Plane in the lagoon at Orona

Discussion about wrecks and losses as well as historic sites in the Pacific.

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Tom Maxwell
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Re: Plane in the lagoon at Orona

Post by Tom Maxwell » Fri Oct 04, 2019 12:41 pm

Those arguments conclude that the Jaluit dock photo could not have been taken from the dock in use in 1935 (the old German dock) and the photo is post 1936- after Robert Reimer built the dock for the Japanese at it's current location in 1936. The trees of the coconut plantation in the photo on the horizon can only be seen from the 1936 dock. Earth curvature prevents any trees being seen from the old (1935) dock as the distance across the atoll lagoon is to great.
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The old dock from the German time juts into the lagoon on an azimuth of 311 degrees.
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Tom Maxwell
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Posts: 62
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Re: Plane in the lagoon at Orona

Post by Tom Maxwell » Fri Oct 04, 2019 1:05 pm

RS was looking for more dock photos. Another old dock photo has been located by the Nikumaroro research group in the ONI files of the archives. It is from the Vanderbuilt collection of 1928 during a world cruise by the Vanderbuilt yacht as it visited Jaluit. The research group uses that 1928 photo with confused logic to further discredit the authenticity of the Jaluit dock photo . They must not have read the annotation of that 1928 photo--"facing 32 degrees". In my opinion, "Facing 32 degrees" makes that a positive identification of the German (1935) dock as seen in the two images below. When one faces 32 degrees anywhere near the current 1936 dock location, the camera points far away from that dock.
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Tom Maxwell
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Posts: 62
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2016 11:54 am
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Re: Plane in the lagoon at Orona

Post by Tom Maxwell » Wed Oct 16, 2019 12:47 pm

The documentation of this event at Jaluit was in place decades before the Les Kinney/ONI photo was found in the archives. Fred Goerner CBS reporter and AE mystery investigator interviewed Marshallese citizens in the 1960's; the verbal history of these witnesses reflect something very near to what is found in the image. Later in the 1980's Bill Prymark, another AE investigator, found the same exacting information about this event from others including the history of the dock construction from Robert Reimer, the man who's Marshallese company built the dock in 1936. I worked at Kwajalein in 1987 when the stamps that commemorates the event were issued by the Marshall Islands government. The local population and Americans who had close ties to Marshallese families repeated the same history. Perhaps the stamps and all these people are wrong, but they tell a consistent story over the decades.

Many details of the image fit the oral history. Some subjective speculation follows. Fred's right leg is injured and bound to the pole that he clutches ; the Marshallese (witnesses) matriarch intently studies the injured leg. One of the stamps depicts a dressing tie just above Fred's right knee as can be seen in the dock photo. The doctor looks directly at the camera. Bilimon Armaron, the Japanese/Marshallese who helped the doctor fix Fred's leg, stands nearby. He, with a headband only, and the Marshallese witnesses to the "spy" rescue/capture all are normally bareheaded. The two light skinned persons AE and FN are without hats or parasol- a very unusual circumstance as all visitors would have normal dress with hats and long sleeves. The Japanese secret place posing as fishermen/rescuers all wear hats as would be expected. Billion and the Marshallese elders and other witnesses later submit their oral history for the creation of the commerative stamps. Amelia sits to the right in a favored short sleeve of her own design with extra length in the back to prevent exposure when bending forward.
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