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Author Topic: Waitt search report.  (Read 64642 times)

Ric Gillespie

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #30 on: January 15, 2012, 07:43:13 PM »

does this log mean the radio compass were'nt working till this time... or does it mean get it working on 7500 ?

It means get it working on 7500.  They are apparently under the mistaken impression that Earhart can transmit on 7500.
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richie conroy

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #31 on: January 16, 2012, 02:33:57 AM »

kk am on it now  :)
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #32 on: January 16, 2012, 03:43:32 AM »



The most likely explanation of the errant "point" is that Balfour supplied it himself. Do we have any evidence of this?  Yes! We don't have to look any farther than the telegram from Nauru to show Balfour's notation. He gives the location of the light as "lat.0.32 S Long.16.55 East". (Didn't anybody else notice the error in this location? that location is in the Congo in Africa!) The correct longitude for Nauru is 166° 55' East. In addition to inserting "points" we see that Balfour doesn't do a perfect job as shown by the errors in the Nauru telegram, the wrong longitude and the wrong height for the light, he added an extra zero to the height of the light.


gl
As further evidence that we have to be careful in accepting Balfour's non-standard notation, using "points," in his transcription of  position coordinates such as with the longitude reported at 0519 Z, we see that there is another error in his transcription of the message from Nauru, he added an extra digit to the barometer reading since barometers can only be read to 1/100th of an inch of mercury and Balfour has recorded it to 1/1000th of an inch! If you don't believe me then you can check the deck log of Itasca and you will see that barometer readings to only recorded to 1/100th of an inch.

I have also attached two other radiograms in which position coordinates were taken down properly, (obviously by someone other than Balfour) without the use of the non-standard "points." These two show the coordinates for the Swan, stationed half way between Howland and Hawaii, see attached chart. The first one states,
"swan 1125n 167 15w.." and the second one states, "swan 11 25n 167 15w..." notice, NO DECIMAL POINTS in either of these.

These add additional support to my interpretation of the position reported at 0519 Z as being at 157° 00' east and not at 150° 07' east as others believe.

gl
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 03:52:57 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #33 on: January 16, 2012, 04:16:05 AM »

I agree that it was probably Balfour that translated the degrees / minutes to the decimal form. As you said previously it would not make sense for Noonan to do this. This does not necessarily mean that he did the calculation wrong however there is the issue of time stamps. Maybe he was used to working with the decimal form and wanted to track them on a map as they progressed along?

If you think the time stamp was correct for this message:

3.19 pm on 6210 KC – “HEIGHT 10000 FEET POSITION 150.7 east 7.3 south CUMULUS CLOUDS EVERYTHING OKAY”

Then why were they only at 7,000ft one hour prior at:

2.18 p.m. The Lae Operator heard the following on 6210 KC –“HEIGHT 7000 FEET SPEED 140 KNOTS” and some remark concerning “LAE” then “EVERYTHING OKAY”.
 
There are a couple of other problems that I see. First the track to the new coordinate of -7.3 157 is on a more Easterly course out of Lae so they would have flow directly in the intense storms at 250-300 miles out. If they had passed the storms at 250-300 miles out, why not head back to the original course? I cannot see any logic for continuing on the heading. If they were approaching Choiseul at the time, why would they have not reported that as well?

I would suggest that the "some remark concerning Lae" was probably a distance report. It really is too bad that this was not heard as it might have solved the issue. Another lost opportunity.

The -7.3 150.7 position makes a bit more sense to me. They headed South to avoid the storms and as soon as they cleared the storm they headed back to the course. The report from one hour prior at 7,000ft could make some sense as well as they were perhaps in a slow climb out of Lae as they approach the storm and still unsure of the path they were going to use to avoid the storm or even turn back. After they passed the storm they immediately headed back on course.

I do agree that the times tamps, 2:18 and 3:19 are troubling. Perhaps these were reconstructed from memory rather than written down as events unfolded. This would make sense except the 5:19 local Lae (7:19 GMT) report seems to make sense as far as the ground speed achieved is concerned. I suppose the question remains, how could he have the last time stamp correct and the prior two incorrect? I do not think anyone can easily accept that.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #34 on: January 16, 2012, 05:16:11 AM »

I agree that it was probably Balfour that translated the degrees / minutes to the decimal form. As you said previously it would not make sense for Noonan to do this. This does not necessarily mean that he did the calculation wrong however there is the issue of time stamps. Maybe he was used to working with the decimal form and wanted to track them on a map as they progressed along?


His notation does not indicate that he received a message in the normal format of degrees and minutes and that he then converted the minutes to decimal degrees (six minutes equals 0.1 degree.) We know this because, even though he used his same notation, "points" as separators, he did not convert the minutes of the coordinates of the light on Nauru to single digit decimals of a degree. He wrote the latitude of that light as "lat.0.32 S" and we know that latitude of Nauru is 0° 32' south. He wrote the longitude for Nauru as "Long.16.55 East" making another error and leaving out that last "6" in the number of degrees of the longitude since the longitude of Nauru is 166° 55' east. So we know that by his notation minutes, not decimal degrees, follow the "point."

The position report was logged at 0519 Z following the 0418 Z report. If the plane had only reached 150° 07' east longitude then the ground speed works out to be only 40 mph at the 0519 Z time. Even if he had actually reached that position only one minute after the 0418 report then the ground speed would still be only 49 mph! If the time was wrong and the report was actually after 0519 Z then the ground speed would have been even less than 40 mph.

gl
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 05:29:09 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #35 on: January 16, 2012, 05:23:00 AM »


So you are suggesting the actual latitude was 7 degrees 30 minutes South? With the 157 East?

Why do you suppose he was not capable of converting a minute value by dividing by 60? Is this really that improbable?

Granted the Nauru latitude is interesting, do we have any other evidence?

Thanks.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #36 on: January 16, 2012, 05:34:02 AM »


So you are suggesting the actual latitude was 7 degrees 30 minutes South? With the 157 East?

Why do you suppose he was not capable of converting a minute value by dividing by 60? Is this really that improbable?

Granted the Nauru latitude is interesting, do we have any other evidence?

Thanks.
No, not 7° 30' south. Simply following the format that Balfour used for the Nauru coordinates, the number after the "point" indicates the number of minutes of the position, the "7.3 S" is Balfour's notation for 7° 03' south longitude. Otherwise you are well along on your trip through the looking glass with Alice, chasing after the bunny.

Other evidence, you only have to look at the way he wrote the coordinates for the 0718 Z position report. 4.33 S 159.7 east. The "33" in the latitude is obviously minutes unless you are now going to claim that he changed minutes to hundredths of a degree, you're not claiming that, are you? Or maybe you are saying that he uses the "point" to mean one thing with two digits following it and a different thing with only one digit following the "point." So maybe he actually meant that the 0718 Z coordinates are actually 4°33' south and 159.7° east the same as 159° 42' east. It all becomes jello when you start changing many things around and when you change the meanings of words and symbols in the middle of a sentence.

You have Balfour converting minutes to decimal degrees, but why stop there, be bold, go all the way, have him making the conversions to radians!  :D

gl
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 06:06:46 AM by Gary LaPook »
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richie conroy

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #37 on: January 16, 2012, 12:50:42 PM »

We are an echo of the past


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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #38 on: January 16, 2012, 02:22:35 PM »

Quote
The "33" in the latitude is obviously minutes unless you are now going to claim that he changed minutes to hundredths of a degree, you're not claiming that, are you?

If he was given minutes of 20, I am sure that he could handle dividing by 60 right? I can even calculate it to the thousandths 0.333 in a flash...

         0.33...
     /------
 60/ 200
       180
      = 200
         180

(I see patterns there). So yeah, long division is pretty simple. It is possible.

If we follow the line of reasoning, the 2nd radio call with position would be  4°33' 159°7' correct?

If we compute the speed on the first leg, the ground speed would be 124.9 mph, that is believable. The 2nd leg would be at 112.5 mph, possible but less convincing.

I am not saying that you are not correct however none of it seems to fit well.

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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #39 on: January 16, 2012, 02:58:46 PM »

have you guys read these reports on purdue

http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=3119&REC=15

 :)

I think this is the same as the ThompsonTranscripts.PDF file (from the book DVD) which is much easier to read. It would be nice if someone ran an OCR on it so that is searchable.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #40 on: January 16, 2012, 03:49:12 PM »

have you guys read these reports on purdue

http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=3119&REC=15

 :)
That entire transcript is on the TIGHAR disk in a much easier to read form.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #41 on: January 16, 2012, 04:39:25 PM »

Quote
The "33" in the latitude is obviously minutes unless you are now going to claim that he changed minutes to hundredths of a degree, you're not claiming that, are you?

If he was given minutes of 20, I am sure that he could handle dividing by 60 right? I can even calculate it to the thousandths 0.333 in a flash...

         0.33...
     /------
 60/ 200
       180
      = 200
         180

(I see patterns there). So yeah, long division is pretty simple. It is possible.

If we follow the line of reasoning, the 2nd radio call with position would be  4°33' 159°7' correct?

Well, yes, and that is how everyone else has taken it. Using your "decimal degree navigation notation"  would make the position reported at 0718 Z 4° 20' south, 159° 42' east, 43 SM away from the correct location. (BTW, you are the only person in the history of the world to use decimal degrees for latitude and longitude for navigation, you can find this out for yourself by referring to any navigation text. Just because Google Earth allows people to use that notation doesn't make it a standard navigation notation, Google Earth is not for navigation and it wasn't even available in 1937.)

The distance from the 0519 Z erroneous position, 7.3° S 150.7° E, to 4.33° S 159.7° E reported at 0718 Z, both positions that you prefer, one hour and 59 minutes later is 685.4 SM making the ground speed 346 mph which is a whole lot less reasonable than the  112.5 mph that you calculated for the ground speed between the correct locations.
Quote

If we compute the speed on the first leg, the ground speed would be 124.9 mph, that is believable. The 2nd leg would be at 112.5 mph, possible but less convincing.

What are the chances that the plane would arrive next to the visual reporting point of Nukumano Island at exactly the scheduled radio transmission time of 0718 Z? They passed the island some time prior to sending that report. Using your estimate of 124.9 mph (can't we just use 125 mph) from the first leg for the second leg then the time to fly from 7° 03' S 157° 00' E to 4°33' 159°07' is one hour and 48 minutes meaning the plane passed Nukumano at 0707 Z only 11 minutes prior to the radio transmission.

And to be consistent, you must also be claiming that the correct coordinates for Nauru are 0.32° S 166.55° E, the same as 0° 19.2' S 166° 33' E (supplying the missing "6" in the longitude that Balfour forgot.) But wait, putting that into Google Earth takes you to a spot 31 SM away from Nauru, see the attached chart, so maybe that doesn't make any sense.
Quote

I am not saying that you are not correct however none of it seems to fit well.

It fits a whole lot better than your interpretation of the facts.
gl
« Last Edit: January 16, 2012, 04:45:39 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #42 on: January 16, 2012, 05:00:00 PM »

have you guys read these reports on purdue

http://earchives.lib.purdue.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/earhart&CISOPTR=3119&REC=15

 :)

I think this is the same as the ThompsonTranscripts.PDF file (from the book DVD) which is much easier to read. It would be nice if someone ran an OCR on it so that is searchable.

All of the telegrams are in searchable format in the Jacobson Databases.

ThompsonTranscripts.pdf is on the website.

You may do an OCR scan from the .pdf file.  We can find a place for it on the website when it's finished.
LTM,

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Heath Smith

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #43 on: January 16, 2012, 06:02:14 PM »

Quote
Well, yes, and that is how everyone else has taken it. Using your "decimal degree navigation notation"  would make the position reported at 0718 Z 4° 20' south, 159° 42' east, 43 SM away from the correct location. (BTW, you are the only person in the history of the world to use decimal degrees for latitude and longitude for navigation, you can find this out for yourself by referring to any navigation text. Just because Google Earth allows people to use that notation doesn't make it a standard navigation notation, Google Earth is not for navigation and it wasn't even available in 1937.)

You are not suggesting that we pull out a map, compass, protractor, and a slide ruler are you? Although Google Earth does display degrees minutes seconds, it seems to only accept decimal degrees as input. Debating over the form of the coordinates is completely irrelevant to the discussion. I also do not see a point in debating whether visualizing in Google Earth is a valuable tool, we are not creating precision navigation plans here, we are talking about 2 points on a map. Are we bound to some secret oath to use old school degrees minutes seconds and nautical miles? If you like it, go for it, I think the conversion is trivial and not worthy of further debate.

Quote
The distance from the 0519 Z erroneous position, 7.3° S 150.7° E, to 4.33° S 159.7° E reported at 0718 Z, both positions that you prefer, one hour and 59 minutes later is 685.4 SM making the ground speed 346 mph which is a whole lot less reasonable than the  112.5 mph that you calculated for the ground speed between the correct locations.

Yes, this is why I said the time stamps are problematic and I stated this. It seems reasonable to me that the Lae radio shack was not being run like a well oiled military machine. If it were, we would not be having this discussion. Clearly either the coordinates given are wrong or the time stamps are wrong. For that matter they could be be wrong invented after the fact by a sloppy radio operator that had no idea what was unfolding at the time and had no concept that people would be discussing the details 75 years later trying to make sense of it. There are currently no facts able to substantiate the truth one way or the other at this point.

This modification latitude from 150.7 to 157 was also proposed by the Waitt Institute. Rather than considering that the time stamps could be in error, they also focused on this idea. Is this any more valid than 5:19 becoming 2:19? Maybe Balfour was dyslexic? Who knows. Once you go down the slippery slope of changing the data, anything is possible. I am sure I could find a yet to be discovered set of coordinates that would fit perfectly with the time line with just a couple of digits swapped here or there.

The report one hour prior, where they stated that they were at 7,000ft,  is interesting in that it could suggest that they were still approaching the storm, uncertain of a plan to maneuver around the storm and eventually decided to climb up and over at 10,000ft, an hour later. Can you provide a reasonable explanation for the one hour report prior to the 5:19 GMT report?

You also never explained with your line of reasoning why they would continue such a long segment before heading back to the course? Was the storm that large such that they had to go 687 miles out to get around it? Perhaps they were just sight seeing? Waitt never seemed to address that either but it sure pushed that square peg time stamp in to a round hole, hey kind of like a rabbit hole. :)

Quote
And to be consistent, you must also be claiming that the correct coordinates for Nauru are 0.32° S 166.55° E, the same as 0° 19.2' S 166° 33' E (supplying the missing "6" in the longitude that Balfour forgot.) But wait, putting that into Google Earth takes you to a spot 31 SM away from Nauru, see the attached chart, so maybe that doesn't make any sense.

Perhaps Balfour's estimate was pretty good and the telegram operator made the mess. It is obvious from the other typos this was not a professional at the keys. How can you explain that? On balance of the evidence, I would say it was the telegram operators fault looking at the other mistakes and typos. I think that the dropped 6 is just as probable as any other explanation. If the standard practice for this guy was to specify degrees to the hundredths, this makes perfect sense.

Let's run down your theory again about the fractions really being the minutes of the coordinates. 0.32S becomes 0°32'.

Quote

Quote
What about the .32S? While not completely accurate, it is close. (Me)

To the level of precision attainable in flight navigation, to the nearest minute of latitude  and longitude, the position of Nauru is 0° 32' south, 166° 55' east. (You)

So let's compare 0.32S 166.55E to your 0°32S 165°55'E. I think, and I could easily be wrong since I am working with decimal values, that the 0.32S 166.55E produces a 30 mile error while the 0°32'S 165°55'E produces and error of 120 miles. And this was your basis for the other coordinates outside of Lae? I am no navigation expert but the dropped 6 makes a lot of sense and one fourth the error.

Quote
It fits a whole lot better than your interpretation of the facts.

What fits better? The square peg or round hole?
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Waitt search report.
« Reply #44 on: January 16, 2012, 07:06:46 PM »

What fits better? The square peg or round hole?

The round peg fits perfectly in the round hole.

You are obviously doing something wrong when you use Google Earth and that may be the reason for your confusion. I don't know where you got the 165° 55' east for the longitude of Nauru, I said it it was 166° 55' east, re-read my prior post carefully. These are in the standard degrees and minutes format. If you want to enter them into Google Earth as decimal degrees then you need to convert the minutes to decimal degrees by dividing them by 60, (I'll do it for you) just enter. -0.5333° 166.9167° and they will land you smack dab on top of Nauru. This is consistent with the telegram with the "55" after the decimal point and the "16" before the decimal point obviously missing a "6". I don't know which "6" was omitted by Balfour, it could be the middle "6" or the last "6" as in 166  or 166. It also appears that you input into your map 0.32° NORTH instead of the correct SOUTH latitude.

I have attached an excerpt from the definitive American navigation textbook giving the location of Nauru as 0° 31' S 166° 56' E only 1.4 NM from the location given in the telegram and from the location that I used. Also notice in this excerpt that a "point" is NOT used to separate the degrees from the minutes.

( You do know that this symbol  °  denotes degrees and that this symbol  '   denotes minutes, don't you?)
gl
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 09:13:50 PM by Gary LaPook »
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