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Author Topic: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937  (Read 444138 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #315 on: August 27, 2012, 09:54:49 AM »

The skeleton is missing and was also incomplete at the time of its discovery. As an archaeologist I would not go out on a limb to assert quite so definitely that an incomplete skeleton once interpreted as a stocky male Islander (which then went missing and was unavailable for physical examination) was that of a tall thin woman of Northern European hereditary.

Your arguments have to stand on their own whether or not you have training as an archaeologist. I have never asserted that the castaway was definitely a woman but there is, as I said,  good reason to think she was.

I would not then in order to further strengthen the limb to bear this gymnastic exercise then claim that the notes were by an examining physician whose ability is conveniently labelled as below par, because that raises the inconvenient question that if the physician and his notes are substandard then how can they then be used to assert that the skeleton is not a stocky Islander but a thin tall woman of Northern European heritage. If they are substandard for one conclusion than they are substandard for the other.

Distortions and and insulting language don't strengthen your case any more than waving your archaeological credentials. Nobody is claiming that Hoodless' analysis of the bones was "substandard." It was 1941 and he was doing the best he could with the tools and training he had.  There's no reason to doubt the accuracy of his measurements but today we have much better tools for interpreting them.
 
The part of a woman's shoe is just that nothing more, the question is - is it Earhart's shoe? That as far as I am aware has not been demonstrated. Perhaps in the rush to fit it into the overarching hypothesis other sources have been rejected, which is a danger with overarching hypotheses - they tend to bury the individuality of each piece of data rather than treat those pieces of data as artifacts which have their own identity and their own singular histories.

On the contrary.  Gallagher's confident identification of part of the sole of a woman's "stout walking shoe or sandal" raises questions that we've addressed in detail.
Why was Gallagher so sure it was woman's shoe?
What was there about the part of a sole that told him it was from a stout walking shoe or sandal?

I cannot demonstrate that it was Earhart's shoe but I can tell you how Gallagher could have drawn those conclusions from a shoe I can prove she had with her on her world flight.  You can call that a gymnastic exercise if you like.  I call it detective work.

If you believe that these two items constitute the smoking gun for the presence of Earhart on Nikumaroro then why not just stop there? Write finis and claim victory. Or is it that I am not the only person who is not completely convinced.

When did I say either of these things constitute a smoking gun? They're clues - strong indications that we're on the right track. Do you want us to just stop?  Is that what you're on about?

As you have raised the subject of alternate explanations, do you have an answer for the questions regarding the other key piece of evidence the Bevington object. I asked in the thread regarding it ( https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,916.0.html  ) these questions -

1. How was the size of the object calculated, and

2. Was similar analysis of the anomalies on the photo (the one on the top edge of the photo and the odd dots in the clouds) done to determine if these had similar characteristics to the anomaly that is located on the reef and was subsequently enlarged and with scale drawings of the Electra's undercarriage overlaid then claimed to be evidence of the u/c of Earhart's Electra.

You may well be right that it is the undercarriage of an Electra but it would certainly be sound practice to allay doubts by answering those questions.   

I'm currently working on a research bulletin that will answer these and other questions about the Bevington Photo.  I'll let you know when it's up.
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pilotart

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #316 on: August 27, 2012, 10:29:55 AM »

Malcom,

I will have to agree with your response that when I used the term "Clue" that the word is more appropriate for a Board Game or Crime Drama.  However the fact remains that TIGHAR has certainly researched many reasonable facts that support their hypothesis and their work goes on...

It is an interesting conundrum - all the evidence either artifacts or less tangible sources like radio messages, islander recollections etc. all fall short of providing that much sought smoking gun, because they all have equally valid alternative explanations.

They do?  All I've seen are imaginative speculations about possible alternative explanations.  We have, I think we can all agree, reliable documentation of a castaway's remains being found on Gardner Island in 1940.  There are good reasons  (the part of a woman's shoe and the doctor's bone measurements)  to think the castaway was a woman.  We have named a particular woman known to have gone missing in that area in the appropriate time frame.  Your turn.

I would also like to hear your equally valid alternative explanation for the 57 post-loss radio signals we consider to be credible.
???
<...>
If you believe that these two items constitute the smoking gun for the presence of Earhart on Nikumaroro then why not just stop there? Write finis and claim victory. Or is it that I am not the only person who is not completely convinced.
<...>

I do think you got the idea of what I meant by "Clue" ---

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothesis
Quote
In common usage in the 21st century, a hypothesis refers to a provisional idea whose merit requires evaluation. For proper evaluation, the framer of a hypothesis needs to define specifics in operational terms. A hypothesis requires more work by the researcher in order to either confirm or disprove it. In due course, a confirmed hypothesis may become part of a theory or occasionally may grow to become a theory itself.
and some of your posts make me think of this:
Quote
In its ancient usage,...'hypothesis' refers to a clever idea ...Cardinal Bellarmine gave a famous example of this usage in the warning issued to Galileo in the early 17th century: that he must not treat the motion of the Earth as a reality, but merely as a hypothesis.

My expertise lies in Aviation and the research published by TIGHAR in that field is accurate, truthful and as complete as can be possible, I have seen some information proposed by others that borders on ridiculous. The link posted by John five posts back "Search for Howland" contains a a good example of ridiculous.

Bones and shoes etc. would not be anything I could judge, but perhaps you could point out the errors in Dr. Kar Burns analysis of Dr. Hoodless' valuable measurements that he recorded.

You had responded to my question to you for your equally valid alternative explanations for radio messages with:
Quote
The post-loss radio messages are also not so clear cut in their transmittal location as you would think so I can only respectfully suggest that you have another look at the map on which they are charted.

I did take another look at the map you suggested and posted my thoughts. Your only response was "Then we must agree to differ."  and I took that to refer to the validity of Betty's notebook.

We can certainly agree to differ on whether Betty fabricated or misrepresented her Notebook and her statement about the involvement with her Family and Neighbors in the event.

But you should have given me an idea of your thoughts about those Radio Bearings pointing to the Electra's Location on July 4th and 5th.  BTW did you also doubt Dana Rudolph's truthfulness?

I don't think that "everyone is misrepresenting or confused" would be an equally valid alternative explanation for radio messages.
Art Johnson
 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 10:47:38 AM by pilotart »
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jgf1944

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #317 on: August 27, 2012, 10:39:55 AM »

I would also like to hear your [Mr.McKay's] equally valid alternative explanation for the 57 post-loss radio signals we consider to be credible.

    I have a question, Ric, about those signals. We know AE could not hear Itasca voice during the Howland period because she selected the nonexistant belly antenna. Given that, then how is it possbile that on 2 July 1900 hrs. AE was sending dashes in response to the Itasca voice request that she do so? (see record below.) Unless she repaired the missing belly antenna soon after landing on the reef, which seems highly unlikely to me, then the only other explanation is that AE had finally figured out to switch to the loop antenna and leave the frequency at 3105 or 6210 kcs. Do you concur? (and technically speaking, could the loop ant. pick up voice at a distance of 400+ miles?).
     3 July Post loss signals, record #17, qual factor: Achilles apparently did not know that the Coast Guard cutter Itasca was the station requesting dashes (see Identifier 30600IA). Itasca later confirmed that the voice request for dashes heard by Achilles was sent by Itasca. Achilles’ assessment of the responding dashes as “good” is consistent with the computed reception probability. The only plausible explanation for the responding dashes is that they were sent from Earhart’s plane (KHAQQ).
Post Loss Record, 3 July Thanx for a comeback, John #3245
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #318 on: August 27, 2012, 11:13:06 AM »

the only other explanation is that AE had finally figured out to switch to the loop antenna and leave the frequency at 3105 or 6210 kcs. Do you concur?

I concur.  She may also have listened on the frequency for KGMB, the big commercial station in Honolulu.

(and technically speaking, could the loop ant. pick up voice at a distance of 400+ miles?).

We haven't modeled that antenna so I can't answer your question except to say that the availabe evidence suggests that she could.
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jgf1944

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #319 on: August 27, 2012, 01:09:15 PM »

The link posted by John five posts back "Search for Howland" contains a a good example of ridiculous.
   Hi Pilot Art. I'm (notpilot) John, the guy wanting to know about AE's perspective during her approach to Howland. It seemed to me that the Search for Howland video replicated the conditions described in Finding Amelia, Chpt. 10: "She was down low, flying below the base of the clouds at one thousand fee" (per AE's  0742 transmission ...we are flying at 1000 feet) and that she had the rising sun in her eyes.
   Clearly, the video struck you as "ridiculous," which I read as it being off track relative to capturing AE's perspective. Would you please explain so I can 86 that puppy from my files! All Best, John #3245


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Kevin Weeks

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #320 on: August 27, 2012, 01:17:47 PM »

the only other explanation is that AE had finally figured out to switch to the loop antenna and leave the frequency at 3105 or 6210 kcs. Do you concur?

I concur.  She may also have listened on the frequency for KGMB, the big commercial station in Honolulu.

(and technically speaking, could the loop ant. pick up voice at a distance of 400+ miles?).

We haven't modeled that antenna so I can't answer your question except to say that the availabe evidence suggests that she could.

Could she have sent dashes with no morse key equipment?? I remember reading something recently about the tone generation equipment being removed from her radio??
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jgf1944

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #321 on: August 27, 2012, 03:42:24 PM »

Could she have sent dashes with no morse key equipment?? I remember reading something recently about the tone generation equipment being removed from her radio??
   Kevin. I too remember that that equipment was not aboard. I also remember that in the post loss records it being mentioned that to send morse, AE and FN used the push to send button on the voice mic...I guess pulsing the button to sound like dashes and dots. Ric will inform us.
All Best, John #3245   

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Chuck Varney

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #322 on: August 27, 2012, 03:52:40 PM »

Five of the seven Bearings plotted cross closest to Gardner or McKean.  The not plotted bearing of 213 degrees (1523Z to 1530Z July 4th) reported by Mokapu Point, Oahu also passes within 30 nmi southeast of Gardner Island, which makes it six of the eight.

Art,

I think you’ll find that your “not plotted bearing” is indeed plotted; it’s just time-tagged 1515Z rather than 1523Z-1530Z.

The bearing that is actually not plotted, bearing 8, may provide an indication of how good some of the others were. This bearing was taken by Mokapu on 6 July at approximately 0947Z. It resulted from a scheduled attempt to take a bearing on Itasca, a target at a knowable location on a known frequency, 3105 kHz. The bearing obtained (197°) was 35° from Itasca’s true bearing (232°) at the time.

A problem with bearings plotted on a map is that they give the illusion of certainty where there may have been none. For example, referring to the subject map:
 
The solid black line from Oahu labeled 213° doesn’t tell you: rough bearing only, weak and swinging signal, frequency not accurately determined.
 
The solid black line from Oahu labeled 215° doesn’t tell you: close to 3105 but so weak couldn’t get a fair check; very doubtful bearing.

The solid black line from Midway labeled 175° doesn’t give you Midway’s assessment: proved to be some unidentified station probably in South America or Russia and was later definitely discarded as a possibility [of being KHAQQ].
 
The solid black line from Howland labeled NNW/SSE doesn’t tell you: weak carrier, no call given, bearing only approximate, frequency slightly above 3105.

The solid black line from Wake labeled 144° doesn’t tell you: very unsteady voice modulated carrier [or that the signal was unreadable, that no callsign was heard, but the operator was nevertheless positive it was KHAQQ.]

Chuck
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #323 on: August 27, 2012, 04:00:29 PM »

Could she have sent dashes with no morse key equipment?? I remember reading something recently about the tone generation equipment being removed from her radio??
   Kevin. I too remember that that equipment was not aboard.

"Did Earhart have MCW capability?"

"Morse code key questions"

Quote
I also remember that in the post loss records it being mentioned that to send morse, AE and FN used the push to send button on the voice mic...I guess pulsing the button to sound like dashes and dots. Ric will inform us.

Ric has informed us--many times.

Here is a TIGHAR search for "four dashes."

Here is a TIGHAR search for "push to talk."
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #324 on: August 27, 2012, 04:39:16 PM »



The solid black line from Midway labeled 175° doesn’t give you Midway’s assessment: proved to be some unidentified station probably in South America or Russia and was later definitely discarded as a possibility [of being KHAQQ].
 

Chuck
You left out that the signal continued for two hours! From Brandenberg's paper:

"A bearing of 175 degrees on a signal on 3105 kHz described as “a strong carrier” and a “steady unmodulated carrier” that “continued for over two hours.” The Midway report further stated that this signal “proved to be some unidentified station probably in South America or Russia and was later definitely disregarded as a possibility.”

Does anybody actually believe that Earhart just sat on her microphone so that the PTT switch was depressed and then ran the engine for two straight hours? (her butt would be hurting by that time.) Especially since the reason given for her extremely short prior transmissions was that she was afraid of blowing out the fuse as had happened when Manning transmitted for a long period on the flight to Hawaii. Yet, this report is viewed as "credible?" And why send an unmodulated carrier when simply pushing the PTT switch would have interrupted the carrier and sent out Morse code dots and dashes containing location information? And other messages judged as "credible" did consist of dashes so, if this was really from Earhart, then we know that she had the capability and knowledge to do this. Earhart and Noonan both knew Morse code but were not proficient at the high rate of speed sent by professionals. She had plenty of time to write out the message .--.   ....   ---   .   -.   ..   -..-    , which spells out "phoenix" on a piece of paper and then "follow the bouncing ball" (remember that, singing along with words projected on a screen) and send out the message with her location. But she never did in any of the 57 "credible" messages. Ric, you asked us to explain the 57 messages, how about you coming up with an explanation as to why NONE of the claimed messages included the word "Phoenix" either verbally or in Morse code. Don't give us the "oh, the message faded out just as she was sending her location" that might work for some but not for all 57. And this transmission DID NOT FADE out for two hours! And don't say that she didn't know Morse code because she did, all sources say that she did but not at high speed. If she could "recognize single letters sent slowly and repeated" then she had to know the code for every letter or she would NOT be able to "recognize single letters sent slowly and repeated" no matter how slowly they were sent or how many times they were repeated. And don't say she didn't know that she was on Gardner, which may be true and would explain why the word "Gardner" wasn't sent, but doesn't explain why she wouldn't know that she was on one of the Phoenix island because she knew she was on one of the Phoenix islands since it is your theory that they continued to the SSE because they knew that the Phoenix island chain provided other islands for her to find as a backup. Or, do you want us to believe, that after they set off to find the "catcher's mitt" of the Phoenix islands, that by the time they arrived there, that she had forgotten the name of the Phoenix island chain? How come the word "Phoenix" is not found in any of the "credible" massages, used in a sentence such as "we are on one of the Phoenix islands, I'm not sure which one, come and pick us up," either in phone messages or Morse code messages>

So what is your explanation, Ric? And it has to explain all 57.

gl
« Last Edit: August 27, 2012, 07:43:48 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #325 on: August 27, 2012, 06:09:19 PM »

AE and FN used the push to send button on the voice mic...I guess pulsing the button to sound like dashes and dots. Ric will inform us.

The morse keys were apparently left behind. If AE and/or FN sent morse it pretty much had to be by pressing and releasing the push-to-talk button on the mic, which may account for the comments by listeners that the code signal sounded strange.
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pilotart

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #326 on: August 27, 2012, 06:16:33 PM »

The link posted by John five posts back "Search for Howland" contains a a good example of ridiculous.
   Hi Pilot Art. I'm (notpilot) John, the guy wanting to know about AE's perspective during her approach to Howland. It seemed to me that the Search for Howland video replicated the conditions described in Finding Amelia, Chpt. 10: "She was down low, flying below the base of the clouds at one thousand fee" (per AE's  0742 transmission ...we are flying at 1000 feet) and that she had the rising sun in her eyes.
   Clearly, the video struck you as "ridiculous," which I read as it being off track relative to capturing AE's perspective. Would you please explain so I can 86 that puppy from my files! All Best, John #3245

John,

The story that accompanied the video made the statement about the 'supposed' loss of their Cambridge Fuel Analyzer and "That would mean an unavoidable, nearly 48% reduction in fuel reserves upon reaching Howland’s vicinity." "ridiculous poppycock"

This instrument is an aid in precisely setting mixture and its loss would just mean that you would need to adjust the fuel mixture for which ever engine that lost it manually. It is true that you can damage an engine by setting the mixture excessively lean at high (over 65% of maximum power) power settings, but at max range power settings, you can safely lean an engine to the point of roughness and then en-richen to the point of smoothness. and the loss of that instrument would not prevent you doing that.  You also have other instruments, like Fuel Flow Rate (pressure) that aid in setting, after you have been flying that aircraft for a while, you get to know what Fuel Flows to expect.  At high power settings, especially in a climb, you would need to keep it on the 'rich-side' for increased engine life.  This would not reduce your fuel reserve at Howland by 4% never mind 48%....

As far as the assumption that they would have lost one, the likely way they fail is from burning their probes placed within the very hot exhaust of each engine and fresh probes just installed at Lae should have lasted longer than 4 to 9 hours.

Another un-substantiated assumption was that they 'missed' Ontario, where did that fact come from?  You may have read here last week where Gary LaPook attributes their confirming their RDF capability at the Ontario (only transmitted on Low Frequency) and continuing without realizing that they needed to RDF on Only their Low Frequency Radio Band.  If only she had confirmed that fact.

"Critical Navigational Error"  based on a "100 miles out report at 148 miles" and speculating when she would begin a descent.  TIGHAR's experts have studied all the radio logs and it would seem that an Itasca operator inserted that "100 Miles out" from his speculation.

"Search for Howland"  I would agree that fatigue and possibly hypoxia may have further reduced their navigation performance, but "Seeing nothing west or east, she circled for a few minutes to clear her mind, and set about a systematic plan to search for Howland and Itasca." Really... ???  The question at the LOP is north or south, not east or west.

"Where is Howland Island?"  It should have been along FN's 337/157 line and that is the only line that was confirmed that they took.  Gary LaPook has a website full of information, like how they 'should' have used an "off-set" method (only need to search the LOP one way) and other useful information that would have improved their situation.  One example is given for a no-radio, no celestial "lost" search pattern and it shows where you should use an elongated rectangle (towards some identifiable reefs in that case) rather than a 'blind' square which in the example given, would run them out of fuel.  Circling would be an even greater waste of fuel.

"After searching for 61 minutes, Earhart had used nearly two‐thirds of her entire fuel reserve, which was critically low."  Such a precise guess based on faulty information...  "Despite her best efforts, she could not get a bearing on the Itasca’s position via her Bendix radio direction finder."  From the Itasca Radio Log, she only tried one time and that was on a High Frequency Radio Band (75 mHz), which was impossible for her Loop to show direction on, if only she had tried their Low Frequency Band on 400 kHz (like the Ontario), she would have found the Itasca.  All her previous Radio Direction efforts were to ask the Itasca to "Give her a Bearing" and she was transmitting on a High Frequency Band that the Itasca's Loop could not show direction from either.  The only High Frequency Direction Finder was that Experimental Setup on Howland that had its Batteries Discharged and she did not transmit long enough signals for it to work anyway.

"Earhart’s tanks ran dry between 2013 GMT and 2100 GMT. The left engine likely quit first–it powered the only generator on the aircraft–and the radios required this generator to transmit and receive." Generator was mounted on right engine, I believe.  The storage batteries would allow transmissions until they were depleted, the generator would charge the batteries, but not transmit without the help of the batteries.

The video:  While it is definitely true that pilots can get into trouble chasing cloud shadows, Howland Island was quite visible to me in their video, might have been even more visible with the White Itasca 'blowing black smoke' nearby.

Looking into the sunrise can be a problem, especially below the haze top, but they should have been looking 337/157 more than 067 anyway or go 10 miles past the LOP and look 247 as you 'run-the-line', one advantage of finding islands in the morning is that often the first clouds will form over islands and later in the day, clouds over islands will show more vertical development, just like they do over parking lots and mountains on land.  (For the best visual possibility, it would have been a lot better to time the arrival for a little before dawn and take advantage of Itasca's powerful searchlight. {See my very first topic "Why 10AM from Lae?" here} and that was called 'woulda-coulda-shoulda' :-[ )

There is no doubt that Gardner would have been far more (than just its size) visible than Howland or Baker.
Art Johnson
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #327 on: August 27, 2012, 06:23:02 PM »

So what is your explanation, Ric? And it has to explain all 57.l

I'm sorry Gary but I don't have time right now to argue with you about what you think Earhart should done or said.
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pilotart

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #328 on: August 27, 2012, 07:29:36 PM »

Five of the seven Bearings plotted cross closest to Gardner or McKean.  The not plotted bearing of 213 degrees (1523Z to 1530Z July 4th) reported by Mokapu Point, Oahu also passes within 30 nmi southeast of Gardner Island, which makes it six of the eight.

Art,

I think you’ll find that your “not plotted bearing” is indeed plotted; it’s just time-tagged 1515Z rather than 1523Z-1530Z.

The bearing that is actually not plotted, bearing 8, may provide an indication of how good some of the others were. This bearing was taken by Mokapu on 6 July at approximately 0947Z. It resulted from a scheduled attempt to take a bearing on Itasca, a target at a knowable location on a known frequency, 3105 kHz. The bearing obtained (197°) was 35° from Itasca’s true bearing (232°) at the time.

A problem with bearings plotted on a map is that they give the illusion of certainty where there may have been none. For example, referring to the subject map:
 
The solid black line from Oahu labeled 213° doesn’t tell you: rough bearing only, weak and swinging signal, frequency not accurately determined.
 
The solid black line from Oahu labeled 215° doesn’t tell you: close to 3105 but so weak couldn’t get a fair check; very doubtful bearing.

The solid black line from Midway labeled 175° doesn’t give you Midway’s assessment: proved to be some unidentified station probably in South America or Russia and was later definitely discarded as a possibility [of being KHAQQ].
 
The solid black line from Howland labeled NNW/SSE doesn’t tell you: weak carrier, no call given, bearing only approximate, frequency slightly above 3105.

The solid black line from Wake labeled 144° doesn’t tell you: very unsteady voice modulated carrier [or that the signal was unreadable, that no callsign was heard, but the operator was nevertheless positive it was KHAQQ.]

Chuck

Thank you Chuck,

You are correct, I had counted seven lines on the chart and knew they were talking about eight, I did not catch that it was #8 that was not plotted because it did not talk about a bearing to KHAQQ.

I do hope that you noticed that in addition to a link at the top to the source of that chart, that I had also provided a link below "This report discusses each of the eight Bearings" and that report with several pages on each bearing discusses all of the problems you have posted and more.

Over 50 pages in that report and I advise anyone with an interest to spend some time to read it.  I see that Gary has a link to a different report and perhaps it is a simplified version of the same as it is only 10 pages.

That report also has a lot of positive things to say and it seems that those weak, wobbley transmissions from Gardner fit the scenario better than any other source.
Art Johnson
 
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: FAQ: Colorado / Lambrecht Search, 9 July 1937
« Reply #329 on: August 27, 2012, 07:45:05 PM »


Your arguments have to stand on their own whether or not you have training as an archaeologist. I have never asserted that the castaway was definitely a woman but there is, as I said,  good reason to think she was.

I would not then in order to further strengthen the limb to bear this gymnastic exercise then claim that the notes were by an examining physician whose ability is conveniently labelled as below par, because that raises the inconvenient question that if the physician and his notes are substandard then how can they then be used to assert that the skeleton is not a stocky Islander but a thin tall woman of Northern European heritage. If they are substandard for one conclusion than they are substandard for the other.

Distortions and and insulting language don't strengthen your case any more than waving your archaeological credentials. Nobody is claiming that Hoodless' analysis of the bones was "substandard." It was 1941 and he was doing the best he could with the tools and training he had.  There's no reason to doubt the accuracy of his measurements but today we have much better tools for interpreting them.
 
The part of a woman's shoe is just that nothing more, the question is - is it Earhart's shoe? That as far as I am aware has not been demonstrated. Perhaps in the rush to fit it into the overarching hypothesis other sources have been rejected, which is a danger with overarching hypotheses - they tend to bury the individuality of each piece of data rather than treat those pieces of data as artifacts which have their own identity and their own singular histories.

On the contrary.  Gallagher's confident identification of part of the sole of a woman's "stout walking shoe or sandal" raises questions that we've addressed in detail.
Why was Gallagher so sure it was woman's shoe?
What was there about the part of a sole that told him it was from a stout walking shoe or sandal?

I cannot demonstrate that it was Earhart's shoe but I can tell you how Gallagher could have drawn those conclusions from a shoe I can prove she had with her on her world flight.  You can call that a gymnastic exercise if you like.  I call it detective work.

If you believe that these two items constitute the smoking gun for the presence of Earhart on Nikumaroro then why not just stop there? Write finis and claim victory. Or is it that I am not the only person who is not completely convinced.

When did I say either of these things constitute a smoking gun? They're clues - strong indications that we're on the right track. Do you want us to just stop?  Is that what you're on about?


Thanks for the reply Ric.

I agree that arguments must stand on their own - that is why I questioned the manner in which TIGHAR's has used the evidence of the partial skeleton recovered by Gallagher. Now I may be wrong but at present there is no clear explanation for its presence - as such I would have noted its presence but not let it become very much a centre pin of much of the hypothesis. I would also argue that instead of distorting anything or using insulting language (i don't do that) I have just used a simile to illustrate where the current use of the skeletal material has carried TIGHAR's hypothesis.

The partial remains may well be that of Earhart for all I know but I do know, as do you, that it is undeniably missing and therefore unable to be tested properly. However because of the nature by which it was re-identified from being a stocky Islander male to a tall gracile female of Northern European racial type then I would say that against the background of your desire to demonstrate that Nikumaroro was the final resting place of Earhart then such an identification unsupported by the actual skeleton, and the way in which Dr Hoodless' identification is first dismissed then reevaluated is bound to raise a few eyebrows amongst the more cautious of us.

I agree we have better tools now but without actual bones then they are at best blunt tools. Further those tools are using Dr Hoodless' notes so as I suggested if those notes are OK for our modern purposes then why aren't his conclusions still valid, or at the least accepted as being as possible as the modern contradictory assessment. What I am saying is that the Hoodless work and conclusions cannot be both right and wrong at the same time, especially as the primary evidence is missing and therefore it is necessary for TIGHAR to give equal weight to both conclusions free of any subtext which favours one over the other. The people you need to convince are people like myself who have expertise (however modest) in those disciplines in which aspects of the investigation are carried out - not people who don't and therefore may not understand the complexities underlying the claims made for or against the material evidence.

Detective work like clues is the language of crime fiction. Gallagher identified part of a sole as part of a woman's stout walking shoe but it is still a leap to that being Earhart's shoe. Especially as it really isn't quite clear at the moment just how many people may have visited the island in the years prior to 1937, or up until when the shoe part was found. Again I will admit that it could be Earhart's but equally I will admit that it might not be.

As for your response to my question regarding the smoking gun let us be clear what I asked. I asked that as it is TIGHAR that seems certain that the skeleton and the shoe are evidence of Earhart's presence, and therefore given that TIGHAR are advancing the Nikumaroro hypothesis, and using these items as supporting evidence to continue that aim, then it seems strange that despite the claims made for them there is a curious reluctance on TIGHAR's part to go with its confidence of their identity. That is not a request for you to stop but a request for an explanation regarding the extent to which TIGHAR accept the evidence of the skeleton and the shoe part - if there is doubt then that is a healthy sign given the nature of the evidence.

Regards

Malcolm.
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