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Author Topic: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E  (Read 85590 times)

Heath Smith

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Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« on: July 01, 2012, 09:18:37 AM »

While I must admit that I am somewhat skeptical of Betty's Notebook, not because I do not believe her but rather it is possible that a local hoaxer might have created the broadcast, I do find this reported position interesting.

On Page 53 of Betty's Notebook, this position is shown at the lower right of the page.

Reader over the TIGHAR document Occult References, there is a discussion of the position beginning on page 5.

In the discussion there is the following statement:

Might they represent the exact midpoint of the flight? No, that point has been calculated to be 3° 2´ South, 165° 10´ East. The position written in Betty’s notebook is about 7 miles south and 10 miles west of there. (We’ve actually had various measurements of the midpoint from a number of equally competent navigators. None match Betty’s note.)

Can someone confirm whether this is still the belief held by TIGHAR? I am a bit curious as to how this point was derived by the navigators mention above. Looking at Google Earth, the above stated position seems to be a bit North (about 7SM) of the Great Circle flight path. My assumption is that Google Earth is using the Great Circle calculations when you draw a point from A to B. Can someone shed light on that?

What is perhaps interesting is that if we assume that Google Earth is correct, the original flight plan created for the original flight attempt written by Williams would have the end of a segment  marking the midpoint of the flight. If we for the sake of argument say that they did indeed reverse the original plan plan, this end of segment marker would end up very near the position that Betty had written (about 2SM miles, assuming Betty's Notebook stated 3 degrees 9 minutes South, 165 degrees East). I have attached a Google Earth file that lists the points of interest around this area where the flight segment would have terminated as well positions of the Ontario and the TIGHAR estimated midpoint of the flight.

If we take the position that a hoaxer might have been able to derive this information, this would very interesting in that they would have had to have some knowledge of Great Circle navigation or they would have had to read something in the paper that stated position of the Ontario and fudged the number to make it seem reasonable. If they fudged the numbers to make it seem reasonable it would be very coincidental that they chose a point so close to the Great Circle flight path, right near the end of a segment in the original flight plan from the first attempt.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2012, 09:59:32 AM »

While I must admit that I am somewhat skeptical of Betty's Notebook, not because I do not believe her but rather it is possible that a local hoaxer might have created the broadcast,

Explain how a local hoaxer could create a broadcast that was not heard by hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the local area.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2012, 10:06:09 AM »

I was referring specifically to what Betty heard, not the other many post loss signals.

You miss my point.  So Betty is really hearing a hoaxer who is transmitting somewhere in the St. Pete area.  Why aren't hundreds of other people also hearing the hoaxer?  You can't make a broadcast and and target a single listener.
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Heath Smith

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2012, 10:09:53 AM »


As a hypothetical, they might have been in that town or hundreds of miles away. I do not believe anything was targeted toward Betty specifically but it is a possibility that no one else had heard this broadcast regardless of the range because no one was listening.

It is my understanding that no one else has come forward as a collaborating ear witness that matches the data given in Betty's notebook but perhaps I missed that.
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Heath Smith

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2012, 12:06:02 PM »


If you believe that Betty heard "This is Amelia" that is a bit of a stretch to think that she heard random transmissions and invented the rest.

Also, we are straying from the topic. ;)
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Tim Collins

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2012, 07:07:39 AM »

What is so hard to understand? Earhart is missing and a radio broadcast is playing audio clips of Earhart from the past.

I can't imagine it was as easy as that back then - just play sound clips of Earhart, make sure their the ones where she's in distress and panicked. How quickly we can get lost in the technological ease and conveniences of our own time.  But ok, if Betty didn't hear Earhart where were these "clips" originating? 
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Chris Johnson

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2012, 07:13:58 AM »

So Betty hears a montarge (sp) of spliced reels of Amelia speaking (Fred chipping in from the rear so to speak) played by a local station.

Why then is her diary not better organised?

IMO if I were going to try and perpetrate a fraud it would look slicker and appear more genuine?

BTW I know and never will know anything about how a radio works, how the signal gets from a to b or if it is possible to have a fourth wave harmonic let alone a first wave.  I do know that i'm using someone elses wireless and it serves them right for not having a WEP key :)
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Heath Smith

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2012, 04:34:25 AM »

Quote
Could she be a hoaxter, possible but not likely. Could she be honest but mistaken, very probable.

There are a couple of things that defy your explanation of mish-mash of broadcasts if you believe that Betty was telling the truth.

The topic of this thread was originally about the coordinate that was given in the notebook. According to Betty this was repeated several times. On the page you can see where she had written a similar position on the page. She later said that she recalled hearing very clearly the coordinate mentioned that was the topic of the post. If this was the March of Time broadcast, or any other broadcast, why would they repeat a coordinate that was specific to the flight and of little interest to a listening public? That does not make much sense to me.

The fact that this repeated position is so close to a relevant piece of information about the flight (assuming Williams flight plan reversed) that leads me toward the real thing or a very clever perpetrator of a hoax with detailed knowledge of the flight plan and the position of the Ontario that would probably not been available to the general pubic.

The only thing that I am a bit bothered by is that Betty used the degree symbol on the longitude and a ' on the latitude. If it was Earhart, do you think she would have stated "degrees" on the radio and that Betty (at 13 years old) would have known to write the degree symbol in the appropriate place? That is a bit troubling.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 04:35:56 AM by Heath Smith »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #8 on: July 03, 2012, 05:26:31 AM »

Quote
Could she be a hoaxter, possible but not likely. Could she be honest but mistaken, very probable.

There are a couple of things that defy your explanation of mish-mash of broadcasts if you believe that Betty was telling the truth.

The topic of this thread was originally about the coordinate that was given in the notebook. According to Betty this was repeated several times. On the page you can see where she had written a similar position on the page. She later said that she recalled hearing very clearly the coordinate mentioned that was the topic of the post. If this was the March of Time broadcast, or any other broadcast, why would they repeat a coordinate that was specific to the flight and of little interest to a listening public? That does not make much sense to me.

The fact that this repeated position is so close to a relevant piece of information about the flight (assuming Williams flight plan reversed) that leads me toward the real thing or a very clever perpetrator of a hoax with detailed knowledge of the flight plan and the position of the Ontario that would probably not been available to the general pubic.

The only thing that I am a bit bothered by is that Betty used the degree symbol on the longitude and a ' on the latitude. If it was Earhart, do you think she would have stated "degrees" on the radio and that Betty (at 13 years old) would have known to write the degree symbol in the appropriate place? That is a bit troubling.
You are referring to the notations written at an angle. It looks like something added later, trying to make sense out to the line " SOUTH 391065 Z or E."

It looks like you could break that string of numbers a lot of different ways, it could be 39° 10' south, 65° east, just one possibility. This seems more reasonable than shoehorning "1065" into "165" east.  There are other possibilities.

gl
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Heath Smith

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #9 on: July 03, 2012, 05:34:14 AM »

Quote
You are referring to the notations written at an angle. It looks like something added later, trying to make sense out to the line " SOUTH 391065 Z or E."

Correct, this is where she recalls that she heard a repetition of the position more clearly than the prior ones (at the left edge). This position is difficult to explain even if added later unless it was again someone with detailed knowledge of the prior attempt flight and the position of the Ontario.

Betty specifically recalled remembering writing the notations at the right side of the page at the time of the broadcast, suggesting that this was not written at a latter time by herself or perhaps a parent.

In any case, it is hard to see how this could have been part of any re-enactment/drama/other public broadcast.
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Malcolm McKay

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #10 on: July 05, 2012, 04:21:24 AM »


From Ric in the old Forum, 17 November 2000: "All of the entries in the notebook are in pencil.  A red pencil was used for some detailing in the portraits (lips, etc.) and for a few song lyric entries.  All of the Earhart notes appear to have been made with the same pencil which was apparently a bit harder than the pencil used by Betty later to make the explanatory notes.  The brackets coordinates on page 53 are consistent in appearance with the other entries on that page.  The bracketed explanatory note on the preceding page is darker and is consistent with the explanatory notes on page 49.  All of the entries in Betty's notebook seem to be in her hand but we'll be having a document expert look into that."

"On November 5, 2000 we interviewed Betty on videotape at her home in the Midwest. (We’re not disclosing Betty’s full name and location at this time because she has a heart condition and we don’t want her to be assailed by the press.) She was able to provide us with much more detail about her own history and her recollections about the entries she made in her notebook. One of her neighbors was also able to provide us with correspondence dating from 1970 which documents that he attempted unsuccessfully to interest Earhart author Fred Goerner in Betty’s story at that time.

"The same neighbor also had notes of a conversation he had with Betty’s mother, then still living. Although differing in some minor details, the notes generally agree with Betty’s version of the story. While we were there we also collected handwriting examples from Betty which will be used in an evaluation of her notebook by a recognized expert in document authentication."


Not wishing to appear niggling or willfully contrary but did the handwriting expert (s) confirm that it was indeed Betty's handwriting at the time when she was 15 years old as against what her handwriting as an adult was. I know that when I was 15 my handwriting had yet to lose the school indoctrinated style which was replaced by my notoriously unreadable scrawl that developed in later years. Pencils are very difficult things to verify vis-à-vis pens which use ink. "Betty" may indeed be kosher in regard to what she recalls but as I see it the two important questions remain -

1. Did she hear a transmission or only a garbled March of Time broadcast, and

2. Could this be a later fake using a notebook she retained from her childhood - only handwriting analysis can test that, although graphology is undeniably, like polygraphs, a very very scientifically uncertain area in which to venture.

I ask these questions because as far as I can ascertain the whole outer reef landing hypothesis hangs upon her notes, not to mention the speculations about Earhart and Noonan's subsequent behaviour on Nikumaroro. 
« Last Edit: July 05, 2012, 04:24:59 AM by Malcolm McKay »
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2012, 08:15:10 AM »

We don't know where on the reef or where in the plane the water had become "knee deep."  When sitting in a three-point stance, it could be knee deep aft but not yet that deep in the cockpit.

And building on what Marty said in that last paragraph of his, the "knee deep" comment could just as well be about the depth of the water on the reef outside the aircraft ... a consideration for someone having to wade back to shore, particularly if the tide is coming in and the surf is becoming active.
LTM,

Bruce
TIGHAR #3123R
 
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2012, 09:23:05 AM »

Breaking news: I actually agree with malcolm on the bettys notebook dating thing. If we were using it as a major factor in our search, I would say it would be logical to have the pages time dated to 1937. Makes logical sense to me, to remove any doubt that it could have been faked, say in 1966.
But---even though its an important peice in the overall puzzle, its content doesnt give me enough specifics to warrant a search of Niku. But-----if she had stated something like, "one a island with a shipwreck on the western shoreline", or something more geographically specific, I would be all over it.
just saying. Good point Malcolm.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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pilotart

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 09:47:23 AM »

Although the Navy Experts pointed to the Phoenix Islands as being the most logical place to look on July 2, 1937, they had looked there and found nothing.

This idea was not resurrected until TIGHAR brought it up again long after 1966.

TIGHAR has well documented Betty's notebook already.

Art Johnson
 
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John Hart

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Re: Betty's Notebook, Page 53, S309 165E
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 12:43:04 PM »

Upfront I will admit to being a newbie late to the discussion and only slightly read in to the overwhelming amount of info on this site but as an aviator would like to post some thoughts for consideration in this debate.  Having frequently been involved in extended radio checks I know that after a certain amount of "testing, 1,2,3..." etc. you often find yourself resorting to words that are nonsensical.  Without regard to the validity of Betty's notebook I would not be surprised to hear unusual statements on an extended transmission like "New York, New York" if someone were trying to insure a steady, long transmission to faciltate direction finding.  After several days of not receiving responses at some point you would suspect your receiver and hope that at least you were transmitting and someone could get a bearing on you to come help.  You would transmit info you thought was important but to extend the transmission add whatever filler came to mind.

As to their physical condition under the hypothesis I would wonder how either of them could be seriously injured if the aircraft was not sufficiently damaged as to allow an engine to be run and the radio to work?  I would instead suspect some other injury resulting from the process of exploring/searching for shelter/water.  Some of these injuries can result in less than coherent behavior such as drinking contaminated or salt water, cutting one's feet on coral, eating something bad.  Sunburn, sunstroke, and dehydration all also produce unusual behavior.  So silly babbling would not be unusual after a while.

Apologize for going off this thread but in line with that train of thought, as an aviator I would have circled the island looking for the best place to land.  In that process I would have noted all the features of the island to focus my immediate survival efforts.  If, as stated, the dark pond at the SE end of the island looks like a fresh water pond I would have gone there.  Seems others assumed till they found out otherwise that it might be a fresh water pond.  I would have had to taste the water to find out it wasn't fresh and who knows what that might have done to me?  I would have also noted all open/cleared areas as having the potential for inhabitants.  We know the island was not inhabited, they would not have.  They see a wrecked ship and might expect someone to still be there.  If you saw a clearing such as the 7 sight that might be the next place you look after finding no one near the wreck.

Finally, as an aviator I do not doubt in the least your hypothesis about what they did upon arrival at LOP.  That decision would have been made before hand, if not by AE at least by FN, who knew the only direction to go. After a brief run to verify to the north you would go 337 toward the greater preponderance of islands close by.  Having been low on fuel and "sucking up the seat cushion" as we say I also know you would land at the first place you found suitable once you are flying on reserve.  I know from experience flying over water that islands can sometimes be seen at 100 miles that at other times cannot be seen till you are right on top of them.  Humidity, sun angle, and cloud cover all play a part and sometimes low cumulus is worst as the shadows can hide a sizable island from view.  They would have arrived at Gardner with sufficient fuel to conduct a survey similar to your helicopter ride.   Prudence would dictate a low approach to determine the texture of the landing surface.  What looks smooth at 100+ feet can turn out to be a washboard on landing.

I applaud your work to date, am fascinated at the analysis and wealth of data on your site which I have only scratched the surface, and apologize if I have added nothing to the debate that may be found elsewhere that I have not read yet.

JB
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