Amelia Earhart, TIGHAR, Hillary Clinton, Pres Obama.....

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...and I reiterate that the “sunline” hypothesis depends on a sunline which MUST cut through Howland Island and the simple fact of the 1912GMT call “…must be on you but cannot see you”, indicates totally and without question that AE & FN only “thought” they were there, they did not know for sure so how can it be said that the sunline of 157-337 cuts through Howland ? The very basis of the Tighar Hypothesis is very shaky.
Please excuse my ignorance of celestial navigation but.. ...surely the 157°/337° ‘sunline’ does actually pass through Howland Island? If I understand this correctly (and there’s a good chance that I don’t) Earhart and Noonan were using the apparent height of the sun above the horizon (measured with a sextant?) as one measurement to determine their position; the other measurement being the compass heading they had flown from their (known) take-off point. The intersection of these two lines (or one line and one circle) should absolutely fix their position with enough accuracy to find Howland Island. So, the TIGHAR theory is correct in that it says the 157°/337° sunline passes through, or very close to, Gardner (and Howland) Island. Of course that is the theory of navigation and it relies on accurate measurement of several different variables with different instruments (which may have been faulty) and the (mistake free) interpretation of the results but if Earhart and Noonan were on the right heading (correcting for wind-drift) and they were on the 157°/337° sunline then they should have been over Howland Island The fact that they weren’t would seem to indicate that something at least was wrong with their navigation (or their instruments) or that this method of navigation wasn’t accurate enough for finding their target island. Presumably Earhart and Noonan would have been checking their position throughout the flight but when were they last able to get an accurate ‘fix’ on a land-mass during the 2,500 mile leg to Howland Island? Earhart and Noonan possibly were over Howland Island but could not see it; however, their radio transmission of ‘we must be on you but cannot see you’ would seem to indicate that they thought they should have been able to see it. They didn’t transmit ‘we must be on you but cannot see the ground’. So my feeling is that something must have been wrong with the navigation (even if it was only ‘normal’ errors); the question is what did Earhart and Noonan, knowing this, do next?

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[I]Malcolm says: Amongst all the theories then, which ones have you discarded and which ones have you kept as possibilities ? Now if I was asked, after all that I have read, what I would suggest is most likely to have happened, I would say simply that they ran out of fuel and came down in the open ocean, That simply puts you into the Group known as “Crashed and Sankers”… …..and went down somewhere to the east. Equally it could have been somewhere to the west and that is a considerable amount of very deep ocean to search. RPM
Gawd I'm a "Crashed and Sanker". That seems to attract the most foul epithets from some people. :eek: Still, as they say, I wasn't put on the planet to be popular :D Too me that is the most likely solution but it is also just another competing hypothesis, which also as I have already noted lacks any pizzazz that would attract funding from Hollywood and make me a millionaire. I can see the conversation with the Hollywood Mogul - Mogul "Dr McKay please give me a quick summary of your script". Me "Well it goes like this. RMMMMMMRRRRRRRMMMMMM (engine noise) SPLASH !!!!! Gurgle gurgle gurgle". Mogul "But there's no human interest, no sex scenes, no fulfilling roles for a major star!!!!!!!!! You expect us to turn that into a movie?" Me "Well I could write a quick scene showing Amelia and Fred fighting for the sole life jacket". Mogul "Hmmmmm ...... I think we'll stick with either the Amelia and Fred take on the Japanese Empire single handedly, or the Amelia and Fred slowly starving to death on Gardner Island which will give us a lot of room for meaningful flash backs showing how as kids they had dreams, hopes and aspirations and pet puppies and kittens. And we'll include a scene where Amelia joins the Lafayette Escadrille and shoots down the Red Baron in single combat and becomes the leading ace of WW1 and an inspiration to millions of air minded kids - that'll make this film bigger than Pearl Harbour". Me "I could give you a treatment based on how Amelia and Fred are abducted by aliens then rescued by a secret pursuit squadron flying P26s based at Area 51" Mogul "I don't think you are taking this seriously Dr McKay" Anyway, all historically accurate Hollywood scripts aside, it will be interesting to see what TIGHAR do turn up. However it will have to be conclusive, I can't see them getting any more funding if there is nothing conclusive. The fringe element will beat the drum but no one will be listening.

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I suppose part of the appeal to the public of the ‘desert island’ theory is, well, it involves a desert island! For a modern audience, with intercontinental travel and satellite-navigation being commonplace, there is the difficulty of conceptualising that Earhart and Noonan just may not have been able to find Howland Island (or any island). The added factors of the passing of seventy years and the conceptualising of the vastness of the Pacific Ocean cannot help. To this modern audience finding, and landing on, another island sounds not only plausible but obvious and even easy. I wonder too if, back in 1937, the ‘desert island’ theory was given more credence than was warranted because after Earhart and Noonan were missing for a few days the prospects for any other outcome was unpalatable; human nature being what it is the tendency is to ‘clutch at straws’. From a discovery point of view, the public would also probably imagine that there would be more to see if Earhart, Noonan and their aircraft were discovered on or near an island. The reverse is probably true; the deep ocean floor will probably have preserved the aircraft, at least, far better.

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"The fact that they weren’t would seem to indicate that something at least was wrong with their navigation (or their instruments) or that this method of navigation wasn’t accurate enough for finding their target island. Presumably Earhart and Noonan would have been checking their position throughout the flight but when were they last able to get an accurate ‘fix’ on a land-mass during the 2,500 mile leg to Howland Island?" Appologies for cherry picking CD; Presumably though the bain of all aeronautical navigation, the wind (both speed and direction) and its fluctuations, is a likely cause for this; it's well known the havoc it reeked on those within bomber command, with regards to mission accuracy.

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I suppose part of the appeal to the public of the ‘desert island’ theory is, well, it involves a desert island!
Yes, quite true. But detailed reading of the habitat offered by Gardner Island for anyone stuck there is enough to put one off desert islands for life. Poor water and no real shelter, coupled with heat and storms are the nice bits. The place seems to be infested with all sorts of nasty crustaceans not to mention the fish of all types can carry a quite nasty poison Ciguatera. One tends to forget that the island was abandoned by the last settlers.

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Appologies for cherry picking CD; Presumably though the bain of all aeronautical navigation, the wind (both speed and direction) and its fluctuations, is a likely cause for this; it's well known the havoc it reeked on those within bomber command, with regards to mission accuracy.
Yes, absolutely; I wasn’t implying any criticism of the navigation carried out by Earhart and Noonan or any criticism of the methods they used but rather that they weren’t where they thought they were if their radio transmission is taken as evidence that they would have been able to see Howland Island had it been there (or rather had they been there). Or rather that they thought they’d have seen Howland Island if the visibility was as suitable as where they were actually looking! Also I was not implying that I think it is likely there was any fault with their navigation instruments but it still is a possibility. The fact that there was a US Coast Guard ship stationed a Howland Island and that radio-navigation was apparently to be employed to find the island also tends to support the argument that Earhart and Noonan didn’t intend to find the island by dead-reckoning or celestial navigation alone.
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I wonder how many of you commenters have spent much--or any--time flying an airplane over tropical and semi-tropical oceans (which I have). You would be stunned to learn how difficult it is to find an island the size of Howland amid dozens upon dozens of shadows cast by low-level cumulus. Seems pretty easy while piloting an armchair, but I've been so lost in the Caribbean that I had to get the tower operator at Grand Turk go out on the catwalk and tell me if he could hear my Shrike Commander, I felt I was that close...(he couldn't).

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Well let me be the first to say that I haven't, nor have I been to the moon, or the the bottom of the ocean, but I still have an opinion on the moon landings, and the Titanic; I'm sure we've all been lost and disorientated at some point, just not in an aeroplane, low on fuel, over the Pacific ocean.

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I wonder how many of you commenters have spent much--or any--time flying an airplane over tropical and semi-tropical oceans...
Sorry, I didn’t realise that was a pre-requisite for discussing this topic. :rolleyes:
Seems pretty easy while piloting an armchair...
Where exactly does anybody suggest that it is easy?

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Assumptions, assumptions...and dare devil flying... Stepwilk says: I wonder how many of you commenters have spent much--or any--time flying an airplane over tropical and semi-tropical oceans (which I have). You would be stunned to learn how difficult it is to find an island the size of Howland amid dozens upon dozens of shadows cast by low-level cumulus. Seems pretty easy while piloting an armchair, but I've been so lost in the Caribbean that I had to get the tower operator at Grand Turk go out on the catwalk and tell me if he could hear my Shrike Commander, I felt I was that close...(he couldn't). Boasting again Stepwilk ? Was that when you were flying with a broken arm or after it had cured ? Tell us which please....my armchair is waiting... I love Shrike Commander tales... Lost ? Bad Planning then ? Looking at my logbook, I was over the Spanish Seas near Hispaniola around about 1968, is that good enough ? I do agree about the shadows looking like islands though, which is the drift of your post... looking from my armchair that is. Malcolm, I am preparing an answer for you, but I am a little busy at the moment with an aircraft in Singapore. (That's no boast, it just happens to be my job). RPM
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Boasting again Stepwilk ? Was that when you were flying with a broken arm or after it had cured ? Tell us which please....my armchair is waiting... I love Shrike Commander tales... Lost ? Bad Planning then ? RPM
Come on, cut him some slack. Mr. Wilkinson is a veteran journalist and former editor of what was then "The World's most widely read aviation magazine". During his pursuit of stories he...unlike most of us....has actually "been there and has done that". If he want's to share his experiences with us...like flying a Mustang or reporting on a flying service north of the arctic circle, I'm willing to benefit from his experiences.

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Without wishing to stir up a fight the tone of the previous few posts seems to nicely sum up one of my concerns about issues like this. Everyone appears to get a little more annoyed as the discussion proceeds. The disappearance of Earhart and Noonan all those years ago is now not an important or particularly pressing matter. At the time it was, but as both would now be dead even if they had survived is simply enough to consign the matter to an interesting historical discussion. As such I cannot see why getting heated can provide any beneficial opinions to the discussion. I could understand it if anyone involved had reasonably large amounts of money invested in it as a business venture, or if they had their professional reputation hanging upon a particular resolution of the puzzle after being silly enough to have allowed this to hang upon what is now a quite inconsequential issue. Personally as I appear to be consigned to the "Crashed and Sankers" that is sufficient for me as it is by any consideration of the matter the most simple and logical solution. But if the forthcoming trip by TIGHAR to Nikumaroro turns up some conclusive evidence to prove me wrong then I assure everyone I'll live with that without any damage to my fragile sense of self. Until then I can only reiterate what I have said on several occasions that replacing one hypothesis that is unproven with another that is unproven is not an answer but just another unanswered question. If anyone is truly in need of exposure to mind numbing examination of conjectural hypotheses I suggest a visit to the TIGHAR forum. Never in the field of human discourse have so few proven facts been magnified into so many imaginary explanations by so many armchair experts. If one wants to see the effects of heaping Pelion upon Ossa I suggest a browse through the thread on the ROV video footage or the thread on whether or not Earhart and Noonan carried parachutes on the final leg of the flight. The first is an eyeopener as to the powers of the human imagination while the second is armchair geekdom at its most enlightening.

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Assumption, assumptions.... Thankyou Mr. Boyle... I'll do that.... but sometimes Mr. Wilkinson comes over as a holier than thou person who has done everything in his life and looks down on everyone as if collectively no-one else has done a thing. "Armchair" is one of his favourite nouns. It appears as a "snooty" attitude and gets right up my nose... Sorry about that. RPM
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I see that Bob Ballard seems involved in the search with TIGHAR... Back in 2004 press releases were being but out that Hawkins and Powers Aviation of Greybull Wyoming were preparing a PBY-5A N314CF for a 'top secret' search for Earhart - and that Ballard and his team had - and I quote: 'strong sonar evidence that the Lockheed could be somewhere off Howland Island'. As far as I can tell, the mission was never mounted - I assume that Kate Winslett was unavailable!
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Come on, cut him some slack.
Or even more to the point - keep it civil please. Moggy Moderator

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Assumptions, assumptions.... Thankyou Moggy, I remain Civil, I left the Services long ago.... In regard to a person or persons who wish to appear superior in their experiences and at every turn try to ram it down the throat of other persons who do not have that experience and wish to learn from this Forum and this thread, then I say...stay away... pontificate somewhere else. There will always be someone who has equal or equivalent experience. On this thread, I have tried to show that there is an alternate way of thinking apart from the "shell game" that belongs to the private non-profit organisation which purports to recover long-lost aircraft but never has done. Some of you may know who I am, some may not. The Earhart saga has occupied my life for eighteen years. I am a genuine person who has been with aircraft now for 56 years, starting with an Aircraft Apprenticeship in a well known Service establishment in the United Kingdom. I along with my team do put boots on the ground and with good evidence to do so. We will continue to do that. That is all I have to say. RPM
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Some of you may know who I am, some may not. The Earhart saga has occupied my life for eighteen years. I am a genuine person who has been with aircraft now for 56 years, starting with an Aircraft Apprenticeship in a well known Service establishment in the United Kingdom. I along with my team do put boots on the ground and with good evidence to do so. We will continue to do that. That is all I have to say. RPM
I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I find it hard to take the above statements seriously - or even with any degree of credibility regarding supposed self-stated 'qualifications' - when forum members continue to insist on 'hiding' behind nicknames and/or psudonyms. Now, on the other hand, if you actually TOLD us who you were.... I now await to be flamed again!

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Please gentlemen - our moderator asked for some politeness and I agree. The topic is interesting and there is plenty of room for competing hypotheses until, or if ever, the fate of Earhart and Noonan is revealed with solid material evidence. Until then we are simply speculating and if I might be so bold as to say one man's speculation in this case is as good as another's and worth the same. :) It would be a pity to see the thread locked, especially as we are only a few months away from TIGHAR's next trip, and whatever our opinions of that organization I for one, both as an archaeologist and an admitted quite amateur aviation enthusiast, would like to see us able to discuss the results or otherwise in a friendly way. I have no dog in the fight, nor am I an Earhart fan nor a TIGHAR member. I am just someone interested in the archaeological aspects of the project. I won't reiterate my views on substituting one unproven hypotheses with another, I will just repeat what I said above that in this case until clear conclusive evidence is obtained one opinion is as good as another and ego is just something occupying what otherwise might be usable space. :)

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Assumptions and Credibility.... Mr. Simons... Try being a detective. I have posted on Key before as you can see and this thread only contains a few of my postings. Using my own name in the beginning do not occur to me as I was a 'new user' and followed the herd. Use the search engine for previous posts, it's very good. I do post on "pprune" under my own name on the subject of Amelia Earhart when the occasion arises. Yes, it is spelt with an "A", not an "E"... By the way, my credibility is just as good as yours. Thankyou very much. Mr. McKay, yes you would definitely be interested in the archaeology involved. RPM
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By the way, my credibility is just as good as yours. Thankyou very much. RPM
Ah... but you see it's not! I have the courage of my convictions and am prepared to face the slings and arrows of outrageous misfortune that may come my way - I don't hide... no-one has to 'play detective' with me!