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Author Topic: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City  (Read 26970 times)

Greg Daspit

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Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« on: May 14, 2012, 01:38:13 PM »

I wrote in the After Landing post that it would make sense for the castaway to use the Norwich City as a billboard being that it is something that already draws attention.
Here is one way it could be done that does not require much strength:
Tie support rope from top above first S.
Climb down 2nd rope at anchor using a few foot hold loops in the rope, the hawsehole and then the anchor to climb down.
Use support rope and 2nd rope as a guide rope to swing out to mark S.O.S.
Use bird droppings(sure hard to get off my car) from Guano or a white rock, or scrape paint to mark S.O.S
Use 2nd rope to pull back to the anchor and climb back up using the anchor and hawsehole as footholds
3971R
 
« Last Edit: May 16, 2012, 07:45:29 PM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 04:36:27 PM »

I wrote in teh After Landing post that it would make sense for the castaway to use the Norwich City as a billboard being that it is something that already draws attention.

I'm not denying that it is conceivable.

The thought just doesn't strike me as likely.

The men around the ship seem not to have interpreted the marking as an SOS.  If they didn't see the distribution of the paint (or guano) as forming a message, then I think I shouldn't, either.

Of course, it may have been painted by the Norwich City survivors--or interpreted as painted by them. 
LTM,

           Marty
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2012, 04:41:33 PM »

Gregory,

Ilike your theory but given the environment (heat/humidity) and other possibilities for markers that require less effort then I can't see it.

But who knows, Lambrect failed to see something as well  ;D
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2012, 07:19:31 PM »

I wrote in teh After Landing post that it would make sense for the castaway to use the Norwich City as a billboard being that it is something that already draws attention.

I'm not denying that it is conceivable.

The thought just doesn't strike me as likely.

The men around the ship seem not to have interpreted the marking as an SOS.  If they didn't see the distribution of the paint (or guano) as forming a message, then I think I shouldn't, either.

Of course, it may have been painted by the Norwich City survivors--or interpreted as painted by them.
Of course the Norwich City survivors didn't need to write "SOS", the ship itself says that very loudly. But it also seems like a bad place for Earhart to place such a sign as it could easily be attributed to the Norwich City people and so be ignored by those searching for her.

gl
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John Ousterhout

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2012, 07:22:18 PM »

The N.C. survivors had also been in radio communication with the folks who eventually helped them.  There's a lesson that could have been learned there...
Cheers,
JohnO
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2012, 10:02:42 PM »

I do think over time, after the possible SOS eroded,decayed or rusted over and got distorted, people would think it came from the shipwreck but not during the time they were actively looking for Earhart.
Earhart wouldn't care if they came to investigate a shipwreck, as long as they came.
I think she knew they were looking for her and would investigate any SOS.  I can't believe someone searching for her on Gardner would not at least report an SOS seen anywhere on Gardner.

My original thought was she would write "EARHART HERE camped SE" so she could concentrate on survival mode. She may have done this smaller and at a reachable distance standing on the reef. But it was covered by high tide, maybe even when the planes flew over. Or what ever she did for an SOS or marker didn't work when the planes flew over. So her plan evolved and she went higher with larger letters, but shorter message. Tom S. actually suggested the big hypothetical SOS and I didn't notice what looked like an SOS until then. Power of suggestion is very likely. It even looks like it has punctuation.

My theory for the castaway doing this: Castaway is sitting on the beach looking at the man made object washed ashore wondering how it can help. Then a bird bombs it. Light bulb goes off and the Castaway looks to Wilson and says "that could work".


Also note that my original posting in this thread had a PDF ATTACHMENT you can open and see a diagram I made of where I think the SOS might be and how it could have got there.

Respect to everyone on this forum. So polite in responses to me and each other,
Thanks
3971R
 
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 10:15:37 PM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 07:44:34 AM »

I have my doubts that Amelia would climb on the ship and write an SOS. Looks pretty high to me.
Ive been wrong before.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2012, 02:16:47 PM »

I can’t find any description in the NC statements where they mention painting an SOS or needing to, as already mentioned earlier, the NC crew had already made radio contact regarding rescue.

 Another possibility is that one or more of the missing NC sailors may have actually survived and been left behind (discussed in multiple previous post)
Also, the missing NC 4th lifeboat, also from previous post, and missing NC crew may have got close during the abandonment. Maybe they washed out and weren’t able to row back until everyone was already gone. Probably, that specific scenario was already discussed too.

Anyway, a castaway NC sailor may be more likely to paint an SOS there. At least more physically able and more aware of how to do it.  Though Amelia who was not afraid of heights and if she got some strength, could do it too, maybe during cooler hours.
 
Another point. From looking at old and new pictures of the Norwich City, the upper part of the front bow was painted recently with white paint. From wreck pictures the superstructure forward of the front mast looks like it survived the fire, mostly. That may be where they kept the white paint, close to the white paint on the ship that needed periodic re painting.
It could even be a NC sailor castaway who painted the possible SOS was part of the NC crew who painted the upper bow white to begin with.  Using a similar technique described in my original PDF attachment. In any event white paint could have survived on the ship.

Maybe the NC castaway eventually sailed off in the missing 4th  lifeboat after running low on supplies. They would have had a fair amount of the left behind usable supplies to maintain their strength for a while to perform tasks like that. If they found their way back to the island and/or 1st camp
3971R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2012, 07:43:58 PM »

Another picture
The seam in the middle of the letters looks bigger here.

If the seam had some vertical separation and was wide enough, you could paint from the inside using a scrub brush with a long handle. No rope needed.

 The last S still painted by climbing down the anchor and hawsehole with a rope for safety. The gap looks smaller there.
Maybe explains the some sloppy work on the first two letters.

3971R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #9 on: May 19, 2012, 11:11:46 PM »

http://searcharchives.vancouver.ca/accident-freighter-norwich-city-after-collision-with-second-narrows-bridge-6;rad

The web site link above has some recently uploaded pictures of the Norwich City. One picture shows ropes hanging where I think there is an SOS marked after the rescue of Norwich City survivors. In the picture there are crew standing nearby. I can see the scale and angles better. It would be difficult do do hung from ropes, but still possible.

Marking the S.O.S from the inside through the open seam would be easier.

I also read the ship was still burning when rescue arrived. Another reason NC survivors would not have climbed back on to write an SOS.
3971R
 
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Irvine John Donald

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #10 on: May 21, 2012, 10:46:54 AM »

Well, I asked my wife if she thought it was possible.  She says no. Why do I believe her?  She knows everything. Somedays I don't even need Google.  ;D
Respectfully Submitted;

Irv
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #11 on: May 22, 2012, 12:29:09 PM »

Maybe the seam in the hull explains why it is where it is. Painting from the inside thru the seam also partially addresses responses about it being too high or difficult for the conditions.  The results may not be perfect but that explains why it is not a perfect S.O.S. The paint may have started to degrade, but if some were found, that could also be explained by what you see in the NZ aviation surevey photo.

If you look at good pictures of the Norwich City you will see port holes just above this area. The castaway may have thought that they were for the crew's rooms(likely they were) and thought to search for water and resources there. Possibly finding paint from the recently painted Bulwark, and saw sunlight and heard air coming thru the seam in the hull while there. Other than the seam, the forcastle area looks mostly intact from the pictures.

See the new PDF attachment on how this could be done
3971R
 
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Rich Ramsey

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #12 on: May 22, 2012, 12:48:01 PM »

I admire the work and thought you put into this. It is good to see someone looking at things from all angles. I have to side on the "I just don't think she would of done that" side of things. There are many reason's for it being there, and I am not saying it wasn't there or painted there. I just don't know one way or the other. But why would AE or FN paint an SOS on a ship that was there for 10 years? It could easily be mistaken for an SOS from the crew from 10 years prior and as a result ignored. No, I think the fact that the ship was there was reason enough to stick in the area. I think the SOS might of been from a Crewman that was left behind when his shipmates when to shore? maybe? 

I would also say that if AE and FN could of got inside the Ship they might of tried to stay there for a while. Bunks maybe to sleep in or even to scavenge for items. Just a random thought that doesn't help us find them though. But if the plane was swept away, this ship was the only thing they had left that was man made. It is why I have a hard time with the 7 site. I am not saying I don't think you have something there, I think you do, just not sure what. I just can't understand why they would leave the ship. Unless they (or just whomever was left) did it to survey the area and intended to return but didn't have the strength or will power to do so.
"Hang Tough"
Rich
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #13 on: May 22, 2012, 03:10:02 PM »

Thanks Rich,
I think at first she may have thought about staying on the ship but found it too hot, and too shark invested to get to on a repeated basis.   I agree she would not want to leave the ship, It’s a visual magnet and that is the main reason I think she left an SOS on it.

She had to leave at some point to get food and stay cool. I find the reasons for moving to the 7 site convincing.

What you see in the NZ photo is about 1 ½ years after she disappeared. I think originally she hung every banner that could wave and every shinny thing that could reflect near it, with other smaller messages. Things that would indicate a fresh SOS got blown or washed away the following months.  However, I think at the time she did this, she knew they were actively looking for her. I don’t think someone looking for her on Gardner would ignore a fresh SOS. And if they thought it was a left behind, or new shipwreck survivor there, they would still look.
I also mentioned the possibility of a left behind NC sailor leaving the message further up the thread.
3971R
 
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Possible S.O.S on Norwich City
« Reply #14 on: May 23, 2012, 09:51:36 AM »

Rich,  You said “or even to scavenge for items. Just a random thought that doesn't help us find them though”
It is possible that random thought may help find them.  If they scavenged the ship for useful items for survival and those items were found on the island, away from the village, then you may want to look in that area. For example, maybe the Benedictine bottle found in 1940 was taken from a crewman’s quarters. It is not likely something loaded in a NC lifeboat in an emergency.

Regarding not wanting to leave the area of the ship. An area that is close to both the NC 1st camp, with all of its resources, and close to the visual magnet of the ship with all of its resources would be a good place to stay and therefore look.  The north end of the island is also facing the direction that they came from(“we must be on you” -meaning the Itasca) and maybe psychologically you stay where you expect to see the Itasca coming from.
I think one of the problems in looking there is the settlement activity in that area makes it harder to explain what may be found. But it seems like a logical place for AE and FN to stay, at least for some time.

3971R
 
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