- Cheng acknowledged that his theory "involved large uncertainties."
- Cheng admitted, "I don't know how bodies behave in water."
- Cheng admitted he could not "reproduce the trajectory of Laci's body."
And yet the State, through the efforts of Detective Hendee to find some evidence, any evidence, that Laci was actually in the Bay in a place that could be linked directly to Scott Peterson, spent thousands of dollars using the best dive team and the finest sonar equipment in the US all based on this joker's theory of the most likely place Conner washed from. Did Hendee find anything? No. I won't rehearse all the reasons why I've long known this so-called expert is really a Joker, as you can read them on Dr. Cheng's Progressive Vector Diagram is Junk Science, Did Cheng use the wrong starting point?, Cheng for Dummies, and More on the Cheng controversy.
Cheng said he didn't know how bodies behave in water. Neither do I. But I observed some very large objects moving in the water on a recent field trip to the Conner Recovery Site. First, for some background. I usually enter the site from the West, parking in the public parking area adjacent to the Shimada Friendship Park, and then walk the Bay Trail to the beach. This time, on December 22, 2010, I took the back way. I started at the Bay Trail at the foot of 51st Street, joining the main Bay Trail just East of the bridge over Baxter Creek, aka Stege Creek, and then following the Bay Trail West to the beach. Click on the aerial to enlarge.
The following pictures were taken from 9:30 - 9:35 a.m. The water level during this time rose from 6.44 feet to 6.55 feet, according to preliminary water levels published by the NOAA Richmond 9414863 station. The Bay was experiencing a storm surge of about 8 3/4 inches from several days of rain: the predicted water levels were only 5.71-5.81 feet. The winds were very mild. Wunderground.com, using a weather station very near this site (KCARICHM4), reports winds ranging from 2.5 mph to a maximum gust of 4.0 mph, and from the NW/WNW. Obviously, these logs were getting no help from the wind.
In the first picture, you can see log #1 just approaching the bend in Baxter Creek, and follow its journey around the bend in #2. Click to enlarge.
In these next 4 pictures, you will see a 2nd log appear in the Creek. Apparently the log was mired in the mud and when the water rose sufficiently, it lifted the log enough to start it floating. Click to enlarge.
This next picture shows the 1st log as it approaches the Baxter bridge, and the following picture shows the 2nd log having rounded the bend.
The next two pictures show log #1 on the north side of the Baxter bridge.
According to the path tool in Google Earth, log #1 traveled .1 miles in 5 minutes powered only by the current in Baxter Creek coming from the rising water in Campus Bay, with absolutely no help from the wind. If my math is correct, that's 1.2 mph.
Cheng discounted the effect of the tidal current, saying it was too weak to matter and the ebb current (falling tide) would erase any movement made by the flood current (rising tide). However, a rising tide lasts hours. According to the chart below, the rising tide following the L lasts about 4 hours; and the rising tide following the LL lasts about 7 hours. It seems to me that these 2 logs would have traveled some distance during a 7 hour rising tide just powered by the tidal current, until they met some obstacle, such as a shoreline.