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Classic Wings Magazine Luftwaffe Resource Center WWII Naval Aviation Research Pacific
Final Cut-The Post War B-17 Flying Fortress and Survivors - 5th Edition


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:36 pm 
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Bare with me ...

I've lost two friends swept away in a mudslide Tuesday. Gone!!!, people I've known for over 20 years. Good people who have left husbands, children, friends and relatives grieving. A beautiful place (Montecito, CA) up to 3, 4, and 8 feet of mud and boulders the size of cars. A month of wildfires followed by two days of heavy rain and my home of 35 years looks like a war zone. But we are amongst the one percent, you know, the rich, so not a tremendous amount of sympathy. Compassion from great folks yes, sympathy from the masses, not so much. All you have to do is read some of the comment sections in the news and you'll witness true a-holes at their finest. But people died here, a lot of people died and a lot more are missing. You state that "it will never happen to you, it's always the other guy", well we're the other guy this time. It's tragic and sad beyond anything that I could type here. One reason I'm actually typing here and not trying to help dig out humans from mud is because most of us who tried to volunteer to help were turned away. Can't blame the folks doing the heavy lifting (rescue people), they don't want to have to rescue us as well. It's a sh*t show at the most extreme here. I've opened up my house to anyone who needs help.

So what is this CRAP business you ask? Well I'll tell you.

Several years ago I started to collect old photos off the internet because it was a hobby I enjoyed along with the history regarding the photos. I love the old airplanes. I saved thousands of photos of everything airplane wise you could imagine. Right click and save stuff. Then I started to educate myself as to what was legal, legit and honorable about the right click save thing. I started to notice that the big bad www was nothing more than the wild, wild west. Everything seemed ripe for the click and save and not only that but there were/are copies of copies of copies of just about every photo I saved with extreme difficulties of properly tracking down the REAL copyright or asking the proper source for permission to copy, save and re-post on a forum such as this one.

To be perfectly clear. This was/is a hobby ONLY and one of my personal ways to help not lose this history and remember the vets. No more, no less. I've never, ever looked, nor do I ever want pats on the back for anything I have ever done on this site, another modeling site and for the vets. Have I done a lot for the vets, you bet I have but no one, and I mean NO ONE, owes me anything. I do what I do because I choose to do it and I'm grateful and honored to do it.

Like I stated I have been collecting these old photos for years now and it has become a form of therapy for me as well. I've actually moved up from the right click and saving business to purchasing photos, photo albums and having vets and their families contact me to see if I have an interest in purchasing or simply taking possession of their vets photos. These folks simply do not want the fire to go out as much as I do. I'm convinced I have perhaps one of the rarest and largest collections of old aircraft photos out there. I don't sell photos or ask for permission fees and every inch of my over 1,800,000 photos are free for anyone to use as long as it's for something respectful and honorable. I take NO CREDIT for any of them and I give credit when and where possible. I don't have all the answers and I'm sure I have many photos that belong to others that I simple have no clue belong to them. I've always stated clearly that if someone is offended by a photo I post that belongs to them, simply CONTACT ME ANYTIME, no discussion, no questioning, just tell me to get rid of the photo in question and IT"S GONE ...

So what am I rambling about?

I've made it quite clear over the years what my intentions have always been with these old photos as I stated a bit above. What's certain? I have always had, and have nothing but GOOD INTENTIONS ONLY, but one thing I will never put up with is being bad mouthed, insulted, called a thief, or whatever else some smart*ss comes up with that's untrue. I know how these forums work and I've educated myself how to handle garbage from Trolls and, for the most part, how easy it is to get pissed over some idiots keyboard nonsense.

CRAP which means "Central Repository for Aviation Photos" was a flickr site that had nothing but great intentions of a one-stop location for thousands upon thousands of photos collected either by harvesting long ago or by my purchases of recent. This flickr site was designed and organized into folders of all types of great categories and was free to be used as a source for everyone who had an interest in these old photos. The modelers loved it, the warbird restorers loved it, the historians loved it, the vets and their kin loved it and the common folk such as myself loved it. I receive countless requests either here via PM's or by emails from folks all over the world asking for assistance and I do my best to try to help with a very large disclaimer that I'm no expert in any way, but I'm always glad to try to help.

These internet forums are wonderful and garbage at the same time. Great folks usually outnumber the a-holes, but unfortunately for me it only takes a couple to ruin it. I'm not going anywhere as I've tried that several times only to be asked (more like convinced) to stick around for the good of the vets and those who know how to appreciate the efforts.

I've deleted the CRAP flickr database because I've had it with trying to hold together an honorable and respectful resource and try to defend or explain how I collected old photos that belonged to someone else that I had no idea belonged to them. I respect those who have come to me over the years to state I had photos of theirs by either PM or contacting me via email and nine out of nine times the true owner of the photo(s) were very happy for me to keep them. It's the idiots that feel the need to publicly attempt to chastise me on some plastic modeling forum or even this site a few times that I have zero tolerance for. Be a man, act like a man and contact me in person is all I ever asked and you will be treated with respect and honor. But unfortunately this is impossible for some people so it's simply not worth my time to host anything publicly any longer.

So what does this mean for those of you who really enjoyed CRAP? Sorry but unfortunately CRAP is gone. Contact me privately if you have a specific inquiry and I'll always be happy to help in any way I can. For those of you who feel the need to whine? If you can't find, or unwilling, to reach me personally and your only method is to publicly criticize my efforts on an internet forum, I say produce your proof, back up your claims and find yourself a good lawyer because my lawyers are much more expensive than yours ha!

One last thing.

Lynn Ritger is a long time member of this website and several others. He's easily one of the best contributors, one of the most knowledgeable historically, one of the most generous and fair guys I have ever had the pleasure to call a friend. Lynn took over CRAP from me a while back and helped build it to the level it was. I feel bad for Lynn more so than anyone. He's a good man and a class act and these internet forums are in good shape with guys like Lynn posting on them.

To those who are butt hurt over what CRAP became and couldn't find a way to simply appreciate it for what it was. CRAP is gone and your welcome. Just don't forget to shove your alleged photos you claim to own where your CRAP don't shine.

Now to get back to more important things ...

Bless all those who we lost in our area and prayers to those who are still missing.

_________________
You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty ...


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:13 pm 
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Sorry for all you are having to endure right now, it must be just awful.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 8:36 pm 
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Sorry to hear you and the neighbors are dealing with a mess and the loss of your friends.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:04 pm 
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Mark,

I share your sense of loss, and really love the wonderful place we have to live in California. A tragic thing to hear.

As for the photos, I am so mad about that I shouldnt really speak on it. However I think what is happening is detrimental to preservation and sharing of information.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 11, 2018 11:56 pm 
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Mark - I'm sorry for your loss and know it's tough situation for many in CA. And for the idiots with their petty claims on historical photos...I just can't imagine why people would act that way. But thanks for posting so many wonderful photos.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:20 am 
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Mark,

Sorry to hear of the trials you're facing in life right now. There is no words or honestly actions by pretty much any of us here that can really do anything to help beyond just conveying the knowledge that we do care.

As for the CRAP issue - unfortunately the last few generations have been raised largely by people who want to have history disappear, and not for their "progressive" reasons. It's because they know that if the evidence of history is lost, then they can change it and make sure only their narrative survives. In this day and age, that's even easier to do than ever because anyone can do it through "social media". I'm glad that you're not letting these people get you out of this preservation completely, it's just sad that we are reverting again to the era of esoteric-ism that many historians had hoped we'd moved forward from. It's not that your collection of photos is esoteric, it's just that access to them is and was the case for many years before the internet. While some companies and groups are trying to make sure that the full history gets put into digital form where it'll be harder for those with nefarious desires to remove them forever, there are many who don't want it to happen and they use the guise of "ownership" and "privacy" to justify their cause.

I won't say that I want you to put CRAP back online. That's your choice. But I do hope that you have kept your digital versions of those photos safe somewhere so that one day maybe you can get them back into the wild, even if it's via a museum like the guys in San Diego or the Smithsonian where you still might have to visit to see them, but at least you know they'll persist.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 8:38 am 
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If someone was whining about you sharing their photo, just delete ONLY their photos and keep the rest up. If they still have a problem then tell them where to shove it. Something that I have learned after being on the internet for 20 years and moderating many forums... no matter what you do somebody will be offended and they will bully or harass you until adhere to their personal agenda. I never give in and usually block people who act like this :D

A few years ago on another forum that I frequent somebody scanned an old manual for a piece of 70 year old equipment to share. Well, some prick started raising a big fuss and sending out real looking cease and desist letters from his "lawyer" claiming that he owned the copyrights to the old manuals. The good samaritans took their uploads down while this guy continued to harass others who had shared this old documentation online. Finally somebody looked into it and found out that this guy didn't own any copyrights. He basically made it up because he wanted to sell reproductions of the same old manuals! He was publicly called out and the guy shut up and vanished rather fast after that. I saved all of the manuals and made them available for download on my personal webpage and never took them down, even when that goon was threatening others. :supz:

I'm really sorry to hear about your friends.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:08 am 
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Thx as always folks, I’ll tell ya, it’s one thing to lose someone you’ve known to an illness or old age or something less dramatic if that can be said, but two friends lost to a mudslide where one day they were healthy and alive and the next they are under mud? And one still not found yet. No words for that really. But it’s not me, it’s there families that I’m heartbroken for. So tragic. For those of you who are vets or someone who God forbid lost someone to war? I may possibly know how you feel just a little bit. Maybe I’m way off though so no disrespect intended.

As for the photos, which seem so irrelevant at this time, I still have them all backed up and copies saved safely. They won’t disappear on my watch and like I said, they are always available to anyone who has an interest or need. I’ll continue to post interesting stuff.

Thanks

Mark

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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty ...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:15 am 
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So sorry for your loss Mark.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 9:51 am 
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Sorry to hear of the tragic loss of life.

On the photo front this is something I have also had experience of: one person who was trying to claim that 'USAF Official' photos were his personal copyright (despite my having the same, USAF Official photos) and another who complained to me that I'd infringed his copyright, claiming that he owned the rights to a photo: 'his' was simply a heavily-cropped 640-pixel wide image (probably pilfered from some unknown site) whereas mine was the full-size, uncropped shot in TIFF from the original Kodachrome slide, and copied from that slide by myself having borrowed it from the person who took the photo and indeed had many others taken at the same time. Even when I sent a slightly-less cropped version of mine (to demonstrate that he didn't have the original image) the complainant continued to protest, now claiming that he'd obtained it from an officer in xxx Air Force, when I knew full well that the person who took the photo was a civilian and not affiliated to that air force. Strangely the person who had complained was never able to offer anything other than his heavily-cropped 640-pixel image!

It's deeply annoying and caused me to shut down a website because of it. But that's me - I don't have the patience or forgiveness of many.

So I do hope you decide to revive the site because it was much appreciated by the many!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Prayers are with y'all in Ca. I never was smart enough to access your site, but I have always appreciated your posts and photos, thank you for your contribution.
G


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 1:24 pm 
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So sorry to hear of your friend loss Mark.....

Illness you can prepare for....but sudden brutal death is always harder....I know....

As for your pictures, I know this is not the first time and I totally understand....things have to change and evolve somehow. I can only say thank you for all the great amazing posts you gave us through the years.

Sincerely!


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 2:21 pm 
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I would like to add my condolences to the families and friends of those lost in the California fires and subsequent mudslides, as well as other tragedies.

Thank you for your personal observations and stories about the Montecito mudslides. When you correspond on the internet with someone you don't often know anything about them or their experiences, where they live, what got them interested in a subject, etc.

Regarding CRAP, I used to get complaints from people because I put copyright markings on my personal photos, ones that I shared on the WIX. It's always something! Please don't take it personally.


Last edited by bdk on Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 3:11 pm 
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Again thanks for the kind words folks. One of the women that I knew was one of the more successful real estate salespeople in Montecito. She was quite a ball buster as you could imagine. She was very successful and quite well known in the real estate world in my area. I would assume some folks could be turned off by the aggressive approach at selling real estate in Montecito, but she was good. I had many a meeting with her over the years and sometimes my ears were ringing after our meetings, but I did like her and she was honest and a good person. No matter what, she didn't deserve to die in mud. No one deserves that. The other woman I knew was a person that I actually lived with for a while when I was in college at UCSB. She was older than I and was a free wheeling kind of gal. Very friendly, very bubbly and extremely generous. She was known to open her door to anyone who needed a place to crash for a while and I was very fortunate to have met some really cool and interesting people through her. Her son was just a small child when I lived with her. The other day her son, who is a grown man now, was pleading on the local news for help in finding his mother who was swept away in the mudslide that ripped through the house that I spent a year living in while in college. I've seen photos of the house and it's heartbreaking to see it destroyed like that. She's been missing since Tuesday and any chance of her surviving are pretty much gone. No one other than rescue and recovery people can go anywhere near the place. The whole area is under mandatory evacuation. In all my years living out here never have we been close to a disaster like this one. Fires, earthquakes nothing compares to this.

It's going to take a long, long time for this area to resemble anything close to what it once was, but this I can tell you for a fact. We will recover, we will find our lost people, we will recover all of them and we will mourn their losses and then we will clean up, rebuild and thrive once again and become once again the jewel of the west coast, the riviera of the west coast and a beautiful place to come and visit once again. That you can count on and I'll be just one of the many, many folks who will see to it. So if you find yourself down the road wanting to come to Santa Barbara send me a PM and I'll roll out the red carpet for ya. Just wait a bit until we get back up and running again.

As for the now trivial photo collections? Like I stated I still have all the photos I've ever collected and plan to keep them for anyone who cares to see them. I owe that to the vets if for no one else. As for the complainers who don't have the class to contact me if/when there was a problem? I'll give you some advice so that your feelings don't get hurt ever again.

1. If your worried that someone may come along and find your photos posted somewhere on the internet and perhaps right click and save? DON'T PUBLICLY POST THEM ANYWHERE!!!
2. If you do post them publicly and still worry about someone harvesting them, WATERMARK THE SH*T OUT OF THEM!!!!
3. If you don't want to watermark them or at least disclaim them in some way don't EVER be surprised if 10,000 people from around the world decide to right click and save them, post them on their facebook pages, flickr accounts, websites, ebay sales or up their *ss and state that anyone can buy them, save them, use them as wallpaper and/or make paper airplanes out of them all they want.
4. Don't blame anyone if you happen to see them in a flickr account without your watermark on them because Igor, Fernando or Joe blow down the street said it was fine to save them and post them on internet forums.
5. And if your going to cry like a baby about finding "your alleged" photos somewhere they shouldn't be (like in someone's flickr account or posted on an internet forum) and if you have no watermark on them you best have some solid proof they do indeed belong to you or most people are going to tell you to take a hike.

Sorry for being blunt and a prick, but I'm fed up of the BS. I've stated it a thousand times, you have a problem with me or anything I've done or typed, contact me personally and we'll solve it like grown men. You want to take petty jabs on public internet forums then you know what you can do. Go F yourself.

I'm not hard to contact and I'm always willing to chat with anyone.

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You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty ...


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 12, 2018 5:29 pm 
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Mark

I've always enjoyed your magnificent CRAP offerings and am disgusted by some people's behaviour.

From your friends "Down Under" we grieve for your losses and trust that you and yours have the strength to continue and hopefully rebuild that community and those who survived/

Best wishes and may we meet again here soon.

Randal


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