Talk:Amelia Earhart/Archive 9

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Woah, there![edit]

I am slightly concerned about the nature of the discussions on this page. It appears that some of the editors have taken to attacking the others. Can I put this really simply? Comment on content, not contributors. The whole of the above thread appears to be an attack on Matt. The whole of the thread before that appears to be an attack on the article and its contributors. All users should calm down a little. Don't complain about each other, and don't troll.

Meanwhile, if Matt wants to take a time out from editing the article, he is completely free to do so. Please, however, don't make a big fuss about it. Leave the article and the talk page for a while, and don't make constant comments such as 'Rather than risking a permanent block on all my contributions to Wikipedia I will never make another change to the article.' There was no posse against you. I agree that it would have been unreasonable if you had been blocked for the whole discussion, but there were three more days afterwards. The consensus, as I impartially read it, was to maintain the former edition of the article.

IMHO, too much discussion has been wasted on this and if it continues it will just go round in circles. There is no more evidence. When there is, please carry on. I hope that helps. ck lostswordTC 17:05, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

I am not used to being part of a french bombardier committee. I'll try not to jack with anyone's rate line or jossle their elbow. I do have a bit of trouble dealing with the concept that speculation is equally valid as known fact. Nor is it easy to adapt to the idea that when writing history (which is what we are doing on this article) one be expected to NOT attempt to discern between the two. It must have been a bad upbringing by some good professors.Mark Lincoln 18:52, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
They have searched the ocean floor twice in the last decade. No Electra. They have searched Nikumaroro dozens of times in the past decades. No Earhart, Noonan, or Electra. Matt605 21:02, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Thread seems to be open to comment and corrections. Mark errantly spelled "adapt" as "adopt". People "adapt to" not "adopt to". Matt605 21:22, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
Please read the note above, this discussion thread is closed. Bzuk 21:07, 3 September 2007 (UTC).
If the thread is closed, then why do you continue to post to it? Matt605 21:58, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

Threads might be closed Matt, but minds are not. Sorry about the vowel.Mark Lincoln 00:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Popular culture references[edit]

In her lifetime and after, a whole range of dolls, trinkets and souvenirs were created to exploit the Earhart image. Is there need to remark on this marketing ploy? FWIW Bzuk 21:12, 3 September 2007 (UTC).

I think so. It might seem unsavory, but it certainly wasn't. She was a self-promoter, she was doing what it took to keep flying. Endorsing Amelia Earhart, this and AE that, and cigarettes, was part of the game (scam?)Mark Lincoln 21:39, 3 September 2007 (UTC)
I wasn't disparaging her and her husband (promoter/manager)'s afforts at increasing public awareness or in selling a very saleable image, I was looking for an appropriate place to include a comment- perhaps in "Celebrity image". FWIW, there is still a range of products sold to this day with the Earhart image, including her luggage. I noted that a few years ago, Corgi Toys turned out a very passable fascimle of her Lockheed Vega as a Christmas collectable. Flick the prop and a small electric motor would spin the propeller; it made a nice souvenir. Bzuk 22:17, 3 September 2007 (UTC).

Edit of radio transmissions[edit]

I have waited for several days for someone to edit the radio transmissions section of the article to conform with what is known from events at the time. I decided to act. I would rather that those who I have communicated with would have done it as I feel that I am too closely identified with the traditional view of events for my efforts to go unchallanged. I have tried to not go into the signals which were 'heard', who heard them, the political and press situation, and the response of the various officials and agencies. We are not editing the "AE search and rescue circus article." I am aware that if AE and Noonan were down near Howland, the hoax about them being down 281 miles north west of Howland reduced their chances of rescue fatally. I am also aware that the Colorado's floatplanes searched without results the Phoenix Islands instead of more probable regions near Howland. The people at the time were doing what they could to locate and rescue the aviators. The people relaying reports of hearing signals were in most cases certainly trying to help. Despite the best efforts of everyone, the situation was grim. There were some folks who were no doubt engaged in hoaxes. There were also some folks calling AE on her favored frequency and might have been heard - garbled - by others as well intentioned. One thing is clear. There was no island 281 miles NW of Howland and no one saw an Electra down on the land in the Phoenix Islands.Mark Lincoln 23:14, 3 September 2007 (UTC)

The search[edit]

I have participated in both air and ground searches. The people looking for Earhart did a pretty good job given their assets and their very politically and media driven directives.

I cannot know how the guy overflying Gardener Island "felt". I can say that he reported he had to climb above 400 feet to avoid bird strikes. 400 feet isn't much and you can clearly see an airplane, wreckage, or a person waving their hands. Perhaps AE and Noonan had hidden the Electra and were sleeping in. I doubt it. I would have been out in the open at the sound of an airplane engine and making all sorts of obvious and probably embarassing motions. But then I never wanted to be a legend and never wished to disappear in a "mystery."Mark Lincoln 00:08, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

You've done a good job in your revisions but I do have one unsourced statement for you to look at. "Official reporting of the search effort was influenced by individuals wary about how their roles in looking for an American hero might be reported by the press." FWIW, probably quite true but I will look for some verification. Bzuk 00:15, 4 September 2007 (UTC).
Check the record, those are not my words. I had no reason to delete them, so I left them in. It was a matter of NOT asserting anything I could not prove. I will say this. The failure of AE to arrive at Howland was a shock to America. The public and press seemed to think that the Navy/Coast Guard should find them. The argument about influences, though unsupported, was not unreasonable. I would have been wrong in my estimate to remove it. For the men tasked with the search, the realities of the situation seem to have been clear. The captian of the Itasca immediately started searching to the NNW of Howland on a line of 157/337. It seems to me he understood the line of approach that Noonan was attempting and wished to use it as the basis of his search. He next sailed to the east, to search the area NE of Howland where AE and Noonan would have arrived if they had overshot before turning SSE on to their approach heading. Again a quite reasonable decision given that they had seen nothing NNW of Howland.
It was only after people thousands of miles away and under intense "Press"ure started to give orders based upon radio transmissions reported to them that the search started taking on bizarre and unreasonable dimensions.Mark Lincoln 00:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Under any circumstances I feel it would be wrong to describe the search for AE as either negligent or incompetent. The fact is that most aircraft sink within minutes of landing and that given the great number of radio reports the searchers were not wrong in pursuing those possibilities rather than the possibility that AE and Noonan were in a raft where the Itasca had already searched. This is my opinion. We used to fly out to Abaco, one guy in a Pawnee to spray crops, two in a Citabria with a raft to throw to that guy if he had to ditch. The thought crossed my mind I might need the raft myself.Mark Lincoln 00:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Yep, I've found where the original statement was derived. It was quite a tenuous period wherein the media and government critics relentlessly criticized the efforts made by the Navy, especially after they took over command of the search. The search was unprecedented in that part of the world and drew considerable attention. Contemporary reports indicate that the search was extensive and carried out carefully. In the first days, a storm prevented the launch of a Navy search aircraft from Hawaii, but the USCG Itasca continued its work, despite the inclement weather. After a massive expenditure in resources, the search was called off when no material evidence was found of the aviators or the Electra. With more "flak" directed to the efforts, FDR was personally involved in defense of his "beloved" Navy. If anything, the Navy, USCG and other searchers were too compliant in "running down" many illogical leads, including a number of hoax messages. FWIW Bzuk 00:46, 4 September 2007 (UTC).
What was a search and rescue problem for a few people near Howland Island grew like Topsy. I have read that Paul Mantz 'heard' a message from Amelia. Seems that someone told him that three long dashes had been heard, and he said that was an agreed signal. Amelia had no morse key aboard, so. . . . There are a million stories in the Naked City, and several million in the naked society. There is a purported in depth study of the search to be published this month. I have read so many blatantly obscured reports of the search that I welcome the efforts of someone who has tried to cut through the BS and get to the source material. Over 40 years ago a South Vietnames AF A-1 went down on a navigation exercise from Eglin to Homestad AFB. We searched high an low for him. I have never read of him being found out in the Everglades. The A-1 was painted camo, and the everglades is a big place. At least the L-10E would have stood out in silver and orange. At least if it was intact upon a beach, the occupants would have been trying to get someone's attention.
At least we didn't have a nation, it's press, and concerned politicians telling us where to look next.Mark Lincoln 01:07, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Paul Mantz was besieged by the press in the aftermath of the disappearance and a number of unfortunate and ill-considered statements were attributed to him. He later made a concentrated effort to "think before he spoke." He would subsequently disavow a number of the statements he made in those first days of frenzy. He was reluctant to speak of Amelia in later years but in one of his last interviews, he revealed that he intended to write a book on his years with Earhart. Sadly, he left right after for work on Flight of the Phoenix. FWIW Bzuk 01:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC).
I have a picture of myself standing next to the XP-85 in the storage area at the Talmantz Museum in early 1964. It was taken by Mr. Mantz. It is my understanding that when he botched the fly-by with Billy Rose, he was under the influence of alcohol. Sic gloria transit mundi.

It is most certain that Amelia Earhart, Fred Noonan and the L-10E failed to arrive at Howland Island. It is most probable that they died within 100 or so miles of their objective. The failure seems to have been related to errors in the planning for radio communications and radio direction finding. I have often wondered if they had been appraised of the most recent forecast of winds aloft BEFORE they took off if they would have left. I will never know. Noonan might have liked a drink as much as the hard drinking crowd that composed avation at the time, but I have seen no evidence he was drunk when they took off. Earhart might not have been a 'natural' pilot but clearly she was a very competent one. There was great confusion about what radio frequencies could be used, what would be used, when, and about what capabilities had been retained upon the L-10E. The folks on the Itasca had been briefed about the capabilities while Captain Manning would have been handling the radios. He was qualified to operate in both A3 and A1 (morse). The trailing antenna had not been discarded, as the morse key had not been when he briefed the Coast Guard. They both had been before the final flight. To lighten the ship for what was clearly the critical leg of the flight the decision was made to leave both flares and smoke bombs behind when leaving Lae. I can only assume Noonan made the decision. The lack of them could have left him with no way besides whitecaps to determine drift. And thus which way the wind was carrying them as they searched for Howland. I wish I could place the blame upon a singel action by a single person. I cannot. The mission was cobbled together ad hoc by well intentioned people. They were all working on budgets either limited by fact, or by the necessity to bury it within greater appropriations. They all meant well, of that I have no doubt.

Some days you get lucky, other days the shit stacks up against you.Mark Lincoln 01:51, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Of course, two searches of the ocean floor in the past decade have failed to produce the Electra, and the pilot who searched Gardner in 1937 didn't arrive there for a solid week after the plane went missing. The search for Earhart is widely considered to have been incompetent at best and certainly badly coordinated, poorly executed, and unplanned. Mark, you did everything you could for the pilot of the AF A-1 that you couldn't find 40 years ago. No one is categorizing you along with those who failed Earhart and Noonan. Matt605 14:32, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Where did you get the idea that the search effort was incompetent, unplanned and poorly executed? Safford categorizes this as another of the "hoaxes" (Safford et al 2003, p. 70.) that appeared in the aftermath of the Earhart disappearance. He devotes an entire chapter to the account of the search from personal perspectives of the pilots involved. The only disclaimer he makes is that the US Navy was derelict in not placing the USN Swan and Pelican as picket ships prior to the Earhart/Noonan flight. FWIW Bzuk 21:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC).

Penguins[edit]

Recently a documentary about Penguins achieved a certain political correctness in the USA. I did not understand this as Penguins are birds and respond to far more fundamental forces than Political Correctness.

Penguins tend to bunch up at the edge of the ice and wait for another Penguin to dive in and find out if an Orca or Sea Lion is waiting for lunch. If no one dives in, the ones in back press until someone falls in.

Nice guys. Very "Family Values."Mark Lincoln 00:40, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

? Bzuk 00:48, 4 September 2007 (UTC).

? Someone could have done what I did. Instead it was put off until I decided to dive in.Mark Lincoln 02:09, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Thank you for diving in. I wasn't waiting because I was timid; I was waiting because I wasn't as expert in the subject. Interested, yes; expert, no. The article fairly shines now. Binksternet 02:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I second that, not that I didn't want to do it but I was waiting for a new source which was delayed in the mails. However, you did make the plunge! Bzuk 02:39, 4 September 2007 (UTC).

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Blimey. I've just waded through all of the above verbiage and can't really see what all the fuss is about. Anyone pilot who knows the basic parameters of this flight and has an appreciation of the technology of the time can very clearly see what happened. - Of course, there are other theories that suggest that they didn't simply take an unplanned swim a trifle out of their depth. So; Why not just list them all without bothering to analyse their veracity, - and link them to the various sites outside of Wiki that specialise in such speculation and let the 'surfers make-up their own minds? If they want to believe that they were 'beamed-up to the mothership' - fine.

All the passionate argument and speculation as to exactly how much fuel they had or what exactly went awry is utterly pointless and not a little inane. The witnesses are dead. Pilots of they day were good enough at hitting continents or following line-features. Even the best DR relied on an element of luck. Even with todays 'accurate' (lol..!) weather forecasts DR is still pretty hit-and-miss. To find a tiny island in the middle of the Pacific after many, many hours in the air and an exponentially increasing circle of uncertainty would be a fools errand by DR alone. That the radio aids they carried didn't do the job is self evident, - whatever the reason. They ran the odds and they paid the price.

For my own part, I'm surprised that many of the aviators from the 'Golden Age' lasted as long as they did. Many were not, frankly, the best, and many (Perhaps most...) were, it has to be said, ruthless self-promoters who could afford to indulge in this glamorous road to fame. Many died in obscurity and most were simply forgotten very shortly after their demise anyway. The technology of the time was pretty basic too. If the E&N machine made it to land, it would almost certainly have been found in the intervening decades. Had they seen ANY land, with a rapidly diminishing fuel supply, they would have made for it - with tightly-puckered sphincters no doubt. As for the contention espoused above, that the fact that 'the a/c has not been found on the sea-bed' is of any relevance, - one can only chuckle at it's naive illogicality. It's difficult enough to find huge steel/iron ships on the sea-bed without and exact DGPS position-fix, let alone the small and very corroded remnants of a frail aluminium a/c that could be anywhere in many, many hundreds of square-miles of sea-bed...

They ran out of luck and they ran out of fuel, - and they died and it's very unlikely in the extreme that the remains will ever be located. Those are the known facts and no mystery whatever. I can live with that.

PP. _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ —Preceding unsigned comment added by PontiusPilot (talkcontribs) 13:58, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

PontiusPilot, those paragraph indents freak the template out.Mark Lincoln 14:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

The "Golden Age" was really an age of hope and desperation for aviators. Hard for folks now days to realize that the fastest air racers in America were often "home built." Things were different, very different.Mark Lincoln 14:17, 4 September 2007 (UTC) _______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Thank you Mark. I wondered what was causing the glitch...! PP. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ —Preceding unsigned comment added by PontiusPilot (talkcontribs) 14:22, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Search Efforts, Winslow Reef[edit]

Someone added ", later identified as Winslow Reef.[88] " to the line about the reported signals from AE claiming to be on an uncharted island 281 miles NW of Howland. I realize that this helps with the argument that she was transmitting as said broadcast was the only one giving a precise location but the person making the post overlooked a few vital facts:

Winslow Reef is at 01°36'S, 174°51' W.

Howland Island is at 00°13' N, 176°38' W.

Thus Winslow Reef is SE of Howland, and could not be the "unknown" (and non-existent) island specified in the broadcast giving AE's alleged position. Nice try, but no cigar. Get a map.Mark Lincoln 16:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Whoops, that was me, Winslow Reef was indeed part of the search but I may have placed the note about it in the wrong location. The location of Winslow Reef had been marked on charts as an undetermined position and resulted in a frustrating search as the carrier pilots could not locate the reef that may have been submerged. I am at my office and do not have any references so I may just take out the reference to Winslow Reef out of the equation. FWIW Bzuk 18:29, 4 September 2007 (UTC).
That is typical of those sneaky reefs, they hide under water and catch unsuspecting ships. ;-)Mark Lincoln 21:28, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Radio Signals addition[edit]

I added a paragraph explaining reasons for errors in radio direction finding and limitations on the range of the Electra's radio.Mark Lincoln 20:43, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

Mark, besides Howland Island and Lae, were there other stations that were tuned into Earhart? I wasn't sure if there were other stations- Naru? Itasca? Swan? or Pelican? FWIW Bzuk 21:34, 4 September 2007 (UTC).
There were other stations. The point is that with 50 watts on 96.6 meters at night from a relatively high altitude, optimum conditions, neither Lae or Howland could possibly hear her although they were only 1,000 miles away. What about if she was on the ground on Shangri La Island, thousands of miles from Hawaii, Midway and Wake? Even with 'skip' (much less daytime "D" layer absorbtion) ALL radio communications are subject to the "square law" which simply put says that every time you double the distance from the transmitter, you quarter the amount of energy available for reception at any point.Mark Lincoln 22:39, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Bubba Texas knows that his CB can't hear beyond a certain distance. That The White Knight will come in weak, get stronger fast, come in 5/5 for a while, and then rapidly drop into the distance. Citizens Band, which is VHF, 11 meters, CB is limited to 4 watts output A3 (which is the mode AE used). A station intended for use in transcontinental communications, or intercontinental from the coasts using the Amateur 80 meter band would be typically 500 or 1,000 watts.
Earhart liked 3105 kilocycles (3.1 Mc) which was 96.6 meters wavelength. Essentially anything under 3.5 Mc (3500 Kc) is not a DX (long distance) frequency. Read all about the "80 meter band" at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/80_metersMark Lincoln 22:39, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
The added paragraph assumes that only Americans were on the frequencies in the Pacific. "Restricted to aviation use by the FCC" does not exclude use by non-Americans in the middle of an ocean, but let's not permit reality to interfere. Matt605 22:47, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Matt, do you really have a clue? We are talking about AE and communications in English on 3105 Kc, in the A3 (radiotelephone) mode.
Did anyone report some yahoo jabbering in Farsi? Did anyone say that they were Amelia Earhart in Erdu? Did anyone say they had homed in on Evis Yamamoto in his UFO hovering over Hull Island ordering Earhart to land so he could abduct her? I know folks get upset when I respond to your foolishness, but. . . Mark Lincoln 22:57, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
No, there are no reports of other radio traffic in the region at all, but expanding the context is a tactic of conspiracy theorists and I will not stoop to suggest it. Matt605 23:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I think anyone who considers the reality of communications on the wavelengths involved will understand that the chances of Amelia Earhart sending signals with a 50 watt transmitter from an airplane which managed a perfect normal landing and was on the ground using a poorly matched sub-1/4 length V-type antenna and being heard 2,000 miles that location is slim. I am not accusing well intentioned men of doing something wrong. I cannot tell you what they heard, or if they heard it. I can tell you the physics is hard to ignore. I can say that I have no reason to doubt they wanted to help and might well have heard something. In several cases they might have heard others of them calling Earhart. It was a real goat rope out there.Mark Lincoln 22:57, 4 September 2007 (UTC)

I believe there were only reports of heavy static on July 2, 1937. Earhart's 10E was nicknamed the "Flying Laboratory" because of all the sophisticated equipment in it, and yet so many are certain of what she could not do. Matt605 23:20, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Matt, the "Flying Laboratory" stuff was PR bullshit. She didn't have 'all the sophisticated equipment on it." There was no 'secret" equipment on board the aircraft. The closest thing to the bleeding edge of technology was the experimental High Frequency Direction Finder which the US Army borrowed from the US Navy to send to Howland Island where the USCG considered it unreliable as it turned out to be.
Matt there are no deep dark secrets being kept in a hidden dungeon beneath the Roosevelt White House about the 1937 flight. There is one single unencrypted message between two employees of the Commerce Department and that is ONLY because the cipher has been lost.
One BIG difference between today and the heyday of conspiracy theories - 1960-1995 - is that there has been SERIOUS scholarship done and the extent of what we know about what we know is certain.
Matt you need to take some classes in logic and critical thinking. This is not an insult. It is an honest recommendation. The first time I read Goerner's book I thought he might be on to something. I have been reading AE disappearance books since. I have considered them carefully and I have considered what I read in view of my lifetime interests and learning.
I really don't give a damn Matt if you agree with me. But for your own sake, consider what a guy once told me as we were flying in a Stearman. He was an "old head" and I was a young buck. I was in hog heaven wearing cloth helmet with "gosport tubes" and flying a rag-wing, round engined, biplane! He got exasperated with the young romantic in the back seat and said - "Son, I can teach a monkey to fly, but damned if I can teach you to think." Then he pulled the gosport tube away from his helmet and tossed it into the wind.Mark Lincoln 23:35, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
Wasn't there also a small USCG or USN boat directly in the flighpath toward Howland? Did this ship hear the aviators as they crossed on their route? This sentence seems to neglect the additional boat: "mid-way between Lae and Howland, (over 1,000 miles from each) neither station heard a scheduled transmission by her at 0815 GCT."
I hope they don't disconnect your tube, Mark, but you need to give us some hope. Matt605 23:46, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
"Wasn't there also a small USCG or USN boat directly in the flighpath toward Howland?" -- Matt
Yes Matt, there was a small USN seaplane tender, The AVP-7 Swan, formerly the MV-34 Swan.
What about it Matt? Did it affect the range of AE's transmissions? I doubt it. I can't see how.Mark Lincoln 00:12, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Well is there some reason why a radio positioned mid-way between Lae and Howland would not hear the 10E flying directly over it? Obviously, the extra receiver would not impact the 10E's ability to transmit, but since it was closer than Howland and Lae, then at least it should have heard any transmission. Matt605 00:32, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The five en route radio stations: Nauru, Ocean Island, Butaritari, Tarawa and Beru did not transmit specifically for radio bearings unless they were called first on 500 kc, which Earhart and Noonan did not have as an option. As for passing overhead, the Electra overflew Nukumanu Islands, the USN Ontario and the cruise yacht Yankee, near Tabiteuea and reports were received by all these sites. In terms of the intended flight path and if you connect these points on a map, you will see each of these points was "right on the nose," indicating no possibility of straying as far out of range as Saipan, Mili Atoll, the Phoenix Islands or any other distant locations. (Safford et al 2003, p. 113-114.) The next picket station was the USCG Itasca which did not see the Electra. FWIW Bzuk 03:23, 5 September 2007 (UTC).
I said nothing of the flight path in my question, Bzuk. So you knock down a straw man that you yourself brought into the discussion. Whatever gets you through the night. To re-cap, I asked why what we now know (thanks to Mark) was the Swan did not hear the 10E. However, I now understand Mark's point that the 10E's transmitter was weak. Not being heard by Lae, Howland, or the Swan, if that was in fact the case, and we have not established that in this thread, could indicate that the 10E missed a scheduled transmission at the mid-point.
I also have a question about the strength of the transmitter compared to other transmitters. At night, the AM radio stations from thousands of miles away can be heard because their signals are not blocked by the local stations that are more powerful in the daytime. So isn't signal strength of radio waves actually a question of signal strength relative to everything else? I mean, theoretically, shouldn't aliens in other galaxies now be viewing original broadcasts of "I Love Lucy" that were first transmitted in 1952 and that have continued to travel through space? Matt605 10:47, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Ships were on the way and Earhart passed over them and was observed even though radio contact was not made. FWIW Bzuk 13:47, 5 September 2007 (UTC).
First Matt, Lae heard her transmissions grow weaker and then nothing, hours later Howland heard her faintly and then as time went on much more strongly. This is not surprising as the range of her transmitter/antenna combination was limited. She was using 3105, something like 96.6 meters, which is too low a frequency for reliable long distance communications. Consider this line from the Wikipedia "80 Meters" (Band) article:"During the daytime, a station in middle or high latitudes using 100W and a single element antenna would likely have a maximum communication range of 500–800 km, perhaps extending to 1500 km for a station using a kilowatt and antennas with some gain. These ranges are lower closer to the equator due to higher solar radiation which produces D-layer absorption." Twice the power and an efficient antenna and you can expect 300-500 miles, using 20 times the power she had and you might get 900 miles. She was out of communications with both ends of her flight because of physics Matt, not some wierdness.Mark Lincoln 17:51, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Given the distance to the nearest galaxies and the speed of light the aliens there will have to wait another 169,000 years to laugh at Lucy. Even then given the "square law" they had would need something better than a 1949 Muntz TV and a pair of rabbit ears to pick up the signal. Radio propagation depends upon many factors. The reason that AM radio can be heard over longer distances at night is a function of the improved 'skip' off of ionization layers for the wavelength they are transmitting on. To keep down interference, many have to reduce power at night. The FCC handled that range problem with aviation radios in the US during the 1930s by having aircraft use 6210 Kc, which skips fairly well at night) during the day and 3105 Kc which does not skip as well at night, they also restricted the power of the transmitters.Mark Lincoln 17:51, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
  • Sigh* There were dozens of similar cases, where people disappeared or were killed while trying perform some record-breaking flight. Amelia just happened to be Americas darling at the time and generated massive publicity. The fact is that record-breaking was risky business (an still is, as shown for instance by the disappearance of Steve Fossett), and that the aircraft of the time were quite unreliable, and even more unreliable when being extensively modified. There were no UFOs involved, nor any espionage...these are just fallacies. --MoRsE (talk) 00:29, 19 November 2007 (UTC)

Separating fact and opinion[edit]

I have been doing a lot of work on the Earhart article the last day. I have tried to confine my 'opinion" to the discussion and what could be "known' to the article. I would rather discuss what I intend to do with the other editors on the discussion page FIRST, before I act. This is just the way I would rather work. I have spent most of my life as an independent business man. That does not mean I have been a dictator. Only a big business can afford to operate with a dictator who has contempt for what its clients want and his employees know 'in charge'.

I think the Wikipedia is a GREAT idea. I have written an article and edited on others. I work largely from my own library. I can say that I have reached the point in life where I wish I had invested more in securities and less in books. But when I reach up and pull down the volume I need it seems not such a horrible mistake.

I am going to take a few days off of the AE Article and consider the feedback. I have avoided totally editing in the various 'conspiracy theories' even though I feel very confident I could blast them into nothingness. The point is that I feel editing those conspiracy theories should be given over to those who believe them. Matt should have some reasonable say over what goes into the Saipan part of the article. Why? Because he believes. Not that the Saipan Theory should be allowed to overwhelm the Article. Those whom have paid attention know that I have said that we are not working on the "Radio Theory" page or the "Blast the Conspiracy" article.

There was a point where I felt it necessary to add - at the end - a few caveats and cavils about the FACTS of RDF technology at the time and the PHYSICS of radio transmission as well as what was available to AE if she was down on some shangri la and trying to get the word out.

I feel I owed it to readers to give them the leads necessary to comprehend what was being stated concerning the various communications and intercepts reported in the days after Earhart said she was switching to 6210 to repeat her message. In the end, the Wikipedia is about several things to me. First it is for the good of humanity. To make knowledge available to anyone who can log on. Second it is about being as honest as possible with those who did what we report. Third, it is about giving those who read the the leads which would enable them to continue on and learn more.Mark Lincoln 00:01, 5 September 2007 (UTC)


I agree. There is a clear lack of ability of some of the interested parties to discriminate between real facts, hearsay, and opinions. I took a good look at the TIGHAR site after reading some of the Wiki on Earhart. The TIGHAR people don't seem to have turned up a single shred of real tangible evidence whatever to support their hypotheses for Gardner Island. Just a handful of crap that could have belonged to anyone, either washed-up, left by a visiting yacht or from the known shipwreck. That doesn't mean to say that they can't possibly be right. Just that the evidence is not even circumstantial and is overshadowed hugely by the known aeronautical facts. There are a number of theories of varying credibility, but the basic facts tell all one really needs to know. I would surmise that the advocates of the more imaginative theories are not pilots..... Anyone who has flown for a few years will know what I mean. Many of the theorists are obsessed with the idea that there is a 'mystery', - when in fact there is none whatever. E&N simply pushed the limits of the technology and their abilities - and paid the price. Boring to some maybe, - but pretty scary if you have been even a mere 100nm from a body of land in a 1930's a/c, even WITH GPS, - let alone looking for a tiny islet in the vastness of the worlds largest ocean on DR (>shudders<..!). Even if any evidence were found, as to the exact location of their machine, what difference would it really make? Not one jot, except perhaps to end the pointless speculation. Their kite lies within a calculable area of uncertainty, and that's all one needs to know. The seemingly endless panoply of theories could all be listed - and readers could be directed off-site if they wish to indulge their interests in these theories. PP —Preceding unsigned comment added by PontiusPilot (talkcontribs) 00:14, 5 September 2007 (UTC)

TIGHAR has done much good in the area of Earhart scholarship. They backed Ric Gillespies book "Finding Amelia," and the companion CD is a font of source material. TIGHÅR seems to have latched on to Amelia Earhart as a fund raising device. Every year or two they send an 'expedition' to 'find AE." All they find is junk, but it gets them a lot of press, keeps the public interested, and the money coming in. Given that the motives of AE as she set on on her final flight were the same, it is, in a way, a fitting tribute.Mark Lincoln 14:39, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The TIGHAR research is privately funded, promotional in nature, but balanced, adventurous, and honest. Like the two sweeps of the ocean floor in the past decade, TIGHAR's research has repeatedly failed to shout down those who postulate that Earhart and Noonan ended their voyage elsewhere. Matt605 14:53, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
The last two days I have been reading my copy of "Finding Amelia" which I had purchased but not read. I have been pleasantly surprised. Gillespie certainly is making his argument, but he is doing so in a scholarly manner. The CD even contains materials which go to disprove the official TIGHAR position. I wish they would spend more trying to recover the TBD and less grandstanding. Still raising money is necessary and both TIGHAR and AE have/had the knack.
Matt you and I have fundamentally different approaches to the problem of 'what happened." You have taken a position and seek information to prove it. I have taken the approach used in aircraft accident investigations. After I read Goerner's book I started considering the various possibilities. When an aircraft accident is investigated ALL possibilities are on the table, they are eliminated systematically until a most probable cause is found. Engine failure is considered until it can be eliminated. Structural failure is considered until it can be eliminated, and so on. What is left is the 'most probable cause.'
I have read the range study that Kelly Johnson prepared for Earhart. It is thorough, and it reads like what it is, an aeronautical engineer describing precisely with attendant graphs and formula, exactly how to squeeze every bit of range out of the L-10E. Aeronautical engineers are always a tat frustrated with pilots for wrecking perfectly fine airplanes. Pilots all seem to suspect Engineers live in ivy covered towers.
Kelly Johnson took a theoretically perfect L-10E (which could not be manufactured at the time and certainly didn't exist after a major accident), and on paper 'flew it" in a perfectly still air environment, with no bugs smeared on the leading edges causing drag, a 'standard day,' everything working perfectly, no bad weather, no headwinds, no cross winds, no tired pilot, no turbulence, weather, etc. We know pretty precisely how long and/or far the Electra could have flown if EVERYTHING was perfect. Thus I can eliminate ANY proposed course for the airplane which has it taking off from Lae and arriving near Howland 19 hours later which would require it to fly faster than it could have, and longer than it could have, if it cruised that fast.
I hope you understand what I am saying. It isn't that 41 years ago I was not willing to entertain Mr. Goerner's arguments. It is that what he argued was impossible. Because it was impossible, it could be eliminated - had to be eliminated - as a possible cause for the loss of of Earhart's Electra.Mark Lincoln 22:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
As for TIGHAR's "Gardner Island" hypothesis. The problem with a probable cause of the Electra landing intact upon Gardner Island is that when the Navy searched the Island from the air no Electra was present and there was no effort by AE and Noonan to signal the airplane searching the island. Thus, because nothing was found, it is possible to eliminate as a probable cause, a landing on Gardner Island.
At the end of the process of elimination there is only one 'probable cause' which cannot be eliminated, and is highly probable given the geographic situation and range of the Electra.Mark Lincoln 22:29, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Your commentary regarding Gardner island's topography and acoustics appears to be original research. All the best. Gwen Gale 22:33, 5 September 2007 (UTC)
Gwen I am reading Gillespies book. On pg 85 he engages in a misrepresentation when he footnotes a transmission from Earhart. He tries to make it seem that she is flying with an optimum fuel burn by saying that it is 'speculative' to consider her report of wind 23 knots speed of 140 knots were referring to headwinds and ground speed. Those are the important figures that people tracking the flight would need to know. Her indicated and true airspeeds would be meaningless to them. Headwinds are a critical factor, why would she mention the 'wind' if it didn't matter? Moreover she reports her altitude less than half way into the flight as 8,000 feet. I am looking at Lockheed Report 487, specifically the chart prepared by Kelly Johnson showing "Recommended Flight Proceedure" "Data for Obtaining Optimum Range." It clearly shows that until almost 1,500 miles into the flight she should have been at 2,000 feet. She was to then climb to 4,000 feet until almost 2,500 miles into the flight and ONLY then would she climb to 8,000 feet. Gillespie had to try and ignore that Earhart had burned a lot of fuel dragging a lot of fuel to 8,000 feet and argue that there was no headwind so that she would be 'fat' when she got to Howland. All of the folks pushing 'theories' tend to shade their books Gwen. You have to pay attention.Mark Lincoln 11:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Gwen I did not alter a statement in the Gardner Island part of the article. The article states the TIGHAR party line that "For example, in 1940, Gerald Gallagher, a British colonial officer (also a licensed pilot) radioed his superiors to inform them that he believed he had found Earhart's skeleton, along with a sextant box, under a tree on the island's southeast corner." If one reads Gallagher's report it turns out that is a misrepresentation. He states clearly "Bones look more than four years old to me but there seems to very slight chance that they may be remains of Amelia Earhardt (sic)." That is far from stating he thought they WERE AEs. Note that TIGHAR is always happy to point out that a 'sextant' box was found, but that was not all. Gallagher said "(c) Sextant box has two numbers on it 3500 (stencilled) and 1542 -- sextant being old fashioned and probably painted over with black enamel." (Emphasis mine) Needless to say mentioning the sextant - not a modern 'bubble' sextant as would be needed for navigation of an airplane - makes it clear that the sextant and box had nothing to do with Noonan. You have to pay attention Gwen.Mark Lincoln 11:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Looking carefully at pictures of Gardner Island in published sources is merely paying attention Gwen. Critical thinking, watching for inconsistencies and bias on the part of authors, considering all the facts available and noting what is omitted in making arguments as well as what is used, are all skills that anyone can learn and apply. If that is rejected as "original research' then we all might as well close our books and go home.Mark Lincoln 11:58, 6 September 2007 (UTC)

Doesn't matter. If one puts any of those interpretations in the article without direct support from a verifiable and independent source, they will most likely be deleted as original research. 12:56, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
"Some months ago working party on Gardner discovered human skull--this was buried and I only recently heard about it. Thorough search has now produced more bones (including lower jaw) part of a shoe a bottle and a sextant box. It would appear that
(a) Skeleton is possibly that of a woman,
(b) Shoe was a woman's and probably size 10,
(c) Sextant box has two numbers on it 3500 (stenciled) and 1542--sextant being old fashioned and probably painted over with black enamel.
Bones look more than four years old to me but there seems to be very slight chance that this may be the remains of Amelia Earhard. If United States authorities find that above evidence fits into general description, perhaps they could supply some dental information as many teeth are intact. Am holding latest finds for present but have not exhumed skull. There is no local indication that this discover is related to wreck of the "Norwich City."
- Text of the telegram from Gerald Gallagher to Resident Commissioner Barley, as published: Gillespie, Ric, "Finding Amelia," Annapolis, Maryland, Naval Institute Press, 2006, page 241, ISBN 1-59114-319-5.
Is that an 'interpretatin' by me Gwen? Is that "Original Research" on my part Gwen?Mark Lincoln 13:39, 6 September 2007 (UTC)