New Guinea - Amelia Earhart & Fred Noonan, en route to Howland Island, 2 July 1937

Discussion in 'Pre-1960's Missing' started by Dark Knight, Mar 31, 2007.

  1. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    It's not the first time researchers have examined the bones or pondered a possible link with Earhart. The remains were analyzed by Dr. D. W. Hoodless, principal of the Central Medical School in Fiji, who concluded that the bones belonged to a male. The bones themselves have since been lost.

    Researcher Richard Jantz used a new technology called Fordisc to estimate the sex and ancestry of the remains. "I reassess (bone measurements) with realistic assumptions about who could have been on Nikumaroro island during the relevant time."

    Her tibia length and body dimensions were measured using some of her clothing kept.

    After comparing numerous measurements of Earhart with those of the bones, Jantz concluded that "the only documented person to whom they may belong is Amelia Earhart."

    https://www.abc57.com/news/bones-from-pacific-island-likely-those-of-amelia-earhart
     
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  2. ad rem

    ad rem Member

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    If not already mentioned here on WebSleuths: Amelia Earhart and Frank Noonan enacted return contingency plan then crash-landed on New Britain, PNG. Hypothesis and strong circumstantial evidence...


    https://earhartsearchpng.com/


    ...that their wreck was inadvertently located by Australian troops during WWII.

     
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  3. margol29

    margol29 Member

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    Amelia Earhart's last days: New distress call analysis provides intimate portrait of her final week

    New article in USA Today gives more info radio transmissions.

    "For Richard Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, this is a glimpse into how he believes Earhart’s last days with communication to civilization transpired — pieced together by analyzing a catalog of radio distress calls picked up by both area governmental agencies and witnesses in the immediate days after Earhart went missing. "
     
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  4. JerseyGirl

    JerseyGirl Staff Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  5. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    All accounts indicate that Amelia and Noonan were low on fuel when in the vicinity of Howland Island. Radio transmissions were heard from the plane, but it is not certain if the plane could hear any radio transmissions from the Coast Guard Cutter, Itasca. Since the Itasca had a higher antenna and probably more transmitting power, the plane likely heard them.

    Transmissions from Amelia indicated that she felt she was close to Howland Island, where a prepared air strip and fuel awaited her. However, she claimed to not know exactly where the island was and was flying back and forth trying to locate it.

    Her only means of locating the island, aside from getting a visual on it, was to try and fly the heading indicated by her Automatic Direction Finding (ADF) antenna. This was a large ring-like antenna that could be turned by hand to pick up a High Frequency (HF) Radio transmission. It worked like the old AM radios with an internal coiled antenna. You had to orient the AM radio itself to the radio station to pick up the best signal.

    The problem with such a set up is that you can get the same signal strength on either side of the "Ring" antenna and therefor get both a correct bearing to the station AND a "back bearing" which is 180 degrees out. I believe that Amelia was either north or south of the ship Itasca when she got their signal, but did not know if it was north or south of her. Therefor her transmission that they were flying "North and South" looking for the ship (and subsequently the nearby Howland Island).

    An airplane can only remain airborne until it runs out of fuel, and certainly Amelia knew that. I think that she made the decision upon seeing one of the many small islands in the area to make a water landing (ditching) alongside a beach and hope for rescue.

    A number of HF radio operators claimed to pick up transmissions for some time AFTER Amelia would have gone down. This might have been possible if her plane had landed intact and if her radio were still operable, but voice communication would have been unlikely and Morse Code would have been more clearly heard.
     
  6. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    In 2018, there has been some discussion on a web radio program "Astonishing Legends" in which Bill Snavely is interviewed about his attempt to identify a Plane wreck off Buka Island (just east of Papua New Guinea), which he thinks MIGHT be Amelia Erhart's Lockheed Electra model 10 E.

    His theory is that Amelia turned back before arriving in the vicinity of Howland Island due to low fuel and strong headwinds, and that she may have crashed near Buka.

    Although his theory runs counter to most other researchers and commonly accepted thought, it seems well thought out and presented.

    He has, in fact, found an aircraft in 100 feet of water which he claims holds the bodies of two pilots. He does not say that it IS Amelia's plane, but he says that there are several similar features, such as twin engines, twin tail, hatch location, etc.

    LINK:

    Ep 106: Earhart's Plane Found?
     
  7. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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  8. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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  9. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    AP photo

    Amelia Earhart, left, and navigator Fred Noonan, a one-time resident of New Orleans, pose with a map of the Pacific Ocean showing the route of their last flight in an undated photo (probably in 1937).
     
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  10. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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  11. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Amelia Earhart, in her Lockheed Electra plane, sits surrounded by knee-deep water, marooned on the reef of Gardner Island with her seriously injured navigator, Fred Noonan.

    She waits for the tides to lessen before sending out yet another distress signal.

    It's July 2, 1937, just hours after Earhart’s plane disappeared over the Pacific Ocean on the most challenging leg of her flight around the globe — the 2,227 nautical mile trip from Lae, New Guinea to Howland Island.

    “Plane down on an uncharted island. Small, uninhabited,” she calls out, a signal, apparently only heard by Texas housewife Mabel Larremore who had stumbled upon the message from Earhart while scanning her home radio.

    Then, 12 hours of silence.

    For Richard Gillespie, executive director of The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery, this is a glimpse into how he believes Earhart’s last days with communication to civilization transpired — pieced together by analyzing a catalog of radio distress calls picked up by both area governmental agencies and witnesses in the immediate days after Earhart went missing. ...

    ... Gillespie originally compiled his catalog in 2011 with his senior researcher Bob Brandenburg, aiming to debunk the claim by government officials who at the time dismissed the radio signals as hoaxes after searchers failed to find any trace of Earhart or her plane.

    But, Gillespie said, it was still too complex. And year after year, theories continued to surface describing in detail the disappearance of Earhart, whose death 81 years ago has captivated a nation enthralled in a mystery that may never find true resolve. ...

    ... In the analysis of the more than 100 calls sent the week following Earhart's disappearance — 57 of which were determined credible by Gillespie — the distress signals paint an intimate portrait of life, and later death, for Earhart and Noonan while stranded in the Pacific.

    “These signals give us a glimpse into those last days before they’re really stuck [on Gardner Island],” Gillespie said.

    The research also bolsters a hypothesis made public earlier this year by forensic anthropologist Richard Jantz, of the University of Tennessee, that a collection of lost bones discovered on Gardner Island, now Nikumaroro, “likely” belong to Earhart.

    More: This is why the mystery of Amelia Earhart endures 80 years later

    Niku V expedition team in 2007.

    The correlation, according to the report, was astounding — “night after night, the credible transmissions occurred only when the water level was low enough." Solidifying for Gillespie that Gardner Island is where Earhart and Noonan landed.

    But what is most telling, Gillespie says, is the depth to which private citizens knew about Earhart's radio signals, which were documented during her disappearance both in newspaper clippings and saved notebook transcriptions.

    For example, two days after her plane crashed — July 4 — a San Francisco resident picks up a chilling frequency believed to be from Earhart: “Still alive. Better hurry. Tell husband all right.”

    New photo may prove Amelia Earhart was captured by the Japanese

    More: What if Amelia Earhart had turned around?

    She would become the first, and most likely last, person to ever know the complete truth of her final time on earth.

    In addition to the bones and radio distress signals, Gillespie and Jantz also believe that artifacts discovered on Gardner Island bolster their hypotheses, both noting a sextant box and shoe parts that were found in the 1940s alongside the bones.

    "I think you have to say that in all likelihood the bones belong to the person who is camping there, and that these artifacts belong to that person," Jantz said. "She had a navigator with her, Fred Noonan, and no remains of his have been found... but the sextant box is of American manufacture and is of the kind he was known to have carried."

    But the ultimate artifact to find? Earhart's Lockheed Electra.

    “Everybody says this will not be solved until you find the plane," Gillespie said. "Where is it written that a little airplane that goes into the surf 81 years ago is still there?”

    Many, like Tom Crouch, a curator of aviation at the Smithsonian, are satisfied in believing that Earhart and Noonan simply crashed into the ocean.

    "I don't think anybody has actually proven beyond the shadow of a doubt what happened to her," Crouch said. "It's a big ocean and they were shooting for a tiny, little target. I think they just went down at sea."

    Instead of focusing on her death, Crouch focuses on who she was when she was alive.

    Earhart is one of those 20th century women worth remembering and understanding what she stood for, he said, but also who she stood for.

    "What Amelia was saying, essentially, is that young women shouldn't limit themselves," Crouch said. "They have the capacity to do anything they wanted to do."...

    LINK:

    Amelia Earhart's last days: New distress call analysis provides intimate portrait of her final week
     
  12. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    A large part of the story about Amelia's disappearance involves radio transmissions which occurred AFTER her plane was believed to have gone down.

    The Electra only had a finite amount of fuel on board, and at some point was bound to run empty, necessitating the aircraft to land or ditch at sea.

    Did Amelia safely land her plane on an island, and continue to send out radio signals? According to a very detailed analysis of those signals, it is very likely that she did.

    While somewhat technical in nature, the below linked report and analysis discusses Amelia's radio capabilities, and frequencies, as well as how they may have been received. Each and every signal to or from Amelia is logged and discussed at the links within this report.

    LINK:

    The Post Loss Radio Signal Catalog, page 2
     
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  13. PrairieWind

    PrairieWind Verified Attorney

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    This is a fascinating mystery. I enjoy reading about all of the theories and searches. I wish I could be out there looking. However, while I find all the theories interesting and some quite possible, I still am of the belief that mostly likely the plane simply ran out of fuel and crashed into the ocean and sank.
     
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  14. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Of course, nobody really knows exactly what happened, but it is a pretty clear probability that Amelia ran out of fuel, or was about to. The Pacific Ocean is huge and islands are like small dots scattered throughout. When flying over the Pacific, all you see is ocean for hours and hours.

    But... Amelia believed that she was in the vicinity of Howland Island, and there were definitely a number of other small islands and atolls near it. She would have attempted a landing where she could when she could not find Howland Island and knew that fuel starvation was imminent. Even if her tanks went totally dry, she would have ditched the plane where she could, rather than simply fall out of the sky and crash into the ocean.

    The analysis of radio transmission logs and reports tends to show that she did land on an island and was able to send and receive some radio messages - brief and sketchy though they were. There were, of course, hoaxes - but it should be noted that none of them were hoaxes transmitted on Amelia's frequencies or on harmonics of those specific frequencies. Rather, those known hoaxes were by persons who "claimed" to have heard Amelia - usually on a bogus channel or frequency.

    It was not until all the reported radio transmissions were recently compared and corolated that some things became more clear and confirmed. For instance, Itasca would send a message to Amelia asking her to send dashes in response, but log that no response was heard. Another ship many miles away would log at that same time, that they heard a transmission on that frequency followed by a series of dashes. This would indicate that Amelia had heard the first transmission and had complied by keying her transmitter with dashes.

    Some log entries indicated that engine noise was present, along with a woman's voice - during the time she would have been airborne. That same log book would later indicate that the same woman was heard, but without the engine noise - and this after she would have been down.

    Amelia's radio equipment could be operated on land, but not in the water.

    When operating a High Frequency (HF) Radio at night, signals bounce off the Ionosphere and "skip" for thousands of miles. You can see this by tuning in an AM radio at night and picking up radio stations many states away that you would not receive in day time.

    Additionally, there are higher frequency "harmonics" of the original frequency which might be picked up in higher radio bands. For instance, one woman claimed to have picked up (at night) on her AM radio, voice transmission signals sent by Amelia on her HF frequency. Analysis showed that she was actually hearing signals on the seventh or eighth harmonic of Amelia's frequency.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  15. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    Here is some information from Transmission item #28 of the above linked report:

    Mrs. Mabel Larremore of Amarillo, Texas reported that on 3 July 1937 between 2 and 2:45 AM, she was listening to her radio and heard the following: “On the first night of Amelia Earhart’s disappearance I heard her SOS loud and clear, not on the frequency but on the one President Roosevelt said she might use. Her message stated the plane was down on an uncharted island. Small, uninhabited. The plane was partially on land, part in water. She gave the latitude and longitude of her location. I listened to her for 30-45 minutes.… I heard her message around 2 A.M. daylight saving time from my home in Amarillo, Texas. She stated that her navigator Fred Noonan was seriously injured. Needed help immediately. She also had some injuries but not as serious as Mr. Noonan.”

    Analysis: Mabel did not come forward with her story until 1990, and some of her recollections are not consistent with the historical record. On the other hand, Nauru and Itasca reported credible voice transmissions during the time Mabel claimed to have heard Earhart. In 1990, that information had not yet been compiled, let alone published. Reception was possible on all frequencies mentioned, with 15525 kHz being the most likely. This frequency also was near a band containing shortwave broadcast stations, and could explain why Larremore was tuning there. Despite the erroneous remark attributed to President Roosevelt, much of the content matches signal characteristics in other reports found to be credible...

    Mrs. Larremore's report is considered by the analyst as being "Credible".
     
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  16. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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  17. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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  18. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Fred Noonan, Navigator who flew with Amelia Earhart on flight of Lockheed Electra 10.
     
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  19. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Lockheed Electra 10E

    In the above photos, you can see the radio antenna arrangement on a Lockheed Electra model 10, similar to the plane Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan flew. Click on the images to enlarge them for detail.

    Just above the cockpit is a circular antenna used for direction finding. It could be turned to pick up the strongest signal transmitted by another station, and would give a bearing to/from that other station. The two images show this antenna pointed in different directions.

    Amelia radioed that she was "flying north and south" on a line trying to find the ship Itasca. This is because she did not know if the signal she received on the direction finder was north or south of her. The loop when oriented would indicate the same received signal strength on either side, thus giving both a correct bearing and a "back bearing" which was 180 degrees out.

    Just aft of the direction finding antenna is a black antenna mast centered on the fuselage and between the two wings. A long wire antenna extends from that mast back to each of the vertical stabilizers in the aircraft's tail and also forward of the mast to the radio in the cockpit. This type of antenna provided the length necessary to transmit and receive high frequency (HF) radio signals. It was this antenna which Amelia used to send and receive radio messages.
     
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  20. Richard

    Richard Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
    Earhart's Electra was equipped with two Western Electric 631B microphones, as listed in the Luke Field inventory. The WE 631B was a carbon button microphone used with the WE 13C transmitter. (Courtesy: NWA History Centre, Inc.)

    Here is a link to a more detailed discussion of the type of radio equipment and antennas aboard Amelia's plane.

    LINK:

    Radio equipment on NR16020 - TIGHAR
     
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