Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down

Author Topic: Ballard object  (Read 1243 times)

Don Yee

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Ballard object
« on: March 14, 2023, 07:41:31 AM »

Hi all,
I was rewatching the Ballard documentary 'Expedition Amelia' and on the very last day Ballard's crew recovers an object they they think might be aluminum but after close up examination determine it's not. It has a white-ish shiny side and a side that looks like it's got wood fragments attached (perhaps indicating that the object was once glued to a wooden structure). They don't discuss what it may be but I was wondering if it could be the covering over wooden furniture, like cabinets or a tables? Would the Electra have had any cabinets or similar wooden components on it covered by a finished surface? 
Don...
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2023, 08:55:44 AM »


Good question.
There was a platform over the fuselage tanks to permit transit between the cockpit and the navigator's station.  It had some kind of smooth surface, probably glued to plywood, but it was dark colored.
The navigator's table seems to have been bare plywood.
The floor in the cabin was plywood covered with linoleum. No color specified.  Could the stuff Ballard found be linoleum?
Logged

Don Yee

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2023, 09:12:27 AM »

My first thought was linoleum although it seems very thin (I've pulled linoleum out of a house built in the early 1900s and it was quite thick and had a black backing. The other question would be if the Norwich City would have had any such material on board (it was built decades before the Electra). Seems like linoleum goes back to the mid-1800s.

Ric, this is a zoomed out version of the image that you posted above (it's from: https://tighar.org/Projects/Earhart/Archives/Research/Bulletins/61_FuelSystem/61_FuelSystem.htm).

Is the floor in front of the tanks bare plywood? It seems rather shiny. Do you have a better resolution image?

Don...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2023, 09:18:09 AM by Don Yee »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2023, 09:15:24 AM »

I think we have some linoleum-like material salvaged from the Electra wreck in Alaska.  I'll dig it out.
Logged

Don White

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 150
  • Tighar Member #4989A
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #4 on: March 14, 2023, 09:18:48 AM »

It looks like Formica. Older Formica often has a wood backing.

It was already in use for interior surfaces. It might have been used in an airplane cabin, boat cabin, or house.

Wikipedia article: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Formica_(plastic)

LTM,
Don W
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #5 on: March 14, 2023, 09:25:23 AM »

Lockheed specs say linoleum.

Logged

Don White

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 150
  • Tighar Member #4989A
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #6 on: March 14, 2023, 09:33:45 AM »

Linoleum makes more sense for that application. Also, linoleum was often made with asbestos fibers to make it fire resistant, which would have also made sense. The old 9-inch linoleum squares often seen on cellar floors of old houses reputedly always contain asbestos.
Logged

Don Yee

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2023, 09:42:37 AM »

Linoleum makes more sense for that application. Also, linoleum was often made with asbestos fibers to make it fire resistant, which would have also made sense. The old 9-inch linoleum squares often seen on cellar floors of old houses reputedly always contain asbestos.

My only hesitation is that in the Ballard video the material seems very thin (perhaps 1/16"). So it looks more like veneer that was glued to wood (which was/is common in cabinets and furniture). Linoleum often has a backing that provides some cushioning when used in flooring applications. That's why I thought cabinets. Wasn't there some info about Noonan having a shelf for his navigation books? Besides that I don't see any other cabinets in any of the cockpit photos available on the internet.

Don...
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2023, 09:45:16 AM »

Wasn't there some info about Noonan having a shelf for his navigation books?

No.  You're thinking of the navigator's bookcase we found, that turned out to be from a B-24.
Logged

Don White

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 150
  • Tighar Member #4989A
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2023, 09:49:29 AM »

There are really two questions here -- what was it that Ballard found, and what was it that was in the Electra. I thought the Ballard find looked like Formica. There's nothing other than the area in which it was found to suggest it was part of the Electra. There are other possible sources for a piece of Formica in the island's history. And it might be something else.

LTM,
Don W
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2023, 10:02:10 AM »

Yep. There's no way it can be a diagnostic artifact.  At best, it could be one of the many "interesting possibilities" found over the years.
Logged

Don Yee

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2023, 10:04:42 AM »

I grabbed the segment of the doc where they examine the object. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRGhtxThcmM

Don...
Logged

Bill Mangus

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 417
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2023, 10:13:09 AM »

What were the floors of the buildings in the village made of?  This might be village debris.
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6059
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2023, 10:17:28 AM »

What were the floors of the buildings in the village made of?  This might be village debris.

Government building floors were concrete.  Village house floors were local material.  We saw no linoleum or other western flooring material in the village.
Logged

Don Yee

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 40
Re: Ballard object
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2023, 10:19:12 AM »

Yep. There's no way it can be a diagnostic artifact.  At best, it could be one of the many "interesting possibilities" found over the years.

Agree. However some questions to ponder.
1. Was there any linoleum or Formica on the Electra?
2. If yes, could it be determined the type/color used? Does any similar material still exist from the manufacturer?
3. If yes, could one do a chemical/materials analysis to determine similarity?

Even if you could and it was a match that does not mean it was definitive. Still, if Ballard was only focused on aluminum and the engines did he miss any other items?
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 

Copyright 2023 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP