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More of TIGHAR's Earhart evidence disproven

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  • MFowler
    Rank 3 Registered User

    More of TIGHAR's Earhart evidence disproven

    Since 1988, TIGHAR has espoused the idea that Amelia Earhart and her navigator, Fred Noonan, landed on Gardner Island in the central Pacific in 1937 and died as castaways, instead of running out of gas and ditching near Howland Island on one of the final legs of their around-the-world flight. One of the many bits of what TIGHAR considers evidence to support this claim was a wooden navigational sextant box found on Gardner Island in 1940, near a partial skeleton.

    TIGHAR's executive director, Ric Gillespie, has authored numerous forum postings, newsletter articles and "research bulletins" strongly supporting the idea that the sextant box found on Gardner Island was Noonan's. Anyone who disagreed was basically brushed aside or belittled. One such person was former TIGHAR member John Kada, who in 2012 offered an alternative source for the sextant box - the US Navy's 1940 hydrographic and mapping survey of Gardner Island. "Gillespies response was to say any such effort would be wasting time on snipe hunts; he also said that my hypothesis was thoroughly bizarre and that I should go do some real research," Kada states. Kada was subsequently banned from the forum and blocked from even viewing it when he persisted, he said.

    It turns out Gillespie was dead wrong. Kada went to the US national archives, found the original materials from the Navy's survey, and recently posted a long article with photos of the original documents that detail the sextant box's US Navy origin, http://gardnerghost.blogspot.com/.

    Gillespie has since admitted that Kata's research is conclusive, and even incorporated Kada's findings into a mass e-mail "New Research Results" (that doesn't link to Kada's post), but the larger question remains: Why is Gillespie generally so dismissive of anything that contradicts his theory? That's not how science is supposed to work. What does that say about TIGHAR and how it operates?
  • Hooligan
    Rank 4 Registered User

    #2
    Came across an item about TIGHAR in an old copy of Pilot recently (I love tidying the loft, not much gets done due to distractions...!) - think it was by Stephan Wilkinson in his "Letter From America" column, always an entertaining feature, and was mostly to do with their theories about Charles Nungesser and Franois Coli in L'Oiseau Blanc...

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    • Sabrejet
      Rank 5 Registered User

      #3
      "...the larger question remains: Why is Gillespie generally so dismissive of anything that contradicts his theory? That's not how science is supposed to work. What does that say about TIGHAR and how it operates?"

      Well firstly, TIGHAR and the word 'science' shouldn't be used in the same sentence. Nothing genuinely scientific about what they do.

      And why is he so dismissive? Well if someone contradicting what you've set out means that you won't get your expenses-paid holiday in the Pacific then I guess that's what you do.

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      • grahame knott
        Rank 5 Registered User

        #4
        Not a supporter or a critic of TIGHAR but having been compared to them the armchair comments are interesting,

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        • Sabrejet
          Rank 5 Registered User

          #5
          Did someone criticise Gillespie's armchair then? Tuh, some people eh?

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          • Propstrike
            Rank 5 Registered User

            #6
            They did, unfortunately. And he's not going to take it sitting down.


            Is that a Grahame Knott imposter ? The real one said he was never coming back here.

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            • MFowler
              Rank 3 Registered User

              #7
              What doesn't make sense is Gillespie's dismissive attitude toward a plausible alternative explanation for a piece of evidence that he considers crucial to his hypothesis, as is telling John Kada to "go do some real research." What was Gillespie supposed to be doing in 2012, when his salary, based on his claimed 80 hours a week working for TIGHAR, was more than $57 per hour? The National Archives and Records Administration office wasn't that far away from where he was living at the time.

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              • MFowler
                Rank 3 Registered User

                #8
                This whole sextant box episode illustrates, again, Gillespie's persistent "must be Earhart's" bias towards virtually anything found on Nikumaroro. Another example, which ties in to the sextant box, is The Knob That Wasn't.

                During its 2001 expedition, TIGHAR found what Chief Archaeologist Tom King took to be "a small metal cap for a container of some kind." By the time analysis commenced back in the US, that had morphed into speculation that, "This appears to be a knurled adjustment knob. There may have been a separate, smaller concentric knob that turned a disk that rotated within the internal channel. This suggests a knob for making coarse and fine adjustments to some kind of small instrument or machine."

                "Because it looked like a knob we started to refer to it as the knob, and that was a mistake because it tended to prejudice our thinking. If it was a knob it was about the right size to be an adjustment knob for an aeronautical bubble octant and that would be very nice indeed, but we also recognized that our best avenue of investigation was the inscription cast into the surface," Gillespie wrote at the time.

                More detailed analysis in mid-2002 eventually concluded that The Knob was actually what King thought it was all along - a cap for a can of solvent, gun oil or something similar.

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