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Old 02-07-2020, 06:45 PM   #101
Icelander
 
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Default Re: Last Two Spots on the Expedition

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My thought early on in this inquiry was that rocks, herps, birds, and cultures represented a series of things that are mobile over diminishing time-scales, so that an anthropologist/prehistorian recognising unfamiliar but related humans/human traces, an ornithologist recognising familiar or unfamiliar-but-related birds, an herpetologist recognising familiar or unfamiliar-but-related crawling things, and a geologist recognising familiar or unfamiliar structures would be able to branch points in different ranges of depth in time. That's also why I thought that sediment cores would be really interesting to the investigation.

But this is actually a search for cultists and cryptids.
Not to forget investigating Places of Power.

But also trying to obtain conclusive evidence of the supernatural as not only real, but also a dire threat to human society.

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I think a marine-biological investigation would need more equipment and time than you have in mind. Boats, nets, lines, bathyscaphes etc. require heavier logistics and more time to use than is suggested for a mission that is going to race in in seaplanes to beat a hurricane.
Fair enough.

Note that most of the expedition was actually aboard a yacht or boat of some kind, equipped with the majority of their equipment and as a seaplane tender to the Wilson Global Explorer.

I was imagining something shorter than 100', as small as it can be really, for something carrying about twenty people and expedition gear for several days (as well as at least 400 gallons of avgas).

Something like a modified Cape-class Cutter, which were available at the time as surplus.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:19 PM   #102
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Default Re: Last Two Spots on the Expedition

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So, what should the last two members specialize in?

Other fields of biology, maybe ornithology or something else? Marine biology?

Or maybe a positional astronomer?

Physicist of some kind?

Specialist in scientific equipment?
Something spurred a recollection.

Back when I was in high school one of my gaming buddies was the step-son of a professor of computer science at Sydney Uni. One of his (the professor's) areas of interest was in getting better data on the things that people were looking at when they saw what they reported as UFOs. To that end he devised a cheap UFO observing kit that people might carry in their glove boxes and in their packs while hiking. I recall that one of the components that he showed my was a card with a strip of numbered windows in it, each containing a photographic filter. The idea was that some person with no special knowledge or skills observing a luminous phenomenon should take a series of snapshots through each of the filters in succession, so that photos might be taken that would reveal something to experts.

I don't remember what all the filters were. There were a few narrow-pass astronomical filters that would have revealed ionised oxygen and a few other things. There were two plane-polarising filters at different angles. There was a circular-polarising filter that might have revealed light produced under some condition of intense magnetising (that had been difficult to source). And there was a diffraction grating.

Perhaps if I didn't know what phenomenon was going to be observed, by whom, where, or when I might issue something of the sort. Perhaps I'd chuck in a colloidal-silver filter or something else mystical-sounding.
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:33 PM   #103
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Default Re: Last Two Spots on the Expedition

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Something spurred a recollection.

Back when I was in high school one of my gaming buddies was the step-son of a professor of computer science at Sydney Uni. One of his (the professor's) areas of interest was in getting better data on the things that people were looking at when they saw what they reported as UFOs. To that end he devised a cheap UFO observing kit that people might carry in their glove boxes and in their packs while hiking. I recall that one of the components that he showed my was a card with a strip of numbered windows in it, each containing a photographic filter. The idea was that some person with no special knowledge or skills observing a luminous phenomenon should take a series of snapshots through each of the filters in succession, so that photos might be taken that would reveal something to experts.

I don't remember what all the filters were. There were a few narrow-pass astronomical filters that would have revealed ionised oxygen and a few other things. There were two plane-polarising filters at different angles. There was a circular-polarising filter that might have revealed light produced under some condition of intense magnetising (that had been difficult to source). And there was a diffraction grating.

Perhaps if I didn't know what phenomenon was going to be observed, by whom, where, or when I might issue something of the sort. Perhaps I'd chuck in a colloidal-silver filter or something else mystical-sounding.
Good idea.

In our futuristic modern times, there exist graduate degrees in things like scientific photography. Would that exist in the 1990s?

Back in the benighted ancient past of 1995 (meaning that the education of an established professional could date back all the way to the 80s or even further), what kind of education and background should a specialist in taking photographs with scientific and evidentiary value have?
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:57 PM   #104
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Good idea.
He was a very clever man, if a little bit unconventional. He did some really fundamental work in computer animation of the human figure (generalisable to other anatomies).

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In our futuristic modern times, there exist graduate degrees in things like scientific photography. Would that exist in the 1990s?

Back in the benighted ancient past of 1995 (meaning that the education of an established professional could date back all the way to the 80s or even further), what kind of education and background should a specialist in taking photographs with scientific and evidentiary value have?
A brief survey of pioneering scientific photographers has shown up people with backgrounds in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, oceanography, geophysics, physics, ballistics, and of course optics.

But back in the day we recognised the value of expert technicians who had learned their trades without the preliminary misery of "four years in the uncomfortable confines of a raccoon-skin coat". As recently as 1995 my brother, a researcher in medical imaging, had expert lab technicians, who had been hired out of high school and trained in the labs.
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Old 02-07-2020, 09:11 PM   #105
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Note that most of the expedition was actually aboard a yacht or boat of some kind, equipped with the majority of their equipment and as a seaplane tender to the Wilson Global Explorer.
Well, that's where I'd put the marine biologist if I had one. Unless, or course, an unlucky roll on the fright table had given him or her a phobia of boats or deep water. And then….

Perhaps the question needs to be "who goes on the 'plane rather than the boat"? (a) The people whose investigations most profit from earliest-possible access? (b) The people who have to be there when the others get there, or who can give an early warning for the others not to land? (Heavily-ordained combat exorcists, big guys carrying miniguns, seismologists, mathematicians specialising in chaos theory, and a single short-sighted wireless operator with allergies.)
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Old 02-07-2020, 10:01 PM   #106
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Default Re: Last Two Spots on the Expedition

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Well, that's where I'd put the marine biologist if I had one. Unless, or course, an unlucky roll on the fright table had given him or her a phobia of boats or deep water. And then….
So if I fill the last two spots with a marine biologist and a photographic expert of some stripe, you don't feel that I'm leaving any glaring holes?

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Perhaps the question needs to be "who goes on the 'plane rather than the boat"? (a) The people whose investigations most profit from earliest-possible access? (b) The people who have to be there when the others get there, or who can give an early warning for the others not to land? (Heavily-ordained combat exorcists, big guys carrying miniguns, seismologists, mathematicians specialising in chaos theory, and a single short-sighted wireless operator with allergies.)
Well, I imagined that those who went on the seaplanes* were those who had made their way to Tortola earlier than the others, probably because they were members of the inner circle and/or so vital to analyzing reports of the island that they were flown out before the rest of the expedition was firmed up.

Also, of course, they'd have to be willing to fly into an area where two tropical storms might be going through in a matter of hours. Sailing into it is dangerous enough, but at least the research vessel was a seaworthy craft of decent size, which should be pretty safe battened down as long as it wasn't caught directly in the path of a hurricane. Landing a seaplane in those conditions, however, was always going to be extremely risky and there was always the expectation that they couldn't lift off again until after the weather improved.

So it had to be people nearly suicidally curious, adventurous or otherwise strongly motivated (perhaps by loyalty to a cause or to Kessler personally).

I've established that on the Wilson Global Explorer were a crew of two; the aforementioned USN aviator, John A. Hill, and Matt Trevino (October 10, 1942; Texas City, TX), crew chief/mechanic/man-of-all-work, late of the US Coast Guard. As were Professor Harlan P. Wehmeyer and two security experts, Teddy Smith (PC), former Selous Scouts and 2e REP of the French Foreign Legion, and Mike Reid (b. March 15, 1951; Springfield, Missouri), late of the 173rd Airborne, Rhodesian Light Infantry and the 2e REP of the French Foreign Legion.

That leaves one seat on the seaplane, for whomever makes the most sense.

*There were two; the Wilson Global Explorer that disappeared and the Grumman Goose that flew back to Tortola when the hurricane moved in.
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Old 02-08-2020, 10:50 AM   #107
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Default Re: Last Two Spots on the Expedition

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A brief survey of pioneering scientific photographers has shown up people with backgrounds in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, medicine, oceanography, geophysics, physics, ballistics, and of course optics.
Engineers, doctors, oceanography and geophysics they have.

Do offshore oil companies and/or scientific consultancy companies they use employ imaging experts useful for getting photographic evidence?

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But back in the day we recognised the value of expert technicians who had learned their trades without the preliminary misery of "four years in the uncomfortable confines of a raccoon-skin coat". As recently as 1995 my brother, a researcher in medical imaging, had expert lab technicians, who had been hired out of high school and trained in the labs.
Sure.

Primarily, I imagine people being recruited by trusted friends and colleagues, so anyone that an academic or research scientist might get to know well is a potential recruit. Older scientists whom Kessler consults with on some arcane and occult experiment might naturally enough be expected to suggest trustworthy colleagues in related fields that might add important expertise and/or recruit bright and promising graduate students as assistants.

If US universities similarly had expert lab assistants without college degrees in the ancient era of 1995, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that the most suitable photography expert known to Kessler, Shackleford, Wehmeyer and the other people organizing the expedition might be someone who works with scientists without having a degree.
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