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Author Topic: Signal Fire  (Read 29646 times)

Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2012, 10:37:28 AM »


It is called "Group Think" and NASA developed a test to demonstrate it.
The Group was marooned on the moon with a list of things that they had.
There was a atation with shelter and supplies.  The object was to get to it.
First, individually you were asked to rank the items on the list in the order that you would dispose of them or leave them behind.
Then, as a group you were asked to discuss the same list and rank order them again as a Group.

Amazing how long the Smokers in the Group insisted on holding on to their lighters (on the Moon, mind you)

I'll try to get a copy of the test and post it on the Forum.  It's very educational.
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2012, 10:53:09 AM »


It is called "Group Think" and NASA developed a test to demonstrate it.
The Group was marooned on the moon with a list of things that they had.
There was a atation with shelter and supplies.  The object was to get to it.
First, individually you were asked to rank the items on the list in the order that you would dispose of them or leave them behind.
Then, as a group you were asked to discuss the same list and rank order them again as a Group.

Amazing how long the Smokers in the Group insisted on holding on to their lighters (on the Moon, mind you)

I'll try to get a copy of the test and post it on the Forum.  It's very educational.

That sounds interesting Harry. I hope you can find it. The group think idea was copied years ago by SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) with their SETI@home program. http://www.seti.org/.  This program includes using the idle time on home PC's to search for life in the massive amounts of data collected by SETI.  I like to think this forum uses the collective intelligence of the readers and contributors to understand and test the hypothesis.  The "collective" of the Borg idea if you don't mind that analogy.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2012, 11:42:47 AM »


IRV
The NASA GroupThink thing is online
Use your Browser and go to   NASA Group Think Test
Choose the entry  The Nasa Exercise Lost On The Moon

It shows how the exercise can be done online.
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LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #18 on: January 21, 2012, 12:48:46 PM »

Its not just a case of having a fire ready to light, you need some kind of medium to light it quicly such as aviation fuel, gas or very dry tinder.  Also something to light them with!
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #19 on: January 21, 2012, 08:10:52 PM »

There was also a breeze, and any signal fire would need to produce smoke that could be seen.  It wouldn't help if the prepared fire was on the upwind side of the island - the breeze would just blow the smoke into the trees.

Better to light signal fires on the lee side of an island, if there's a bunch of foliage, and if smoke is the intent.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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richie conroy

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #20 on: January 21, 2012, 08:36:08 PM »

also if branches were used to build the fires, they create less smoke than bushes i.e leaves do so that could be a reason why no signal smoke
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Nancy Marilyn Gould

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #21 on: January 22, 2012, 07:31:56 PM »

To those who replied to my questions:  thank you very much!
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Monty Fowler

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #22 on: January 22, 2012, 09:19:30 PM »

As an ex-Boy Scout (aka reformed pyromaniac), as others have pointed out, signal fires are neat and swell and keen and all of that - when you read about them in survival manuals or see them in Hollyweird movies.

In reality, under survival conditions, they are damn hard to start if you don't have something like a cigarette lighter (How many of you in here have done the rubbing two sticks together BS? I have. It can, literally, take you hours). Flint and steel can work, if you know what you're doing - Fred and Amelia were city slickers. Using avgas to get the thing going makes sense, until you consider that the radio signals had stopped, which means the engine wasn't running, which may mean there wasn't any gas left. (Regardless, for starting a fire, it's a really good way to either blow yourself up or lose a lot of hair in various places. As Ric would say, "I don't want to talk about it ...")

Let's say Fred still had his lighter and it still worked. Have to gather tinder, kindling, and fuel for the signal fire, and then keep gathering the fuel wood/material to keep the fire going. You're on Niku. It's July. It's like 100 degrees plus in the shade ... how long, realistically, do you think one or two people could keep a signal fire going under those conditions before they gave it up from sheer exhaustion?

And as others have pointed out, just building a signal fire may, or may not, have gotten them any notice unless searchers came over when it was dark or nearly so - again - to make a lot of smoke, you need green wood, leaves, something like that, and that makes white smoke. Or you could use upholstery/rubber/etc. from the airplane for black smoke. But still ... it's Niku. It's July. It's 100 degrees plus in the shade. What little water you have is going fast ...
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #23 on: January 23, 2012, 12:20:27 PM »

As an ex-Boy Scout (aka reformed pyromaniac), as others have pointed out, signal fires are neat and swell and keen and all of that - when you read about them in survival manuals or see them in Hollyweird movies.

In reality, under survival conditions, they are damn hard to start if you don't have something like a cigarette lighter (How many of you in here have done the rubbing two sticks together BS? I have. It can, literally, take you hours). Flint and steel can work, if you know what you're doing - Fred and Amelia were city slickers. Using avgas to get the thing going makes sense, until you consider that the radio signals had stopped, which means the engine wasn't running, which may mean there wasn't any gas left. (Regardless, for starting a fire, it's a really good way to either blow yourself up or lose a lot of hair in various places. As Ric would say, "I don't want to talk about it ...")

Let's say Fred still had his lighter and it still worked. Have to gather tinder, kindling, and fuel for the signal fire, and then keep gathering the fuel wood/material to keep the fire going. You're on Niku. It's July. It's like 100 degrees plus in the shade ... how long, realistically, do you think one or two people could keep a signal fire going under those conditions before they gave it up from sheer exhaustion?

And as others have pointed out, just building a signal fire may, or may not, have gotten them any notice unless searchers came over when it was dark or nearly so - again - to make a lot of smoke, you need green wood, leaves, something like that, and that makes white smoke. Or you could use upholstery/rubber/etc. from the airplane for black smoke. But still ... it's Niku. It's July. It's 100 degrees plus in the shade. What little water you have is going fast ...

Excellent point re: starting fires WITHOUT, cigarette lighter/matches it's so difficult, even when you have been trained to do it the kit you need isn't always readily available. Matches? a box of them is a limited supply (if dry). Cigarette lighter? Again, a limited supply of lighter fluid (I think it was lighter fluid in those days) and, how long before that evapourated in that heat?
Starting a fire is one thing, keeping it going 24-7 is another, especially if you are weak from dehydration/starvation
Jeff
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Nancy Marilyn Gould

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Re: Signal Fire
« Reply #24 on: January 24, 2012, 02:07:13 PM »

Monty:

Thanks for your reply.  You have answered the question to my satisfaction!

--Nancy
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