TIGHAR carried out survey operations on the beach over a span of four days from October 8 to 11, 2007. The TIGHAR team was made up of seven members from the United States:
TIGHAR’s Project Archaeologist Thomas F. King, Ph.D., provided a close review of the planning, field methodology and report preparation.
Invited visitors to the site often provided helpful consultation and advice. They included representatives from the Imperial War Museum, Duxford the Clwyd-Powys Archaeological Trust; the University of Wales, Lampeter; the Gwynedd County Council; the Gwynedd Archaeological Trust; and Snowdonia National Park.
On October 8 the team arrived at the site at approximately 13:30. Work on site is possible only at low tide. Low tide is limited to a two hour window, which during our work was generally between 14:00 and 16:00 each day.
On the 8th the team performed an initial inspection of the area, which confirmed that the wreckage is indeed a P-38 fighter aircraft.
At the time of the survey, natural erosion of the sand had exposed much of the aircraft. Since the survey the sands have once again shifted and, like the mythical village of Brigadoon or the Welsh legend of the Bells of Aberdyfi, the fighter has vanished – this time to await its recovery in the spring.
Upon losing the low tide, site management duties for the following day were discussed before the group hiked back for the evening.
October 11 was the final day on site, and conditions were more challenging with moderate winds creating a slight chop. However the increased winds allowed for greater altitude images from the KAP which Clauss and Roberts continued, taking care to obtain larger contextual photographs of the site.
Final measurements were taken from the baseline by Clauss, McKenna, Roberts and Quigg. Fuller, Holm and McKenna completed photographic and written documentation of damage/deterioration/encrustation. Quigg completed mapping and videotaped the site.
Gillespie, assisted by Holm, completed metal detecting in a ten meter box outside the airframe, finding a number of isolated hits. As the survey was specifically limited to non-invasive techniques, the TIGHAR team made no attempt to excavate in or around the airframe or to uncover the metal detector hits for identification.
Work was completed by 16:15, whereupon the group policed the area to assure no trace of our work there was evident, packed all gear and retired from the site.
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