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Author Topic: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?  (Read 49586 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2011, 09:14:48 AM »

How about a variation of a take-off attempt during the 40 hour window.
The attempt ends in a crash landing and possible overturn into the surf. One survivor gets out and goes on to the 7 site where they eventually expire; could it explain "Nessie" too?

I can't think of reason that couldn't have happened.  How would we ever know? I suppose wreckage from an attempted takeoff crash might look different than wreckage from a plane getting beat up against the reef edge.
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #16 on: December 12, 2011, 04:44:58 PM »

Short answer - Yes.

Damn, I'm good.  ;D

LTM,
Monty Fowler,
TIGHAR No. 2189CER, who tries to keep it short and sweet but usually ends up blathering on ...
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Friend Weller

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #17 on: December 12, 2011, 04:56:25 PM »

I wonder if any data has been collected on how long a person who is stranded/deserted/lost will wait before striking out on their own or taking action to do so.  For that matter, is there a difference on how long one person might wait compared to a couple of folks or a small group?  I recall most recently that fellow who was pinned by the arm under a boulder in Utah who eventually knew that it was time, that help wasn't coming.  He took drastic measures to free himself and began to walk in search of being rescued.  Perhaps AE and FN (if he hadn't expired from injuries it is felt he might have sustained during or soon after landing) decided it was time but never made it back off the reef.  A seaward pile-up during a take-off attempt could possibly explain the absence of wreckage visible to searchers overhead.  It might even explain only one set of bones at the Seven Site.  If evidence was found to support such an event, what an interesting turn of events that would be but as Ric sez: "How would we ever know?"

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John Ousterhout

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #18 on: December 12, 2011, 05:23:29 PM »

"...wreckage from an attempted takeoff crash might look different than wreckage from a plane getting beat up against the reef edge."

Bent prop tips?  Maybe throttles in WOT, full-rich, etc.  It may not be difficult to tell, once the aircraft is found and examined :'(
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richie conroy

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #19 on: December 13, 2011, 03:05:51 AM »

u know the post loss radio messages run between gardner an mckean island is it poss they landed by norwich city an then attemted to take off plane bounced by lagoon passage broke the wheel strut but managed to get into air to head for mckean but went down not far from seven site an were able to get out an get back to sure ?

We are an echo of the past


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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #20 on: December 13, 2011, 05:21:45 AM »

u know the post loss radio messages run between gardner an mckean island is it poss they landed by norwich city an then attemted to take off plane bounced by lagoon passage broke the wheel strut but managed to get into air to head for mckean but went down not far from seven site an were able to get out an get back to sure ?

The Seven Site is not on the way to McKean.  Opposite direction.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #21 on: December 13, 2011, 06:48:15 AM »

I wonder if any data has been collected on how long a person who is stranded/deserted/lost will wait before striking out on their own or taking action to do so.  For that matter, is there a difference on how long one person might wait compared to a couple of folks or a small group?  I recall most recently that fellow who was pinned by the arm under a boulder in Utah who eventually knew that it was time, that help wasn't coming.  He took drastic measures to free himself and began to walk in search of being rescued.  Perhaps AE and FN (if he hadn't expired from injuries it is felt he might have sustained during or soon after landing) decided it was time but never made it back off the reef.  A seaward pile-up during a take-off attempt could possibly explain the absence of wreckage visible to searchers overhead.  It might even explain only one set of bones at the Seven Site.  If evidence was found to support such an event, what an interesting turn of events that would be but as Ric sez: "How would we ever know?"

This whole idea of Noonan being injured is intriguing as well. If the Electra landed in relatively good enough shape to stay upright on its gear and able to start its engines for several days then what kind of injury would FN have received?  Betty's notes don't suggest he is physically impaired as it sounds like he is able to move around. It sounds more like he is delirious.  Rambling as though it's a head injury. What if it was lack of water?  Do we know anything about the physical toll on a person who goes without water for a period of time?  What about the effects of drinking sea water or polluted or stagnant water?  Could FN have let AE have the little water they had and be suffering for it?  Could AE see that FN needed help and decided to fly away while she still could?    Lots of "possible" scenarios but all are pure speculation. Only if some castaway diary was found would you have an idea of what happened.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #22 on: December 13, 2011, 07:18:01 AM »

How about a variation of a take-off attempt during the 40 hour window.
The attempt ends in a crash landing and possible overturn into the surf. One survivor gets out and goes on to the 7 site where they eventually expire; could it explain "Nessie" too?

I can't think of reason that couldn't have happened.  How would we ever know? I suppose wreckage from an attempted takeoff crash might look different than wreckage from a plane getting beat up against the reef edge.

But was the Electra being "beat up against the reef edge"?  It landed on the reef flat around noon on the 2nd. Stayed upright on its gear and able to run the right engine for 5 days of high and low tide action, while allowing AE and FN to enter the plane to transmit.  It stays in this shape until at least the night of the 7th when the last credible transmission is heard. Then within 40 hours it breaks up and disappears.  And since the aerial searchers don't see anything resembling a wrecked aircraft or large pieces of wreckage then where did it go?  Over the edge of the reef flat?  What weather came up during that 40 hour window that could have done that?  Could it really be that all through the 5 days of transmitting the aircraft was being beat up?  Sure it could. But would it be sustaining only "light" damage for 5 days (allowing cabin entry, engine running and still upright on its gear) and then on the last day it gets so beat up it disappears?  It's possible but is it likely? 

When watching the video of the Niku overflight by the helicopter you get some idea of the surf action.  Those who have visited the island can tell us more but anyone who has been to an ocean beach for swimming has felt the pressure on their legs and body. Surf action has destroyed the wreck of the Norwich City over its time on the reef flat. Many years of storms and day in day out surf action. Many years. The Electra by comparison is a very delicate fragile piece of equipment. Never designed to be in water like a ship. It wouldn't stand much punishment. I wonder if there is a maritime organization who regularly tests wave action on ship design, breakwater designs, rates of shoreline erosion, etc, could be persuaded to use their mechanical wave tanks to simulate the 7 days of surf action on a model of an Electra on a reef flat. Has this ever been attempted?
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2011, 07:50:03 AM »

What did the natives see when they recalled there was an aircraft wreck north of the Norwich City?  What is the object in the "Nessie" photo?  Could the surf action destroy an aircraft in one week so it couldnt be identified as an airplane wreck by 6 people in three aircraft who are searching for it just 7 days after it landed?  But yet that same surf action leaves the wreckage intact enough that natives identified it as an airplane wreck months later? 

Sorry for all the questions. Please comment as there are no wrong answers until the truth comes out, and hopefully it does. 
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2011, 08:28:51 AM »

The last credible post-loss message was heard at 8:18 PM Gardner time on July 7.  The Colorado planes were over the island roughly 36 hours later.   The Electra's ability to remain intact on the reef depended upon the height of high tide, the amount of wave action on the reef, and the direction of the wave action on the reef.  Those factors were not constant.  During the week July 2 to July 9 each high tide was getting successively higher.  On July 2 the maximum water depth on the reef in the area where we think the plane was parked (assuming a calm sea) was just under half a meter.  At high tide the evening of July 7 (about two hours before the last credible transmission was heard) the water level was a bit over .7 meter - again assuming a calm sea.  At the next high tide, the water level was nearly .9 meter.  We don't know what the sea conditions were but the combination of significantly higher high tide water levels and rougher seas could mean a far more hazardous situation for the plane.  We also know that, at times,  ocean waves refract around the northwest tip of the island resulting in a southwesterly flow of water over the reef in the area where we think the plane was parked.  Surf coming from that direction would drive an object on the reef toward the edge.  In short, it doesn't take anything more than normal events for the airplane to have survived relativlkey undisturbed for the first several days and then, quite rapidly, be driven over the reef edge. 
A wreck hung up in relatively shallow water in the surf zone could easily be hidden from view on a day like the one pictured in the photo taken during the Colorado overflight but easily visible to someone fishing on the reef edge at low tide on a calm day.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2011, 08:53:40 AM »

The last credible post-loss message was heard at 8:18 PM Gardner time on July 7.  The Colorado planes were over the island roughly 36 hours later.   The Electra's ability to remain intact on the reef depended upon the height of high tide, the amount of wave action on the reef, and the direction of the wave action on the reef.  Those factors were not constant.  During the week July 2 to July 9 each high tide was getting successively higher.  On July 2 the maximum water depth on the reef in the area where we think the plane was parked (assuming a calm sea) was just under half a meter.  At high tide the evening of July 7 (about two hours before the last credible transmission was heard) the water level was a bit over .7 meter - again assuming a calm sea.  At the next high tide, the water level was nearly .9 meter.  We don't know what the sea conditions were but the combination of significantly higher high tide water levels and rougher seas could mean a far more hazardous situation for the plane.  We also know that, at times,  ocean waves refract around the northwest tip of the island resulting in a southwesterly flow of water over the reef in the area where we think the plane was parked.  Surf coming from that direction would drive an object on the reef toward the edge.  In short, it doesn't take anything more than normal events for the airplane to have survived relativlkey undisturbed for the first several days and then, quite rapidly, be driven over the reef edge. 
A wreck hung up in relatively shallow water in the surf zone could easily be hidden from view on a day like the one pictured in the photo taken during the Colorado overflight but easily visible to someone fishing on the reef edge at low tide on a calm day.

Now that's something you can only know from having visited the island.  So a slow gradual push to the edge. That may also be what was being referred to in Betty's notes where it was said the water was getting higher. 

Wouldn't a wreck be more identifiable as an airplane from a top down view into the clear waters of the ocean rather than from shore or a boat?
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2011, 09:03:17 AM »

Now that's something you can only know from having visited the island.

You can see the southwesterly flow in some satellite imagery (but not the image used by Google Earth).

So a slow gradual push to the edge.

The push to the edge could have been quite abrupt.  Conditions might be fine one day and the next the day the sea kicks up and you suddenly have a big problem.

That may also be what was being referred to in Betty's notes where it was said the water was getting higher. 

At the time Betty heard what she heard the tide was coming in and the water level on the reef was getting deeper.  It's as simple as that.

Wouldn't a wreck be more identifiable as an airplane from a top down view into the clear waters of the ocean rather than from shore or a boat?

Clear water?  Yes.  Surf?  You wouldn't see anything.  There is almost always surf on the reef edge.  There certainly was on the day the Colorado planes flew over.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2011, 10:03:15 AM »

u know the post loss radio messages run between gardner an mckean island is it poss they landed by norwich city an then attemted to take off plane bounced by lagoon passage broke the wheel strut but managed to get into air to head for mckean but went down not far from seven site an were able to get out an get back to sure ?

The Seven Site is not on the way to McKean.  Opposite direction.

McKean is north-northeast, directly off shore from presumed landing spot on Gardner. See chart ONC M-17.


gl
« Last Edit: December 15, 2011, 06:23:25 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2011, 11:47:46 AM »

The Seven Site is not on the way to McKean.  Opposite direction.

McKean is north-northeast, directly off shore from presumed landing spot on Gardner.

I know where McKean is.  I've been there.  If you take off from where we think the plane landed and fly toward McKean as Richie suggested, you don't go anywhere near the Seven Site.  Do you just do this to harass?
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Could the Electra have taken off from Gardner?
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2011, 02:11:07 PM »

The Seven Site is not on the way to McKean.  Opposite direction.

McKean is north-northeast, directly off shore from presumed landing spot on Gardner.

I know where McKean is.  I've been there.  If you take off from where we think the plane landed and fly toward McKean as Richie suggested, you don't go anywhere near the Seven Site.  Do you just do this to harass?
Of  course not, Ric. I know that you know where Mckean is but apparently Richie (and probably others who read this forum) doesn't so I thought it would be helpful to them to have access to this chart, what's wrong with that?
I also pointed out to Richie the same thing you just did, that flying straight off shore to get to McKean obviously doesn't take you near the 7 site.

gl

gl
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