NatGeo tackles Earhart mystery - without TIGHAR

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Tonight in the US, National Geographic will broadcast its two-hour Expedition Amelia television special, about Robert Ballards recent trip to the Pacific island of Nikumaroro. Ballard has already said the underwater search didn't find her airplane, but has been largely silent about what the land side discovered.

What you probably won't see a lot of is TIGHAR and Ric Gillespie, who has pursued the idea for 30-plus years that Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan landed on Nikumaroro. Gillespie has claimed multiple times to have solved the mystery. None of his claims have panned out.

Gillespie was not allowed to accompany the NatGeo expedition, but archaeologist Dr. Tom King assisted in the land search. He's the former TIGHAR archaeologist who Gillespie had drummed off their board of directors last year for, among other things, helping organize non-TIGHAR-sponsored Niku expeditions. This was deemed a "conflict of interest" and he was given the boot.

Looks like your side of the pond plans to air the show on 26th: https://www.nationalgeographic.co.uk/video/tv/expedition-amelia

Since they didn't find the plane, it will be mildly interesting to see how they spin this out for two hours.

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It might be worth watching especially since TIGHAR won't be making money off it.

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Apparently it was a glorious event for TIGHAR ... although this "survey" was posted on their home page this morning, which I find odd and self-aggrandizing:

"If you watched the National Geographic two-hour special “Expedition Amelia” we’d like to know your reaction.

  • Was the show what you expected?
  • Was the show historically accurate? (According to whom, Gillespie? Anyone who disagrees with him is automatically wrong).
  • Was TIGHAR treated fairly? (It wasn't TIGHAR's show and TIGHAR didn't pay anything towards it. What possible relevance does this question have except to Gillespie's ego?)
  • What questions did you come away with? (If you have any, TIGHAR will be happy to answer them. Just send $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$.)
  • What conclusions did you come away with? (Earhart and Noonan disappeared 82 years ago. I doubt NatGeo solved the mystery with a 2-hour TV special.) "
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Interesting post from the club/cult...they don't seem to be automatically embracing it even though:

-it is bringing Fame to AE (which RG said he could control like turning on a faucet)

-and helping solve the "mystery"...(wait, RG said he already solved it...so why was NG there?).

Their attitude is off especially since one TIGHAR fan boasted on WIX that the NG looking on Gardner (as it was know in AE's time) was a "vindication" of RG.

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I apologize in advance for the double posting, still mastering the "new" forum and the "search" function.

Having finally watched the National Geographic show, what I found most striking was the total lack of TIGHAR symbols/logos, which are usually plastered liberally over anything that TIGHAR has even a remote involvement in.

Gillespie wore a plain blue shirt instead of one of his TIGHAR-patch-adorned khaki bush shirts. Perhaps that was in keeping with his role of "paid consultant" (no mention of how much, it will be interesting to see if that is ever revealed, and where that money ends up, as operating costs or somewhere else).

Former TIGHAR archaeologist Dr. Tom King was only identified as the author of a book about Earhart's fate, but then, he was unceremoniously drummed off of TIGHAR's board of directors by Gillespie earlier this year for "conflict of interest" (by, among other things, writing books about Earhart).

Nothing substantive was found in the underwater search, or at least nothing that Ballard would admit to. But Nat Geo hadn't had time to finish DNA testing on samples taken at the land site by broadcast time.

Gillespie seems to have washed his hands of the entire episode. We're still waiting for the promised video of How TIGHAR Solved the Earthart Mystery in Three Minutes.

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The program didn't seem to get much notice here. It seems to have gone unnoticed and unheralded.I

Certainly no one is saying it proved anything...and so much for the TIGHAR contingent predicting it would prove their theory and vindicate you know who.

I didn't even see a promo for it when I watched the Nat Geo Wild channel.

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I don't know, JBoyle, read the gushing comments on TIGHAR's home page about how wonderful it was and how right TIGHAR was all along ... it's worth nothing that the comments were solicited by Gillespie himself.

It's pretty clear to any rational person that the plane ain't there. Ballard employed all the technology anyone could ever hope to muster, and found nothing. I'm sure TIGHAR supporters will continue to argue that he just didn't look in the "right" place, but for all intents and purposes, that argument is dead. Anyone who continues to insist otherwise is blind to things I like to call "facts."

I remain interested in what the DNA results will show. I seriously doubt the much-hyped Tarawa skull will turn out to be anything. NatGeo MIGHT turn up something positive at the site on Nikumaroro where Gillespie insists that Earhart camped out and ultimately perished at.

But ... if that DNA doesn't pan out either, where does that leave TIGHAR? No airplane. No DNA tying Earhart or Noonan to Nikumaroro. No aircraft parts.  Hmmmmm ...

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TIGHAR  can say whatever they like on their "any viewpoint as long as it's ours" website.

The fact remains, to the general public (and any future dues-paying suckers) the show was a non-event.

It doesn't matter to RG that nothing was found. 

He'll claim vindication either way. Remember his "mystery solved" pronouncment?

He'll keep up his charade forever...or at least until he can retire.

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