Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/7/2013 (2 years 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 (2 years 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'


Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2015
Universal:
Scientists: That those involved in scientific research may serve the well-being of the whole human person.
Evangelization: Contribution of women: That the unique contribution of women to the life of the Church may be recognized always.


Rosaries, Crosses, Prayer Cards and more... by Catholic Shopping .com


Comments


More Asia Pacific

CHINESE BEAT COLUMBUS: Bronze artifacts suggest East Asia traded with New World 2,600 years ago Watch

Image of Archaeologists have discovered a bronze and leather buckle and a bronze whistle, dating to around 600 A.D.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to a series of bronze artifacts found at the "Rising Whale" site in Cape Espenberg, Alaska, trade was taking place between East Asia and the New World hundreds of years before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian boy dies after being set on fire by Muslims Watch

Image of Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih said he did not know the identities of his attackers. His attending physician, Dr. Shahid Hussain confirmed Nauman's death this week.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Fourteen-year-old Nauman Masih, a Pakistani Christian boy has died five days after being set on fire by two Muslim men. Nauman was set on fire in an apparent sectarian attack in Lahore, the provincial capital of Punjab, last week. Fifty percent of his body was ... continue reading


One million people forced to harvest Uzbek cotton last year Watch

Image of An Uzbek woman picks cotton at a field near the Uzbek capital of Tashkent.

By Maria Caspani, Thomson Reuters Foundation

The Uzbek government forced into labor more than one million people in the 2014 cotton harvest, while officials siphoned off profits at unprecedented levels, a rights group said on Monday. NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - More public service workers were ... continue reading


Mass whale stranding in Japan spurs fear of impending earthquake Watch

Image of Experts say that while it was possible the whales frightened by disturbances in the Earth's electromagnetic field caused by movement in the tectonic plates, there were was no firm evidence of this.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Could it be an ominous forebear of an impending natural catastrophe? The mass stranding of 160 melon-headed whales on two beaches in Japan has many fearful that it portends an earthquake and tsunami. A species of dolphin, the whales were found washed up along a ... continue reading


Anti-vaccination parents in Australia denied up to $15,000 in benefits Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In Australia, starting January 2016, changes in childcare and welfare will take effect and will take toll on parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated. The No Ja, No Play campaign by The Sunday Telegraph has won the support to protect children through ... continue reading


American aid worker deported from North Korea for alleged spying Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Accused of anti-Pyongyang plot-breeding, Sandra Suh was deported from North Korea and arrived in Beijing, China this week, according to the United States Embassy spokesman Nolan Barkhouse. The American aid worker had been frequenting North Korea "under the pretense of ... continue reading


WORLDWIDE WARNING!: Missing Malaysian aircraft MH370 may be stored in Muslim country and used to carry out nuclear attacks on U.S. Watch

Image of After months of intense searching, no evidence of the planes remainings has been located in the water, despite the high technology used to search. (AFP, Getty Images)

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Locals from a small island community in the Maldives claim they saw an unusual large jet flying very low over their island of Kudahuvadhoo on March 8, 2014, the day Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 disappeared with 239 people on board. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


Amazing ancient underground city uncovered in Turkey Watch

Image of Millions of years ago, volcanic activity covered the region under several layers of ash. Erosion then created a landscape of rock formations and spires known as

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Hiding underground from malevolent forces has always been with humankind, it appears. Builders in Turkey accidentally found one of the largest and most complex underground cities in the otherworldly region of Cappadocia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The ... continue reading


Hidden pyramid in Indonesia could be four times older than ones in Egypt Watch

Image of The terraces are bordered by retaining walls of stone that can be accessed by 400 steps rising around 311 feet.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A hidden pyramid in an Indonesian hillside could rewrite ancient history. Egypt's oldest pyramid was built 5,000 years ago. If archaeologists are correct, the one found in Indonesia could be as old as 20,000 years old, four times older than the ones in Egypt. ... continue reading


Exposing secrets: American journalist posed as teacher in North Korea gains insight into an intesnse lifestyle Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Students from the Pyongyang University of Science and Technology had no reaction when Suki Kim, an American writer and journalist posing as their Christian missionary teacher, flashed images of the United Nations, Taj Mahal and the Great Pyramids of Giza, as she told ... 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, Acts 7:51--8:1
51 'You stubborn people, with uncircumcised hearts ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 31:3-4, 6, 7, 8, 17, 21
3 You are my rock, my rampart; true to your name, ... Read More

Gospel, John 6:30-35
30 So they said, 'What sign will you yourself do, the ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for April 21st, 2015 Image

St. Anselm
April 21: St. Anselm Archbishop of Canterbury and Confessor APRIL 21,A.D. ... 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