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Author Topic: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group  (Read 36407 times)

Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #45 on: June 07, 2012, 09:43:38 AM »

Another example of what can drift a little way...

A huge dock torn from a Japanese port by the 2011 tsunami has washed up 8,050km (5,000 miles) away on the US West Coast after crossing the Pacific....

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-18349741
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #46 on: June 07, 2012, 02:56:25 PM »

I saw that. Ok---Not discounting the landing theory, but we know the B17 went down in the Phoenix Group because of a navigational error, and ran out of fuel. We know they drifed in a raft for 20+ days, and were found near Fiji, Samoa, somewhere 500+ miles away.
Apparently the plane did not break up on ditching, even though the swells were pretty large. So we have an 'intact' B17, that does have "some(?)" bouyancy after it submerges. So, I guess for it to have made it to the Niku reef, it would have to have drifted quite a ways underwater, becoming less bouyant as the fuselege fills with water. The ocean bottom is pretty deep in the area around Niku, but is there a possiblity that maybe it 'found' Winslow Reef, or Candolet Reef, and after a preiod of time, and storms, found itself on Niku?
Anything is possible, but in this case even I would say not real likely. I say lets let Mike and the Phoenix guys do their survey, find the wreckage ( a wing or tail with NR16020 on it would be really nice!) and then we will know if we need to be thinking about alternate aircraft wreckage.
Then, the archaeologists can find her!
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #47 on: June 07, 2012, 03:00:11 PM »

Wouldn't it have pitchd up on the windward side of the island anyway?
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #48 on: June 07, 2012, 03:46:13 PM »

I have watched this particular thread grow steadily larger and larger with each comment. I cracked up with the very first comment and I'm still shaking my head over it. I have a sneaking suspicion Gary started this thread to see how many of us would bite and make some kind of comment. Thanks Gary for the laugh!

Brad
Brad

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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #49 on: June 07, 2012, 05:17:00 PM »

Brad, it started by wondering aloud if there were any other documented aircraft lossed in the area, just in case the expedition turned up a military aircraft instead of the Electra. Gary mentioned the B17, which I thought went down alot closer to Canton. Anythings possible I guess.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #50 on: June 07, 2012, 05:41:11 PM »

The crews own estimate of the overshoot of Canton Island was at least 100 miles Tom
the B-17 carrying Eddie Rickenbacker, his aide Col. Hans Adamson, and their flight crew, overshot Canton Island by at least 100 miles to the southwest.
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #51 on: June 07, 2012, 05:44:56 PM »

Wouldn't it have pitchd up on the windward side of the island anyway?
Depends where it went in Chris. The crew who took to the life rafts drifted to Tuvalu so that seems to be the way the current went.
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Brad Beeching

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #52 on: June 07, 2012, 09:45:27 PM »

I guess I have to explain why I find the comments regarding the B-17 humorous.

1. B-17's in any model, Model 299, Y1B-17, YB-17A, B-17B, through to the PB-1G didn't float.... ever. If you went down, you might have an amount of time to pop the life rafts out from the dorsal compartments and get the crew into the rafts, but rest assured... the plane will sink... quickly... every time.

2. The specific gravity of seawater is 1.02, the density of aluminum is 2.7 g/mL, which means the metal will sink in water.

3. Things float in water because they have a density that is less than water (1.0 @ 39* F.), or they weigh less than the water they displace. This means that once Buoyancy is lost, the object sinks... to the bottom... all the way to bottom... every time. They don't float 100 ft down to drift with the current, they just sink. They might drift from where they left the surface for some distance, maybe up to a mile, maybe a little more. With a buoyancy factor of a large brick a B-17 won't drift 10 miles let alone 300.

4. If it is a B-17 at Niku it wont be Rickenbacker's. (Unless those folks over at Nauticos snagged it and are playing a funny on Ric by dropping it at Niku)

So now you see why I find it humorous.  ;D

Brad
Brad

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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #53 on: June 07, 2012, 09:50:46 PM »

I have watched this particular thread grow steadily larger and larger with each comment. I cracked up with the very first comment and I'm still shaking my head over it. I have a sneaking suspicion Gary started this thread to see how many of us would bite and make some kind of comment. Thanks Gary for the laugh!

Brad

You are not wrong.  ;)
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #54 on: June 08, 2012, 04:55:21 AM »

Youre right Brad. It will sink. How long it takes was probably a better way for me to ask the question. Actually, if the wreckage on the reef isnt the B17, and there no other missing aircraft in the region, then it 'must" be the Electra. but that would be jumoing to a conclusion. But circumstancial none the less--I actually hope it is ---one or the other--
Tom
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #55 on: June 08, 2012, 08:02:08 AM »

Youre right Brad. It will sink. How long it takes was probably a better way for me to ask the question. Actually, if the wreckage on the reef isnt the B17, and there no other missing aircraft in the region, then it 'must" be the Electra. but that would be jumoing to a conclusion. But circumstancial none the less--I actually hope it is ---one or the other--
Tom

Tom, this thread gets its origins from some posts I put in another thread regarding other aircraft missing in the area and, I was directed to the Tighar archive...
http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,217.msg12962.html#msg12962

http://tighar.org/wiki/Aircraft_lost_in_the_vicinity_of_Nikumaroro

Further investigation led to the Rickenbackers B17-D as being the closest to Gardner Island ditched at sea suspect, a 100 mile overshoot of Canton is very close.

Then there's the aircraft parts villagers had thread, from another ditched in the area aircraft, the fact that the local population could get hold of Alclad from ditched planes makes you wonder how...

http://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,390.0.html

So you see, what may of started off as a humourous little avenue of exploration has revealed the huge amount of metalwork ditched into the sea around Gardner Island is far more than it may first appear. Of course the 2 examples I have used are only the Known ones! there may be more that we don't know of, WW2 and all that.
Interesting if nothing else ;)
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Jeff Victor Hayden

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Re: Rickenbacker's B-17: ditched near the Phoenix group
« Reply #56 on: June 14, 2012, 01:28:03 PM »

Lou Zamperini was lucky. He survived a risky, put-up-your-dukes childhood  and made it into the Olympics. But in May '43, in a B-24 over the Pacific, his luck seemed to run out.

47 Days adrift in the Pacific!!!!!
OMG

Nowhere near gardner but all the same, 47 days!!!!

http://www.americainwwii.com/stories/luckylouie.html
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