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Author Topic: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane  (Read 32429 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #60 on: August 17, 2019, 11:30:41 AM »

Did Dr Ballard see an enhanced classified version of the photo that is different from the version that either TIGHAR or the public have seen?

No.  I met at the State Dept. with the three guys who did the analysis.  When I asked them why they would not give us a written report or allow me to talk about their findings they said, "We did this as a favor to Kurt (Campbell). If the people we really work for knew we were spending time on stuff like this we'd catch hell." I figured they were probably CIA or NSA.  I didn't know until I read the NYT article that they worked for the Pentagon.

Nobody "enhanced" the photo.  Enhancing adds information.  What Glickman did was bring out all the information that is there.  What the Pentagon guys did was verify that he did it right and then compared what they saw to photos of Electra landing gear (the old worm gear version). They told me, "We see what your guy sees."
Campbell told Secretary Clinton about it and she saw a political opportunity. In Feb. 2012 they offered to hold a big press event at the State Dept. to announce that TIGHAR was going to launch a hi-tech expedition to find the plane.  The catch was, we had to do the expedition that year, not in 2013 as we had planned.  In 2013 we would have been able to use the UofH manned submersibles but in 2012 the subs were torn apart for inspection and servicing, so we had to settle for contracting with Phoenix International who wanted to use side-scan deployed from an AUV.  The pressure to go in 2012 was because Clinton knew she would step down as Sec. State after the election regardless of who won and they wanted the Earhart discovery to happen on her watch.  Campbell made big promises about helping with the fundraising, so we agreed.  They needed cover in case we didn't find anything, so they brought in Ballard to review and endorse our evidence and plan.
After the press event, the promised help with fundraising did not materialize and Phoenix had all kinds of trouble with the AUV.  We didn't find anything and ended the $2 million expedition $400,000 in debt. Live and learn.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #61 on: August 17, 2019, 12:58:46 PM »



Nightmare scenario:  The plane floated southwest and sank where the stern of Norwich City landed when it broke off in January 1939.  The plane is now buried under a few tons of ship wreckage.
Looking at previous ROV plots last night I noticed a sonar image of that area that appeared to show a big land slide (not sure if that is the right term) likely caused by the stern falling that could have buried it too.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #62 on: August 17, 2019, 01:09:18 PM »

Looking at previous ROV plots last night I noticed a sonar image of that area that appeared to show a big land slide (not sure if that is the right term) likely caused by the stern falling that could have buried it too.

Yep.
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Bill Mangus

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Bill Mangus
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« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 01:53:47 PM by Bill Mangus »
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #64 on: August 17, 2019, 05:03:19 PM »

Note an interesting six-hour return to the area west of the Bevington Object, from approximately 2000Z on 14 Aug until 0200Z on 15 Aug.  The expedition initially searched west of the Bevington Object on the 13th; the eastern portion in the morning, and the deeper, western portion in the evening.  A day later, on the evening of the 14th, they returned to the area and searched a very specific track from east to west over the period of six hours.  After this six hour search they transited out of the area, went into what appears to be a holding pattern for the better part of a day.  Since then they've circled the island, and today "mowed the lawn" on the deeper reef slope, southwest of the Bevington Object, west of the Norwich City.

Just hazarding a guess, but it could be that they have located something of interest west of the Bevington Object, but have determined it prudent to get the search completed before moving into a recovery phase.

A screen print of just the six hour search track, 14 Aug 2000Z - 15 Aug 0200Z is attached.  I omitted Nautilus' track before and after; including the "mow the lawn" searches that occurred on the 13th.  The track segment in grey is a period where there was no geo position reporting for greater than an hour.

BTW, I'm using the "Big Ocean Data" free trial period.  Very interesting tool once you get the hang of the user interface.  Amazing that the average person can get their hands on shipping tracks, air tracks, etc. these days(!)
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 05:09:04 PM by John Balderston »
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #65 on: August 17, 2019, 07:26:59 PM »

Posting "Big Ocean Data" screen prints of E/V Nautilus' track, 13-16 August, one day at a time.  Summary of observation as follows:

13 August - On station close to shore west of the Bevington Object location at 0530Z, "Mow the lawn" east to west until 2000Z, transit to the north side of the island
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #66 on: August 17, 2019, 07:35:00 PM »

14 August - Cruise the north side of the island, return to search west of the Bevington Object at approximately 2000.  The grey track segment west of Bevington Object indicates that there was no geo position reporting on the track from 2019Z - 2142Z (1 hour 23 minutes).
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #67 on: August 17, 2019, 07:53:35 PM »

15 August - continue east-to-west search west of the Bevington Object location until 0200Z (this short west northwest search track occupied two hours), then transit south into what appears to be a "pork chop"-shaped holding pattern (the four hour track, generally north to south, at the eastern end of the "pork chop" appears to be a drift, and not a search).  Around 2200Z, at the top of the "pork chop", begin a transit to the north side of the island.
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #68 on: August 17, 2019, 08:12:01 PM »

16 August - Continue slow clockwise transit around the island, arriving on station in deep water west of the Bevington Object location at approximately 1000Z.  Conducted search west of Bevington Object location through the remainder of 16 August.  Note - the short west-east track segment indicated in grey (due to no geo position reporting for over an hour) occupied an hour and twenty minutes, 13:49Z - 15:10Z
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #69 on: August 17, 2019, 08:32:34 PM »

And finally, 17 August.  Finish search west of Bevington Object location sometime between 0000Z and 0200Z (missing geo location reporting data).  Transition to "mow the lawn" deep water search west of Norwich City, beginning the track at 0525Z; apparently completing at 1730Z.   Nautilus transited to the southeastern end of the island, and as of 0000Z 18 Aug was headed northwest, perhaps to deeper water west of the Bevington Object location, TBD.

Sorry about so many posts in a row - hoping this is as interesting to you as it is to me. . .  :-[
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #70 on: August 17, 2019, 09:46:31 PM »

John, Thanks for posting the plots!
All interesting. In the last one they seem to take path on a straight line from the SE corner to a point miles out and stopped there. Maybe investigating a sonar suspect?
3971R
 
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John Gubata

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #71 on: August 19, 2019, 09:13:17 AM »

Great job John Balderston. I was about to sign up for the Marine Traffic free trial. No need now.

Also there is some great monitoring going on at  https://twitter.com/LabratSR.
Including this last screen shot showing the Nautilus reducing it's search ladder.


During the earlier closer search, I believe they have covered the area southwest of the Norwich City that Ric mentioned (postulating the a/c may have floated for about 18 minutes before submerging). The ship is currently working it's way back towards the island from much further out.  However, they are reducing the southern extent of their search. Maybe due to the landslides seen by TIGHAR on the previous expeditions. I hope they are not bypassing an important area.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #72 on: August 19, 2019, 03:29:00 PM »

I'm not sure but they appear to be back at Friday’s point of interest .6 NM roughly West of BO. Twice today.
Once there briefly after coming directly from SE Corner of the big grid search, and now back again.
Any chance to get a new plot?
3971R
 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #73 on: August 19, 2019, 06:58:06 PM »

Here is a plot of the past six days (plus 33 minutes into today GMT).  To Greg's point, the Nautilus has revisited a location west of the Bevington Object location three times in the past three days, and spent considerable time there.  Each time the speed was indicating less than 1/2 knot, which I'm supposing means they had ROVs in the water.  About an hour and a half ago they departed on a north northeast heading, still making headway at less than 1/2 kt.  For about the past 30 minutes they have been at the position indicated.

It's really interesting to watch this team of professionals at work with their serious equipment, and try to imagine what is going on. . .
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #74 on: August 20, 2019, 12:51:59 PM »

New post on Nat'l Geo site:

     https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/08/colossal-crabs-hold-clue-amelia-earhart-fate/

Probably more than you want to know about coconut crabs ;D  One picture from the 7 site.


Bill Mangus
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