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Author Topic: Ham link to plane that vanished and reappeared 50 years later:  (Read 9690 times)
K0OD
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« on: March 15, 2014, 07:54:10 PM »

1947: "A report by an amateur radio operator who claimed to have received a faint SOS signal from Star Dust initially raised hopes that there might have been survivors"

"The last word in Star Dust's final Morse code transmission to Santiago airport, "STENDEC", was received by the airport control tower four minutes prior to its planned landing and repeated twice; it has never been satisfactorily explained."




"The passenger manifest for British South American Airlines (BSAA) flight CS-59 might have made a perfect character list for a murder-mystery.

Aboard were two businessman friends touring South America on the lookout for trade opportunities: a fun-loving Swiss and a self-made English executive. Also travelling were a Palestinian man who was rumoured to have a diamond stitched into his jacket, and a South American agent of the Dunlop tyre company who had once been the tutor to Prince Michael of Romania. The oldest passenger was in her seventies, a widow of German extraction returning to her Chilean home after an inconvenient World War had unexpectedly extended her stay abroad. And to add a whiff of espionage, a member of a select corps of British civil servants known as King’s Messengers joined the flight, carrying a diplomatic bag bound for the UK embassy across the border..."


Read the full story...
http://www.damninteresting.com/the-star-dust-mystery/
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K0YQ
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« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 08:54:42 AM »

Good read = thanks.
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K0OD
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« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2014, 11:24:37 AM »

Recent BBC video on the Star Dust mystery. 

As a converted British bomber, the Star Dust was uniquely able to fly at altitudes required to cross the Andes. Twice in this video(42:07) you see the radio position with a Marconi R1155 like the receivers discussed in our Boat Anchor forum in January. Communication was by straight key CW. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCKTfOLg5Mo

Notice the sinister passenger list. I picture Peter Lorre, Sydney Greenstreet:


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K8AXW
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« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2014, 07:15:07 AM »

OD:  The Youtube video link you posted was very interesting. I've studied aircraft disasters for 30 years and this one was a totally different scenario.  TY.
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2014, 04:04:17 PM »

Could be a simple transcription error.  The pilot may have instead signed STINDEC which might be shorthand for starting initial descent.
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2014, 11:32:06 PM »

Yep, best explanation I've seen.  Makes total sense.
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GW3OQK
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« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2014, 08:46:49 AM »

Great, thanks for posting it.

In the audio you could hear the clicking of the big multicontact keying relay and the chirp of the T1154, so that was well done.

The relay clips the dots. If the morse was too fast it would lose dots. The WOP hears side tone, not the actual transmission. I see on wikipedia it says the last message was ETA SANTIAGO 17.45 HRS STENDEC received loud and clear and very fast. (Could it have been Stardust or start dec? )

With my T1154 the relay (which takes many amps) is held energised and I key the valves' negative volts directly. Its the only way to get good morse and was how it was used on ground. If you hear the morse on the Dambusters film that's not a T1154, no chirp or drift!

73
Andrew
« Last Edit: March 19, 2014, 09:08:31 AM by GW3OQK » Logged
K0OD
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2014, 09:13:35 AM »

Clever guess, but the crash investigation came up with no meaning for STENDEC.

You see it claimed that STENDEC had been used by the RAF during WW2 to mean “Severe Turbulence Encountered – Now Descending – Expecting Crash”

Sounds like nonsense to me. Would the RAF really have such a specific code?  If so, would the plane expect a Chilean (a neutral country in WW2) radio op to know it? Plus, it's doubtful the crew was expecting anything at the moment of their deaths but an ordinary landing in Santiago. They thought the Andes were safely behind them, not smack ahead.
 
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KE7TMA
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« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2014, 08:12:16 PM »

Clever guess, but the crash investigation came up with no meaning for STENDEC.

You see it claimed that STENDEC had been used by the RAF during WW2 to mean “Severe Turbulence Encountered – Now Descending – Expecting Crash”

Sounds like nonsense to me. Would the RAF really have such a specific code?  If so, would the plane expect a Chilean (a neutral country in WW2) radio op to know it? Plus, it's doubtful the crew was expecting anything at the moment of their deaths but an ordinary landing in Santiago. They thought the Andes were safely behind them, not smack ahead.
 

It's all just guesses of course, but they are better than assuming that it was just random mystery garbage characters, no?
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GW3OQK
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« Reply #9 on: March 22, 2014, 02:10:52 AM »

Here's my speculation. The sending was rather jittery due to the wop's style like we still hear on air, made by worse by the clipping of the T1154's big keying relay. What was published was not EXACTLY what was copied by the Chilean operator. As the message was sent 4 minutes before ETA it he was sending fast.

What was sent was " (Santiago's callsign) DE GAGWH ETA 1745 HRS AR"

ST = H, EN = R, D = S
The EC at end = AR the usual end of message sign.

Andrew
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G7MRV
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« Reply #10 on: March 22, 2014, 02:22:37 AM »

Here's my speculation. The sending was rather jittery due to the wop's style like we still hear on air, made by worse by the clipping of the T1154's big keying relay. What was published was not EXACTLY what was copied by the Chilean operator. As the message was sent 4 minutes before ETA it he was sending fast.

What was sent was " (Santiago's callsign) DE GAGWH ETA 1745 HRS AR"

ST = H, EN = R, D = S
The EC at end = AR the usual end of message sign.

Andrew

Except that most sources state that the final message already included 'HRS' prior to STENDEC being transmitted. Why would the operator send HRS twice? And why would the first be perfectly good readable but the second garbled?
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GW3OQK
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« Reply #11 on: March 22, 2014, 11:14:04 AM »

I doubt much of what I see of historical reports on the internet. I dont believe the operator sent E . T . A . or 17.45 (probably ETA 1745) and I would not have expected him to send HRS either. I think HRS was put in to clarify later. The times were all GMT. Its all speculation. It might even have been ETA 1745 IFR = +
Andrew
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G4GEN
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« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2014, 06:01:07 AM »

hello , just read the topic. a late friend was an aircraft radio operator at the time. he said that the radio was a WW2 T1154 and used a "bathtub" key. this was hard to use. he thought that they believed that they were much closer to Santiago than they were and had initiated a steep descent. this was what what the R/O was trying to send but the turbulence caused him to miss at times. no one knew much about the jetstream then.
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