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Author Topic: New Britain Hypothesis  (Read 98518 times)

Malcolm McKay

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #75 on: June 24, 2012, 07:08:28 PM »

... given the repair tag was attached to AE's Electra ...

I personally wouldn't call that a given.

The N.B. folks don't have the repair tag.

They don't have an account of the finding of the tag that includes copying its contents.

That have a marginal note on the side of a map whose provenance is alleged to be unimpeachable.

To get the note to become the contents of the tag, one has to make several leaps of faith.

Then, and only then, do the N.B. crew get to start using that allegation as a grounds for TIGHAR to spend some money on the N.B. search.  So far as I can tell, Malcolm is proposing that the money run in that direction, because TIGHAR has money to fund expeditions and the N.B. people don't.  His sorrow that Amelia researchers don't "pool resources" runs in one direction only.

So you keep saying Marty but as you are emotionally and intellectually committed to the Nikumaroro hypothesis so I think that Mandy Rice Davies' immortal words apply here.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #76 on: June 24, 2012, 07:44:04 PM »

... given the repair tag was attached to AE's Electra ...

I personally wouldn't call that a given.

The N.B. folks don't have the repair tag.

They don't have an account of the finding of the tag that includes copying its contents.

That have a marginal note on the side of a map whose provenance is alleged to be unimpeachable.

To get the note to become the contents of the tag, one has to make several leaps of faith.

Then, and only then, do the N.B. crew get to start using that allegation as a grounds for TIGHAR to spend some money on the N.B. search.  So far as I can tell, Malcolm is proposing that the money run in that direction, because TIGHAR has money to fund expeditions and the N.B. people don't.  His sorrow that Amelia researchers don't "pool resources" runs in one direction only.

Just giving the New Britain scenario the benefit of the doubt, something not given to the Gardner Island scenario by some. That said, it is a real stretch of the imagination to even get the Electra to New Britain (450 mph tailwind?) never mind finding (missing)repair tags on (missing)wreckage and scribbles on edges of (missing)maps. Still, we must persevere, all avenues need exploring before one can confirm they are dead ends  ;)
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #77 on: June 24, 2012, 09:42:29 PM »

So you keep saying Marty but as you are emotionally and intellectually committed to the Nikumaroro hypothesis so I think that Mandy Rice Davies' immortal words apply here.

In other words, you have no answers to the questions so you impugn the motives of the person asking the questions.

"My opponent disagrees with me.  Therefore, I am not obliged to give a coherent account of why I believe that the tag existed and contained the C/N for NR16020 on it.  I get a pass.  I may simply assume the truth of what I believe.  Everyone else has to meet the standards that I set for them, but I don't."
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #78 on: June 24, 2012, 09:47:21 PM »

Just giving the New Britain scenario the benefit of the doubt, something not given to the Gardner Island scenario by some.

Ah, sorry.  I should have included a question about what you meant by "given."  You didn't mean, "I concede the existence of a tag with the Electra's C/N on it" but "let's assume, for the sake of argument, that the tag existed as described."

Quote
That said, it is a real stretch of the imagination to even get the Electra to New Britain (450 mph tailwind?) never mind finding (missing)repair tags on (missing)wreckage and scribbles on edges of (missing)maps. Still, we must persevere, all avenues need exploring before one can confirm they are dead ends  ;)

If we had infinite resources (money, time, energy), we might do that.  The quickest way to destroy the N.B. hypothesis would be to do a comprehensive search of the jungle and find out what aircraft, if any, is to be found there.

Given that we do not have infinite resources (here, by "given," I mean, "assuming something that I think you will agree is a matter of fact"), taking our bucket to a dry well doesn't seem all that reasonable to me.  ::)
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #79 on: June 24, 2012, 09:57:33 PM »


In other words, you have no answers to the questions so you impugn the motives of the person asking the questions.


No Marty, I was in fact having a joke. Perhaps philosophers need emoticons, but I thought that the reference to Mandy Rice Davies might have been a hint.
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John Ousterhout

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #80 on: June 25, 2012, 12:13:16 PM »

The note on the map contains information obtained from the US Military.  Why do we assume the number was not provided by them, rather than to them?  The note can be interpreted as the answer to a question for information regarding AE's aircraft, rather than proof that AE's tag number was found.
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #81 on: June 25, 2012, 01:25:37 PM »

The note on the map contains information obtained from the US Military.  Why do we assume the number was not provided by them, rather than to them?  The note can be interpreted as the answer to a question for information regarding AE's aircraft, rather than proof that AE's tag number was found.

To me, that is the natural reading of the writing in the margin.

Why would someone write down information returned to them that they already had already sent in their question? The reason to write something down on the map was so that it would be available to the next group that took the map out while searching for the downed aircraft.

I find it hard to imagine that their thinking went like this: "Oh, I think I'll transcribe the whole message we've received on this telegraph form onto the margin of the map, so that if the tag gets stolen by the evil U.S. government conspirators, later ages will know what was on the tag."

I concede that I am using my imagination in constructing this interpretation of the handwriting on the margin.  In doing so, I am exercising exactly the same power of the mind used by those who imagine a different scenario and who bestow a different interpretation on the text as a consequence. 

GI/1009 SERET REF: 600H/P S3HI C/N1055 [24/5/45]
SITREP D COY PATROL Al
SEE SPECIL SITREPS 58, 59, 61, 63, [63A] ATT: CAPT. MOTT.
"See Specil Sitreps 58.59.61.63 (63A) att. Capt. Mott." makes it sound as though there was some place to see these "sitreps."  In other words, that line counts against the theory that the first line is a transcription of the full message sent on 24.5.45--and that counts against the theory that the writing represents what was sent to the General Intelligence section.

Ah.  It's so sweet.  They are honest people.  They write, "We believe that this writing is part of the reply that came back from the U.S. Army but we do not know who jotted down this writing on the map. The date is five weeks after the Patrol A1 was completed. The writer would have been someone from 'D' Company as the map was always in the possession of 'D' Company personnel during the war and after the war."

Malcolm's faith in the faith of this group is very touching.


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John Ousterhout

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #82 on: June 25, 2012, 03:02:19 PM »

I find it intriguing that the patrol likely did stumble upon an aircraft, possibly a Lockheed (the Japanese had a few, as has been pointed out elsewhere), and quite possibly recovered a tag.  Unfortunately, the number on that tag is not known with certainty.  Too bad its number wasn't explicitly noted somewhere in the patrol report or a receipt.  The situation reminds me of the sextant box found on Gardner Island - the difference being that its identifying numbers were recorded in a report, even though the box, like the tag, has been lost.
I hope the search for the aircraft wreck eventually succeeds.  It may answer yet another mystery.
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #83 on: June 26, 2012, 01:31:53 PM »

The note on the map contains information obtained from the US Military.  Why do we assume the number was not provided by them, rather than to them?  The note can be interpreted as the answer to a question for information regarding AE's aircraft, rather than proof that AE's tag number was found.

That's what I thought when I first read it John. I simply assumed I had mis-interperated or mis-read the story.
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John Hart

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #84 on: July 05, 2012, 03:50:37 PM »

I would like to add some aviator thoughts to this thread not to debunk any other theory but perhaps to help others understand why I think an island SSE of Howland was the most likely end point.  Pick one...doesn't have to be Gardner.  But it is important to know how aviators think about navigation and their decision processes.  It is an adjustment of my own experience with some added historical perspective of reading about how pioneers like FN developed the early modes of over-water navigation that made it possible for WW2 aviators, even single seat pilots, to successfully navigate over vast open water.  George Bush would know these techniques.

First, point of no return.  You always know it and you always compute it.  FN would have known his PONR for New Britain and there is no reason for them to think they would not find Howland until they got to the extended LOP and didn't find it.  They would not have turned around early as they had no reason to believe they wouldn't find it.  Hence turning around for NB would have been out of the question for him.  Perhaps the Bonins Gilberts but, interesting enough this is an island chain roughly on a 337/157 hence turning around to go there would mean one chance as you are flying perpendicular to the chain.  If you missed an island you missed them all (better to fly along a chain than perpendicular to one).  Next nearest past Bonins Gilberts is Nauru and easy to miss.  Again, you know you are on an extended LOP of 157/337 but you do not know where N/S so you could miss things you turn around to go to either N or S.  Past that you are landing in water.  He probably also knew his PONR to Nauru and had exceeded it.

The other point is what do I do when I get to extended LOP and do not find Howland?  I assume I missed N or S.  So I fly NNW (337) a little ways to see if I find it (or Baker) but not too far as there is nothing else beyond in that direction. Then You turn SSE (157) assuming you missed to the N.  This is a good direction because you chance finding, in sequence, Howland, Baker, Mackean, Kanton or Gradner, Tokelau, and eventually American Somoa although I think even FN knew he didn't have the fuel to make it there.  So you expend a little fuel looking for Howland on 337 but not long, as you are on reserve, and you give the greatest time to 157.  If you turn around 180 you have one slight chance at Bonins Gilberts and a infinitesimal chance at Nauru.  FN had been doing this for a while.  As I said in an earlier post, a good aviator doesn't get that way without learning to have contingency plans.  In 1937 they didn't live very long if they didn't.  FN would have already figured this out before takeoff.  So when he got to extended LOP he told AE "turn left to 337".  He would have allowed her just enough time to make sure they did not find Baker or Howland N of them and then said "turn to 157".  That is the only heading that it makes sense to fly on till you run out of gas...not E, not W.

My two cents for what its worth and I will not abandon that as a preferred answer even if nothing is fund on this expedition.  Because they could have missed all those island too and landed in the water...but on a 157 heading. 

Interesting about underwater topography in S Pacific.  All the islands/atolls are essential Mt peaks.  Where there is extensive gradual rise to an island the change in water color from deep blue to light blue is the first thing you see, not the island itself.  In S Pacific there isn't that distinct change.  It goes from Deep Blue to reef in a few hundred feet.  I flew into Midway Island one night on a C-141 going to pickup a broke F-16 there.  W/O the rotating beacon you never would have sen it.  Later I flew that single engine airplane all the way back to Oahu unrefueled.  I thanked the Lord for GPS as I tried to locate each one of Tom Hank's tiny little islands along the way to castaway on in case my one motor quit.  It was very challenging from ~30K feet much less at 1000-8000 feet.  And I knew exactly where I was all the time.  My hat's off to FN for even getting in that airplane that day to try to find an island smaller than Midway.

JB

PS, sorry brain freeze, was thinking Tarawa, which for me means Betio, and somehow Bonins jumped out as i was rapidly typing.  Obviously meant Gilberts...sorry.   :'(  If they could have made Bonins they could have flown on to Hawaii.  ;D
« Last Edit: July 06, 2012, 01:08:58 PM by John Freeman Hart »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #85 on: July 05, 2012, 05:05:17 PM »

John---that was excellent! I personally think it lends some creadence to the Niku hypothesis, because of the PONR scenario. Like you, I think FN knew his points, even if he didnt know his location N&S. I think its highly unlikely that AE flew most of the way to Howland, and then tried to make it back to New Brittan. The Gilberts ---maybe. I think fuel range was borderline, but possible. And who knows.

Congrats on picking up the F16 and getting it back to Hawaii. ( If it was a USMC F18, it probably would NOT have broken down to begin with ;D. ). ANY long overwater flight is amazing to me, even on a 767 from Atlanta to Honolulu.
Thank you for your service!!!!
Tom
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Bill Roe

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #86 on: August 02, 2012, 09:31:23 AM »


John---that was excellent! I personally think it lends some creadence to the Niku hypothesis, because of the PONR scenario. Like you, I think FN knew his points, even if he didnt know his location N&S. I think its highly unlikely that AE flew most of the way to Howland, and then tried to make it back to New Brittan. The Gilberts ---maybe. I think fuel range was borderline, but possible. And who knows.

Tom

Well, I'm not so certain about strengthening Niku, Tom.  There's two things lacking in this thread..........

First a brain fart - I can't remember the correct term - I used this "Lindbergh Concept" many times in combat flying.  Anyway, flying on the deck, I mean - on the deck, provides a whole lot of additional lift.  You can fly forever with little effort and fuel expended.  Over water a pilot lacks the air movement that she would experience over hill/valley terrain.  Thus extending the aircraft range.  A pilot calculates PONR not based on this effect.

Second - Weather has not been mentioned.  And the only reference to weather that I remember reading is storms over the Howland area.  The possibility may exist that they were aware of violent weather conditions before the PONR and made the turn. 

These conditions may have existed so that she made it to New Britain?  Am I suggesting that, after flying on the deck to conserve fuel, she flew right into down drafts created by mountain sides on New Britain cooling down?  She remained on the deck over land due to low fuel?  Smacked a hillside?  I dunno -
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #87 on: August 02, 2012, 10:01:23 AM »

... The possibility may exist that they were aware of violent weather conditions before the PONR and made the turn. 

We have no evidence of anyone broadcasting such weather predictions to the aircraft.

If they turned toward New Britain before the point of no return, their transmissions would not have steadily strengthened through the night, nor would they have broadcast that they were 200 miles out, 100 miles out, or that they "must be upon you" on the morning of July 2nd.
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Bill Roe

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #88 on: August 02, 2012, 10:11:24 AM »

... The possibility may exist that they were aware of violent weather conditions before the PONR and made the turn. 

We have no evidence of anyone broadcasting such weather predictions to the aircraft.



Not suggesting that.  Well, maybe it could have happened.  Not having experience during 1937, I question the amount of "chatter" they could have picked up.  When I Ifirst started flying during 1957 - lotsa radio traffic.  Lotsa chatter.  I wonder what it was like during 1937 over that geographical area?
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: New Britain Hypothesis
« Reply #89 on: August 02, 2012, 01:36:31 PM »

We have no evidence of anyone broadcasting such weather predictions to the aircraft.

Not suggesting that.  Well, maybe it could have happened.  Not having experience during 1937, I question the amount of "chatter" they could have picked up.  When I Ifirst started flying during 1957 - lotsa radio traffic.  Lotsa chatter.  I wonder what it was like during 1937 over that geographical area?

There wasn't much chatter over the Pacific in 1937 because there weren't a lot of aircraft flying in the vicinity of the point of no return as AE and FN approached it.
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