Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Some think 'treasure' will only yield melted airplane parts

Some are calling it a wild goose chase with millions of dollars at stake. Backed with a million-dollar guarantee from a Belarusian videogame company, a colorful cadre of aviation buffs are bound and determined to uncover a stash of British fighter planes thought buried in Burma.

Britain built a total of some 20,000 Spitfires, although the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II meant that the propeller-driven planes quickly became obsolete.

Britain built a total of some 20,000 Spitfires, although the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II meant that the propeller-driven planes quickly became obsolete.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/7/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: British Spitfires, Burma, Myanmar, treasure hunt, aviation, World War II


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - An airplane-obsessed farmer, 63-year-old David Cundall, freelance archaeologist Andy Brockman and a team of excavators are heading to the Burmese city of Yangon this weekend to find planes thought to be carefully buried beneath the former capital's airfield.

"We could easily double the number of Spitfires that are still known to exist," Cundall says. The private pilot has spent nearly two decades pursuing the theory that a batch of the famous fighter planes was buried, in pristine condition, in wooden crates in a riverbed at the end of an airport runway.

"In the Spitfire world it will be similar to finding Tutankhamen's tomb," he says.

The Indiana Jones-type expedition carries no guarantees. Brockman acknowledges that it was "entirely possible" that all the team would find was a mass of corroded metal and rusty aircraft parts, if that.

Eyewitness testimony from British and American veterans as well as elderly local residents of Burma, along with survey data, aerial pictures, and ground radar soundings left him in no doubt that the planes were down there.

"There is a high percentage chance that something is buried there," Charles Heyman, who edits the reference book, "The Armed Forces of the United Kingdom"" says. It's not unusual for British forces to leave behind high-grade equipment in former war zones.

The Spitfire remains the U.K.'s most famous combat aircraft, its reputation cemented by the Battle of Britain. The fast-moving, sleek-looking single-seater aircraft helped beat back waves of German bombers.

Britain built a total of some 20,000 Spitfires, although the dawn of the jet age at the end of World War II meant that the propeller-driven planes quickly became obsolete.

As to why a group of Spitfires would have been boxed and buried, as opposed to scrapped and dumped, remains the biggest question hanging over the project.

Cundall said he first heard of the Burma theory from a fellow plane hunter at a party in Jacksonville, Florida, when two American veterans approached him with an unusual story. The men said they had worked as engineers in what was then known as Burma when they were tasked with carving out a large pit burial pit for the aircraft.

"It was the craziest thing you Brits asked us to do," Cundall quoted the men as saying.

Believing the story immediately, he placed ads seeking more information were placed in magazines with names like FlyPast and Warbirds. Other witnesses came forward.

Finding the site was just half the battle. Cundall said it took 17 years of lobbying to get permission to dig in Burma, now known as Myanmar, due to European sanctions against the country's authoritarian government, and, more recently, its tentative steps toward democracy.
Now, it's "Only a matter of time now before we start digging and find out: 'What's in the box?'" he said.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for July 2014
Sports:
That sports may always be occasions of human fraternity and growth.
Lay Missionaries: That the Holy Spirit may support the work of the laity who proclaim the Gospel in the poorest countries.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

More than 100 Chinese Muslims killed in Xinjiang in 'terror attack' Watch

Image of The violence was described as a

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Nearly 100 people are now dead or wounded in a clash in Xinjiang, home to China's mostly Muslim Uyghur minority. Authorities have described the tragedy called a "terror attack" on a police station and township. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to ... continue reading


Pope Francis to beatify 124 Koreans during August visit Watch

Image of Pope Francis plans to beatify Korea's first martyr, Paul Yun Ji-chung, as well his 123 companions in his visit to South Korea in August.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pope Francis plans to beatify Korea's first martyr, Paul Yun Ji-chung, as well his 123 companions in his visit to South Korea in August. Paul Yun Ji-chung along with his companions were killed for their faith in the 19th Century. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... continue reading


Sinister Smartphone app lets teenagers to have casual sex with strangers Watch

Image of The Smartphone app Tinder, popular in Australia, leaves many teenagers vulnerable to sexual predators who lie about their age in their profiles.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Teenagers down under in Australia are using a popular smartphone app, called Tinder to arrange for sexual encounters with strangers. Although the application has an age restriction of 13 years and older, Tinder lets users to "like" or "pass" on fellow users' ... continue reading


China begins vaccine devolopment with a BANG! Watch

Image of Japanese encephalitis is a disease caused by the mosquito-borne Japanese encephalitis virus. The Japanese encephalitis virus has an incubation perioid of 5 to 15 days.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China is expected to begin exporting a manufactured vaccine for Japanese encephalitis by early 2015 to needy Southeast Asian countries. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The vaccine is intended to protect children in those poor countries from the deadly virus.You ... continue reading


India battles to contain 'brain fever' as death toll approaches 570 Watch

Image of Floods also lead to the contamination of water sources such as wells, leaving many people with no option but to use the same dirty water for both drinking and washing.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

Almost 570 people in India have died after contracting encephalitis, commonly known as "brain fever," health authorities said on Friday, warning the death toll may rise further. (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Outbreaks of both Acute Encephalitis Syndrome and ... continue reading


India's secret suicide epidemic! 2013 saw more than 150,000 deaths! Watch

Image of Men are twice as likely to commit suicide as women in India, based on a study of suicide cases from 2013.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Men in India are twice as likely to commit suicide according to an Indian government agency which is responsible for collecting and analyzing crime data. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - In 2013, 134,000 people committed suicide in India, and two thirds were men ... continue reading


Typhoon caused 47 deaths in plane crash in Taiwan Watch

Image of A typhoon in Taiwan caused a plane to crash, killing 47 and injuring 11.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A TransAsia Airways turboprop plane crashed on an island off the coast of Taiwan as it attempted a desperate emergency landing during a typhoon on July 23. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Of the 58 passengers aboard the plane 47 were killed and 11 were injured ... continue reading


NATIONAL DISGRACE: India is home to one in three of all forced child marriages Watch

Image of In rural Indian villages, there are very real concerns about the safety of girls. If a girl is married off early, the strained logic is that her husband can protect her. She is treated as property.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's a national shame for Southeast Asia's economic powerhouse: One in all three forced child marriages in the world is in India. It's a regional shame as well, as a new UNICEF study has proved almost half of all child marriages are in South Asia. LOS ANGELES, ... continue reading


Men outnumber women in India, Nepal and Bangladesh new study says Watch

Image of The ratio of women to men in India continues to decrease, a new report from the United Nations says, and it is expected to continue to decrease in the future.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A United Nations report, released on July 22, says that India needs to take urgent action following a sharp decline in its child sex ratio. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The "Sex Ratios and Gender-Biased Sex Selection: History, Debate and Future Directions" ... continue reading


DEATH INDUSTRY: Pakistan's stone crushing factories take toll on workers Watch

Image of Lack of dust control systems at stone-crushing factories mean silica dust will also affect people in nearby areas. In fact, most crushing units are located in or near residential areas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Any type of industry in developing nations are usually seen as good things, but this is not always the case. Pakistan's stone crushing factories, which exist far and away from any sort of regulatory and safety laws, claim the lives of many of its laborers. Dust ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Jeremiah 26:1-9
1 At the beginning of the reign of Jehoiakim son of ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 69:6, 8-10, 14
6 Those who hope in you must not be made fools of, ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 13:54-58
54 and, coming to his home town, he taught the people ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 1st, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Marie Liguori
August 1: Bishop, Doctor of the Church, and the founder of the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter