Sleuthing The Fin

DWQA QuestionsCategory: QuestionsSleuthing The Fin
Kim Martens asked 3 weeks ago

2 Burgers? What kind? Heartstopper or cumshot ... I mean uhh -- xQc Burgershot Fail GTA RPThese steel assemblies have been identified as part of the packaging material used to transport missile parts to the site. The best information at this point suggests that they were part of the packaging for replacement sustainer motors (the rocket motor inside the main missile itself). So, why the big deal over some scrap metal? It was immediately theorized by the man that first recognized the fin for what it was that this may have been buried at the time of the Great Earthquake in 1964, and as such could represent a tangible relic of significant historical value. The problem now is: How do we determine the time that this fin was actually lost? First of all, we can guess that there are four timeframes that the fin was probably buried: – At the time of construction of the site in 1959. – At the time of the Great Earthquake of 1964. – At the time of site deactivation in 1979. – At some other date during normal battery operations. We can reduce this number somewhat by assuming that the fin was buried at the same time as the shipping cradles that shared its grave. The cradles were only needed at the time of initial supply of the site’s inventory, and at the time that the inventory was replenished in 1964. No missiles were ever fired from this site so there is no reason to believe that replacements were ever required at any other time. As we will read below, these shipping cradles were expensive and were accounted for and returned through the supply chain. Normal operations would not leave cradles laying around to be buried later.Therefore, the likelyhood that the cradles were used at some time in the course of normal battery operations is remote and can safely be discounted. One might assume that shipping cradles were required at the time of deactivation in 1979 when the missiles were removed, but it is very unlikely that any but the required number of cradles for the closely-monitored inventory of missiles on hand would have been delivered to the site. We can therefore delete the 1979 date from our list of possibilities with relative certainty. Other testimonial and cumshot circumstantial evidence should point toward one date or the other. A call went out for information as to the probable history of these buried items, which resulted in the information collected below. This begs the question, why would a fin, a serialized part of a closely inventoried piece of ordinance be discarded in the first place if it were not damaged goods? Here is a photograph of some of the damage this fin sustained. This is sufficient to disqualify it from flight. The discoverer is confident the damage was not inflicted at the time of discovery. It follows then that the fin was either damaged at the time of burial, or at some time prior to it. It is not likely that it would have been set aside or buried if it were a useable part. Further comments from the man at the scene indicate that the initial days after the earthquake at the site were extremely stressfull for everyone involved. Could something like a damaged fin have been thrown aside and later slipped through the cracks in the initial days of recovery? What about other items of clutter that may have been in the way as the effort to get the site back up and running – like the shipping cradles of the inital replacement parts to arrive? Do you remember what would happen to unauthorized equipment or parts before an IG or CMMI? It almost looks like stains from something on possibly rubber gloves that picked up the fin. What would make reddish stains? One possibility is hydraulic fluid. The main part of the Hercules missile itself is controlled in flight by hydraulic actuators that move the “ailerons” on the trailing edge of it’s fins. 1. The earthquake wrecks the missiles and other equipent; solid fuel boosters are split open and hydraulic fluid leaks/squirts/spills. 2. During subsequent cleanup operations this fin is picked up by a GI using gloves stained with solid fuel or wet with hydraulic fluid from other handled parts and it is tossed into a scrap pile, perhaps by mistake. 3. The first of new missiles and parts are brought to the site and the shipping cradles are hurriedly tossed in the junk pile on top of the fin where it is forgotten about, being out of sight under the other debris. 4. With the other items having been previously inventoried and shipped out or otherwise dispositioned, this particular junk pile is buried separately in final cleanup operations days or weeks or years later. 5. Forty-one years pass and the fin is inadvertently unearthed by trail construction. It is true that there are a few key assumptions made in constructing this scenario, but the purpose of this article is to present the evidence that shows why it is possible, if not probable that the fin is a remnant from the 1964 earthquake. It does not, however, present all other possibilities. There is yet further evidence that could help to narrow down the possibilites. The photograph of the fin below records a stamped serial number as well as a stenciled lot number on the fin. This could serve to confirm whether the fin was present on the site prior to the day of the earthquake, or only afterward. Thanks to the efforts of the fin finder (at left below) and the Municipality of Anchorage, the fin is now on public display at the Kincaid Park Chalet, which is one of two buildings where it resided once before; bolted to a Hercules missile booster, ready to engage an attacking Soviet aircraft. It is home again. One of the unearthed sustainer motor cradles is on display adjacent to a bike trail nearby. All photos courtesy the fin discoverer. Many thanks! CLICK HERE to return to the Site POINT Webpage CLICK HERE to return to the NIKE-HERCULES ALASKA INDEX page.

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