- Day 4 of the Tinian Earhart Expedition finds the group
still trying to help the man who knows where the bodies are buried.
- They are switching from clearing and cleaning to computerized
mapping so they can travel back and find the 1944 road from where Saint
John Naftel was shown the gravesites of Amelia Earhart and Fred Noonan.
- Now, after three days of digging, state of the art cartographic
correlation programs will be used crunch data from maps, GPS coordinates
and photographic information in an effort to delineate that same road.
- "I think itís just a matter of time before
we find her (Amelia)," Naftel said. "We just need to pin point
- Jennings Bunn is the other expedition member whoís
been on island the last four days or so. Bunn was working last year as
a Navy Museum director on Guam when he was handed the letter from Florida
attorney, Elliott P. Broughton. Heíd written the letter on behalf
of his friend Naftel, and mailed it to USN officials.
- So, how is Bunn doing?
- "I'm burned out," he said. "I'm keeping
at it, but I'm tired."
- "I'm still positive, though," he continued.
"There are too many clues and things that match, too many things that
are pointing to the fact that Amelia is buried here. I feel weíre
very close and, despite the changes in the terrain, feel that we'll find
- "My wife and I moved from Guam to Missouri two months
ago," Bunn explained. "We're still trying to get settled."
- Bunn turned 58 earlier this month and hoped to find the
remains for his birthday present.
- "Though weíve not found her yet," he
continued, "This is not time wasted. Jim, Bob and I have been at this
a year. Saint John has waited for 60 years. We're just not going to give
- Today, Tuesday, Tinian Earhart Expedition members Jim
Sullivan and Bob Silvers are on Saipan. They will start to work with the
Office of Historical Preservation of the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana
Islands (CNMI) to help the staff as they begin using a mapping program
- "The office hasn't set the computer program up yet,"
Silvers said. "It will take a while to load."
- 'ArcView' is a desktop geographic information system
that will combine data from World War II maps, pictures and geographic
information system (GIS) coordinates to correlate the information and will
then display the information on one, single map.
- According to the ArcView website, the program will help
identify undetected patterns, revealing hidden trends and distributions
that may help identify the road marks that the expedition needs to further
isolate spots to dig.
- "We need to use the software to reapply Naftel's
information," Silvers said. "The landscape is unreliable because
things have changed so much over the past 60 or so years. After the war,
the Seabees did a lot of rebuilding. This may have affected the area weíre
- ArcView is able to take data tabled in Access and Excel,
vector data, points, lines and polygons and turn it into 3D interpretations.
- It can also integrate soils data, create digital elevation
models, create slope maps, create aspect maps and do terrain modeling from
the GIS information.
- Simply put, the data from the existing maps, GIS coordinates
and pictures will be entered into the ArcView geographic system. The end
result should be a map that recreates the road that Naftel drove up and
down in 1944.
- "We found roadbeds yesterday," reported Silvers.
"The computerized mapping process should cut down the excavation time
by providing us with more accurate road marks so we can, hopefully, pin
point the spot that Naftel believes to be the gravesites."
- "This will be like traveling back in time,"
Silvers said. "Hopefully, this software can help map things out for
us so we can see where the old road is. The next best thing would be ground
penetrating radar, but weíve not been able to find anyone yet who
will volunteer their time or equipment."
- "Archeology is the search for that which is ancient,"
he concluded. "That doesn't mean that old methods need to be used
in the search for Earhart and Noonan's final resting spots."
- The Expedition's website is www.historicalexpeditions.org.
- Cassandra 'Sandy' Frost is an award winning e-journalist
and editor who has covered the topics of Intuition, Remote Viewing and
Consciousness from an Athabascan or Alaska Native point of view the past
- More of her articles can be found at: http://blogs.salon.com/0003531