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Author Topic: After the Landing  (Read 279500 times)

Chris Johnson

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #75 on: April 14, 2012, 01:38:57 AM »

Was watching the Helecopter Flight over NIKU last night and it struck me how much of the island didn't get cultivated (windward side) and thus how much of the island could be hideing Fred remains. 

Say they both travelled south to the 7 site, scavenging food and water as they go.  AE expires and the crabs move in.  FN moves on up the windward side with its large Buka forest before himself expiring.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #76 on: April 14, 2012, 02:24:42 AM »

But my point of all this is best described in an anecdote: When I was in the Army, I once had the misfortune to see a man GROUND into three distinct and very seperate pieces between the treads of two M-60A1 tanks. He remained alert and continually tried to pull himself erect. He also continued to fight with the very people who were doing everything possible to save his life.
As we told our students at Ft. Knox, "A tank is designed to kill people and it doesn't care who." I remember one gristly accident that occurred, I wasn't there when it happened (had I been there it wouldn't have happened!), I arrived just a few minutes later. One M60A1 tank wouldn't start so they were slave starting it with another M60A1. The driver had pulled his tank into position nose-to-nose with the dead tank and had passed the slave cables from his hatch to the driver in the other tank by the guy standing between the tanks holding the cables up (you probably see what's coming.) The operating tank driver revved up his engine to make more juice and the brakes didn't hold and the guy in the middle got pinched in half by the sharp leading edges of the hulls, kinda like a big pair of scissors. He was still screaming when I got there but not for very long. How many times can your tell people that when slave starting a tank you pull the operating tank in at right angles to the dead tank so the guy passing the cable can't get caught in the middle.

gl
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 02:26:49 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #77 on: April 14, 2012, 02:46:42 AM »


Um, no, Malcolm.  Again you confuse evidence with proof, equal consideration of evidence with blind acceptance...which is exactly the basis by which I did, indeed, question the scientific basis for your conclusions...as opposed to having an opinion or a theory you like, which everyone has a right to.

The issue is simply that you discard, or attach must less evidentiary weight to, compelling data points that support the TIGHAR hypothesis, for no objective reason.  You continue to talk about conclusive data, but evidence, as I continue to point out to you, need not be conclusive.  It's just information to be weighed.

Hello Adam.

Tell me which compelling evidence it is that I have dismissed without proper discussion which in your opinion supports the TIGHAR hypothesis. As you will have read in my discussion of the skeletal data reexamination my main concern was the tendency for people to confuse the notion of probable with certainty so your comments regarding my concerns about it show an inability on your part to catch the subtle but vital distinction I was making.

Did that in my very first post, my friend.  And as for the vital distinction you think I'm missing, that is the exact distinction I keep pointing out you yourself seem to be missing.  And round and round we go.  So shall we move on? 
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Adam Marsland

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #78 on: April 14, 2012, 02:54:52 AM »

Jeff -- Just so we're clear, I was suggesting that Gary's little scenario was totally nonsensical on day one, when we believe they had a working radio and gas and a battery and a plane that was likely to go over the reef at any moment.  It makes absolutely no sense that Amelia would abandon the radio and an injured navigator on the off chance there might be someone around, particularly if she was moving slowly.  She'd also probably hope that if someone was on the island, they would hear the crash and come to investigate. 

Once the plane was over the edge and/or the radio no longer worked, though, yeah -- no problem with Gary's scenario.  My issue was with his repeated assertion that that was something they would plausibly do as soon as they landed.  No.  Way.  Plus, not supported by the evidence we have, but that's another issue.

I said she should look for help on the second day since she only had half a day left after her arrival on Gardner.

Just because you believe that they had a working transmitter based on the reports of later radio receptions, what makes you think that Earhart believed that her transmitter was working? She never got any responses to the messages she sent to Itasca. Just because the radio lights up doesn't mean that it is putting out any signal. Even if it did work, she would have no way to know that, she got no feedback to confirm that it was actually working. In fact, there is reason to believe that the transmitter die not work since no transmissions from the plane were heard by Itasca during the three hour flight down to Gardner and it is logical that she was attempting to send messages about her location and plans at that time. And there is certainly no reason that either Earhart or Noonan were "McGivers" with any knowledge of how to troubleshoot a radio problem or to fix one if they found it.

"Amelia, please go and see if you can find some medical help for me, I'm really busted up and I know I will die before help can arrive from Howland, I can't last more than one or two days. My only hope is that there is someone, somewhere on this island to help me or I am lost."

"There, there, Fred it'll be alright. I want to stay here for five more days and send out radio distress calls."

"Amelia, that radio ain't working, no one ever responded to us, it's busted, go get me some help."

"There, there Fred it will be alright."

"Tell you what Amelia, if I am going to die here because you won't try to get me some help, I am going to use my sextant box to bash in your head, and take you with me!"

gl

You said day one, actually, Gary (read your own post), and I would say day two is still pretty early to go striking off.  But I have to say, I think you make a pretty good point about them not knowing whether or not the radio was working (this is just the kind of "putting yourself in their place" kind of speculation that I personally think can be useful in terms of thinking of new places to find answers).  My answer to that would be the radio would still be far and away their best shot.  But I think you are right that they could not be sure that it was working, though if the belly antenna theory was right and they fixed the problem, then they at least would know they had probably fixed the problem that had hampered them before and it should work.  But it's a fair question and I'm glad you brought it up.  Though living in Los Angeles as I do, I'd suggest not embarking on a screenwriting career.  Though the sextant bash is kind of a nice touch.

Now it is possible that they knew something of the situation of the search.  There's evidence that they heard the KGMB broadcast.  So they may have had some idea of what was going on from news reports.  And if so, it's possible that they knew that people were picking up their broadcasts but weren't making them out.

And I'll go a bit further and offer one hang up in the whole reef landing post-loss scenario that's never quite fit to me.  A number of the credible post-loss messages people heard a male voice.  Certainly, it could be Fred, but if we are to reconcile that with Betty's notebook and Betty's own statement of her impression that Fred was "out of his head" then why is he on the radio at all?

What's interesting about that is that IF Fred was injured and possibly non compos mentis and IF he was on the radio at some point, that does imply that Amelia took off, either to explore and/or to sleep.  Because otherwise, it wouldn't really make sense to have him on the radio.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 02:58:34 AM by Adam Marsland »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #79 on: April 14, 2012, 03:00:02 AM »

Well the problem is that lots of people are assuming that because of the Betty radio message that on Nikumaroro, Amelia is OK and poor Fred is helpless. Now as there is nothing to support that hypothesis how about this one.

A couple of people have made this same point, but the notion that Fred was severely injured comes from, IIRC, three separate credible (though of course unverified) post-loss messages.  So it's not just from Betty.  EDIT:  Sorry.  Someone else covered this.  Read first, then post, Adam!
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 03:04:46 AM by Adam Marsland »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #80 on: April 14, 2012, 03:17:29 AM »

Malcolm's and others' question about Amelia and Fred separating is an interesting one.  We all agree we're working from very thin evidence, but if we are to accept provisionally most of the hypothesis, what happened to Fred is a big question.  We have very small indicators one way or the other.  Correct me if I have this right or wrong:

Evidence Fred Made It To the Seven Site:

Fecal matter (was it positively identified as such) with two different sets of DNA found at site.
Man's and woman's shoe found by natives/Gallagher.

Evidence Fred Didn't Make It To the Seven Site, Possibly Stayed/Died at Norwich City:

One set of skeletal remains found
Anecdotal reports that were retellings of the bones story mentioning two sets of bones found, one being at the 7 Site and the other near the wreck.  Further stories that natives dumped the 7 Site bones in the ocean, which cannot be true (at least not all of them), possibly explained by confusing the two sets of bones.
Fred may have been more severely injured based on various post-loss radio messages.

Anything else?  Of all of the above, one data point looms above all the others:  one set of skeletal remains.  Every other data point I can think of several other plausible explanations for.  The theory posted elsewhere that the natives found two sets of bones in '39-'40 and ditched the set that was found near the Norwich City in the ocean, thus explaining the discrepancies in various stories about the bones, makes sense to me...which would support the hypotesis of a dead Fred at the wreck site and Amelia expiring separately at 7.  But as has been pointed out, if they did exist, the Norwich City bones could easily have been from...the Norwich City.  If they get more information on what we might call the 7 Site Poop, that could be a game-changer in revealing what happened to Fred.  But if he got there, where did his bones wind up?  Truly a mystery.
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Gary LaPook

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #81 on: April 14, 2012, 05:05:43 AM »

My answer to that would be the radio would still be far and away their best shot.  But I think you are right that they could not be sure that it was working, though if the belly antenna theory was right and they fixed the problem, then they at least would know they had probably fixed the problem that had hampered them before and it should work. But it's a fair question and I'm glad you brought it up.  Though living in Los Angeles as I do, I'd suggest not embarking on a screenwriting career.  Though the sextant bash is kind of a nice touch.

There's evidence that they heard the KGMB broadcast.

If they discovered the belly antenna missing after the landing on the reef, splashing through the water, etc, how would they know that I was missing prior to the landing? Which brings up another thing, what antenna did they use for hearing KGMB?
You're in L.A., too bad, I met Jeff Neville at the Proud Bird restaurant for dinner a couple of weeks ago,

gl

gl
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 05:07:43 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #82 on: April 14, 2012, 06:39:58 AM »

I think on page two of the Mabel Duncklee Letters She mentions his being injured. I thought I saw where her account has been more or less discounted as low on the probability chart, but isn't it odd that she used the same language as Betty?

I must admit I have a low probability rating for the Mabel Duncklee account as well, not only for the reasons given. It is the second part of that which is not quoted in the TIGHAR bulletin but appears in the PDF of the letter itself on the TIGHAR files that concerns me. That is the account she gives of her son's experience with which she agrees - he says that Earhart and Noonan are buried by friendly natives on an inhabited island. That to me sounds like it has the Saipan or Gilberts hypothesis rolled in. No identity for the island is given - sounds like scuttlebutt rather than a verified account to me.
But it's very interesing that also in the Saipan or Gilberts hypothesis Fred Noonan is described as being injured after the landing/crash.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #83 on: April 14, 2012, 07:34:07 AM »

Fecal matter (was it positively identified as such) with two different sets of DNA found at site.

I'm not sure that a final judgment has been made on the mystery material.

The last research bulletin on DNA (March 2011) indicated it was still an open question.

Attendees could ask for an update at the Symposium, I suppose.
LTM,

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Malcolm McKay

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #84 on: April 14, 2012, 07:39:09 AM »



Did that in my very first post, my friend.  And as for the vital distinction you think I'm missing, that is the exact distinction I keep pointing out you yourself seem to be missing.  And round and round we go.  So shall we move on?

Moving around in circles are we? Well I suggest that the quickest way out of a circle is straight cut - don't play games and tell me what vital piece of evidence I have dismissed, as distinct from the ones I have actually discussed.

So far, I don't know about you, but I haven't actually seen any demonstrably vital pieces of material evidence that I haven't discussed. The skeletal material is missing so we have no clear indicator that it is relevant except for the re-identification that says it is possibly, but not certainly, a caucasian female instead of a Polynesian male. Interesting as I have said but given that material is missing then it can hardly be conclusive. The answer to that is to find more bones at the site and test them, which I have already accepted as has everyone. Prove the identity and I'll accept that.

There is the female shoe fragments, at best circumstantial and very tantalising, but not conclusive. An old sextant box - now missing and what is guessed to be part of the eyepiece also missing which are claimed to be Noonan's. As they are missing then they are scarcely even circumstantial let alone be conclusively proven to be Noonan's. One piece of aluminium sheet that is of a type that could be from the Electra but again not proven as are some pieces of perspex and the purported fragment of the dado - tempting but not proven. Fragments of an ointment bottle - I wouldn't take that to court and a number of other small artifacts, zipper handles, knife blade, another shoe part, buttons etc. whose main interest lies in that they are of western origin. The latter very possibly from the one period when there was a quite a large and lasting presence of Europeans on the island - the Loran station. The cartridge cases can with safety be dismissed.

The fecal evidence is inconclusive - there is anecdotal evidence that that part of the island seems to have been a bit of a lovers lane so maybe someone needed to go real urgently. Speaking of anecdotal evidence we have the claim that when the PISS settlement was first established there was some aircraft wreckage on the reef - still only anecdotal I am afraid. The origin of the single small bone fragment was not identified The evidence of campfires and faunal remains is just that and tells nothing more than someone or a number of people had at times lit fires there and may have had something to eat - perhaps again part of the lovers lane activities then perhaps the castaways, however no firm connection either way. TIGHAR have done a very professional job in making certain that we understand the uncertainty of all that material and if we read things into it to suit our interpretation that's our fault not theirs.

Now if something major like the wreckage of the Electra is found or failing that some skeletal material is located which can yield either DNA or Mitochondrial DNA to positively identify that it is from the aviators then the small finds might be fitted into the site narrative. The post-loss radio messages cannot be precisely traced to the island and are both garbled and not confirmed even though we wish them to be. Lastly we have the recently "identified" Nessie which might or might not be related to that enhanced image which purports to show a part of the u/c of an aircraft embedded in the reef but, as we know, that has yet to be found, or even identified as such, so I would be a little silly in even discussing it or dismissing it.

Now that about covers it - tell me have you ever had to take a material assemblage from a site and attempt to tease out anything it might tell you - especially a site where there are several layers of similar cultural material from different times with an admixture of things which could be from normal continuing local use or from the single event that you are investigating. It is very easy to draw all sorts of conclusions - the hard bit, I can assure you, is finding the right one. Had to do it once.   
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #85 on: April 14, 2012, 08:05:59 AM »

Fecal matter (was it positively identified as such) with two different sets of DNA found at site.

I'm not sure that a final judgment has been made on the mystery material.

The last research bulletin on DNA (March 2011) indicated it was still an open question.

Attendees could ask for an update at the Symposium, I suppose.

Yes I read that as the bone material was tested and initially produced some mitochondrial DNA but that could not be replicated. If Earhart's is known was it then provisionally compared and what was the result? Or was it sufficient only to establish the existence of mitochondrial DNA which itself was not sufficient to provide a usable sample for comparison? I suspect that if a match had been found then we would have been told. The fecal material contains two samples of human DNA, but these were insufficient for a comparison, which unless we have a cannibal then the feces are from two individuals. Not conclusive yet tantalising - such is archaeology  :) 
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #86 on: April 14, 2012, 12:20:19 PM »

Yes I read that as the bone material was tested and initially produced some mitochondrial DNA but that could not be replicated. If Earhart's is known was it then provisionally compared and what was the result? Or was it sufficient only to establish the existence of mitochondrial DNA which itself was not sufficient to provide a usable sample for comparison?

So far as I know (working from a demonstrably fallible memory), the DNA tests have not established that the bone was human, let alone whether it could be shown not to be from Earhart's maternal line.  Establishing a negative is what DNA tests are good at; in providing evidence for a positive identification, all the tests arrive at is a probability against the null hypothesis: "Our tests show that it is highly unlikely that this sample was not from someone in the Earhart maternal line."

The strange case of the disappearance of Edward Ruess shows how dangerous it is to reason inclusively rather than exclusively from DNA evidence.  It also shows how circumstantial evidence can be highly persuasive but (as things stand now, at any rate) demonstrably misleading.

Quote
I suspect that if a match had been found then we would have been told.

Agreed. 
LTM,

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« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 12:25:57 PM by Martin X. Moleski, SJ »
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richie conroy

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #87 on: April 14, 2012, 01:45:47 PM »

so could be from fred noonan then ?

there is no women reported to have died before, or while the island was habitated, is there ?

an Gallagher would surely know if someone had passed away while he was there ?
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #88 on: April 14, 2012, 07:26:50 PM »

so could be from fred noonan then ?

there is no women reported to have died before, or while the island was habitated, is there ?

an Gallagher would surely know if someone had passed away while he was there ?

Hello Richie - too many possibles in the discussion already.

As Martin has explained the tests couldn't even confirm that the bone was human, let alone find enough DNA to identify its owner. DNA testing and mitochondrial DNA testing using very degraded samples is still, despite what the TV cop shows claim, a very very inexact area. Add to that the nature of mitochondrial DNA which is that it cannot provide an exact identification as does DNA, only an approximate (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mitochondrial_DNA ), however given the ethnic circumstances of the human populations on Nikumaroro over the time of human habitation then in this case it could be telling.

As with the feces the examining scientists have simply said that the data available is insufficient for any more definite conclusion. If TIGHAR finds more skeletal material or more feces then perhaps, only perhaps, some solid evidence might emerge.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 07:33:49 PM by Malcolm McKay »
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Adam Marsland

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #89 on: April 14, 2012, 08:13:11 PM »



Did that in my very first post, my friend.  And as for the vital distinction you think I'm missing, that is the exact distinction I keep pointing out you yourself seem to be missing.  And round and round we go.  So shall we move on?

Well I suggest that the quickest way out of a circle is straight cut - don't play games and tell me what vital piece of evidence I have dismissed, as distinct from the ones I have actually discussed.

So far, I don't know about you, but I haven't actually seen any demonstrably vital pieces of material evidence that I haven't discussed.

Ugh.  Dude.  You keep playing this game where evidence need be "demonstrably vital" or "conclusive".  I keep pointing out to you that it doesn'tEvidence is not proof.  It's merely a factoid or that is indicative of this or that theory being correct.  When the truth cannot be proved or known, weighing the factoids at hand as objectively as possible is the best way to form a hypothesis that may lead to a provable truth -- which is exactly what TIGHAR does and why I like their approach so much.  Then you do a nice job of running down a bunch of evidence that you simply don't think proves anything.  No one's saying it does.  The point is, though, that it IS evidence, and whether or not it is "demonstrably vital" is totally in the eye of the beholder, and evidence need not be "conclusive."  Evidence that is "conclusive" has another name:  proof.

As for what is "demonstrably vital"...to me, for example, five DF bearings from separate operators on different post-loss messages all intersecting at Gardner on a frequency no one but the Itasca and Amelia Earhart should have been using is extremely hard to explain away other than *huff* blowing it off.  Your reasons for dismissing it didn't in the earlier post make sense to me, but it doesn't really matter...in my view, that data point alone is extremely convincing, because there just aren't many other explanations that are really believable.  Occam's Razor applies here.  The simplest and most logical explanation is the signals came from the Earhart plane, and at least one operator who knew her voice was certain both of that and of the bearing.  To me, that is extremely compelling evidence.  To you, it isn't.  Fine.  But your logical basis for dismissing that data point (to use one example) made no sense to me, and still doesn't. 

So once again -- fourth time now, right?  It's about demanding evidence be conclusive or demonstrably vital to you -- which is both a subjective bar to clear AND misunderstanding what the function of "evidence" is.  I don't think the point I've been making, or my effort to make it clear, has really changed since the first time I've posted, and you haven't really struck me is grasping the distinction for whatever reason.  So anyhows, I'm tired of talking about it, cool?  Or more accurately, I'm tired with taking up thread space with it.  These tit for tats get boring for those not titting or tatting.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2012, 08:21:34 PM by Adam Marsland »
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