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Author Topic: LaPook Hypothesis: Box Search around 157-337  (Read 194069 times)

Kent Beuchert

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Re: LaPook Hypothesis: Box Search around 157-337
« Reply #135 on: April 28, 2014, 08:20:13 AM »

It also occurred to me that if I'm trying to find one of those islands, the higher I fly the better
my odds of seeing one. Cloudy conditions around the Howland  position (and especially to the
Northwest-the reason the initial Itasaca search went thataway) may have led Noonan to
conclude that moving  to the southeast not only would provide many more (and more easily seen)
landing targets, but very well get him into clear sky conditions and thus  allow a high altitude search, which would have greatly improved his  chances of seeing land, any land.
There are also the problems of seeing anything in the direction of the low-lying sun. My experience is that when you're looking  in the direction of the sun in the morning, good luck seeing anything. At a higher altitude,  the sun becomes less of a problem. All this argues against the assumptions made in the search box hypothesis, namely that one can see an island a certain number of miles away, from a low altitude, regardless of viewing direction. That certainly isn't the case. Personally, I would guess that Noonan had had enough experience in finding land targets visually to know what conditions would give him the best odds.
Since all of us presumably believe he landed on Gardner island, we have to agree that Noonan succeeded
in achieving his most important goal : finding land. Any,land. And land that had a beached ship sitting right on the shore, which implied human habitation.
« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 09:03:26 AM by Kent Beuchert »

Mark Pearce

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Re: LaPook Hypothesis: Box Search around 157-337
« Reply #136 on: April 28, 2014, 12:52:56 PM »

It's awfully difficult to know what FN would have done - in fact, impossible in my view.  Gary has cited from reliable text material of the day, I believe, very often in his suppositions of these things - and I guess the box search is a method that was known.

The 'Square Search' is described (and illustrated) in the 1944 Handbook of Air Navigation, by W.J.

"There are four general types of searches involving single aircraft. They are,

1. Square Search

2. Extended Y search.

3. Closed Y search

Square Search--- This type of search is the one most commonly used in the open sea.  If the search is carried out accurately, it is impossible to overlook an object that may be in the area covered by the search...   This type of search may be used to find a small island after a long trip over the water during which there is no means of checking the navigation.  It can be seen that a very few legs are flown to cover a very wide area.";view=1up;seq=159

The "Fixed Square Search" is described in the "American Air Navigator," by Charles D. Mattingly, 1944.

"This is a method by which an aircraft can systematically search a fairly large area to locate a small object such as an island, a disabled ship or a life raft.";view=1up;seq=172

« Last Edit: April 28, 2014, 01:58:44 PM by Mark Pearce »
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