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Author Topic: Burma's Buried Spitfires  (Read 36407 times)

C.W. Herndon

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 12:29:16 PM »

Marty, that's great news. Sure hope it works out!
Woody (former 3316R)
"the watcher"
 
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #16 on: October 17, 2012, 07:21:28 AM »

Looks like there are alot more Spitfires than previously thought!
I think the ol' boy will make his money back! ( $210,000 ) What do you think?
http://www.foxnews.com/world/2012/10/17/myanmar-signs-deal-to-dig-up-buried-wwii-planes/
Dave
« Last Edit: October 17, 2012, 07:29:12 AM by Dave McDaniel »
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2012, 09:31:31 AM »

Perhaps TIGHAR may want to review Mr. cundells' legal/political maneuvers that he used to thwart the attempts of Steve Brooks to undermine him and take over the project, Should this become a similar issue for TIGHAR in the future.

Dave
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Vahe Demirjian

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #18 on: December 25, 2012, 10:48:44 AM »

As you are no doubt aware, the first lot of 36 Spitfires buried in Burma in the final months of WW2 is set to be excavated next month (http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/world/buried-spitfires-set-to-take-to-the-sky-20121129-2ahj0.html and http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/338307). This will be a big project for Dave Cundall because he has worked hard to investigate rumors of Spitfires being buried in Burma. Now that Burma has turned to liberal democracy after half a century of military rule, it's now easier for the British and Burmese governments to cooperate with each other in recovering WW2 aircraft in Burma. As a matter of fact, it's strange that even after WW2, the Brits didn't want to take the Spitfires that had arrived in Burma back to the UK because they were afraid that the Spitfires might fall into the hands of Burmese independence fighters. Fortunately, the Brits have already been so kind to apologize for their poor treatment of colonized peoples in the Third World that they have developed a willingness to return WW2 aviation treasures currently buried in SE Asia back to their birthplace in England (they could also set up an air museum in Burma to accommodate some of the Spitfires given the limitations of space).
« Last Edit: December 25, 2012, 12:04:30 PM by Vahe Demirjian »
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Chris Austin

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2013, 09:17:14 AM »

- Hold on!  - What's that I see in that murky water inside the crate?  My God, it's a pair of Vera Lynn's knickers. :o
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Alan Harris

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2013, 10:44:01 AM »

News Update (got to be better than camel watching;D

AMEN to that.  Although it's faint praise: even the opening of Al Capone's safe was better than the camel watching, lol.  In contrast, IMO the Spitfire story is highly interesting and potentially has great significance for aviation history.
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2013, 11:11:49 AM »

- Hold on!  - What's that I see in that murky water inside the crate?  My God, it's a pair of Vera Lynn's knickers. :o

That would be "Dame" Vera Lynn Chris, gotta give royalty her due and she wouldn't like you talking about her knickers.  :o ;D
Doc
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2013, 11:16:56 AM »

News Update (got to be better than camel watching;D

AMEN to that.  Although it's faint praise: even the opening of Al Capone's safe was better than the camel watching, lol.  In contrast, IMO the Spitfire story is highly interesting and potentially has great significance for aviation history.

Fer sure Alan, save for the fact that it was "Jerry Rivers" who blew that one.  ::)
Doc
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2013, 11:21:17 AM »

From the above link:


Among the team is 91-year-old war veteran Stanley Coombe, who says he witnessed the burial of the aircraft.

"I never thought I would be allowed to come back and see where Spitfires have been buried," he said.

"It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David Cundall came along."


Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue. Can you see where I'm going with this?   Anyone...


LTM,
 Dave
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2013, 11:30:19 AM »

From the above link:


Among the team is 91-year-old war veteran Stanley Coombe, who says he witnessed the burial of the aircraft.

"I never thought I would be allowed to come back and see where Spitfires have been buried," he said.

"It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David Cundall came along."


Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue. Can you see where I'm going with this?   Anyone...


LTM,
 Dave

Should we assume that you are referring to Betty Klenck's memory at her age.  I think Betty will be 91 this year.
Doc
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2013, 11:46:08 AM »

From the above link:


Among the team is 91-year-old war veteran Stanley Coombe, who says he witnessed the burial of the aircraft.

"I never thought I would be allowed to come back and see where Spitfires have been buried," he said.

"It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David Cundall came along."


Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue. Can you see where I'm going with this?   Anyone...


LTM,
 Dave

Should we assume that you are referring to Betty Klenck's memory at her age.  I think Betty will be 91 this year.
Yes Bob I was. I think we could add Emily Sikuly and Dana Randolph to that list.
 Dave
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Alan Harris

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2013, 11:56:16 AM »

Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue.

I would have thought Mr. Coombe's own statement:

Quote
It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David Cundall came along.

and the fact that something is only happening when he is 91, suggest that "memory and credibility" were in fact major issues.

Also, to which set of conflicting memories are you drawing an analogy?  The Niku folk who remember some sort of wreckage?  The other folk who saw AE, her belongings, or the Electra on various Japanese-held islands?  The soldiers who found the airplane in New Britain?

I think archaeologists (as well as criminal justice personnel) have found that anecdotal evidence, such as personal memory long after the fact, is always problematic, deserves the highest scrutiny, and requires independent confirmation by factual evidence.
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Dave McDaniel

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #27 on: January 09, 2013, 01:44:15 PM »

Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue.

I would have thought Mr. Coombe's own statement:

Quote
It's been a long time since anybody believed what I said until David Cundall came along.

and the fact that something is only happening when he is 91, suggest that "memory and credibility" were in fact major issues.

Also, to which set of conflicting memories are you drawing an analogy?  The Niku folk who remember some sort of wreckage?  The other folk who saw AE, her belongings, or the Electra on various Japanese-held islands?  The soldiers who found the airplane in New Britain?

I think archaeologists (as well as criminal justice personnel) have found that anecdotal evidence, such as personal memory long after the fact, is always problematic, deserves the highest scrutiny, and requires independent confirmation by factual evidence.
You will have to take that observation up with Mr. Coombe or Mr. Cundall.

As for my analogy, scrutiny is good. Overbearing scrutiny is counter productive, leading to circular arguments and missed opportunities.  Sometimes you just have to believe.

Dave
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Bob Lanz

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #28 on: January 09, 2013, 05:05:01 PM »


I think archaeologists (as well as criminal justice personnel) have found that anecdotal evidence, such as personal memory long after the fact, is always problematic, deserves the highest scrutiny, and requires independent confirmation by factual evidence.

C'mon Alan, it is not often that the criminal justice personal are dealing with 75 year old anecdotal evidence, be it physical or especially memorial.  I think you will find that the same is true of archaeological as well.  Mr. Coombe has carried this memory nearly his whole life.  Do you really think he would skew it after all these years.  You nor I can attest to his lucidity but I would imagine he is quite lucid.  I had a very large family with many aunts and uncles who lived into their 90's and 100's who remembered things about me when I was five or six yo that I had long since forgotten.

"requires independent confirmation by factual evidence"  Not always Alan, not always.  That is just your opinion and is not a legal definition for evidentiary matters.  Who is alive today that can do that for Mr. Coombe.  Of course eye witness testimony "in a court of law" has it's problems, but that is not what this is.  I will have to agree with Dave that, "Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue."
Doc
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Alan Harris

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Re: Burma's Buried Spitfires
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2013, 06:36:54 PM »

C'mon Alan, it is not often that the criminal justice personal are dealing with 75 year old anecdotal evidence, be it physical or especially memorial.  I think you will find that the same is true of archaeological as well.  Mr. Coombe has carried this memory nearly his whole life.  Do you really think he would skew it after all these years.  You nor I can attest to his lucidity but I would imagine he is quite lucid.  I had a very large family with many aunts and uncles who lived into their 90's and 100's who remembered things about me when I was five or six yo that I had long since forgotten.

"requires independent confirmation by factual evidence"  Not always Alan, not always.  That is just your opinion and is not a legal definition for evidentiary matters.  Who is alive today that can do that for Mr. Coombe.  Of course eye witness testimony "in a court of law" has it's problems, but that is not what this is.  I will have to agree with Dave that, "Apparently the memory and credibility of Mr. Coombe, age 91, was not an issue."

C'mon, Bob.  Let me first clear up what may be my misunderstanding of D. McDaniel's phrase "not an issue" and the way I address it in my post.  I was trying to say that apparently a lack of general belief in Mr. Coombe's memory (as indicated by his own quote and by the time elapsed) caused the Spitfire search not to be pursued nearly as soon as it could have been, had he been taken at face value.  Thus "memory and credibility" of an eyewitness, without other evidence, were major issues affecting whether and when a serious search began.  Reading your and Mr. McDaniel's replies, I believe you may be using "credibility was not an issue" to mean "Mr. Coombe was right and his memory accurate".  That is not the point I was addressing, I have no knowledge or prejudice whether he is right or wrong . . . when they explore further into the crate we will know more.  I meant to cast no personal aspersions whatsoever on his credibility or lucidity, and in fact my guess, based on finding even the crate, is that he is right.

The rest of my post attempted to discuss more generally why the memory of a single witness (not Mr. Coombe in particular) was not, and perhaps should not be, taken as gospel truth without factual support.  The fact that all the personal memories supporting all the different AE disappearance theories cannot possibly be true was offered as one example.  As for the rest of it, and your numerous comments, I am going to take the lazy way out and provide a quote from our friendly neighboorhood archaeologist, Dr. King:

Quote
We have no basis for saying that any alleged eyewitness or other informant is or is not credible. For the purposes of this paper, we assume that all such informants were telling what they believed to be the truth, though perhaps shaded in some cases to meet what they understood to be social expectations. However, this does not lead us to assume that any informant described “objective” reality – that is, reality as it might be perceived by another party. There are good reasons to view all the eyewitness and other informant stories with skepticism, even while accepting the honesty and good will of those who have told them.

In the last fifty years, there has been great psychological interest in the reliability of memory, and a good deal of research on the subject – notably including the memories of eyewitnesses. Much of this interest and research has been stimulated by growing concern in legal and law enforcement circles about the conviction of innocent people by courts of law based on eyewitness testimony. Much has also been stimulated by concerns about the conviction and imprisonment of parents based on the uncorroborated stories of adult children who say they have recovered long-suppressed memories of childhood abuse. Elizabeth Loftus of the University of Washington is perhaps the best known and most widely published researcher in this field; her 1979 book Eyewitness Testimony (2nd edition 1996) is probably the most widely available generally accessible text on the subject, though many other scholars around the world have studied and published in the field.

What these studies tend to show is that memory is a highly malleable phenomenon; our memories can be significantly transformed by influences from outside our heads – notably by the suggestions of interviewers. As Loftus puts it:
    "A growing body of research shows that new, postevent information often becomes incorporated into memory, supplementing and altering a person’s recollection. New “information” can invade us, like a Trojan horse, precisely because we do not detect its influence" (Loftus 1996:vii).

That excerpt is taken from Dr. King's recent paper here.

Note that Dr. King clearly also makes a logical connection between archaeological and legal circles, as did I; I did not expect that to be controversial.  Finally, as to "independent confirmation", I would not expect anyone alive today to "do that for Mr. Coombe" -- and even if there were another nonagenarian, that would simply be another personal memory.  By "factual" I meant something much more tangible; in this particular case it boils down to: is there an airplane inside the crate?  We'll soon know; I bet there is.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2013, 11:24:11 PM by Alan Harris »
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