Register Free


No announcement yet.

Critique Of TIGHAR By Ex-member/Donor

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    makes me ponder the hazards of long distance flying over remote terrain and oceans ,so much is taken for granted these days, watching videos and eating meals at 30,000 feet then having a sleep....


      Just out of interest - I am sure you now have this information - but the FAA TCDS for the S3H1 does indeed show max take-off power as 600HP, as opposed to rated output of 550HP -$FILE/E-143.pdf

      It would appear that this is quite likely a record of an engine found, but can anything possibly tie C/N 1055 to an aircraft?
      Last edited by Beermat; 30th January 2018, 13:45.
      It's all good. Probably.


        Being a bit slow there, sorry. The constructor's number for Erhardt's L10 was, of course, 1055. Sorry, I am new to this.
        It's all good. Probably.


          For Beermat:

          Re: the T.O. power rating.... Yes, I dug a bit deeper after the visit to the P & W Office in 1997 and found the 600 H.P Rating and then it was confirmed again when I obtained a copy of Lockheed Report 487 which deals with the two Long Range version of the L10, C/N 1055 and it could be taken to deal with C/N 1065 also ("The Daily Express"). I knew the Construction Number (C/N) of Earhart's Electra from reading "The Sound of Wings" by Mary Lovell and when i received a faxed copy of the WWII map from Don Angwin in early 1994 I saw "C/N 1055" coming though out of the Fax machine and had a 'hair on the back if the neck' moment ! Altogether the cryptic "Ref: 600 H.P. S3H1 C/N1055" are of course all indicators for the missing Electra with the S3H1 designation being for "Civil" or "Commercial" engines and the "AN-1" designation being the "Military" code for the same 550 H.P. Wasp.... which is most probably why the USAAF said, "Not one of ours". Just to confuse everybody, the various arms if the U.S. Forces had their own designations for the 550 H.P. Wasp.... in the same vein as the various designations for the same aircraft in the USAAF, USN, USMC.....


          Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 1st February 2018, 14:41.


            Gillespie has a rather interesting approach for fundraising with regards to TIGHAR - if it doesn't have a big and immediate payoff, it seems he's not that interested.

            Case in point, the Amazon Smile program, where people who shop on Amazon can designate a charity to receive a small portion of their receipts. Obviously, the more people who shop on Amazon who select your charity, the more money the charity receives - but it is NEVER going to be a huge amount. Amazon does it strictly as a PR move, it seems to me. Gillespie got quite excited several years ago when a person on the TIGHAR forums suggested people start doing Amazon Smile for TIGHAR (this was before Gillespie implemented pay-to-post and banned all non-members from the forums).

            There the matter rested for awhile, until a member queried how things were going with Smile (Gillespie hadn't done anything to promote or encourage it, beyond the initial enthusiasm, if I recall correctly). Gillespie flatly dismissed it as a waste, as TIGHAR got a check for a few dollars, once in awhile.

            Which prompted me, at least, to switch my Smile charity to one that was at least publicly appreciative of ANY support it could get.
            Last edited by MFowler; 30th January 2018, 15:14.


              Aircraft still go missing and even with all the technology available remain unfound --MH370 being one.It is frightening how we have become so reliant on technology .


                Sabrejet said, "All shameful really - but is it within the law? I'm assuming that yes it is, since I imagine that these individuals haven't emptied the pot fully and so can claim that the charity is doing business."

                The answer is, It depends. The Internal Revenue Service says that non-profits cannot compensate executive officers "excessively," but then, typically, doesn't define what constitutes excessive. It does, however, lay out in great detail how executive compensation should be awarded. Basically:
                1. The board should arrange for an "independent body" (which means that the person receiving the compensation should not be part of the review process) to conduct a "comparability review." Many nonprofits task a "compensation committee," or use their executive committee, or another sub-group/task force of board members, for this purpose. TIGHAR can't use its executive committee because Gillespie and Thrasher ARE the executive committee, and have been since the group's inception.
                2. The independent body should take a look at "comparable" salary and benefits data, such as data available from salary and benefit surveys, to learn what nonprofit employers with similar missions, and of a similar budget size, that are located in the same, or a similar geographic region, pay their senior leaders.
                3. The board/independent body that is conducting the review should document who was involved, (and their "independence" i.e., that they do not receive compensation from the nonprofit) and the process used to conduct the review, as well as the disposition of the full board's decision to approve the executive director's compensation (minutes of a meeting are fine for this). The documentation should demonstrate that the board took the comparable data into consideration when it approved the compensation.

                TIGHAR doesn't appear to operate that way. Gillespie and Thrasher tell their board what to pay them; the board doesn't look at comparable salaries (that I am aware of; and there is no compensation committee per se. TIGHAR does keep board minutes (although it seldom posts more than snippets on its forum).

                I'm not sure that TIGHAR's board members fully realize that doing things this way leaves them, personally, potentially vulnerable to legal action if the IRS were to investigate and find the compensation amounts, award method or process improper in any way. As one expert on the topic put it, "if you have an employee whose compensation package exceeds $100,000, you better be prepared to defend it."
                Last edited by MFowler; 1st February 2018, 01:59.


                  "Scenes we would like to see..."

                  In the questionable matters arising in this thread, the talk of IRS Audits could be said to come under the heading of "Scenes we would like to see..." or could be depicted in the line of cartoons called "Insanity Streak..."

                  Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 1st February 2018, 14:44.


                    Monty Fowler....

                    Check PM's



                      All very interesting...

                      Well, after near 7050 views of this thread in nearly one whole month shows that there is still some interest "out there" regarding quite a few mystery incidents that happened many, many years ago which still interest many people around the world. I speak of the oldest mystery which involved "Un avion Francais"... the fabled White Bird which may have crossed the Atlantic before Lindbergh. I speak of another lost aircraft for which I also have spent time in searching over the past 23 years... The Electra. There are also many aircraft missing from WWII where many airmen were lost and remain lost seemingly, forever.

                      Who will go looking ?

                      TIGHAR set itself up as an organisation dedicated as an International body for recovering "Historic Aircraft"... Yet as we have read in a Critique by an ex-Member of TIGHAR it has not recovered one single solitary Historic Aircraft in its' existence over the last nearly 33 years and yet around a reported US$12 Million in total has been received and been distributed.... strangely enough, this TIGHAR Organisation is set up as a non-profit organisation but the critique says that there is no way to see where the money has been spent on various projects, as there should be, because of the way the record keeping is done and that records of actual spending on projects has not been made public.

                      Accounts keeping seems to be blatantly ignored.

                      TIGHAR has failed. It has failed its' members. It has failed in its' purpose and it now seems to be solely a money-grubbing organisation for the benefit of the Management Team as described in the critique.

                      Nothing is going to happen to TIGHAR until it ceases to exist by consensus of the Members of TIGHAR themselves. If TIGHAR Members have any sense, they now all need to depart the organisation and have nothing more to do with it.

                      I propose that this thread has run its' course and should be shut down.

                      David Billings


                        Well, you're free to ignore this thread.
                        First you hijack the thread with discourses on your theory (which you're free to peruse on another thread)...then want to shut it down because you're tired of it?

                        The fact remains the group is still out there and it's just a matter of time before their next headline grabbing pseudo-scientific "smoking gun" is offered to garner new members or donations.
                        There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.


                          Thanks for the advice...

                          Thanks for the advice J Boyle. Not my intention to hijack the thread J Boyle, it was my intention to show how TIGHAR will be extremely devious and muddy the waters for any other search entity as often as it can when it thinks any other search entity may take funding (ie: Money) away from it. TIGHAR disparages anybody that does not have the same view as itself. I didn't know any other way to explain what happened.

                          Likewise, you didn't have to read and absorb what I wrote either. No offence intended. If you didn't read it, I'll bet a lot of people were actually interested in how devious he can be.

                          I was not aware there was a thread which I could peruse about my theory. Any idea where it is ?

                          I think Mr. Gillespie's headline grabbing days are about over, I'll be surprised if there is a Major headline grabbing scientific methodology murky blob idea emanating out of Oxford Pa. This thread alone has been bad enough publicity for Dear Leader.

                          So what do you reckon his next trick will be then ? Any idea ? The Glenn Miller fundraiser seems to have gone into a Cul-de Sac. The point is, he has not recovered a single Historic Aircraft, he is not going to recover an Historic Aircraft and he never will recover an Historic Aircraft and until the members of that organisation pack up and leave he will continue in the same vein.

                          Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 2nd February 2018, 15:07.


                            Looking at executive compensation ...

                            The IRS doesn't define "excessive" compensation, but it does give guidance on how to set it. Basically, an independent body should take a look at "comparable" salary and benefits data, such as data available from salary and benefit surveys, to learn what nonprofit employers with similar missions, and of a similar budget size, that are located in the same, or a similar geographic region, pay their senior leaders.

                            Keep that in mind with regards to the following. In November 2015, Gillespie's pay came up for some pointed discussion on the TIGHAR forums, and it was also apparently raised at a board meeting, which prompted Gillespie to post a long explanation in the forums. His bottom line? "TIGHAR is getting a bargain."

                            Who was he comparing TIGHAR to? The Experimental Aircraft Association, which I assume most of you here have heard of. But if you look at the numbers, it doesn't wash. It's like comparing apples to cucumbers.

                            -- The EAA has more than 200,000 members. TIGHAR has 1,000-1,500. I'll be generous and give them 1,500. The EAA is more than 130 times larger.

                            -- Both can make a legitimate claim to being global organizations, since they have members on numerous continents. That one's a draw.

                            -- In his post, Gillespie listed the lengthy number of EAA vice presidents who do different things, and then said he and his wife, Pat Thrasher, do almost all of those for one price, his salary. Here's what the numbers say:
                            • In the last three tax years, the EAA spent $37.34 million for all salaries, on expenses of $100.71 million. TIGHAR spent $639,658 for all salaries, on expenses of $1.51 million. TIGHAR's expenses aren't even 2 percent of EAAs.
                            • Over the last three years, EAA's salaries totaled 37 percent of expenses. TIGHAR's salaries totaled 42 percent of expenses. TIGHAR's aggregate salary expenditures are 5 percent higher than EAA's, although the EAA is much, much larger and has multi-faceted interests, projects and programs (more complexity needs more managers).
                            • For the 2015 tax year, the EAA's salary as a percentage of expenses remained at 37 percent. TIGHAR's increased to 60 percent.

                            These numbers are from each groups publicly-available IRS 990 forms. I get them from Guidestar. Anyone who wants to can download the same forms I did and total these numbers up. If you find something different, by all means share.

                            I think the bottom line is, the only way these two groups are "comparable" is that both have the word AIRCRAFT in their name. Which takes us back to the first paragraph of this post.


                              RPM, FF, TGT said "Money sent but no Product -

                              ... If I pay up front for something to be delivered to my doorstep there are laws which protect me from non-delivery and I will get my money back unless there is a case of abject bankruptcy, then I most probably will not. Surely there are laws in the United States that protect Customers in that way. I have read that some TIGHAR Members who paid into the second "Literary Guild" did ask for their money back when the book title changed to the Electra 10E and after a bit of time passed through negotiations, they succeeded.

                              Monty: "The video has never happened. Other than saying in January 2016 it is "indefinitely delayed," Gillespie refuses to discuss it. It has now been, what, two-and-a-half years since Niku VIII? TIGHAR made a promise, hasn't kept it, has no schedule to keep it, and is keeping the money in the meantime."

                              Individuals or a Class of individuals should then ask for their money back. If money went "in" and there is a record of same, going out, through a bank, it is accountable. As this sum is $49 and since it was asked for and received there will have been a large turnover of TIGHAR Members through the revolving door so my best guess there would be that ex-Members, "They who, verily, have seen the light", will just write off the $49 as a bad experience."

                              As far as consumer protection in the US goes, it's pretty murky and you are largely on your own, unfortunately - unless the amount of money is SO huge, state or federal officials find it politically attractive to get involved.

                              The Better Business Bureau, a quasi-government organization, only helps with customer complaints, not with getting your money back. You, as an individual, can file a claim against another person or entity in your Small Claims or Magistrate Court, but there are (sometimes steep) filing fees, and you have to get the court to agree to hear your case. A county prosecutor isn't even going to touch a $49 dispute. Ditto for any private attorney - the amount you lost might buy 15 minutes of his time to talk to you about the hopelessness of your case.

                              So, in essence, a US non-profit is pretty much free to do whatever it wants with your money, regardless of it promised to do. Most non-profits, though, recognize that repeatedly breaking faith with its own members (i.e., screwing them out of money, among other things) can lead to some very negative consequences.

                              Gillespie's refusal to discuss the fate of the Niku VIII video basically removes member's option to negotiate for their money back, unless they do so privately. There simply isn't enough money involved for an kind of class-action or even state law enforcement level action to attract the interest it needs to get started.


                                The feds could only get Big Al for tax evasion, although every man and his dog knew his money source, so would a phone tip off do the trick or has he been too clever for that?


                                  J Boyle said, "I have been told by someone more familiar with the group than myself, that according to tax records, the group has taken in about $11 million over the years. (If someone has better information, I'm willing to be corrected.)

                                  Aside from the pity that the group has never recovering a complete aircraft, or even project, let alone finding AE, think what aircraft that money could have saved. There are many groups that could have really put that kind of funding to use."

                                  A valid point, and it seems from looking at TIGHAR's finances over the years that salaries and operating costs are as much, if not more so, important than its stated mission.

                                  Consider that from 2001-2015, almost one out of every three dollars TIGHAR spent went directly into Ric Gillespie and Pat Thrasher's pockets - more than $2.4 million in salary to them, or the rent (occupancy costs) they charge TIGHAR to use part of their home as TIGHAR's office. The temporary help they sometimes hire is a minute fraction of that amount.

                                  Regarding jack windsor's question about a "phone tip off," well ... good luck with that. The IRS non-profit division is so understaffed, and so overwhelmed with new and existing non-profit applications, issues, etc., that no investigation is going to get started unless the issue is so huge and plain and obvious that the government CAN'T ignore it. I know because I dealt with them on and off in a previous life.

                                  Although we know of one formal written complaint against TIGHAR filed with the IRS, by former TIGHAR donor Tim Mellon, Gillespie has never said what, if anything, came of it. If there was any kind of enforcement action, even an advisory opinion or site visit, and he has said nothing, that, too, speaks volumes.
                                  Last edited by MFowler; 5th February 2018, 23:09.


                                    Thanks for informing us about the dubious (and seemingly all unsuccessful efforts) of this organization.
                                    Do17 recovery fund
                                    Since 2004 dedicated to researching Do-17, 1000+ period photos, manuals, history, technology to put aircraft in perspective.


                                      I propose that this thread has run its' course and should be shut down.

                                      David Billings
                                      Thank you for your proposal.

                                      It is not Forum policy ever to close threads where the discussion is interesting and legal. Often zombie threads arise from wherever zombie threads live and add useful information many years later.

                                      "What you must remember" Flip said "is that nine-tenths of Cattermole's charm lies beneath the surface." Many agreed.


                                        The IRS allows non-profits to use a portion of a private dwelling as their "office," and to charge rent of fair market value against the prevailing rents in the area, square footage used, etc. There are some other requirements like having a separate entrance, regularly posted business hours, etc., that I won't go into here.

                                        TIGHAR appears to have consistently used that allowance, based on tax records over the last 15 years. Looking on either the occupancy cost or rent lines in the 990 tax forms, TIGHAR has been charged more than $232,000 by Gillespie and Thrasher to rent its various home offices, an average of $15,500 a year. You would expect the rental costs to be fairly steady from year-to-year, barring a major thing like a plumbing disaster or structurally-required remodeling. But, as with other TIGHAR expenses, that amount has fluctuated wildly, as the chart below shows, which compares occupancy costs as a percentage of total revenue for that year:

                                        Click image for larger version

Name:	TIGHAR_occupancy.jpg
Views:	1
Size:	37.9 KB
ID:	3678873

                                        A few curious things ... from 2001-2005, the rent amount flip-flopped between $7,200 and $7,800 each year. The exact $500 difference from year-to-year is hard to explain, but it appears overall to be a modest and defensible number. There are several years where the amount charged to TIGHAR for rent doubles, or more, but the 990 forms give no specifics. Starting in 2013, however, the yearly occupancy amount regularly becomes five figures, totaling more than $110,000. Without speculating on the cause for that increase, and without knowing specifics of the newest TIGHAR office, it's public knowledge that Gillespie and Thrasher moved into their rural Pennsylvania 1860 farmhouse in December 2013.
                                        Last edited by MFowler; 7th February 2018, 20:32.


                                          TIGHAR has released another study that claims the bones found on Gardner island (as it was known at the time) in 1940 belong to AE, dispute the original finding of a UK-trained doctor (who actually examined the bones).
                                          The bones were lost in the 40s after initial hands on examination determined they belonged to a European male.
                                          The study also provided measurements.
                                          Seemingly trying to fortify his theory that AE died on the island, RG disputes AE's height as given in official records including her pilots license.

                                          Instead, his researcher uses a software program based on photos to make AE fit the long lost bones. The software was developed by the same team that worked with the group a few years past trying to prove a metal patch found on the island came from AE's Lockheed (trying to match rivet lines from a grainy photo). I believe RG referred to that as a "smoking gun" of irrefutable proof, but l haven't heard much about for sometime.

                                          A couple of years ago, a UK/Austrailian team of anthropologists Cross and Wright looked at the original notes and agreed with the original 1940 determination that the bones were from a male. I give the TIGHAR full marks for adding that in their release.
                                          I might also no remind readers that, unlike the TIGHAR team, Cross and Wright have no financial stake in their findings.

                                          Also, I wonder if the new technical report was published in an accredited peer review journal?

                                          You can read TIGHAR'S press release here:

                                          So we have dueling anthropologists... one side believes the original notes, the other relies on software to come up with a TIGHAR-friendly conclusion.
                                          A comment on the Aviation Mystery forum said RG admits to providing his anthropologist with data.

                                          Personally, I'd be more inclined to give TIGHAR the benefit of the doubt if they didn't have a history of seemingly tying anything found on the island (shoe heel, knife blade, bottles, metal pieces, etc) to AE despite there being other explanations for the items being on the island...a colony in the late 30s, a Coast Guard LORAN station in WWII, and up to 100 people in the 1950s. Hardly an untouched place where items could have come from only the Lockheed and its occupants.

                                          It's also worthwhile to note the current release tones down their criticism of the original doctor who had the bones. In the past, I understand the group strongly questioned their competency and drinking habits on their website (citation needed...Correct me if I'm mistaken). UPDATE: while the initial news released was restrained, the 10 page report by RG (not the scientific report by Jantz on the bones) goes back into full attack mode questioning the competence and impartiality of the UK officials handing the bones. Again an example of RG's "if they don't agree with my opinion, they must be wrong".

                                          The release does not attempt to explain how an alive Amelia isn't spotted by US Navy search planes a week after her supposed landing or address how the aircraft, which after the landing was intact enough to send radio messages, disappeared so quickly.

                                          Back to the group's fundraising efforts: by going to the link, you can see several appeals for money...for the new Miller search, for the AE book mentioned above and three other "click here to support" links.
                                          I've seen many online news releases, I don't recall any being so strident in requesting funds (where applicable, that's usually on another page rather than embedded in a news item.).

                                          It will be interesting to see how much play this report gets in the regular media...and whether they accept it at face value or give conflicting information.
                                          Last edited by J Boyle; 9th February 2018, 23:02.
                                          There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.