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Flight 714: fact and fiction in the details

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robbo
Member
#11 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 15:01
Harrock n roll:
Maybe Hergé was having an off day or didn't care which Sea it was (very unlikely, given his usual accuracy), so we could just ignore the Celebes Sea reference. It seems likelier that Pulua-Pulau Bompa was around 200 miles from Sumbawa, and probably along the archipelago given that it's on the tectonic rim with the volcanoes dotted along it, so perhaps in the Flores Sea?

There are a couple of volcanic islands I've spotted on this archipelago: Sangeang Api and Paluweh but neither have any trees by the looks of it, nor look the right shape.

It is possible that by 200 miles off their scheduled route they could have got further before they changed course; Timor for instance, and then veered off north which would put them in the Banda Sea possibly at Nila Island roughly 200 miles from Timor. Nila Island fits the bill in terms of location, isolation and its geography and shape.

I also think that there is some reference to Krakatoa in Herge's mind. The film came out in 1969. Though this is in the opposite direction - they could have gone backwards!

Mat
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#12 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 15:34 · Edited by: Harrock n roll
robbo:
It is possible that by 200 miles off their scheduled route they could have got further before they changed course;

That's true. I suppose it could mean that they were 200 miles from the line of their scheduled route, rather than where they should have been when they last made contact. That's makes your original suggestion of Nila entirely possible. It gets my backing, for now anyway!

200 miles is such a short distance that it makes it quite easy to narrow it down to a fairly thin strip along that archipelago, somewhere along the 'Ring of Fire'.

Speaking of "fact and fiction', I understand there's a very real volcano going off right now in Sumatra (Mount Sinabung) and more than 20,000 people have been evacuated.
robbo
Member
#13 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 16:29
Harrock n roll:
Speaking of "fact and fiction', I understand there's a very real volcano going off right now in Sumatra (Mount Sinabung) and more than 20,000 people have been evacuated.

Wow that's a lot of people to evacuate - I will have a look on the web.
Rianna Lauren
Member
#14 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 16:35
Mount Sinabung's on the news there too? XD Yeah, it's quite an explosion since we haven't had a volcanic eruption for quite sometime around Sumatra-Java. It erupted twice in three days! ._.

Anyways, I may have caught some points from the book here as some of you mentioned them. Sumbawa and Lombok are straight south from Sulawesi (they are around Nusa Tenggara, both west and east) and straight east from Jakarta, if you're on your way to Australia. It makes it quite confusing, they drifted far too north then. Yet it's just 200 miles (...how far is that in kilometers again?). One possible explanation is that perhaps the map Hergé used in the past was different from the one we are using. Perhaps in his version of map Celebes seas was somehow near Sumbawa and Lombok. But yeah, what Robbo said, they may have gotten further before changing course.

As for the Krakatoa reference, it is quite possible. I've watched the movie, learnt about the eruption, whoa. >.< I'm just glad I wasn't born yet. I'm not sure about the going backwards thing though... XD
robbo
Member
#15 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 19:10
Rianna Lauren:
Mount Sinabung's on the news there too? XD Yeah, it's quite an explosion since we haven't had a volcanic eruption for quite sometime around Sumatra-Java. It erupted twice in three days! ._.

Hope you're not affected Rianna where you live! I just had a look at some clips from the BBC.

Rianna Lauren:
Sumbawa and Lombok are straight south from Sulawesi (they are around Nusa Tenggara, both west and east) and straight east from Jakarta, if you're on your way to Australia. It makes it quite confusing, they drifted far too north then. Yet it's just 200 miles (...how far is that in kilometers again?). One possible explanation is that perhaps the map Hergé used in the past was different from the one we are using. Perhaps in his version of map Celebes seas was somehow near Sumbawa and Lombok. But yeah, what Robbo said, they may have gotten further before changing course.

As you say, nothing better than getting the view of someone who knows and lives in that part of the world.

Interesting point you make about what map Herge used; maybe the Celebes Sea was marked on his map and not the Flores or Banda, and he assumed it was part of the Celebes.

200 miles is quoted even in the original French edition not kilometers. About 440km I believe.

Rianna Lauren:
As for the Krakatoa reference, it is quite possible. I've watched the movie, learnt about the eruption, whoa. >.< I'm just glad I wasn't born yet. I'm not sure about the going backwards thing though... XD

And Krakatoa does look like the Island drawn by Herge.

So the going backwards idea is a no-goer eh? :)

Mat
Balthazar
Moderator
#16 · Posted: 30 Aug 2010 21:01
robbo:
200 miles is quoted even in the original French edition not kilometers. About 440km I believe.

Sorry to make a possibly pedantic correction, irrelevant to the main interesting points of this thread, but I think 200 miles is actually about 320km (a kilometer being about five eighths of a mile).

On the main point, is it possible that after departing from their Jakarta to Darwin course somewhere over Sumbawa (as established in the book's text), the baddie pilots fly northish, on a course heading up the Strait of Makassar, the passage of sea between Indonesian Borneo (Kalimantan) and Sulawesi? Admittedly a 200 mile deviation from their course wouldn't really get them any way up this strait at all, but the strait does eventually lead into the Celebes Sea, so Hergé may have thought it counted as part of the Celebes Sea. As you say, Mat, his map might not have all the seas properly marked.

Also, if it was an old map, Sulawesi may have been marked as Celebes, the island's old name, leading Hergé to assume that all the sea around the island counted as the Celebes Sea.
robbo
Member
#17 · Posted: 31 Aug 2010 00:26
Balthazar:
Sorry to make a possibly pedantic correction, irrelevant to the main interesting points of this thread, but I think 200 miles is actually about 320km (a kilometer being about five eighths of a mile).

Thanks for the correction Balthazar - I was thinking of lb's and kg's for some reason!

Balthazar:
On the main point, is it possible that after departing from their Jakarta to Darwin course somewhere over Sumbawa (as established in the book's text), the baddie pilots fly northish, on a course heading up the Strait of Makassar,

The only problem with this is apart from the large distance is there are no volcanos on this route.

Balthazar:
Also, if it was an old map, Sulawesi may have been marked as Celebes, the island's old name, leading Hergé to assume that all the sea around the island counted as the Celebes Sea.

That's an interesting point, it is possible.

I have a gut feeling that Herge wouldn't put a volcanic island in the middle of the sea where there weren't any. There is a very definite arc of volcanos and they mostly occur near large land masses or on them. Herge believed his island was in the Celebes Sea, (for one of the suggested reasons), in one of the few places they occur away from other land, and it seems reasonable that he chose this island because it actually existed on his map.

Mat
Rianna Lauren
Member
#18 · Posted: 31 Aug 2010 00:40
So far Mount Sinabung has no effect to anywhere near Jakarta, but since Sumatra and Java are pretty close, you'll never know when it gets big... But thanks for the concern. :)

The Krakatoa thing... I don't know maybe I just can't put it together with this small brain of mine. XD Besides it'd be too far to connect to anywhere near Nusa Tenggara. But perhaps possible, in some way. o3o And thanks guys, I pretty much have the idea on how much it is in kilometers. 300-400 something, not that much different XP
robbo
Member
#19 · Posted: 31 Aug 2010 13:35
Rianna Lauren:
So far Mount Sinabung has no effect to anywhere near Jakarta, but since Sumatra and Java are pretty close, you'll never know when it gets big... But thanks for the concern. :)

Ah Jakarta (Djakarta in the album) where Flight 714 begins of course!

Rianna Lauren:
The Krakatoa thing... I don't know maybe I just can't put it together with this small brain of mine. XD Besides it'd be too far to connect to anywhere near Nusa Tenggara. But perhaps possible, in some way. o3o And thanks guys, I pretty much have the idea on how much it is in kilometers. 300-400 something, not that much different XP

Yes you're right it's too far away at least 600 miles (965km) - although it could be 200 miles off the flight path. But even with a dodgy map Herge couldn't have thought Krakatoa could be in the Celebes Sea.

Mat
Harrock n roll
Moderator
#20 · Posted: 31 Aug 2010 14:29
robbo:
I also think that there is some reference to Krakatoa in Herge's mind.

Krakatoa might have been the inspiration for the volcano in the Jo, Zette and Jocko adventure The Secret Ray: The Eruption of Karamako. I don't have any evidence for this outside of the similarity of the names. It's certainly possible that Krakatoa was in Hergé's mind again when he revamped the volcano idea for Flight 714. It is probably the most famous volcanic eruption ever and killed tens of thousands of people when it exploded in 1883. Michael Farr's Complete Companion cites the eruptions of Mount Etna in Sicily and Mount Kīlauea in Hawaii as contemporary visual sources for the volcano in Flight 714 found in Hergé's archives.

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