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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific


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PostPosted: Mon May 02, 2016 1:46 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 192
News for the Search on New Britain Island....

The old website doubled in price for no good reason and I couldn't get the password back off the server so cancelled it and wrote a new one.

We have a new website, actually a blog but will be moving soon to a new www domain after finding we were not reaching people with a blog. The blog is at:

http://earhartsearchpng.wordpress.com

Title of the domain should be words to the effect that it can readily be picked up by a Google search...

On this blog you will read in my "hypothesis" that it would be possible using "Best Lift to Drag Ratio Speed for the Weight" for the Electra to get back to New Britain. There is a table there with all the Horsepowers and speeds etc. Bear in mind that this is a hypothesis using 1100 USG when we do not really know just what the the actual load was. It is unlikely to have been "exactly" 1100 USG. Remember that the Lae refueller said that he topped off "all" tanks before they left.

In research we found it most likely that the American Officers who visited the Lieutenant off the Patrol which found the wreck as coming from a US Army EB&SR (Engineering Boat & Shore Regiment) Company, the 594th "B" Company to be exact, which surprisingly had been attached to the Australian 5th Division with their 30+ LCM's and other boats as transport providers for Australian Units in the 1945 period of the War on Terror caused by the Japanese. The B Company of the 594th, appear to be one and only US Army unit left behind by Big Mac when he left to take up residence in Manila.... When you read about the 594th on the blog, those guys did a good job and participated in a a couple of fights and rescues of Australians that they didn't really have to do so they were well thought of. I have the history written about this unit and it makes interesting reading. They were called back to their Regiment in Hollandia (now Jayapura in Indonesia) just after the Patrol A1 was completed which explains why they couldn't wait to see Lt. Backhouse....

Research is continuing at NARA in DC as one of my team is interested in combing the WWII records there in search of any document mentioning "600 H/P S3H1 CN 1055" or the Metal Tag recovered from the wreck by D Company 11th Battalion, Australian Imperial Forces on Patrol A1. With some 20 thousand boxes to go at, he is a very patient man.....

We went again in 2015 but only for one week due work commitments by team members. I have a photographic interpreter on the team now and he has been looking through Satellite photos of the area and saw that there appeared to be a mound or anomaly in the area we have been searching, on hillside ground which has been partially cleared by the local logging company. We went there and did some metal detecting ...which is a bit difficult in view of the hill being composed most likely of iron ore as the detectors go off all over the place... and some digging . We didn't find anything at that site.

In late 2015, in going over the journal that one team member writes up on the expeditions, in order to gather salient points for the "http blog" mentioned above, I recalled a pertinent fact that occurred in late 1996 when we were in there on a ridge line in the target area. In early 1996, I was told by the local people that they had called a meeting about the search and during the meeting one man from across the river and from another tribe had said that he had seen the wreck but would not tell them where it was. The locals are "Pomio" Tribe and this man was "Baining" Tribe and the two do not get on.

l recall I jokingly said, "Well, beat it out of him !", but of course that would start a war on the same scale as the Hatfields and the McCoys and didn't happen. In 2011 when we had settled in at the village, we were hearing that the wreck we all want was buried and had been buried on purpose by a jealous bulldozer driver. As incredulous as that may seem it is true as we now know that the man who said he had seen it in early 1996 was a bulldozer driver making tracks through the jungle for the logging which was due to resume in 96/97. His name was Alvinus and he got taken by a crocodile in the year 2000 when fording the Mevelo River and we are now hearing about this secret of the burial from his brother-in-law, sworn to secrecy in 1996 but who now feels somewhat guilty seeing us keep going back.... so he spilled the beans in 2011... but he does not know "where" the burial occurred but obviously it must be right beside a bulldozer track. The B-i-L, is from another Tribe and is a "Tolai". Tolai's are more easy to deal with and tend to be better educated.

Back to 1996....

We made two trips in 1996. On the second visit we had finished a sweep of an area and it was getting late and we were on a bulldozer track in the area I now know is the most likely area and I was figuring the best way to get back to our camp at a distance of about 1.5 Kms .... Just off the ridgeline to the left of the track, was a largish cleared area maybe 100 feet square of bare loose earth where a bulldozer had been at work. I recall saying to the team member nearest to me, "I wonder what happened here", but I was thinking that maybe the loggers were going to store logs there on the hill before the trucks carted them off... I really didn't think more of it as back then we were looking for a wreck "on the surface", not a buried article. In reading the journal of the trips this flashback suddenly came to me from my memory that maybe, just maybe, that is where the idiot buried it in 1996. There will be trees on that site now but I know where it is because in going back to camp I know I went due North to get to a dry creek bed I knew about and we went up that dry creek bed to go over another ridge and down into the valley to the North-west to the campsite.

As always, funding is the problem. I am retired now since December 2014 and on a pension. The last trip in 2015 cost us 14 Grand in our dollars for helicopters alone but we have heard that there is now a road (it will be a "wide track") cut through a gap on the Bainings Range from Kokopo to Open Bay in the north and vehicle passage is now possible on the old logging tracks from this road down to the south side at Wide Bay. We don't need helicopters any more, we can hire 4WD's and drive there. "Google Maps" even tells me it is 146 Kms and takes 3 Hours !!! There will still be the cost of Airfares, Rations, Equipment and the one night Hotel fees for arrival and departure.

So, if "anybody knows anybody" who might be willing to fund us either fully or partially, I am all ears. Fully is around 30 Grand. My email address as a contact is in the blog "earhartsearchpng". Please use that for a response. We will definitely be going next year but I would have liked to go again this year and still can if we get funding. Time is running out for me at 76 now, I can't see me going when I am 85, so only a few more years left to do it.

Regards,
David Billings


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 7:57 am 
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Wing Commander
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:03 am
Posts: 237
i feel my pulse accelerating yet again! go git 'er! i keep telling people but they all seem to glaze over quickly. short memories. and bad educations. amelia who? it's up to advanced age types to get this funded. luckily the old-timers have more of that coveted cash-ola. know any "1%'ers"? send them these links. especially if they are aviation buffs.


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 5:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Jan 25, 2007 7:31 pm
Posts: 673
Location: Caribou, Maine
Presumably, if this has been buried with heavy equipment, there would be little chance of finding much more than small pieces.

_________________
Kevin McCartney


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PostPosted: Wed May 04, 2016 6:03 pm 
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Squadron Leader

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 192
Presumed effect of being buried by bulldozer

old iron wrote:
Presumably, if this has been buried with heavy equipment, there would be little chance of finding much more than small pieces.


I would doubt that Kevin..... "Flattened" springs to mind as a possibility but along with the breaking of the secrecy came the message that the "BD Driver did intend to go back and uncover it", when we had stopped looking but we didn't stop looking.... My best guess as to why he buried it was to upstage the Pomios and us and claim the discovery .....because every man and his dog in that area (and beyond) knew the value but he would especially want to keep the Pomios out. The Pomios tell me he did it out of jealousy but to me he would also be aware that because there is a land dispute in that very area that he would get nothing if it was found by the Pomios or anybody associated with the Pomio's ie: "Us".

There are many bulldozer tracks on the hills where the logging company operated in the years from 1996 onwards and up until about 2004 when logging stopped. They cleared the ground which can be seen in the Satellite views on Google Earth around 2010 and they did that to plant Cumrare [Kum-rah-rey] trees as a means of keeping the timber lease and to stop Palm Oil being planted there.

The bulldozer tracks which the timber Jinkers used (the truck with a bare frame trailer to carry the logs) are smoothed out and bumps removed and there are some tracks which go through cuttings made by the Bulldozer to smooth out the track to make it easier for the Jinker with a load of logs.

All the BD Driver had to do was push the top soil from the track into the site from the ridgeline above the site and let it fall over the wreck and cover it. From what I recall in passing the site with bare earth in late 1996, was that the BD Track then curved to the left and went off the hill top following the easier contours down but we turned off the track to the north and went over the next ridgeline and down into the larger river valley back to camp.

I recall seeing pictures of a Corsair that was partially buried and was uncovered about ten years ago and the metal looked good.

I doubt very much that it will be in pieces.

Regards,

David Billings


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PostPosted: Thu May 05, 2016 10:12 am 
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Wing Commander
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Joined: Thu Oct 20, 2011 7:03 am
Posts: 237
It's a shame there will be both old and new damage, but I just want to see it in any state! Does not the entire world?? Too bad it didn't get ID'd in '45, then we'd all now be bored of it at NASM. I am having a hard time digging out a snapped off fence-post, from high winds one month ago. It is practically dusting me. Will attempt it again today, call it Expedition KooKu IX. I am in awe of the last dig, the depths to which you dug. I want to help, if I were free from duty I'd want to be on the crew. But I am also realizing I'd be utterly useless. weakling and the weak link. I could perhaps pilot the drone. Maybe I could be the camp cook. Until then I am with you in spirit.


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PostPosted: Tue May 17, 2016 6:40 am 
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Squadron Leader

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 192
Earhart Search PNG Part 9

The Part 9 of the Search Story is now up on the site:

http://earhartsearchpng.wordpress.com

We will be moving to a domain site (a www.) shortly and I will notify same for those with an interest in this project.

Regards,

David Billings
Nambour
Queensland
Australia


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 23, 2016 8:38 am 
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Squadron Leader

Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:56 pm
Posts: 192
"earhartsearchpng" Blog is now a Website"

The New Britain story can now be found on www.earhartsearchpng.com

There you will find the 9 Parts of the Story and if GLP has not seen it yet, there is a Table of HP settings which show that for a certain set of parameters, the Electra "could " make it back to New Britain to the area that we search.

Mind you, "It's only a hypothesis" don't forget that..... just as anyone else can have a hypothesis.... But backing up the Hypothesis is the evidence on the Map Edge. We are still looking for other evidence.

People have also been interested in have a PayPal button there, so I have provided one for everyone's enjoyment.

Regards,
David Billings
Nambour
Australia


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