A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: John D. Howard
Date: 2019 Oct 27, 20:10 -0700
The biggest problem with Long's book and TIGHAR and others is that NO BODY KNOWS. AE and Fred did not file a flight plan, nor tell anybody what route they were going to fly. Not once did they radio a correct position report , ie. a position and what time you were there. They never radioed a useful wind report - wind 25 knots but a headwind, crosswind, left, right?
Long and others will give fuel and winds and powersetting and airspeed and groundspeed based on what? NOTHING! There were no other aircraft around so no real time weather reports nor wind reports. Did they fly straight from Lae to Howland or maby fly north so they could get a fix on the lights on Nabru? Bits and pieces of radio saying " overcast" or "cloudy" mean nothing without details like " at 2330Z we were at 8000 feet over a solid overcast below us tops 4000 feet, visibality unlimited, etc." No weather station had or could get wind reports for their route of flight - only reports of local winds and conditions.
AE ( and Fred ) were very sloppy with their radio calls. Look at the flight from California to Hawaii. The " position reports" were sometimes DR positions from 40 minutes before or a fix from 20 before. They drifted about 100 or so miles north of their route and never told anyone.
The point I am making is that ANY details about their last flight are assumsions. No one has better than educated gusses.
End of rant. John H.