old iron wrote:Nauticos and Stratus have seriously good equipment and the knowledge of how to use it. If TIGHAR was serious they could hire one of these companies to search off the island. With that kind of heavy-support they could probably raise more money, maybe a TV sponsorship; the issue would likely get solved (likely, the null hypothesis) on one trip. The question is TIGHAR is that serious.
is a seriously serious question
in the wake of Niku VIII and all that preceeded it in these past months (or years
, as many would point out, but I'll be charitable as the purple hasn't long left my gut).
I favor that approach and am glad to hear that Stratus is planning the same depth of equipage that Nauticos demonstrated so well.
My next concern would be what kind of field (ocean-going) talent Stratus would employ to make it all click. Nauticos was exemplary in that regard, in my view. Surely Colin Cobb has observed that and realizes the need?
TIGHAR has just - again, demonstrated the challenges of depending on a 'big daddy' project manager, like Gillespie. I'm sure he had other talent aboard for specific tasks, but the impression I get over and over (and moreso this time) is that he is 'mission commander' and I'm not sure that's really in his toolbox for such detailed operations as were called for (and if I've judged unfairly, I'll gladly stand corrected).
Point being, where others are concerned, Colin Cobb is for instance a promoter, not an experienced sea-going project director (so far as I know), and there's much more to such an effort than just contracting 'the right equipment and operators'. Don't take my word for it - go ask a Ballard or Jourdan.
I realize I rode Gary pretty hard here, and Colin and Stratus for that matter. But this actually drives at the crux of where my heart was:
- If you'd take our money, how assured can we be that there's going to be real bang (success or not - we realize there's always risk of not finding the target) for our bucks?
Peace to Gary - I can grasp where he's coming from; he's made the best judgment he can, and while he no doubt might elaborate a bit differently, I think it is based largely on the same kinds of observations and assumptions that Long followed in his own assessment. I won't elaboarate on what I think the differences may be here - suffice it to say that both gents believe she splashed somewhere in the Howland area - and I'll throw in that I admire the direct simplicity of it and that it makes sense in the aviator's sniff test, big time. That kind of approach simply has to be evaluated by the donor and accepted or not, as a risk also being present - always.
But the very big 'next' is 'how will this search be managed' - gee, the equipment and operators are impressive, but who will be in charge of making it all fit and execute at the shipboard level?
Sorry to be such a gad fly, but I believe we've reached a time when many people might think it ludricrous to spend another dime looking for poor Earhart and Noonan at all at this point; to promote millions to go do it clearly requires a lot of the 'right stuff' - and what we just witnessed at Niku underscores the need for severe due diligence, as I see it. That should not be beyond the asking of whomever would ask for our money.
And as Gary pointed out, that's Colin's end of the deal - so he who might donate then assumes the burden of caveat emptor - how is this mission to be fashioned?
Niku VIII and lessons -
I will confess deep disappointment - but not real surprise, at what I just saw unfold at Niku. I have loved TIGHAR for many reasons for years, but as such, most here cannot miss that I have come to be a 'questioner' on many levels - so severely so that I wonder if I will even survive as a poster in that place, as much as I love my friends there and much of the contact: I can easily be viewed as a 'hostile', I suppose. A pity: our friends know when to kick our fannies, in my experience. But in this particular expedition (Niku VIII) I never saw a foothold that I felt worthy of trying - I'd rather have been the first cave man to eat an oyster than to have sent $50 to that campaign, frankly.
And I take no joy in realizing my instincts were right.
Instincts which were actually hard won lessons taught by watching and listening to critics who were, it turns out, actually worthy of being heard, and much of it was digested with greasy, raw crow at times: how 2-2-V-1 got to be treated, for one, raised flags; how quickly formerly sworn-off tactics were re-engaged for some expedient reason - which seems to have evolved from a need to ensure a timely rendezvous with the Fiji Princess more than to push back the frontiers of doubt about Earhart's presence on that isle. I can't say what is truly in other men's minds, but I have to judge by what I can observe for myself as best I can: this one had no hope.
Now, should TIGHAR burst that hazy, regrettable bubble with an incontrovertable revelation once home, more power to them and my deepest congratulations on attaining the highest level of luck I've ever witnessed. But I am not turning blue with bated breath.
In closing, I'll simply note that there is nothing like greasy raw crow meat to purge one's digestive tract of the purple stain of Kool Aid. Crow isn't so bad if you're willing to swallow hard and try harder going forward.