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Finding HMAS Sydney Cover


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  • 1. The Search for Kormoran and Sydney: The Role of Science By Kim Kirsner and John Dunn HMAS Sydney II: Compass resting on rail at rear of Director Control Tower Copyright: Australian War Memorial The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and advice received from Ron Birmingham, Ted Graham, Bob King and Bob Trotter Transfer to Publications Site Remain on FLASH site
  • 2. The authors gratefully acknowledge the support and advice received from Ron Birmingham, Ted Graham, Bob King and Bob Trotter Transfer to Publications Site Remain on FLASH site
  • 3.
    • Summary
    • Ships
    • 3 Science of Oceanography
    • 4 Cognitive Science and Domain Expertise
    • 5 The Kormoran Database and the Mathematics of Reliability
    • 6 Selection and Integration of Constraints
    • 7 Search Debate inside the FSF: 2001-2008
    • 8 Performance Review
    • 9 Search for HMAS Sydney
    • 10 Conclusions
    • 11 Acknowledgements & References
  • 4. Rollovers for PREVIOUS page. 1 Summary: Depicts areas identified by Kirsner and Dunn (2004) and Mearns (2008) 2 The Ships: Brief description of design principle and relative power of Kormoran and Sydney 3 Oceanography: Shows how 1991 Oceanography Workshop provided solution to questions about the general location of the wrecks 4 Cognitive Science and Domain Expertise: The FSF was supported by a team of scientists from the University of Western Australia. During the period from 2001 to 2004, the scientists identified the position of Kormoran to within 3 nm, and provided accurate and efficient search boxes for each wreck. 5 The Kormoran Database and the mathematics of reliability: The FSF scientists based their analyses on the Kormoran Database, a system c 70 reports acquired from interrogation of the survivors in 1941. The system was more reliable than reports from any one of the survivors individually, including that of the Captain. An application of Zipf’s Law was consistent with the assumption that the distribution of the reports reflected human error. 6 Selection and Integration of Constraints: Cognitive analysis of the Kormoran Database yielded yielded seven reliable constraints. In addition, the analysis used a signal from Geraldton, and a mathematical model of lifeboat drift behaviour, providing a set of nine constraints overall. The FSF team identified a position approximately 3 nm from Kormoran in 2004 (Kirsner & Dunn, 2004). The recommendation was included in FSF presentations to representatives of the Commonwealth, the states, the RAN and private and corporate donors. Mearns provided criticism of the Australian scientist’s approach (See FSF, 2005). 7 The Search Debate in FSF 2001-2008: This section reveals that Mearns recommended positions and search boxes for Kormoran that did not approach the position of the wreck until more than three years after the FSF had solved the problem, and provided him with their solution gratis. It is unclear why Mearns failed to acknowledge their work in a book claimed to be the ‘whole and official’ account. 8 Performance Review: This section includes a formal review of the accuracy of the search positions and search boxes recommended by Mearns and the FSF between 2004 and the in-water search in 2008. 13 Review of German Sources: This section examines the reliability of the reports made by the crew of Kormoran. Detmers was an exceptionally unreliable reporter. It is possible that Meyer provided false information. 9 Search for HMAS Sydney: The FSF plan for the search was based on early research by the FSF consultants. The FSF search plan was based on reports about the relative movement of Kormoran and Sydney following the battle. The solution was published by the FSF (FSF, 2005) 10 Conclusion 11 Acknowledgements and References