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Author Topic: After the Landing  (Read 279458 times)

Chris Johnson

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #375 on: August 02, 2013, 02:22:50 PM »

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David Deusenberry

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #376 on: August 06, 2013, 09:09:02 AM »

This scenario is purely fiction, loosely based on other theories that she was asked to fly off course and spy on Japanese movements in the area.
So here we go. LOL
She refused to become a spy but agreed to become “lost” to help her country out and let them do the spying.
A month or so before her arrival at Gardner the Coast Guard stops and sets up a water catchment device. (That has been found but is presumed from the colonial era.) 
They land on the beach safely and start making distress calls with a dual purpose. One to attract worldwide attention so the “spy mission” could be carried out in secret and the other to let the coast guard know she had arrived on Gardner.
They make their way to the 7 site near the water source and set up camp. Everything is going according to plan until a few days later when an unexpected high tide comes in and washes the Electra into deeper water. At this time she is upset about not finishing her flight but not yet panicked because they are going to be “found” soon. It’s not for several more days that they begin to panic. Without much rain their water source is running low and becomes contaminated from stagnation. Fred gets ill from drinking the water and Amelia realizes what caused it and empties a bottle to use for boiling the water. The bottle placed in the fire breaks from the heat. Fred is too weak to help much by this time so Amelia searches the beach and finds part of the rudder from the Electra as it breaks up in the surf. It has a short piece of cable attached so she uses it to hang another bottle above the fire to boil water and this works. She uses the knife blades attached to a branch for a spear and hunts food for both of them.
Fred dies a few days later and she is getting weak so she can only drag his body a little way from the camp, she strips it for anything useful. (Boots and a few other items that has also been found) and then buries him. (This is why his bones were not recovered with hers.) A few weeks pass and the water is gone. Too weak to gather food any longer she makes herself as comfortable as she can under a tree at the camp site and dies. The Electra is only accessible at low tide but the colonial children play on the wreck for a few years, bringing parts back to camp before it slips down the slope into deep water to be recovered by TIGHAR in 2014.
How’s that for and “After the landing” story?     
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Chris Johnson

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #377 on: August 06, 2013, 09:15:32 AM »

Do the CG carry out a survey of the reef flat to determin if its safe to land?

 :P
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #378 on: August 06, 2013, 09:17:10 AM »

So what's the point in engaging in "pure fiction" that is completely devoid of any factual support?
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Gloria Walker Burger

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #379 on: August 06, 2013, 02:22:06 PM »

I love the part: "to be recovered by TIGHAR in 2014!!"
Responding to Dave Deusenberry's post.
Gloria
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« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 02:24:14 PM by Gloria Walker Burger »
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Gloria Walker Burger

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #380 on: August 06, 2013, 09:35:16 PM »

So what's the point in engaging in "pure fiction" that is completely devoid of any factual support?

First of all, it's fun, and I'm sure you want us to have fun on this forum as well as contribute; it will help to bring us back.
Second of all, something may pop out that hasn't been thought of before or an idea may trigger another idea or a new place on Niku to search. You never know.
Gloria
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David Deusenberry

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #381 on: August 07, 2013, 06:41:52 AM »

Based on the items recovered I’m 99.9% sure the Electra and its crew spent time on the island. My question is why.  Fred was one of the best navigators of his time and I’m confident he knew they were over Gardner so why not continue to fly in the area until they could spot it? It could be as simple as he was not at the controls and Amelia made the decision to continue on her last known heading and they spotted Gardner Island at some point. It wouldn’t be the first time she went against his advice.  We may never know why they ended up there even after the Electra is recovered.

As mentioned above this thread is supposed to be fun and you never know, someone might hit on a use of an item that has been found that wasn’t considered before and all the sudden a few more pieces of the puzzle fit.
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Charlie Chisholm

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #382 on: August 07, 2013, 10:10:26 AM »

Fred was one of the best navigators of his time and I’m confident he knew they were over Gardner so why not continue to fly in the area until they could spot it?

Did you mean to say Howland? If so, it's because they were running low on reserve gas (they even said so in the radio messages to Itasca), and had already spent over an hour in the area trying to find Howland. At some point, they had to give up on Howland, and that point would be before they were too low on gas to make it to the Phoenix group. They stayed and looked as long as they possibly could.

It could be as simple as he was not at the controls and Amelia made the decision to continue on her last known heading and they spotted Gardner Island at some point. It wouldn’t be the first time she went against his advice.

They probably decided together to head for the Phoenix group on the LOP. Both of their lives were at stake. It may have even been Noonan who was insisting they do so - he was the navigator, and one of the best in the world - if he couldn't find Howland, Amelia certainly couldn't either.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #383 on: August 07, 2013, 10:49:42 AM »

At some point, they had to give up on Howland,

They probably decided together to head for the Phoenix group on the LOP. Both of their lives were at stake. It may have even been Noonan who was insisting they do so - he was the navigator, and one of the best in the world - if he couldn't find Howland, Amelia certainly couldn't either.

I think flying on the line of position they were still hoping to find Howland and there was no decision to try for Gardner.
For a while I thought that maybe after some time they may have realized the odds of hitting Howland were diminishing and finding Gardner was more likely. However, after studying the Time and Tide article there is only a  2 hour window after the LOP transmission for a probable safe landing. They could have been well south of Howland before starting the LOP search pattern. Maybe even closer to Gardner than to Howland and therefore in looking for Howland found Gardner instead without ever making a decision regarding an alternate landing spot.
3971R
 
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Monty Fowler

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #384 on: August 07, 2013, 10:50:09 AM »

Let's not forget one of the oft-overlooked factors - money. Amelia and George Putnam basically had to make this trip work in order to stay afloat financially. Ditching, and losing, the Electra was probably so far from Amelia's mind that she refused to even entertain the possibility. ANYTHING she could do to possibly save the aircraft would have been Choice No. 1.

LTM, who likes multiple choice questions,
Monty Fowler, TIGHAR No. 2189 CER
Ex-TIGHAR member No. 2189 E C R SP, 1998-2016
 
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manjeet aujla

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #385 on: August 07, 2013, 12:06:55 PM »

One of the articles of a while ago (I think possibly by Ric), mentions that evidence points to offset navigation having not been used, on the approach. But there is evidence that a direct approach was ("we must be on you..."). So when they reached the 137/ LOP, and did not see Howland, the most rational thing to do was to fly a little distance north in the hopes of spotting Howland, and then turn south, to a known set of islands, thus ending up on Niku. This sounds very plausible as a reason they ended up at Niku. 

I also agree that Fred got a fix on their location after landing. Betty seems to indicate Fred was injured, but seemed to be yelling (where AE was trying to calm him). If he was strong enough to yell, he was maybe strong enough to get himself up to take some fixes on location.

It is also highly likely, I say close to certain, that Fred knew it was Gardner. He was an experienced seaman, and the whole marine community of his time knew about the Norwich City disaster, and where she had run aground. So if he saw the shipwreck, he must have instantly realized he was on Gardner. Indeed even before landing the plane, they must have seen the wreck, and Fred would have told AE..."Hey that is Norwich City, she ran aground on Gardner...so this is Gardner Island."
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David Deusenberry

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #386 on: August 07, 2013, 01:14:06 PM »

If I’m not mistaken the navigators station was near the rear of the Electra behind a large fuel tank. He passed notes attached to a piece of bamboo to Amelia in fight so his yelling could have just been to be heard over the engines not that he was hurt. I’m sure they were both pretty shaken up after the landing and their voices were both frantic.
How many items from the Norwich City wreck have been found at the seven site? I would think to a castaway that the wreck would have been a treasure trove of survival items. Would it have been possible to board the ship? A resent wreck would also have a huge fresh water tank on board if it hadn’t been contaminated by sea water. 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #387 on: August 07, 2013, 01:47:49 PM »

It is also highly likely, I say close to certain, that Fred knew it was Gardner. He was an experienced seaman, and the whole marine community of his time knew about the Norwich City disaster, and where she had run aground. So if he saw the shipwreck, he must have instantly realized he was on Gardner. Indeed even before landing the plane, they must have seen the wreck, and Fred would have told AE..."Hey that is Norwich City, she ran aground on Gardner...so this is Gardner Island."

Good reasoning Manjeet. It may well have been the case that FN, through his close association with the sea going fraternity and his 22 years sea-going experience, was aware of a ship having gone aground in the Phoenix islands in 1929. Perhaps the name of the ship and the island escaped his memory but, ship run aground in the Phoenix islands didn't. So, not being 100% sure of the name of the island or the ship send, Phoenix islands and, not being a native of the UK he might recall the name of the ship as being the NY city instead of Norwich City?
Whatever was sent and received made no difference to the outcome but, it's just a thought.
This must be the place
 
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Dan Swift

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #388 on: August 07, 2013, 03:55:43 PM »

Monty, that is right on!  Not the first time she ended up in the wrong place.  And I am sure she is thinking, just bring the fuel to me so I can get out of here and finish.  Of course a banged up Electra may have changed that a bit, but ditching and removing any chance of completing the trip, out of the question. 
TIGHAR Member #4154
 
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manjeet aujla

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Re: After the Landing
« Reply #389 on: August 12, 2013, 11:45:47 AM »

Jeff, it is true that, as you say, it did not make any difference. However reasonings like this help to put another brick into our edifice of understanding of what was going on then, and may be useful to keep in mind, later, ... or not...lol.

In that vein, an argument can be made that Fred did know it was Gardner - he was a longtime seaman (sea-captain?), and would know and remember details about recent maritime disasters, much more than the general public, just as people in the aviation  community today remember recent air disaster details more than the general public.  Anyway, you do seem to agree that he would at least remember that the wreck had happened in the P Islands, and so they knew they were in the P Islands somewhere.

On the other hand, if he knew they were on Gardner, then why did they not just transmit "Gardner" over and over again, for all they were worth?  I am not an expert on the post-crash transmissions, but that seems to have not happened. Yes, Betty records 'Ny City' (which is surely meant to have been Norwich City), but that is just part of a larger transmission of other things. I would transmit just one word over and over again - "Gardner", especially given they were newbies in morse keying, and keying off of a mic.

Anyway, it was a thought experiment on my part, and I am sure it has been discussed in some forum here sometime. At this time it does not seem particularly significant.

To the post on Fred passing notes on a bamboo pole to AE as their communication method, while they were flying, that is also my understanding.

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