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

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Better to start a square search first, then if you can't find what you are looking for, take a stab at the unknown (if you have the fuel). If they turned Northwest onto 337, they would only go for 15 minutes and then “space” the aircraft by flying either 067 Magnetic or 247 Magnetic, for 10 to 15 miles and then turning onto 157 for 30 minutes and completing the square (or rectangle) by returning to their approximate start point, that would take about an hour and 12 minutes bringing the Electra close to the 2014GMT call. Wandering off into the unknown would mean they were nuts and I don’t believe they were nuts.
So I wasn’t a million miles out in my earlier post (#30). Excellent informative post; that has really given me something to think about!

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Malcolm McKay says: One sceptical site dismisses TIGHAR's approach to the evidence saying that they are working backwards in using the evidence i.e. finding material first then dismissing anything that doesn't support their Gardner Island thesis. Etc etc
I'll not answer for the others but only for myself. Personally I think you are being a little harsh regarding TIGHAR's pushing of the Gardner Island hypothesis. Reading the material I find that for the purposes of their hypothesis they have set it out for open examination with little attempt to disguise conjecture. If they follow that evidence which I admit is vague at best and something turns up to support their argument then so be it, but as I said if, after this, nothing turns up to support further work then they should draw a line under it and stop wasting money. Certainly that supposed undercarriage leg is no advertisement for anything other than wishful thinking. To persist if they fail this time would simply push the project into lunatic fringe stuff. However I will reiterate that there is some material evidence found on the island which is ambivalent in its relevance and simply cannot be dismissed in the cavalier way that many do without further consideration. That is the glass fragments, one piece of aluminium and the shoe parts. I agree with you that one cannot discount the alternate explanation of the artefacts and the skeleton being from the Norwich City and one would be extremely foolish to do so. But it is a pity that those remains are missing because that in itself has allowed TIGHAR to be more imaginative than is warranted - Dr Hoodless' forensic analysis may well be correct but if the bones are found then it can be verified and if necessary exposed to tests that weren't available when he did his examination. Note that I am not saying he is wrong only that if he was right then a second examination will confirm it, or not - a simple proposition. But as an archaeologist myself who has excavated fragmentary skeletal material I would not leap to any judgement that just because there were fatalities in the shipwreck that automatically means that the skeleton is of one of those people. In fact given the interesting evidence of the shoe remains then the question remains unresolved. There is an element of coincidence here that might just exceed the actual probability of coincidence and therefore that does need to be ruled out. Your argument is basically word for word that of Brian Dunning whose Skeptoid article "Finding Amelia Earhart" is easily accessible. In this case healthy scepticism is quite necessary but as an archaeologist I can say that while healthy scepticism is always necessary in such puzzles until all the evidence is examined then scepticism is just part of the methodology not the absolute answer. Also while as I have said above that further investigation if this planned expedition fails to resolve the questions would definitely push the thing, in my opinion, into the lunatic fringe theory area, in all honesty you or I have no means of stopping people who may wish to fund further trips. It's their money to waste. Dunning's arguments themselves are only supported by his determined efforts to rely on coincidence in assessing the material found, so one must say that his scepticism is as unfounded as any claim by TIGHAR that Gardner Island was not the final landfall of Earhart and Noonan. He just argues without any validation that all of these things could have come off the Norwich City. Equally any explanation which simply says that the aircraft ran out fuel and fell into the ocean is a similar supposition. So we come back to having two quite valid hypotheses, each of which is yet to be proven. What we don't have is firm evidence to support either, which simply means we don't have firm evidence for either, it doesn't mean that the simplest hypothesis is right. On the matter of the overenthusiastic finder of aircraft parts buried in coral I assume that they speak with Liverpool accents but do they actually extend that to the written word, and if they do then I wish he would stop as he is unintelligible which does his cause no good. In any case the only recognisable non-natural object I can see in the video is a piece of wire, and believe me having excavated all sorts of amorphous shaped objects in my time I can claim to have some ability to discern the natural from the man-made. The commentators on that video thread are falling for the old mistake of seeing things they want to see rather than seeing things that actually exist. In any case the TIGHAR people have already cautioned them about their imaginations. Regarding the 157 337 line, the US Navy searchers at the time took it quite seriously and did dispatch aircraft to search the islands along the line - they found nothing. One would have expected them to find the aircraft if it was still on the reef - they didn't and that is where the Gardner Island hypothesis is at its weakest. But again there might be an explanation for that if the aircraft was concealed either by the tide or had slipped off the reef into the deeper water - pure conjecture however so the answer if there is one depends upon finding physical evidence of the plane and its passengers. I have no problem with that approach and I still cannot grasp why such a simple hypothesis seems to arouse such passions on both sides - this is just a simple archaeological exercise however I suspect that with the amount of money spent and the amount that could be made if evidence is found that is conclusive as to Earhart and Noonan's fate, then there are competing interests. First the book then the movie :D and that is no way to approach an archaeological exercise. TIGHAR themselves have not really endeared themselves to people over the years. But the Earhart disappearance is an intriguing question and if TIGHAR does turn up that answers some questions then that's fine by me. I have no feelings about TIGHAR either way. Mind you like most people who have seen how quickly artifacts and skeletal remains can degrade in such open harsh conditions then I am not all that optimistic about how conclusive anything that is found will be.

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In fact given the interesting evidence of the shoe remains then the question remains unresolved. [Dunning].....argues without any validation that all of these things could have come off the Norwich City.
Why should the SS Norwich City be the only source of these objects? According to Wikipedia:
On December 1, 1938, members of the British Pacific Islands Survey Expedition arrived to evaluate the island as a possible location for either seaplane landings or an airfield. On December 20, more British officials arrived with 20 Gilbertese settlers in the last colonial expansion of the British Empire. Efforts to clear land and plant coconuts were hindered by a profound lack of drinking water. By June 1939, a few wells had been successfully established and there were 58 I-Kiribati on Gardner, including 16 women and 26 children. The British colonial officer, Gerald Gallagher, established a headquarters of the Phoenix Islands Settlement Scheme in the village located on the island's western end, on the south side of the largest entrance to the lagoon. Wide coral-gravel streets and a parade ground were laid out and important structures included a thatched administration house, wood-frame cooperative store and a radio shack. From 1944 through 1945 the United States Coast Guard operated a navigational LORAN station with 25 crewmen on the south-eastern tip of Gardner, installing an antenna system, quonset huts and some smaller structures. The island's population reached a high of approximately 100 by the mid-1950s. However, by the early 1960s, periodic drought and an unstable freshwater lens had thwarted the struggling colony. Its residents were evacuated to the Solomon Islands by the British in 1963 and by 1965 Gardner was officially uninhabited.

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Why should the SS Norwich City be the only source of these objects? According to Wikipedia:
Very true - still as yet the argument is not conclusive. That is the problem and I suspect that in the end it will come down to the application of Ockham's razor to the matter, unless other more specific evidence is found. Proponents of the Gardner Island hypothesis will have to accept that that will be the wider view. But as we all know once a theory gets out into the fringe then reason flies (pardon the pun) out the window.
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The International Group for Hysterical Aviation Rumours.........
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I hadn't realized the island was occupied as early as 1938. If there were any signs of Earhart/Noonan occupation from the previous year: shelters, remains or wreckage, you'd guess it would have still been there. Of course, believers will say the plane ditched far enough out to prevent any wreckage coming ashore, but it would of had to have been close enough for the pair to make it to the island (while possibly being injured. Ditching without a shoulder harness being worn would have likely led to some injuries). For the lack of recent evidence theory to work they would of had to have died before they could make shelters...their remains scattered by animals, etc. In other words, no matter what they do...or don't ...find, they'll have an answer. Yes, their website is fairly ojective when it comes to saying what the group has (and hasn't) found over the last 20+ years, but it also clearly shows that they're wedded to the Gardner Island theory, and have been for a very long time. Their interest in Earhart seems to begin, and end, on the island. But if there wasn't any substancial wreckage to be found on the island after 18 months (when the British arrived), how did the previously found sextant case get ashore? (to say nothing of why they would have brought it. At that point knowing where they were at would have been a very moot point). Likewise, would Amelia have worn her shoes if she had to swim a distance or employ a rubber raft? No shoes, no heel.

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Surely the presumption here is that they were actually flying a 157 course,(not just thinking they were) they were after all lost..... prior to this course setting they were flying a line that should have taken them over land; clearly it didn't, or it did and they didn't see it, either way there has to have been a navigational, or visual recognition error, if the compass was at fault they could be anywhere, there's a lot of water out there.

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Yes, their website is fairly ojective when it comes to saying what the group has (and hasn't) found over the last 20+ years, but it also clearly shows that they're wedded to the Gardner Island theory, and have been for a very long time. Their interest in Earhart seems to begin, and end, on the island.
In itself no bad thing - is it necessary to have a wider interest or empathy with the subject of the search? As an archaeologist I sought information from sites into aspects of human behaviour and I can honestly say that I never had anything other than a narrow science based inquiry methodology, even when excavating human remains, which excluded empathy or whatever you could call it because those sorts of emotions affect objectivity. We aren't in the business of empathy, we are in the business of seeking and understanding data in whatever material form it comes. In the end the goal in this case is to either confirm or discount the Gardner Island hypothesis - it might sound harsh but taking on board some sort of emotional consideration in the matter is simply scientifically irrelevant. One thing I found silly in the TIGHAR site was a comment on imagining how a castaway, presumably Earhart felt if she was in a weakened condition and unable to attract the attention of a search plane. Not the statement of a professional archaeologist and possibly simply a throwaway line to attract the emotions of a financial donor. Too much TV not enough objectivity. It's a historical puzzle which may be answered or not.

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But if there wasn't any substancial wreckage to be found on the island after 18 months (when the British arrived), how did the previously found sextant case get ashore? (to say nothing of why they would have brought it. At that point knowing where they were at would have been a very moot point).
But there is no proof it was a sextant box that belonged to Fred Noonan; the TIGHAR website states:
"...found a sextant box bearing a stencilled number that is similar to a number written on a sextant box known to have belonged to Fred Noonan..."
What on earth does that mean? :confused: A ‘number that is similar to a number’? Same number of digits? Like 12017 is a ‘similar’ number to 12019? If it is a similar number to the number on Fred Noonan’s sextant box do TIGHAR know what number was on Fred Noonan’s box? Do TIGHAR know the number on the box that was found so they can say it is similar? Do they have a complete number? If TIGHAR have got two numbers and can only say that they are ‘similar’ isn’t that just another way of saying that the numbers are different? While statements like those about the box numbers offer the tantalising prospect that TIGHAR may have actually found something that directly links Gardner Island with Fred Noonan (and Amelia Earhart), by failing to state the clear facts the cynic in me says that the statements on the TIGHAR website are more for the benefit of would-be donors who have failed to appreciate what TIGHAR have stated rather than what TIGHAR have implied.

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Assumptions, assumptions.... Malcolm McKay says: I'll not answer for the others but only for myself. Personally I think you are being a little harsh regarding TIGHAR's pushing of the Gardner Island hypothesis. Well, it’s not really their hypothesis, it originally was the brainchild of two serving American Officers who thought it up. TIGHAR ran with it. Malcolm, I will say this as I have said many times, they do good research, no doubt about it but they do play to the media and they do make outrageous statements from time to time. Have you read the “Maid of Harlech” title ? Certainly that supposed undercarriage leg is no advertisement for anything other than wishful thinking. To persist if they fail this time would simply push the project into lunatic fringe stuff. Aren’t we seeing some of that already ? However I will reiterate that there is some material evidence found on the island which is ambivalent in its relevance and simply cannot be dismissed in the cavalier way that many do without further consideration. That is the glass fragments, one piece of aluminium and the shoe parts. Glass fragments: Are found on/in many abandoned places. Perspex piece: Inter-island travel, pieces from the wrecked C-47 or B-24 on other islands. Aluminium “bookcase”:From a WWII aircraft (Consolidated Catalina or B-24 ?). Aluminium piece with river holes: Did not fit anywhere on another Electra. They tried that one with Lockheed workers who had worked on the Electra line and the hole pitch simply did not match. They did not pursue where it might have come from on the other types which ended their life in the region. They left it as a lurking possibility… The Shoe part: This one is interesting because I had a story told to me first hand that Gillespie took it to a person of note who is knowledgeable about Earhart and presented the shoe as being “Earhart’s shoe”. Now we all know that the Group refers very often to the Scientific Methodology behind everything that TIGHAR does. After looking at the shoe presented as Earhart’s the person viewing it said: “This shoe looks to me to be a man’s size 10, Earhart wore women’s six and a half size.” Whereupon the presenter took it back, saying, “Must be Noonan’s then….” The bronze bushes (from the old carpenter’s shed): TIGHAR mused that these could have been bushes from the P&W Wasp engines. My son asked me if you could strip a Wasp with coconut shell wrenches ? But as an archaeologist myself who has excavated fragmentary skeletal material I would not leap to any judgement that just because there were fatalities in the shipwreck that automatically means that the skeleton is of one of those people. Nor does it automatically mean that the skeleton parts came from either AE or FN, they could have come from any one person, including someone from the many cases of Pacific fishermen drifting away from their island for many days before making landfall and perishing in isolation. Where it was found (well away from the reef flat) it is possible that it did come from a washed up corpse of one of the crew from the NC. Just because “it’s bones” doesn’t mean AE or FN without supporting evidence. Dr. Hoodless laid out the evidence, TIGHAR turned it into a Nordic female. Your argument is basically word for word that of Brian Dunning whose Skeptoid article "Finding Amelia Earhart" is easily accessible. I have neither heard of, nor have I read, anything of or from a person named Brian Dunning. The words are from my opinion formed over the 18 years I have been researching the loss of AE & FN. He (Dunning) just argues without any validation that all of these things could have come off the Norwich City. There you go… Did I say the torn piece of aluminium, or any of the recovered pieces of TIGHAR evidence save possibly the remains, came off the Norwich City ? The Shoe parts could have belonged to one of the LORAN Coastguard personnel for instance. On the matter of the overenthusiastic finder of aircraft parts buried in coral I assume that they speak with Liverpool accents but do they actually extend that to the written word, and if they do then I wish he would stop as he is unintelligible which does his cause no good. Why don’t you tell him yourself ? Stand well back mind, just in case he offers you a bunch of fives… He is on Facebook. In any case the TIGHAR people have already cautioned them about their imaginations. …Cautioned, Aye… but they will never stop them, if they did there would be no more spin…... Regarding the 157 337 line, the US Navy searchers at the time took it quite seriously and did dispatch aircraft to search the islands along the line - they found nothing. Only Gardner was anywhere near the line of the hypothesis, the rest of the Phoenix Group are widely scattered. Very remote place, hardly a popular place to be posted as a member of the British Colonial Service. One would have expected them to find the aircraft if it was still on the reef - they didn't and that is where the Gardner Island hypothesis is at its weakest. But again there might be an explanation for that if the aircraft was concealed either by the tide or had slipped off the reef into the deeper water - pure conjecture however so the answer if there is one depends upon finding physical evidence of the plane and its passengers. Malcolm, in the earlier “phase” of the TIGHAR experience, in the “Old Forum”, can be found many glittering jewels to exite and pearls of wisdom beyond price…. For an example of a real string of pearls offering wisdom, the early explanation of why Lambrecht did not see the Electra came from Mr. Gillespie himself: “…the Electra landed on the reef flat and taxied in under the shade of the Ren trees…” and that is why Lambrecht did not see it. Presumably, Amelia and Fred were enjoying their cheese and cucumber sandwiches so much that they never bothered to move themselves into the sunlight and wave…. Creaking Door says: Why should the SS Norwich City be the only source of these objects? C-D, It wasn’t, there were at least two crashed aircraft on other islands, Canton and Sydney islands. There also was a taxying accident on Canton and the aircraft was left as is. Canton was a staging airfield on the Australia run used by aircraft being ferried for use in the South-West Pacific during WWII. There were others that didn’t make it and ditched of course. Inter Island native traffic by sailing canoe would be entirely possible, as we know the Pacific Island people are skilled at this. Valuable metal is always taken from downed aircraft. I have seen wrecks with all the glass panels missing, skin panels hacked out between rivet lines with bush knives. Virtually anything that can be of use is made use of, including attractive shiny bits for adornment. J. Boyle says: I hadn't realized the island was occupied as early as 1938. Mr. Boyle ! I am surprised at you, I thought you had read all about the Earhart saga. It was temporarily occupied by the survivors of the S.S. Norwich City in 1929 until they had their moment of relief when rescued. They left behind stores and other salvaged equipment. Of course, believers will say the plane ditched far enough out to prevent any wreckage coming ashore, but it would of had to have been close enough for the pair to make it to the island (while possibly being injured. Not so TIGHAR, because TIGHAR has postulated the following (besides taxying in under the Ren trees): 1. The Electra landed on the reef flat and one leg collapsed. 2. The Electra was washed inland off the reef flat and is now hidden within the scaveola plants which grow profusely on the island. 3. The Electra was washed into the lagoon by tidal action and now rests under a layer of silt. And the reason they are going this year is no.4… 4. The Electra was washed off the reef flat and is now in deep water (save for one MLG fork which is encrusted in coral). Also, I’ll have you know…. TIGHAR at one time did examine the theory that a long bare patch on the north of the island was a possible runway and that Amelia and Fred might have pushed the Electra over that way towards this bare strip and again that the Electra might be hidden under the Ren trees…. ………but it also clearly shows that they're wedded to the Gardner Island theory, and have been for a very long time. “Painted into a corner”… would be more to the point don’t you think ? But if there wasn't any substantial wreckage to be found on the island after 18 months (when the British arrived), how did the previously found sextant case get ashore? (to say nothing of why they would have brought it. It is not hard to see the Navigator from the S.S. Norwich City clutching his sextant under arm while scrambling for a lifeboat in his pyjamas. Whatsay, he dropped it and the catch came undone and the sextant disappeared but the box floated ashore ? Any takers on that ? Also, Bevington arrived before 1938 with his Survey party and they would have had sextants. Whatsay one of his guys using a sextant left the box at a place while he strove to take a reading in an adjacent area and then couldn’t find the box again ? Any takers on that ? These suppositions are no more feral than some of the stuff that appears on TIGHAR shoving the point that it’s Fred’s Sextant box. Knifeedgeturn says: Surely the presumption here is that they were actually flying a 157 course, (not just thinking they were) they were after all lost..... prior to this course setting they were flying a line that should have taken them over land; clearly it didn't, or it did and they didn't see it, either way there has to have been a navigational, or visual recognition error, if the compass was at fault they could be anywhere, there's a lot of water out there. Aye, but it’s only Stepwilk that’s saying that and apparently he believes it although there is no proof or indication from the broadcaster of the message as to “which” way the Electra was pointed, first. A navigational error most probably, although poor Fred may have had the least possible information to work with due to overcast conditions; forcing him to drop back onto Ded Reckoning, the least accurate method of aerial navigation. That is, apart from engaging Larry, Curly and Moe as your assistants and allowing them to sit at the chart table with pencils….. Malcolm McKay says: One thing I found silly in the TIGHAR site was a comment on imagining how a castaway, presumably Earhart felt if she was in a weakened condition and unable to attract the attention of a search plane. Not the statement of a professional archaeologist and possibly simply a throwaway line to attract the emotions of a financial donor. Too much TV not enough objectivity. There you have it Malcolm, throughout the Halls of the Tighar Forum (old and new) there are plenty of throwaway lines which are engaging and lead to speculation and sometimes which lead to a feeding frenzy in the media. Richard Gillespie supposedly deplores the use of “could be, should be or would be” but at the same time he is very speculative himself, the “Finger Bone” is a fine example of hyping up to the media. Since the: “We’ve done it, we’ve solved the mystery”, back in time, he is somewhat more circumspect but still has the knack of activating a fuse without a bomb at the end of it, which draws in the crowds….. Creaking Door says: While statements like those about the box numbers offer the tantalising prospect that TIGHAR may have actually found something that directly links Gardner Island with Fred Noonan (and Amelia Earhart), by failing to state the clear facts the cynic in me says that the statements on the TIGHAR website are more for the benefit of would-be donors who have failed to appreciate what TIGHAR have stated rather than what TIGHAR have implied. There you have it again, Creaking Door, same as the above paragraph of mine. Well said, that “sort of” thing happens a lot. Far is not close and near is not there, but some people are willing to drop coin. RPM

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As we all appear to have an interest in all things aeronautical, we must differ from the usual "run of the mill" nay sayers, detractors, and agendered sceptics, in that, we actually do want Amelia, Fred and the Electra found....

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[I]Malcolm McKay says:.... RPM
I won't quote all of your reply because I think you are missing the point of what I am saying. To use that funny American expression I don't have a dog in this fight. Also I have no interest in or feelings about TIGHAR at all. I admit to a life long purely amateur interest in aviation and being (or was) an archaeologist I do have some informed interest in the purely archaeological aspects of these sorts of exercises. I have made my feelings on these matters known before and for the sake of of our collective blood pressures I won't reiterate them. Remain calm Andy :) One thing does strike me which is that in these searches for high profile aircraft remains that there is a tremendous degree of bitchiness mostly due, I suspect, to the limited funds available and the understandable desire of the holders of different explanations to have their particular theory demonstrated to be correct. However I might add that the great British archaeologist Sir Mortimer Wheeler himself no shrinking violet in the ego stakes did famously remark that "archaeology was not a profession but a vendetta", so I suppose one must concede that the people who like finding famous plane wrecks are at least behaving the best traditions as they understand it of archaeology so good luck to them. So to me the reactions to TIGHAR and their responses are understandable and I might add not unfamiliar. And lest that draw down fire and brimstone upon me let me assure everyone that I am merely being whimsical ;) My interest in this matter is arises simply because the standard of the information available plus decent maps and aerial images allows one, as an archaeologist to think about how I would tackle demonstrating the accuracy or otherwise of the hypothesis. As I have said before I have looked at the case TIGHAR make and I know enough, albeit as an informed amateur, to see where certain aspects of the purely aviation related evidence both material and radio texts while not by themselves proof are at least capable of interpretations that can be used to make a plausible case for the Gardner Island hypothesis. In particular the 157 337 line which I must reiterate was taken seriously at the time by the US Navy. That is not saying I accept it all unquestioningly but simply that it is sufficient not to be dismissed out of hand. The underwater footage is so inconclusive as to be capable of dismissal on the grounds that it is useless to the discussion. A fact which is more than adequately demonstrated by those people on TIGHAR forum claiming to see bits of aeroplane in amorphous lumps of coral when they don't even have a idea of the size of the bits they are claiming to see which is pure idiocy, no other word for it. How can they claim to see anything when they admit to no knowledge of aircraft and even worse have no scale from which to gain an idea of the "artifact's" size? In fact that is more than pure idiocy - it borders on lunacy. Did you read that farcical exchange where they claimed to have found the engine, the propellor and the cowling. And I might add it more than adequately demonstrates that access to the internet is a dangerous thing in the hands of gullible people with excessive imaginations. It does TIGHAR more damage than I suspect they realise to even allow that discussion - it is as bad as one clip on Youtube of some woman who claims to have been Amelia Earhart in a past life. But these things do bring the nut cases out of the woodwork. Accordingly one dismisses them and hopes they find another pond to muddy. Now given the fringe elements that have attached themselves to the matter I can understand your scepticism, but as I have said scepticism is a healthy thing but it is not in itself a research methodology because if it becomes too dominant in one's thinking it simply impedes any scientific and objective analysis. You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. That doesn't give an answer it only creates something else which needs an answer.
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But there is no proof it was a sextant box that belonged to Fred Noonan.
Correct, I should have said alleged sextant case.:D MY main point was to question TIGHAR's big "finds" on their favorite island. Two items that they were unlikely to have brought to the island. They don't address Earharts/Noonan's motives or actions as to why those items would have been brought ashore at all. As Malcolm Mckay notes, their "archaeology" lacks all objectivity.

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It wasn’t, there were at least two crashed aircraft on other islands, Canton and Sydney islands.
Plus a colony of up to a hundred people, including women and children, living on Gardner Island itself between 1938 and about 1963. So what happened to all the worn-out shoes, empty bottles and broken pocket-knives that these people didn’t want for those twenty-five odd years? I doubt that they had their rubbish taken off the island; much of it was probably burned or buried.

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Correct, I should have said alleged sextant case. :D
Exactly! But I’m still confused by the ambiguity of the ‘similar’ numbers on the two boxes (or one box) in question? :confused:
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scepticism is a healthy thing but it is not in itself a research methodology because if it becomes too dominant in one's thinking it simply impedes any scientific and objective analysis. You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. That doesn't give an answer it only creates something else which needs an answer.
Most intelligent thing I've read on this thread so far.

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Assumptions, assumptions.... Knifeedgeturn says: As we all appear to have an interest in all things aeronautical, we must differ from the usual "run of the mill" nay sayers, detractors, and agendered sceptics, in that, we actually do want Emelia, Fred and the Electra found.... Amen to that, as soon as they are, I can return to pottering around in my workshop….. Malcolm McKay says: I won't quote all of your reply because I think you are missing the point of what I am saying. To use that funny American expression I don't have a dog in this fight. Neither did I Malcolm, until dog-biting remarks were made about me, not here, but in another place. That got my interest but quick. One thing does strike me which is that in these searches for high profile aircraft remains that there is a tremendous degree of bitchiness mostly due, I suspect, to the limited funds available and the understandable desire of the holders of different explanations to have their particular theory demonstrated to be correct. To a degree true and as above, when a dog bites me, I respond. As I have said before I have looked at the case TIGHAR make and I know enough, albeit as an informed amateur, to see where certain aspects of the purely aviation related evidence both material and radio texts while not by themselves proof are at least capable of interpretations that can be used to make a plausible case for the Gardner Island hypothesis. In particular the 157 337 line which I must reiterate was taken seriously at the time by the US Navy. That is not saying I accept it all unquestioningly but simply that it is sufficient not to be dismissed out of hand. ...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. In view of the flight time put forward by AE of “18 Hours”, if the Electra was “…on you but cannot see you” at 19:12, there is an indication that the Electra was “late” at Howland, if indeed they were there. This indicates a wind strength to slow their groundspeed far above what they were in receipt of as a forecast, albeit, made from Hawaii, not from the local region weathermen. Indications of “lateness” and broadcasts of “cloudy” and “overcast” raise questions of the impossibility of perfect Navigation, making the 1912GMT call one of the most contentious calls of the whole saga, throwing the sunline hypothesis into question. Did you read that farcical exchange where they claimed to have found the engine, the propellor and the cowling. I sort of “skipped” over that as my eyes rolled and eyelids closed…. Now given the fringe elements that have attached themselves to the matter I can understand your scepticism, Malcolm, they have always been there, both in the old forum and now the new…. …but as I have said scepticism is a healthy thing but it is not in itself a research methodology because if it becomes too dominant in one's thinking it simply impedes any scientific and objective analysis. You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. That doesn't give an answer it only creates something else which needs an answer. Firstly, I dismiss the sunline hypothesis as faulty, yes, because of the reasons explained above. Secondly, there was always in Earhart’s thinking, a Contingency to head for the Gilbert Islands if Howland could not be found, this was applicable to the first attempt (ending in the groundloop at Luke) where a “fly-on” to the Gilberts was on if HOW could not be found and a “fly-back” to the Gilberts on the last flight, again if HOW could not be found. Earhart said this to Gore Vidal before she left when he asked her what she would do if she could not find HOW. This is GV during an interview on tape in his bequeathed memorabilia to the University of Wisconsin. That is why I do not believe she and Fred were nuts enough to fly south to Gardner. One thing is for sure, in Navigation, unsure of your position, it is impossible to navigate to a known position. If Fred knew “where” they were, he would have been able to navigate to HOW. Ergo, he didn’t know where they were. The Williams strip map she had is too indistinct in the positions of tiny islands but they did have the 1936 NatGeo Pacific Map. The Gilbert’s are a large group target 500 miles long, the Phoenix are a scattered group. Creaking Door says: So what happened to all the worn-out shoes, empty bottles and broken pocket-knives that these people didn’t want for those twenty-five odd years? I doubt that they had their rubbish taken off the island; much of it was probably burned or buried. Plus all the debris left behind by the LORAN personnel....including old freckle cream jars…. Americans are not known for cleaning up on departure… ask the people in Honiara about that… And in relation to the sextant box: Exactly! But I’m still confused by the ambiguity of the ‘similar’ numbers on the two boxes (or one box) in question? C-D, I cannot recall Tighar ever saying, “similar is not the same”. Stepwilk says: (In response to Malcolm’s comments on scepticism)... "Most intelligent thing I've read on this thread so far." Obviously not applicable to your own scribblings as well then, Stepwilk ? RPM

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[I] ...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. In view of the flight time put forward by AE of “18 Hours”, if the Electra was “…on you but cannot see you” at 19:12, there is an indication that the Electra was “late” at Howland, if indeed they were there. This indicates a wind strength to slow their groundspeed far above what they were in receipt of as a forecast, albeit, made from Hawaii, not from the local region weathermen. Indications of “lateness” and broadcasts of “cloudy” and “overcast” raise questions of the impossibility of perfect Navigation, making the 1912GMT call one of the most contentious calls of the whole saga, throwing the sunline hypothesis into question. ... …but as I have said scepticism is a healthy thing but it is not in itself a research methodology because if it becomes too dominant in one's thinking it simply impedes any scientific and objective analysis. You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. That doesn't give an answer it only creates something else which needs an answer. Firstly, I dismiss the sunline hypothesis as faulty, yes, because of the reasons explained above. RPM
That is where we must differ - I don't dismiss it, simply because others at the time didn't. I've been reading all the various theories for many years myself and they all have one thing in common which is that they have all remained just theories. Not one theory has been demonstrated to be correct. But there has been a lot of name-calling, publicity and book sales but nothing else. 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, the Electra sank and Earhart and Noonan either together or singularly depending on who was able to get out of the aircraft spent some lonely desperate hours in the water then succumbed to the inevitable and either drowned or were taken by sharks. Or they could not get out of the aircraft and drowned as it sank. Where this happened exactly is another unknown. If they were lost, which appears to be the case given the last messages then they could have overflown Howland Island 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. All my reading of Earhart's career as a pilot suggests to me that she was not very strong on navigation and radio techniques but very strong on thinking she was a better pilot than she was. Earhart as the Aviatrix is a creation of some carefully crafted publicity aimed at earning as much money from that persona as possible. But she is not the first person or would she be the last to come unstuck believing one's own publicity. Unfortunately for authors and screen writers etc. looking to make money, a story based on a pilot who was a bit second rate with poor radio skills and who drowned in the middle of the Pacific as a result of an awfully mundane thing like getting lost and running out of fuel is not going to cut it with financial backers, publishers and movie producers if it is about "Amelia Earhart Aviatrix". So over the years we have seen the plethora of theories all slightly glamorous like being a spy or landing on a beach and helping poor injured Fred Noonan ashore where they both die heroically as disease and malnutrition takes it toll. That outcome removes the stigma of the prime cause which is getting lost and running out of fuel coupled with poor radio skills. Still as I am not an author or screenwriter or a member of the Amelia Earhart Fan Club but just a simple soul I'll stick with my theory as outlined above. But that is no more proven than any of the others and that is why I am not condemning TIGHAR's efforts because so far we have yet to see what might be revealed after the next trip. If that trip adds nothing then I think they should give up. But as an archaeologist I am eager to see what their methodology will be and what if anything it turns up. As I said before I can understand your scepticism, but as I have said scepticism is a healthy thing but it is not in itself a research methodology because if it becomes too dominant in one's thinking it simply impedes any scientific and objective analysis. You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. That doesn't give an answer it only creates something else which needs an answer.
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Stepwilk says: (In response to Malcolm’s comments on scepticism)... "Most intelligent thing I've read on this thread so far." Obviously not applicable to your own scribblings as well then, Stepwilk ?
No, absolutely applicable to my own "scribblings." Malcolm's comment was more intelligent, overall, than any of mine.

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Assumptions, assumptions.... Malcolm says: That is where we must differ - I don't dismiss it, simply because others at the time didn't. O.K., Malcolm…. We agree to differ. I will, however, add that the confusion that did exist at HOW on that day automatically assumed that AE & FN were close, with statements like, ”They must have been on top of us the radio was so loud…”, and “We expected them any minute to appear….”. So, in their minds then (at that time) AE & FN were there and this trickled down to the fleet hastily put together for the ‘rescue’. It is only in later years when all the information has been disseminated that it becomes likely that they were “not there” and the Navigation failed (for various reasons). I've been reading all the various theories for many years myself and they all have one thing in common which is that they have all remained just theories. Not one theory has been demonstrated to be correct. But there has been a lot of name-calling, publicity and book sales but nothing else. 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. Indeed it is, Mr. Waitt’s pockets are a little emptier after finding an oil drum… somewhere to the W or NW. …..the plethora of theories all slightly glamorous like being a spy or landing on a beach…. …or, being returned from the Emperor’s Palace in Japan to Rumson, New Jersey, dressed as a Nun and having her head shaved by a Monsignor in order to look for micro-chips buried in her scalp… have you heard that one ? You have simply dismissed the TIGHAR hypothesis not by providing conclusive evidence but by simply providing another hypothesis equally unproven. ..and my hypothesis is ? Stepwilk says: No, absolutely applicable to my own "scribblings." Malcolm's comment was more intelligent, overall, than any of mine. How exceedingly modest of you Stepwilk, an admirable statement. Ten house points. RPM