Flight 370 Clues: Ties to Orlando?

by Roger Pynn

That headline was a cheap trick.  Not, perhaps, anywhere near as questionable as the nonstop babble on CNN devoted to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, but nonetheless I was using that to get your attention.

However, the real purpose of this post is to point out how important history is to telling a good story … and, more importantly, how important it is for journalists to know and explore history in their work.

If you’ve lived in Orlando most of your life as I have, you remember a mysterious building at the northeast corner of Summerlin and Gatlin Avenues, south of the city on a murky little pond known as Lake Gem Mary.

The U.S. Navy Underwater Sound Lab dated back to the 1940s and much of its technology is at work today … almost certainly helping those who are searching for the missing airplane … and yet none of this shameless nonstop coverage has looked at how searchers know how to find it.

At the Lake Gem site, naval researchers worked on the development of underwater sound measurement devices and precision measurement on sonar equipment.  For years there was a huge steel dock extending over the lake that was used to hold listening equipment tested in the tiny but very deep lake … very much like that being used now in the Indian Ocean.

naval lab

Photo Credit:  State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory

And that’s what history can add to a good story.

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