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Amelia Earhart PNG Theory

Old 22nd Feb 2018, 01:10
  #161 (permalink)  
 
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Were you aware David that some rogue was transmitting they were the Electra floating at least a day later. Authority established it would have sunk very shortly after splash down. Why did she turn back ,when , from memory it was a 20 hr ? flt,and transmit she was on them and had commenced this north south search. It was common to lay off so they knew which way to turn initially. Crossing the Atlantic she missed the originall destination and landed at a French satelite placed for that very reason . I read at one stage there was a primitive battery powered NDB on Howland . In their eagerness it was turned on far to early .Voltage drop caused the range to be considerably reduced yet still providing an ident. Did Nunam rely to much on this.I dispute the Electra would have had 4 hrs fuel on arrival Howland area it was an hour at most. If she had circled the other way as she had originally until ground looping on TO in Hawaii the year before she may have made it, bigger land masses not to miss. BOAC early days crossing the Atlantic with doppler and means to drop a flare,to calclate drift, a bubble for star and sun shots, weather permitting ,planning on London nearly missed Prestwick on more than one occasion
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 03:38
  #162 (permalink)  
 
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Greg47:

Post-loss Radio calls

I am aware that there were post-loss radio calls heard and the only four I am interested in are the one reported by Fred Goerner and the three calls heard by Nauru and referred to as the “Nauru Intercepts”. Goerner’s report is in his book and in my copy it is on Page 308 where he says Nauru heard Earhart on 6210 Kcs, saying, “Land in sight ahead”. The three calls came much later and were unintelligible but: “…it sounded like the same voice heard the night before but without hum of plane in the background.“ Again, all this is comprehensively discussed on the website.

You ask “why did she turn back” ?

Please read the website, Part 7., first subject. There you will find an explanation of “The Contingency Plan.”

Purposely “laying Off” before reaching the target distance.

Also sometimes called “The Chichester Method” when it was used by Chichester to navigate to Lord Howe Island. We are not sure if Noonan did employ this method of finding Howland due to the fact that he was aware of the supposed DF availability said to be there. Maybe he was expecting a full Adcock Array but all that was there was a portable set with flat batteries. I tend to think that this laying-off method was not used and instead they were attempting a straight-in approach to Howland. Why do I think that ? It is because she asked ITASCA for a bearing.

The DAKAR Error

A perfect example of Earhart’s tendency to trust her sensing as against trusting her Navigator is the decision by her to turn left instead of right at the approach to DAKAR. As you know I do believe on the groundspeeds attained that the Electra was well short of Howland at 1912 GMT. I think that Earhart took it upon herself to make that “Must be on you” call. I do not believe Noonan would have said to her that they were “…on Howland”, I think her impatience made her think they were there. As I explain in the website, the call Georner referred to in his book is feasible if they turned around for The Gilberts and were seeing the Tabiteuea Islands (or Nonouti Atoll) at time 2200 GMT which fits with Goernor’s “nearly two hours later” as when Nauru heard the call after the supposed last call at 2014GMT, (actually one and three-quarter hours later. which is “nearly two hours”)

Fuel

You are entitled to calculate what you think was the fuel state when as you say, they arrived close to Howland. To me as an ex-Flight Engineer, if I had a Contingency Plan I would want to know what the minimum fuel holding was that I could go down to before I invoke that Contingency Plan. The very word Contingency means that there is thought of an alternate in case there gets to be a problem. No pilot or crew leaves terra firma with the idea that they are going to die except for those nutcases who do commit suicide and in some cases, “take others with them”…. Those are the exceptions. I have had it said to me by quite a few pilots (because I have asked them), “What would they do if they still had fuel", and they all say, “I would keep going until I had to put it down”, (in the sea or on the land). So, if you have a Contingency Plan, it follows that you have contingency fuel. All Airline Pilots today carry “alternate fuel”, and every sensible Private Pilot does too.

Last edited by David Billings; 26th Feb 2018 at 23:50.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 09:00
  #163 (permalink)  
 
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Fuel and wreckage

Your very detailed website calculations on fuel usage show what was possible ( from some of the questions on here I wonder if people have read it! ). I must admit to initially doubting the range issue but
having gone through it all I'm beginning to think you might have something. In all your research have you heard anything about whether a Japanese patrol might have earlier stumbled on the wreckage ,
just like the Australian patrol did , and maybe removed any wreck contents they might have passed on to their intelligence people?
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 21:05
  #164 (permalink)  
 
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Propertee64...

Range

I often wonder too if people have read it and absorbed it ! I spent considerable time writing the whole of the website in an attempt to put together what we do know on the factual side in this intriguing project and the hypothetical side of Fuel and Endurance calculations to explain the possibility, took up most of the time. I applaud MS Excel for doing the calculations because if Excel wasn’t around I’d still be running the numbers on a calculator.

…whether a Japanese patrol…etc ?


A good question.

Yes, it is possible that a Japanese Patrol did encounter the wreck, they were certainly there at Wide Bay and all down the coastline as the recorded history tells us. Some of the fighting in the TOL Plantation area was very fierce and of course we cannot forget the massacre of Australian Troops that surrendered at TOL.

However, it is more likely to have been ”Local” people if anything when we discuss someone finding the wreck. Generally speaking, local people in PNG are a bit wary of aircraft wrecks and do not enter aircraft wrecks in case there is anything in there which can go “Bang”. They do not know the difference between transport type aircraft and bomber aircraft.

It is recorded that the villages along the Wide Bay coastline did exist before and during WWII, albeit the location of the villages do change a little

The POMIO people possibly would have removed items “if” they had found it, but they do not know where it is. One of the first questions I asked in arrival there in 1994 was: “Do you know of any old aircraft in this area ?” In Tok Pisin that becomes, “Mi askim yupela, sapos yupela save sampela olpela balus na save ples istap long hap bilong yu ?" All I got was blank looks and a "Nogat", they had even forgotten about the B-17 and only wrote to me in 2000 about that. Whereupon I jumped on a plane to Rabaul, hired a helicopter and landed at the village, picked up three men and went inland and landed on a sandbank and walked up to where they had found something only to find that it was the B-17.

They are as puzzled as we have been since 1994 when they came in with us to search for the first time under my auspices and they had also been with one search party in 1993.

The wreckage will have been laying out in the open from the years 1937 until the time of year that I strongly suspect it was buried by the bulldozer driver: “Mid-1996”

We do know that the wreck was off the ridgeline and just slightly down the slope of the ridge to the northern side.

If not the Pomio people, then who else could possibly find the wreck ?

There had been a tribe of nomadic people called the MOLKOLKOL living in there for many years pre-WWII, during WWII and up until 1951. As well as being nomadic they were very violent and were known for raiding villages on the north side of the island in the OPEN BAY area and also on the south side in the WIDE BAY area where the search we do takes place.

Two Molkolkol were shot by retreating Australian Troops in a river valley when they attacked the party with long handled axes. They were known to co-operate with the Japanese during WWII.

They were rounded up in 1951 by the Australian Administration and were taken to RABAUL and integrated into the BAINING Tribes and generally now are known to live in peace and are not distinguishable from the other tribes around the GAZELLE Peninsula.

The worst raid they committed killed 36 people on the Wide Bay Coast most probably at the same village where we go and is most probably the reason why they were rounded up. This Molkolkol story is possibly significant to your question because a nomadic tribe wandering through the jungle may have come across the wreck and may have disturbed the contents. This has been at the back of my mind since the Robert E. Wallack story about a briefcase belonging to Earhart was reported found in a locked safe on Saipan and which may very well be true “IF” the Molkolkol had found the wreckage and had handed in a briefcase to the Japanese on New Britain Island. No-one has found any Japanese records to back up the briefcase story though, or, evidence of where the briefcase is now....

Because of the fear of the Molkolkol the people in the coastal villagers did not venture far into the forest. Since then, extensive logging has been carried out in the area and on the ridgeline, hence the bulldozer entering the scene in 1995, making tracks.

Last edited by David Billings; 24th Feb 2018 at 23:43.
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Old 22nd Feb 2018, 22:36
  #165 (permalink)  
 
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WWII Operations on New Britain

For those interested in the WWII history of Operations on New Britain island with maps and photographs there is an excellent chapter from official records here;

http://www.awm.gov.au/cms_images/his...hapters/10.pdf

Rgds, DB.

Last edited by David Billings; 23rd Feb 2018 at 04:14.
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Old 23rd Feb 2018, 08:12
  #166 (permalink)  
 
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the Nakani people walked Townsend and co from the Pomio side to the Open bay side to link up with Hargasheimer?an American who had been there some time. Doing poorly his protein was mothers milk. Townsend retired as Air vice Marshal, was to valuable to fall into jap hands so were lifted off by an American sub. So there were certainly a population in the 40s. These areas were always sparsely populated in those days but certainly populated
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:09
  #167 (permalink)  
 
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David,
Would it be possible for you to draw for PPRuNe readers a rough map showing the original planned Lockheed track from Lae to Howland island; especially showing the relative positions of Tarawa and Nauru and annotate whereabouts along that track you feel the change of direction may have occurred that took the aircraft to where you consider the most likely crash site in New Britain. A picture is worth a thousand words
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 12:58
  #168 (permalink)  
 
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Judd:

"Would it be possible for you to draw for PPRuNe readers a rough map showing the original planned Lockheed track from Lae to Howland island, etc..."

On the very first introductory page of the website, there is a diagram of the route that I consider was taken and the point where I explain in the Hypothesis side of the project where the turnback occurred. NAURU and TARAWA are marked on that map as are other places.

Use that as a guide and follow the route on Google Earth or Google Maps...

Most people these days have Google Earth or Google maps.

I find that most writers just draw a 'straight line' from LAE to HOWLAND and have done with it, but for a heavily-laden aircraft the first obstacle would be the eastern end of the SARAWEGED range to the East of LAE. This tail-end of the range goes to 3000 feet or more on this 'straight line'. Earhart was still low over the sea of the HUON Gulf until out of sight...

For the original intended route I would take it that Earhart would have Fred Noonan plot the Great Circle route, it being the shortest. Once Earhart had rounded the northern coast of the Huon Gulf, the way would be clear on a GC Route to head out on track for the southern coast of New Britain Island and make landfall around the GASMATA area. Then the aircraft would coast out again headed for the BUKA Passage, the small straight between BOUGAINVLLE Island and BUKA Island.

Once through there it is open sea until NUKUMANU Island, except for a glimpse of the MORTLOCK Atoll on the left hand side.

However I am convinced that they did not go that way due to the report of a LOW off the S.E. coast of New Britain Island right on that track. There would be a reason not to go that way in bad weather for Mount BALBI is in the area and it goes to 8,500 feet.

From the 0518 GMT call it is apparent that Earhart did not go on the GC Route initially as the call indicated she was over CHOISEUL Island, after that she dog-legged up to NUKUMANU Island to pick up the original intent of the GC Route. See the green line on the map on the website.

From NUKUManu the GC Route is taken all the way towards HOWLAND. Next Landfall would be TABITEUEA Island, then Howland.

My Hypothesis of where they turned back after the Line Search, is based on the Groundspeeds that can be worked out as best we can from the Radio calls. The wind at NUKUMANU Atoll was recorded at 26 mph by Earhart "without a direction" but as I explain in the website with a vector diagram, it had to be from the East and was the reason why Noonan's navigation ended up 20 miles to the West of Nukumanu. Seasonal winds in July across the Pacific are from the East.

The wind at Howland on the morning of their intended arrival was recorded as 31 MPH at 7000 feet from the East.

David Billings
www.earhartsearchpng.com

Last edited by David Billings; 24th Feb 2018 at 22:43.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 13:17
  #169 (permalink)  
 
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Plans and backing

Mr Billings, your website certainly gives a tremendous amount of very interesting detail, and to a degree not seen elsewhere in many respects. Everything you say seems reasonable so I'm amazed that it hasn't generated more interest ( and financial backing ) from the USA especially bearing in mind the history of this flight and the questions it raised. What is your financial target for the next visit to ENB?
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 18:07
  #170 (permalink)  
 
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The wind at Howland on the morning of their intended arrival was recorded as 31 MPH at 7000 feet from the East.
How would that have been measured? Met balloon?
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 21:15
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In response to Far Cu:

That wind figure comes from the TIGHAR Records. The reading was from the US Coast Guard stationed at Howland so I presume the method was by Met Balloon.

I may not agree with a lot of what TIGHAR assumes happened to Earhart and Noonan, but I certainly will give credit for the research carried out by the members of that organisation. Without that extensive research we would be none the wiser on a lot of aspects of the Earhart saga.

The deck logs of the S.S. ONTARIO and the USCG SWAN (the two guard ships) and the USCG ITASCA are contained in the CD that was included with the book written by Gillespie of TIGHAR and from those records came the actual location of the ONTARIO (22 miles out of its' assigned position) and that ONTARIO was headed into a 20 Knot wind from the East at Sea Level at 1030 GMT, around the time of the flyover. If Noonan was referencing that position against the assigned position it affects the navigation.

Last edited by David Billings; 25th Feb 2018 at 06:17.
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Old 24th Feb 2018, 22:07
  #172 (permalink)  
 
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Propertee64

Originally Posted by propertee64 View Post
Mr Billings, your website certainly gives a tremendous amount of very interesting detail, and to a degree not seen elsewhere in many respects. Everything you say seems reasonable so I'm amazed that it hasn't generated more interest ( and financial backing ) from the USA especially bearing in mind the history of this flight and the questions it raised. What is your financial target for the next visit to ENB?
At this moment I am doubting whether we can make it again this year. Last year we took an American Party in who funded the trip but they could only be there for a max of six (6) days. We were ten people last year. The logging tracks down through the rain forest of the Gazelle Peninsular from KOKOPO to Wide Bay have been linked and 4WD is possible but there are three rivers to cross which are fordable if the rain stays away. We studied SAT views and deemed it possible to get down there by 4WD's and that brought the cost back from around US$19,500 for helicopter transport for ten to US$8000 for the hire of three Toyota Hilux 4WD's, of which about US$3000 was refundable..

The measured 160 Kms took seven hours, not the four hours we anticipated and the potholed roads through the urban areas were worse than the logging tracks. The last river ford was quite dangerous. The MEVELO River runs quite fast at the ford even when not in flood. There is a Palm Oil Plantation on the north side of this river and that Company had started to build a bridge over the river using shipping containers ballasted with rocks as the supports, about seven or eight containers. From the SAT views we could see that one span remained to be completed but without that bridge there was an alternate track leading to the site though the Mumus River and through the Yarras River Valley. So all seemed O.K.

The alternate track was blocked by growth and when we arrived at the Mevelo the bridge had been broken by the force of the river in flood but a Toyota Landcruiser TC had just been through the ford so the Hiluxes would not have a problem but the river was up over the wheel arches. That now meant that if it rained heavily the river would be up further. The first night there was a three hour long thunderstorm, the longest I have ever encountered while in there. The inside of the tent was lit up by every flash….

So, we had to watch the river on a daily basis and eventually it was decided that as it was imperative that we get back over the river before it did flood we decided to pull stumps and return to Kokopo after four days.

That means we cannot use vehicles again until a bridge is built and we are now back to using a helicopter. We even tried boats for about five trips but the rough seas are quite dangerous. We will not use boats again unless it is a cruise liner.

There is also not much point in going unless the LiDAR Survey can be done and the data processed.

The Lidar Survey will cost in the region of US$25,000 if done from Australia which means an aircraft flying up and doing the maximum time of a 30-minute scan and then flying back.

It costs roughly US$4000+ per person each trip which include a hotel going in and out. My Team is five so US20,000+ for that.

All up then with the Helicopter, Airfares, Hotels, Gear and Rations my Team of five costs around US$55,000 with LiDAR, 5-Team Costs and 4.5 Hours of Helicopter time.

Exciting stuff !

Last edited by David Billings; 28th Feb 2018 at 14:14.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 02:34
  #173 (permalink)  
 
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This is remarkable work. I am extremely curious.

As has been mentioned there is nothing but benefit to finding a wreck, be it the famous one or not.

David is not talking huge money either. All I can say is spread the word, spread the message end help raise funds. I’ll happily donate a little bit, alas it will take lots of little bits or one major sponsor.

Let’s all get behind this.....
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 07:18
  #174 (permalink)  
 
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LIDAR

So David, do you get the LIDAR survey information first and then plan the trip around those results?

Does that mean that however promising the LIDAR material is you have to wait until funding is available to physically visit the area again?
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 08:35
  #175 (permalink)  
 
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Propertee64:

"So David, do you get the LIDAR survey information first and then plan the trip around those results?"

That is correct... The area is actually not that large it is just completely overgrown into Secondary Jungle. LiDAR will give us indications of ground disturbances... bulldozer tracks, and ground feature changes from the natural flow of the land. It will give us targets in Lat/long that we can go to.

"Does that mean that however promising the LIDAR material is you have to wait until funding is available to physically visit the area again?"

Correct again... if I have the LiDAR plan in my hands, I cannot go until adequate funding is obtained.
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Old 25th Feb 2018, 08:39
  #176 (permalink)  
 
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LIDAR visit

I recall a few years ago, maybe 3 years, the University of Sydney made extensive use of LIDAR in archaeology work in Asia. would they be able to help in any way?
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Old 26th Feb 2018, 01:32
  #177 (permalink)  
 
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Propertee64:

Originally Posted by propertee64 View Post
I recall a few years ago, maybe 3 years, the University of Sydney made extensive use of LIDAR in archaeology work in Asia. would they be able to help in any way?
I think it is longer than three years ago., maybe five or so. I think it was not LiDAR they used, but GPR, by the "Handcart" method ...and you cannot use handcarts in the jungle up there. GPR to hire/use/process is very expensive and takes some time. With LiDAR you can have the results in a day.

Correction.... You are correct, it was LiDAR and it was the Angkor Wat work.

Last edited by David Billings; 26th Feb 2018 at 01:48.
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Old 27th Feb 2018, 21:26
  #178 (permalink)  
 
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David, I've posted previously on this regarding [magnetic] gradiometers (and also ionospheric propagation on that day, but that's another matter).

Having - admittedly rather briefly - reviewed this thread I see that you mention using a 'portable magnetometer' in a previous search. Are you able to elaborate on that? While a gradiometer may use magnetometers it is a somewhat different beast to a single magnetometer, and IMV would ordinarily be the weapon of choice when looking for this sort of thing. If you were in fact using a single magnetometer then I would be less surprised at a nil or somewhat confusing result.

FP.
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 01:57
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First Principal.....

We did use a portable unit on two occasions. It was a unit designed by a Marine Company in Florida. There was a "waterproof" model and a standard model. It consisted of two lengths of what I will call "Plastic Drainage Pipe" about 2 feet (600 mm) long which joined together to form a long tube carried by a Shoulder strap. Power was supplied by rechargeable batteries stored in the tube and with a Control Panel at one end with Headphone socket and Volume and Setting controls. The unit had to be preset to the Earth's Magnetic field according to a diagram. The cost I recall was about $1500.00.

The carriage method in the Jungle was a bit of a problem, weaving in and out between foliage meant it wanted to swing also and the Instructions demanded a steady path for the unit. It also meant that bushknives and spades had to be well away from it while in use. One other problem was that due to the batteries being low charge rate the charge had to be 12 Volts and under 0.5 amps to avoid cooking the batteries so that required a separate transformer to be along as well.....

It was also the reason why I started to accumulate about four or five generators down there. On the early trips we had relied totally in batteries, now I needed a GenSet to charge the Magnetometer batteries.

I found that once I started taking Generators in, it is amazing how the team members managed to carry all manner of those rechargeable electric gadgets with them on the next trip and a queue formed at the Generator....!
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Old 28th Feb 2018, 02:06
  #180 (permalink)  
 
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...and now for the bad News...

The LiDAR Survey quotation has come in from Cyber Space ... The cost of the 30 minute maximum time for the survey sweep and the journey cost is more than double what we were expecting even though the company from Australia have a survey platform transiting through the area in a couple of months time....so the journey cost should be well down... and the total should be reasonable but it is not.

I am afraid the project cannot afford that kind of money. US$60,000 is way out of our league.

No LiDAR... back to square one.
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