|Digging on the airfield. |
Note the Japanese bunker in background
|Digging at Alsito airfield. Captain Cooper and Jerry Facey assisting. Photo by Robert Rustin|
|Hydraulic Fluid Level Indicator|
So what happened to the plane after it burned?
And does aluminum burn along with other plane parts?
|Electra in a museum in Tucson, Arizona|
Our premise is this; the Electra was made of an unusual alloy of aluminum. Each part of the plane was identified, or stamped, and x-rayed in Burbank after it was repaired from her first mission. If there is a plane part to be found, it would not be rusted, it would not be filled with moss (as the lesser aluminum alloy of Zeroes are) and it would be identifiable by the part number stamped on it or from its x-ray image.
|Under the Electra during her Last Flight|
However, the airfield is large - and what we need to do is use various different pieces of equipment that can differentiate between ferrous material and aluminum. We are focusing on areas where eyewitnesses claim they saw the plane burned. By that process of elimination we are hoping to find one piece of the Electra.
Again, we aren't making up the story that the plane burned at Aslito. We are following the eyewitness reports of over a dozen US Marines who claim to have seen it there, seen it fly, or seen it burned. Its possible that in the subsequent years, every piece of the plane was dug up and used as scrap metal. It's possible that the plane was removed entirely from the field. But that's not likely - as we know it was destroyed on the runway, and the standard operating procedure is still the same for burning planes - to push it off the runway and bury it.
|Double rivets on the engine. The propellers were unique as well.|
|Rivets on a piece of aluminum from a plane found near the field|
|Jack Salas's story of seeing Earhart for 30 minutes on the back of a truck|
corroborated by another Saipanese islander yesterday
Thanks for tuning in....