Saturday, July 8, 2017

Fw: TheList 4496


The List 4496
To All,
I hope that your weekend is going well. Some interesting items and more history continued from Friday's information from the Admiral
Today in History July 8
Christian Crusaders march around Jerusalem as Muslims watch from within the city.
The first French settlement at Quebec is established by Samuel de Champlain.
The British crown grants Rhode Island a charter guaranteeing freedom of worship.
The Austrians take Budapest from the Turks and annex Hungary.
Peter the Great defeats Charles XII at Poltava, in the Ukraine, effectively ending the Swedish empire.
Britain breaks off diplomatic relations with France as their disputes in the New World intensify.
The British attack on Fort Carillon at Ticonderoga, New York, is foiled by the French.
French troops capture Brussels, Belgium.
With Napoleon defeated, Louis XVIII returns to Paris.
29-year old poet Percy Bysshe Shelley drowns while sailing in Italy.
The truce at Villafranca Austria cedes Lombardy to France.
Demoralized by the surrender of Vicksburg, Confederates in Port Hudson, Louisiana, surrender to Union forces.
Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston retreats into Atlanta to prevent being flanked by Union General William T. Sherman.
Four of the conspirators in President Abraham Lincoln's assassination are hanged in Washington, D.C.
The first ship to use electric lights departs from San Francisco, California.
The mutinous crew of the battleship Potemkin surrenders to Romanian authorities.
Ernest Hemingway is wounded in Italy while working as an ambulance driver for the American Red Cross.
20 B-17s fly in their first mission with the Royal Air Force over Wilhelmshaven, Germany.
American B-24 bombers strike Japanese-held Wake Island for the first time.
The Soviet Union charges American pilot Francis Gary Powers with espionage.
Full article on the torpedoes….Don't they remember it was John Wayne that solved the torpedo problem. I remember the movie….
First this from Barrett
Our Torpedoes v Their Torpedoes:
I correspond with the webmaster of, arguably the finest naval site online.  (Up there in Iceland "Gummi" doesn't seem to get out much!)  Years ago he mentioned that some Kriegsmarine ordies who designed faulty magnetic detonators went to prison.  I had to say that ours made flag.  The worst of the worst was FLEET ADMIRAL Wm. Leahy who became FDR's briefcase carrier (got the 5th star so the Brit field marshals would return his calls.)  He headed BuOrd during design of the notorious WW II torpedoes and apparently restricted testing, with well known results.
Leahy was opposed to the Manhattan Project: "As an ordnance expert I can say that the atom bomb will not work."  Later he took the um humanitarian approach that the bombs were unnecessary and chastised the Army Air Force for barbarity (you can read between the political lines where THAT is concerned!)
S.J. Cox
28 Jun 17
Torpedo versus Torpedo
     In 1940, a Japanese "walk-in" source provided the U.S. Naval Attache in Tokyo with information on the Japanese Type 93 "oxygen torpedo" (known after the war as "Long Lance.")  The Type 93 had much longer range, was faster, and had a larger warhead than any other known torpedo in the world.  The Office of Naval Intelligence (ONI) provided this intelligence, from an "impeccable source," to the Navy Bureau of Ordnance, which evaluated and dismissed the report in the belief that the Japanese could not have developed a torpedo more advanced than our own, and that the use of compressed oxygen as an oxidizer was too dangerous.  Seven U.S. Navy cruisers, nine destroyers, and the abandoned aircraft carrier USS Hornet (CV-8,) and additional Allied ships were sunk by Type 93 torpedoes during World War II (over 3,100 U.S. Sailors killed,) in most cases when the target ships, believing themselves to be safely out of torpedo range, were hit by surprise.   The Type 93 and other Japanese torpedoes were reliable; U.S. torpedoes were not, despite being more "sophisticated."
U.S. Submarine Torpedo: Mark 14
    At the start of World War II, the newest operational U.S. torpedoes were the Mark 13 air-launched torpedo, the Mark 14 submarine-launched torpedo, and the Mark 15 surface-launched torpedo.  Although each torpedo was different, each version had significant components in common, particularly the Mark 6 magnetic influence exploder (on the Mark 14 and 15.)  As passive anti-torpedo defenses of capital ship designs significantly improved as a result of WWI experience, the U.S. sought to overcome increased armor, water-tight compartmentation, anti-torpedo blisters and other features by designing a torpedo that would pass underneath the target ship and detonate several feet below the keel using magnetic influence (similar to modern torpedoes.)   The Japanese approach to the same problem was to build a bigger, faster contact torpedo with a huge warhead. 
    U.S. submarine skippers were the first to realize that U.S. torpedoes had major problems, and they found out the hard way as a result of failed attacks.  The skipper of USS Sargo (SS-188) fired 12 torpedoes on 24 Dec 41 at four targets, the last four torpedoes with textbook perfect set up, and none hit.  USS Seadragon (SS-194) fired eight torpedoes on her first war patrol in Jan 42, for only one hit.  Numerous other submarine commanders experienced the same problem.  Even the great LCDR Dudley "Mush" Morton on Wahoo (SS-238) came back empty-handed from a patrol in May 1943, due to faulty torpedoes.  On 9 April 43, the skipper of USS Tunney (SS-282,) LCDR John A. Scott, had probably the most frustrating day in the history of the U.S. submarine force, with perfect short-range shots at three Japanese aircraft carriers (Junyo, Hiyo, and Taiyo,) firing all ten tubes without a single hit.
    The initial response from the Bureau of Ordnance(BuOrd) was to blame the submarine skippers ("operator error") because the torpedoes had worked fine in pre-war tests.  Actually, they hadn't.   Because of the expense of torpedoes (about $160K in today's dollars,) BuOrd's limited budget, and inability of the U.S. industrial base to produce anywhere near enough torpedoes required, the U.S. Navy conducted no tests before the war using production warshot torpedoes against an actual target.  (The Japanese conducted extensive live-fire tests against target ships.)  All U.S. tests used exercise warheads, with an upward looking camera substituting for the magnetic influence sensor, and since the exercise torpedoes passed under the target ships, as they were supposed to, the tests were deemed a success.
    The Mark 14 had several serious flaws, which masked each other.   The first flaw detected was that warshots ran about 10 feet deeper than set.  Shortly after assuming command of Southwest Pacific Submarines in Jun 42, RADM Charles Lockwood ordered a series of tests with submarines firing torpedoes into nets that conclusively proved that the torpedoes were running too deep.  By then Pacific Fleet submarines had fired over 800 torpedoes (a year's production worth, at that time) with very little to show for it.  When news of the tests reach CNO Ernest J. King, he turned his famous wrath on BuOrd, which however did not save a number of submarine skippers who had been relieved of command for supposedly being incompetent or not aggressive enough (in some cases true) but they certainly were not helped by torpedoes that didn't work.
    Once the Mk 14 depth control issue was recognized, many submarine skippers set their run depths to "zero," which increased the chance of a torpedo broaching, but even when the torpedoes ran at an appropriate depth, the number of premature detonations and duds greatly increased.  This is actually what happened to LCDR Scott on Tunney; seven of the ten torpedoes he fired at the three Japanese carriers would have been hits except that they exploded prematurely, resulting in only light damage to one carrier.  As submarine skippers began to suspect the Mark 6 exploder, nearly all requested permission to deactivate the exploder, which was denied.  As a result, some skippers deactivated the exploders anyway, and in their post-patrol reports inflated the estimated tonnage of their targets to justify expending more torpedoes per target.  RADM Lockwood, after he became Commander Submarine Force Pacific, used reports from submarine skippers as well as intercepted and decoded Japanese radio reports that documented premature explosions, to request permission from Admiral Nimitz to deactivate the magnetic exploders, which Nimitz promptly granted.  Deactivation was ordered on 24 Jun 43.
   The deactivation of the magnetic exploders solved the premature detonation problem, but revealed that the contact exploder had major design flaws as well, resulting in more duds.  LCDR Dan Daspit of USS Tinosa (SS-283) returned from a patrol with convincing data that the contact pistol was defective.  RADM Lockwood ordered another series of tests (drop tests and even firing torpedoes into cliff faces) that confirmed the detonators were defective.  In fact, torpedoes that hit the target at a 90 degree angle (i.e. a perfect shot) were more likely to fail.  The interim fix was for submarines to attempt to hit targets at more oblique angles, and this actually did help reduce the dud problem.
   The fourth major problem with the Mark 14 was a tendency to run in circles, with the risk to the submarine that fired the torpedo.  Although no U.S. subs are known to have been sunk by a circling Mark 14, this problem was never completely solved.  In fact USS Tang (SS-306,) LCDR Richard O'Kane commanding, was sunk on 25 Oct 44 by her own circling torpedo, a new Mark 18.  USS Tullibee (SS-284) was sunk by a circular run on 26 Mar 44, but the Mark of torpedo is unknown.
     By early 1944, with fixes finally implemented, the Mark 14 became a very reliable weapon that inflicted enormous damage to the Japanese Navy and merchant marine, but it could have inflicted so much more damage sooner had adequate budget resources been devoted to realistic testing and training before the war, and a more expeditious BuOrd shore establishment effort to fix problems identified by submarine skippers rather than trying to pass blame back to the sub skippers.
U.S. Air Launched Torpedo: Mark 13
    Like submariners, U.S. aviators quickly began to suspect that their torpedoes were frequently defective.  Dismal results with torpedoes during early carrier raids in the Marshalls and at Tulagi fueled suspicions.  Although some torpedoes actually hit the Japanese light carrier Shoho at the Battle of the Coral Sea, and worked as designed, there were actually significantly fewer hits than claimed, as many bomb near-misses were mistaken for torpedo hits.  No torpedoes hit the Japanese carrier Shokaku at Coral Sea, but none of the TBD Devastator torpedo-bombers were lost in that attack or during the attack on Shoho either, giving a false sense to U.S. commanders that the TBD/Mark 13 combination was a viable means of attack.  This notion was disabused at Midway when nearly every torpedo-bomber was shot down without obtaining a single hit.  Some reports claim that even before Midway, VADM Halsey had been so concerned about the TBD's lack of effectiveness and vulnerability that he had no intent to use them in future engagements until dive bombers had thoroughly worked over the targets well in advance.  Pre-war tactics ideally called for the dive bombers to drop on target just slightly ahead of the torpedo bombers in order to divert fighters and suppress anti-aircraft fire to give the torpedo bombers a better chance.  At Midway, the torpedo-bombers reached the Japanese carriers first, and paid the price.
      Due to high cost and production shortfalls, pre-war exercises with even exercise torpedoes were extremely rare, but even then showed that the Mark 13 was prone to running at errant angles, running on the surface or too deep, or not running at all, even when dropped at very low speeds.  In the case of air-dropped torpedoes, the reason for failure was generally because components of the torpedo were damaged upon impact with the water.  The U.S. Navy torpedo bomber at the beginning of WWII, the TBD-1 Devastator was not very fast to begin with, but additional speed and altitude restrictions meant to improve torpedo reliability made the TBD even more vulnerable to enemy fighters and shipboard anti-aircraft fire.  A sad irony is that extensive tests conducted after the Battle of Midway concluded that the stringent speed and altitude restrictions were actually counter-productive; the reliability of the torpedo had more to do with the angle it impacted the water than with speed or altitude of drop.  The slow speed and low altitude caused the torpedo to hit the water on a very flat trajectory that actually resulted in more component damage.
     Extensive tests in late 1942 and 1943 revealed twelve major flaws with the Mk 13 torpedo, which resulted in a dual track solution of making fixes to the Mk 13 while attempting to simultaneously accelerate the development, with significant technical risk, of the Mk 25 torpedo.  The development of shroud rings that reinforced the tail fins (frequently damaged in drops) and drag rings, which slowed the torpedo after drop (allowing the aircraft to maintain higher speeds and higher altitudes, while improving angle of entry into the water) had significant positive impact on Mk 13 reliability.  Although Mk 13 torpedo performance remained poor throughout 1943, by mid-1944 performance improved markedly, particularly with the addition of a radar to TBF Avenger torpedo-bombers that provided a precise range to the target.  By 1944, Avengers were able to drop the Mk 13 at altitudes up to 800 feet and 260 Kts, significantly increasing attack profile flexibility and aircraft survivability.
    Nevertheless, because of the torpedo bomber debacle at Midway (and the spectacular success of the dive bombers,) the U.S. Navy skewed carrier air group composition toward more dive bombers and fewer torpedo bombers after Midway.  The result was that fewer Japanese ships were sunk than might have otherwise been the case, which was a particular factor in the disappointing number of Japanese ship losses due to air attack at the Battle of the Philippine Sea in Jun 44.  Although Japanese aircraft carriers had design flaws that made them vulnerable to bombs, Japanese surface combatants were very resistant to bomb damage, and numerous Japanese surface combatants survived multiple bomb hits to fight another day.  Japanese battleships and heavy cruisers were almost impossible to sink with bombs alone, unless a bomb hit the torpedo banks on a cruiser.  The Japanese super-battleships Musashi and Yamato both absorbed numerous bomb hits and kept on coming; it was the improved Mk 13's that sank them (and even then, it took numerous torpedo hits.)
U.S. Surface-launched Torpedo:  Mark 15
    The Mark 15 torpedo was the standard torpedo employed by U.S. destroyers in WWII, and suffered most of the same problems as the Mark 14 submarine-launched torpedoes, except it took longer to detect the problems, because of fewer opportunities to employ the weapons in the early months of the war.  The Mark 15 was designed to have a longer range and larger warhead, which made it longer and heavier than the Mark 14.  Despite the differences, the Mark 15 and Mark 14 had numerous components in common, in particular the problematic Mark 6 exploder.   Problems with the Mark 15 were not actually solved until after the problems with the Mark 14 were first identified by the submarine community.
    U.S. Navy surface torpedo tactics were also seriously flawed, as they were developed in the 1930's without an appreciation for Japanese capabilities.  The U.S. Navy War Instructions (FTP 143) stated that U.S. cruisers were to avoid night fights unless conditions were favorable.  (U.S. cruisers had had their torpedo banks removed to save weight, whereas Japanese cruisers retained theirs.)  As a result, U.S. cruisers were unprepared for night fighting and suffered severely from Japanese torpedo attack during the Solomons campaign (which will become apparent in the next H-gram on Savo Island.)  Under FTP-143, U.S. destroyers were to attack first with guns, but to reserve torpedoes for capital ship targets.  The typical result was that Japanese ships (which held fire until after launching torpedoes) would fire their longer-range torpedoes at the U.S. gun flashes, and numerous U.S. destroyers were sunk before ever having a chance to employ torpedoes (despite the advantage of having radar.)  Not until the Battle of Vella Gulf in August 1943, after numerous battles in which U.S. destroyers suffered grievous losses, did U.S. Navy destroyers finally successfully execute a surprise night torpedo attack against a Japanese force.  Even at the night Battle of Surigao Strait in Oct 1944 (which was a debacle for the Japanese) the number of hits obtained by U.S. torpedoes relative to the number fired was dismally low.
Japanese Type 93 Sanso Gyorai "Oxygen Torpedo" (also known as "Long Lance")
    The term "Long Lance" was coined by U.S. Navy historian RADM Samuel Eliot Morison after World War II so was not used during the war.
   From the early 1920's, the Japanese understood that their Battle Line would always be outnumbered by the U.S. Battle Line, initially due to Washington and London Naval Treaty limitations, but also because senior Japanese naval leaders did have an understanding of, and respect for, U.S. industrial and ship-building capacity.  The Japanese expected a war with the United States to unfold in almost the same manner as the U.S. Navy did in War Plan Orange, specifically that the U.S. Battle Fleet would work its way across the Pacific to a climactic Mahanian duel of Battle Lines in waters near Japan.  Realizing their disadvantage, the Japanese embarked on an extensive effort to develop an asymmetric advantage (long before anyone came up with that term) to attrite the U.S. Fleet as it came across the Pacific so that the odds would be more even for the great surface battle.  The Japanese solution of choice was the night torpedo attack. 
   Throughout the pre-war years, the Japanese invested enormous resources in developing night torpedo attack capability, including extensive realistic nighttime training, despite the inherent danger.  By contrast, the U.S. severely curtailed realistic night training after the Point Honda disaster in Sep 1923, when seven destroyers ran aground at night at high speed doing exactly that kind of training (I will cover the Point Honda disaster in a future H-gram.)  The Japanese invested heavily in improved night optics, searchlights, pyro-technics, night scouting flights by cruiser-embarked float planes, and even lookouts specially selected for superior night vision.  Extensive live fire testing against actual target ships ensured torpedo reliability.
    The culmination of Japanese efforts was the development of the surface-launched Type 93 Oxygen Torpedo (and the similar, but smaller, Type 95 submarine launched torpedo.)  The Type 93 was a 24-inch diameter torpedo with a 1,080 Lb. warhead, that could range up to 22 NM at 35 Kts or 12 NM at 50 Kts, but would typically be employed between 6- 11 NM from the target (U.S. torpedoes were typically employed within 5 NM.)  Although U.S. torpedoes were technically more sophisticated with the highly secret Mark 6 exploder, the Japanese weapons were much more reliable, relying more on a brute force approach.  Nevertheless, the use of compressed oxygen as an oxidizer, which was the key to the Type 93's range and size, required the Japanese to successfully overcome numerous significant technological hurdles, which they did through extensive testing and lessons learned from a number of accidental explosions , and it took them from the early 1920's until 1935 to do it.  Both the British and the U.S. Navy had experimented with oxygen torpedoes (and the British Nelson-class battleships carried them in the early 1920's) their development had been essentially abandoned due to the inherent danger of the use of compressed oxygen.  Additional advantages of the Type 93 were that it could be fired from outside the range of U.S. searchlights, and the use of compressed oxygen resulted in very minimum bubble wake (caused by unburned nitrogen in other torpedoes.)  In many cases, U.S. ships were hit by Japanese torpedoes before they even knew the Japanese ships were there, sometimes believing that the torpedo had come from a submarine.
    Because the Type 93 torpedo was potentially as great a danger to its own ship as the enemy, the Japanese torpedomen were the elite sailors of the Japanese Navy and were very highly trained and extremely secretive.  The rest of the crew was generally completely unaware of what was really in the "secondary air tank" which stored oxygen for the torpedoes.  As the Japanese lost air superiority during the course of the war, ships facing imminent air attack had to decide whether to jettision their Type 93 torpedoes as a precaution.  At Midway, the Japanese heavy cruiser Mogami  jettisoned her Type 93's and survived a severe pounding, whereas Mikuma did not, and the explosion of her own Type 93's inflicted fatal damage.  At the Battle of Santa Cruz in Oct 42, the heavy cruiser Chikuma survived because she jettisoned her torpedoes, whereas at the Battle off Samar in Oct 1944, a desperation lucky 5-inch shot from the fleeing escort carrier USS White Plains (CVE-66) hit the heavy cruiser Chokai in the torpedo bank and she had to be scuttled.
    Despite the danger to themselves, the Japanese employed the Type 93 with devastating effect early in the war.  Allied Forces first encountered the weapon at the Battle of the Java Sea in February 1942, when a spread of Type 93's from the unseen heavy cruisers Haguro and Nachi sank the Dutch light cruisers De Ruyter (taking the task force commander RADM Karel Doorman with her) and Java, and only through luck were the USS Houston (CA-30) and HMAS Perth spared, but only to be sunk by the same weapons from the Japanese heavy cruisers Mogami and Mikuma at the Battle of Sunda Strait the next night.  Type 93 torpedoes were primarily responsible for the loss of HMS Exeter in the Java Sea; USS Quincy (CA-39,) USS Vincennes (CA-44,) and USS Astoria (CA-34) at Savo Island; the USS Northhampton (CA-26)  at Tassafaronga; the USS Helena (CL-50) at Kula Gulf, and 11 allied and U.S. destroyers.  Despite the pre-war intelligence report, U.S. operating forces remained ignorant of the Type 93's true capability until examples were recovered intact following the Guadalcanal campaign in 1943, at great cost.
More on Amelia from 'Barrett and then Shadow
From Barrett
History Channel has a long documentary coming soon.  When I saw the ad I figured it was yet another promo by TIGHAR, the "research" organization that's raised fund$ for year$ and year$ but never finds anything.  However, it's another outfit.
Earhart was out of her depth--tried taking off from Hawaii over gross (collapsed the gear) and on another occasion took off with props in high pitch.  But her husband owned one of the world's publishing empires and she was a Close Personal Friend of Eleanor R...
Her navigator was considered an alcoholic by many...may have left Pan Am for that reason.
From Shadow
Need to tell you my little involvement with the Earhart story… much to my surprise I might add. I was the one who suggested to Ben, that Mike speak at one of our ANA meetings. Mike had been gracious enough to send me a copy of his book and I found it interesting to say the least. Thought it might make for an entertaining meeting. That said… as background; years ago I used to sit on the Board of The American Aviation Historical Society. As such, I became intimately aware of the fascination for two great American Aviation icons and the fact that folks were almost obsessed with them and their lives. Of course I speak of Charles Lindberg and Amelia Earhart. Can't say I was all that interested, in that I was more focused on military aviation, but I did learn a lot through osmosis. Listening to some of the old timers (I was the youngest guy on the Board) and reading material coming into the Society, pending publication. Interesting… but didn't float my boat. When I left California, I resigned from the Board.
Fast forward almost a decade later. I became familiar with a group that called themselves TIGHAR (The International Group for Historic Aircraft Recovery). A bold claim for an organization that has never discovered a rare aircraft (military or civilian)… from some foreign land, the ocean, a lake, a swamp or down the street for that matter. Not only that, they have never recovered such an aircraft, nor restored one, In fact, when I read anything that mentions TIGHAR, I am immediately reminded of a great little George C. Scott movie, entitled "The Film Flam Man". It's about a grifter that goes around separating gullible people from their money. My first exposure to this group of marplot's was when visiting a good friend and he showed me a solicitation letter he'd received from the TIGHAR folks that they were going to Papua New Guinea to recover the famous "Swamp Ghost" B-17. A rare B-17E that had crashed in a PNG swamp and remained relatively intact since WW II. In the letter they were soliciting donations to finance the recovery… and if your donation was sufficient enough; you could participate in the expedition and enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. My friend was curious as to what my reaction would be, as I'd just returned from a long extended trip to the orient, visiting multiple countries, including PNG. I looked at Harry and said… "That is a totally bogus claim"! I could say that in that I'd spent a week in Port Moresby meeting with PNG Government Officials and the Director of their small Aviation Museum. One thing I knew… nobody was gonna be able to legally recover anything from PNG regarding WW II aircraft, unless there was a change in the government or the removal of the rather caustic Director of the PNG Aviation Museum... was sent packing back to Australia. And yes, the fate of the "Swamp Ghost" was one of a wide range of topics that was discussed while I was there. An even more blunt and to the point comment... was the Directors stated attitude about a possible recovery in the future was… Over my dead body!
Five days after I'd returned from my extended trip, I'm confronted with this solicitation letter to my friend. Ironically there was a phone number for the organization on the letter. I had my friend call them while I listened in on another phone. He asked when the expedition was leaving and was informed within a couple of weeks. He then asked how they had gotten permission to recover the airplane when many had tried before them and had never been successful. The founder of TIGHAR then assured my friend that they had political clout that others didn't and cited one sitting Congressman who was on their Board of Directors (which goes to prove that politicians are just as gullible as red necks). It was at this point, I chimed in and asked who they had contact with in PNG. He was immediately evasive… I then asked if he knew the PM, the Director of Antiquities or the Director of the PNG Aviation Museum by name; not title… all of which would have to sign off on the recovery and he didn't have a clue as to who those folks were. I finally called him down and said he was a fraud… and mentioned that I'd just returned from PNG the week before. If any such recovery had been approved, I would have known about it. I think it was then that he hung up on us.
Now here's the part that blows my mind… this guy was able to con numbers of people to donate hard earned money to this phony expedition and actually went to PNG with an entourage to recover the airplane. I was told by someone at the Embassy over there, that this jerk showed up in his best "Banana Republic" bush gear and invoked the Congressman's name and informed them his group was there to recover the B-17. The Embassy folks were shocked… had no idea they were coming and informed them that PNG was a sovereign nation and any recovery would need their approval… our Embassy had nothing to do with it. As I predicted, they were completely rebuffed by the PNG Officials. Upon return to the U.S., TIGHAR issued a press release that blamed their failure of the intransigence of a backward, third world government. If that isn't the pot calling the kettle black, I don't know what is? This was a con, plain and simple.
My next exposure to TIGHAR was when Gillespie glommed onto the Amelia Earhart mystery. Gillispie conned some folks who should have known better, that Earhart and Noonan made it to Gardner Island (He now refers to it as Nikumaroro Island… gotta throw in a little native lingo to appear more enlightened you know) and got them to sponsor an expedition. Upon return he held a national press conference claiming proof that Amelia had landed or crashed there. That proof was a "Cat's Paw" shoe heel found on the beach of the island, that heel was popular in the 30's, 40's and 50's. I was compelled to call bullshit again… I'd lived on islands for much of my life… and found more than a few "Cat's Paw" heels over the years myself. Anybody who has ever lived on a remote island or a seldom visited island can tell you… you'd be amazed at the stuff that washes up on the beaches. 
Because of the "Swamp Ghost" fiasco and now an outrageous claim of a piece of flotsam being "proof" that Amelia landed or crashed on Gardner… I sat down and wrote an article for Air Classics magazine outlining the PNG fraud and attacked the claim that a shoe heel was proof of anything. The end result was an avalanche of phone calls and letters from Earhart followers… virtually all agreed with me and ironically each had their own pet theory as to what had really happened to her. Now you would think that word would get around that this group was shaky at best… but believe it or not… since 1989, this Film Flam Man has managed to get sponsors for more than nine great adventures to Gardner Island to gather more proof that Amelia landed there. Every one of these was an OPM adventure (other peoples money). After each trip… he'd claim more irrefutable and compelling proof of Amelia's and Noonan's presence on the island. Each and every time… that so called proof was discredited upon professional examination. One of the later expeditions he brought back a piece of metal that he claimed was part of Amelia's airplane. As soon as I saw a picture of it… I knew it was another fraud. The painted metal had turned magenta, due to sun exposure… which is exactly the color olive drab turns to from that same sun exposure. What he didn't disclose was that an Army Air Corps airplane had crashed on the island in WW II and that the island was manned by a Coast Guard crew for most of the war. Now I've visited many crash scenes over the years… and one thing I can assure you of… there is always more than one item in a debris field… no matter how catastrophic the impact was. This claim of finding a piece of Amelia's airplane got a lot of press and he made the rounds of all the major morning talk shows of the MSM (trust me, fake news is nothing new for those guys). During one of the shows he boasted that even the Smithsonian would back him up. I called the Director of the Air and Space Museum and asked… "How the hell can you affirm this guy, you know this is a con"? His response was telling… "He said we'd back him up… We never said that". I then asked why they didn't go public and refute his claim? He said, "Our position is, No Comment... we don't want to get involved". What he didn't tell me was that for weeks, if anybody called and asked questions about it, he referred them to me… well thaank yooou! It culminated, when one morning I received a phone call from a late night talk radio station on the island of Guam about the TIGHAR claims. By that time, it was proven the piece of metal came from a military airplane and not Amelia's. I told them the claim was ludicrous… and then the talk show host asked me if I had any ideas about her disappearance… I replied… "Oh, I know where she is"! The DJ then gets all excited and said, "You do? Where is she"? I said, "She is somewhere between where she took off from in New Guinea and where she intended to land at Howland Island". He then said, "You're saying she crashed in the ocean"? I said yep… and no body can prove me wrong. And Dutch… that' s still a safe bet today.
I'll conclude by saying I feel sorry for all those gullible souls who've lost their hard earned money to the Film Flam Man… but as amazing as it sounds… he's still at it. God Damn... the Film Flam Man! Or… a fool and his money soon part.
BTW… this guy has conned all kinds of folks who should know better, including the Navy History Center and the Museum at Pensacola… Go figure? Stupid is as stupid does. When I hear some so-called aviation expert throwing around words like; "provenance"... "special skill sets" and "recognized authority"… I know I'm hearing the call of the Film Flam Man. Hang on to your wallet if you run across one.
Thanks to Ben
If you want to know what happened to Amelia Earhart, I recommend the book below. We had the author, Mike Campbell, speak at our ANA luncheon on 16MAY17. His research is unbelievable. We had several skeptics in the crowd and after buying his book and checking out his details, they came to the conclusion Campbell is correct.
If you want, go to our Bald Eagle Squadron website and click on "Speaker Videos" and select the Link for 5/16/17 Mike Campbell. You will need to log in with the User Name BES and the password 2015. I dare you to watch the video and read the book without coming to the conviction that Mike is on target!
Please see also:
The book and blog dedicated to the presentation 
of the facts that reveal the presence and deaths of
Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan in the Marshall
Islands and Saipan following their July 2, 1937 loss.
And finally from Barrett more history about PARIS. Since there is still no football this will keep you occupied for  a bit
From yesterday's history
After defeating Napoleon at Waterloo, the victorious Allies march into Paris.
Skip: Random thoughts.
Ref. the allies marching into Paris after Waterloo: here's an account of how the City of Light absorbed 300,000 troops (or not)

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