Amateur Astronomer Jeffrey Warren relates his 20 year research into the disappearance of Flight 19:
The article was intriguing and quite detailed and stated that there was no moon the night the Lost Patrol disappeared. I routinely looked up the moon phase for the evening of December 5, 1945, which I learned was 1 day after the new moon. I immediately realized there likely was a visible moon that night. I know that the moon can be seen with the naked eye after it is just 20 hours old. Since this took place on 1 day after the new moon in the evening, I felt the moon was more than 24 hours old. I also knew that this moon phase zeniths around 1PM and the moon had to set after 6PM.
I decided to investigate further. I wrote to NOAA (The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration) and they sent me information from their East Coast Tide Tables for 1945, which is based upon data from the American Ephermeris and Nautical Almanac. I learned that on the evening of December 5, 1945 at 6PM the moon was exactly 29 hours old. I then looked up the times for sunset, moon set and the weather for that day, using microfilm of the Miami Herald. Sunset was at 5:29PM, moon set was at 6:29PM and the weather was mostly clear.
The official report which said there was no moon was incorrect. There was no moon to speak of, but a visible moon none the less. I wrote to the Department of the Navy and they sent me the microfilm of the official JAG report. I learned that at 3:30PM when the first distress call was made that the tower kept telling them to follow the sun and head West. Well the sun had a S/SW heading and was around 60 degrees South of due West.
Flight leader Charles Taylor likely thought how can the low to the horizon late afternoon sun appear to be in the South? That could disorient anyone. This is why he got instantly disorientated and thought his compasses were out when they made the left turn from the Bahamas towards Ft. Lauderdale.
After reading the Jag report I figured out that at 6:06PM which was the moment when the planes turned around and flew East out to sea beyond the point of no return, that the moon was visible as a row of lights. It would give off a 180 degree illusion (rising East illusion) then. It was setting West, not rising East and they had to go West. But they distrusted their compasses and thought the moon was rising East. This lunar illusion put the nail in their coffins. I then realized I solved this mystery and with a smoking gun. Of course I felt obligated to pursue it.
I contacted the most knowledgeable astronomer I knew of Dr. David Menke. He was the Director of Buehler Planetarium in Davie, Florida. Dr. Menke studied my data and concurred with my astronomical calculations and hypothesis relating to the disappearance of the five Avenger planes. He graciously held a press conference in the planetarium on December 15, 1993. Using the overhead projector he detailed the positions and images of the sun and moon that day and told the media. The press conference was covered by News Radio WINZ, The Miami Herald, The Tropical Tribune, The Palm Beach Post, The Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and WSVN TV Channel 7 (Mark Ludner and Rick Sanchez). I also spoke at a symposium on the Bermuda Triangle by the Ft Lauderdale Historical Society." -- Jeff Warren