December 15 and 16: Amelia Earhart research broadcast

Amelia Earhart’s Lockheed Electra 10E. During its modification, the aircraft had most of the cabin windows blanked out and had specially fitted fuselage fuel tanks. (Source: Wikipedia)

I’ve been sent this message from a number of sources. I hope it’s true as it’s a fascinating concept:

Hi, my name is Les Kinney and I am a retired federal agent and historical researcher. I am part of a group that will be traveling to a remote atoll in the Marshall Islands in mid-December. Our research concerns the theory that Amelia Earhart ran out of gas and landed wheels down next to a small island at Mili Atoll. There were three local natives who witnessed this landing during the late morning of July 3, 1937. We have found aircraft artifacts on this small island which we believe may have come from Earhart’s Lockheed 10E.

We also believe Earhart broadcast distress messages that were heard for the next several days. These voice transmissions were heard by the U.S. Coast Guard, Navy, three Pan Am listening stations and several radio listeners in the United States, Canada, Nauru, and Australia.

Unfortunately, because of atmospheric conditions, most likely caused by thunder storms, most of the messages were garbled and unreadable. Several radio listeners believed they heard Earhart speaking. Most heard a word or two; some a sentence or more. Some thought they heard partial latitude and longitude coordinates. None heard Earhart report she was at a specific geographic location except one. That person was Nina Paxton, a registered nurse from Ashland Kentucky. Nina had a new Philco console radio and said she heard Earhart around 2 pm Eastern Standard Time on Saturday July 3rd, 1937. Nina reported Earhart saying they were down on a little island at Mili Atoll. Amelia mentioned her navigator, Fred Noonan, was hurt, they were almost out of gas and warned they couldn’t stay there long.

Earhart’s Lockheed Electra was equipped with a 50 watt Western Electric model 13C transmitter. Earhart would have had to have one engine running to transmit. For a variety of technical reasons, she would have likely been transmitting on 6210 kilocycles high on the AM band which was her day time frequency. There is a remote chance she was broadcasting on 3105 kilocycles her night time radio frequency.

We would like everyone’s help. We are going to attempt to duplicate that 1937 transmission from this remote island. We will use Earhart’s identifying call sign of KHAQQ to begin the broadcast. We will broadcast twice: at 12:30 pm or 1230 hours Eastern Standard Time (EST) and again at 1:00 pm EST or 1300 hours on two successive days, December 15, and 16th, 2016. The first broadcast will be on 6210 kilocycles and will last for one minute. We will repeat the message twice, two minutes apart. After the third transmission on 6210 kilocycles, there will be a three minute pause and we will then broadcast the same message on 3105 kilocycles for one minute, three times, with a two minute delay after each message.

We know this is a long shot. We can’t duplicate the atmospheric conditions from July 1937 and there is so much more RF interference in 2016. But it is worth a try. We are asking everyone having a receiver capable of listening to this broadcast to tune in on these frequencies.

Whether you have an old 1930’s radio, or a modern radio with short wave capabilities, keep your cell phone cameras and video cameras ready to capture the moment. Flash the camera on your set and then to yourself while you record our broadcast. If you’re lucky enough to pick up the transmission, you will likely get five seconds of fame on a future TV documentary.

If you do receive our Earhart recreated broadcast and capture the message on your cell phone camera or camcorder, call us on site in the Marshall Islands via satellite phone. That number is: 011-881-651-463- 951.

Please pass this message on to any other radio groups, forums, or interested friends. Schedule: December 15, and 16, 2016 6210 Kilocycles: 12:30 pm – 12:32 pm – 12:34 pm (All times EST) +5 for GMT 3105 Kilocycles: 12:37 pm – 12:39 pm – 12:41 pm 6210 Kilocycles: 1:00 pm – 1:02 pm – 1:04 pm 3105 Kilocycles: 1:07 pm – 1:09 pm – 1:11 pm Les Kinney lgkinney@yahoo.com

Schedule

December 15th and 16th, 2016, callsign KHAQQ

  • 6210 kHz: 1730 UTC (12:30 pm – 12:32 pm – 12:34 pm EST)
  • 3105 kHz: 1737 UTC (12:37 pm – 12:39 pm – 12:41 pm EST)
  • 6210 kHz: 1800 UTC (1:00 pm – 1:02 pm – 1:04 pm EST)
  • 3105 kHz: 1808 UTC (1:07 pm – 1:09 pm – 1:11 pm EST)

There is little hope this broadcast could be heard in eastern North America (based on time of day and frequencies), but I imagine it could be received in Oceana and Asia.

I’ve written Les Kinney asking for more information. I’m specifically interested if his team has gotten special permission to use this callsign. This is a fascinating way to test the theory.

Please comment if you manage to receive this broadcast or if you have any further information!

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8 thoughts on “December 15 and 16: Amelia Earhart research broadcast

  1. 13dka

    Unfortunately, with a current SFI=72 the probability of receiving a 50W transmitter from the Pacific is less than low, not only at the east coast. 🙁 I remember hearing hams on yachts with 100W transceivers in the Pacific on a 20m random wire in Hamburg/Germany, but that was at the apex of sun cycle 23. 1937 was the apex of solar cycle 17 (which featured metrics similar to cycle 23) so – barring all the imponderables like temporary solar events, condx and so on – in theory their signal could have been heard even in Europe. Maybe even better than in the relative vicinity of the thunderstorms.

    However, on top of the difficulties assessing the propagation during these days and the questionable significance of such an experiment , doing this while we’re approaching a solar minimum does not sound like a very scientific approach either. Also, using the original frequency of 6210kHz, now being at the border of a BC band with documented usage by broadcasters doesn’t seem to make much sense. So I guess this is more of a media event to spice up production of a documentary show, rather than a research experiment, or the researchers neglected to research the peculiarities of radio altogether.

    Reply
    1. 13dka

      Forgot to grump another obvious thing, the flight went missed in early summer, today we’re obviously in mid-winter, with much impact on propagation on the northern hemisphere – up here sunset is 1500UTC. Then the text states “high on the AM band” – does that mean they transmit (by now transmitTED (nothing heard of course)) in AM only, historically correct but even more hopeless? Using SSB and CW would have had no direct impact on whatever unstated question the experiment was supposed to answer, other than slightly increasing its chance to have a result at all.

      Reply
      1. rtc

        You are so right…if you wish to be “scientific” why not do it
        in July like she did?
        This whole thing feels fishy…TIGHAR is more careful than this.

        Reply
  2. me1900

    Although I know that the times aired are during daylight here in the south central USA , I will be attempting the reception of this broadcast.

    Reply
  3. Edward

    This would be something to forward to the ARRL. They seem to have the connections with Hams all over the country with expertise in forming “DX”peditions to do a more thorough propagation test.

    Reply
  4. Jose Fiorotto

    I will try to listening from Brazil in my grundig satellit 750 and others devices in São Paulo. I am in a big city but should be better to stay in the country inside but i can not go in these dates!

    Reply

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