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Author Topic: Sunrise Encounter  (Read 134335 times)

Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #60 on: June 05, 2011, 09:06:35 PM »

Hey, you're not going to believe this, but there actually is what appears to be the outlines of a plane on a narrow spit, just .8 mile S/SW of the Nonouti "label point" on Google Earth.


I'm not sure how to post an image here...I don't have snip (still on Vista).


0-32'47.48"S

174-13-17.24E

at Eye Alt of 127 M


probably some tourist plane, stripped for parts in the 70s.


or just natural straight lines that mistakenly look like a plane.


Still, check it out, if just for fun.
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #61 on: June 05, 2011, 09:22:27 PM »

I've got an image, but it won't paste and I can't seem to attach it. I just emailed the image to Ric, who is educated enough on this to take one look, and make the right call.
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #62 on: June 05, 2011, 10:44:43 PM »

Well I don't have the Pro version of Google Earth, so I can't send a normal wmv file around. I did send Ric (who is probably tired of my emails) a PPT Deck with screenshots of the plane in question, complete with the measuing stick. I tried to upload that here, but the file size is too big, so I am just stuck with attaching one image.
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #63 on: June 05, 2011, 11:03:42 PM »

Ok, from the top...
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #64 on: June 05, 2011, 11:04:24 PM »

Zooming in...
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #65 on: June 05, 2011, 11:05:02 PM »

A little more...
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #66 on: June 05, 2011, 11:11:51 PM »

Final Shot.


I don't know much about planes (except what I read on Ask The Pilot, and a stint I did in finance at Boeing years ago), so I'm hoping someone will jump in and disavow me of any notion that we might be on to something.

The dimensions look right (roughly 39 x 53 right?), but it sure cuts in sharply after the wing...too bad we can't make out the type of tail. That would be a very helpful indicator. I don't know why the picture is fuzzy there....a reflection in the sun?



It could be our intrepid AE/FN, but probably just a island hopper that someone gave up on years go...there is apparently a doctor on the island, and possibly a magistrate (judging from the stories by the tourists posted online), so a quick phone call would probably nip this in the bud.


Well I promise not to poste any more pictures of random planes from around the globe, LOL.

Goodnight!
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #67 on: June 06, 2011, 06:51:05 AM »

... As we're lazying about on a Sunday afternoon, I remember that somewhere, back there in the dust, was another story related by Ric or one of the other TIGHAR folks, about having a drink with a Navy pilot who talked about seeing an old WWII era plane crashed on beach of some no-name island, but when Gardner was described to him, the guy got confused and embarrassed and said he must remember wrong. ...

I don't remember that particular sequence appearing in our annals--but my memory is demonstrably unreliable!

Candidate #1: The Wreck Photo

"Is This Earhart's Electra?"



"The Wreck Photo Resolved."



This whole story was a very nice piece of detective work on TIGHAR's part.

Candidate #2: Don Iwanski

From the old Forum:

Date:         Thu, 18 Dec 2003 12:23:39 EST
From:         Dave Bush
Subject:      Re: Amelia Earhart The Salvaging of NR16020

What did you do to Mr. Iwanski to PO him so bad? He has spent considerable time and effort building a website to try and discredit you and to delude people into believing him. For me, his biggest mistake is in his personal scenario - on board a US aircraft carrier passing so close to a dangerous reef - what skipper would do that? - and that the skipper would make the announcements on the intercom system to the crew. Total BS. Of course, I've never worked on a carrier (but I visited the US Enterprise back in the 60's when she was docked in Galveston, Texas, so that may make me as expert as Mr. Iwanski) so I could be mistaken in my assessment. Also, how many ordinary seamen would remember an event like that with such detail as to be able to determine the make and model of an airplane that they had never seen before and had no knowledge of. Unless he has absolutely perfect recall, there is WAAAY too much detail in his description. Maybe he had too many magic mushrooms for breakfast.

What's the REAL story Mr. Gillespie?

LTM,

Dave Bush

*****************************************************************

From Ric

Okay, I have not wanted to talk about Don Iwanski because I didn't want to embarrass him, but he has now gone public with his claims and has taken some very public shots at me and TIGHAR so I guess I need to tell my side of the story.

Don first contacted me back in July saying that he had seen an aircraft wreck on Nikumaroro from the hangar deck of USS Constellation in 1980.  I thought that was pretty interesting and I discussed this new  "lead" with our Earhart Project Advisory Council (EPAC) but we soon learned that Don didn't really know that the island was Nikumaroro.  He was just sure that it must have been Nikumaroro.  The more he tried to remember, the more he remembered, and the more skeptical we became - but we honestly tried to help him check out his recollection.  We did research on the Constellation's 1980 cruise and we even tracked down the address and phone number of the now-retired commanding officer.  Don declined to contact him.  One of our researchers had occasion to visit the Naval Historical Center in Washington on other business and took time to research the route that Constellation had taken en route from the Indian Ocean to California.  She passed nowhere near Nikumaroro.

Don was undeterred.  If it wasn't 1980 it must have been 1979 - the only other cruise he was on.  Week by week he remembered more and more and the tale got more and more complex and bizarre.  It was, frankly, a bit alarming to watch but the more I tried to make him see that this was all happening in his head the more I became, in his mind, an antagonist who was trying to keep him from exposing the truth.

Sometime after the first of the year I'll be down at the Naval Historical Center myself doing research on another project and I'll check out the 1979 cruise.  But Don is now way beyond accepting official documentation that disagrees with his story.  I'm sorry that he decided to lash out at me and at TIGHAR.  I feel no resentment toward him.  I just wish I could have helped him.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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david alan atchason

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #68 on: June 06, 2011, 06:52:06 AM »

Thanks, Zach. I am a dud at Google Earth. I tried to work with it yesterday, but I got nowhere. I can carry on my running commentary with Ric, accepting the evidence but disputing the interpretation, but it proves nothing, gets us nowhere. If necessary I can go to Nonouti, I am retired and can afford it. But it would seem that I must prepare, and that will take time.
One thing about your supplying a pertinent old post yesterday. She said FN was dead, Amelia recovered, but then died. I thought if Amelia did recover, surely the word would have gotten out somehow. I see it this way, since I am engaging in pure speculation. Amelia and Fred are on the island (Noumatong) 3 days or so with no water except what little they had in the plane. Fred gives his share to Amelia. He is basically a good guy. They do know where they are, Nonouti has a distinctive shape, they probably had a chart or two. They are discovered by some fishermen but Fred is already gone. Amelia is barely alive but they give her water and she seems to get better. But the damage has been done, she lives maybe a week, then succumbs to kidney failure, caused by the dehydration. Since the fishermen have no way of communicating, they can't call up their cousin in Tarawa, and it all happens so fast they bury the two of them and go back to work, they are getting hungry again. Or maybe they do tell somebody, but nobody has heard the news of the flight so nobody knows what they are talking about. Who knows?
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david alan atchason

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #69 on: June 06, 2011, 07:09:01 AM »

That previous post confuses me, but what if the sailor in question passed by Nonouti and he did see a wrecked plane there? Certainly dangerous reefs describe the place. I would guess there was lots of plane wrecks on lots of islands at that time, but maybe this one was the one we are looking for.
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Zach Reed

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #70 on: June 06, 2011, 07:17:20 AM »

Well Ric took a look at this and said it was clearly a no-go. Even has a friend on the island who is familiar with the Earhart search, and never mentioned this plane.


So I will take that as definitively putting this to rest...

...have a great week!
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #71 on: June 06, 2011, 08:34:02 AM »

The dimensions look right (roughly 39 x 53 right?), but it sure cuts in sharply after the wing...too bad we can't make out the type of tail. That would be a very helpful indicator. I don't know why the picture is fuzzy there....a reflection in the sun?

Strange things happen when an image is digitally magnified beyond the limits of the optics of a camera. 

"Artifacts refer to a range of undesirable changes to a digital image caused by the sensor, optics, and internal image processing algorithms of the camera" ("Artifacts: Digital Imaging Glossary").

The lighter field in your last image does not look much like a plane to my amateur eye.  To me, it resembles a clearing or a different vegetation pattern.  If it is the wing of the Electra, it should be pretty much out in the open where people ought to have found and identified it by now.



People have seen many things in the Google imagery for Niku that, upon closer inspection from the ground and from the water, are not what they seemed to be in the imagery.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #72 on: June 06, 2011, 08:52:23 AM »

This is what I wrote to Zach off-forum:

It's an intriguing image and I can understand how you'd think it might be an airplane.  If I saw an image like this in the Google Earth image of Nikumaroro I'd certainly want to check it out.  The first thing I'd do is look at other satellite images acquired at different times, in different lighting, with better resolution.  We have many satellite images of Niku but, unfortunately, only Google Earth for Nonouti (which, btw, is pronounced "no nose" but AE and FN probably wouldn't have known that).  Google Earth is an unreliable source for assessing shapes of small features.  The processing system they use creates "artifacts" that aren't really there and tends to resolve curved lines into straight lines.  I can show you the foundations of the lost city of Atlantis on the bottom of the lagoon at Niku in the Google Earth image.

The "wingspan" of the feature in the Nonouti image is similar to that of a Lockheed Electra and, of course, many other aircraft types.  The planform is different and I don't see any suggestion of engines.  The feature is underwater in the lagoon about three-quarters of a mile from the nearest land.  I don't see any way an aircraft could land there and be able to send radio messages.

Nonouti was, and is, densely populated. People fish in that lagoon all the time and that feature is in shallow water or we couldn't see it in the Google Earth image. If it's an airplane it's hard to imagine that its presence is not common knowledge among the people who live there.  My friend Manikaa Teuatabo is from Nonouti. He's a Kiribati Customs officer who has accompanied several of our expeditions and he has never said anything about an airplane in the lagoon back home.

Bottom line:  I strongly suspect that the feature is coral but I can't say that it couldn't be an airplane. However, I can say that I dont see any way it could be the Earhart airplane.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #73 on: June 06, 2011, 01:09:42 PM »

... I can show you the foundations of the lost city of Atlantis on the bottom of the lagoon at Niku in the Google Earth image. ...



For four other samples of artifacts in Google Earth images, see "Google Earth" in the Ameliapedia.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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david alan atchason

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Re: Sunrise Encounter
« Reply #74 on: June 06, 2011, 01:32:49 PM »

At first I thought Zach's image was of Noumatong, which is a separate islet, but upon rereading it seems like it's maybe the northwest part of Nonouiti which is away from the towns on the other end of the island. I don't know if I can quickly learn how to use Google Earth whether I would get a better image than Zach's. If my hypothesis is realistic, I was not expecting the plane to still be sitting there more or less intact, especially if islanders stripped it. Yes, I could go to Nonouti in a couple  months or so, but it seems like it would be much easier to have some locals check around if their interest was aroused. The image I have of main island Nonouti shows it as a series of land forms, maybe separated by channels, I don't know if the entire island is regularly visited. Anyway you would think somebody would notice a plane that was there 74 years by now.
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