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Author Topic: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?  (Read 45117 times)

Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #30 on: December 26, 2010, 06:45:21 PM »

Marty, my apologies, I should have known with your trips to Fiji that you would have been down this road, and reading that article reinforces my suspicion, and it is only that, but thinking like a bureaucrat ... try this one on for size:

The dreaded "Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda" game now begins.   ::)

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The "bones file" is investigated and "closed" for all intents and purposes by the end of 1941. As far as a true bureaucrat is concerned, once something is marked closed, it might as well not exist anymore. WW II ramps up in earnest. While it doesn't disturb the vast bureaucratic machine that is the WPHC, it sure does give them a lot of other things to think about.

Evidence?  If you're merely arguing from freely-chosen assumptions, I am equally free to make contrary assumptions.

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Meanwhile, a "new and improved" file numbering system is instigated by Vaskess, whom Tofinga once called "the Prince of bureaucrats." The bones file is part of the old system. It has already been marked P.A. (Put Away), which is a polite way of saying, "Not MY problem any more, buddy!"

They did what they could.  The alternative to "Put away" is "Bring up" on a regularly-scheduled basis.  There are only so many hours in a day, even in peacetime.  Why would they not put the file away when they hit a dead end?

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Vaskess is trying to keep up with the daily crush of running things during a war, when there is never enough of anything and every day brings the crisis du jour. In his mind, the bones file is over and done with, it has been marked P.A., it is Sir Harry's problem now, not his.

I don't find any trace of that in anything anyone who knew Vaskess has said about him so far.  Sir Harry, of course, left Suva in July 1942, less than a year after the bones file was "put away."

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Which leaves the bones file where? Adrift ... without an "owner," so to speak.

It leaves it exactly where it was put: in the filing system, where it remains to this very day.  The owner was the WPHC.

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When it does surface again, say in a few years, maybe during a periodic consolidation or housecleaning, I can totally see it getting slapped with a new number under the new system and getting lost in the shuffle.

That's not the way the new numbering system worked.  New numbers went on newly opened files.  They did NOT work backward to revise the whole collection.

Here are the facts:

  • Once upon a time, the sextant box, shoe parts, and corks were in the WPHC office.
  • Those items are not in the WPHC Archives today.

I had hoped that a new file would be opened to note the disposition of the material relevant to the case, but, as far as I can tell from reading all of the indexes currently available in the WPHC Archives, that seems not to have been done.
LTM,

           Marty
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Mike Piner

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #31 on: December 28, 2010, 08:07:44 AM »

I still believe that the instruchions to Gallagher to keep it a secret is the key to the missing bones.  Somewhere up the line, those bones were shipped to be tucked away so that the british would be safe to pursue the war with the help of the US.  I know that this is quite a statement, but the british were notorious for meticulous record keeping.  Mike P
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Randy W Kerr

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #32 on: December 28, 2010, 09:00:28 AM »

I can't for a instant accept that the bones of a missing person would have negated the alliance of the US and the British Empire against the Axis powers.
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Mike Piner

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #33 on: December 28, 2010, 10:28:43 AM »

It sort of ended with "MacDonald took the bones from Hoodless' office at at Fiji School of in summer 1941"-  { From Patric Donald MacDonald File- Tighar}   then in this thread {"...Last entry...'put away'...19 Aug 1941.}.  summer 1941, and August 19, 1941 seems to close together in my mind.  seems to officially disappear.  You can conjecture all you want from there.  MikePiner
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Randy W Kerr

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #34 on: December 28, 2010, 03:13:43 PM »

It sort of ended with "MacDonald took the bones from Hoodless' office at at Fiji School of in summer 1941"-  { From Patric Donald MacDonald File- Tighar}   then in this thread {"...Last entry...'put away'...19 Aug 1941.}.  summer 1941, and August 19, 1941 seems to close together in my mind.  seems to officially disappear.  You can conjecture all you want from there.  MikePiner

Yes...conjecture is all we have at this point.  But I can't understand why the implication that keeping the bones secret was vital to the British keeping the US on their side in the war.  If anything turning over the remains, if they suspected they were AE's, would have further cemented the already extremely strong alliance.  And the phrase "safe to pursue the war" when the war hadn't started in the Pacific..and wouldn't until December.
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Mike Piner

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #35 on: December 28, 2010, 03:45:12 PM »

It is their words (telegram) not ours, "keep it secret".  They didn't relent from that decision.   England was already defending itself, and needed help from the US.  I can't fathom possible motives either, but the possibility of coming clean was not done in summer, 1941 and after. Who had the bones last?  As far as we know, it was Paddie MacDonald.  MikeP
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #36 on: December 28, 2010, 04:22:30 PM »

It is their words (telegram) not ours, "keep it secret".

That is your interpretation of their words.

Here are "their words":

17. October 26, 1940
Typed entry in file 4439-40 (10)
from Vaskess to Sir Harry

His Excellency

Submitted with 4 [Gallagher's telegram of October 17th] and 9
[Macpherson's comments of October 23rd] and with a draft telegram to
M. Gallagher for Y. E.'s [Your Excellency's] approval.

2. Perhaps a carefully worded letter should now be sent to the U.S.
Consul-General in Sydney asking him to obtain a description of the
sextant carried by Mrs. Putnam and any number or distinguishing mark
on it?

17a. October 26, 1940
Handwritten note in red in file 4439-40 (11)
from Sir Harry to Vaskess

Sec with telm appd -

2. yr Para. 2: better I think await the arrival of the remains etc.
Thinnest rumours which may in the end prove unfounded are liable to
be spread.

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They didn't relent from that decision.   England was already defending itself, and needed help from the US.  I can't fathom possible motives either, but the possibility of coming clean was not done in summer, 1941 and after. Who had the bones last?  As far as we know, it was Paddie MacDonald.  MikeP

There was nothing to "come clean" about, even if they had decided the bones belonged to AE.  There is no need to "fathom possible motives."  The motivation is given in the text.  To translate it into English, Sir Harry was saying, "We should raise the hopes of the Americans that we have found Amelia.  It would be embarrassing to make them think we might have found her if, in fact, we have not."

Once Hoodless decided that the bones found on Nikumaroro were from a male, all the excitement about the case dissipated.  I don't remember a single syllable in the bones file about Noonan.  The British acted as if AE was flying solo.
LTM,

           Marty
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Willem Janszoon

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #37 on: January 03, 2011, 12:46:52 AM »

I am anxiously awaiting any news on the bone fragments, as I am sure many others are.  I wondered what kind of time-line could be expected in getting the DNA results.  Will they find out it's human in, say, 1 month?  Then will they be able to compare to Amelia's sample in another month?  Curious.
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #38 on: January 03, 2011, 06:24:53 AM »

Will they find out it's human in, say, 1 month?  Then will they be able to compare to Amelia's sample in another month?  Curious.

It's difficult to predict.  It depends on what problems they run into.  They also want to be very sure before they announce any results. For example, if they get some initial indications that it is human they won't say anything until they're absolutely sure it's human.  If they do get a DNA match we won't say anything until a separate lab has replicated the results.  I think it's safe to say that we're looking at several months.
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Terry Richard

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #39 on: April 03, 2011, 11:35:11 AM »

I'm sure this topic has been beaten to death, so I'm hesitant to ask, but I'm going around in circles here. In the article 'Finding Amelia' there is a map which shows 'WEST END bones reportedly found by first settlers in 1938'. In other places, it is suggested that the bones were found at the '7' site in 1940.

Where and when were the bones found?

Terry
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Bruce Thomas

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #40 on: April 03, 2011, 12:30:06 PM »

I know of a book with that name, but the only reference in there to bones is on page 241 (the one-page epilogue), and there's nothing there about "WEST END" that I can find.  Please provide a pointer to what article you're speaking of.
LTM,

Bruce
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Terry Richard

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #41 on: April 03, 2011, 01:05:36 PM »

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Bruce Thomas

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #42 on: April 03, 2011, 01:48:50 PM »

Wow!  Looking at that "ancient" twenty-two year-old copy of TIGHAR Tracks is a lot like looking at an old copy of National Geographic (well, except without the obligatory pictures of semi-clad natives :)).  A lot of water has gone over the dam ... and a heckuva lot learned ... since 1989.  Back then, the existence of bones was only rumored, and probably tied to the western end of the island because that was where the wreck of the Norwich City was, as well as the place where the colonists had settled.  Maybe Ric can probe his memory as to whether there was a more substantive reason for marking the map in that article in that way.

Eight or nine years later, the Bones File documentation was found, and then with a lot more reference digging the Seven Site was determined to be the most likely location for where the bones were found by the colonists.

Next fall I'll be teaching my calculus students out of the 10th edition of a certain author's textbook.  It's amazing all the little details that have gotten changed since I was teaching out of the 5th edition of that same book in the 1990s -- there are even some substantive mathematical errors in that old one that are only now getting fixed!  Sometimes mistakes just get found and corrected.  I think that the information found in the article "Bones found on Nikumaroro" in the Ameliapedia is a more up-to-date reference to use. 
LTM,

Bruce
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2011, 08:28:37 PM »

Maybe Ric can probe his memory as to whether there was a more substantive reason for marking the map in that article in that way.


All we had to go on back then was the Floyd Kilts Story which said, in part:
"It seems that in the latter part of 1938 there were 23 island people, all men, and an Irish magistrate planting coconut trees on Gardner for the government of New Zealand.
They were about through and the native was walking along one end of the island. There in the brush about five feet from the shoreline he saw a skeleton."

We knew that the first plantings had been done on the west end of the island so that's where I marked the map in TIGHAR Tracks.  Nearly everything in the Floyd Kilts Story turned out to be either slightly askew or just flat wrong except the basic fact that bones thought to be Earhart's were found on the island.
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Chris Johnson

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Re: FAQ: FOUND Bones, them bones! AE's or Turtle Bones?
« Reply #44 on: June 30, 2011, 02:20:52 PM »

Taken from the Nikumaroro-Wikipedia Page

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A phalanx bone found at the site and examined by forensic anthropologist Karen Ramey Burns has been examined by Dr. Cecil Lewis at the Molecular Anthropology Laboratories at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma, USA. DNA tests on the bone fragment proved inconclusive for testing as to whether it is turtle or human.

Is this right or is it still being looked at?
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