A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Frank Reed
Date: 2019 Apr 22, 08:31 -0700
"Noonan's CN has been quite the topic of conversation here, but never was there a hint of a "drinking problem"."
There has been plenty of discussion of Noonan's drinking. Maybe not here and not recently, because it's not relevant to navigation, apart from basic competence. There are many stories about Noonan's drinking, but this was an era when there would have been little hard evidence. Was DUI (that is, the "pre-crime" of "driving under the influence" of alcohol) even a crime in the 1930s? I don't think that was the case anywhere in the US, and drinking and driving were relatively common. There is a story that he was involved in a head-on car crash months before the final flight in which it was "noted" that the driver had been drinking, but the evidence of this note cannot be found by modern researchers. And it was a cash economy with few receipts. What evidence would there be of a drinking problem beyond rumors? In the case of Fred Noonan, you either find the weight of the rumors compelling, or you don't. It's certainly a possibility.