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Thread: Critique Of TIGHAR By Ex-member/Donor

  1. #31
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    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 at 19:39.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  2. #32
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    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 !

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

  3. #33
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    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 group...it 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.

  4. #34
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    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.

  5. #35
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    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
    aviationmystery.com
    Last edited by Belforte; 12th January 2018 at 02:13.

  6. #36
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    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.

  7. #37
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    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:

    Click image for larger version. 

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  8. #38
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    Back to TIGHAR ...

    One of the things that got me to asking questions at TIGHAR was executive compensation, that is, how much we paid the people who run the group. In most US non-profits, salaries are a pretty steady item. You expect them to go up a little over time, due to cost-of-living raises, if someone accepts some additional duties, etc. They don't do that at TIGHAR - the salaries go up and down like a new tennis ball bouncing across the court. There is a rough correlation between higher salaries and expedition years, which makes sense, since there is a lot more time and planning involved for something like that.

    When you look at the percentage spent on salaries compared to total revenues, that can raise questions. With TIGHAR's bouncing salaries, that number can range from a low of about 9 percent up to 78 percent. Over the last 15 years, TIGHAR has averaged spending about 41 percent of all revenues on salaries every year. That's for Gillespie and Thrasher. Whatever part-time/temporary help they have is minimal. Total salary expenditures are about 29 percent for those years. The following chart helps to illustrate this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Last edited by MFowler; 19th January 2018 at 21:13.

  9. #39
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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...."

    RPM...

  10. #40
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    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.

  11. #41
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    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.

    https://aviationmystery.com/index.php?topic=316.0

    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)...it 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 decreases...as 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 at 14:59.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  12. #42
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    TIGHAR Salary

    J Boyle says:

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

    Weel, I guess that's what you get when you are allowed to order up your own remuneration...quote: ["We tell the Board what TIGHAR can afford to pay us"] unquote. 174K out of 251K is 69.3% [70% to all intents and purposes]... So you are correct, the figures do not lie......and never will.

    As Monty Fowler has said the life style of a country gentleman, squire, laird, gamekeeper 'et al' or just plain swashbuckling, horse-riding, sabre-wielding buccaneer and so on, seems to be enjoyed and there is a hat on a peg for every occasion ranging from tricorn hats to pith helmets....!!! There will be a large mirror involved in all of that somewhere.

    Regards,

    RPM...
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 23rd January 2018 at 08:57.

  13. #43
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    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.

    I have to admit to a mild admiration for pulling it off, but that is heavily outweighed by the rage I feel for the waste of good people's money; and the inevitable detrimental effect it will have on genuine charities.

  14. #44
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    What is shameful is all that is documented in their public tax records while the group is always passing the begging bowl (and selling unwritten books and expensive official expedition shirts) with a straight face.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  15. #45
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    Mahone - the chart I made shows the percentage of "compensation" every year from the total income for that year, which indicates, to me at least, that there is no control over how much compensation Gillespie and Thrasher receive. It's normal, and to be expected in a non-profit of this type, for income to vary from year to year, especially in expedition years.

    What is not normal is the huge swings in executive compensation - which indicates that with that item, at the very least, no one is paying any attention to it. There are any number of "best practices" for US non-profits with regards to executive compensation, how it is calculated, how it is awarded and managed, etc. Suffice it to say that having the chief executive tell the board how much to pay him isn't on any of those lists.

  16. #46
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    WAIT ! More funding is required... !

    The TIGHAR leader is writing what is hoped to be the definitive book on the Lockheed Electra 10E, but has faced many delays in use of the quill, due to other commitments involved with agreements and other "stuff" about projects in the previous year. The latest post this year states that how quickly the much needed concluding Chapters of the book get written depends on more fundraising.... the theory put forward earlier in the piece was that no fundraising by the leader for the vital projects (White Bird, Devastator, P-38, Amelia and Glenn Miller) can be done if the scribe has to write "the" book, therefore fundraising is required to enable the writing of the book.

    After trying to understand the logic of that, I now realise that the TIGHAR Leader wants to be earning from fundraising for writing his book before it is accepted for publishing. Have I got that right or can anyone see a differing picture ? If the leader is short on time, why not go back to working 80 hours a week again, like he used to.... ?

    Regards,
    RPM...

  17. #47
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    I've never understood the logic of his appeals, plenty of people write books without getting upfront money. His generous compensation makes his request even more odd.

    I assumed he has a coin operated typewriter/computer.
    "Insert 25 cents for each line".
    Yeah, that must be it.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  18. #48
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    Would I be the only one that read the above as 'I assumed he has a con operated typewriter/computer'.

    Not that it isn't the truth...

  19. #49
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    It's probably safe to assume that this person would be on a street corner flogging the Big Issue if it wasn't for all the gullible idiots continuing to offer their uncritical support.

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    I agree that TIGHAR's method for publishing books is odd, but it is not unheard of. At least in the case of Finding Amelia, a book was published in part with member's assistance.

    Not so the case with the promised Niku VIII video. That was to be a first for TIGHAR, an in-house video of the expedition so the organization wouldn't have to give up most of the profits to media rights. To help make it happen, they offered the Your Name Up In Lights campaign, where everyone who contributed at least $49 would get a copy of the video and their name listed in the credits. No one knows how many people pledged to help, or how much money was eventually raised - Gillespie hasn't released specifics.

    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.

  21. #51
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    Money sent but no Product

    Monty: "I agree that TIGHAR's method for publishing books is odd, but it is not unheard of. At least in the case of Finding Amelia, a book was published in part with member's assistance."

    Yes, authors do receive an "advance" from a publisher but only when the publisher has assessed the subject of the book and has estimated sales success. Advances of over $1M are not unheard of for red hot titles but in this case, where is the interest in the Lockheed Electra 10E ? The interest is only in a hand-full of enthusiasts worldwide who are interested in the association between the 10E and Earhart and Noonan... If the subject of a book is good enough and a film deal follows then the author nominates what he/she wants for the rights to the story as told...money is paid for the story which then gets varied by Hollywood into something more fantastic which ruins it.... TIGHAR alone only "boasts" of 1200 or so members, a number which former insiders to the "pay to post club" dispute. Look how many paid members post on Tighar even now after the disastrous decision of "Pay to Post"... there are a couple of posts a week at most yet the TIGHAR Leader states his site is the foremost site in the world. What a joke that is. Threads on Key about Earhart do not generally last longer than five minutes so there is not a terrific amount of interest in the U.K. and Europe so advance book sales expectations for a book about the 10E are not exactly sparkling and yet the TIGHAR Leader wants money in advance to write a book with little prospects of success outside of a small enclave of "fans".

    Monty: "Not so the case with the promised Niku VIII video. That was to be a first for TIGHAR, an in-house video of the expedition so the organization wouldn't have to give up most of the profits to media rights. To help make it happen, they offered the Your Name Up In Lights campaign, where everyone who contributed at least $49 would get a copy of the video and their name listed in the credits. No one knows how many people pledged to help, or how much money was eventually raised - Gillespie hasn't released specifics."

    The principle of trying to hold onto the "rights" is a good one. The expected "find" of the Electra did not materialise so there became "no subject matter" for a video except people getting sunburned..... There could be a case there that the TIGHAR Board are responsible for garnering all monies put forward for expected productions (videos or books) and placing it into a Solicitor's hands for safe keeping "escrow" until actually needed for the promised product and drawn down according to need. 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.

    Regards,

    RPM...
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 27th January 2018 at 08:04.

  22. #52
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    Seems like only yesterday Dear Leader was rubbing elbows with Her Royal Heinous. How the mighty have fallen...




  23. #53
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    Oh, that Meeting... WOW !

    Och Aye ! ... Reminds me of the film title "Great Expectations".....'Twas that meeting where the big moolah coulda, shoulda, woulda have been expected but which never eventuated and which seemed to all hinge on "The Bevington Object", the indistinct blob on a photo, which in the end could not be proven as a Mainwheel and which some saw as the stern of a skiff.

    RPM...
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 28th January 2018 at 07:07.

  24. #54
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    I believe RG was hoping to get the "Indiana Jones Chair of Aviation Archeology" at the Smithsonian had Hillary been elected.

    What is interesting in the AE case is there are many people with many conflicting theories, each one based on only one bit of "evidence" (and I'm using the term loosely). Yet each theorist is convinced only he is right, and everyone else is quite mad and unable to see the truth glaring at them.
    The only thing they seem united on is the "crashed and sank" scenario is almost impossible....despite the flight path being almost entirely over water.

    I'm beginning to think the main scientific discovery to be made here has little to do with history and more to do with mental health.
    The case has become a public Rorschach test for the advocates of the various theories.
    Last edited by J Boyle; 29th January 2018 at 15:23.
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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    J Boyle said, "I'm beginning to think the main scientific discovery to be made here has little to do with history and more to do with mental health. The case has become a public Rorschach test for the advocates of the various theories."

    After having been involved in and exposed to the various Earhart theories for almost two decades, I'm inclined to agree with that. There tends to be an extraordinarily high degree of animosity (I'm being charitable here) among the various theories. TIGHER is not the most strident among them but Gillespie does do a thorough job of denigrating anyone who doesn't believe TIGHAR (and by extension him) wholeheartedly.

    I'm currently reading a fascinating book, When Prophecy Fails, by Leon Festinger et. al., a fascinating study of a 1954 incident in which a Chicago housewife predicted the end of the world and a great flood to "cleanse" the planet, with the chosen few being evacuated beforehand by flying saucers. The authors coined the term "cognitive dissonance" for what happens to people when a firmly-held belief is proven to be demonstrably untrue, and how people can become even more fervent believers after their belief is shown to be untrue. It requires five basic conditions:
    • A belief must be held with deep conviction and it must have some relevance to action, that is, to what the believer does or how he or she behaves.
    • The person holding the belief must have committed himself to it; that is, for the sake of his belief, he must have taken some important action that is difficult to undo. In general, the more important such actions are, and the more difficult they are to undo, the greater is the individual's commitment to the belief.
    • The belief must be sufficiently specific and sufficiently concerned with the real world so that events may unequivocally refute the belief.
    • Such undeniable disconfirmatory evidence must occur and must be recognized by the individual holding the belief.
    • The individual believer must have social support. It is unlikely that one isolated believer could withstand the kind of disconfirming evidence that has been specified. If, however, the believer is a member of a group of convinced persons who can support one another, the belief may be maintained and the believers may attempt to proselytize or persuade nonmembers that the belief is correct.


    I wonder how many of those conditions apply to TIGHAR, and the other Earhart theory groups?

  26. #56
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    The East New Britain Project - Part 1

    Yes, that is my project and it is the only Electra search project that has J Boyles “one bit of evidence”. It is one bit of evidence written on a map edge and it is believed to be a true bit of evidence “by me” and a few other people involved with the project. It is me who drives the project and it is me who has, in the main committed to the project and it is me who has spent the most time and money to try to re-locate an aircraft wreck seen in 1945 which is basically a square peg in a round hole as a P & W Wasp powered aircraft should “not be” where it is….

    I originally set out in my spare time whilst employed in Papua New Guinea to identify a couple of aircraft of WWII origin which I had heard about from pilots of helicopters who had been on task near to villages and had been told of wrecks nearby. The first wreck I went to was at 10,500 feet in the Finnesterre Range above the village of Tauta. The second was on top of a low hill near Yalu village outside of Lae. Both were B-24’s. Note that I did not say “find” these wrecks. I would say that 99% of the missing WWII aircraft in PNG are found by local people and a very big percentage of these are found by logging company personnel as rainforest is brought down. There is an awful amount of rainforest which is disappearing in PNG.

    Why did I do this ? I did it out of a feeling for fellow “aircrew” as I was very nearly a casualty in the category of “lost aircrew” myself when I went down into trees in North Borneo while on board a helicopter as a Flight Engineer Crewman in 1967. I had trained on and flown in four-engined transports as an F/E only to find myself and a whole bunch of other Flight Engineers on four-engines, posted onto helicopters during a little “Police Action” in Borneo called Confrontation during the time “Malaysia” was created..

    When I read a newspaper article in December 1993 about the “possibility” that Earhart’s Electra may have been seen by a WWII Australian Army Patrol in the Jungle of East New Britain in April 1945, I made some enquiries and eventually made contact with the small Veterans group of four surviving Vets from the patrol who had brought their recollections to life in the early 90’s. One Vet knew that the aircraft engine that had been seen, had been reported to the U.S. Army and that the U.S. Army had replied to the report by saying that the engine they had seen was a “Wasp” engine and that it did not belong to the U.S. Army Air Force. There was also a recollection that the reply had said that the parent aircraft to which the engine had belonged ‘could be’ a Lockheed as Lockheed were big users of Wasp engines.

    How the “Wasp engine seen in the jungle” became the possibility that it could be from the missing Electra was because one veteran had been watching an Earhart documentary on TV in 1990 and had heard that Earhart’s still missing Electra was powered by Wasp engines and that Earhart was last seen leaving Lae, in New Guinea, now Papua New Guinea. That point was the start of the Project. Early research was done by that one veteran out of interest and at that time, there was no aircraft seen, only an engine seen and there was no map, no paper of any kind.

    That Veteran was Donald Angwin who had become a successful businessman in later life and was an honest and very likeable person. In 1990, Don wrote to Richard Gillespie with his sincere thoughts and in his words to me, Don told me that he received back a “rude and arrogant” dismissive letter from Gillespie and he wanted nothing more to do with that person.

    I joined the Project out of interest in early 1994 and that was the year that the detail on a WWII tactical map came to light and we then had the Patrol references which tied in to the Vets and the one standout piece of writing: “Ref: 600 H.P. S3H1 C/N1055”, written in indelible pencil on the map lower border. This was writing which had been hidden under old crinkly masking tape as the edges if the map had been folded in to make the map, when then folded twice, fit an Australian Army mapcase. How the map managed to exist was at the hands of a veteran who had been the Company Clerk during WWII and who had plucked it from a pile of discarded equipment at the end of the war to have as a keepsake, a memento. The pile of discarded equipment was intended to be burnt along with the map in a map case.

    1994 was also the year that the Patrol Leader, Lieutenant Ken Backhouse confirmed that the aircraft was also on site covered over by vines and tree debris. The aircraft itself was a twin-engined aircraft, was all-metal and was unpainted and had no military insignia on the fuselage. The visual descriptions of the detached engine and nacelle and the aircraft itself did fit with the appearance of the Electra. The early appraisal of the “Ref:” on the map was now backed up and the “possibility” was getting much better.

    In 1995 we went in twice and on the second visit I took in a PR guy from the PNG Museum in Port Moresby named John Rei. In front of me the Director of the museum swore John Rei to secrecy about the project but after we came out of the Jungle it did not stop Rei from “spilling the beans” to Gillespie for I have a copy of a fax sent by Gillespie on February 20, 1996, in reply to Rei in which Gillespie says (and note the "We"): “We are of course, familiar with Corporal Angwin’s story and agree with you that whatever he saw in the bush was certainly not part of Earhart’s aircraft”. He goes on to say to Rei that he would like Rei to try and “corroborate” the story of “the aerial loss at LAE which he is sure happened because of examination of take-off film” (that would be by Glickman, I suppose). So, therein is proof that Rei ratted to Gillespie about the Project and Gillespie says he knows about the Angwin find of a Wasp.

    I had joined Air Niugini in 1992 and as part if my duties I visited Singapore many times in the years after that until I left Air Niugini in 2002. During one visit to Singapore in 1997, I visited the Pratt & Whitney Field Office and spoke to the Representatives there in order to find out if the S3H1 Wasp was rated at 600 Horsepower as I could only find references to 550 Horsepower. The two P & W Reps. could not tell me as they were both “jet men” and had not worked on Wasps. They asked why the enquiry and I told them of the “possibility”. They suggested that I write to Pratt & Whitney at “Big Pratts” at Hartford Connecticut. Hartford is the Executive HQ of P & W and I wrote to the then President. My letter was headed “Confidential”.

    Unknown to me, one of the P & W Field Reps., named Andre Malo, contacted Gillespie and informed him of my visit to his office and the detail “600 H.P. S3H1 C/N 1055” that we had on the WWII Map edge. Gillespie made contact with me by sending a FAX to Air Niugini Head Office in Port Moresby and this fax filtered down to the Engineering Office in a company mail envelope and Gillespie introduced himself as the Executive Director etc., etc., and he wanted to know if the S3H1 Wasp that I had spoken of to Andre Malo was the same Wasp that Corporal Donald Angwin had informed him of, back in 1990 (?). Remembering Don’s words that he wanted nothing more to do with Gillespie, here was that man who had been described to me as “rude and arrogant” and who had sent a dismissive letter to Don and who was now enquiring, ”with interest”, if the S3H1 information we had was the same engine that had been reported to him in 1990.

    Continued...
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 31st January 2018 at 02:07.

  27. #57
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
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    The East New Britain Project - Part 2


    Gillespie wrote, addressed to me, on 7th July 1997:

    Dear Mr. Billings,

    Your name and fax number were given to me by Mr. Andre Malo of Pratt & Whitney in Singapore. As an aviation historian and the executive director of a non-profit archaeological foundation, I have offered to help Pratt & Whitney’s home office in East Hartford, Connecticut to evaluate possible evidence concerning the disappearance of Amelia Earhart. I am very familiar with the Earhart case.

    Mr. Malo tells me that you are investigating a story about an engine seen in the jungle of New Britain. I wonder if this is the engine seen in 1945 by then-corporal Donald A. Angwin of Perth, Australia. According to Mr. Malo, the engine supposedly had a tag on it inscribed “600h.p. S3H1 cn1055” Is this correct? If so, what is the source of this information?

    I’d appreciate any assistance you might be able to provide in helping us to evaluate this intriguing story. A fax would be fine, but if you prefer to email… etc
    Very truly yours
    RG.

    I replied in a “cannot confirm or deny” mode. There then, was laid the foundation of the sometime(s) intense deriding by Gillespie and his acolytes of the East New Britain Project which began in 2004.

    In one breath in Feb 1996, Gillespie dismisses the Jungle Wasp, but as soon as he finds out in 1997 that the full bottle of the cryptic message is 600 HP S3H1 C/N1055, he is immediately interested, finds it “intriguing” and contacts me but none of this reaches his members and followers.

    It is to be noted that normally under all circumstances where mention of Earhart, Noonan, Electra, P & W Wasp or anything to do with the loss appears in the Media, it is picked up by TIGHAR and appears in the Forum quick smart. Not so though, in regard to Donald Angwin’s contact to Gillespie in 1990, or the Andre Malo confiding to TIGHAR about the S3H1 and the 1945 find which was then made known to Gillespie again in 1997. Not until my first website appeared in 2004 did the East New Britain Project make it on the TIGHAR Forum. In 2004 Gillespie had to admit he had known about the project but had never told his members and followers. That total time span is 14 years or 7 years if you count the defining of the engine as an S3H1 Wasp…

    After that time in 2004, the ENB Project has been derided and sneered at by TIGHAR Forum posters, all allowed by Gillespie. The worst period was when the Veterans were basically accused by some on that forum of being liars. Gillespie allowed that too. It was incredible, even the Priest had a go.

    What became of my letter to the P & W President at Big Pratts ? You may have already guessed. Gillespie’s FAX to me gives the clue… I received a letter back from a minion at P & W telling me that my Confidential letter had been forwarded to Richard Gillespie of TIGHAR and that he, as an expert, had said that it was not possible that the engine could have come from the Electra. So, the Big Pratts had given Gillespie all the information I had told them in a Confidential letter. He had not mentioned any of this to his members and in respect to that, you have to ask “Why” ?

    Is it any wonder then, why I write what I hope are somewhat humorous posts on websites which often take the mickey out of the TIGHAR Scientific Methodology, the Preposterous Preponderance of a Collection of “non-evidence” or draw cartoons highlighting the idiocy separating the Fact from Fiction of “the World’s most foremost aviation archaeology site” which has not recovered one single solitary historic aircraft while flowing ten million under the bridge ?

    Is it any wonder why Monty Fowler writes a very informative and succinct, descriptive piece giving an insider’s view of a non-profit organisation which seems to be from his perspective, more involved with profit than it should be. His view is the view of a man who had followed TIGHAR for eighteen years and had dropped “checks” like confetti into the TIGHAR till and who is now so very disillusioned as to write a treatise condemning the organisation he believed in. The light went on and I tip my hat to Monty.

    Is it any wonder why “chucked-off and abused” former members of TIGHAR start their own forum website and in return throw brickbats and stormy vitriol at Gillespie and his antics ? It is no wonder at all.

    Therefore, after reading this, readers of this epistle can judge for themselves if I am obsessed or if I am following my nose in trying to solve the biggest and longest running Aviation Mystery or if I am squandering my time and mostly my own money on a “bit of evidence” likened to a Rorschach blob ?

    RPM…
    www.earhartsearchpng.com
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 30th January 2018 at 14:46.

  28. #58
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    Oct 2004
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    Where you wish you were.
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    RPM...
    I do hope you don't take my comment personally or as derogatory towards you or your research.

    It just seems that everyone has a different take on the mystery...each thinking they have the key.

    Your theory is no less valid than the others.
    One question...how do you think the Lockheed got to PNG?
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

  29. #59
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Location
    Sunshine Coast, Australia
    Posts
    138
    The Key is Evidence

    J Boyle: The key to solving the mystery is evidence and as far as I know and visualise, only the ENB Project has documentary evidence and that evidence is the indelible pencilled writing in a WWII Map. If any other Earhart Search Project can show me any physical evidence that is convincing I will take back my words.

    What we do know is that Veteran Keith Nurse looked over the engine in the jungle and removed a small metal tag hanging by wire from the mount tubing and what he said to me was, "It had a string of letters and numbers on it which did not mean anything to me so I put the tag in my shirt pocket intending to hand it in with the patrol report." Which he did. "600 H/P S3H1 C/N 1055" is a string of letters and numbers.

    It goes without saying that a ditching in the sea is a possibility, right enough, but that ditching may have occurred hundreds of miles away from Howland.... a search in the sea could take hundreds of years. At this present time out of all the theories only one Project has some evidence and a sighting which must be followed.

    We continue to search for more documents for we do know of the interest shown by members of the U.S. Army 594th EB&SR detachment who were stationed at Jaquinot Bay 90 miles from the fighting zone at Wide Bay ENB. Paper from archives still eludes us but College Park has been visited and Maxwell AFB is to be visited. The U.S. has several depositories of records spread across the nation and finding documents is quite trying. For U.S. Based research I depend on volunteers who visit these places.

    As to how the Electra would get back to ENB, that is contained in the hypothesis side of the Project and explained on the website. The hypothesis is just that, a hypothesis. Many years ago, a TIGHAR member, Alan Caldwell an ex-B-47 USAF Pilot, said to me, "David, no-one knows where the aircraft got to or how far it went...".

    That is correct. No-one on this Earth knows exactly where the Electra got to and how many miles it covered in getting to the furthest point from LAE.... No-one. No-one knows what the actual wind value was and what the exact wind direction was on 2nd and 3rd July 1937... No-one. No-one knows for sure (100%) what the exact route was and whether corners were cut... no-one. No-one knows for sure when the cloud cover started that would limit the Navigation... No-one. No-one knows for sure, where on the trackline between TABITUEA Is. and HOWLAND Is. the Electra started the "Line of position" search...No.one.

    What I am trying to do is to locate that wreck which we now know is buried for it MUST be found to be able to say one way or the other, whether it is the Electra or not.

    I believe it is the Electra and therefore I endeavour to persevere.

    After the derision and sneers from TIGHAR, your remarks are but feathers in the wind.... No offence taken.

    Regards,

    RPM...
    www.earhartsearchpng.com
    Last edited by RPM, FF, TGT...; 30th January 2018 at 14:46.

  30. #60
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    Oct 2004
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    Where you wish you were.
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    So you believe the Electra had the range to go that far?
    If so, what would account for them being so off course?
    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

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