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Howland Island


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Howland Island

Howland Island is an uninhabited coral island located just north of the equator in the central Pacific Ocean, about 1,700 nautical miles (3,100 km) southwest of Honolulu. The island lies almost halfway between Hawaii and Australia and is an unincorporated, unorganized territory of the United States. Geographically, it is part of the Phoenix Islands. For statistical purposes, Howland is grouped as one of the United States Minor Outlying Islands.
Howland is located at 0°48′07″N 176°38′3″WCoordinates: 0°48′07″N 176°38′3″W. It covers 450 acres (1.8 km2), with 4 miles (6.4 km) of coastline. The island has an elongated shape on a north-south axis. There is no lagoon.
Howland Island National Wildlife Refuge consists of the 455 acres (1.84 km2) island and the surrounding 32,074 acres (129.80 km2) of submerged land. The island is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as an insular area under the U.S. Department of the Interior and is part of the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument.
The atoll has no economic activity. It is perhaps best known as the island Amelia Earhart never reached. Airstrips built in the late 1930s to accommodate her planned stopover were never used, subsequently damaged, not maintained and gradually disappeared. There are no harbors or docks. The reefs may pose a hazard. There is one boat landing area along the middle of the sandy beach on the west coast together with a crumbling day beacon. The island is visited every two years by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.



Prehistoric settlement of Howland Island

Sparse remnants of trails and other artifacts indicate a sporadic early Polynesian presence. A canoe, a blue bead, pieces of bamboo, and other relics of early settlers have been found. The island's prehistoric settlement may have begun about 1000 BC when eastern Melanesians traveled north and may have extended down to Rawaki, Kanton, Manra and Orona of the Phoenix Islands, 500 to 700 km southeast. K.P. Emery, an ethnologist for Honolulu's Bernice P. Bishop Museum, indicated that settlers on Manra Island were apparently of two distinct groups, one Polynesian and the other Micronesian, hence the same might have been true on Howland Island, though no proof of this has been forthcoming.
The difficult life on these isolated islands along with unreliable fresh water supplies may have led to the dereliction or extinction of the settlements, much the same as other islands in the area (such as Kiritimati and Pitcairn) were abandoned.

Sightings by whalers

Captain George B. Worth of the Nantucket whaler Oeno sighted Howland around 1822 and called it "Worth Island". Daniel MacKenzie of the American whaler Minerva Smith was unaware of Worth's sighting when he charted the island in 1828 and named it after his ship's owners on 1 December 1828. Howland Island was at last named after a lookout who sighted it from the whaleship Isabella of New Bedford on 9 September 1842.


This is list of countrie's in Australlia continent..
13. Marshall Islands – Majuro
31.Kiribati – South Tarawa 32.Micronesia – Palikir 33.New Zealand – Wellington

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Japanese attacks during World War II

A Japanese air attack on 8 December 1941 by 14 twin-engined bombers killed two of the Kamehameha School colonists: Richard "Dicky" Kanani Whaley, and Joseph Kealoha Keliʻhananui. The raid came one day after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and damaged the three airstrips of Kamakaiwi Field. Two days later a Japanese submarine shelled what was left of the colony's few buildings into ruins. A single bomber returned twice during the following weeks and dropped more bombs on the rubble of tiny Itascatown. The two survivors were finally evacuated by a U.S. Navy destroyer on 31 January 1942. Howland was occupied by a battalion of the United States Marine Corps in September 1943 and known as Howland Naval Air Station until May 1944.
All attempts at habitation were abandoned after 1944. Colonization projects on the other four islands were also disrupted by the war and ended at this time.
On 10 June 1944 a U.S. Navy Martin PBM-3-D Mariner flying boat (BuNo 48199),piloted by William Hines, had an engine fire and made a forced landing in the ocean offshore of Howland. Hines beached the aircraft and although it burned, the crew escaped unharmed, was rescued by the USCGC Balsam (the same ship that later took Unit 92 to Gardner Island), transferred to a sub chaser and taken to Canton Island.
Kamakaiwi Field suffered additional damage during World War II and all but disappeared. Ironically, while Howland Island was colonized in 1935 as a future aviation facility and is known in popular culture mostly because of its association with the last flight of Earhart and Noonan, no aircraft is known to have ever landed there, although anchorages nearby could be used by floatplanes and flying boats during World War II.



Wildlife refuge

By the 1970s Howland Island was overrun by a population of feral cats, descendants of those brought by earlier colonists. The felines were gradually removed during the 1980s and the area was designated a bird and wildlife refuge. However, abandoned military debris continued to be a concern. Amateur radio enthusiasts made several authorized visits to the island during the 1990s and early 2000s. In 2006, trespassing by commercial fishing boats and their helicopters was cited as a serious problem.

Public entry to the island is by special-use permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service only and is generally restricted to scientists and educators. Representatives from the agency visit the island on average once every two years, often coordinating transportation with amateur radio operators or the U.S. Coast Guard to defray the high cost of logistical support required to visit this remote atoll.

 

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