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Author Topic: Discovery Channel Show  (Read 115787 times)

Mark Petersen

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #90 on: December 13, 2010, 06:37:38 PM »

Awesome Show.  I'm pretty impressed that Discovery got all of the main points right.  Sure they could have expanded a little bit here or there, but overall they did a stand up job.  More importantly they put the work of Tighar in the proper (good) light. 

The photo of Nessie seemed quite a bit different from the one on this website.  I'm guessing that the differences might be due to additional enhancements (the one on this website that is), or were they showing the original high res photo?  The Nessie image on my TV looked more like a blob that could have easily been a canoe or something else left by those taking the photos.

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Michael HALL

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #91 on: December 15, 2010, 12:40:48 PM »

if anyone has a copy of this please let me know we missed it up here in the great white north :(
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Gus Rubio

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #92 on: December 15, 2010, 02:19:06 PM »

I've been lurking for almost a year now, and have finally gotten around to registering.  I'm a 39-year old male outside of Chicago, Illinois (and everywhere else too, I suppose).   ;D

Before visiting TIGHAR, I knew very little about Amelia and Fred's fate, other than that they were lost over the Pacific.  I'd heard the Japanese capture theory, and the Agent Earhart-returned-to-the-US-under-an-assumed-name idea too, but neither one sounded reasonable.  I found TIGHAR.org when looking for info on aircraft relics, and was immediately captivated by the Niku hypothesis.  The story TIGHAR has put forward is mind-blowing- not only in its implications, but in its cohesion.  Lots of pieces fitting together to make a completely plausible, if tragic, narrative.  I recently read "Finding Amelia" and found it riveting.  The Discovery Channel special was amazing, I loved the footage from the various Niku expeditions, and the re-creations were chilling.  Those crabs gave me the willies!  You wouldn't catch me on Niku without a heavy stick, that's for sure.

Ric indeed seemed like he was talking to a trusted colleague- he's articulate, driven, affable, and knowledgeable.  I could feel his pain when he talked about the premature announcement he made to the press all those years ago, ouch. 

Now then, I have a comment and a question about the ROV and the apparent cable seen in the ROV footage.  Is there a reason why the ROV was not equipped with its arm all the time?  I recall that the ROV had to be raised to install the arm, and then re-deployed.  I felt frustrated at the lost opportunity, as those present must have been.   Would it be possible to have a powerful magnet attached to the belly of the ROV, or hanging from a short lead (assuming it would not interfere w/ its operation)? 

There is a section of that wire loop that curves upward from below, and appears to be buried in the coral.  Did it look that way to the expedition members on-scene?  Do we have an idea how long coral would take to grow over such a piece of cable?  In the weekly reports from Niku 6, the diameter of the cable was estimated at 2-3mm; might that be about the size of the aero-surface control cables in the Electra?  Perhaps the curved piece seen in the video went around a pulley of some kind, and had taken a set to give it the curve seen.

Keep up the great work, we're all looking forward to more AE/FN news!

-Gus
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Cynthia M Kennedy

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #93 on: December 15, 2010, 08:07:06 PM »

I have now watched the Discovery Channel Show twice and it's great.  My 80-year-old mother watched it, too, and now has my copy of Finding Amelia.  I grew up hearing my mother talk about AE.  My mother was only 7 when AE was lost, but she was fascinated by her.  My mother called me after the show to tell me how glad she was that I reminded her to watch. 

I do wish that during the segment about Betty's Notebook, they would have mentioned "get the suitcase in my closet."

Cindy
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #94 on: December 15, 2010, 10:12:14 PM »

... I do wish that during the segment about Betty's Notebook, they would have mentioned "get the suitcase in my closet."

It just goes to show that television may not be the best medium for documenting the Niku hypothesis.

You have to make the story meaningful to "the general public."  That requires some backstory.

There isn't room in a two-hour show to mention everything TIGHAR has learned, let alone fit all of the pieces of the puzzle together one-by-one.

They also left out the sextant numbers, something I find interesting but the writers did not.  That's TV!
LTM,

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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #95 on: December 16, 2010, 06:54:50 AM »

Now then, I have a comment and a question about the ROV and the apparent cable seen in the ROV footage.  Is there a reason why the ROV was not equipped with its arm all the time?  I recall that the ROV had to be raised to install the arm, and then re-deployed.  I felt frustrated at the lost opportunity, as those present must have been.   Would it be possible to have a powerful magnet attached to the belly of the ROV, or hanging from a short lead (assuming it would not interfere w/ its operation)?
The grabber arm partially obscures the camera so they don't like to use it unless they know they want to grab something.  Normally they're confident that they can return to any spot using the GPS but between the time they spotted the wire and went back to get it, the GPS unit got damaged.

There is a section of that wire loop that curves upward from below, and appears to be buried in the coral.  Did it look that way to the expedition members on-scene?  Do we have an idea how long coral would take to grow over such a piece of cable?

Good question, and we should get the answer.  First we need to try to confirm that it is wire rather than "whip coral" which can look quite similar. Jeff Glickman, the forensic imaging specialist you saw ion the Discovery show, is now reviewing the video to see if he can confirm or deny that it's wire.

In the weekly reports from Niku 6, the diameter of the cable was estimated at 2-3mm; might that be about the size of the aero-surface control cables in the Electra?  Perhaps the curved piece seen in the video went around a pulley of some kind, and had taken a set to give it the curve seen.

Elactra control cable is braided cable that is quite a bit thicker than that.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #96 on: December 16, 2010, 11:17:59 AM »

OK, not being horribly tech savvy (and having the patience of a flea today) - I take it that the Discovery Channel isn't selling DVDs of Finding Amelia?
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #97 on: December 17, 2010, 06:32:56 AM »

TIGHAR's contract with Discovery gives them the privilege of breaking the news of a "conclusive" discovery.  Obviously, so far, there has been no such news.  The contract also gives them the right to be the first to release new research results that could eventually lead to "conclusive evidence."  For example, the first news of the possible finger bone appeared on DiscoveryNews.com and has gone viral from there.  We can, and do, release research results that do not have "conclusive" potential but are, nonetheless, of great interest.  Whenever possible, we try to make sure that TIGHAR members receive news before anyone else.  It's one of the benefits of membership.
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Don Dollinger

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #98 on: December 17, 2010, 08:04:51 AM »

Quote
TIGHAR's contract with Discovery gives them the privilege of breaking the news of a "conclusive" discovery.  Obviously, so far, there has been no such news.

Can you reveal whether or not there is more breaking news possibly coming due to some other evidence that was collected at Niku, but not announced due to your nondisclosure agreement.

LTM

Don
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Michael HALL

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #99 on: December 17, 2010, 09:21:24 AM »

still desperate to see this, if anyone can help please email me sales@aqua-digital.com

Thanks ;)
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #100 on: December 17, 2010, 09:39:53 AM »

Can you reveal whether or not there is more breaking news possibly coming due to some other evidence that was collected at Niku, but not announced due to your nondisclosure agreement.

If you can tell me how the analysis will turn out I can tell you whether there will be more to report.  ;D
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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #101 on: December 17, 2010, 09:42:50 AM »

I will have to wait till (if ever) the video arrives in Pakistan hahaha!!! ;D
I think I'm the only Earhart/TIGHAR fan from this side of the world!
Congratulations to TIGHAR team anyway!
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Phil O'Keefe

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #102 on: December 17, 2010, 06:19:08 PM »

I'm certainly no expert on any of this, so please take my questions and comments in the spirit of respect in which they are intended. :o

Was there an inventory of the items aboard the Electra compiled back in 1937? If not, has anyone attempted to compile a list of probable items that were aboard? I would imagine such a list would be of considerable use and interest to anyone searching for artifacts, and could possibly provide some clues as to what they may have done (and what their resources and capabilities were) after they were stranded.

I had some thoughts and questions about the location of the artifacts that were discovered at the "seven" site, and indeed, the location at the southeastern end of the island. If AE set down on the fringing reef just north of the SS Norwich City (SSNC) on the far northwestern end of the island as the evidence appears to support, then it would seem reasonable to me that she and FN would have been more likely to make camp in that general area of the island, due to the proximity to the shipwreck and wreckage of the Electra. Traveling to the far end of the island would not make sense from a conservation of energy standpoint, although if they did not know if the island lacked a fresh water source, I suppose exploring it in search of one would make sense. It just seems like quite a trek to travel all the way to the far end of the island and away from the one man made item a searcher would most easily spot - the wreckage of the SSNC; especially since she may have mentioned the ship in one of her post-landing radio distress calls ("New York City, or something that sounded like it").

Putting myself into their shoes, I would imagine I would want to attempt to stay near the aircraft for as long as possible for several reasons. The Electra and its contents represented a considerable percentage of their available resources, and its location was near to some of their other resources, such as the items from the SSNC and the items left over from the crew's camp when they were shipwrecked. Outside of Gardner's local flora and fauna, that was probably all they had available to them.

Any aviator will know it is easier to spot something of the size of an aircraft or ship from the air than it is to spot an individual. Which leads me to another point - I can't imagine an aviator wouldn't put out signal "panels" (made of locally sourced items such as rock, coral and vegetation if necessary) on the beach in order to alert anyone searching from the air of their presence on the island. I would have also attempted to prepare signal (smoke) fires in the event I spotted a passing ship. Rubber from the Electra's tires could have been used to generate smoke. I realize it's an unanswerable question, but I have to wonder why AE and FN would not have taken similar steps.   

I also can't imagine that they would have attempted to transfer as much of the contents of the Electra to shore as possible - especially once they became aware of the risk of losing the aircraft to storm waves or rising tides. Going back to the content inventory, I would imagine there would have been items aboard that may have been used or modified for use as rainwater collection containers of greater capacity than the clam shells that were theoretically used for that purpose at the seven site. I also can't imagine making a flight of that type without an inflatable raft (another excellent rainwater collection reservoir and an easy to spot item from the air) and flare gun aboard the aircraft, as well as other basic survival gear - lures, rainwater collection and purification tools (iodine), etc. Other than making the radio distress calls, getting those items ashore would have been my number one priority.

Again, I realize a lot of these questions are unanswerable, but I just wanted to toss them out there for consideration and discussion. I still think that the "castaway" theory makes more sense than the "crashed at sea" theory, and I commend TIGHAR's efforts and work.
« Last Edit: December 17, 2010, 07:11:17 PM by Phil O'Keefe »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #103 on: December 17, 2010, 09:40:25 PM »

Was there an inventory of the items aboard the Electra compiled back in 1937?

An inventory was made after the disaster at Luke Field on the first round-the-world attempt.

Quote
I had some thoughts and questions about the location of the artifacts that were discovered at the "seven" site, and indeed, the location at the southeastern end of the island. If AE set down on the fringing reef just north of the SS Norwich City (SSNC) on the far northwestern end of the island as the evidence appears to support, then it would seem reasonable to me that she and FN would have been more likely to make camp in that general area of the island, due to the proximity to the shipwreck and wreckage of the Electra. Traveling to the far end of the island would not make sense from a conservation of energy standpoint, although if they did not know if the island lacked a fresh water source, I suppose exploring it in search of one would make sense. It just seems like quite a trek to travel all the way to the far end of the island and away from the one man made item a searcher would most easily spot - the wreckage of the SSNC; especially since she may have mentioned the ship in one of her post-landing radio distress calls ("New York City, or something that sounded like it").

Putting myself into their shoes, I would imagine I would want to attempt to stay near the aircraft for as long as possible for several reasons. The Electra and its contents represented a considerable percentage of their available resources, and its location was near to some of their other resources, such as the items from the SSNC and the items left over from the crew's camp when they were shipwrecked. Outside of Gardner's local flora and fauna, that was probably all they had available to them.

We have to follow the evidence where it leads.  The things collected by Gallagher seem to have come from the Seven Site.  It seems to fit Gallagher's description of where his search was made.

Quote
Any aviator will know it is easier to spot something of the size of an aircraft or ship from the air than it is to spot an individual.

It is highly doubtful that AE and FN would have expected an air search in 1937.  Search and rescue was in its infancy.  There weren't a lot of aircraft that could go looking for them.  The planes that flew over Niku may have caught them completely off guard.  No other searches of the island were done by airplane.

Quote
Which leads me to another point - I can't imagine an aviator wouldn't put out signal "panels" (made of locally sourced items such as rock, coral and vegetation if necessary) on the beach in order to alert anyone searching from the air of their presence on the island. I would have also attempted to prepare signal (smoke) fires in the event I spotted a passing ship. Rubber from the Electra's tires could have been used to generate smoke. I realize it's an unanswerable question, but I have to wonder why AE and FN would not have taken similar steps.  

One wonders many things about how AE's mind worked.  Why did she make such a complete and total hash of advance planning for communications and RDF?  Not knowing how much time might have elapsed from July 2nd until her demise at the Seven Site (if indeed it was she who left the skeleton there) makes it hard for us to second-guess what she should and should not have done.  If she collected the clams, fish, and birds, and if she lit the fires in which such bones were found, that may suggest that the move was not entirely fruitless.

Quote
I also can't imagine that they would have attempted to transfer as much of the contents of the Electra to shore as possible - especially once they became aware of the risk of losing the aircraft to storm waves or rising tides. Going back to the content inventory, I would imagine there would have been items aboard that may have been used or modified for use as rainwater collection containers of greater capacity than the clam shells that were theoretically used for that purpose at the seven site. I also can't imagine making a flight of that type without an inflatable raft (another excellent rainwater collection reservoir and an easy to spot item from the air) and flare gun aboard the aircraft, as well as other basic survival gear - lures, rainwater collection and purification tools (iodine), etc. Other than making the radio distress calls, getting those items ashore would have been my number one priority.

IF the aircraft landed on the reef near the Norwich City, then any material from the plane brought ashore probably got swept away in storms or picked up by natives.  TIGHAR has been over that ground many times.  It's doubtful that your surmise would lead to finding any new materials today, even if that is what AE and FN did.
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Phil O'Keefe

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Re: Discovery Channel Show
« Reply #104 on: December 18, 2010, 12:44:59 AM »

An inventory was made after the disaster at Luke Field on the first round-the-world attempt.


Thanks for the link.  8) That looks like considerable material that could have been used for rainwater collection. For example, there are several waterproof bags listed, along with the pocket knife, rubber hoses and three canteens; it doesn't take extensive survival training to think of ways to utilize those for rainwater collection and storage. 

We have to follow the evidence where it leads.  The things collected by Gallagher seem to have come from the Seven Site.  It seems to fit Gallagher's description of where his search was made.

I completely agree; that's where the evidence suggests that AE apparently wound up. I am just wondering WHY she would go there. ??? As even a quick glance at the Google Earth images of the island show, it's quite a trek (3+ miles) to that location from the hypothetical Electra landing site. Unless the Seven Site location offered advantages over the immediate area of the landing site on the northwest coast of the atoll, I can't see any reason to relocate. Was there better access to food (clam beds, lagoon fishing) and water (freshwater lens?) and / or shade there? If not, I see no real advantage to relocating. You'd have to transport whatever materials you salvaged. You'd have to walk all that way; with the inherent injury and exertion / dehydration risks that are associated with that effort. It puts you miles away from the most likely place a search party would gravitate towards - the wreckage of the aircraft (at least until it disappeared), and of the SS Norwich City. 

It is highly doubtful that AE and FN would have expected an air search in 1937.  Search and rescue was in its infancy.  There weren't a lot of aircraft that could go looking for them.  The planes that flew over Niku may have caught them completely off guard.  No other searches of the island were done by airplane.

I must respectfully disagree. As aviators, AE and FN would have probably both known about the state of naval aviation during their era. Not only were aircraft carriers and seaplane tenders available, but most battleships and cruisers carried and utilized catapult launched floatplanes (like the Vought O3U-3 from the USS Colorado that overflew Gardner as part of the search) for reconnaissance purposes; greatly extending the range of their search capabilities. It would have been highly surprising for them to be unaware of these aviation related facts. If a search was to be conducted - and again, considering her fame, a search NOT being conducted would have been unlikely - aircraft being a component of that search would have to at least been something they would have thought of as possible, if not likely.

In light of that fact, not keeping the signal pistol and at least a few rounds for it (and according to the inventory, there were over a dozen; including two parachute flares) with them at all times would have been unthinkable.

One wonders many things about how AE's mind worked.  Why did she make such a complete and total hash of advance planning for communications and RDF?  Not knowing how much time might have elapsed from July 2nd until her demise at the Seven Site (if indeed it was she who left the skeleton there) makes it hard for us to second-guess what she should and should not have done.  If she collected the clams, fish, and birds, and if she lit the fires in which such bones were found, that may suggest that the move was not entirely fruitless.

An excellent point. FN should have known better too; it's not like he was inexperienced in terms of navigation and long overwater flights. But most tragedies are a result of a combination of errors and bad circumstances as opposed to any single error or engineering casualty. Change one thing here or there, and the outcome completely changes. Had the reception antenna not been knocked off the Electra (if indeed that occurred) when it took off at Lae, they would have been able to hear the Itasca's radio instructions to broadcast on a different frequency, thus allowing them to home in on Itasca, or for Itasca to get a fix on the Electra and guide them in. Had AE made better advance preparations, then the RDF issue may not have arisen. Had she undertaken more extensive RDF training, she would have had a better knowledge of the capabilities and limitations of her equipment, made better arrangements with the Coast Guard and had a better understanding in terms of the Itasca's transmission, reception and RDF capabilities, etc. etc.

I suspect no single failure or error in judgment sealed their fate, but a unique combination of them. :(

IF the aircraft landed on the reef near the Norwich City, then any material from the plane brought ashore probably got swept away in storms or picked up by natives.  TIGHAR has been over that ground many times.  It's doubtful that your surmise would lead to finding any new materials today, even if that is what AE and FN did.

No; if TIGHAR has searched that area extensively, then such items are probably not there. I'm not suggesting otherwise - only that such a location near to the (probable) Electra landing site would be the most logical location for anyone stranded on that island to set up camp. If you land on the reef just north of the SSNC, then you'd head for the beach immediately to your east. It's the closest location to set up camp. The crew of the Norwich City set up camp in that general area; near the abandoned and collapsed structures from the 1890s era Arundel project. It's also the location of the coconut trees which the Arundel colony planted, and from what I've read, some of the tallest (and best shade producing?) trees on the atoll. Walking to the northwestern tip of the atoll, and then all the way around and down to the far southeastern end of the island to the Seven Site doesn't make much sense... especially if you're carrying bottles, a sextant box, etc. etc. Why take a three or four mile trek over rugged terrain and in hot weather if you don't have to? 

If one one (or both) of them survived for months (as Ric theorized) or even weeks, then I would suspect some exploration of the atoll would have been undertaken. If they felt the Seven Site offered them some advantage, then it would make sense for them to consider the move. But again, such an advantage would have to have been significant to justify the effort involved in the relocation from the point of their initial landing.

It just doesn't make sense to me. ??? But again, just because I don't understand the reasons doesn't mean they didn't have any for undertaking that move, and even though I may not find it logical, if the evidence suggests otherwise, then you have to side with that. :)

Thanks again for your reply and the links. I find the whole subject fascinating! :)
« Last Edit: December 18, 2010, 12:52:02 AM by Phil O'Keefe »
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