TIGHAR drumming for money again for Earhart project

Here we go again with the Earhart stuff… It’s the same people with the same vague results. Be skeptical.

Amelia Earhart’s Plane Revealed in Sonar? : Discovery News.

A grainy sonar image captured off an uninhabited tropical island in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati might represent the remains of the Electra, the two-engine aircraft legendary aviator Amelia Earhart was piloting when she vanished on July 2, 1937 in a record attempt to fly around the world at the equator.

Released by The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery (TIGHAR), which has long been investigating Earhart’s last, fateful flight, the images show an “anomaly” resting at the depth of about 600 feet in the waters off Nikumaroro island, some 350 miles southeast of Earhart’s target destination, Howland Island.

The anomaly appears to be the right size and shape to match the Electra wreckage and lines up nicely with the Bevington Object and Jeff Glickman’s debris field.

The only way to be absolutely sure that the anomaly is indeed Amelia’s plane is by sending another expedition to the island, but that will depend upon the ability of TIGHAR, a nonprofit institute that relies on sponsorships and contributions from the public, to raise the needed funding.

And there you are… more funding needed. For an anomaly that could be many things. They are attempting to keep the money coming in with the hype. This is what they found last time if you recall – not very impressive.

HERE is why you should be very skeptical of the TIGHAR claims: Amelia Earhart certainly went to Howland, not Nikumaroro; There are perfectly rational explanations for all of Gillespie’s “evidence” at Nikumaroru.

It has been argued that Discovery Channel, and other news agencies, should report Gillespie’s theory the way they are; in the interest of balance, considering all angles to a story, competing theories, and so on. I don’t agree; not by a long shot. That’s fine to do when a new theory has validity or there are indeed questions worth exploring, or when a theory is presented properly in its context as a fringe suggestion. It is not appropriate to trumpet headlines about new evidence, new discoveries, etc., that are both false and fringe, while making only a mute footnoted reference to the fact that an evidence-based consensus exists which remains unshaken. This pandering to sensationalism erodes the public knowledge, and encourages the curious to lend more credence to fancy than to fact.

Tip: @TheKeis on Twitter

  8 comments for “TIGHAR drumming for money again for Earhart project

  1. May 30, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    TIGHAR’s annual fund drives are getting duller than PBS’.

  2. Stuart Robbins
    May 31, 2013 at 1:06 AM

    The amount of mainstream news coverage this has gotten is incredible. Every RSS feed I have has lit up with it, including Time.

  3. Doug
    May 31, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    Doug on May 31, 2013 at 9:34 AM

    Ask anyone who loves old aircraft, what they think of tighar. A few years back, reading in a well known aircraft magazine, tighar wanted control over all old aircraft in museums. Right! Its all about money. This includes Mrs. Earhart.

  4. June 1, 2013 at 4:27 AM

    These people calling themselves researchers is about like Sylvia Browne calling herself a scientist. They’ve spent a lot of other peoples’ money for many years chasing phantoms, and have absolutely NOTHING to show for it. Must be a pretty nice gig. Get to travel around the world on someone else’s dime while the rest of us work for a living.

  5. spookyparadigm
    June 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM

    Huh, I didn’t realize until reading comments here, that they weren’t exclusively focused on Earhart. Just visited their website, didn’t realize they did CRM.

  6. Randy Conrad
    June 1, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    As a current member of TIGHAR, daily user of the Earhart forum, and avid researcher of this project for the past twenty years…I would like to say that I highly disagree with you on the basis that TIGHAR sole purpose is geared towards financial resources and resources alone. Mr. Ric Gillepsie is who I consider a man of his word and a man of great integrity. Like you and me…he has bills to pay and food to put on the table. Like many of the research teams and members that have gone on the expeditions in the past….they too have jobs and have put a great effort into this quest…especially money. It’s no cakewalk as everyone thinks…plus the island has many dangers including the excruciating heat during the months of June and July. Our main objective here is to find the ellusive “smoking gun” which Mr. Gillepsie has said all along. During this 20 year process, he hasn’t gone into this project blindfolded, but by the sheer determination of those who believe by the hard facts and evidence found, that at some time she indeed landed on Nikamaurro and died as a castaway. This is our cause. Like those all over the world…we too have a passion for wanting to solve the greatest mystery of the 21st Century and what happened to our beloved Lady Lindy!!! As evidence continues to pour in and the true facts are analyzed..we continue to pursue towards this island in the effoirt of finally finding the Lockheed Electra and the resting place of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan! Thanks!!!

    • June 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM

      Randy: I apologize if it read as if “TIGHAR sole purpose is geared towards financial resources and resources alone”. I don’t think that is true and I understand they must pay the bills. But I do not see a sound basis for paying to further this expedition when it does not seem to be going in the right direction. I feel as if it has been hyped beyond the evidence and what has been found so far has NOT been encouraging. It’s difficult for people who are attached to an idea to give it up when they have so much invested in it. But I don’t see it getting anywhere.

  7. Natty Bumppo
    June 6, 2013 at 9:20 PM

    It shouldn’t be surprising that only trace evidence (of whatever origin – and one has to bear in mind the Electra wasn’t (apparently) terribly well equipped with much of anything in terms of survivable and easily detachable equipment) has been found by TIGHAR – the original events (wherever they ended up) happened so long ago and what would be conclusive (either way) evidence (with today’s technology) was misplaced by the British in Fiji. But that partial skeleton belonged to someone and Amelia fits the bill as well as anyone else (actually no one else that I am aware of has ever been suggested as a candidate – unaccounted for women of European/American descent (if we are to believe the recorded information about the skeletal remains) don’t seem to be terribly prevalent in that part of the world in that very very specific/narrow time frame. (Call it a form of Occam’s razor if you will – not conclusive but in my mind this is the most single compelling reason to put more than a little credence in TIGHAR’s theory – especially with some of the other (admittedly of a trace nature) supplementary evidence.

    As long as the money is collected from private sources and no one at TIGHAR is deliberately gulling anyone in order to garner funds I can’t see why anyone should object – if one thinks it is a goose chase one shouldn’t contribute. I suspect the total amount spent so far by TIGHAR at the island pales in comparison to the monies spent on the many expeditions to find and visit the Titanic. Or how much money as been spent on salvaging parts of the U.S.S. Monitor (although with government funds in that case) before it totally decays. How much value these things have depends I suspect on how much value one places on history (of any sort). How much value would there be to resurrect a mammoth from the frozen DNA that is available – it would be expensive and may not even be doable – but we will never know if someone doesn’t try.

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