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#26 centurion

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:15 PM

Recent excavations on Gallipoli indicate that Turkish field kitchens were brick built

#27 truthergw

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 12:26 PM

I have to agree with Centurion here. Machines dig in straight lines and trenches avoided that. I have seen references to machines being employed on communication trenches and that would make sense, away from the front line, long straight digs far enough away to not alarm the opposition and bring down artillery fire. I am intrigued by the reference to the horse pulling it away. I hadn't thought horses were at all common in the trenches. Considering the efforts made to keep noise to a minimum and that tunnel location was done by sound detection, I'd have thought that tunnel boring machines would also have limited application. Perhaps in the approach tunnels, allowing a long run in from behind the lines?

#28 Martin G

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 01:23 PM

In the vicinity were some rather large artillery pieces. It is not beyond the realms of the imagination that there was some form of steam powered tractor to get ammunition to the guns. The photo below is of one of the guns located about a mile ENE of Hill 70 (Scimitar Hill) on the road towards Anafarta Sagir.

MG

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#29 Tom W.

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 06:24 PM

Show us the evidence then

The factual evidence is that steam-powered commercial trench diggers existed long before World War One; the circumstantial evidence is that British soldiers saw a "steam machine" being used in an area in which the Turks were digging trenches.

Prior to the war British and the Germans explored for oil in Ottoman territory. Small steam-powered trenching machines were used in the petroleum industry:

http://djgagnon.tumb...steam-trenching

Small steam shovels were used to dig trenches:

http://en.wikipedia....ile:Shovel1.jpg

If the latter device were hit by artillery and punctured so that all the water drained out and the shovel and boom were blown off, a horse could easily drag the remains away.

Turkey was mainly an agricultural nation. Small steam-powered trench machines could have been used.

http://steamtraction...p_1989_03-1.jpg

That's another one that if damaged and drained of its water would be light enough for a horse to drag away.

The point is not that there was a giant device used to build perfect, man-sized, zig-zagging trenches in one fell swoop. Instead, small, steam-powered trenching machines or shovels could be used as a labor-saving device to get the trenches started. Besides, trench sizes and functions varied. Sometimes communication trenches were only wide and deep enough for a man to run along at a crouch, his shoulders scraping both sides.

There could have been any variety of steam-powered devices used by the Turks. Dismissing it out of hand is incomprehensible to me.

#30 GRANVILLE

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 07:22 PM

I can see from the original post that the search is on for what one would presume is a German or Turkish steam powered machine of some description, and one small enough to be dragged away by horse power. Whilst not German, if you take a look in the 1911 Manual of Field Engineering, there is a drawing of the Columbia Junior, steam powered Drilling Machine. Small enough to be moved by a horse and possibly leveled and prevented from sinking in soft ground by the use of rails? I presume these would have been used for drilling for water?
Hopefully someone has a copy and can upload a scan as I can't
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#31 truthergw

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Posted 05 February 2012 - 08:20 PM

The factual evidence is that steam-powered commercial trench diggers existed long before World War One; the circumstantial evidence is that British soldiers saw a "steam machine" being used in an area in which the Turks were digging trenches.

edit ...


There could have been any variety of steam-powered devices used by the Turks. Dismissing it out of hand is incomprehensible to me.

I for one, have no intention of dismissing the use of a trench digging machine ' out of hand '. I know that they were tried on the Western front and as far as I am aware, with little or no success. I cannot see what incentive would exist to introduce them at Gallipoli where conditions, if anything, were even less encouraging. Forced to guess at what the men saw, I would plump for a traction engine.

#32 Tom W.

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:04 AM

I for one, have no intention of dismissing the use of a trench digging machine ' out of hand '. I know that they were tried on the Western front and as far as I am aware, with little or no success. I cannot see what incentive would exist to introduce them at Gallipoli where conditions, if anything, were even less encouraging.

The commercial versions were labor-saving devices. Maybe some Turkish commander thought he could save time by bringing it in. Clearly he wasn't thinking clearly, because the device was immediately noticed and shelled, as you would imagine would happen to any loud piece of machinery spewing coal smoke.

History is full of incomprehensible mistakes. In World War II, after the U.S. Army Air Force studied the myriad failures of the strategic bombing campaign in Europe and noted every single reason why it wasn't effective and why it was so dangerous for the aircrews, they then repeated the entire disaster in the Pacific, with exactly the same results. It wasn't until Curtis LeMay was put in charge of all Pacific bombing operations that the strategy changed and became effective.

#33 khaki

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:05 AM

Recent excavations on Gallipoli indicate that Turkish field kitchens were brick built

If it was a field kitchen, and this is only supposition, it may have been for German personnel.The possibility of it being a small excavator is possible, but I have always believed that the Turkish military relied on their available manpower to establish defensive positions.
Again one would think that if it was a horse drawn field kitchen, then it seems likely that it would be removed by horsepower.
khaki

#34 michaeldr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 11:56 AM

The original observation was made on 12th August. This is well before Bulgaria entered the fray (late September) and before the Turks had access, via the Bulgarian rail link, to any German heavy equipment. Even when the German and Austrian heavy guns arrived (in second half October) there was no steam driven haulage available: Kannengiesser describes how “twenty-four buffaloes were insufficient, because they did not pull equally. Hundreds of soldiers had to accomplish this with long ropes.”
The earlier suggestion of the observer having seen steam from a horse drawn mobile kitchen sounds very plausible. This example is from Palestine http://cas.awm.gov.a...raph/P00360.017 However, in the flexible situation of their facing the new Allied offensive during August, I can well imagine such equipment being used by the Turks at Suvla on Gallipoli.

#35 centurion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 12:40 PM

The original observation was made on 12th August. This is well before Bulgaria entered the fray (late September) and before the Turks had access, via the Bulgarian rail link, to any German heavy equipment. Even when the German and Austrian heavy guns arrived (in second half October) there was no steam driven haulage available: Kannengiesser describes how "twenty-four buffaloes were insufficient, because they did not pull equally. Hundreds of soldiers had to accomplish this with long ropes."
The earlier suggestion of the observer having seen steam from a horse drawn mobile kitchen sounds very plausible. This example is from Palestine http://cas.awm.gov.a...raph/P00360.017 However, in the flexible situation of their facing the new Allied offensive during August, I can well imagine such equipment being used by the Turks at Suvla on Gallipoli.


Whilst the Turks had both mobile field kitchens and much larger wheeled bakeries in Palestine these appear to date from late 1916 and from various photos of both appear to have been German supplied. Gallipoli field kitchens would seem have been built with ovens which was not the case with mobile field kitchens


http://www.canberrat...ry/2313467.aspx



#36 centurion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:33 PM

Thinking further about this there is one plausible explanation - a small  portable stationary engine. These were the steam version of today's petrol driven portable generators. Towed by horse to an agricultural or building site to provide power to a range of machines - rotary saws, lathes, grinders, pumps, spike drivers, cement mixers etc etc. If the Turks were carrying out construction work (and possibly track laying) such a machine would have been useful and very likely the mills in Gallipoli town would have had one or more.




A large number of companies (including Krupp) built them around the world



#37 centurion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 01:55 PM

Further to my last post here are examples of two British portable stationary engines which were exported to many countries before WW1. No where near as heavy as a traction engine they could be horse drawn (especially as the boiler would be empty when being towed and the wheels were much lighter)

http://images.wikia...._-_IMG_4094.jpg
http://www.rmk-museu...nary_engine.jpg



#38 michaeldr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 02:41 PM

Whilst the Turks had both mobile field kitchens and much larger wheeled bakeries in Palestine these appear to date from late 1916 and from various photos of both appear to have been German supplied. Gallipoli field kitchens would seem have been built with ovens which was not the case with mobile field kitchens
http://www.canberrat...ry/2313467.aspx


The example which you give relates to Anzac
We are talking here about Suvla, and only five days after the landing and the front opened

#39 centurion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

The example which you give relates to Anzac
We are talking here about Suvla, and only five days after the landing and the front opened


It would seem odd for different parts of the Turkish Gallipoli front to use different approaches. As I said there is no evidence that the Turks even had mobile field kitchens before 1916 

#40 michaeldr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 06:54 PM

It would seem odd for different parts of the Turkish Gallipoli front to use different approaches. As I said there is no evidence that the Turks even had mobile field kitchens before 1916 







Why would it seem odd?

The use of one system in one area does not necessarily exclude the existence of, or use of another system, either in that same area or elsewhere.
Eg:
Kannengiesser describes the 'clay huts' which they built. He quotes Marshal Liman's comments on these. He even gives a photograph.
Because 'clay huts' were used, does that exclude the possibility of other parts of the Turkish army using tents at the same time and also on Gallipoli too?

My earlier post referred to "The earlier suggestion of the observer having seen steam from a horse drawn mobile kitchen sounds very plausible"
It still 'sounds plausible', but I cannot provide any evidence to support it.

Likewise, I have so far not seen one shred of evidence for steam or other powered machinery being used by the Turks at Suvla in the first half of August 1915

The Turks had motor cars for their staff, but that apart there is no mention in the literature of heavy transport on Gallipoli. As I quoted earlier, oxen were their first choice for moving heavy guns and, such was the terrain, they were not always successful.
The first mention of anything remotely 'modern' in this respect is nearly three months later, in November, when an Austrian “24.cm motor howitzer battery” arrived; see Kannenggiesser page 238.

#41 centurion

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:26 PM




Why would it seem odd?

The use of one system in one area does not necessarily exclude the existence of, or use of another system, either in that same area or elsewhere.
Eg:
Kannengiesser describes the 'clay huts' which they built. He quotes Marshal Liman's comments on these. He even gives a photograph.
Because 'clay huts' were used, does that exclude the possibility of other parts of the Turkish army using tents at the same time and also on Gallipoli too?

My earlier post referred to "The earlier suggestion of the observer having seen steam from a horse drawn mobile kitchen sounds very plausible"
It still 'sounds plausible', but I cannot provide any evidence to support it.

Likewise, I have so far not seen one shred of evidence for steam or other powered machinery being used by the Turks at Suvla in the first half of August 1915

The Turks had motor cars for their staff, but that apart there is no mention in the literature of heavy transport on Gallipoli. As I quoted earlier, oxen were their first choice for moving heavy guns and, such was the terrain, they were not always successful.
The first mention of anything remotely 'modern' in this respect is nearly three months later, in November, when an Austrian "24.cm motor howitzer battery" arrived; see Kannenggiesser page 238.


These are all parts of the same army close to each other. A mobile field kitchen is only plausible if there was any evidence at all that the Turks had any mobile field kitchens in theatre.I have found various photos of these in Palestine but all after 3rd Gaza and all of German pattern. A mobile field kitchen in any case did nor emit masses of steam (deliberately so)


I was not talking about any form of steam transport merely horse drawn stationary engines (such as used in the Australian out back since about 1875) typically used in agriculture to power local machine tools (like a threshing machine, shears or apposite in this case saws and spike driving machines) Given the industrial and agricultural profile of Gallipoli in 1913 it would seem incredible even in Turkey if these were not available. They certainly existed in Turkey long before WW1 so the stuff about Turkish Staff cars etc is pure red herring.

#42 Martin G

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:32 PM

When I was a subaltern we always had to start an O group with "Ground":

Assuming the OP was on the top of Chocolate Hill (the highest ground in the immediate area occupied by the British) it is worth noting that the a fair amount of ground (edit: at least 1,000 yards) on a 45 degree bearing from Hill 70 Scimitar Hill) would be in dead ground (even from Chocolate Hill). Hill 70 is 17m higher than Chocolate Hill and is directly NE of Chocolate Hill - exactly on the line of observation. On a 45 degree bearing the ground falls away beyond Hill 70 towards Kanli Keupru Dere that runs directly East-West out of Anafarta Sagir. This dere is massive. You could march a brigade down it unobserved. It is purely my speculation but the operators of the steam contraption might have thought that they were out of sight but were actually in sight of the Chocolate Hill OP. I have walked this ground extensively. Only when the ground rises again to form the lower hills of the Anafarta ridge near Baba Baka after crossing the major dere running out of Anafarta Sagir does it once again come into view. This would be on the north side of the Kanli Keupru Dere in the immediate vicinity of the track running East into Anafarta Sagir marked with a red asterisk on the map below.

Anafarta Sagir was the local agricultural centre and the largest town in the immediate area. There were windmills - three shown on the British 1:10,00 scale 1915 maps and referred to in war diaries - as well as a mosque (destroyed by Naval gunfire) very early on. More interestingly there is a building clearly marked as a factory less than a few hundred yards from where the line of sight would cross the road/track. The period maps show extensive field patterns whose boundaries have barely moved in 100 years, again confirming this area as intensely farmed. While it is probable that most of the work was done manually, it is distinctly possible that there was some kind of agricultural steam powered machinery, and (my speculation) it is possible that the 'factory' had some purpose related to the industrial processing of crops under steam power.

1:10,000 map dated 2nd October 1915 attached below; Most of the ground NE of Scimitar Hill (Hill 70) would be dead ground to an observer on Chocolate Hill (Yilghin Burnu or Matsan Tepe). We know from the RFA diaries that an OP was established on Chocolate hill as soon as it was captured early after the landings. 11th Div's Capt Rettie RA refers to the Battery at Chocolate hill being changed over with the Lala Baba Battery. On the 12th Aug Chocoalte Hill was occupied by units of 11th Div's 32nd Bde, although none of the Bn War Diaries mention the steam contraption (probably too busy keeping their heads down)

I think OPs on Kiretch Tepe Sirt or Lala Baba would have been too far away to make accurate enough observations and the KTS OPs would have been preoccupied with surviving the slaughter to their immediate front. An OP on Lala Baba would have little ability to observe the ground between Hill 70 and Anafarta Sagir.

Clearly if my assumption of the location of the OP is wrong, my speculation about dead ground can be discounted. Any mistakes are mine. MG

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#43 michaeldr

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:40 PM

These are all parts of the same army close to each other. A mobile field kitchen is only plausible if there was any evidence at all that the Turks had any mobile field kitchens in theatre.I have found various photos of these in Palestine but all after 3rd Gaza and all of German pattern. A mobile field kitchen in any case did nor emit masses of steam (deliberately so)


I was not talking about any form of steam transport merely horse drawn stationary engines (such as used in the Australian out back since about 1875) typically used in agriculture to power local machine tools (like a threshing machine, shears or apposite in this case saws and spike driving machines) Given the industrial and agricultural profile of Gallipoli in 1913 it would seem incredible even in Turkey if these were not available. They certainly existed in Turkey long before WW1 so the stuff about Turkish Staff cars etc is pure red herring.



I do not recall a ref to "masses of steam" - where did you see that?

'....At 1200 the FOO reported enemy digging trenches NE of hill 70. He also reported that there was a machine of some sort worked by steam. A (?) artillery fire was brought to bear on the spot and apparently the steam machine was damaged, as a horse was hooked into it and it was dragged away into the scrub.'

A careful reading of the above may even suggest that there was not necessarily any connection between the 'digging trenches' and the machine 'worked by steam'

I also do not recall seeing any evidence whatsoever for "horse drawn stationary engines" at Suvla in the first half of August - please supply and quote details

Edited by michaeldr, 06 February 2012 - 07:49 PM.


#44 Martin G

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 07:56 PM

And a contour version clearly showing the deep folds in the land NE of Hill 70 (Scimitar Hill). Scimitar Hill is the ..er...scimitar shaped hill bang in the centre where the three roads meet.Scimitar Hill sounds a bit more militaristic than banana hill.

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#45 Martin G

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 08:42 PM

According to Capt Rettie RA on 11th and 12th August:


We had an FOO at Sulajik [directly NNE of Chocolate Hill], who was relieved every 24 hours. These officers quickly tumbled to the fact that they received far more attention from the snipers than their accompanying signallers, so they took to leaving off their belts, turning up the collars of their coats and carrying rifles, and so became less attractive. ..

Later he descibes how the brine on the salt lake had an injurous effect on the insulation of the telephone wire and hindered communication with the FOOs. And laer still;


The Navy... sending an FOO to Chocolate Hill.....

He also referes to the OP on Chocolate Hill later in his account sent to Aspinal Oglander so it seems highly likley that the Observations were made from Sulajik or Chocolate Hill. As we can see from the contour maps, Sulajik was on quite low ground relative to Chocolate Hill. MG

#46 khaki

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 09:44 PM

Hi Everyone

I have come across the following entry in the CRA 11th Division War Diary for 12th August 1915

'....At 1200 the FOO reported enemy digging trenches NE of hill 70. He also reported that there was a machine of some sort worked by steam. A (?) artillery fire was brought to bear on the spot and apparently the steam machine was damaged, as a horse was hooked into it and it was dragged away into the scrub.'

I've not heard of this before, does anyone know what the 'steam machine' might have been?

Thanks

Alan


"A machine of some sort, worked by steam" If the FOO was unsure as to exactly what he saw and it appears he observed it for enough time to call in artillery fire and then observe it's removal, then our thoughts including my own (field kitchen) are purely speculative The absence of archaelogical evidence in itself proves nothing, evidence may be there and remain buried,, was never there in the first place or was there and was removed/destroyed then or later. However we can speculate on what it may have been based on what limited information we have such as.,
it apparently had not been noticed before,
it was portable
it was light enough to be removed by a (one)horse
was associated with steam maybe smoke
was important enough to save
and could be hidden by scrub
I won't add any further suggestions, I will leave it to others to 'kick it about'
regards
khaki
,, ,

#47 centurion

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 01:35 PM

The Turks had no mobile field kitchens during the Gallipoli campaign. Their approach in 1914 can be summarised as "The wagons on which stores were carried for the army were designed such that when the stores were used up, the wagons themselves could become firewood for cooking, and the bullocks themselves became fresh meat on the hoof for the soldiers to kill and eat." However in the scramble to get forces to the peninsula priority for animal drawn transport was given to artillery and its ammunition and there were insufficient oxen available even for that. A Canadian university study of Turkish documents suggests that much equipment, including cooking utensils, just didn't get there and things had to be 'scrounged' from villages and Gallipoli town itself and field kitchens constructed on site. A typical Turkish field kitchen (based on archaeological digs in other locations) consisted of a small rectangular pit lined with two courses of large stones - filled with wood or charcoal. Metal cooking pots and/or spits would be placed across the top. Here is a Turkish field kitchen at Gallipoli

Attached File  800px-Kitchen_crew_distributing_the_food_to_soldiers.jpg   97.33KB   0 downloads

Doesn't look much like a steam worked machine nor something that would be dragged away by a horse.

Ovens would be required for that staple the Turkish Army Biscuit which had to be soaked and then baked before it could be eaten safely (Some Allied POWs who attempted to eat fragments uncooked died "They would wake in the night screaming in agony and frothing (black) at the mouth, then die in great pain.")

Turkish field kitchens close to the front line appear to have some overhead cover and may have doubled up as FAP. A contemporary report by an Allied doctor setting up an FAP in a captured Turkish field kitchen reports on signs that it had been used as an FAP by the Turks.

The Mobile field kitchens photographed in Palestine  appear to be German army issue limbered field kitchens in most instances with the limber missing so the driver perches on the cooker itself and the improvised harness must put some stress on the horses. The photos all date from 1917 

#48 alan two

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 07:20 PM

Hi Everyone

Just to confirm that that there is a reference to the 59th Brigade Forward Observation Officer already being at Sulajik on 11th August 1915 in 59th Brigade RFA War Diary '..also received request from FOO at SULAJICK (as spelt in War Dairy) to fire some rounds in vacinity of that place for snipers...'

On the 12th August the 59th Brigade War Diary records at 8am 'FOO reported Turks on move near 'R'. There isn't a map indicating where 'R' is within the War Diary and in anycase the reference to 'steam machine' in CRA 11th Division War Diary is at 1200, nothing is recorded for that time only later at 4pm.

When the 58th Brigade reported on 14th August '..seeing an armoured car which can run on rails....'. The entry for 13th August within the 58th Brigade War Diary gives their position 'A & C Batteries had taken up positions on lower slope of KAPANGA CERT HILL. B & D Batteries positions were recombined and at night D Battery was brought into action near A and C Batteries. On the 14th August the 58th Brigade RFA only records 'A C D Batteries. Targets registered with a view of supporting 53rd and 54th Divisions'. No mention of an armoured car.

Regards
Alan

#49 michaeldr

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Posted 08 February 2012 - 07:18 PM

Alan,

I am none too sure exactly how this might help you, but you never know until you try...
It's the Turkish map showing the opposing forces in the Sülecik area on 12th August 1915, in what they call The Küçük Anafarta Battle (from the TGS's Brief History...)

Posted Image

Good luck
Michael

#50 Martin G

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 07:09 PM

he entry for 13th August within the 58th Brigade War Diary gives their position 'A & C Batteries had taken up positions on lower slope of KAPANGA CERT HILL.


Kapanga Cert Hill is correctly known as Kapanja Sirt (shown on the Brirish 1:20,000 map as " Kiretch Tepe Sirt or Kapanja Sirt" ) is on the extreme North of Suvla Bay. There was a gun emplacement on the South facing slope somehwere near Lone tree Gully (aka Pear Tree Gully), but this is about as far away from Sulajik as you can get. Presumably there were telephone lines linking that batteries to the FOOs. If the opbservation was from Kapanja Sirt my guess is that there would be too far to make an accurate assessment of what was being observed, which might possibly explain why an FOO could mistake the steam coming off a field kitchen as a steam contraption. A long shot. I still prefer the idea that the OP at Choclate Hill was where the observation was done. Just a guess. MG



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