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Thread: Critique Of TIGHAR By Ex-member/Donor

  1. #91
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    If one has the address, a current value can usually be received online from the county assessor's office (though tax value is always less than market value).

    It's possible the "old debt" referred to is personal debt, not TIGHAR.
    That makes sense if their previous house was bought by them pre-group or paid for with their salary.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  2. #92
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    J Boyle said, "It's possible the "old debt" referred to is personal debt, not TIGHAR.
    That makes sense if their previous house was bought by them pre-group or paid for with their salary."


    I agree the "old debt" might be personal, but I can't imagine what kind it would be by that point in time - Gillespie and Thrasher formed TIGHAR in 1985 and they've indicated that was their only source of income.

    The Delaware house on Fawkes Drive that was sold to facilitate the move the Pennsylvania was bought, in part, by TIGHAR members as part of a "new headquarters" fundraising campaign. I haven't been able to nail down exactly how much members contributed to the purchase price, nor is it really clear how much of that was paid back to TIGHAR, if any, when the house was sold.

    Records on the internet from several real estate websites indicate the Delaware house was sold in May 2014 for $275,260, after being listed for $289,900 in February of that year. Gillespie said in November 2015, "We used the proceeds from the sale of our house to pay off old debt" without giving any details as to what exactly that was.

  3. #93
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    One of the things TIGHAR regularly touts is how cost-effective it is with regards to its various projects, with Gillespie saying in 2013, "TIGHAR is one of the most efficient, cost-effective, low-overhead, most bang-for-the-buck nonprofits you'll ever see." Maybe with regards to efficiency, it is. Perhaps even cost-effectiveness, for what it does (which is admittedly a very narrow area of interest to most of the world).

    Low overhead? The numbers don't really support that. Take the Nikumaroro IIIIP expedition in 1999, a more limited one than most Niku expeditions, with a two-part effort to search a very specific part of the island, and follow up rumors of bones from a skeleton found on the island in 1937 (that may or may not have been Earhart's) ended up in Fiji. Total cost of Niku IIIIP: $207,523, divided as follows:

    - $109,681 for the Nikumaroro portion, for team airfare, ship charter, Kiribati representative, equipment and incidentals.
    - $7,482 for the Fiji portion, for airfare, accommodations, meals, incidentals and car rental.

    So what was the remaining $90,360 spent on? Six months of operating costs. More than 43 percent of the total "expedition costs" were to keep the TIGHAR office (Gillespie and Thrasher) up and running at a cost of more than $15,000 per month. Even allowing for the fact that a complicated expedition in multiple countries on the other side of the world was being planned and executed, it's hard to picture how spending more than 40 percent of the money on overhead can be considered "low."

  4. #94
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    I haven't seen much media coverage of their latest pronouncement (I.e. guess) on the bones.
    I understand The Economist ran their release without any questions or critical analysis.
    They must not have seen the comments attacking the Fiji doctors.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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