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Author Topic: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane  (Read 65544 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #75 on: August 20, 2019, 01:43:23 PM »

New post on Nat'l Geo site:

They should have let me proof read it. 
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #76 on: August 20, 2019, 06:19:21 PM »

Couldn't wait to get home and have a look at what the expedition did today.  For the past 24 hours appears they conducted a fresh search to the west northwest of the island, north of the area already searched.  At the end of the 24-hour period, transited on a southerly heading past BO location and Norwich City (if ~ 1 knot is a transit; might be with ROVs deployed???).  No geo position update; biting nails a bit to see if they turn north.  Sure would like this team to positively identify AIRPLANE bits on the reef . . .
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #77 on: August 20, 2019, 09:04:14 PM »

Hey John...think this vessel software is really neat. Have a question though with the latest map photo. With the trail route back and forth as shown. Is that Nautilus doing that or Ben? Let me know? Plus how far from the island would this routing be?
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #78 on: August 20, 2019, 10:05:35 PM »

Hi Randy, the Nautilus ran that N-S "mow the lawn" pattern on 18-19 Aug (GMT).  ASV "Ben" has been used close to shore; however hasn't shown a track since early on the 18th. 

I haven't found a software function for measuring distance.  However, eyeballing on my plot with lat/long displayed, the easternmost edge of the pattern is at 174 deg 34 minutes.  The west coast of the island is at about 174 deg 32 minutes, 45 seconds (about 1 1/4 minutes of longitude apart.)  Not going nuts with the trig, that close to the equator a minute of longitude is a bit less than a mile.  So I'd WAG that the eastern edge of the pattern is about a mile west of Niku.
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2019, 10:08:55 PM by John Balderston »
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Joy Diane Forster

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #79 on: August 21, 2019, 07:58:43 AM »

John and others, I appreciate that you are posting the tracks and also links to news and updates. 

My computer didn't like the tracking software, and I haven't had much time to search for articles, so thank you.

The tracks do certainly lead to some interesting speculation as to what the researchers are seeing...........
TIGHAR Member #4239
 
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Leon R White

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #80 on: August 21, 2019, 11:53:39 AM »

Did anyone ever identify where the foliage in the cook photo was located underwater? It seemed different from what I remember of the scuba diver videos of the island (I might have forgotten of course).  Id appreciate knowing. I was wondering if it was around the northern tip.

Leon
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #81 on: August 21, 2019, 02:22:19 PM »

Did anyone ever identify where the foliage in the cook photo was located underwater?

No, not with any precision.  The general consensus was that it was north of the Bevington Object location but not around the NW tip.
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John Gubata

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #82 on: August 21, 2019, 05:16:05 PM »

E/V Nautilus is heading home.
Nothing in the media....yet.
I think we're all holding our breath in hope.
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Leon R White

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #83 on: August 21, 2019, 06:00:18 PM »

Thanks Ric.

Is Nautilus leaving early?
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John Balderston

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #84 on: August 21, 2019, 08:12:25 PM »

Is Nautilus leaving early?

Nautilus' departure appears to be on plan.  Referring to any of the "Big Ocean Data" screen prints over the last five days with the Nautilus data table in the upper left corner, the table gives the next destination is Apia, Western Samoa, ETA 23 August, 2000Z. 

I haven't had any luck trying to interpret what was going on out there.   The expedition combed the area immediately west of the Bevington Object location, coming back several times, and kept on searching.  The search covered nearly the entire western slope descending through 2000 meters, several miles off shore.  Does this mean they didn't find anything and kept on searching until time was up, coming up empty?  Or did they search of the entire area as planned, finding items of interest along the way?  And what of the land team?  Very interesting.  Here's hoping. . .
John Balderston TIGHAR #3451R
 
« Last Edit: August 21, 2019, 08:17:35 PM by John Balderston »
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John Gubata

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #85 on: August 21, 2019, 10:43:51 PM »

Hello All,

The article on the nautiluslive.org website has the following:
Ballard has assembled a group of Earhart experts, scientists and technicians for the month-long journey that departs from Samoa to a remote Pacific atoll called Nikumaroro in the Republic of Kiribati from August 7-25, 2019.

However, BigOceanData has been showing an ETA 23/08/2019 Apia, Samoa for the Nautilus since it arrived.
Also, nautiluslive.org site stated that live dive coverage resumes August 25th. So everything appears to be on schedule.

Of concern to me is the fact that the last screen shot appears to show the Nautilus conducting routine oceanography operations (following the bottom of the undersea ridge) rather than making a bee line straight back to Apia.

I probably should not read anything into it, but wouldn't there be a bit more urgency if there was a Pratt & Whitney R-1340 Wasp S3H1 engine on the deck?

Hoping they're just a bunch of cool headed explorers.

 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #86 on: August 21, 2019, 11:55:49 PM »

My guess:
It seemed like they were filling holes in the main search area before the left.
Even if they found a large piece they would still be doing a search for the rest after. 
I don't think they would recover anything big but I suspect they did pick something up for closer investigation. Two days ago they spent a long time on the north end, then it seemed like the signal for an ROV popped up and then they left that area. No ASV ran up and down the coast line then. It may have been the ROV surfacing for a short time.
The two most interesting things to me:
1.   The time spent on the north end of the island and the plots at that location not looking like the typical mow the lawn pattern for almost a whole day. Like they found something of interest and searched around it for more. I wonder if that area might catch a lot of ocean debris deflected by the currents hitting the east side.
2.   The repeated returns to an area west of the Bevington object after they already spent a lot of time there.

All these events could simply be just to look at something interesting that turned out to be NC debris.

In any event they did a lot of work!

Also,
Wondering if they may do a quick re-visit of something on the way back up to Baker and Howland.  Is Ballard leaving after the Niku portion of the expedition?
3971R
 
« Last Edit: August 22, 2019, 12:00:17 AM by Greg Daspit »
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Leon R White

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #87 on: August 22, 2019, 08:18:48 AM »

The main attraction at Apia would be the one stop air service to Los Angeles, wouldn't it? Maybe send someone with a bag of hard drives home?  Speculation - it seems impossible not to engage in it. Argghh
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Walt Holm

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #88 on: August 22, 2019, 11:05:42 AM »

The Nautilus track at the northern end of the island at the end of the search is pretty interesting.  When viewed in the context of the Nautilus track for the whole expedition, it appears that they were just extending their search area northward in relatively shallow water.  This is a pretty decent idea.  IIRC, this final search area is north of the area we covered with the ROV in 2010, so they were in unexplored territory, and you never know when you just might stumble across something.  If indeed the Electra floated off of the reef flat, it's a reasonable hypothesis that it moved laterally with the current into that area.

I do, however, have a somewhat more horrifying thought.  In the 2001 expedition to Niku, the dive team picked up a number of odds and ends and brought them back to the ship (the Naia) for further examination.  Mostly these were various bits of brass machinery from the Norwich City that had survived and were relatively corrosion-free.  Nothing ended up being from an Electra.  One intriguing piece, however, was a chunk of an intake manifold from a B-24 or PB4Y-1 that had been hacked off of a wreck with a machete.  Andrew McKenna found it in the beach of the Tatiman Passage, across from the old village site, partially sticking out of the sand.  It was probably from a wreck at Kanton Island and brought to Niku by colonists moving between the islands.

Anyway, if my fuzzy mind remembers this correctly, when we were preparing the ship to start heading home, I inquired as to where the tray was with the pieces we had brought back to the ship.  I was told that a Naia crewmember had just dumped them in the ocean while cleaning up the ship.  As you can guess by now, we were anchored at the time off the north end of the island, around the area where the Nautilus was searching at the end of their expedition.

Did the Nautilus run across that intake manifold, and, lacking any context, decide to search the area for other man-made objects?  I guess we'll find out in October.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #89 on: August 23, 2019, 09:08:53 AM »

Search crew shares personal theories on Amelia Earhart
https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/08/amelia-earhart-reflection/
3971R
 
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