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Author Topic: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III  (Read 32093 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2011, 02:42:02 PM »

Is there any more news yet?  I don't "do" Facebook.......

You can read the Facebook entries on TIGHAR's home page.
LTM,

           Marty
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Chris Johnson

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #16 on: May 18, 2011, 01:03:36 PM »

Update from facebook

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The "bureaucratic details" have been sorted out and for the past few days the team has been conducting an exhaustive (and exhausting) search of the hospital including old storage areas that haven't been looked at in the memory of the current hospital staff. No Eureka-moments so far but the search continues.

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Don Dollinger

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #17 on: May 27, 2011, 10:15:22 AM »

Ref:  Bones, Bones and More Bones

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Re-evaluation of the measurements by two independent forensic anthropologists using currently available computer databases found the measurements to be consistent with a female of northern European ancestry who stood roughly Earhart’s height.

To put it delicately, being that the anthropolists assessment is "consistent with" being defined per http://medical-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Consistent+With as

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A phrase used by practitioners of the 'visual arts' of medicine, ie pathology and radiology, in which a diagnosis is based on a subjective interpretation of a particular pattern in a tissue, organ, or body region.

Wouldn't there still be more weight towards Dr. Hoodless's original assessment due to the fact that he had actually had the "bones in-hand" whereas the anthropologist are basing their findings on his notes which may or may not be accurate depending on how much time and due diligence he took his in his note taking?

Discussing this with a friend over beers, who believes the crashed in the ocean theory, he made the statement that his perception was that TIGHAR was making the evidence "fit" the theory.  He is a court reporter who has participated in court trials for many years and stated that in his experience the hands on evidence would carry much more weight because of possession of the bones by Dr. Hoodless, the fact that there could be errors in the measurements as well as the note taking, and the amount of time between the initial assessment and the re-look per se of the evidence, and lastly the fact that Dr. Hoodless is not longer with us to defend or conceded his initial assessment.  His thoughts were that if this was evidence in a court case it might warrant a re-trial but he was doubtful it would change the origianl outcome of guilt or innocence.  Yeah, I know that it is not a court case and we are talking apples and oranges but when he put it in that context to defend his position, I must admit he made a damned good argument.

LTM,

Don
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Dale O. Beethe

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #18 on: May 27, 2011, 04:49:49 PM »

Fortunately, forensic anthropology has advanced tremendously since Dr. Hoodless took his notes.  Just because he had the "bones in hand" doesn't mean he necessarily possessed the knowledge to properly interpret what they were.  (That's not a knock on him; I doubt if anyone of his day did.)  As far as errors in note taking, if he did make errors in making his notes, it wouldn't be a shining example of his expertise or diligence.  The phrase "consistent with" has come about precisely because lawyers make it extremely uncomfortable for expert witnesses to make unqualified statements.
« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 04:53:29 AM by Dale O. Beethe »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #19 on: May 27, 2011, 05:01:06 PM »

... forensic anthropology has advanced tremendously since Dr. Hoodless took his notes.  ...

I don't think we have a research paper on how much progress has been made, but I seem to recall an EPAC discussion about the extremely small sample of bones used to develop the formulas on which Hoodless relied.  The figure that sticks in my mind (but that I don't have time to verify this instant) was 90 specimens measured in the 1890s. 

Yes, of course, it would be better if Dr. Burns, our forensic anthropologist, could handle the bones herself and look for clues that would not turn up in Dr. Hoodless' measurements.  That is one reason why we are motivated to search for the bones.  We can do tests on them that Dr. Hoodless couldn't--and the modern forensic database has thousands of skeletons in it.

We can't interview Dr. Hoodless.  We can't know whether his measurements were well-taken.  All we can say with the evidence we have so far is that the calculations based on his measurements suggest a different conclusion from his.  It's not a knock-down argument by any means--and TIGHAR does not present it as such.
LTM,

           Marty
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Ashley Such

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #20 on: May 27, 2011, 08:45:19 PM »

So, if these bones turn out to be AE's, I'm assuming burying her somewhere (either by her husband or in her home-state) would happen?

It'd be interesting if they're found and how Dr. Burns can use today's technology to identify the remains! :)

By the way, I know you guys have tried searching for the bones on Niku before, but if these bones are found, will that probably inspire all of you to search for any remaining bones on the island again?
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Bill Lloyd

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #21 on: May 27, 2011, 09:20:08 PM »

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Wouldn't there still be more weight towards Dr. Hoodless's original assessment due to the fact that he had actually had the "bones in-hand" whereas the anthropologist are basing their findings on his notes which may or may not be accurate depending on how much time and due diligence he took his in his note taking?
Dr Hoodless was the founding Tutor and later principal of the Central Medical School, and to my knowledge, not a forensic anthropologist. The fact that he handled the bones and made notes should not  make his findings weigh significantly more than the finding of  Dr. Burns, a modern day forensic anthropologist who in using the measurements made by Hoodless arrives at a different conclusion.  The modern day methods used by Dr Burns constitutes new evidence and would be admissible.

In a letter to Sir Harry, Hoodless states that “the obvious course would be to submit these bones to the Anthropological Department of the Sidney University where Professor Elkin would be pleased to make a further report.” The inference here is that Hoodless is not completely sure of his findings and recommends further review.

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Discussing this with a friend over beers, who believes the crashed in the ocean theory, he made the statement that his perception was that TIGHAR was making the evidence "fit" the theory.
I see no evidence that TIGHAR is “making the evidence fit the theory”.  All of the evidence  presented appears to be the result of research and fact finding expeditions. The evidence submitted thus far is circumstantial and while I disagree with the relevance attached to some exhibits, the inferences strongly support the TIGHAR theory. This process does not constitute “making evidence” As new evidence is discovered, the theory will evolve.

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His thoughts were that if this was evidence in a court case it might warrant a re-trial but he was doubtful it would change the origianl outcome of guilt or innocence. 
I disagree. Put Dr. Burns on the stand with her credentials and expert testimony and I would wager that the court would find her very creditable and a judgment in favor of her finding would be more likely than not. The fact that Hoodless is not here to testify is of no relevance as his creditability is not an issue.


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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #22 on: May 27, 2011, 09:37:09 PM »

... The evidence submitted thus far is circumstantial and while I disagree with the relevance attached to some exhibits, the inferences strongly support the TIGHAR theory. ...

Tom King pulled together the strands of the argument last fall in "The Case for Nikumaroro."  New artifacts are being evaluated even as we speak.
LTM,

           Marty
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James G. Stoveken

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #23 on: May 27, 2011, 10:35:56 PM »

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Discussing this with a friend over beers, who believes the crashed in the ocean theory, he made the statement that his perception was that TIGHAR was making the evidence "fit" the theory.

On the contrary, while TIGHAR's basic hypothesis, that AE made it to Niku, has remained constant, the theories developed from the evidence that has been found are always evolving and subject to change, or often, dismissal.  A considerable amount of time and money has been spent on discoveries, "evidence", and theories only to find that they lead to a dead end.  An example that comes to mind is Secrets of the Knob and The Knob that Wasn't.  A further example is the Can Label.

Both these items of "evidence" turned out to be not what they were theorized (is that a word?) to be but TIGHAR still put it out there for the world to see.  To me, that's one of TIGHAR's great strengths... you get the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Nothing is hidden and I think that shows that they don't "make the evidence fit the theory."
Jim Stoveken
 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #24 on: May 28, 2011, 06:22:47 AM »

... A considerable amount of time and money has been spent on discoveries, "evidence", and theories only to find that they lead to a dead end. ...

One of my all-time favorites is the navigator's bookcase.  TIGHAR found the bookcase during Niku I in 1989, presumed that it was from the Electra, then, through some really excellent historical research, demonstrated that it was not from the Electra. 
LTM,

           Marty
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #25 on: May 28, 2011, 01:33:24 PM »

"In a letter to Sir Harry, Hoodless states that “the obvious course would be to submit these bones to the Anthropological Department of the Sidney University where Professor Elkin would be pleased to make a further report.” The inference here is that Hoodless is not completely sure of his findings and recommends further review."

Just for the heck of it: Has anyone followed up on this possibility?
Ted Campbell

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #26 on: May 28, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »

"In a letter to Sir Harry, Hoodless states that “the obvious course would be to submit these bones to the Anthropological Department of the Sidney University where Professor Elkin would be pleased to make a further report.” The inference here is that Hoodless is not completely sure of his findings and recommends further review."

Just for the heck of it: Has anyone followed up on this possibility?

I'm pretty sure that TIGHAR has made some inquiries at Sydney University.

I don't think they went anywhere.

If we have any friends in Sydney, they might want to pursue this lead.
LTM,

           Marty
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #27 on: May 28, 2011, 04:56:16 PM »

"In a letter to Sir Harry, Hoodless states that “the obvious course would be to submit these bones to the Anthropological Department of the Sidney University where Professor Elkin would be pleased to make a further report.” The inference here is that Hoodless is not completely sure of his findings and recommends further review."

Just for the heck of it: Has anyone followed up on this possibility?
Ted Campbell

TIGHAR member David Kelly checked with the Anthropology Department of the University of Sydney, and this was cited in TIGHAR Tracks, Volume 14, #1 (in 1998), in the article about The Noonan Project:
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Of course, our first concern is to find out whether the bones may still exist. The report suggested that they may have gone to the University of Sydney, but inquiries there by Australian TIGHAR David Kelly (#2092) have turned up no indication that that happened.
LTM,

Bruce
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Ted G Campbell

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #28 on: May 28, 2011, 06:35:56 PM »

"Of course, our first concern is to find out whether the bones may still exist. The report suggested that they may have gone to the University of Sydney, but inquiries there by Australian TIGHAR David Kelly (#2092) have turned up no indication that that happened. Kenton Spading is looking into the possibility that they were sent to England and may be among the records of the Western Pacific High Commission. Through dogged research, Kristin Tague (TIGHAR #905CE) has learned that although the Central Medical School once had “bones galore” which were used in the teaching of anatomy, a change to “problem-based learning” in 1991 prompted a house cleaning. The only bones there now are artificial. Kris is trying to determine how and where the disposal of the bones took place."

We are back to square one.  The last sentence doesn't jive with what our guys found in the latest visit.
Ted Campbell
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: LOOKING for lost bones, another mission? Fiji search III
« Reply #29 on: May 28, 2011, 07:36:12 PM »

"Of course, our first concern is to find out whether the bones may still exist. The report suggested that they may have gone to the University of Sydney, but inquiries there by Australian TIGHAR David Kelly (#2092) have turned up no indication that that happened. Kenton Spading is looking into the possibility that they were sent to England and may be among the records of the Western Pacific High Commission. Through dogged research, Kristin Tague (TIGHAR #905CE) has learned that although the Central Medical School once had “bones galore” which were used in the teaching of anatomy, a change to “problem-based learning” in 1991 prompted a house cleaning. The only bones there now are artificial. Kris is trying to determine how and where the disposal of the bones took place."

We are back to square one.  The last sentence doesn't jive with what our guys found in the latest visit.
Ted Campbell

Kris Tague's find was before the team left, I believe.

"Next she examined the collection of the FSM Anatomy Department (we’d been told that this collection had been 'disposed of' when teaching methods changed at the School, but it turned out that a dedicated Lab Manager, Satya Deo, had saved it). Unfortunately, no matches there either. Incidentally, the Anatomy Department is housed in a modern building that comprises the 'nerve center' of the FSM and that is named “Hoodless House” in honor of the doctor himself, renowned as one of the founders of western Pacific medical practice" ("1999 Bones Search I").

Roger and I saw the same collection of real bones in the anatomy lab during Bones II.  We could rule out the skulls on the number of teeth they had.  Since Kar had already measured the bones once, and there were no skulls or jaw bones with the right number of teeth (four or five at most), we didn't bother with the others.  I'm pretty sure there was no pelvis or half-pelvis in their collection, either, although I could well be mistaken.
LTM,

           Marty
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« Last Edit: May 28, 2011, 07:46:15 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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