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Author Topic: Will 2022 be the year?  (Read 862 times)

Don Yee

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Will 2022 be the year?
« on: December 15, 2021, 07:57:32 PM »

Greetings.
Wondering if 2022 is the year we'll see the headline, "Amelia Earhart Mystery finally solved!"
If I understand things the new film footage that would perhaps confirm the aluminum patch came from her Electra is on-going and perhaps will give us an answer soon. Ballard has another expedition to assess the area around the island and he could find a smoking gun. Either of those could prove the final piece of the puzzle. Don't get me wrong, I'm convinced, but one or both of those would represent a tipping point for the public.
Thoughts?
Happy holidays.
Don...
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Will 2022 be the year?
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2021, 04:39:53 PM »

Don

I agree, it could happen this year, the 85th anniversary of her disappearance. 

The photo analysis looks like it will be definitive, one way or another.  Smoking gun, or not.  Fingers crossed, but ready for either outcome.

I think Ballard is particularly aware of the 85th milestone, and he is setting up his daughter as Scientific Director of the expedition for the recognition.  It would make her career, so to speak.

It would also make TIGHAR's day.  Ballard's finding the aircraft will also be a win for TIGHAR. 

Overnight success after only 34 years!

AMCK

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Barry S. Hogrefe

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Re: Will 2022 be the year?
« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2022, 09:25:27 PM »

Andrew - In your latest post, you mentioned a 'new' expedition being set up by Bob Ballard. Do you know what the particulars are of this, like dates, agenda, etc. I was wondering that since his last expedition to Niku didn't find anything, and that the expedition was pretty extensive in it's search area, what would be the driving force in this new expedition?
Thanks,
Barry
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Jeff Lange

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Re: Will 2022 be the year?
« Reply #3 on: January 21, 2022, 07:43:01 AM »

We can all dream........ BUT

As Ric has stated before- there will NEVER be a smoking gun to satisfy everyone. Even if we pulled an engine from the depths with a pristine data tag on it- THEY ( you know, that ever present populace called they?) would say we planted it there. So, solved to OUR expectations--perhaps. Smoking gun to permanently lay to rest any questions-  not so much. >:( :P
Jeff Lange

# 0748CR
 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: Will 2022 be the year?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2022, 02:07:36 PM »

Andrew - In your latest post, you mentioned a 'new' expedition being set up by Bob Ballard. Do you know what the particulars are of this, like dates, agenda, etc. I was wondering that since his last expedition to Niku didn't find anything, and that the expedition was pretty extensive in it's search area, what would be the driving force in this new expedition?
Thanks,
Barry

Barry

I don't have any particulars other than what can be found at the end of this article
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/robert-ballard-man-who-found-the-titanic-cmd/index.html

Ballard indicates that Nat Geo is funding this upcoming expedition, and that his daughter Emily will likely be in charge.  The 2022 R/V Nautilus Expedition research itinerary has not been announced, but in 2019 he indicated that NOAA was sending him back to Howland Isle and other US protectorates in 2021 for deep water mapping with multiple deep water AUVs operating in parallel.  That never happened during the 2021 Expedition, so I believe it has been deferred to 2022.  Toggling the deep water work at Howland with a trip to Nikumaroro is a logical thing to do given their relative proximity.  Ballard is a student of history, and this summer is the 85th anniversary of Earhart's disappearance and I'm sure that is not lost on him or Nat Geo.  Given that, I'd be surprised if he did not choose to be out there on or about July 2nd.  Just an educated guess, but think of the media value of being able to announce finding the Electra on July 2, it would amplify what will already be huge news.

Regarding what they found or didn't find in 2019, ultimately what they did is collect data.  As TIGHAR has learned over the years, negative data is still data, and helps guide future efforts.  The tools Ballard used were really good for what they were attempting, a search of the steep terrain down to whatever depth the ROVs were capable.  What they found is that the Electra was not in the areas they searched.  What does that mean?  In most searches, it means that the search box needs to be expanded.  This is the same scenario as Ballard's 2019 search for the Samoan Clipper, he didn't locate it on the first try, so they need to expand the search box.  Titanic took 4 expeditions to find.  To search further into the deep water, they need different technology, and this time they'll be deploying the wolf pack of AUV's. 

All of this is predicated on the belief that the Electra went into the deeper water in a substantial piece(s).  The engines and center part of the aircraft, at a minimum, would be hard to disaggregate or disintegrate and should be out there somewhere.  Given the 1000 gallons of empty fuel tanks, I believe that the aircraft would have some level of buoyancy in the sense that it would not sink like a rock, and in a 2-3 knot current could be carried away from the steep slopes of the Island and settle out into the deep water.  I think Ballard, and by extension Nat Geo, thinks this scenario, supported by the rest of TIGHAR's research, is reasonable enough to make the effort and expense to investigate.  Personally, I subscribe to this hypothesis, but Ric and I are not entirely in alignment on this scenario.  If the aircraft were busted up into a million pieces in the surf, I believe there would have been pieces for Ballard to find.  His search was granular enough to find lots of small things including our own trash from previous expeditions, hats, beer cans, lost sonar fish, etc. if there were aircraft parts there to be found, he would have found them.  Therefore he needs to look elsewhere, and that means farther out into the deep water.

The driving force is Nat Geo's willingness to invest further in the Nikumaroro hypothesis. 

Time will tell.  I'm hoping for a very exciting summer.

Andrew
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