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  #1  
Old 05-01-2016, 10:04 AM
c.d. c.d. is offline
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Default Your Opinion of Ric Gillespie and His Search for Amelia Earhart

What is your opinion of Ric Gillespie head of TIGHAR? I read his book "Finding Amelia" and certainly thought he seemed legitimate and that the people associated with TIGHAR had very solid credentials. I have also heard him described as a self-serving quack and somebody basically interested in soliciting rich supporters for his investigation into Amelia Earhart's disappearance. What is your opinion of him?

c.d.
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Old 05-01-2016, 01:21 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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The disappearance of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan has been a big interest of mine for more years than I care to remember. I do look in at the TIGHAR website from time to time, and I've read Gillespie's book. My own feeling, for what it's worth, is that Earhart and Noonan did come down on, or very near to, Gardner Island (now known as Nikumaroro) as a result of damage caused to their Lockheed Electra's communication system during their take-off from New Guinea. I don't for one moment accept that they were taken prisoner by the Japanese, etc., etc., and so forth. As far as I'm aware, they could send but not receive r/t messages, and as a result became hopelessly disoriented. Anyway.

Gillespie is obviously convinced that Earhart and Noonan came down on Gardner Island and has spent a fortune trying to prove it, so far without success. I doubt if he ever will. It does seem possible that his various expeditions did find evidence that "someone" had lived for a while and then died on Gardner, but who that "someone" was, he has never proved. I have also read that it's been claimed that Gillespie had actually found the remains of Earhart and Noonan and/or their aircraft, but had hushed it up so he could continue to receive finds from his sponsor(s). Frankly, I do not believe this. What I might possibly believe is that, not unlike the efforts to find the 'buried treasure' of Oak Island, Gillespie has become somewhat infatuated with his beliefs. I may be doing him a disservice in thinking this, but I would suggest that after so many years of finding nothing worthwhile (like solid evidence regarding Earhart and Noonan) he might just think about calling it a day. But then, I've never been obsessive about anything. Otherwise, I'd say 'good luck' to the guy - I like an adventurer and I have to say I quite like Gillespie.

Graham
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2016, 11:18 AM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
What is your opinion of Ric Gillespie head of TIGHAR? I read his book "Finding Amelia" and certainly thought he seemed legitimate and that the people associated with TIGHAR had very solid credentials. I have also heard him described as a self-serving quack and somebody basically interested in soliciting rich supporters for his investigation into Amelia Earhart's disappearance. What is your opinion of him?

c.d.
Hi c.d.,

I just saw this today. I do think it most likely the "Electra" hit the Pacific Ocean, and poor Amelia and Fred were killed on impact or drowned. However, it would be nice if a final "Finis" to their disappearance was put (such as did happen with Saloman Andree and his two companions who vanished in a balloon headed to the North Pole in 1897 and were found in 1930 on White Island), but it is less likely. If Gillespie does find proof I give him credit. If not it would not be surprising.

Hi Graham,

I have forced myself (like looking at the scene of a car wreck) looking at the "History Channel" garbage about "Oak Island". Can't stand it. Something was buried there, but the stupid series makes it pretentious and boring. So I rarely look at it now.

Jeff
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Old 05-02-2016, 03:38 PM
c.d. c.d. is offline
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I always found that story of the high school girl in St. Petersburg, Florida to be extremely compelling if true. She copied down an apparent short wave transmission from Earhart in which "Earhart" talked about a suitcase in her bedroom. Very strange from someone who had just been in a plane crash but Gillespie tracked down a letter that Earhart had written to her Mother about a year prior to this in which she instructed her Mother to burn the contents of a suitcase in her bedroom closet should anything ever happen to her.

I think I have my facts straight on this story but can't swear to it.

c.d.
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Old 05-02-2016, 05:02 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
I always found that story of the high school girl in St. Petersburg, Florida to be extremely compelling if true. She copied down an apparent short wave transmission from Earhart in which "Earhart" talked about a suitcase in her bedroom. Very strange from someone who had just been in a plane crash but Gillespie tracked down a letter that Earhart had written to her Mother about a year prior to this in which she instructed her Mother to burn the contents of a suitcase in her bedroom closet should anything ever happen to her.

I think I have my facts straight on this story but can't swear to it.

c.d.
You did get the story right, c.d. I read a good biography about Earhart called, "Amelia" ten years back, and in it the story is given - there was a reference that was vague about "New York", and one theory about her fate ties in with a shipwreck of a ship called the "New York" on one of the possible atoll/islands she might have ended on with Fred (or without him).

Jeff
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Old 05-03-2016, 12:05 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Jeff and CD,

the 'Oak Island Saga' is, as most rational people now accept, simply that: a saga. Maybe someone did do some digging there a few centuries ago, but I doubt if it was to bury treasure. Personally, I never saw the point of amassing 'treasure' if all you did with it was bury it....

The story of the girl in Florida picking up what appeared to be a transmission from the Electra may or may not have happened. I'm not convinced that it did happen, but can't completely rule it out as other hams around the world also claimed to have picked up transmissions from Earhart.

There is indeed a wrecked ship on Gardner Island. It was the SS "Norwich City", a British-owned freighter than ran aground in the early 1930's. Most of the crew were rescued. The thing is, the word "Norwich" (the county town of Norfolk in England) is pronounced "Norridge", which most Americans even today wouldn't be aware of. If pronounced as it is spelled it comes out as "Nor-witch", and could possibly on a poor r/t signal be misinterpreted as "New York" which, during my time in the USA, I usually heard pronounced - in the north at least - as "Nooyark". (Sometimes I couldn't tell if a person was referring to New York or Newark, NJ). Maybe the connection is weak, but the girl in Florida could possibly have misinterpreted Earhart's pronunciation of "Norwich" as "New York". Just a guess, though.

I think what many people forget, or are unaware of, is that some years prior to Earhart's flight Gardner Island was inhabited for a short time by plantation workers. They must have left traces of their habitation behind, including personal possessions, and I do wonder if Tighar found some of these and misinterpreted them as coming from the Electra.

Graham
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Last edited by Graham : 05-03-2016 at 12:07 AM.
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Old 05-03-2016, 01:00 PM
Mayerling Mayerling is offline
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Thanks Graham. The account of the "Norwich City" was what I read in that biography "Amelia" by Donald Goldstein and Katherine Dillon.

Jeff
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Old 05-03-2016, 02:11 PM
Graham Graham is offline
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Got to say, Gillespie never gives up. The latest from TIGHAR shows him and a team-mate splashing about in the shallows looking for evidence of the 'Bevington Sighting'. This was a photo taken by a British naval person, about three months after Earhart's disappearance, of a stretch of coastline to the north of the SS Norwich City wreck. To my eyes, and your eyes, it shows only a surfy sea breaking on a low beach. However, to the eyes of the TIGHAR-meister, it show something sticking out of the water that he says resembles a landing-gear of a Lockheed Electra. Yeah? Beats the hell out of me if it does. Yet here's Ric, less than a year ago, still looking for it. Well, damn good luck to you, Ric. I think you deserve it. If I ever run into you, I'll buy you a drink.

Graham
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Old 05-03-2016, 03:09 PM
c.d. c.d. is offline
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"I think what many people forget, or are unaware of, is that some years prior to Earhart's flight Gardner Island was inhabited for a short time by plantation workers. They must have left traces of their habitation behind, including personal possessions, and I do wonder if Tighar found some of these and misinterpreted them as coming from the Electra."

Hello Graham,

That certainly is a possibility. I remember a glass container that was found and which Gillespie believed contained freckle cream. Apparently Earhart was quite self conscious of her freckles and according to Gillespie always carried freckle cream in her personal belongings. The bottle shape did seem to match with a popular cream sold in the 1930s. For what that is worth.

c.d.
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Old 05-04-2016, 06:09 AM
Graham Graham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by c.d. View Post
"I think what many people forget, or are unaware of, is that some years prior to Earhart's flight Gardner Island was inhabited for a short time by plantation workers. They must have left traces of their habitation behind, including personal possessions, and I do wonder if Tighar found some of these and misinterpreted them as coming from the Electra."

Hello Graham,

That certainly is a possibility. I remember a glass container that was found and which Gillespie believed contained freckle cream. Apparently Earhart was quite self conscious of her freckles and according to Gillespie always carried freckle cream in her personal belongings. The bottle shape did seem to match with a popular cream sold in the 1930s. For what that is worth.

c.d.
Hi c.d.,

yes, other bits and pieces, including I believe the sole of a shoe claimed to be the same size as Amelia's, were found. Plus a metal panel which TIGHAR claim was without any doubt part of a Lockheed Electra. As I said earlier, I do think that Earhart and Noonan came down either on, or very close to, Gardner Island and possibly survived for a short time. Seems to me that only the discovery of the Electra, or large remains of it that can be identifiable as belonging to Earhart's plane (which was a specially-modified version of the standard model), will prove that they came down on or near Gardner. So far such finds have proved elusive. I think I recall reading that off the west coast of Gardner there is a submarine cliff; if the Electra went over this cliff, chances are it's gone for ever. Don't suppose that will prevent Ric Gillespie from carrying on!

Graham
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