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Author Topic: After the Landing  (Read 279318 times)

Malcolm McKay

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #270 on: June 16, 2012, 06:58:25 PM »

All this argument is silly. ...  to me rather desperate sounding, attempts to blow up the Navy overflight into something like a near-conclusive indictment of the TIGHAR theory sounds a bit strident and silly.


No it is not an attempt "to blow up the Navy overflight into something like a near-conclusive indictment of the TIGHAR theory". It is simply part of the process of looking at all the bits of evidence and arguments offered to support the hypothesis. In that way we eventually winnow out the components that provide no strength to the argument and eventually arrive, if we can, at those that do.

The problem at present is that is that all the cited evidence for the TIGHAR hypothesis is circumstantial while none, apart from the last verified radio message that sparked the search, has any direct provable and unassailable link to Earhart and Noonan. Now it may well be that at some time someone will spot in the physical evidence, or in the reported events of those few days, some correlation that has eluded everyone which will prove the hypothesis to be correct. However that point cannot be arrived at without rigorous testing and that is all that is happening with the assessment of the Navy search results.

There is nothing wrong with testing data especially if people confuse what they would like to believe with that which is correct. We would all like our own theories and conjectures to be correct but in the end only testing the data and the assumptions it creates will arrive at what we need.
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richie conroy

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #271 on: June 16, 2012, 07:29:56 PM »

Malcolm

u believe that the new England hypothesis deserves more investigation based on sum guy sayin he found a tag wid simillar numbers to the engine tag of electra which u aint seen for ur self

yet u dismiss Tighar's documented evidence

how does this work ?
We are an echo of the past


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C.W. Herndon

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #272 on: June 16, 2012, 08:33:18 PM »

Malcolm

u believe that the new England hypothesis deserves more investigation based on sum guy sayin he found a tag wid simillar numbers to the engine tag of electra which u aint seen for ur self

yet u dismiss Tighar's documented evidence

how does this work ?

Richie, I think it is the New Britain hypothesis you are refering to here.
Woody (former 3316R)
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #273 on: June 16, 2012, 10:08:37 PM »

Malcolm

u believe that the new England hypothesis deserves more investigation based on sum guy sayin he found a tag wid simillar numbers to the engine tag of electra which u aint seen for ur self

yet u dismiss Tighar's documented evidence

how does this work ?

Richie I don't think that you quite understand the discussion process. I have not as far as I can recall accepted the New Britain hypothesis as anything other than a hypothesis that requires testing. An appropriate test would be to attempt to relocate the purported engine and engine mount to which the C/N tag is attached. Now the fact that I am favour of testing a hypothesis does not automatically mean that I fundamentally agree that the hypothesis represents the answer to the question, only that in order for that to happen then the hypothesis must be tested. But even you must admit that until it is tested then it might show that the C/N tag is attached to the remains of Earhart's Electra. However and whatever the answer, yes or no, one cannot predict the result of such an exercise until it is actually carried out. I hope that is clear because if you do not properly understand the process of testing a hypothesis then I might as well not waste key strokes explaining that.

Now as regards the TIGHAR hypothesis all that is happening is that people like myself are discussing the evidentiary value of the various items both material and documentary that have been offered in support of the Nikumaroro hypothesis. None of those things has as yet been shown to be undeniably linked to Earhart or Noonan despite the claims made for them. It is for that reason that TIGHAR keep going back to the island. If they had found what they call "the smoking gun" then the matter would be settled, would it not? So if anything I am actually concurring with TIGHAR's demonstrated uncertainty rather than attacking TIGHAR.

Throughout the various threads you have made it very clear that you accept without reservation TIGHAR's Nikumaroro solution in its entirety. You do not question, as others do, matters like the Betty notebook, the accounts of Emily Sikuli, Pulekai Songivalu and Tapania Taiki regarding the purported aircraft wreckage, the reef landing, the conjectured behaviour of Earhart and Noonan on the island etc. The problems concerning the landing on Nikumaroro if the 157/337 line broadcast by Earhart is examined that Gary LaPook has discussed. The fact that none of the artifacts found can be directly linked to Earhart or Noonan etc. etc. It is all very well to be enthusiastic about a hypothesis, but one should never let that enthusiasm blind oneself to the validity of the evidence that is offered to support the hypothesis.       
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Gary LaPook

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #274 on: June 17, 2012, 12:12:07 AM »

Gary, I think Andrew has done a great job of summarizing  some of his experiences in SAR work, but let me, as an old Army pilot who spent more than 700 hours flying at low levels, usually less than 100 feet, in support of ground troops in Viet Nam put in my 2 cents worth. I also disagree with your pronouncements about how easily people on the ground can be detected. I have over flown friendly troops on the ground for hours at a time and we, my crew and I plus a second ship that was part of our team, frequently only got fleeting glimpses of them when they were in moderate cover and we basically knew where they were.


That's because you were flying too low. Look at the POD tables and you will see that the POD improves with higher altitudes and the lowest tabulated altitude is 500 feet and the highest listed altitude is 1,000 feet so at 100 feet or less you can expect the POD to be really bad. The marine search tables include altitudes all the way up to 3,000 feet and the POD for marine searches also increases with altitude. Oh, I just thought of this. The assertion that the bird activity caused the search to be flown at a higher altitude and that this caused the search to be less effective is proven wrong by the POD table since the POD increases with altitude, it does not decrease. (BTW, I've done a bit of flying myself.)

Gary, I usually have a lot of respect for your posts but in this case you have, in my opinion, stepped on it so to speak.

First of all, almost all of the Army close air support in Viet Nam was flown at very low altitudes until the Cobra helicopter came along. Although the cobra was normally flown at a higher altitude, usually 1500' or a little higher, in most cases he relied on a scout helicopter down on the deck , in many cases hovering right above the vegetation, to locate targets and mark them with smoke. Only rarely did the Cobra crew actually see what they were shooting at.

In the part of the country that I flew in your chances of survival decreased rapidly in the altitudes from 100' to 300' and then progressively got a little better up to 1500' which we considered to be fairly safe unless there were .51cal machine guns in the area. Army aircrews became very proficient in "scouting" operations at altitudes of 100' and below and received many hours of supervised practice before they were released to preform on their own. I personally had hundreds of hours of experience in this environment and yet you, apparently, pass that off as anecdotal and not worthy on consideration. I find this to be highly offensive. On the other hand you claim to have (expert?) experience, you don't mention how much, as an observer in a Huey that is credible. I am sure you have done a bit of flying yourself but how much of it was directly related to the questions here?

I guess that my whole point is that, in the eyes of one who has been there done that, your charts don't impress me much when it comes to finding people. Finding equipment yes, finding people no.

The Navy "Seawolf" pilots who flew Huey helicopters in the most southern parts of Viet Nam, where most of my experience was, used much the same tactics that the Army did.

By the way, US Air Force Pilots when in this area, with the exception of FACS (forward air controllers), rarely got below 5000' except when they were on takeoff/landing or cruising along at 400kts or more. The fighter pilots had to rely on the FACS to mark their targets with smoke before a strike and complete a BDA (bomb damage assessment) after the strike. On rare occcasions the troops on the ground surveyed the strike area to complete the damage assessment.
I think we are talking apples and oranges. In the past you have said that it was hard to spot people on the ground when you were flying at 100 feet or less and at high speed. I pointed out that this is not the best way to spot people because you were well below the optimum altitude. FM 20-150, the National Search And Rescue Manual, has this to say about that:

"Search Altitude. As altitude decreases, the search target passes more rapidly through the field of vision because of the angular acceleration. This effect is most pronounced below 500 feet."

And:

"Search Speed. At low altitudes, higher speed causes a blurring of targets at close ranges and decreases exposure time to the scanner."

Normal search and rescue does not contemplate having to dodge ground fire but you faced a much different set of priorities in Viet Nam. You had to choose between flying high and slow where searching is most effective or flying low and fast to minimize your exposure to Dushkas. But flying low and fast, so that the enemy only gets a fleeting chance to see you (ideally you would be past them before they even knew you were there), also means that you only had a fleeting chance to observe people on the ground, the line of sight works both ways. I don't know why you were offended, I certainly did not mean to be at all critical of your experience and knowledge about your operations in Army Aviation. But it is your personal experience in a very different environment than that encountered in peacetime search and rescue. I did not draft the National Search and Rescue Manual, FM 20-150, so they are not "my charts" that you are not impressed with. The manual was drafted by experts in that field and they recommend higher altitudes for searching in a peacetime environment and the PODs that they came up with is for that environment and is based on their studies and history of such operations. Don't blame, I'm just the messenger.

----------------------------------------
Your post reminded me of a story told to me by my boss at the ferry company, he had ferried many O-2s to Viet Nam. He said that on his first arrival into Viet Nam he tuned in the ATIS (for non-pilots, the constantly broadcast prerecorded weather information at airports.)

"THIS IS DA NANG INFORMATION CHARLIE.
THE ZERO EIGHT FIVE ZERO ZULU WEATHER
SKY CLEAR, VISIBILITY ONE ZERO
WIND THREE TWO ZERO AT ONE FIVE
TEMPERATURE TWO SIX, DEW POINT ONE SIX
ALTIMETER TWO NINER NINER TWO
LANDING AND DEPARTING RUNWAY THREE FIVE
GROUND FIRE, LIGHT TO MODERATE"

gl


« Last Edit: June 17, 2012, 12:54:15 AM by Gary LaPook »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #275 on: June 17, 2012, 12:30:42 AM »

Marty, since you are concerned about what training the Navy pilots and back-seaters had and how that may have affected their ability to spot Earhart, the National Search And Rescue Manual has this to say about training:

"Scanner effectiveness depends on many factors, including number, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the search, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

My interpretation of these sentences is that you may be placing too much emphasis on training (or lack thereof) in evaluating the effectiveness of the search as there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important to your evaluation.
Your mileage may vary.

gl
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Chris Johnson

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #276 on: June 17, 2012, 10:46:14 AM »

Woody,

not sure if it was in the book "shoes" or on the main site (will look later) but during one expedition the ground crew were in the bush when they heard as it passed over them a prop engineed plane.  By the time they were out of the bush it was gone.

The interesting thing is they didn't hear it approach due to noise, surf, wind in trees etc..

From Amelia Earhart's Shoes page 169 'The shattered shores of Niku'
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Tom Bryant

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #277 on: June 17, 2012, 11:37:47 AM »

As I pondered the philosophical approach to proof I remembered a famous quote by John Cretien the Prime Minister of Canada:
 "A proof is a proof. What kind of a proof? It's a proof. A proof is a proof. And when you have a good proof, it's because it's proven."
You can't get any more definite than that!  ;D
"Well... it seemed like a good idea at the time"
 
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Leon R White

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #278 on: June 17, 2012, 04:52:43 PM »

Has there been any thought given to the 'recently inhabited' uninhabited island notion?  Specifically, was there any discussion of the possibility that the island was inhabited at, or quickly after the arrival of the plane? 

Seems like it might account for why it was reported that some island folks referred to or 'knew' about the plane, when in fact it may not have been well known publicly. They were there at some point, perhaps before Saturday's navy overflight, or immediately after if our survivors were unconcious or dead and the plane partially or completely submerged at low depth. It would make the Navy observers truthful and accurate as well as the islanders. 

I don't consider this a fact, or theory, or any such thing.  I was just wondering if it has been discussed.

Thnks
Leon 
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #279 on: June 18, 2012, 02:03:47 AM »

Leon

Not quite sure I understand your point about the "island folks referred to or 'knew' about the plane".

While we don't and probably can't know of any itinerant passerby's who may have stopped at Nikumaroro, we do know that it was "uninhabited" in an organized sense after the failure of the Arundel plantation scheme of the late 1800s.  We do know that the Brits visited in October 1937 to assess the island for colonization, and that the colony was later established there between 1939 and 1963.  It was these later colonists who reported seeing or knowing about "the plane that was here when we arrived".

Oh, yeah, we also know of a man and a woman who went missing in the area just prior to the Navy search.  One simple solution, if not the simplest solution, is that the signs of recent habitation that the Navy reported were related to the known missing persons.  To introduce an as of yet unknown person or group of persons who happened to arrive in the one week period between the disappearance of the missing persons and the overflight by the Navy, while not impossible, would induce a complexity to the scenario for which there is no contemporaneous documentation, and a low degree of probability, at least in my mind (thankfully, there are no POD charts for such an event for Gary and myself to argue about).

So, no, I don't think we've ever postulated such an event, but I also don't think we need to as the simplest thing is that the Navy did see signs of recent habitation, and the islanders did later see parts of an airplane, and that both sightings are related to the persons who went missing in the area in their airplane.

Are there other possible solutions?  Sure, but none that explain all the supporting "evidence" and odd coincidences found in the Nikumaroro Hypothesis in one simple solution.  To go in a different direction, requires multiple independent hypotheses to explain how these events are not related.  In my mind, that is a more complex solution. 

Andrew
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Andrew M McKenna

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #280 on: June 18, 2012, 02:32:23 AM »

Marty, since you are concerned about what training the Navy pilots and back-seaters had and how that may have affected their ability to spot Earhart, the National Search And Rescue Manual has this to say about training:

"Scanner effectiveness depends on many factors, including number, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the search, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

My interpretation of these sentences is that you may be placing too much emphasis on training (or lack thereof) in evaluating the effectiveness of the search as there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important to your evaluation.
Your mileage may vary.

gl

Gary, It is a complex thing, but when you discount the effect of training, you are approaching it from the point of view that search effectiveness is high to start with, and degraded by the factors mentioned, and training doesn't matter.  That is counter intuitive.

I see it the other way, search effectiveness is poor for the average person, and is improved through training.  The purpose of the SAR training beyond proper scanning techniques, is to teach folks how to overcome the factors such as fatigue and boredom, and to understand the ramification of aircraft speed and motion, so that they can stay focused on the task at hand, keep their motivation up, and maximize their effectiveness.  Without the understanding they get through training, they are more likely to do a poor job of it.

Like all things, training improves effectiveness.  All the statement is intended to indicate is that the factors cannot be judged individually in any "systematic" fashion.  I don't think it is saying that training is outweighed by all other factors to the point where it may not be important.

I could use the near exact same language to describe flight training.  "Student pilot effectiveness depends on many factors, including aircraft type, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the flight, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

Do you find that "there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important" to your student pilot's effectiveness than flight training? 

I doubt that you could "systematically gauge" the factors affecting your flight instruction students performance, but how many do not become more effective as pilots through training?  Doesn't that indicate that training generally allows one to overcome all other factors?

Andrew
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Gary LaPook

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #281 on: June 18, 2012, 05:56:39 AM »

Marty, since you are concerned about what training the Navy pilots and back-seaters had and how that may have affected their ability to spot Earhart, the National Search And Rescue Manual has this to say about training:

"Scanner effectiveness depends on many factors, including number, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the search, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

My interpretation of these sentences is that you may be placing too much emphasis on training (or lack thereof) in evaluating the effectiveness of the search as there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important to your evaluation.
Your mileage may vary.

gl

Gary, It is a complex thing, but when you discount the effect of training, you are approaching it from the point of view that search effectiveness is high to start with, and degraded by the factors mentioned, and training doesn't matter.  That is counter intuitive.

I see it the other way, search effectiveness is poor for the average person, and is improved through training.  The purpose of the SAR training beyond proper scanning techniques, is to teach folks how to overcome the factors such as fatigue and boredom, and to understand the ramification of aircraft speed and motion, so that they can stay focused on the task at hand, keep their motivation up, and maximize their effectiveness.  Without the understanding they get through training, they are more likely to do a poor job of it.

Like all things, training improves effectiveness.  All the statement is intended to indicate is that the factors cannot be judged individually in any "systematic" fashion.  I don't think it is saying that training is outweighed by all other factors to the point where it may not be important.

I could use the near exact same language to describe flight training.  "Student pilot effectiveness depends on many factors, including aircraft type, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the flight, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

Do you find that "there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important" to your student pilot's effectiveness than flight training? 

I doubt that you could "systematically gauge" the factors affecting your flight instruction students performance, but how many do not become more effective as pilots through training?  Doesn't that indicate that training generally allows one to overcome all other factors?

Andrew
I certainly do not disagree that training is important but, according to the experts who drafted the manual, not me, there are other important factors too. Looking at the list it appears to me that the other factors militate towards more effective searching in the Earhart case that may make up up for the speculated lack of specific search training. Position = clear view from open cockpit, no reflections from windows, etc. Speed = low speed of search aircraft while searching, long time to see objects on the ground, not "fleeting."  Duration = 18 to 28 minutes (according to Ric) and possibly 40 minutes if they used 115 knots between the islands allowing time for at least 3 complete circuits of the island upto 5 circuits (Ric's numbers) and even possibly 7 circuits if they used a higher cruising speed between the islands constituting 9 to 15 to 21 search passes. Fatigue = launched at 0700, so well rested crews and only a little bit more than an hour into the flight when they arrived at Gardner (25 NM from the Colorado to McKean then 67 NM to Gardner @ 90 knots plus short search at McKean or even less than an hour if they cruised at 115 knots between the islands. ) Motivation = EXTREMELY HIGH, everyone wants to be a hero, especially in such a high profile case, pictures in the paper of the guy who spots Earhart, possible medals too, career enhancement. Training = unknown, speculation of lack of search training.

Put em all together, I'd say decent search.

gl
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #282 on: June 18, 2012, 06:54:18 AM »

... one cannot predict the result of such an exercise until it is actually carried out. I hope that is clear because if you do not properly understand the process of testing a hypothesis then I might as well not waste key strokes explaining that.

To judge, as you do, that this is an exercise that is "required" by the anecdote is to neglect the laws of aerodynamics, thermodynamics, and radio propagation.

You have never explained how the aircraft could have traveled 20 hours toward Niku, generating objective radio signals heard by many witnesses that became louder and louder, then turned around and ended up in New Britain.

You have never analyzed the length of such a flight.

You have never shown that the Electra could have carried enough fuel for such a flight.

If you do not understand the concept of arguments that defeat a hypothesis, I might as well not waste key strokes trying to explain it to you.  Your capacity for the willing suspension of disbelief is most remarkable.

Quote
If they had found what they call "the smoking gun" then the matter would be settled, would it not? So if anything I am actually concurring with TIGHAR's demonstrated uncertainty rather than attacking TIGHAR.

The same is true of the hypothesis that you want someone else to spend money researching.

If it is valuable to spend money testing hypotheses, put some money where your mouth is (as TIGHAR has) and get up an expedition to New Britain.  That would be the archeological thing to do.

Quote
It is all very well to be enthusiastic about a hypothesis, but one should never let that enthusiasm blind oneself to the validity of the evidence that is offered to support the hypothesis.       

Nor to the evidence against the hypothesis.  The New Britain hypothesis has one unconfirmed historical anecdote in its favor and a great deal of evidence against it.  Of course, if you believe in magic, then there is no reason why the aircraft could not have approached within 100 miles of Howland, generating the radio signals that it did, and then silently fly westward for another 2000+ miles.

As I understand it, when there is good evidence that falsifies a hypothesis, the hypothesis is not worth further investigation.  If someone finds the Electra in New Britain or underwater near Howland Island, that will well and truly falsify the Niku hypothesis.  Every line of argument that formerly seemed to point in the direction of Niku will have to be treated as a case of mistaken identity.  I judge that the New Britain hypothesis is well and truly falsified; of course, your faith differs from mine.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #283 on: June 18, 2012, 07:04:03 AM »

Marty, since you are concerned about what training the Navy pilots and back-seaters had and how that may have affected their ability to spot Earhart ...

I'm concerned to see that those who demand evidence from others provide it themselves when they have the burden of proof.  You are not entitled to take the high ground and posture as the paragon of reason when your theories are floating on air.

Quote
... the National Search And Rescue Manual has this to say about training:

"Scanner effectiveness depends on many factors, including number, training, positions, speed and motion of the aircraft, duration of the search, fatigue and motivation. The effects of these factors and interactions are so complex that it is difficult to gauge their individual impact systematically."

OK.  It lists "training" as a factor.  We know vastly more about such training today than people did in 1937.  It may not be enough to overcome all the other variables; there is no guarantee that even a well-trained S.A.R. flight will spot all survivors (cf. the many anecdotes to the contrary, where survivors see the aircraft searching for them, are out in the open, wave articles of clothing, and still are not spotted).

Quote
My interpretation of these sentences is that you may be placing too much emphasis on training (or lack thereof) in evaluating the effectiveness of the search as there are many other factors that may, individually or in combination, be more important to your evaluation.
Your mileage may vary.

I'm not the one who made the claim that 1) vital lessons were learned from the 1927 aerial search and 2) were communicated to the six Navy personnel who flew over Niku in 1937.  Someone else made those claims and has the burden of proof to offer objective evidence of the truth of those assertions.  In the absence of such data, what we have is a clash of views of reality.  I doubt that the crews had any relevant training, I believe that modern S.A.R. experts would do a better job.  You have a different set of beliefs and draw a different set of conclusions from the assumptions you make.  But it is a conflict of belief against belief, not a conflict of belief against evidence.
LTM,

           Marty
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #284 on: June 18, 2012, 07:18:35 AM »

Has there been any thought given to the 'recently inhabited' uninhabited island notion?  Specifically, was there any discussion of the possibility that the island was inhabited at, or quickly after the arrival of the plane? 

We know that the 20+ survivors of the Norwich City made three "camps" in 1929. The first and last were extremely primitive, while the second was more elaborate.  Two were close to the wreck, and the third was estimated to be 1.5 NM south-east of it.  (See this thread for an extended discussion of how to interpret the survivor testimony.)

It seems to me that any of those three camps could have been left "signs of recent habitation." 

There may have been any number of other visitors to the island in the intervening years.  Roger and I interviewed Enu Etuati, who told us about finding all kinds of evidence of visitors to the island after the colony departed. 

So there is no reason to suppose that AE and FN would be the only people who could have left "signs of recent habitation" on the island.  Maybe they did; maybe they didn't; maybe they did, but the actual sites spotted from the air were not their camp; and, of course, to round out the logic table, maybe they weren't on the island at all.

It is reasonable to ask what Lambrecht meant by "signs of recent habitation."  It is a good question.  But, given the paucity of materials we have at our disposal, it is also reasonable to think that it is now an unanswerable question.  He must have had something definite in mind when he wrote those words; the aviators must have seen something definite, around which they "circled and zoomed," but I don't think we will ever be able to tell what it was.
LTM,

           Marty
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