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Author Topic: Possible ground scar  (Read 451 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Possible ground scar
« on: April 17, 2022, 09:30:06 AM »

In reviewing the work we did at the pond in 1994, I came across something interesting that we were never able to properly follow-up on.

During the May 1994 expedition, one of the divers - Eric Green - was doing a visual search of the bottom, swimming on the surface with mask and snorkel in an area where the water was about six feet deep and the bottom was "muck" (sediment) covered with two or three inches of green marine grass.  He came upon something he later sketched (see below) and described during a video-taped de-briefing on shore.  The audio on the tape is difficult to make out due to wind noise but I've been able to transcribe this much:

Eric:  "It's like something that hit there - I dunno - if you were looking for something that hit the bottom, like something scoops it - ya know?  That thick, deep down (holds hands about 18 inches apart) we have muck.  What it looks like, you have a piece about this length (holds hands about 3 feet apart) with [unintelligible] (holds hands with fingers pointing toward each other) with seaweed all over it.  [unintelligible exchange with Jim and Ric] I stopped and looked at it and looked at it. Nothing else there.  I looked all the way around.  This is sitting about this far (holds hands about 18 inches apart) from one edge and nothing else, no rocks around it, nothing out there."

Jim Carucci (archaeologist): "Close to the island?

Eric: "Yes."

Ric:  "Do you think you could relocate this thing?"

Eric: "When I came up - when I saw it, I was looking straight across to the chopper here and I was close to the island.  I can find - I can find the groove just running this way (gestures left to right) which something had hit there and skidded down the road - big groove about that deep - and in grass - and I'm running back and forth - and it's there on the top, all by itself, nothing else there.

Jim:  "And it's not a rock?"

Eric:  "It's not a rock."

Carucci:  "Then it's probably a piece of metal."

Eric:  "It's not a rock, I don't think it's a rock but .. in about six feet of water. ...There's no rock there and there's nothing at all around it.  It's like something just settled down there over a period."

Ric:  Could be wood.

Eic: "No, no.  As I say, I was up on it just looking at it and I don't really know what it was. And I was like, I stood and looked at it for a while, I moved around..."

That's all we have.  Our permit didn't allow us to disturb, much less recover, artifacts but we wanted to look at the feature closely, measure it, and photograph it, but we were unable to find it again in the time available.
In retrospect, this could be the most important find we've ever had at the pond.  This sounds very much like a ground scar where a heavy object hit the pond bottom at a shallow angle at high speed and tore a path before burying itself in the sediment, leaving only a small portion of the object visible.
I've been trying to come up with plausible alternative explanations but not having much luck.

 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 09:32:35 AM by Ric Gillespie »
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Jon Romig

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2022, 10:20:07 AM »

Interesting.

- Is Eric still available to listen to the audio and perhaps fill in some gaps?

- Do we know how long and deep the trench was? The sketch does not say.

- The fact that the object has different growth on it (“seaweed”?) suggests that it might be organic material, providing dfferent nutrients than the nearby sediment. Do nearby rocks have growth on them?

- Does the description of the location indicate which side of the island it is on?

Jon
Jon Romig 3562R
 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2022, 10:24:13 AM by Jon Romig »
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Bill Mangus

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2022, 10:25:38 AM »

Possibly a scar made by the hull of the aircraft?

What was the draft of the hull when in the water?
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2022, 10:41:30 AM »

- Is Eric still available to listen to the audio and perhaps fill in some gaps?

I hope so.  If he's still around I should be able to track him down.

- Do we know how long and deep the trench was? The sketch does not say.

He said the trench was about 18" deep.  He didn't say how long it was.

- The fact that the object has different growth on it (“seaweed”?) suggests that it might be organic material, providing dfferent nutrients than the nearby sediment. Do nearby rocks have growth on them?

There are no nearby rocks but all of the rocks in the pond are covered with a slippery slime.  No grass or seaweed.


- Does the description of the location indicate which side of the island it is on?

Yes. Given his description I can pin down the location fairly closely but, for obvious reasons, I'm not going to publicize it.


[/quote]
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2022, 10:49:02 AM »

Possibly a scar made by the hull of the aircraft?

Everything points to the aircraft having struck the island and blown up, but somehow the engine and prop did not end up on or near the island.  The explosion of the fuel tanks could have blown the whole nose section free to carry on, so the scar could have been made by the bow of the hull with engine/prop.

What was the draft of the hull when in the water?

Maybe a couple feet.  The photo included with Jeff Christmas's post in the Breaking Point thread shows a PL 4 in the water.
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Denise Kelsey

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2022, 07:11:02 PM »

Can you tell whether his drawing might correspond with any of the "new targets" you mentioned in the video?
~ Denise
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Possible ground scar
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2022, 07:54:48 AM »

Can you tell whether his drawing might correspond with any of the "new targets" you mentioned in the video?

No, it does not.
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