Advanced search  
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales  (Read 46511 times)

Gary LaPook

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1624
Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« on: January 26, 2012, 01:19:31 AM »

I had accepted TIGHAR's explanation of the code used by the Coast Guard for reporting the weather conditions at Howland but now I am not so sure. I was reviewing TIGHAR's copy of the Itasca deck log and and the tables at the beginning of it contains the explanation of the weather codes. It immediately jumped out at me that the wind speed table, the "Beaufort code," had the wrong speed values. I then looked at the other tables and I have questions about them also. According to TIGHAR's table, a code of "9" means visibility greater than 20 miles (presumably nautical miles) but, according to the Navy's code for weather reporting, published in 1930, "9" means visibility greater than 30 NM. So now I wonder what is the source of TIGHAR's version, and what is the correct values to use in interpreting Itasca's weather reports. I have attached an annotated copy TIGHAR's weather tables and copies of the correct Beaufort scale. I have also posted the entire Navy's code for weather reporting here.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2012, 01:33:59 AM by Gary LaPook »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6121
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 06:12:32 AM »

We have a full-sized (each page is 11"x17") copy of the Itasca deck log.  At the beginning of the log is a section entitled Instructions For Keeping The Ship's Log.  It includes all the codes and scales to be used in keeping the log.  TIGHAR's interpretations of the log are based on those instructions. I've attached scans of several of the scales including wind and visibility.
Logged

Harry Howe, Jr.

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 576
  • Nuclear Physicist(Ret) Pilot(Ret) Scuba(Ret)
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 11:33:43 AM »


Nice Log Instructions.
Did I miss something?  Like what is the definition of "Prominent objects"
Is an island 1 mile long by 1/2 mile wide by 10 feet high a "prominent object"?
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
Logged

Harry Howe, Jr.

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 576
  • Nuclear Physicist(Ret) Pilot(Ret) Scuba(Ret)
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 04:55:52 PM »


JN
Against a sky full of scattered clouds, and a ship belching smoke, a plane being a prominent object at 20 NM?  surely you jest
No Worries Mates
LTM   Harry (TIGHAR #3244R)
 
Logged

Gary LaPook

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1624
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2012, 02:49:06 AM »

We have a full-sized (each page is 11"x17") copy of the Itasca deck log.  At the beginning of the log is a section entitled Instructions For Keeping The Ship's Log.  It includes all the codes and scales to be used in keeping the log.  TIGHAR's interpretations of the log are based on those instructions. I've attached scans of several of the scales including wind and visibility.

I think that there is still a question concerning the codes used in the Itasca deck log for recording the visibility and the force of the wind. The visibility table in the deck log preamble contained the values for a weather code dated 1921 and the values were changed in the 1930 weather code that was being used by Itasca for reporting the weather. The wind speed ranges for the Beaufort scale were also changed in 1923 to their current form, I posted that table before. We know that Itasca was using the newer weather code because the 1921 code used words instead of numerical groups. Here is a link to the obsolete 1921 weather code.

I have attached excerpts from the deck log, the radio transcripts and from the 1930 weather code. I am also posting the entire 1930 weather code.  You can see that the weather report sent out on July 1, 1937 at 1330 Itasca time encoded the weather recorded in the Itasca deck log for 1 p.m. on July 1st. The "9" in the fourth group is the code for the visibility which, according to the 1930 code, means greater than 30 NM and would be read as such by headquarters. But, if the preface to the deck log is correct, that "9" only indicates visibility greater than 20 NM. Which is it, 30 NM or 20 NM, you can't have it both ways. The weather code is for transmitting the weather unambiguously so a "9" can't mean 20 NM sometimes and 30 NM at other times.

Did the Coast Guard just continue to use obsolete deck log forms until the supply was exhausted but actually used the new coding for the information? Aside from the deck log preamble, does TIGHAR have any other source of information to explain this conflict, a statement from somebody in the Coast Guard in 1937 perhaps?

I have decoded the entire 6 group message so you can compare it yourself with the entries in the deck log entry.

-------------------------------------------


The 6001 1330 weather message decoded reads:

First group, 61008

6  = Friday (July 2, Greenwich date)
1 = Octant of earth 1 = (North latitude, 90° to 180° west)
008 =Latitude 00.8° N (Latitude rounded to 6 minute accuracy and reported as one-tenth of degree, the octant code makes it north)

Second group,  76700

767 =  Longitude 176.7°  W ( the octant code makes it greater than 90° W)
00  =GMT of observation is 0000)


Third group, 05201

05  = Wind direction = NE X E
2  = Beaufort force 2 = light breeze
01 = Current weather = Partly cloudy, 0.1 to  0.5 of sky covered

Fourth group, 10986

10 = Barometer = 29.83 (rounded to whole millibar if necessary)
9 = Visibility = objects visible at more than 30 NM
86 = Temp= 86° F

Fifth group, 62254

6 = group identifier
2 = swell = low swell, long
2 = direction of swell = east
5 = predominant cloud type = alto stratus
4 = total cloud = 0.4 to 0.6

Sixth group, 20010

2 = temp difference = air temp. 3° to 6° warmer than the sea temp.
0 = ship's course = hove to (drifting)
0 = barometer tendency = steady
1 = past weather = variable sky
0 = form of upper cloud = no upper clouds


gl
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 02:54:20 AM by Gary LaPook »
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6121
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2012, 05:41:59 AM »

Did the Coast Guard just continue to use obsolete deck log forms until the supply was exhausted but actually used the new coding for the information? Aside from the deck log preamble, does TIGHAR have any other source of information to explain this conflict, a statement from somebody in the Coast Guard in 1937 perhaps?

We only have the deck log as it exists in the National Archive.  In either system the "9" indicates the highest level of visibility.  If you're at sea and the visibility is unrestricted, how can you possibly determine whether you can see 20 miles or 30 miles?  There's nothing out there to see except ocean.  In other words, what difference does it make which system Itasca was using?
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2012, 05:26:39 PM »

*scratches head* Arguing for the sake of arguing?  Finding one nit doesn't necessarily invalidate the entire thing, or so my experience goes as a "professional" in the world of forms and such. I think there might be other documents that are more worthy of efforts at deconstruction?

LTM, who pushes paper for a living,

Monty Fowler
TIGHAR No, 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Irvine John Donald

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2012, 06:04:22 PM »

I have to say that Ric's response leaves very little room for argument as Monty just posted.

Gary will likely say something though. Sigh.  Too bad that Gary's still trying to break the TIGHAR hypothesis. Maybe he should try saying what he thinks happened. You never know Gary. You might be right and TIGHAR wrong. But then again, it's much easier to try breaking someone else's hypothesis rather than stating one of your own.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
Logged

Gary LaPook

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1624
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2012, 06:11:38 PM »

*scratches head* Arguing for the sake of arguing?  Finding one nit doesn't necessarily invalidate the entire thing, or so my experience goes as a "professional" in the world of forms and such. I think there might be other documents that are more worthy of efforts at deconstruction?

LTM, who pushes paper for a living,

Monty Fowler
TIGHAR No, 2189 CER
Although the difference between 20 NM and 30 NM visibility does not appear to affect the TIGHAR hypo, it may affect other hypos. I like to get the facts straight since there are so many errors in the Earhart story.

gl
Logged

Irvine John Donald

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #9 on: January 30, 2012, 06:53:56 PM »

What other theory could the difference of 10 nautical miles of visibility affect?  For some reason AE and FN missed Howland. That's a fact. We know they didn't land there. Where did they end up?  What's your theory Gary?  Stop saying why TIGHAR is wrong and say what you think is right. In all seriousness I believe you think the TIGHAR hypothesis is right and you're just trying to come at it from all angles to really make sure the hypothesis doesn't break. Since you started posting in 2002 TIGHAR has found further evidence that points towards TIGHAR being right. Strengthening the hypothesis which makes it harder to break down.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
Logged

Gary LaPook

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1624
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #10 on: January 30, 2012, 09:24:46 PM »

What other theory could the difference of 10 nautical miles of visibility affect?  For some reason AE and FN missed Howland. That's a fact. We know they didn't land there. Where did they end up?  What's your theory Gary?  Stop saying why TIGHAR is wrong and say what you think is right. In all seriousness I believe you think the TIGHAR hypothesis is right and you're just trying to come at it from all angles to really make sure the hypothesis doesn't break. Since you started posting in 2002 TIGHAR has found further evidence that points towards TIGHAR being right. Strengthening the hypothesis which makes it harder to break down.
Well it affects the crashed and sank hypo. If the visibility was greater than others have figured then the plane must have been further away to have missed Howland so the underwater searchers may need to look further out than they have already. This  may account for the failure to find the plane on the bottom of the sea in the vicinity of Howland.

gl
« Last Edit: January 30, 2012, 09:28:31 PM by Gary LaPook »
Logged

Irvine John Donald

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #11 on: January 30, 2012, 10:17:50 PM »

Gary, the ran out of gas and sank guys have a huge amount of underwater ground to cover.  This 10 mile difference is one very small factor in looking for the Electra on the ocean bottom. You know this. Are you now trying to help the "crashed and sank" guys by suggesting this ten mile difference actually narrows down where to search?  You know how much reserve the electra carried. You know the evidence, yes circumstantial with no smoking gun, that TIGHAR has gathered. The archaeological evidence, post loss signals, native accounts, skeletal remains, etc. that TIGHAR has brought forward would all have to be ignored and outright dismissed by the crashed and sank guys.  Is this what YOUR hypothesis is?  Marty is right by saying you believe they got close, box searched, then crashed and sank??  Seriously Gary. Just say it in a post once and for all.
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
Logged

Heath Smith

  • T4
  • ****
  • Posts: 391
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2012, 04:21:51 AM »


25 NM sounds like a good compromise then for flight re-construction.

As far as the box search goes since they were reporting being on the 157/337 line an hour after they had arrived they would have had to been flying a modified search pattern as Gary had previously suggested versus an expanding square search pattern. This would imply they would be flying long N/S lines, the length probably being 2 times the maximum DR error after the first leg that would be the maximum DR error. They would then probably performing a 2 times visibility offset on each leg. This is just one theoretical example that does make sense to investigate.

This would describe a huge area. While it it theoretically possible that they could have ran out of fuel on a leg headed back toward Howland they might have also been headed away from Howland.

I do think that this is a worthy exercise and could lead to insight as to what might have happened. I think it can also be used to determine where they were not with a pretty good degree of certainty. Google Earth is a good tool for visualizing things like this. After playing with it a bit I realized that what is needed is a method to automatically lay out search patterns rather than drawing them manually. Although it seems simple enough, it takes quite a while to lay down just a couple of scenarios manually. In the future, I plan on writing an application that will automatically create search patterns based on user input.  The output will be a kmz file that is easily imported in to Google Earth.

Attached is one such visualization in Google Earth. The large red circle represents a DR error of 127 miles, assuming that they had not been able to obtain a navigation fix since they saw the Ontario (a different subject). The Yellow would be the theoretical limit of visibility if they were at 1,000ft. The smaller red circles represent 25NM around the Islands. 

In this one example, if they were at the extreme DR error to the South and headed South (because they thought they were North), they would have passed within 145 SM miles of Gardner. With this example, they would have had to climb to 8,000ft (I think) to see Gardner during the search. Again, this is just a single example but I believe there is value in playing with this idea.

Also attached in an overlay of the Waitt Institute search area. As you can see their search area is tiny compared to the over all area where they might have ditched using the example search pattern.

So for me at least, there is value it investigating this area and it is interesting to attempt. If anyone is interested in writing software for creating search patterns (and possibly other visualizations) in Google Earth, let me know.
Logged

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #13 on: February 02, 2012, 07:36:44 PM »

Although the difference between 20 NM and 30 NM visibility does not appear to affect the TIGHAR hypo, it may affect other hypos. I like to get the facts straight since there are so many errors in the Earhart story.

gl

Then please, by all means list them, one by one, with your explanations (heck, footnotes if you want to), as TIGHAR has done in the past, and continues to do.

I mean, since you seem to have it all figured out to the Nth degree. Or so you keep hinting.

LTM, who tires of all talk and no action,
and who puts his money where his mouth is,

Monty Fowler
TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 6121
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: Provenance of TIGHAR's weather scales
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2012, 06:11:04 AM »

As far as the box search goes since they were reporting being on the 157/337 line an hour after they had arrived they would have had to been flying a modified search pattern as Gary had previously suggested versus an expanding square search pattern.

Your logic escapes me.  How does the fact that Earhart reported being on the 157/337 line an hour after they seem to have arrived at the advanced LOP mean anything but that they were on the line at that time?  Why could they not simply have been doing what Earhart said they were doing - "running on line north and south."?  On what basis do you (and Gary) inject an entirely imagined "box search" or "modified search pattern" into the scenario?  If you're going to make up stuff for which there is no evidence you can put the plane anywhere you want. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3   Go Up
 

Copyright 2024 by TIGHAR, a non-profit foundation. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be reproduced by xerographic, photographic, digital or any other means for any purpose. No portion of the TIGHAR Website may be stored in a retrieval system, copied, transmitted or transferred in any form or by any means, whether electronic, mechanical, digital, photographic, magnetic or otherwise, for any purpose without the express, written permission of TIGHAR. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: info@tighar.org • Phone: 610-467-1937 • Membership formwebmaster@tighar.org

Powered by MySQL SMF 2.0.18 | SMF © 2021, Simple Machines Powered by PHP