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Critique Of TIGHAR By Ex-member/Donor

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    I echo those sentiments J Boyle.
    Think of what could have been funded by that money.
    I think R.G. operates under the guise that there is a sucker born every minute.



      Let's hope this thread is seen by journalists and the public when the group starts it's next round of PR/hype/fund raising for their announced search for Miller.

      Too many writers have just accepted the group at face value and forwarded their claims/theories unchecked to the public.
      There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.


        Exactly what they count on.
        Prey on the ignorance of the interested but uninformed.



          The TIGHAR Shell Game

          TIGHAR in full flight was a never ending Shell Game.... you would never, ever, find the pea. Looks to be right now though, that the shells might be broken and the pea permanently lost. Monty Fowlers "tell it like it is" has been known to a lot of people for a long time but it takes guts to come out and say you have dropped $50,000 on the Tighar Scientific Methodology shell game only to find that it was all a bunch of crap. Monty left them some time back when the light bulb went on.

          Disagreement with the TIGHAR Leader has always only had one pathway and that was towards the door. Paying Members have been denigrated in public, had their Log-ins cancelled and "moderation " applied until they gave up in disgust.

          Other former members have just bitten their lips, taken the pain and mainly stayed silent, except for a few on another "Mystery" Forum. I have been reading the TIGHAR Forum since 1994 and what has really, really, surprised me out of this whole fiasco is that I have always thought Americans were terrified of the United States Internal Revenue Service.... and here we have a perfect example in TIGHAR where the IRS should be interested in this "Non-profit" organisation but nothing has happened.

          Of late, since TiGHAR made it compulsory to be a paying member in order to "post"on the Forum, weeks go by without any posts at all as if the organisation is mummified, maybe it is. Certainly, it looks as if the search for Earhart , Noonan and the Electra has dropped off in favour of the Glenn Miller attempt at gaining funds and members. Surely an act of desperation

          Fowler's expose says it all. Well done...



            The International Gillespie Holiday And Recreation fund


              Speaking of money/renumeration...

              Over on the Aviation Mysteries forum, the group's finances were discussed courtesy of their tax records.

              They seem to show that RG was paid about $200,000 a couple of years ago.
              That is a great deal of money for such a small group, and I believe it's close to what the many times larger EAA pays its leader (who manages many employees and several publications, airshows, museums, etc).


              Here is a link to a discussion on their 2016 filing. It seems to indicate what Fowler alluded to in his critique...that on top of a handsome salary, the leader then charges the group rent to keep its files there...


              Interesting stuff.
              It should be noted that The group has not disputed anything posted on the Aviation Mysteries forum on this topic.
              Last edited by J Boyle; 9th January 2018, 03:32.
              There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.



                J Boyle says:
                "Interesting stuff.(in regard to TIGHAR's finances and the latest expose...)
                It should be noted that The group has not disputed anything posted on the Aviation Mysteries forum on this topic."

                Nor will He/They respond. Usually there appears a roundabout way of attempting to deflate criticism, usually done by the chief acolyte.

                On the Aviation Mysteries there are two former Moderators, from the TIGHAR Forum, one who criticised the statement that the "Pelvic bone remnant is from Earhart" because the person's Medical Training in the U.S. Forces told him the Dr. Hoodless sketch and dimensions were "Male" and the second because of the "Aluminum patch " which he had been showed proof that it could not be from the Electra even though he had promoted it as such to start with... this led to disagreement with "You know who" and he resigned.

                Both of these persons know what goes on within TIGHAR. TIGHAR May whine a bit and if it becomes too much to bear advice from a lawyer will be sought... Modus Operandi No. 1. That happened at WIX, when the thread "Is tighar still at it ?" got too much to bear... and was on the ball. "AM" has quite a lot of ex-TIGHAR Members, most of whom (Like Monty Fowler) left in disgust.



                  But how long before someone brings a case against Gillespie? There must be some evidence of taking money under false pretences?


                    TIGHAR versus The IRS ?

                    Sabrejet asks: "But how long before someone brings a case against Gillespie? There must be some evidence of taking money under false pretences?"

                    Already been done... Under one of the links posted by J Boyle (at post #26 above), you will find depositions and witness statements from the Court Case where one donor to TIGHAR (involving $1 M) took TIGHAR to court. The donor named Mr. Mellon also sent a complaint to the IRS (also viewable in the link)..... Nothing has happened as yet. Hence my comment in a post above where i said I had always thought Americans were terrified of an audit by The IRS... maybe the fear of the IRS is a Myth after all.

                    At about the time of the Court Case being sprung by Mr. Mellon, a video appeared on YouTube under "Lochaber Equestrian". Lochaber is a place in Scotland where Gillespie's family originally come from and his "leased farm" in Pa. is named "Lochaber Farm" as described by Monty Fowler in the Tell All.... The video is called "Saber Drill " and can be viewed at this link:

                    The connotation that may be drawn, between the target in the video "Saber Drill" and the nominee plaintiff in the Court Case, is amazing....! Happy viewing.... There is also a Flintlock Pistol display to be seen which is somewhat enlightening.... "I like his collection of hats.... he has a thing about hats !"

                    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 9th January 2018, 16:30.


                      What happened to J Boyles post ?

                      J Boyle posted after #29....Whidego ? J Boyle affirmed that US Residents are terrified of IRS Audits.... Is that still correct JB ?



                        I removed it. I'd rather keep the focus of this thread on the subject at hand rather than expand into non-aviation items.
                        But yes, generally we are afraid of the "system". I pay a chartered accountant several hundred dollars a year to do my tax paperwork to make sure it's correct.
                        The Aviation Mysteries threads show TIGHAR has had issues with its accountants, some suspecting one firm was replaced when some numbers weren't to the leadership's liking (an attempt to get back on track. ).
                        Last edited by J Boyle; 10th January 2018, 19:39.
                        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.


                          The Leaders cut from Revenue

                          Yea, there was a change of accountant IIRC.... After adding up all the revenue that goes into TIGHAR over a ten year period and then totalling what Dear Leader pays himself I reached a figure of 26.7% as the "entitlement" or in his words "what TIGHAR can afford" to pay him. There seems not to be any control of this figure by the TIGHAR Board which surely would be dereliction of duty by the Board. You only have to read the responses that two Board Members gave at the Mellon Court Case to see that they were clueless on the subject. Seemed more of a "Boy's Own Club" than a properly run ORG.

                          What next is the question ? If I recall what was said when Dear Leader moved to PA from Delaware, the arrangement with what was named "Lochaber Farm" was a lease for five years and then the property was to be paid out and then it became fully owned. The expectation at the time was that the Electra was going to be found and all would be hunky-dory. That didn't quite work so "ACME Removals" may be needed again shortly...!

                          Maybe the hope now is finding Glenn Miller's unheard song sheets !

                          Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 27th January 2018, 12:35.


                            I would suspect the Dear Leader has a fallback plan so he can keep the horse farm.

                            Will Glenn Miller pull in the donations...enough to provide an steady income?
                            (Looking at the numbers given and the fact they've never recovered an airframe...a not unwarranted expectation given the name of the one gets the idea that the organization was all about income and not actually doing anything.)

                            I can't imagine it would unless they get lucky and someone makes a new Glenn Miller film.
                            There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.


                              There are two sides to every story.....

                              Tom Maxwell at Aviation Mystery commented....."Well, yes MFowler, my speculation, unlike science, is subject to change. So I'll update my web page to reflect the speculation that Jones lied to Lambrecht about having no knowledge of AE. I am not trying to parade my speculation(s) as science. Investigators who have long studied the TIGHAR research realize that the Nikumaroro theory started as speculation and has continuously declared tiny bits of circumstantial evidence as scientific evidence. In my town, luring unsuspecting investors with speculation veiled as scientific evidence is called fraud."

                              Monty was upset with me that I made that comment. Shortly thereafter I was banned from Aviation mystery. So TIGHAR is not the only investigative group not receptive to different ideas.


                                Monty was upset with me that I made that comment. Shortly thereafter I was banned from Aviation mystery. So TIGHAR is not the only investigative group not receptive to different ideas.
                                You were given open invitation to present your Orona hypothesis as has anyone with a different theory on AM. You were not banned for a different idea. I take acception being compared to TIGHAR.

                                Doc Bob
                                Last edited by Belforte; 12th January 2018, 02:13.


                                  Mr. Maxwell -

                                  I'm flattered that you seem to think I have influence all out of proportion to what actually exists (i.e., none), but truth be told, I never asked anyone to ban you from anything. Nor can I speak to why you were banned from the other forum. I disagreed with your premise, and still do, but if you come up with some genuinely new information I'm more than willing to look at it, as I'm sure others are.


                                    Getting back to TIGHAR ...

                                    One of the things that stuck me, after I really started seeing things, is how much executive compensation changes from year-to-year at TIGHAR. In many US non-profits, salaries are a relatively stable item, except for the raises for cost of living or if someone takes on new duties. Those are things you would expect and which wouldn't raise an eyebrow anywhere, including with the IRS.

                                    It doesn't work that way at TIGHAR. Executive compensation bounces up and down like a brand new tennis ball, although there is a rough correlation between higher compensation and years when expeditions take place. That is expected, there is a lot more work and planning involved. If you look at the percentage of executive compensation compared to total revenues for a specific year, it is all over the map - ranging from a low of about 9 percent to a high of 78 percent of revenues for a given year. Since these numbers are from the IRS 990 forms TIGHAR has to file every year, which are available to the public and which Gillespie or Thrasher have to sign off on, there's not much to argue about as far as the numbers themselves go. If anyone has different information or wants to dispute these numbers, I'm open to updating them.

                                    Executive compensation as a percentage of revenue has averaged 41 percent a year at TIGHAR over the last 15 years, and is about 29 percent of overall revenues for the same time period. In other words, for the past 15 years, not quite one-third of the money TIGHAR has raised has gone to pay Gillespie, Thrasher and the handful of part-time/temporary employees they use. The chart below might be useful:

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                                      The Lean and Good Years....

                                      Hi Monty,

                                      So what appears in your graph is that Dear Leader compensates for the lean years by porking (Sorry, pigs !) in the good years, is that it ? So what happened to boost revenue in the porking years of 2001, 2012 and 2015 which really hit the whistle ? Where did the Mellon Million fit into those years ? Surely the TIGHAR Board would be able to see through the mist of the lean years , if they knew that on average (according to your graph) that the leaner years 2002-2012 had only returned a paltry 34,000 per year average over that 10 year span, so what's wrong with that.... Were they able to buy new cars with that or what ? Can a Mom and Pop live ("eat"), in America, on US$34,000 a year with 4 horses to support ? Doesn't leave much left to pay for the farm does it ?

                                      "Gotta be a 'nuther angle...."



                                        Not seeking to defend TIGHAR at all - but I'm not sure what that graph proves, without having the total income figures for each year too? It could just be that the salaries stay fairly consistent but the income each year varies wildly - for instance perhaps they had a bumper 2011 for donations - so as a % of that, salary costs were much lower. That said, you would expect donations to peak in expedition years - but as Monty says, many of those years seem to have high expenditure too - so who knows?

                                        I think it's the average figures quotes that are more telling. Maybe TIGHAR members should be asking whether in the light of results, the current staff are really worth 26.7% of all the millions donated over the last ten years.


                                          Because it's a charity, the group's tax records are open to public scrutiny.
                                          I understand they show that the leader has been paid very handsomely.

                                          If you look at a copy of the form posted on the Aviation Mysteries forum, in 2015-16 the group's net income was $251,000 of which $174,000 went to salary (presumably of the leader). I believe that's almost 70% of the revenue.

                                          The year before (2014-15?) he received about $243,000 on revenues of $752,000....or about 33%, so you're correct, his income does fluctuate with the amount or revenue.


                                          One other item to note...if the numbers on the form are correct and I'm reading them correctly...while the group's revenue dropped by about two-thirds ($752,000 to $251,000) looks like the amount seemingly paid to salaries only decreased by less than one third ($243,000 to $174,000).

                                          So looking at that, it does not appear salary cuts are consistent with the amount of revenue it might if they were set by a fixed percentage (or commission).

                                          Please feel free to correct my math...I'm no accountant.
                                          Last edited by J Boyle; 23rd January 2018, 14:59.
                                          There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.