Advanced search  
Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]   Go Down

Author Topic: The most perplexing issues  (Read 122407 times)

Monty Fowler

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1078
  • "The real answer is always the right answer."
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #135 on: August 20, 2013, 09:23:12 AM »

Am I the only one that finds it odd that Howland is listed as a stop? I didn't think they started the strip that soon?

No, that's about right. The "airstrip," such as it was, on Howland was cleared starting in about mid-1935, with the four teen-aged male "colonists" put there to assert the US's claim to the island. But in 1935 it would have been basically an area cleared of large obstructions like the low bushes that abound - maybe good enough for an emergency landing, but almost certainly not for anything more than that. Since that part of the Pacific is largely vacant of land, I suspect that any field, no matter how dubious, would look better to an aviator than an ocean ditching.

LTM, who tries to keep his dates straight,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
Logged

C.W. Herndon

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #136 on: August 20, 2013, 11:43:46 AM »

Am I the only one that finds it odd that Howland is listed as a stop? I didn't think they started the strip that soon?

Hi Rich. Somehow I have missed the reference to Howland being used as a stop on one of these routes. Can you help me find the reference?

Thanks ???

(added link to the routes)
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 01:16:46 PM by C.W. Herndon »
Logged

Dan Swift

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 347
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #137 on: August 20, 2013, 01:03:38 PM »

Interesting that Gardner appears go be on the map in the cluster around Canton.  And a route New Caledonia direct Canton takes you very near it.  So, maybe they were shooting for Canton or any of the known islands around it.
May be my bad eyes, but isn't that Howland just above the "ton" in Canton.  FN may have known pretty much where he was headed, give or take an island.  Then maybe the sputter of an radial running out of gas will make you set it down at the closest. 
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
Logged

Jeff Victor Hayden

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 1387
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #138 on: August 20, 2013, 02:58:16 PM »

Am I the only one that finds it odd that Howland is listed as a stop? I didn't think they started the strip that soon?
Hi Rich. Somehow I have missed the reference to Howland being used as a stop on one of these routes. Can you help me find the reference?

Woody, I think he was referring to the map that was listed on eBay in post number 131. :)

Thanks ???

(added link to the routes)
[/quote]
This must be the place
 
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 03:00:05 PM by Jeff Victor Hayden »
Logged

C.W. Herndon

  • T5
  • *****
  • Posts: 634
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #139 on: August 20, 2013, 03:53:49 PM »

Woody, I think he was referring to the map that was listed on eBay in post number 131. :)

Thanks Jeff. I must have missed that too. ???
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
Logged

Dan Swift

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 347
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #140 on: August 21, 2013, 09:21:28 AM »

Great point Jeff.  I too would want to set down for sure and not wait for the "sputter".  Especially in the case as you stated.  And like you said, they probably just sputter and stop.....and at low altitude because you didn't want to spend fuel to climb, you would take the first good spot considering there were no other spots around.  Makes sense to me.  I am landing this airplane before it crashes. 
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
Logged

Ricker H Jones

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 113
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #141 on: August 21, 2013, 12:33:29 PM »

A sidebar to the use of early aviation charts was told to me by a resident in the adult community where I live.  He joined Pan American in 1942 flying the Boeing 314, and told me of developing the air routes across Africa after the war started.  They used maps procured from National Geographic, and as they surveyed the routes, they would annotate the charts with cultural and natural features which were beneficial for air navigation.
Rick J
Logged

manjeet aujla

  • T1
  • *
  • Posts: 41
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #142 on: September 10, 2013, 09:42:48 AM »

I agree with your reason number 5, on being perplexing indeed. Why not radio her intentions? Well, this has been addressed in a paper on this site (the location of which escapes me now.) Essentially her antenna(s) ranges were calculated and plotted with her conjectured locations (based partly on the signal strength of her transmission that were being received while airborne), and a plausible theory of why she was not heard was advanced. (She could have been transmitting, but was just not heard then)

I am just paraphrasing from what I remember from the paper, and I urge you to read it for yourself to get the accurate details. It convinced me at that time, and if I find the link to the paper on this site, I will write it.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 11:45:43 AM by Bruce Thomas »
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 278
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #143 on: September 10, 2013, 01:55:42 PM »

281 NORTH HOWLAND CALL KHAQQ BEYOND NORTH DONT HOLD WITH US MUCH LONGER ABOVE WATER SHUT OFF

For the fun of it.   Remember, this was sent in poorly keyed code. Add or change as little as possible to make it make sense.

LINE (short for equator) IS 281 NORTH.  HAVE or HEARD HOWLAND CALL KHAQQ.

BEYOND NORTH (?)

DONT HOLD WITH US MUCH LONGER (Very hard to construct a short grammatical English sentence containing this phrase.  I think DON'T is really WON'T)

CAN'T KEEP RADIO ABOVE WATER  MUST SHUT OFF

I'm a little late responding, but I think the word 'Luck' fits nicely into the phrase 'Don't hold with us much longer,' if the word 'don't' is actually 'won't.'

LUCK WON'T HOLD WITH US MUCH LONGER.

Other words may work also, but luck's my favorite.

Joe Cerniglia ~ TIGHAR #3078ECR
Logged

Ric Gillespie

  • Executive Director
  • Administrator
  • *
  • Posts: 5520
  • "Do not try. Do or do not. There is no try" Yoda
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #144 on: September 10, 2013, 02:06:06 PM »

CAN'T KEEP RADIO ABOVE WATER  MUST SHUT OFF

I'm a little late responding, but I think the word 'Luck' fits nicely into the phrase 'Don't hold with us much longer,' if the word 'don't' is actually 'won't.'

LUCK WON'T HOLD WITH US MUCH LONGER.

Other words may work also, but luck's my favorite.

I just thought of this.  If my speculation is correct that the preceding phrase is CAN'T KEEP RADIO ABOVE WATER. MUST SHUT OFF. then we don't need a word before WON'T.  We have three short sentences describing the crisis with the radio.

CAN'T KEEP RADIO ABOVE WATER. MUST SHUT OFF. WON'T HOLD WITH US MUCH LONGER.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 03:08:44 PM by Bruce Thomas »
Logged

Joe Cerniglia

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 278
  • Niku in a rainstorm
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #145 on: September 10, 2013, 02:48:18 PM »

The thriftier interpretation works equally as well for me and might even make more sense given it was Morse code.  The 281 North message, when carefully parsed and interpreted, overall seems to make sense in the context of what TIGHAR hypothesizes.

Joe Cerniglia ~ TIGHAR #3078ECR
« Last Edit: September 10, 2013, 04:49:38 PM by Joe Cerniglia »
Logged

Christophe Blondel

  • TIGHAR member
  • *
  • Posts: 20
Re: The most perplexing issues
« Reply #146 on: December 16, 2013, 07:26:53 AM »

Not so many news of Amelia these days, so I would like to come back to this (just two pages above):

Perhaps viewing the operative words vertically (?this might have already been done elsewhere?) would help mediate the bias we sometimes have in attaching sentence structure to potentially disparate words:

- 281
- NORTH
- HOWLAND
- KHAQQ
- NORTH
- MUCH LONGER  (seem to go together)
- ABOVE WATER   (ditto)
- SHUT OFF          (ditto)

Any mathematics probability experts out there?

I think you have it right. This leaves only BEYOND and DONT HOLD WITH US as ambiguous.

I would put the word CALL with KHAQQ in some fashion - CALL IS KHAQQ, ITASCA CALL KHAQQ, etc.

Not a probability expert here, but if I get a moment, I will figure out a couple simple formulas to analyze the remaining ambiguous words. Probably better than just hacking at it with a guess meter. Basically do the same sort of thing as the STENDEC to VALP transformation, but take into account all possibilities - could help figure out what they were trying to send instead of BEYOND, and possibly clean up DONT HOLD WITH US into something that makes better sense.

The good thing about doing it that way is when you type all possibilities, sometimes something you didn't consider immediately pops out.

Interesting Note: Ric's comment about DON'T maybe being WON'T actually is a possibility - when CW ops are very tired, they can accidentally invert the dits and dahs in a letter. D (dah dit dit) is the inverse of W (dit dah dah). This tendency to invert when tired was seen in the early days of commercial marine radio at shore stations where ops were required to work long hours of often tedious code to send; and also in modern Amateur Radio contesting in like the 30th hour of being awake and sending CW.

I completely agree on the idea of a reinterpretation of the "281 N" message on the basis of possible miskeyings of the Morse encoded message. I actually launched about three years ago the hypothesis that what was read as "281 N" could actually have been something else (with OO inside, i.e. twice a triple dash like in 28, and an N at the end, see A poorly keyed 281 N.

Along the same line, I disagree with the idea that BEYOND and DONT HOLD WITH US are the only words that need be reinterpreted as ambiguous. The trend for the listeners of Morse code to write down the wrong word may be even stronger for those words that seem familiar. Think of HOWLAND and the number of messages these operators would have heard telling "ARRIVED AT HOWLAND", "EXPECTED AT HOWLAND", "NOT SEEN AT HOWLAND" and so on. Whatever sounded more or less like HOWLAND was very likely to be caught like "Oh, a bit miskeyed, but they are still telling about HOWLAND" ... So in the sequence "281 N HOWLAND", HOWLAND may be as questionable as the senseless 281 N we have desperately tried to link to a latitude, even though it points to the wrong hemisphere.

So what ? There was a lot of discussion recently on whether the idea that Fred was injured in the landing was more than a hypothesis and something that could be tracked in the plausible post-loss radio calls. If so, the question must be raised whether one can detect something in the "281 N" message too. My first suggestion, relying on the observation that "281 N" may be heard as a result from a faulty transmission of NOONAN, was that we had Fred's signature here, and that he made something like a fatal error by miskeying his own name. But everybody more or less agrees that Amelia was the one at the microphone and this is actually more likely. So what could she mean sending Fred's name on the air ? If Fred was injured, wasn't it straightforward to dial NOONAN INJURED ?

I won't explain again how easily NOONAN can be miskeyed and read as 281 N (please see the other thread). Let us only do the test : what can INJURED become, with not too many transformations. INJURED: .. -. .--- ..- .-. . -.. With only two switches, one erased dot and two compactions: .... --- .-- .-.. -.. = HOWLD. May be we are, as usual, lead by what we want to find, but I did not think, when I started the test, that it would work so easily.

If you do not like it please take it only as a winter tale. The probability certainly remains less than 50% that the 281 N HOWLAND message actually was a NOONAN INJURED distress call. On the other hand, let us not forget that the purloined letter may also lie among objects assumed of no importance.

Best wishes to Niku VIII.

Christophe
Logged
Pages: 1 ... 8 9 [10]   Go Up
 

Copyright 2019 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 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines Powered by PHP