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Author Topic: Landing near the Norwich  (Read 101855 times)

tom howard

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Landing near the Norwich
« on: October 25, 2012, 10:06:30 PM »

If any facts are in error, please correct, but it seems by reading old expedition reports and even current theory, that an Earhart landing was within 400 meters of the shipwreck.
Has that always been the assumption and if so why?
I know there is antecdotal reports of  plane parts and maybe even a wing jn the lagoon. However given typhoons flooding the island, these could have come from.anywhere on the reef face it seems.

The area from the wreck north is just 1/4 mile in lenght. In maps this supposed landing would be the shortest stretch of exposed surface. In addition to.a shorter landing strip, a pilot would also face unknown dangers of wreckage debris such as anchor chain they would not see until they hit it.

Wouldnt a pilot coming in pick the longest stretch of reef, such as right in front of the seven site? It would seem natural to choose a 4 mile long strip over a 1/4 mile one possibly laced with chains and debris. Perhaps they set up camp right where they landed?

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Martin X. Moleski, SJ

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 10:28:14 PM »

Has that always been the assumption ... ?

No.  TIGHAR has had all kinds of theories about where the plane might have landed, and has gone looking in those locations to test the various theories.

Emily Sikuli's story led TIGHAR to think about the reef near the Norwich City.

The Bevington Object was in that same area.

Quote
Wouldn't a pilot coming in pick the longest stretch of reef, such as right in front of the seven site? It would seem natural to choose a 4 mile long strip over a 1/4 mile one possibly laced with chains and debris. Perhaps they set up camp right where they landed?

Different pilots "would" do different things for different reasons under different conditions.  There is no way to prove that your imagined scenario is false, except, maybe, to find some big pieces of the Electra elsewhere.

The reef is not equally broad or flat all the way around the island. 



The Electra did not need a long landing strip, especially at low gross weight and with some water on the reef to slow her down.
LTM,

           Marty
           TIGHAR #2359A
 
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2012, 04:15:12 AM »

Tom, the reasons I would favor for landing near the Norwich City:

(1) It's in the lea of the island, winds coming usually from the east, and sheltered by tall trees on the shore;

(2) Reef is straight and surface is hard, so less chance of ground loop or flipping over;

(3) Norwich City provides visual queue as to distance, and especially height;

(4) Norwich City might provide useful things to survivors, for instance a rope to tie the plane down so it won't slide off the reef;

(5) Less crashing surf, again being to leaward.
Tim
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Tom Swearengen

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2012, 07:57:57 AM »

Hey Tom---when I first looked at Niku---I saw the long northern beach and thought yep, good landing site. AE might have thought so too. The problem that I saw was that when you fly to somewhere like that, you cant really tell what youre landing on, especially if it has some water on it.
There may have been other areas that also seemed inviting.
The fact is that we havent found anything yet. The anecdotal statements, and the finding of aircraft parts in the village, dont say where they came from, or how they got there. Emily gave a statement about airplane parts on the reef north of the shipwreck. I'm pretty sure all of that area has been searched for other materials. Some might have been there, and removed by villagers for use on the island.
IMHO--that Tighar has is a theory, that they are trying to get some factual evidence to validate the theory. As has been stated by many others, Niku may be the right island, but we're looking in the wrong place.
Tom Swearengen TIGHAR # 3297
 
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 08:34:38 AM »

The thing to remember is that we did not derive the hypothesis from speculation about where Amelia would land.  The hypothesis that she landed north of the shipwreck is derived from anecdotal, environmental, and photographic evidence. 
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tom howard

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 09:36:29 AM »

I am sure great thought went into choosing the NC site by Tighar. But from a pilot out of gas perhaps these geographical issues that now seem important, like perhaps being next to the wreck for possible supplies had no bearing then. While I agree with Marty on the lay of the land, and Tim on landing leeward, The tall trees if anything would have been a negative not a positive to a NC landing site. Coming in dry I would want that Four mile straight reef with small brush on the side, not big trees and a short strip laced with possible shipwreck debris.

Plus if they landed near the Norwich it probably doesnt get blown off in normal six to eight inch tide. They would have tons of ship to tie to and a less sloping beach to make it to the treeline. Wrapping the electra up to the ship with chains or rope means their shelter and huge plane gets seen and doesnt get washed over. But if they picked the longest strip to land on with low shrubs, little visible objects to hit, they would realize too late they made a mistake. If parked on the long northern edge there wasnt anything to tie to no trees and no wreck.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 09:56:48 AM by tom howard »
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tom howard

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 09:45:26 AM »

So while in hindsight the western edge near the wreck has more possibilities for saving themselves and the plane, they may have went for the longest straightest strip like a lot of pilots might have.It would have been a bad choice. Doing so might have left them right in front of seven site where they camped near their plane. With Nothing to tie off to, no wind protection, and then had to watch the plane face the windy breakers that eventually took the plane. Could be, you never know. It would explain this seven site campground and the plane quickly being washed away if parked on the windy side.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 10:04:22 AM by tom howard »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 10:43:51 AM »

Doing so might have left them right in front of seven site where they camped near their plane. With Nothing to tie off to, no wind protection, and then had to watch the plane face the windy breakers that eventually took the plane. Could be, you never know. It would explain this seven site campground and the plane quickly being washed away if parked on the windy side.

We seriously considered that possibility.  In 2001 I did several experiments placing buoyant and non-buoyant objects on the reef in front of the Seven Site.  In all cases, the objects moved shoreward, not seaward, during the tidal cycle.  By contrast, on the western reef north of the shipwreck, waves refract around the island's northwest tip resulting in a southwesterly flow toward the reef edge.  You can see it in some of the satellite photos.  The attached image is from Nov. 11, 2009.
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #8 on: October 26, 2012, 12:25:32 PM »

Please, everyone, let's step back for a moment. I think careful examination will show that the 2010 video shows much of the NR16020 wreckage. I have spent quite a few hours now, and I think that, in addition to the "0" and "2" identified by John Balderston, that I can also see the "6" numeral, just above and to the left of the coil of wire in frame #17 at time 13:43:21. And between the "6" and the "2" appears to be a wingtip with yet another marking. Of course, we would anticipate that Jeff Glickman would like to opine further, one way or another.

I wish others would re-examine the 2010 video, especially the first third. We can contemplate zippers and freckle cream jars until the cows come home, but the real answers to the driving question of whether Nikumaroro was the last landing field for NR16020 lie underwater, west of Nessie, as Tighar has so correctly predicted.

Whether we found this evidence again in 2012 is not particularly relevant, in my opinion. The fact of the matter is that, had it not been for the Niku VII expedition, the importance of the 2010 video may never have been discovered by those awaiting the 2012 results. Let's concentrate on what is evident, what is known, what is knowable, and what is reasonable.
Tim
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« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 01:01:39 PM by Tim Mellon »
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tom howard

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #9 on: October 26, 2012, 01:54:24 PM »

With all respect Tim, I have seen some interesting items on the 2010 film, I have yet to see a "2" or any other number.  The frame where you see numbers I see shadows and nothing else.

You are correct, bottles and jars are just cumulative evidence, it is not the plane.
But I haven't seen a confirmed plane part yet underwater, nor one frame tighar has said is a plane part, so it could still be anywhere off that reef or lagoon.
 
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John Kada

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2012, 03:55:31 PM »

The Electra did not need a long landing strip, especially at low gross weight and with some water on the reef to slow her down.

I seem to recall a previous discussion on this but but I can't find it. I'm curious how high the water level was on the reef during the time period the Electra would have likely have landed on the reef and also what the tide was doing till sunset that day -- did the tide come in between the landing time and sunset, or did it go out, or what? If there was water on the reef at landing time and the tide was rising that would be strong impetus for getting anything useful for survival on dry land. Is a tide table for the landing day available somewhere?...

Thanks
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Tim Mellon

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2012, 04:21:01 PM »

 Ric has a graph correlating tides with times of subsequent radio transmissions heard by various listeners.
Tim
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tom howard

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 04:24:44 PM »

Doing so might have left them right in front of seven site where they camped near their plane. With Nothing to tie off to, no wind protection, and then had to watch the plane face the windy breakers that eventually took the plane. Could be, you never know. It would explain this seven site campground and the plane quickly being washed away if parked on the windy side.

We seriously considered that possibility.  In 2001 I did several experiments placing buoyant and non-buoyant objects on the reef in front of the Seven Site.  In all cases, the objects moved shoreward, not seaward, during the tidal cycle.  By contrast, on the western reef north of the shipwreck, waves refract around the island's northwest tip resulting in a southwesterly flow toward the reef edge.  You can see it in some of the satellite photos.  The attached image is from Nov. 11, 2009.
That is pretty incredible, both that the plane would happen to be In a fluke spot that would take it down(you think), and that you also did informal testing at the 7 site just to test out other possibilities.
That is years of experience and nice work.
While that does not prove Mr.Gillespie is correct in all theories, I think it does show that if something was possible, he has already considered it. Probably twice.


« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 05:32:45 PM by tom howard »
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tom howard

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2012, 04:32:43 PM »

Well the tides are an issue and one of the reasons I considered the windward side near the 7 site more likely for a landing spot. Per the graphs( Going off memory so dont shoot me, ) it never got more than 6 inches deep up close to the beach even at high tide. So without some wind or a storm the tires would have barely been wet the whole week she was there.
I don't think Normal tides would have washed the plane off near the norwich if it was that shallow.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2012, 05:39:38 PM by tom howard »
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Ric Gillespie

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Re: Landing near the Norwich
« Reply #14 on: October 26, 2012, 05:39:59 PM »

Ric has a graph correlating tides with times of subsequent radio transmissions heard by various listeners.

Here are two graphs covering July 2 and July 3.  The blue line represents the water level on the reef in the area where we think the plane landed. The green lines are credible post-loss signals.
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