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I have just read this article:

http://literalminded.wordpress.com/2014/07/08/open-conditionals-with-the-past-perfect/

I admit that it is quite tricky for an ESL as I am, nonetheless I caught sight of this sentence:

But the plane dispatched to the position of another smaller blip found nothing. If there had been a lifeboat, it had sunk.

I was wondering whether the adverb ever could have made the meaning of the sentence above clearer:

But the plane dispatched to the position of another smaller blip found nothing. If there had EVER been a lifeboat, it had sunk.

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    For me, Ever will make it ambiguous. Clearly the time duration is from noticing a blip to plane reaching there. I would rather use Even in the beginning of 2nd sentence if emphasis is needed. – JuliandotNut Aug 3 '14 at 12:12
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I think "ever" here is redundant.
It is technically OK, but since the described event had a relative start and end time in the past, you don't need it.

Ever is more often used to refer to any/all time, as in:

Have you ever gone to New York?
They lived happily ever after.

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