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Author Topic: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival  (Read 251718 times)

Malcolm McKay

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #180 on: April 04, 2012, 11:10:47 PM »


Brad
Take a pill and Chill
There is no reason for you to Flame on Richie.
By  its very nature this thread is one of speculation, noone knows what happened to AE/FN and we are just trying to think about what we might do if/when faced with the circunstances.
 In my opinion, if faced with the facts that no rescuers were coming, and noone was answering my radio calls, and I was facing a slow death, I would certainly try everything I could to  get one of those boats to water.  I would certainly try to use the biggest strongest tool of mechanical advantage I had, i.e. the plane and its engines.  Noone  said anything about Taxiing around the island.

The survivors camp was about 100 yards from the beach, the boats were prolly closer, and the high tide line closer still.  Not a  massive pull for a twin engined plane with 1200 HP.

Perhaps AE/FN didn't make themselves seen by Lambrecht when the "Searchers" flew over was because they had already left the island in a boat or a raft.

Having been following this search and the forum for a while I decided to join.

In all honesty Brad is right - the Electra could not have pulled a life boat into the water. The reason being that there is no place on the Electra where a tow rope (if such a length of rope was even available to AE and FN on the island) could be attached without causing major structural damage.  Unless aircraft are especially strengthened for glider towing they are not designed to tow objects (especially a strong but very lightly built aircraft like the Electra) - it is not a simple matter of attaching a rope to the aircraft starting the engines and hoping for the best.

You may tow an aircraft usually by attaching an appropriate cable to the undercarriage, in the case of a tricycle gear aircraft this is attached to the nose wheel or in the case of a tail dragger by attaching a tow cable to the tail wheel or in rare cases a cable to both main undercarriage legs. But doing the reverse is going to cause a lot of damage.

It is a line of conjecture which leads nowhere in a thread which more properly is about the chances of how long either AE or FN could have survived if they actually landed on the reef at Gardner Island. And that I think is still an entirely hypothetical assumption.     
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #181 on: April 05, 2012, 03:36:40 AM »


 I would certainly try to use the biggest strongest tool of mechanical advantage I had, i.e. the plane and its engines.  Noone  said anything about Taxiing around the island.

The survivors camp was about 100 yards from the beach, the boats were prolly closer, and the high tide line closer still.  Not a  massive pull for a twin engined plane with 1200 HP.

According to page 15 of report 487 each engine created 2150 pounds of thrust, a total of 4300 pounds, see attached.

gl
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Jeff Palshook

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #182 on: April 05, 2012, 04:12:37 AM »

Sorry this post might be a bit off-topic for this thread ...

The Ameliapedia wiki page for the Norwich City includes the following reference to Norwich City-related information in the historical record:

“The Colorado Search”, Randall S Jacobson, Ph.D.: “A letter from Captain Friedell to the Navy Hydrographic Office reports that the position of McKean is well off the charted position, that a conspicuous wreck lies to the northwestward side of Gardner, and that the size and shape of Gardner are not correct.”

Admins or anyone else ... Is the referenced Friedell letter posted anywhere on the TIGHAR website, or otherwise available somewhere online?  I searched the website, including the Jabcobson database, for it but could not find anything else about it.
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richie conroy

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #183 on: April 05, 2012, 04:26:54 AM »

Brad

what i meant was, what we know now like of the water in the casks being 8 years old would kill ye

well they might of thought it ok to drink

maybe thats what killed them ?

who know's

 :)
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #184 on: April 05, 2012, 05:14:37 AM »

The problems with following this red herring of the Electra towing an abandoned lifeboat of the island go beyond the simple fact that an aircraft like the Electra didn't have any engineered capacity to tow anything.

 The one available photo of a lifeboat on the island shows it to be well ashore in sand and light vegetation. That means it was carried there either by a storm assisted tide or a very high tide. It also means that the lifeboat which is a very heavy clinker built wooden boat had been exposed for about eight years, after the Norwich City was wrecked, to the weather and resting on sand. That would have dried out its caulking, which in those days was basically a hemp and tar mix. Also it is likely that the timber would have rotted where it was in contact with the ground. It would have needed to be recaulked before it would be sea-worthy.

Given that it is highly unlikely to the point of being impossible that EA and FN had the means to make the boat seaworthy that is one impediment. The next is that the boat was far too heavy for a single person to drag anywhere, even if in the very unlikely circumstances the caulking was still good. Even if it had been considered EA and FN would have not have been strong enough together to overturn the boat to inspect the hull then right it again.  Now we get to the idea of the Electra dragging the boat from the shore to the ocean.

The place where it is hypothesized that the Electra landed is a narrow strip of fairly level reef on the water's edge distant from the actual shore and separated from land by the inner reef area which is much rougher and crevassed coral. Also the proposed level landing area is at 90 degrees to the shore. The Electra would even if it could be coaxed into moving could not get a straight pull. But far more important is that as I explained that there is nowhere to attach this hypothetical rope, and by the way there is no indication that EA and FN had a couple of hundred yards of rope on board or available to them on the island.

What will happen if this imaginary rope is attached to either the tail wheel or the main undercarriage, which are the only available strong points, is that if power is applied the rope will straighten out and as the shore is higher than the edge of the coral reef, and the lifeboat is both impeded by friction with the ground and its quite considerable weight, this will lift the tail of the aircraft up either by raising the tail wheel, or because the thrust of the propellors will tug the aircraft against the rope and cause it to rotate around the axles of the main undercarriage which also raise the tail. Once this happens the aircraft will start to tilt nose down and that will cause the propellor blades to hit either the water or the coral. They will then be bent out of balance, stalling or destroying the engines. So the aircraft will then be rendered immobile and the lifeboat, if it was seaworthy would not have moved one inch.

Put simply the aircraft would be written off very quickly. I suspect that EA and FN if they had even had a spare couple of hundred yards of rope would have worked that out very quickly. Aircraft don't make very good tractors.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 05:16:29 AM by Malcolm McKay »
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #185 on: April 05, 2012, 05:18:43 AM »

Brad, it's just another avenue to explore, probably a dead end but, discussion will prove yae or nay. There will be other avenues.
Some theories you will read here are pure science fiction, impossibly complex, bamboozling and so on but, everyone has the opportunity to have their say and, everyone has the opportunity to disagree with 'their say'. Don't get disheartened if no one agrees with your say and if you don't agree with their say, it's not easy but at the end of the day we all have the same goal, find that plane. :)
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #186 on: April 05, 2012, 08:43:09 AM »

Sorry this post might be a bit off-topic for this thread ...

As a registered member of the Forum, you have the power to start a new thread.

Quote
The Ameliapedia wiki page for the Norwich City includes the following reference to Norwich City-related information in the historical record:

It would be a great kindness--very helpful to newcomers--if you would learn how to insert links into your posts.

In this case, the relevant link is to the Norwich City article.

Quote
“The Colorado Search”, Randall S Jacobson, Ph.D.: “A letter from Captain Friedell to the Navy Hydrographic Office reports that the position of McKean is well off the charted position, that a conspicuous wreck lies to the northwestward side of Gardner, and that the size and shape of Gardner are not correct.”

Admins or anyone else ... Is the referenced Friedell letter posted anywhere on the TIGHAR website, or otherwise available somewhere online?  I searched the website, including the Jabcobson database, for it but could not find anything else about it.

Proving a negative is often difficult.  I went to my favorite TIGHAR search page and used "Friedell hydrographic" as my search terms.  Here are the results.

Going through the results one-by-one, here is what I find:

From the old Forum, 15 Oct 1999:

Date:         Fri, 15 Oct 1999 16:02:08 EDT
From:         Randy Jacobson
Subject:      Re: Lambrecht photo vantage point and tidal data

Capt. Friedell wrote a letter to the Naval Hydrographic Office
documenting the mislocation of Gardner Island.  Included in that
letter were all of the bearings, times, and a chart of the Colorado
track from prior to 6AM, IIRC.  I do remember that the 6AM star
sight fix had at least 6 star fixes to constrain the location
very tightly.  I will bring you a copy of the letter next weekend.

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

From Ric

I was not aware of that.  This information could help us georeference the island to the GPS data we collected in 1997.


From the old Forum, 26 Nov 1999:

Date:         Fri, 26 Nov 1999 14:18:08 EST
From:         Randy Jacobson
Subject:      Norwich City

Although a full report of the NC wreck was submitted to the US Hydrographic
Office in 1929, it did not make the 1933 edition of the Sailing Directions
(which the Colorado MAY have had on board), nor the 1938 update.  Very
surprising.  Lambrecht and Co. would have had no idea that there was a
prominent wreck on the island.

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

From Ric

Nor would AE or FN.


OK, I've completed my survey.  I agree with your assessment that the letter in question is not available on TIGHAR's website.  The record suggests that Jacobson did send it to TIGHAR Central twelve years ago.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #187 on: April 05, 2012, 10:33:58 AM »


Malcolm
"In all honesty Brad is right - the Electra could not have pulled a life boat into the water"\Read the words as they  are written, I didn't say "into the water"  I said "...to the water"  i.e. to the high tide point and let the high tide float the boat (tying it off to a Buka Tree of course so it doesn't float away and defeat all the efforts).

They were marooned on an island, rescue isn't coming, radio calls aren't being answered.  I wouldn't be concerned about damage to the tail wheel and its strut and attachment to the air-frame.  I would use any and all means available to get off that island, else I will die!  The plane can be repaired later after I get back to civilization, just as it was after ground looping it on takeoff in Hawaii.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #188 on: April 05, 2012, 11:25:57 AM »


Malcolm
"The problems with following this red herring..." (emphasis mine, hjh)
Respectfully  submitting a suggestion for your post #3, go to forum Home page, click on another thread, go there.
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #189 on: April 05, 2012, 12:15:24 PM »


Malcolm
With respect to what "engineered" mechanisms can do beyond that which they are engineered to do, I remind you that the Apollo 13 Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), and the Command Module (CM) weren't engineered to do what they did, i.e. provide the platform in which three individuals could survive and return to earth safely.   Nuff said.
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richie conroy

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #190 on: April 05, 2012, 04:10:31 PM »

the new rov dive is month's away so need sum think to occupy the time  :)



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richie conroy

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #191 on: April 05, 2012, 04:22:15 PM »

also giving the weight of life boat when washed up on reef, 8 years of drying out the timber in the sun how much lighter would that have made it ?

or if they did have parachutes tie one or both them to boat maybe the wind wud get strong enough to pull it off shore into water  ::)

just thinking aloud  ;D
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #192 on: April 05, 2012, 06:51:48 PM »


Malcolm
With respect to what "engineered" mechanisms can do beyond that which they are engineered to do, I remind you that the Apollo 13 Lunar Excursion Module (LEM), and the Command Module (CM) weren't engineered to do what they did, i.e. provide the platform in which three individuals could survive and return to earth safely.   Nuff said.

Please do go back and read again what I posted and once you stop throwing ifs and maybes you will concede that in this case the "towing" of a lifeboat by the Electra anywhere is not only a red herring but an impossibility. As for the Apollo 13 analogy I fail to see any relevance unless you are suggesting that EA and FN disappeared into a time warp. In the case of Apollo 13 the CM and LEM were working well within the flexibility allowed by their design. The Electra as I explained was incapable both because of its design, and the position of the lifeboat, of towing the lifeboat.

I understand that people like to toss ideas around but you are, I must say, forgetting that even the "fact" that the Electra was parked on a flat strip of coral at the edge of the reef is itself only a hypothesis. There is no firm evidence of any sort to say that it was - if there was then there would be no need for TIGHAR to be investigating the hypothesis that Earhart and Noonan landed on Gardner Island because it would an accepted historical event that that is where the aviators had met their end. That is the problem inherent in all discussions based on hypothetical situations that themselves are derived from a single unproven hypothesis - for them to work you need the underlying hypotheses to be proven - in this case it isn't and that is why TIGHAR are investigating the island.     
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 07:14:11 PM by Malcolm McKay »
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #193 on: April 05, 2012, 07:11:43 PM »

also giving the weight of life boat when washed up on reef, 8 years of drying out the timber in the sun how much lighter would that have made it ?

or if they did have parachutes tie one or both them to boat maybe the wind wud get strong enough to pull it off shore into water  ::)

just thinking aloud  ;D

If this hypothetical lifeboat had dried to a point where it was light enough to be manhandled by AE and FN it wouldn't be seaworthy because the caulking which is vital to keeping water out of clinker built boats would have fallen out, not to mention that the timber would be rotten. Now please don't respond with "well what about if Earhart and Noonan had found a source of tar on the island to mix with dried coconut husk fibre to make new caulking" because that, like the hypothetical couple of hundred yards of rope needed to hook up the Electra to the hypothetical lifeboat, is simply adding another hypothetical point to a whole argument that itself is based on one great unproven hypotheses that the Electra had actually landed on the edge of the reef to the north of the Norwich City. As I said if there was proven evidence that that event had occurred then TIGHAR would not be mounting this search of the island. Note that I am not saying that the event didn't occur, what I am saying is that the event has as yet not been proved to have occurred.

As for parachutes, having read the thread on the parachutes, I suspect that their actual existence is well into the realm of unproven hypothesis also.

Speculation is enjoyable but it is important to remember that speculation is not a substitute for proven evidence.   
« Last Edit: April 05, 2012, 07:14:54 PM by Malcolm McKay »
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Harry Howe, Jr.

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Re: Deserted Island, Castaways, Survival
« Reply #194 on: April 05, 2012, 07:57:57 PM »


"As for parachutes, having read the thread on the parachutes, I suspect that their actual existence is well into the realm of unproven hypothesis also."(emphasis mine, hjh)

Did you not see the parachutes in the photo of the stack of things being either loaded into or unloaded from the plane at Darwin??.  It is the first item in the parachute thread.  The thrust of the thread wasn't whether parachutes actually existed, but rather were the chutes on board at Lae and beyond.  Most of us can recognize them as chutes without needing a State Dept analyst to do a high res analysis .  Perhaps you need to re-read the thread beginning with the first post.
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