Thursday, February 25, 2010

The Cady Report, Part B

I am {still) deep into  Cady's report, which can be read online at Andrew Bolland's's Qualight site. It is a wonderful document because it provides informative details for all aspects of Townsend's work at the time.  It is equally wonderful because I see how effectively Tee (as his friend Merlyn calls him) sandbagged the study.
Cady didn't need any help in taking down  The Set,.  He did that all by himself. He describes the operational design of a simple unit which (we have been told) would later become the backbone of the Caroline/Nassau communications network.  Then he dismisses it entirely, claiming it is irrelevant, saying:

The relation between the communication device and the mechanical effects which form the topic of this report appears to[sic] remote that no further mention will be made of the former.

Next he tackles the question of cosmic radiation, a subject of abiding interest to Townsend and one that engaged his curiosity for sixty years from the moment he first observed it, sometime in the mid-twenties, until the day he died.  Townsend would ultimately compare this cyclical cosmic force to the nervous system of God, seeing parallels between its flux and all sorts of activities on  earth. Cady writes:

The cause of these fluctuations has been sought by Mr. Brown by seeking for correlations between them and various outside influences, such as magnetic storms, temperature, pressure, the time of the year, civil time, lunar time, sidereal time, and the Dow-Jones average. Only the last five correlations are claimed. Tabulated data are available only for the year 1937. Hourly recordings throughout that year are tabulated, both for civil and lunar time.

The writer has seen no convincing evidence that the stock market and the automatic recorder are correlated, although it has been claimed that a chi-square analysis has been performed, with positive results.

A Chi-Square analysis is the first tool used in quantitative statistical research. The resulting Chi-Square number indicates how strong the likelihood is that two events are correlated, or related or connected in some way. Chi-square calculations are such a basic numerical analytical technique that they are taught in high school math. No scientist,  certainly no scientist ever formerly employed as an NRL physicist, would ever claim that a chi-square correlation existed without being ready and willing to provide  the backup data for independent study if asked.  Fortunately for Townsend, Cady didn't ask.

By the time of the Cady Report, Townsend had collected years and years of data and knew that his readings correlated to the external world through the commonality of sidereal time.   And the data set he gave Cady was from one of the earliest years of his 24/7 data collection efforts, and it did NOT include any sidereal time records.

It is regrettable that during the time of the investigation the greater part of the experimental data gathered over the years by Mr. Brown are unavailable, being in storage elsewhere.

Riiiiight.  "Here you go! I just happen to have this a fifteen year old data set available. Sorry, anything more current is in storage."

Why would Townsend sandbag himself like this, you ask? Well it all goes back to events that happened in October, 1950, that sent him into what he called his "wounded prairie chicken" act. But that's another story for another day, sometime after I finish with Cady's report.

For now:

End of Part B

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