I did not write the following in my journal last Friday but I really thought the locomotive had been taken out of the river at that point. I did not want to confirm it till the results came back from the university.
Last Friday it was getting late and Graham, Jean Christophe & Nadine had to return to Fredericton (2 hr drive). Before calling it quits for the night we were a little discouraged thinking the data we had looked at did not look promising. Jean Christophe said not to jump to conclusion just yet and wait till Monday for a better interpretation of the data in Fredericton.
I had to go to Fredericton today and decided to stop in and finally meet Karl Butler in person. Obviously I wanted to see how things were coming along with the data interpretation...maybe a little inpatient...excited.
Jean Christophe was almost done working on the data when I walked in. After detailed review of scan data , it looks like we have a lot of metal down there afterall. It would appear that the information about the third span being the one that collapsed was accurate. The reason I say this is there were different published results on this specific infor. Some wrote "span 2" and most wrote "span 3". By closely looking at the old bridge pictures I had convinced myself that span 3 was likely the right place to search. According to Fridays survey the magnetic debris field is located over span 3. Another interesting piece of information gathered last Friday is the magnetic field variations are far greater this time than last (April 6, 2003 survey of the second span or Magnetometer survey #1). With all the data plotted on the same scale of reference, the rail detected last time is now faint in the new surveyed area. This still doesn't confirm the presence of a locomotive in the river but the scan did pick up the presence of heavy metal debris down there. Some of it could be from the reconstruction (ie lost tools, tension rods from bridge) but it looks like a lot more than just that.
Consider the following:
- Observing closely the details on the collapsed bridge picture below, it would seem that the bridge deck was constructed out of wood which signifies no metal except for spikes, rails, locomotive and cars. So the magnetic peaks are most likely not the deck as this was a wood bridge…lots of steel hardware but structure was wood. The piers were wood timber cribs filled with rocks.
- Now that we know how intense a rail reading is on the new scan (Span
2), we also know that the readings generated above the third span area are far more intense. Very interesting and now was have all of this in geodetic coordinates and we can start overlapping info.
I am going to post the new survey map as soon as I get it from Jean Christophe. I am also going to try and organize a second dive effort tentatively this weekend (time? weather?, diver (s)?, boat?). This time we will be better prepared to direct the diver (s) exactly where to search the river bottom. Stay tuned!