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Author Topic: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane  (Read 75563 times)

Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #45 on: August 16, 2019, 05:30:48 PM »

Interesting plots of the search on https://twitter.com/LabratSR

Thanks for posting this. It would be interesting to see the plot from the last few hours.
3971R
 
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #46 on: August 16, 2019, 10:14:42 PM »

Ric,
If N.G. finds something are we going to be informed or do we have to wait until Oct. to get the info?
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Joe Cerniglia

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #47 on: August 17, 2019, 04:55:35 AM »

Man who found Titanic wreck may present on Earhart in Atchison
https://www.newspressnow.com/news/local_news/man-who-found-titanic-wreck-may-present-on-earhart-in/article_51fdaf04-c047-11e9-871f-3b3a0ccf9890.html

“The spokeswoman for (U.S. Senator) Moran said that significant developments relating to the expedition are expected before Sept. 3, at which point exact time and location information will be announced by Moran’s office.”

That sounds somewhat encouraging.

Godspeed, Exploration Vessel Nautilus and Motor Vessel Taka. We’ll be glad to have you back. Regardless of outcome, we know you will bring the world new knowledge about the environments of Nikumaroro under the sea and on land that will be of great benefit to those who study the ecology of the Phoenix Islands Protected Area, and to those who share your love of exploration and discovery. All explorers everywhere feel a great pride in your discoveries, and TIGHARs all over the world will feel a special pride in what together we have done to help make them possible.

Joe Cerniglia
TIGHAR #3078ECR
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #48 on: August 17, 2019, 08:20:12 AM »

Ric,
If N.G. finds something are we going to be informed or do we have to wait until Oct. to get the info?

From a practical standpoint, if they find something significant there is no way they could keep a lid on it until October. Too many people would know about it.

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #49 on: August 17, 2019, 08:49:23 AM »


“The spokeswoman for (U.S. Senator) Moran said that significant developments relating to the expedition are expected before Sept. 3, at which point exact time and location information will be announced by Moran’s office.”

That sounds somewhat encouraging.

Don't read too much into it.  The headline of the article is "Man who found Titanic wreck may present on Earhart in Atchison". 
If he does it will probably be via video link. By Sept. 3rd they'll know whether anything "significant" was found. If nothing related to Earhart turns up they'll stress the importance of the data they collected. National Geographic has already said,
"Amelia Earhart had planned to use her Electra to test the latest in aviation equipment—even nicknaming it the “Flying Laboratory.” By the end of this expedition to find the pilot and her plane, the Nautilus’s equipment will be tested to the limits, and the small island of Nikumaroro will be thoroughly mapped. Whether her fate is discovered or not, maybe Earhart would be satisfied with that result."

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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #50 on: August 17, 2019, 09:12:31 AM »

https://twitter.com/LabratSR
This twitter account posted a more up to date plot. Yesterday the Nautilus seemed to spend about 3 hours in one small area, about .6 NM west of the Bevington Object, then it searched east/ uphill from that spot, then started what looks like a mow-the lawn-pattern to the SW of the area they spent so much time.
3971R
 
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Randy Conrad

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #51 on: August 17, 2019, 09:44:48 AM »

Anything coming out of Senator Jerry Morans office will be mostly true to the fact. Plus, knowing the man all these years has its good points. Jerry and his family attended our church in Hays for many years. If there is one senator that I can put my trust in it would be him! I truly believe that whatever is found this organization will continue to flourish and shine, and everyone else will share in this celebration. As for you Ric Gillepsie...you are an honest man wanting to bring only those things that are true and valuable. If Bob Ballard does find anything...it will be because of the initiative someone took to look at a map after dinner. As a homegrown Kansas boy....its been fun watching this unfold....something tells me in the coming days that you might be wanting to finish that book. I truly believe we are in the right place....its just finding her that is the hardest part of this story. My best to Bob Ballard and his team for believing in RIC, and to you Tighars for sticking around this long on this incredible journey!
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #52 on: August 17, 2019, 10:14:09 AM »

Yesterday the Nautilus seemed to spend about 3 hours in one small area, about .6 NM west of the Bevington Object, then it searched east/ uphill from that spot, then started what looks like a mow-the lawn-pattern to the SW of the area they spent so much time.
It seems safe to infer that they found nothing of interest in the small area west of the Bevington Object.   My thoughts are these:
The available evidence suggests the plane sustained considerable damage in the surf close to the reef edge but if the fuel tanks were not compromised we’ve calculated it could remain afloat for as much as 18 minutes. Based on prevailing currents and winds, the most likely direction of drift would be southwestward from the Bevington Object location.  A rate of 2 knots seems generous. That puts the plane sinking roughly one third of a nautical mile (ballpark 600 meters) from where it started, enough to put it a bit beyond Norwich City in water 4 or 5 hundred meters deep. We spent very little time in that area in 2012.  If it was me, I’d look at the reef slope south of the shipwreck.

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.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #53 on: August 17, 2019, 10:57:30 AM »

From the NY Times article:
"As Dr. Ballard squinted at the blur, Mr. Campbell handed him a second, digitally enhanced image. Mr. Campbell said the smudge was landing gear from a Lockheed Model 10-E Electra."

Later in the same article:
"Mr. Campbell shared the photo with experts at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, who used classified technology to enhance the picture."

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

3971R
 
« Last Edit: August 17, 2019, 11:05:32 AM by Greg Daspit »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #54 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 #55 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.
3971R
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Bob Ballard to search for Earhart plane
« Reply #56 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 #58 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 #59 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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