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Author Topic: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?  (Read 87706 times)

Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #15 on: September 25, 2012, 03:24:08 PM »


I can't believe what I'm reading. What items "can be proven to have been on the airplane?"
How could Putnam possibly know what was aboard the airplane when it left Lae?  He may have known what was aboard when AE left Miami a month earlier and we can speculate that she may have informed him of changes to the load in phone calls made during the trip, but the ONLY information ANYONE has about what was aboard for the Lae/Howland leg is AE's comment in her July 1st travelogue installment to the Herald Trib, "Fred and I have worked very hard in the last two days repacking the plane and eliminating everything unessential. We have discarded as much personal property as we can decently get along without and henceforth propose to travel lighter than ever before."  Are you now going to tell us what items Amelia would consider essential?

It's amazing how low the standards of "proof" can sink when the object is to discredit TIGHAR.
Point me to any newspaper article published in the wake of her disappearance with the headline:

FLASH, JUST IN FROM LAE, EARHART LEFT HER LIFE RAFT BEHIND!

What a newsworthy story, and the headline would have been in "second coming type" (the largest typeface at a newspaper). I have looked at every issue of the New York Herald Tribune for June and July 1937 and I could find no such headline or story, can you point me to this headline in some other newspaper? In Chatter's detailed report he did NOT report stumbling over her life raft after she disappeared, don't you think that would have been important information to be included in his report? And even  more important to be reported during the course of the search, so the Navy would know what they were looking for?  Collopy didn't mention such an obviously important detail the importance of which would have screamed out due to her disappearance. Balfour didn't say that she gave him her "automatic pistol, radio facility books, and her LIFE RAFT."

So the only definitive statement concerning the presence of the life raft is Putnam's and he had talked on several occasions with Earhart on the phone, so you are presuming to know more about it than he did. Unless you can point to a statement from someone who was there that "Earhart left her life raft behind" then it is you who are speculating on what Earhart might have considered "unessential."

And I find it hard to believe that you can really maintain a straight face when you intimate that a life raft would be considered to be "unessential" by anybody launching off on a trans-pacific flight since that was the planned use for the life raft and the reason it had been put aboard the plane in the first place.

gl
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Dave Potratz

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #16 on: September 25, 2012, 03:50:22 PM »


And I find it hard to believe that you can really maintain a straight face when you intimate that a life raft would be considered to be "unessential" by anybody launching off on a trans-pacific flight since that was the planned use for the life raft and the reason it had been put aboard the plane in the first place.

gl

Just about as easy to mantain a straight face when one hears of someone embarking on an excursion such as this after discarding the telegraph key due to inadequate knowledge of Morse Code.

Again Gary, your grasp of "book" knowledge, that which one should do, seems to be well in order...your demonstrated practical understanding of the potential foibles of human beings in the moment...not so much, I think.

Still, of course, there may indeed be at this moment a remnant of a yellow life raft on Niku. If so, it simply has yet to be found.  Nice to find?  Yes.  Essential to the TIGHAR Niku Hypothesis?  No.

Which brings me to remind us all once again that what has been found on Niku to date hardly represents all that MAY or MAY NOT have been brought there, left there, nor where, nor when, nor why.  Why is that so hard to grasp?



LTM,
dp
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 04:01:19 PM by Dave Potratz »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #17 on: September 25, 2012, 04:58:12 PM »


Just about as easy to mantain a straight face when one hears of someone embarking on an excursion such as this after discarding the telegraph key due to inadequate knowledge of Morse Code.

Again Gary, your grasp of "book" knowledge, that which one should do, seems to be well in order...your demonstrated practical understanding of the potential foibles of human beings in the moment...not so much, I think.

Still, of course, there may indeed be at this moment a remnant of a yellow life raft on Niku. If so, it simply has yet to be found.  Nice to find?  Yes.  Essential to the TIGHAR Niku Hypothesis?  No.

Which brings me to remind us all once again that what has been found on Niku to date hardly represents all that MAY or MAY NOT have been brought there, left there, nor where, nor when, nor why.  Why is that so hard to grasp?



LTM,
dp
Every time I have flown over the ocean I have taken a life raft with me and so have all the other ferry pilots I know. This is standard practice and there is a whole industry built on this, they are available for rent at Florida airports for those taking off to the Bahamas and points south. It is standard practice and had obviously been the plan since they had a life raft according to all the sources and the most recent direct statement on that fact, Putnam's statement. And you are ignoring the fact that there were two people in the plane. Even if you have two idiots and if each idiot had a 1 in 10 probability of leaving a life raft  behind, the probability of them both leaving it behind is only 1 chance in 100! I don't think either Earhart or Noonan were idiots so the probability is infinitesimally small that they left the life raft. And don't give me the old "Earhart was pilot in command so she called the shots and Noonan had to go along with her decision to leave the life raft behind." WRONG! At Lae, Noonan had an absolute veto on continuing the flight since Earhart knew that she could not find Howland without him.

"Hey lady, I'm not getting in that airplane without a life raft. If you want to lighten the load then leave your G-D makeup case and freckle cream behind."

You also have not addressed the lack of any reports of people seeing the life raft being found in Lae, or other stops along the way, after such an omission gained obvious importance after she disappeared.

gl
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 10:06:11 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Alan Harris

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2012, 05:14:39 PM »

Returning briefly to the (ahem) thread topic . . .   :D

I meant to post this item some time ago that supports Mark Pearce's information that the Freckle Cream was also marketed specifically as a sunburn remedy.  That seems distinctly odd to me, but is nevertheless undeniably true.  It is from National Drug Clerk, Vol. 2, 1914.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 05:20:17 PM by Alan Harris »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #19 on: September 25, 2012, 05:39:42 PM »

FLASH, JUST IN FROM LAE, EARHART LEFT HER LIFE RAFT BEHIND!

She apparently never had a life raft to leave behind.
LTM,

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Dave Potratz

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #20 on: September 25, 2012, 06:24:45 PM »

Every time I have flown over the ocean I have taken a life raft with me and so have all the other ferry pilots I know.

Wise of you, sir, by all accounts a fine pilot.  However, that does not inform what AE/FN did.

Quote
It is standard practice.

Moot.

Quote
And you are ignoring the fact that there were two people in the plane.


Nope. That's why I said, "the potential foibles of human beings in the moment..."  The "s" on the end of humans is self evident.

Quote
I don't think either Earhart or Noonan were idiots so the probability is infinitesimally small that they left the life raft.

There we agree. I don't think they were idioits, either. "Human foibles" is what I said, which again is self evident.

Unless and until an official, precise manifest at Lae departure can be produced (unlikely IMO), the very existance of a life raft is moot.

Quote
You also have not addressed the lack of any reports of people seeing the life raft being found in Lae, or other stops along the way, after such an omission gained obvious importance after she disappeared.


I had no need to do so because it did not address my point: I believe that life raft/no life raft, unless and until one is found on Niku, is moot to the TIGHAR hypothesis. 

As a wise man has said here more than once, (paraphrasing here), "Interesting.  Something that reasonable people may reasonably discuss.  But moot."



LTM, with apologies for contributing to thread drift.
dp
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #21 on: September 25, 2012, 09:25:36 PM »

FLASH, JUST IN FROM LAE, EARHART LEFT HER LIFE RAFT BEHIND!

She apparently never had a life raft to leave behind.

Oh really?


See attached excerpt from the July 3rd, 1937 New York Herald Tribune showing the quote from Putnam of July 2nd in which he states that she did have a life raft so I will take Putnam's contemporaneous word on this issue over Ric's. I have posted this information before, back in February, see:

https://tighar.org/smf/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=592.0;attach=1604

https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,592.msg10561.html#msg10561

https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,592.msg10686.html#msg10686

https://tighar.org/smf/index.php/topic,592.msg10353.html#msg10353

You may want to revise your wiki article on this point. Your source for it was Ric's November 6, 2004 posting quoting a Coast Guard message of July 6, 1937. Read that quote again, it does NOT say she had no life raft only that she had no emergency radio.

This is what Ric posted:

======================
Date:         Sat, 6 Nov 2004 11:02:19
From:         Ric Gillespie Subject:     
Re: Post loss messages

...
 Putnam never said that Earhart had a portable life raft or an emergency radio. 
The Itasca got that mistaken impression early in the search from a badly-worded
and misinterpreted exchange of messages with Coast guard headquarters in San Francisco. 
Several days later the confusion was cleared up. "Plane carried no emergency radio
equipment except
one spare battery in cabin.
Dynamotors all mounted under fuselage and would positively be submerged
if plane was in water." (Message from COMFRANDIV to Itasca 09:15Z, July 6, 1937)

============================================

"Plane carried no emergency radio equipment...," the Coast Guard message
that Ric used for his authority says nothing about her life raft.

As to the Luke Field Inventory not mentioning the life raft, it also does not mention any octants
or sextants so I guess that Noonan didn't have any of those either. The Luke Field Inventory was
only of stuff left behind  by the Earhart party when they sailed back to the mainland, to be packed
up by the Army and shipped by the Army to Earhart in California. The inventory was done to fix and limit any liability
for loss or damage for only the stuff left behind. There was lots of stuff that Earhart, Noonan, Manning,
and Mantz carried back themselves, that was not entrusted to the Army, and so does not appear on
the Luke Field Inventory, (including, maybe, even a jar of freckle cream  ;D .)


gl


« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 09:54:46 PM by Gary LaPook »
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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #22 on: September 25, 2012, 09:43:05 PM »

See attached excerpt from the July 3rd, 1937 New York Herald Tribune showing the quote from Putnam of July 2nd in which he states that she did have a life raft so I will take Putnam's contemporaneous word on this issue over Ric's.

What I'm looking at is the Luke Field inventory.  It suggests that she didn't have a life raft on the first attempt.

You and Putnam may be correct--or you may both be mistaken. 

LTM,

           Marty
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #23 on: September 25, 2012, 09:52:25 PM »

See attached excerpt from the July 3rd, 1937 New York Herald Tribune showing the quote from Putnam of July 2nd in which he states that she did have a life raft so I will take Putnam's contemporaneous word on this issue over Ric's.

What I'm looking at is the Luke Field inventory.  It suggests that she didn't have a life raft on the first attempt.

You and Putnam may be correct--or you may both be mistaken.
It is not important what the Inventory "suggests" because Putnam clearly stated that there was a life raft in the plane and he had personal knowledge of the planning and equipment in the months after the Luke Field Inventory. His statement is the most authoritative on this point. There is no statement by anybody else with personal knowledge saying that there was no life raft aboard the aircraft. Also note, in the book that Putnam published, Last Flight, he states that parachutes were shipped back from Darwin but no mention of a life raft being shipped back. That would have been pretty sensational if that were the case, considering the later events.

See my modified post, above.

gl
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:35:58 PM by Gary LaPook »
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john a delsing

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #24 on: September 25, 2012, 09:53:03 PM »

   In previous posts it has been pointed out that Putnam stated:
"'There was a two-man rubber lifeboat aboard the plane, together with life belts, flares, a Very pistol and a large yellow signal kite that could be flown above the plane or the life raft.'
Putnam said his wife had planned to take emergency food rations and plenty of water on the hazardous flight, the most dangerous on her trip around the world." New York Herald Tribune, July 3, 1937, page 1.

If Amelia became this “ castaway of the seven site “ as some would like to believe, then why would she choose to carry a freckle cream jar, and a compact with her, but not the Very pistol or the canteens (or similar vessels) she must of had to carry this “ and plenty of water “ that Putnam stated she was caring?
Yes, and where is that rubber life boat and the parachutes? And where is anything else that can be proven to have been on the airplane?

gl

That is the million dollar question isn't it?

I can't believe what I'm reading. What items "can be proven to have been on the airplane?"
How could Putnam possibly know what was aboard the airplane when it left Lae?  He may have known what was aboard when AE left Miami a month earlier and we can speculate that she may have informed him of changes to the load in phone calls made during the trip, but the ONLY information ANYONE has about what was aboard for the Lae/Howland leg is AE's comment in her July 1st travelogue installment to the Herald Trib, "Fred and I have worked very hard in the last two days repacking the plane and eliminating everything unessential. We have discarded as much personal property as we can decently get along without and henceforth propose to travel lighter than ever before."  Are you now going to tell us what items Amelia would consider essential?

It's amazing how low the standards of "proof" can sink when the object is to discredit TIGHAR.


   There are many items that I ( and other members ) would argue that Amelia ( and Fred ) carried with them on that last flight  One example would be, on a +20 some hour flight, drinking water. She, and probably Fred, would need a container (s) to carry this water. I don’t think she carried her water in 3 ounce jars. I will go on recorder stating that most of us will agree she, and probably Fred, used canteen type containers. After arrival, and with the shortage of available water on Gardner, most would agree that those container (s) became very valuable property in her quest to find and store any water she came across, much more important IMO than caring around freckle cream jars or broken compacts. Any trace of these containers ?
    There are dozens and dozens of examples of objects that any Tighar member would agree that was very probably carried on that last flight, wither by Amelia, or Fred, or as part of the Electra that would serve as proof that they were there. ( on the other legs of this round the world flight Amelia use to disconnect her steering wheel and take it with her to the hotel. So that must have been easy to do, something she was use to doing, then why not bring that to shore, hang it from a limb, and I doubt any one finding it could make any use of it, like cutting it up into fishing lures, or the like ).
   It seems to me that after 23+ years of searching, and at least 10 trips to Niku, and many other trips to many other places, and millions of dollars spent, the best evidence we can come up with is things like: a 20 year old jar that could have contained many, many things, one being freckle cream and since Amelia had freckles she just might have brought that jar to the island, or a second opinion on a skeleton saying it could also have been white female. But not one single article that we can definitely say came from either; Amelia, Fred, or the electra.
   I don’t want to end this post on a negative note. I still think the TIGHAR premise of Amelia landing at Gardner, and some, if not all, credible radio transmit ions coming from Amelia are very possibly true. I also don’t believe the lack of finding any ‘smoking gun’ is because some people didn’t try hard enough. Ric, and the many unseen people behind him, have given a 100+ effort.
   Might it be advantageous to pause for a short while, determine where we are at now and where we want to be at in the near future?  In the past, decisions of where we were going, when we were going, and who was going have always been made somewhere “On High” and the Word pasted on down to us members requesting cheers and donations. Could the members be more involved in choosing the next major course of actions with help from Tighar mgn’t? I would start a thread like; What’s Next ? and invite all members to openly contribute their ideas and suggestions, however I don’t have the credibility to foster such a major thread. Ric does, but Ric is probably much too busy with other things. Possibly an Andrew or a Jeff type?
The Earth is Full
 
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #25 on: September 25, 2012, 10:00:16 PM »

Even if she knew she was going to die and was in good enough shape to leave a message, her knife blade may have been lost spear fishing, Or something like that may have been wrtten and not found yet, the tree has grown over it after 75 years, Or she thought her bones and stuff would be good enough proof she was there. She may have thought someone would find her sooner.

I think her time would be better spent writing Earhart IS Here, on the Norwich City. Maybe she did and it got washed off

She seems to be holding a small camera in some photos. What a find a camera or film can would have been if it were found before it degraded. Someone else is known to have taken a picture of their plane on a reef before the tide came in.
According to the TIGHAR scenario, Earhart had plenty of time on her hands which she could have used to scrawl the "Earhart was here" massage. After her knife was damaged she could still use the blade for this purpose or she could have used shards of the freckle cream jar.

gl
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #26 on: September 25, 2012, 10:14:38 PM »


I had no need to do so because it did not address my point: I believe that life raft/no life raft, unless and until one is found on Niku, is moot to the TIGHAR hypothesis. 

dp
Not hardly moot since the absence of such a large and easily found and identified object provides evidence tending to disprove the TIGHAR hypothesis. (Same with the parachutes.) Contrast the life raft with the uncertain freckle cream jar for which there is no provenance. The life raft could have been used for shelter on the island and would hardly have been left in the plane to be washed over the edge of the reef. The life raft was yellow and easily spotted by the  investigation party in October 1937 and by the settlers and also by the Coast Guardsmen so the fact that it was not found tends to show that the raft was not on the island which then tends to show that Earhart was not on the island either.

gl
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #27 on: September 25, 2012, 10:53:34 PM »

Even if she knew she was going to die and was in good enough shape to leave a message, her knife blade may have been lost spear fishing, Or something like that may have been wrtten and not found yet, the tree has grown over it after 75 years, Or she thought her bones and stuff would be good enough proof she was there. She may have thought someone would find her sooner.

I think her time would be better spent writing Earhart IS Here, on the Norwich City. Maybe she did and it got washed off

She seems to be holding a small camera in some photos. What a find a camera or film can would have been if it were found before it degraded. Someone else is known to have taken a picture of their plane on a reef before the tide came in.
According to the TIGHAR scenario, Earhart had plenty of time on her hands which she could have used to scrawl the "Earhart was here" massage. After her knife was damaged she could still use the blade for this purpose or she could have used shards of the freckle cream jar.

gl

Writing graffiti such as "AE was here" is usually done by someone leaving a place. The hypothesis is she didn't leave.
If she spent her time and effort on staying alive it would be obvious to any rescuer she was there. Because she would simply tell them. "Hey I'm Amelia Earhart and I've been here the whole time". Even if she did write on a tree, the island has a lot of trees and who knows how deep someone can write with glass or sharp rocks if your blade was lost spear fishing. I don't think the hypothesis descibes how she died. It lists several ways she could have died. Some of them could be quick like a shark bite. She may not have had time to write anything. She also may have thought someone would find her bones and stuff and figure it out. That part may just have taken longer than she expected.
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Greg Daspit

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #28 on: September 25, 2012, 11:16:00 PM »


I had no need to do so because it did not address my point: I believe that life raft/no life raft, unless and until one is found on Niku, is moot to the TIGHAR hypothesis. 

dp
Not hardly moot since the absence of such a large and easily found and identified object provides evidence tending to disprove the TIGHAR hypothesis. (Same with the parachutes.) Contrast the life raft with the uncertain freckle cream jar for which there is no provenance. The life raft could have been used for shelter on the island and would hardly have been left in the plane to be washed over the edge of the reef. The life raft was yellow and easily spotted by the  investigation party in October 1937 and by the settlers and also by the Coast Guardsmen so the fact that it was not found tends to show that the raft was not on the island which then tends to show that Earhart was not on the island either.

gl

I can think of several reasons stuff from AE has not been found on the island.
1.       AE was not there
2.       AE was there but did not bring the stuff with her on the plane
3.       AE left the stuff on the plane which was washed off reef or stuff was lost in the attempt to bring it ashore (See descriptions of the difficulty in getting stuff ashore)
4.       AE brought the stuff ashore and it is not found yet, and was possibly at a different camp, maybe even the N.C.
5.       AE brought stuff ashore that was later scavenged and thought to be from the N.C
6.       AE brought stuff ashore that weathered away or was blown or washed off the island, like canteens and raft seen in this video
7.       AE brought stuff ashore that was recovered by TIGHAR but has not been proven yet to belong to AE.
Norwich City castaways made a shelter with old canvas but the picture of the camp does not show the canvas. Maybe it blew away like the raft, if the raft even made it there.
Also, Maybe the yellow raft and or kite was seen and thought to be markers or shelter that were considered signs of recent habitation.
3971R
 
« Last Edit: September 25, 2012, 11:35:18 PM by Gregory Lee Daspit »
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Gary LaPook

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Re: Did Earhart Leave Her Life Raft Behind?
« Reply #29 on: September 25, 2012, 11:20:59 PM »


   There are many items that I ( and other members ) would argue that Amelia ( and Fred ) carried with them on that last flight  One example would be, on a +20 some hour flight, drinking water. She, and probably Fred, would need a container (s) to carry this water. I don’t think she carried her water in 3 ounce jars. I will go on recorder stating that most of us will agree she, and probably Fred, used canteen type containers. After arrival, and with the shortage of available water on Gardner, most would agree that those container (s) became very valuable property in her quest to find and store any water she came across, much more important IMO than caring around freckle cream jars or broken compacts. Any trace of these containers ?
   
According to the Luke Field Inventory, in the plane on the attempted trans-pacific flight from Hawaii to Howland, there were three canteens, two of one size and one of another.

gl
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