Geographical Database

Information relating to Pacific Wrecks website

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Mango
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Geographical Database

Post by Mango » Wed May 17, 2006 3:36 am

Has anyone worked up a geographical list of crash sites? --a compilation of the lat & long of known crashes?

Daniel Leahy
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Post by Daniel Leahy » Fri May 19, 2006 8:41 pm

We've been looking at developing this for some time... It's slowly getting there. Early progress is promising quite a bit.
Daniel Leahy
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RAAF CASUALTY DATABASE
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Daniel Leahy
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Post by Daniel Leahy » Sat May 27, 2006 7:17 pm

Further information about this project...

Currently we're using NASA's satellite imagery available to download online (these files are quite large). We plot GPS positions on this, colour co-ordinating each reference as to what kind of a site it is - eg, Known Wreck (with correct GPS), Possible Wreck Site (MIA/Approx Wartime lat/long), Recovered Wreck Site, Memorials, Ground Wrecks (Tanks etc) and so on.

These waypoints can then be directly uploaded to our GPS systems and can also be translated down to scanned wartime survey maps.

Below is a low res satellite image of the Gasmata area. Red waypoints are approximate wartime lat/long locations taken from numerous documents (so it is possible the wreck is nowhere near that waypoint).

Image

This has been done for the entire Asia/Pacific/Australia region. It will be put to the test 'in the field' later in 2006.
Daniel Leahy
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RAAF CASUALTY DATABASE
http://www.raafdb.com

Dan King
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Satellite imaging

Post by Dan King » Wed May 31, 2006 10:19 am

Daniel,
This is very impressive indeed!!

Does the satellite imaging allow the location of metal in the jungle? Can we use it to look for crashes that are otherwise unknown?

A part of me wants to find old wrecks, but a part of me feels that once they are found they are souvenired, pillaged or salvaged. It seems these wrecks are gravesites and belong where they fell and not fixed up and put in a museum or collector's hanger.

However, if wrecks are left in the jungle they will disappear to the elements and be gone forever.

I have mixed emotions on this subject. But I I'd rather travel to the Pacific and see a wrecked plane in the jungle than see a pristine one in a museum.

It KILLS me to think of all those planes that were melted down in the 60's.

Daniel Leahy
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Post by Daniel Leahy » Wed May 31, 2006 3:48 pm

Dan,

Thanks, am glad you like what we're doing with it.

The satellite imagery was taken by NASA in around 2000 and is what the Google Earth software uses when hi-res images are not available (so what Google Earth has used for all of PNG). It is quite a low resolution so spotting metal is out of the question - We tried spotting the Swamp Ghost at its lat/long but were unable to find it.

Basically the satellite images are used as a good key as to what the area is like in modern times, and can also give indications as to how far a site may be from rivers/roads/tracks etc etc etc.

Unfortunately this satellite data does not include details about the terrain.

We are also scanning 1943/44 Army/Navy survey maps of the area at hi-res for use in conjunction with the software. This way, we can find where wartime villages/locations (which could have moved/disappeared/renamed) since the war as well as many of the map reference points (ie, not lat/long) then translate this to the satellite imagery. Waypoints (that is, wreck locations) remain static regardless of the map being used.

The image below shows a wartime survey map of the Simpson Harbour area. Again, red waypoints are wartime approximations.

Image
I have mixed emotions on this subject. But I I'd rather travel to the Pacific and see a wrecked plane in the jungle than see a pristine one in a museum.
I agree with you there. Though the first time I saw historic aircraft was in museums (AWM, RAAF Museum etc) and these are the ways in which most people are easily able to view them, there is something about visiting the wreck in situ that I find even more fascinating. (Just my two bobs' worth).
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia

RAAF CASUALTY DATABASE
http://www.raafdb.com

Dan King
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Rabaul

Post by Dan King » Wed May 31, 2006 8:13 pm

Seeing the image of Simpson harbor made me homesick for Rabaul! I LOVE that place. I went wreck diving one day and was the only diver in the bay! It was me, the guide, the boat driver and then some old native fishing in a dugout canoe. Totally awesome!!

wreckology
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Mixed emotions

Post by wreckology » Tue Oct 10, 2006 8:55 pm

I also have mixed emotions about the recovery of aricraft, it is true once found no matter who is along with you the word leaks out. And when that happens some a$$hole thinks its in his best interest to scrounge the site, often destroying the wreck more just to gain some monitary benifit. They first wreck i saw was at the RAF museum in London, they had an old bomber (the name escapes me at the moment) they had pulled from the bottom on a fjord in Norway and seeing it was truely what got me interested in relics and wrecks. While ona recent trip in spring 2006 to Holland I had the oppurtunity to walk across the ground where a spitfire had crashed into a farmers field and even though the wreck had been takin out decades before, the tour guide told me you can still find pices of metal from the plane in the ground and I did find very small pieces in the ground which I kept and that also interested me in this field. Now i am not a hypocrite, but i do like to collect militaria and I have relics from old western forts, France, Holland, Belgium, Germany and Vietnam but the only reason I take a little bit is becasue to me it just adds to the excitment when I tell a story later. Ever since I saw the british bomber in the museum, I have dreamed of finding a Zero in the jungle or a Corsair in a lagoon. One thing though is that I DO NOT believe in suvenier hunting or military relics to gain monitary benefit.

Colin C Tigwell
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Post by Colin C Tigwell » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:49 am

The bomber you saw was a Handley Page Halifax.

Still with drinkable coffee in the Thermos.

Regards

Col
Vietnam Vet and proud of it.

wreckology
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Brirish bomber

Post by wreckology » Wed Oct 11, 2006 2:42 pm

Yes you were correct I knew it was a halifax just was on the tip of my tongue but i couldnt rember, and I never knew about the coffee in the thermos thats amazings. Thanks for jogging my memory.

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