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Author Topic: Eric Bevington's curiosity...  (Read 12461 times)

Ingo Prangenberg

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Eric Bevington's curiosity...
« on: May 30, 2012, 08:26:50 AM »

Cadet officer Bevinton gives the impression of being inquisitive in regards to his assignment and direct surroundings and he should be. His duty was to investigate the island and its surroundings and this he did.

Old ship wrecks often look much the same, especially sitting in a tidal zone for twenty years. Most surfaces turn into an oxidized reddish-brown drab tone. Anything shiny or reflective, such as glass or brass, would stand out clearly.

Why would Bevington not have taken a closer look at an object made of stainless steel, alloys or aluminum sitting solitary in the water? Would it not be a shiny, reflective beacon in the mid-day sun? It would have nothing in common with an old ship wreck and would certainly spark my curiosity. It would appear technologically more complicated and advanced than mechanical items that washed ashore from a boat with a broken back.

Now, Bevington and his group had orders to explore this island and it appears they did in depth. They had limited time to do so, spending most of the days working and exploring. Would the group have taken a risk and have lingered in the aggressive and dangerous surf zone to look at a curious object? It wasn't part of their objective. But this object would have looked quite out-of-place in this environment.

I'm not really sure what I would have done. I'm a curious person myself, but curiosity can get you in serious trouble.


John Joseph Barrett

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Re: Eric Bevington's curiosity...
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2012, 09:31:59 AM »

All,   I'm not so sure that the aluminum or other alloys from which the aircraft was constructed would have been very bright and shiny by the time that Bevington reached the island. I am a rabid (far beyond avid) scuba diver. Aluminum scuba tanks oxidize fairly quickly, especially in a salt water environment and turn into more of a dull gray color than shiny, reflective metal. I would think that a few months of being exposed to tidal changes and salt spray would be more than enough to dull any shiny aluminum left in the surf. Looking at how small Nessie appears in the photo, I think it is possible that it was never even noticed by Bevington and the others, and if it was noticed, didn't display any characteristics to warrant a second look. IMHO.  LTM who turned gray with grace.  -John

Bruce Thomas

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Re: Eric Bevington's curiosity...
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2012, 09:52:01 AM »

And there may be a thousand other reasons - including that the odd object was only noticed (if at all) as the boat drew away and there was no chance to go to it easily (surf, wildlife there, etc.). 

Reading Bevington's journal and listening to him (on the DVD, recorded when Ric and Pat visited him more than 50 years later) recount his journey around the entire island, I'm of that persuasion, Jeff -- "that the object was only noticed (if at all) as the boat drew away." 

Their expedition approached the island from the SW that first day and tied off to the Norwich City, which he explored.  He crossed the reef, then the Tatiman Passage.  His circling of Nikumaroro proceeded counterclockwise, and on the DVD he says that his group may not have finished their lengthy hike until the next day (camping overnight somewhere -- along the northern shore?).  Whether the trek went entirely along the shore, up and around the NW corner, or took a path along the lagoon shore to get back to their starting point, is not entirely clear to me.  But there's no doubt that thirst was playing a big role by that time, and even if the artifact we call "Nessie" was noticed at that time, I'd bet getting back to their fresh water stores would have trumped any inclination to investigate that ("I ... drank 4 pints of water"). 

The remainder of the stay on the island sounds like it was very focused on exploring the land and seeking a source of fresh water, and not looking at things like offshore curiosities.


Tom Swearengen

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Re: Eric Bevington's curiosity...
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2012, 09:59:26 AM »

Interesting. since Bevington took the the picture from a ship, I would think that it probably wasnt noticed on his exploration of the island. May have been underwater at the time he was near that part of the island. Maybe he was more interested on what was on the island, than on the reef. I think he probably didnt even see it from the ship, but it turned up the the photo he took.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297

Malcolm McKay

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Re: Eric Bevington's curiosity...
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2012, 08:06:10 PM »

An important point regarding Bevington and of course his boss Harry Maude. Maude is regarded as one of the great Pacific explorers and ethnographers. If Bevington was not curious enough to examine "Nessie" I expect that Maude would have been. The fact that the anomaly is not noted by either is telling - we await to see what the enhanced photo tells us but if it is anything like Richie's attempt then it could be anything. Too much imagination too little fact.
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