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

Rare conjoined twins born in Indonesia with attached chest, abdomen - and heart Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Conjoined twin girls in Indonesia have been born with a very rare genetic condition. Both girls share a chest, abdomen - and a heart. Photos have been circulated showing the babies in a hospital bed in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of Soetomo Hospital in ... continue reading


Isolation, depression hounds tuberculosis patients as virulently as the disease Watch

Image of Doctors at St. Stephen's Hospital, which gets funding from the charity United Way Worldwide, say the mental health home care program is effective and should be in the national TB program.

By Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters Foundation

When Indian street-food seller Kumar Pal first began treatment for multi-drug resistant tuberculosis two years ago, he quickly spiraled into depression and gave up hope of living. NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Weighing just 77 pounds, shunned by his ... continue reading


TAKEN VERY SERIOUSLY: 600 high school students expelled for cheating in Eastern India Watch

Image of The people tried to reach the windows of the classrooms where the students were taking their exams.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

In its attempts to become a world leader and an economic powerhouse, the nation of India is taking those who take academic shortcuts, by cheating in school, extremely harshly. More than six hundred students were expelled in eastern India. Pictures of friends ... continue reading


Lawyer for doctor who helped track down Osama bin Laden ASSASSINATED Watch

Image of Senior police officer Shakir Khan said unidentified assailants shot and killed Samiullah Khan Afridi (pictured) this morning in the northwestern city of Peshawar before fleeing the scene.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An important link in the take down of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden has been ruthlessly gunned down in retaliation. Attorney Samiullah Khan Afridi, murdered by suspected Taliban gunmen was the legal representative for Dr. Shakil Afridi. The doctor provided ... continue reading


VIDEO BLOCKED: Islamic State video shows Indonesian children training with weapons Watch

Image of Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Yet another horrible Islamic State video, this one intended to recruit followers in Indonesia, depicts Indonesian children, all younger than 15 years of age, training with weapons. Produced by Alazzam Media, which claims to be the Malay language media division ... continue reading


Pakistani Prime Minister denounced for failing to protect Christians, religious minorities Watch

Image of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is accused of failing to act on a Supreme Court order, issued last year, to provide security at all places of worship.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's Prime Minister must take partial blame for the deadly attacks on Christian churchgoers in Lahore this past weekend. Archbishop Joseph Coutts of Kararchi, leader of the country's Catholics, says that Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif failed to act ... continue reading


Did researchers find 'yeti' hair samples? Or is it something completely different? Watch

Image of

By Hannah Raissa Marfil (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

According to new research from the journal ZooKeys, the so-called "yeti" hair samples as determined by a prior research, were only from brown bears. In the study's abstract, the researchers stated that they have no reason to conclude the samples came from any other ... continue reading


PAKISTAN'S WORST CHRISTIAN MASSACRE YET: 15 people killed, dozens injured in Lahore church bombings Watch

Image of Area hospitals filled with casualties and scenes of mourning.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Pakistan's worst attack on its Christian religious minority occurred this past weekend when two churches in Lahore were targeted by suicide bombers. Fifteen people were killed in all, and at least 70 other people suffered injuries. According to Pakistan Taliban ... continue reading


SHAME OF A NATION: Elderly nun gang-raped by six men in West Bengal Watch

Image of The attack comes at a time of growing awareness about sexual violence against women. There has been increased media reporting of rapes and assaults.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Authorities in eastern India are continuing their search for six men wanted in connection with the gang rape of a 74-year-old nun in West Bengal. Witnesses say the men ransacked the convent school in Ranaghat this past weekend. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) ... continue reading


How a single moist towelette on the beach has renewed speculation over the disappearance of Flight MH370 Watch

Image of The discovery of a moist towelette on an Australian beach has many speculating on the disappearance of MH370.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Various media outlets are breaking the news that a single piece of evidence, possibly linked to the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, was discovered on an Australian beach last July. The find is a tiny clue in a vast mystery. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic ... 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, Ezekiel 37:21-28
21 say, "The Lord Yahweh says this: I shall take the ... Read More

Psalm, Jeremiah 31:10, 11-12, 13
10 Listen, nations, to the word of Yahweh. On the ... Read More

Gospel, John 11:45-57
45 Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary, and ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for March 28th, 2015 Image

St. Venturino of Bergamo
March 28: Dominican preacher and missionary crusader. A native of Bergamo, ... 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