand map I would assume there would not be many in that area.

given the box was there.... it had to get there somehow. without any evidence to the contrary the original owner having left it behind is as good as any.

I was going by the image you showed in the perspective thread. the lagoon side seems to have water well inland of the vegetation. also, can't remember the map but I thought the coast guard station was marked as swamp??


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Shoe Parts
« Reply #44 on: November 27, 2018, 09:21:14 AM »

given the box was there.... it had to get there somehow. without any evidence to the contrary the original owner having left it behind is as good as any.

I disagree.  There is no other indication that a Bushnell surveyor was ever there and I haven't heard a rational explanation for why a Bushnell surveyor would modify a sextant box to look like it had been used merely as a receptacle or why he would abandon it and a shoe in the middle of nowhere.
The explanation that the box was modified and brought to the site by a laborer is far superior.  The box would only be useful to a laborer as a receptacle to carry stuff in and we know that laborers were on the site prior to Gallagher's discovery of the skeleton.

I was going by the image you showed in the perspective thread. the lagoon side seems to have water well inland of the vegetation. also, can't remember the map but I thought the coast guard station was marked as swamp??

Those are naturally bare areas of coral rubble, not water, inland of the shoreline vegetation.  The Coast Guard station was not marked as swamp.
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