Adventure is what happens when things go wrong.
So saith Ric Gillespie on the original Earhart Forum back in March 1998, when it was suggested that TIGHAR might use an old seaplane as a means of getting to Nikumaroro for the next expedition. "Have you ever considered a PBY for your adventures [and] explorations?"
Ric responded by saying:
We've considered the use of amphibious aircraft and keep coming up with some real problems.
- 1. The two types with sufficient range - the PBY and the Grumman Albatross - have piston engines which, of course, use avgas, which is not readily available at the places where you'd need to refuel.
- 2. Neither a PBY nor an Albatross is big enough to carry the people and equipment we need to get anything done.
- 3. Any mechanical problem or minor accident that disabled the aircraft while it was at Nikumaroro would create a major emergency.
Let me correct an understandable misconception. I am not an adventurer, nor am I an explorer. We have a saying at TIGHAR. Adventure is what happens when things go wrong. We NEVER go looking for adventure. We do our best to avoid it. I don't think anybody does any real exploring any more, except for NASA and people who go to ocean depths never before visited.
If I had to put a label on what we do, I'd say that we are historians.