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Red Rackham: True location of the treasure?

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louis
Member
#1 · Posted: 22 Jul 2004 21:43
In Red Rackham's Treasure, Professer Calculus' pendulum keeps telling him that the treasure is always 'more to the west.' This puzzles me. The coordinates of the treasure are supposedly
20 deg 37' 42" N, 70 deg 52' 25" W. This puts the treasure just north of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. But the treasure ends up being found at Marlinspike Hall in England(roughly 7000 km to the northeast)! How did Calculus think he'd find the treasure to the west?
pauldurdin
Moderator Emeritus
#2 · Posted: 23 Jul 2004 03:39 · Edited by: pauldurdin
'A little more to the west' is just the standard Calculus pendulum saying. I don't think it's meant to mean anything. :)

Though you could stretch it to mean a LONG way west...like, right round the world!

Paul
jock123
Moderator
#3 · Posted: 23 Jul 2004 06:54
I think part of the joke is just as Paul says.

But also, remember of course it is the Professor’s pendulum we are talking about - dowsing! It doesn’t work! Of course it isn’t going to be accurate! The other part of the joke is that a man who could put an atomic-powered rocket on the Moon is using a whacked-out nonsensical bit of flummery like a pendulum in the first place.

I think Hergé is saying that if you cover the entire globe for long enough, eventually a piece of brass on the end of a string will arrive at the right place…
finlay
Member
#4 · Posted: 29 Jul 2004 16:01
Perhaps he's got it wrong, and it's actually pointing east.
pauldurdin
Moderator Emeritus
#5 · Posted: 30 Jul 2004 00:11
Perhaps he's got it wrong, and it's actually pointing east.

Well, when you think about it, a pendulum swings in TWO directions, not just one...

:P


Paul
tybaltstone
Member
#6 · Posted: 12 Aug 2004 20:33 · Edited by: tybaltstone
Not that I'm an expert or anything, but I thought a pendulum swung round in a circle, and at one point of the circle it had a greater pull indicating a direction. The other way, as someone I knew who used to use a pendulum, was you asked a yes or no question, and whether the pendulum swung clockwise or anticlockwise would indicate the answer.
You know, if you believe in that sort of thing.
yamilah
Member
#7 · Posted: 19 Mar 2005 16:52 · Edited by: yamilah
According to the 17th century's marine maps and http://cactuscom.com/tintin/details5.htm#tresor , the meridian in use at the time of the Unicorn (1698) was neither Greenwich's nor Paris' one...
Hence could Calculus's pendulum not just dowse but hint some more sensible information??
jockosjungle
Member
#8 · Posted: 19 Mar 2005 22:21
Also we have no real idea what Calculus was talking about, did he mean the treasure? He could have meant the wreck, the island, etc

Rik
jock123
Moderator
#9 · Posted: 19 Mar 2005 22:23 · Edited by: jock123
yamilah
the meridian in use at the time of the Unicorn (1698) was neither Greenwich's nor Paris' one...

Err, there was no global standard for the meridian established for any map until 1884, and that was really for the purposes of time-keeping (and hence the improvement of naval navigation, which relied on accurate chronometry); so the notion of “the meridian in use at the time” is a false one. Any meridian could be used.

Maps were made to both, the Paris Meridian from 1671 (the meridian had been established before the French Royal Observatory was laid out in 1667, through which it runs), and the first Greenwich Meridian from 1675, when Sir John Flamsteed, Astronomer Royal to Charles II established it, so an English chart of 1698 would have used the Flamsteed Meridian.

As Ferro’s Meridian (the one that the article is referring to in the Canary Isles) was thought to be exactly 20º West of the Paris one, the French maps of the period were often dual-standard, and had the degrees marked to Paris across the top, and Ferro’s along the bottom - but the Paris meridian was certainly in use before 1698.

Without accurate clocks however, all navigation was by dead reckoning, so anybody could establish their own meridian if they wished to, as it was as good as any other.

There are actually four Greenwich meridians - Flamsteed’s, Halley’s (1725), Bradley’s (1784, I think) and Airy’s (1851), all slightly different. Although Airy’s is the 0º used for the time signal, Bradley is, for some reason, the preferred meridian for map-making in Britain.

Anyway, more disturbing is the fact the globe shown in the vaults beneath Marlinspike is completely wrong - the U.K. is missing entirely for one thing...
snafu
Member
#10 · Posted: 20 Mar 2005 21:52
Also we have no real idea what Calculus was talking about, did he mean the treasure?

Often Calculus would find the least expected things with that pendulum. In "Flight 714", for example, Calculus simply followed his pendulum and found an unusual rod that he concluded was of extraterrestrial make. Perhaps he was following something else while on the "Sirius".

Still, the pendulum got Calculus somewhere in "Red Rackham's Treasure". Apparently he too ultimately wandered into Marlinspike Hall, much to the surprise of Tintin and Archie!!

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