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Thomas Veil
Apr 1, 2007, 10:23 AM
This is fascinating reading. It's a little lengthy to quote here, but this CNN story (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/01/earhart.mystery.ap/index.html) gives tantalizing details that indicate we might finally have discovered what happened to her.

The thing that interests me most is the cavalier treatment given back then to people who offered up clues, such as radio messages they believe they received from Earhart.

But that sounds typical for the time. The Titanic didn't have a lookout on-deck, and after the collision they didn't have nearly enough lifeboats, because they were so confident the ship could not be sunk. And at Pearl Harbor, the lone guy who reported radar contacts was told it was probably nothing important.

iSaint
Apr 1, 2007, 10:29 AM
This is an intriguing search ongoing. I read about it yesterday, and search the TIGHAR (www.TIGHAR.com)website.

iGav
Apr 1, 2007, 12:02 PM
The Titanic didn't have a lookout on-deck

It did. Two infact. Fred Fleet (he saw the iceberg first and notified Moody on the bridge) and Reginald Lee.

As for Amelia Earhart, the Gardner Island theory has always been the most plausible one IMHO, though I'm surprised CNN has only just picked up on this, the theory has been around for awhile now.

Keebler
Apr 1, 2007, 01:10 PM
This is fascinating reading. It's a little lengthy to quote here, but this CNN story (http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/04/01/earhart.mystery.ap/index.html) gives tantalizing details that indicate we might finally have discovered what happened to her.

The thing that interests me most is the cavalier treatment given back then to people who offered up clues, such as radio messages they believe they received from Earhart.

But that sounds typical for the time. The Titanic didn't have a lookout on-deck, and after the collision they didn't have nearly enough lifeboats, because they were so confident the ship could not be sunk. And at Pearl Harbor, the lone guy who reported radar contacts was told it was probably nothing important.

yup about pearl harbor. can you imagine how that fellow thought? being told it was probably the flight of b-17s inbound. BUT, let's not get into pearl harbor :) plenty of conspiracies about the US govt knowing about the attack and then letting it happen so the country's citizens would be angry and join the cause (which they did). kind of rhymes with another conspiracy in the year 2001, but let's not go there.

interesting about amelie. would be nice to put it to rest. also interesting to note that it would be very hard to lose a plane in this day and age of satellites and GPS gadgets. i guess it could happen, but we'd probably find them sooner.

IJ Reilly
Apr 1, 2007, 01:14 PM
It has, but apparently the reporter's diary is a new element, as is the plans to return to the island to search for more forensic evidence. The wreckage of an airplane as large as the Electra should not be difficult to find. I think one of the problems with the Gardner Island theory has been the failure to find more of the airplane.

IJ Reilly
Apr 1, 2007, 01:22 PM
also interesting to note that it would be very hard to lose a plane in this day and age of satellites and GPS gadgets. i guess it could happen, but we'd probably find them sooner.

It's just much harder to get lost in the first place. In those days pilots mainly used the dead-reckoning method of navigation when flying without reference to the ground -- in this case, verified by a sextant. This is a simple time and heading method. The biggest problem with dead-reckoning is that small errors in course, and unknown wind vectors, can produce huge position errors over time, and disaster, especially when you're trying to find a speck of land in a huge ocean.

Thomas Veil
Apr 1, 2007, 08:31 PM
It did. Two infact. Fred Fleet (he saw the iceberg first and notified Moody on the bridge) and Reginald Lee.That'll teach me to believe the movies. :rolleyes: :D

Musta been too late to turn such a massive ship, then, I guess. Or was there another reason?

Moof1904
Apr 1, 2007, 09:01 PM
I thought she was abducted by aliens and ended up in the Delta Quadrant in stasis where Voyager found her and thawed her out...

phillipjfry
Apr 1, 2007, 09:39 PM
I thought she was abducted by aliens and ended up in the Delta Quadrant in stasis where Voyager found her and thawed her out...

We can only hope....:)

BigPrince
Apr 1, 2007, 09:41 PM
I thought she was abducted by aliens and ended up in the Delta Quadrant in stasis where Voyager found her and thawed her out...

dude me too

quagmire
Apr 1, 2007, 09:51 PM
That'll teach me to believe the movies. :rolleyes: :D

Musta been too late to turn such a massive ship, then, I guess. Or was there another reason?

Lots of reasons why the Titanic struck the iceberg. The main reasons were that A) The rudder was way too small to turn that big of a ship. Just like the situation with the life boats, the rudder was in specs with the requirements at the time. The sister ship Olympics' collision with a destroyer should of made it obvious that the class needed bigger rudders. But white star brushed it off. B) Titanic was going way to fast in time to slow down and avoid the ice berg. The captain was trying to show the world that Titanic although big was fast. A bit ironic that the captain on the Titanic was the captain on the Olympic when she crashed into the destroyer?

A lot of new regulations came about due to the Titanic disaster.

iGav
Apr 2, 2007, 06:32 AM
That'll teach me to believe the movies. :rolleyes: :D

Cameron's Titanic was actually pretty much accurate, including the dialogue and that the watch didn't have access to binoculars to aid their vision (which had been reported missing from the look-out cage sometime between leaving Southhampton, and arriving at Queenstown).

I've only ever seen 'A Night To Remember' once (and none of the other Titanic films), and I can't remember how events leading up to the incident were portrayed in that, though this was the movie that portrayed Titanic being christened with the stereotypical breaking of a champagne bottle over the bow (this wasn't White Star tradition on any of their ships) so they could well have got that watch wrong as well.

Musta been too late to turn such a massive ship, then, I guess. Or was there another reason?

Pretty much as quagmire suggested.

The rudder was too small for a ship the size of Titanic. The rudder design, and size was actually a nod to the old sailing ships of the 19th century.

That said, it wasn't solely responsible for the Titanic's inability to avoid the iceberg. The Titanic employed a new screw configuration, with 3 screws instead of the usual 4 screw.

Two screws were situated on the wings (outer screws) and were powered by 2 triple expansion engines, whilst the centre screw was fed by a parsons low pressure turbine fed by waste steam from the other two engines.

This at the time was considered very much a technological advance over 4 screws, and on previous installations in the twins Megantic (conventionally powered) and Laurentic (reciprocating and turbine) the latter had proven to be substantially more economical to run in service. Hence it's appearance on the Olympic Class liners.

I believe that the achilles' heel of this configuration (coupled with the small rudder) was that the centre turbine engine could not be reversed, so when the order was given to place the engines full astern, the centre screw just stopped, thus disrupting flow to the rudder and further handicapping it's turning ability.

Had Moody actually (or being capable of) placed the port engine full astern, and the starboard engine full flank, whilst maintaining a reduced speed on the centre screw, the Titanic may have potentially being able to turn more than the 2 points (22 1/2 degrees) that it did and might have missed the iceberg altogether.

The captain was trying to show the world that Titanic although big was fast.

I tend to believe that was a bit of a myth, whilst speed trials were indeed scheduled for the Monday or Tuesday, the Titanics service speed was well below the Mauretania's (21 knots vs. 25 though the Mauretania actually exceeded 27 knots during it's record crossing) and had a much lower flank speed of 23-24 knots versus 30+ knots, meaning that the Titanic was unlikely to contest the Mauretania's Blue Riband record.

A bit ironic that the captain on the Titanic was the captain on the Olympic when she crashed into the destroyer?

He was, though he wasn't actually piloting the Olympic. It was under the control of a Trinity House pilot George Bowyer at the time of the accident, because of it's location within the Solent.

Captain Smith did have a history of incidents with ships that were under his order though.

whooleytoo
Apr 2, 2007, 08:52 AM
Is it true that the Titanic wouldn't have sunk if it had hit the iceberg head-on? Because it veered to avoid it, it ended up with several compartments being holed, instead of just one.

Spock
Apr 2, 2007, 08:57 AM
I thought she was abducted by aliens and ended up in the Delta Quadrant in stasis where Voyager found her and thawed her out...

We can only hope....:)

dude me too

Thats whats in the Federation records.

iGav
Apr 2, 2007, 09:14 AM
Is it true that the Titanic wouldn't have sunk if it had hit the iceberg head-on? Because it veered to avoid it, it ended up with several compartments being holed, instead of just one.

Potentially. Though there still would likely have been massive loss of life because the bow contained many of the 3rd class and crew compartments.

Had Titanic actually had fully watertight compartments like the Mauretania's it's debatable whether the Titanic would've sunk at all. What crippled the Titanic was that as each compartment flooded, it dragged the bow further down and the water cascaded into the next compartment and so on. This wouldn't have occurred had the compartments been fully watertight.

Interestingly, as a result of the Titanic disaster and subsequent findings of the enquiry, the third and final ship of the Olympic Class (Britannic) was fitted with many changes that would've saved the Titanic e.g.

Double skin to the height of the watertight bulkheads.
An increase in height of the watertight bulkheads to B deck (first 5 compartments) and E deck (the remaining 12).
An increase in depth and subdivision of the double bottom.
Stengthened hull amidships.

These changes would've likely been enough to keep Titanic afloat with the damaged she sustained, or at least long enough for both the Carpathia and Californian to have made it her before she sank.

IJ Reilly
Apr 2, 2007, 10:30 AM
Wow, Amelia Earhart gets lost a second time. The first time over the Pacific Ocean, the second time in this thread.






:rolleyes:

iGav
Apr 2, 2007, 12:26 PM
Wow, Amelia Earhart gets lost a second time. The first time over the Pacific Ocean, the second time in this thread.

No need to get your kinckers in a twist... ;)

Here you go...

The wreckage of an airplane as large as the Electra should not be difficult to find.

I suspect that they'll continue to find nothing other than the relatively small parts of aluminium like on previous visits.

The relentlessness of 70 years of that pacific surf would have broken it up relatively quickly, and as such I don't believe that a significant sized piece of it still exists.

Just look what nearly 80 years of exposure has done to the remains of the SS Norwich.

I think one of the problems with the Gardner Island theory has been the failure to find more of the airplane.

They've found plenty of aircraft aluminium matching the type used in the construction of the Electra, but as they say, without serial numbers it's impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Electra landed on Gardner.

Even evidence of the Electra's parts on Nikumaroro doesn't necessarily prove that the Electra actually landed there, and that Earhart and Noonan survived.

Some will argue that it's perfectly conceivable that accident debris from ditching at sea could potentially have washed up on the reefs there, and was later used by the inhabitants, hence it's scattering around the island.

IJ Reilly
Apr 2, 2007, 12:51 PM
I suspect that they'll continue to find nothing other than the relatively small parts of aluminium like on previous visits.

The relentlessness of 70 years of that pacific surf would have broken it up relatively quickly, and as such I don't believe that a significant sized piece of it still exists.

Just look what nearly 80 years of exposure has done to the remains of the SS Norwich.

Almost completely intact WWII airplanes are found in the Pacific. The Electra is a big, sturdy airplane. Pieces of it at least would have remained intact.

They've found plenty of aircraft aluminium matching the type used in the construction of the Electra, but as they say, without serial numbers it's impossible to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the Electra landed on Gardner.

Even evidence of the Electra's parts on Nikumaroro doesn't necessarily prove that the Electra actually landed there, and that Earhart and Noonan survived.

Some will argue that it's perfectly conceivable that accident debris from ditching at sea could potentially have washed up on the reefs there, and was later used by the inhabitants, hence it's scattering around the island.

Based on the reports, it appears the airplane was ditched near enough to land for Earhart to use the radio for a time. This suggests shallow water in very close proximity to the island (which, incidentally, is uninhabited), if that is in fact where they ditched.

dmw007
Apr 2, 2007, 01:26 PM
Thanks for the link Thomas Veil! It made for quite an interesting read. :)

iGav
Apr 2, 2007, 01:33 PM
Almost completely intact WWII airplanes are found in the Pacific. The Electra is a big, sturdy airplane. Pieces of it at least would have remained intact.

But those planes landed on water and than sank.

Earhart is though to have landed on the low tide exposed coral reef that surrounds Gardner. That there's hardly any remains of the SS Norwich after 77 years, it suggests to me that something like a Lockheed Electra (which really wasn't all that big of an aircraft) would be broken up relatively quickly by the breaking surf on the coral reef.

That said, inhabitants in 1940 (I think) did report the wreckage of a plane just north of the SS Norwich, but without further comment, it's impossible to determine how wrecked it actually was at the time.


Based on the reports, it appears the airplane was ditched near enough to land for Earhart to use the radio for a time. This suggests shallow water in very close proximity to the island (which, incidentally, is uninhabited), if that is in fact where they ditched.

Earhart allegedly landed on the coral at low tide, just north of the SS Norwich. Infact those are two possible explanations for why a U.S. Navy search plane that flew over Gardner didn't spot the Electra, because it was either submerged at high tide, or it was mistaken for wreckage from the SS Norwich.

It was obviously partially on dry land for a period of time at some point though, as the radio was powered by one of the engines (the right one if I remember correctly), which potentially gives us two reasons as to why the suspected radio transmissions ceased. Either the plane was swamped by the tide, or the plane ran out of fuel. Or both of course.

Gardner was uninhabited at the time of Earharts landing, but was inhabited on and off between '38 and the mid 1960's BTW, and there's plenty of evidence that suggests they were using aircraft aluminium for everyday tools, boxes etc etc.

IJ Reilly
Apr 2, 2007, 04:56 PM
The Electra is quite a sizable airplane, every bit as large as naval warplanes of the era, a great many of which can be found today virtually intact in shallow Pacific waters. The Electra also features two, huge radial engines. Those can't be made to go away so easily.

As for running the engine, good luck making that happen on a ditched airplane, especially on one that presumably ran out of fuel. Chances are, they'd have had radio power only for as long at the batteries held out.

Maybe the next expedition will turn up some harder evidence. Finding one of those engines would certainly go a long way towards settling the controversy.

eRondeau
Apr 2, 2007, 09:10 PM
The rudder was too small for a ship the size of Titanic. The rudder design, and size was actually a nod to the old sailing ships of the 19th century. That said, it wasn't solely responsible for the Titanic's inability to avoid the iceberg. The Titanic employed a new screw configuration, with 3 screws instead of the usual 4 screw....

Didn't I see somewhere that the steel used in the Titanic's hull construction wasn't up to spec either? Too brittle -- too much carbon -- not flexible enough to absorb impacts? I think The Discovery Channel had something about that last year. Or maybe it was the Edmund Fitzgerald. Anyway, it sank.

quagmire
Apr 2, 2007, 09:49 PM
Didn't I see somewhere that the steel used in the Titanic's hull construction wasn't up to spec either? Too brittle -- too much carbon -- not flexible enough to absorb impacts? I think The Discovery Channel had something about that last year. Or maybe it was the Edmund Fitzgerald. Anyway, it sank.

The rudder was in spec at the time, but that was based on a lot smaller ships then the Olympic class ships. Not sure about the steel though.

Also, History channel just did a special on the Titanic this weekend. From what they gather, the break up started around 11 degrees. That the ship broke differently from what was hypothesized. That the bottom was crunched and the top was clean. On the wreckage, the top was a mess and the keel was a clean break. They also hypothesized that if the break up didn't happen Titanic could of floated a bit longer, but that is another hypothesis into the mix.

iGav
Apr 3, 2007, 09:39 AM
The Electra is quite a sizable airplane, every bit as large as naval warplanes of the era, a great many of which can be found today virtually intact in shallow Pacific waters. The Electra also features two, huge radial engines. Those can't be made to go away so easily.

Maybe, but look at what's left of the SS Norwich (that beached on the same coral)... not much.

70 years is a massive amount of time to be exposed to the constant pounding of the pacific surf on rock hard coral, and if it's capable of reducing a steamship to a few remaining core parts, it'll be more than capable of reducing a comparatively fragile aluminium aircraft to its core parts in substantially less time.

As for running the engine, good luck making that happen on a ditched airplane, especially on one that presumably ran out of fuel. Chances are, they'd have had radio power only for as long at the batteries held out.

The Gardner Theory is based based on the idea that the plane landed, rather than ditched, and there is anecdotal evidence supporting this.

Inhabitants of the island reported seeing the wreckage of an aircraft on the coral just north of the SS Norwich a year or so after Earhart went missing.

Betty Klenck reported picking up the distress calls of Earhart sometime after their fuel would've expired. I forget if it was Lockheed or the manufacturer of the radio itself, but it was confirmed that one of the Electra's engines had to be running to power the radio, because the batteries were incapable of powering it themselves.

I suspect that the plane itself hadn't run out of fuel, they would've stumbled upon Gardner well before the 5 hour reserve had expired, and if Betty Klenck's claims are to be believed, and I don't personally see why they shouldn't be, then she reportedly heard Earhart state that they "were leaving the plane, because the water was knee-deep on her side," which to me indicates that the incoming tide caused the cessation of the radio transmissions, and not the Electra running out of fuel.

Also that the tide was coming in, gives a possible reason why the U.S. Navy were unable to spot the plane on the coral, because it potentially would've been submerged at that time. Though one would've thought, that the recent signs of habitation on a known uninhabited island, would've perhaps maybe indicated that the island warranted a more indepth search.

Maybe the next expedition will turn up some harder evidence. Finding one of those engines would certainly go a long way towards settling the controversy.

Absolutely, though I'm personally convinced that the Gardner Island Theory is the correct one.

It's possible that the engines were eventually washed up on incoming and storm tides into the vegetation that borders the reef, equally the engines could've gradually been taken out on outgoing tides in to the (very) deep water that is known to surround the island.

Didn't I see somewhere that the steel used in the Titanic's hull construction wasn't up to spec either? Too brittle -- too much carbon -- not flexible enough to absorb impacts?

The metal used in the Titanic contained a relatively high amount of sulphur, that is prone to making metal brittle when exposed to low temperatures.

Though I believe there's a consensus that the metal didn't fracture when the ship hit the iceberg, but that impact caused the rivets to fail and the plating to separate. A sample of rivets were tested back in the mid '90's and were found to contain higher than normal levels of silicate slag, that may have contributed to the rivets not been as strong as they perhaps could've been.

IJ Reilly
Apr 3, 2007, 10:34 AM
The ship was grounded on a reef, where it remained exposed to wave action. The airplane would not have remained on the reef for very long. After it sunk, significant portions of it would likely have remained intact, especially the engines. Landing on a reef -- that would have been an extremely difficult maneuver to execute successfully, and based on what I've read, seems to be the least plausible part of the Gardner Island theory. The engines are far too heavy to have been washed onto the beach once they'd hit the bottom.

The Gardner Island theory may be the best one available currently, but you have to be careful about how evidence is presented in situations where few hard facts are known -- a lot of ambiguous, anecdotal and circumstantial evidence gets treated as proof. There's a tendency towards wanting too much for it to be the true story.

BigPrince
Apr 3, 2007, 11:23 AM
Thats whats in the Federation records.

Then it must be true. WTF disscussion over, solution found.

:P

AoWolf
Apr 3, 2007, 12:50 PM
I thought that it the piece of the airplane they did find was of a patch that had been installed in a previous crash and that it was almost 100% matched to her airplane?

iGav
Apr 3, 2007, 01:03 PM
The ship was grounded on a reef, where it remained exposed to wave action.

Which is pretty much exactly where the Electra is supposed to have landed. And subsequently would've been exposed to the same destructive process.

After it sunk, significant portions of it would likely have remained intact, especially the engines.

It wouldn't have sunk as such, it more likely would've been overwhelmed by the incoming tide. The the coral reef surrounding Nikumaroro is extensive, and dry at low tide.

Landing on a reef -- that would have been an extremely difficult maneuver to execute successfully,

I don't see why, the reef is extensive, and considered to be sufficiently smooth to land such an aircraft, especially one that was designed for, and had the capability of taking off on less than ideal surfaces.

The engines are far too heavy to have been washed onto the beach once they'd hit the bottom.

But the engines likely never hit the bottom, because they were still in all probability attached to the plane, that landed on the reef. ;) :p

IJ Reilly
Apr 3, 2007, 02:11 PM
I think you're not following my point. The airplane would not have been stuck on the reef, as a ship would have been. The airplane, or pieces of it, would have been shoved off the reef by the wave action, where they (not being in the least bit buoyant), would have sunk. Trust me, a nine-cylinder, 600 HP radial engine, and everything attached to it, is not going to remain on the surface for very long. They weight 700-800 pounds each!

iGav
Apr 4, 2007, 01:46 PM
I think you're not following my point.

I'm beginning to think that. ;) :p

The airplane would not have been stuck on the reef, as a ship would have been.

It would've been though. The SS Norwich is clearly visible on the second image at the bottom of the photo, beached at the start/edge of the reef.

The Electra is thought to have landed north of that, but not on the edge of the reef like the ship.

The airplane, or pieces of it, would have been shoved off the reef by the wave action, where they (not being in the least bit buoyant), would have sunk.

The reef is the extensive area that surrounds the island, it's not a reef akin to say the Great Barrier Reef for example.

The reef surrounding Nikumaroro is more akin to a beach in it's geography, the plane wouldn't have been washed off the reef and then sunk.

The Electra had essentially landed on a beach (a rock hard beach, but a beach all the same) at low tide (which confirms the plausibility of Earhart being able to send the radio messages, as the Electra was technically on dry land at the time and could use one of it's engines to power the radio).

As the tide came in, the Electra would've been exposed to exactly the same tidal forces as the SS Norwich, it wouldn't have been washed off the reef into deeper water, as the reef is not only extensive, but surrounds the entire island like a beach.

asphalt-proof
Apr 5, 2007, 02:29 PM
Almost completely intact WWII airplanes are found in the Pacific. The Electra is a big, sturdy airplane. Pieces of it at least would have remained intact.



Based on the reports, it appears the airplane was ditched near enough to land for Earhart to use the radio for a time. This suggests shallow water in very close proximity to the island (which, incidentally, is uninhabited), if that is in fact where they ditched.


I think the difference between her situation is that her plane may have landed on a reef. Most WWII planes located intact nowadays are below the surface where they are not continually pounded by the surf. Had the plane indeed landed on the reef then the surf along with the coral would have shredded the aluminum skin to bit. Its conceivable that there are larger pieces that were carried further offshore.

My well-thought out opinion is that the Other's got them. Or the polar bear. :eek:

IJ Reilly
Apr 5, 2007, 09:51 PM
As the tide came in, the Electra would've been exposed to exactly the same tidal forces as the SS Norwich, it wouldn't have been washed off the reef into deeper water, as the reef is not only extensive, but surrounds the entire island like a beach.

I'm with you up to this point. The ship was grounded on the reef. The wave action could not dislodge it. The airplane would not have been grounded on the reef, but would have been sitting on the reef on tires, where wave action could easily dislodge it. At the very least, large pieces, especially the engines, would have broken off and sunk.

ridingnowhere85
Apr 13, 2007, 08:55 AM
As for the plane staying there, it probably did for at least a little while. Tides don't just rise, they come in with waves. Strong waves. Since Earhart and Noonan were both in the plane until the water reached near Earhart's knees, they would have definitely taken every precaution they could have to keep it still, as a way of assuring the engines would stay running.

If you look in the picture below, the Electra is not a small plane. The water probably killed the engine before it reached her knees, but it's still a long ways up to the engine from the ground. Odds are they landed with landing gear fully deployed, but did some sort of damage that prevented them from taking off again. Knowing their problem, and with rising water and, I'm sure, a planeload of tools, they could have kept it put and running for a while.

If you look in the picture below, the Electra's a tail-dragger (as all planes were of that era). That means they stayed in the plane at least long enough for 1/3 of the body to be beaten by the waves. They probably stayed longer to salvage everything they could. They probably would have also tried to secure it any way they could to keep it there incase they needed something they didn't have.

That plane was probably beaten into oblivion by WWII, but was most likely the wreckage discussed in 1938. It most likely stayed until either the landing gear completely broke off (very hard to do), it hovered off in a windstorm (very unlikely, but tradewinds can be strong), any tie-downs they may have fashioned eroded, or it was pushed off the reef by later inhabitants who didn't know it's significance.

Sorry for the veritable book, but I love stuff like this :D

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/c/c9/Earhart-electra_USAF.jpg/800px-Earhart-electra_USAF.jpg

hikeNM
Apr 13, 2007, 10:26 AM
Odds are they landed with landing gear fully deployed, but did some sort of damage that prevented them from taking off again.

I would think being out of fuel prevented them from taking off again.

IJ Reilly
Apr 13, 2007, 10:31 AM
Airplanes are difficult things to keep in one place, without them being securely tied down and chocked, options Earhart would have not had on a reef, especially in a rising tide. I believe it is logical to assume that the airplane would have been dislodged from the reef, in whole or in large part, by the incoming tide, and sunk on the island side. If they've already throughly searched the area around the reef and found no sign of the airplane or its huge Rolls Royce radial engines, then I'd have to question the current theory.