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Author Topic: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?  (Read 87756 times)

dave burrell

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #90 on: September 28, 2012, 06:52:28 AM »


where do you keep it?  Does it get regular exposure to UV and the elements?
It's leaning against the fence in my backyard. But Earhart's life raft and parachutes only had to last until Bevington arrived or, at the latest, the arrival of the PISS settlers, not for forty years like my life raft. In fact, they only had to last one week to be spotted by Lambrecht. The life raft and parachutes were not there when Lambrecht flew over, they were not there when Bevington was there, they were not there when the settlers were there, they were not there when the Coast Guard was there (so far only seven years) and they were not there when TIGHAR arrived in the 1990s. IN FACT, they were NEVER there because Earhart was NEVER there.

How's that for using Ocam's razor?

Gary stop beating around the bush. Tells us what you really feel and quit holding back. ;D

Monte Chalmers

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #91 on: September 28, 2012, 07:26:37 AM »

Interesting. If that were the case, where would you place the collection device? On the beach or shore line, rain = storm = High seas.
Under the trees? Leaves could help channel rain water, and protect from contaminants. Hard to see on a flyover too. Just a thought.
Probably protected away from the beach which would make for it not being seen.
I have to somewhat side with Gary, though, - somebody should have seen it. But that doesn't mean that it got reported - could have just ended up as someone else's property.  Personally I'm thinking there was a raft but it didn't get pulled out of the plane.
Monte TIGHAR #3597

Greg Daspit

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #92 on: September 28, 2012, 08:24:18 AM »

Some other possibilities:
The raft stayed with the plane in case they needed it for use as a raft, because the plane was close to the reef edge and water kept rising. The plane slipped towards the reef edge and got flipped and the raft was lost.
They took the raft ashore, the raft tore on the rocks. They tied the yellow raft pieces to trees as “markers” for Itasca.  A wave flipped the plane. Water covered it. They were scouting for water on the other side of the island when search planes repeatedly zoomed the markers they left.
They tied the raft to a tree as a marker but a gust of  wind blew it into the trees, or away, right after leaving to search for water. The planes repeatedly zoom the old Arundel Structures or even see whatever remained of the marker, but AE was on the other side of the island by then, maybe in the trees on the only pass of that part of the island.
Combination of the above
You left out "the dog ate the homework."


Gary, My responses took seriously the thread question that the raft may have been on the plane and your speculation for its later use.
I offered other possibilities for the use of the raft like others now have.
1.   It was kept for use as a raft since the plane may have landed on a reef and the water was rising.  It uses the same logic for keeping a raft on the plane in the first place. Which is they may need a raft.
2.   The raft was torn on the reef and then used as a marker. This is plausible from seeing pictures of the part of the reef close to the shore and takes into account the logic of using it as a marker.
3.   They tied the raft to a tree, but still in the open, which would also collect rain water while they went to look for water(I forgot to mention that). The wind then blew it away or into the trees. This is plausible based on the light and sail like nature of the raft and the location it may have been placed to be seen. (in the open)

I don't believe she took the raft in the first place based on the Luke field report indicating it wasn't in the plane on a previous attempt. But I tried to take seriously that it was taken since Putnam thinks it was.
« Last Edit: September 28, 2012, 09:27:47 AM by Gregory Lee Daspit »

Bob Lanz

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #93 on: September 28, 2012, 04:08:27 PM »

Bob! Man up, you know you can  ;)

Yes of course Chris, I can and I will.  And if I get my knuckles stepped on by Ric or Marty for doing so, just remember, I know where you live.  ;D

This thread is now locked until new information becomes available.
TIGHAR #3906

Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #94 on: September 28, 2012, 09:09:04 PM »

In following the discussion on the old "Did Earhart leave her life raft behind" thread, I saw that some dismissed Putnam's statement that confirmed that she did have a life raft, on the grounds that he would not have been in a position to know. Of course, he had more current knowledge of what was done after the Luke Field crash, he paid for the stuff put aboard, he spoke with Earhart several times along the way, he had every reason to give accurate information to the navy so that they could make a more effective search to save his wife's life (and there can be no doubt about his honest desire to save her, he continued the search at his own expense long after the official search ended), and he didn't write in the book Last Flight that he had been notified that the raft was left at any stopping point or that it had been shipped back after the disappearance. Since these are not enough for some to credit the accuracy of his statement, I just though of additional backup for his statement, Paul Mantz. Mantz had day to day contact with the planning and loading of the plane so probably had even better knowledge than Puntam. After the disappearance there were erroneous stories going around and Mantz corrected them, that there was no hand cranked generator and that there was no "breath condensing, water making" apparatus on board. It was reported in all the papers (and even if it hadn't been, Mantz was contaced directly himself) so Mantz knew that the officials were working based on there being a life raft on board, Mantz was in a position to know the truth of this and he NEVER corrected that information as he had done with the other information that affected the search and survival that was erroneous. It is not creditable that Mantz would not have reported that there was no raft on board it that were the case.


Ric Gillespie

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #95 on: September 28, 2012, 09:32:55 PM »

Gary, it's not a question of who "would have" said what.  It's a question of who had the opportunity to know.  Putnam had no way of knowing what was carried on the Lae/Howland leg.  Neither did Mantz.  Putnam rode with AE as far as Miami so he should reasonably have had some idea of what was aboard the airplane at that time, but that was a month prior to the Lae departure.  Mantz had been out of the loop since before the flight left California, so he wouldn't even know what she had aboard when they left Burbank. 
For us to be able to say with any certainty what was and wasn't aboard the plane we would have to have a written inventory that was made immediately prior to them taxiing out for takeoff from Lae.  As far as we know, such an inventory does not exist.  If you find it, you can open a thread titled, "Documentation found that answers the question Did Amelia Leave Her Life Raft Behind?"  Until then I see no point in wasting time on further pointless speculation.
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