5.5 Conclusion, Item 5

The working group has carefully assessed previously obtained information together with new evidence. The group considers the reports made by Hovdenak/Hoel and Riiser-Larsen to be thorough and comprehensive. It has not been possible to follow up all of the information and finds that have been made available, or verify some of the older information in cases where relevant documentation has been lost. In these areas, the group has based its conclusions on previous assessments, or in some cases has chosen to disregard the information altogether. The information that has made an essential contribution towards shedding new light on the incident has largely been provided by the Institute of Marine Research in Bergen, the Main Rescue Co-ordinaiton Centre for North Norway and the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. By combining all of the available information and related analyses, two possible locations for the accident have arisen. One off the island of Karlsøy and the other in the area south and west of Bjørnøya.

It is beyond doubt that several people observed aircraft west of Karlsøy, at Sommerset, Hillesøya and Vasstranda, at the time of the “Latham’s” flight, but we cannot eliminate the possibility that some of these were sightings of the “Marina I” during its search for the “Latham.” 
It is the opinion of the working group that most of the facts, calculations and probabilities coupled together in one general assessment, indicate that the accident took place in the area west of Bjørnøya.

 Today, given the facts and information available, it is not possible to reach a conclusion with regard  to where the “Latham” incident took place, without validation, or invalidation, of the wreckage that the “Kvitholmen” brought to the surface in 1933. Locating and raising this piece of wreckage may bring us closer to a solution. An analysis of the sheet of plywood on Edgeøya island will only serve to strengthen the theory that the accident occurred west of Bjørnøya.

6.    Conclusion/Recommendation

Today, possible confirmation of where the “Latham” was lost is attainable. In the light of the analyses that have been made, the special expert group recommends a search for the object that the “Kvitholmen” brought to the surface in 1933, and which was then identified as part of a wrecked aircraft. The search should be made by a vessel with a remote controlled submarine at the position where the M/V “Kvitholmen” made its find. After 75 years, one can only expect to find remains of the two engines.

There is still considerable interest in Roald Amundsen and his fate. A search operation, and the media coverage it would incite, might serve to unveil new accounts and finds. Such accounts and finds should be thoroughly examined, but are now beyond the jurisdiction of the initiative taken by the Norwegian Aviation Museum.


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