Swamp Ghost & Black Cat Pass B-17 Recovery

Discussion about the history of B-17E 'Swamp Ghost' and its recovery.

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NS38th_Aristaeus
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Post by NS38th_Aristaeus » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:54 pm

RECOVERY AND RESTORATION BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!

There is absolutely no reason to let any aircraft lay in any jungle, desert, lakebottom, or some farmers back yard to rott.
These A/C are not memorials to anyone, they are military equipment that have been left behind for one reason or another.
All the memorials that anyone would care to visit to our armed forces that fought in every war the U.S. has been involved in are plentifull thourghout the U.S. and especially in Washington D.C. where a very nice WWII monument was recently completed.
Allowing the machines that men fought and died in to rott and waste away does not do them justice, and as a matter of fact is disrespectfull to their sacrifice. Does it make since to those of u who consider these A/C memorials to let them disentigrate to nothing?
Any A/C recovered should be restored to flying condition or at least to static display. Most bombers that have been restored to flying condition are displayed in the airshow circuit and ofton are used to give ppl an oppertunity to fly in them for a few hundred dollers. These A/C will be around long after those left to the elements are gone forever.
As to ownership of any American A/C it goes to the American taxpayer and the U.S. Federal Gov't.
Any Axis plane was won fair and square by the Allies and are fair game for all to salvage.
By PNG own account no one was interested in this plane. Not the Gov't, not the majority of tourist that visted the island, not the locals, no one.
Until it came time to make a buck.
Here is a link to a great magizine that deals with the warbird community. Pick up a copy or two and see what a fine job that private citisens are doing preserving our aviation history. You will have to agree after reading a couple of these mag that they are doing a fine job.

http://www.WARBIRDDIGEST.com
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Find Them, Restore Them, Fly'Em

Buzzking
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Post by Buzzking » Fri Jun 09, 2006 5:54 pm

Mr. King since you decide to post the WRG list did you even look at it huh,

Now for the record their are the following E Models

41-2595 Desert Rat came from Maine
41-9210 ExMeat Hauler now owned by Paul Allan
41-9032 My-Gal-Sal recovered by Gary Larkins

Then there is Swamp Ghost and Black Cat Pass.

Now there are three other E models that could be recovered if you have the money the two in Greenland and there is one off the Coast of Assyland.

As for B-17 located in Canadia well there are none in Canada Don Brooks recovered the one up in Labador and there might I repeat might be one still in a lake North of Quebec. As for Assyland the only B-17 you might find is the remains of three that crash durning the War.

Now for your Draconia ideas about leaving them since you brought up the Betty Bombers back in 1975 when David T. went back to look at some of the Jap stuff he found three Bettys in poor but restorable coundition near Tadjia guess what they were all destroyed durning one of the many grass fire's you sir have no idea what your talking about and anyone who thinks its ok to "Just Leave then" don't know anything about metal and fall under the same quise as The Naval History Centeres and there idiotic policys.

If you wish to debate me on this then may I suggest you come over to the Warbird Resouce Group .

BZK

DaveM2
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Post by DaveM2 » Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:18 am

NS38th_Aristaeus wrote:RECOVERY AND RESTORATION BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!
Here is a link to a great magizine that deals with the warbird community. Pick up a copy or two and see what a fine job that private citisens are doing preserving our aviation history. You will have to agree after reading a couple of these mag that they are doing a fine job.

http://www.WARBIRDDIGEST.com
Its pritty good, but if you want the story of the S.G. salvage from one who was there, get the next issue of an even better magazine ;-)

http://www.classicwings.com/

Dave

rod
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Re:Vote

Post by rod » Sat Jun 10, 2006 6:38 am

Hi why don't we put it to a vote? Those for the leaving all planes and those for recovery? Recovery to static condition or flying condition? Cheers Rod

Daniel Leahy
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Post by Daniel Leahy » Thu Jun 15, 2006 7:43 pm

More about current salvage/recovery operations in PNG - A carryon from the recent Swamp Ghost issues.

This comes from today's NATIONAL:
http://www.thenational.com.pg/061606/nation8.htm
Relic war looms

By JULIA DAIA BORE
A LEGAL battle is looming over a decision by the National Museum and Art Gallery to allow another war relic salvage team into the country.
It is understood directors of the 75th Squadron Flying Museum of Melbourne, Australians Bruno Carnovale and Ian Whitney are in Port Moresby and are on their way to Wewak and Madang to salvage and possibly take war relics out of PNG.
Their arrival in the country has outraged Robert Greinert, one of the directors of the salvage team involved in the move to export the Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress dubbed Swamp Ghost, to the US.
In a letter dated June 13, 2006, to the National Museum & Art Gallery?s board chairman Arthur Jawodimbari, Mr Greinert warned of possible legal action to stop the team salvaging any relics.
Mr Greinert said the plan by the 75th Squadron?s to recover certain aircraft remains violated the contract signed between his organisation?s ? the Historical Aircraft Restoration Society Inc (HARS) ? and the PNG National Museum.
He alleged that the 75th Squadron was planning recovery of certain aircraft remains for which HARS holds salvage permission and agreements with landowners.
?Should there be any attempt by this group to conduct salvage of items guaranteed to us under our MoU, we would be forced to enter into legal action,? Mr Greinert?s letter said.
He also pointed out that in light of the ?recent media and political fuss? caused by salvaging of the Swamp Ghost ?I would request that you speak with Mr Simon Poraituk and advise him that no activity by 75th Squadron should take place until the legality of their proposed activities are verified?.
?The museum should not be dragged into an embarrassing legal case and avoid further public embarrassment by the current acting director exceeding his powers and permitting a commercial salvage organisation to harvest war relics,? he said.
Daniel Leahy
Canberra, Australia

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

Mr.Chris
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Post by Mr.Chris » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:13 pm

Why only Mr Grienart allowed to recover relics? how can he have agreements and MOU with landowners who can not read and write English.

Please leave PNG and take HARS with you.
I know why. He works hard, and takes risks others rufuse to take. He's taking personal risks, financial risks, and he's risking wasting all his time. He's a brave ve fellow indeed.

I know why I'm not doing that business right now; I'm unwilling to take those kind of risks.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. I hope every single useful aircraft either pattern or otherwise is brought back to further airworthy restorations. Keep them flying!!!

clutchfan
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Post by clutchfan » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:43 pm

Hate to tell these idiots in PNG, but this B-17 is an AMERICAN plane, was crewed by AMERICAN personnel. It belongs in AMERICA. What are these PNG clowns going to do with it, anyway..make pots and pans or roofs out of it? How many of these natives were even thought of when WW2 was in progress? What gives them any right to it?

I hope this B-17 gets shipped out right under their noses, and soon!

Dave Homewood
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Post by Dave Homewood » Thu Jun 15, 2006 10:59 pm

There is a lot of aggro on this thread, but Clutchfan your post is absolutely ridiculous.

Yes it was an American plane, American built, American crewed, Amerciand owned. Sure. And now it's been bought by an American and is going back to America. Fine. I have no problem with this.

But your inflammatory and derogatory statements about the Papua New Guineans is totally uncalled for.

In case it escaped your notice, a war was fought in Papua New Guinea and many of their people fought and died in that war, trying to defend their own land and also assisting the Allied war effort very valiantly. Many of them will still remember that war as vividly as any US veteran who was there, others are descendants of veterans and of the casualties. They are as much entitled to have their say about a relic of a war they fought in, lying in their country for the past 64 years, as anyone else I would have thought.

Personally I'd like to see these aircraft saved, but i would do it with the greatest of respect to the current custodians, the PNG people.

L_eagle
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Swamp Ghost and other activities

Post by L_eagle » Fri Jun 16, 2006 6:48 am

To all who may be concerned.

I have followed the discussion of the recovery of this aircraft on a number of forums. I have chosen this one to post a response knowing, it will be conveyed to the others either directly or otherwise.

Firstly, let me introduce myself as best I can. I have been involved with PNG and its people for a many number of years. My experience with PNG law and its application has centred primarily on environmental and economic issues. I have some world class references who can confirm the things I am about to discuss. Ask BHP (now BHPBilliton) how we kicked their butts in PNG over massive environmental damage issues. I have many years experience in Federal and High Courts and have presented legal arguments in New Zealand, Australia and PNG to name a few. While I will not provide my name, for obvious security reasons, I still expect criticism from a many number of people who will cry foul.

As mentioned above, I have followed this particular recovery with great interest. Myself, along with a number of others have followed the activities of a number of the people involved and watched as the seemingly impossible is made into a reality. Our concerns are not with the question of whether relics from WW2 should be left in place or recovered for restoration. We are more concerned with the ongoing offences that have occured across several jurisdictions involving PNG, Australia and NZ. It is clear to many in the legal community that the group involved in this particular recovery are well connected Internationally. They have well established networks that expand into the USA from where much funding to conduct these recoveries is sourced. This site has, it seems, tried to present an impartial explanation of the events leading up to the recovery of the B-17 commonly known as the Swamp Ghost. To clarify a few points I shall state the following as facts. The aircraft in question does not belong to the USA or Australia as PNG inherited it in the legal transfer of war relics signed over in an Internationally recognised agreement. PNG is the sole owner of all war relics that rest on any of her territories including waterways, seas, ocean floors and any other site contained within its territorial boundaries. It also has lawful control over many relics that rest within a minimum distance of its territorial waters as is an accepted practice in International law. The constituational structure of PNG is a complex one and I will not debate who did or did not do the wrong or right thing in signing contracts and or permits allowing the recovery and attempted export of this WW2 relic. What I will discuss is the malicious intent of those involved to mislead and misdirect those people of PNG who are entrusted to act in the best interest of the nation. The activities of a number of individuals have been the subject of several interested agencies over the last couple of years. Nefarious connections to some law enforcement agencies in Australia and PNG are currently being examined and results will be forth coming, in a timely manner. It is known that many relics have been removed from PNG and imported into Australia, being misdescribed in that the items have been formally declared as scrap metal whereas in fact they should be declared as relics which may or may not be protected by any number of pieces of legislation in many countries via Cultural Protection Laws. This raises the issue of valuations. While scrap metal in the form of aircraft relics from PNG have in fact found their way to the smelters in Australia, the difference rests in the intent to mislead authorities by making false statements in importation documents. For example, if items are recovered and declared as scrap then the intention is to have them scrapped and valuation would reflect this. However, when the goods are entered as scrap and then displayed as 'historic relics' or valuable wartime relics, the argument then looks at the true valuation of those items. In Australia and NZ both Governments have enforced the GST. Subsequent research into the recovery of numerous wrecks from PNG, entering Australia described as scrap, but then finding their way to other owners either in Australia, NZ or the USA at highly inflated prices is a prima facie case of fraud. As you must all be aware, the recent events in Brisbane Australia involving the siezure of significant assets of a convicted fraudster, resulted in many aircraft being taken under the authority of the Proceeds of Crimes Act. It is also true to say that any parties involved in the deliberate defrauding of any Government, whether in direct or indirectly are also subjected to close examination to determine if they have conspired to defraud the said Government. Having said this, it is clear that the wide networks established by this group, which appears to include restoration facilities, publication houses and transport systems may all be implicated in some way and at some level. The siezure of any business assets is a terrible thing to experience once an allegation has been made.

Other areas of concern are the apparent ease that some people have in obtaining confidential and private information. Some of this information can only be obtained from Government agencies, for example, how would memebrs of this particular recovery group know that an immigration department has commenced legal action against any individual in such a short space of time? Or how can this same group of people know when other opponents are importing or exporting relics from the source or transit country? this is only possible with access to Government computer sytems and adds to the premise that the actions of many of these people are conspiratorial.

Yes Mr CF the universal language is money, but only when it is on offer. The corruption problem in PNG is exacerbated by the willing corrupt practices employed by Australian and American business groups who enter PNG with the prior intention to pay the money. Finally, it seems that many imports and exports from PNG to Australia and beyond have been facilitated using false or forged documents. I have seen several examples of alleged "Official" PNG Governmet docs and permits to discover after some basic checks that they are in fact false.

My advice to many people on this and other forums is to say nothing unless you are prepared to become involved. Defamation between parties has clearly occured and I can assure you will be followed through. It should be remembered that the real victims in all of this are the people of PNG who have no control over their nations assets and sadly, have no control over who says what about them. I am not surprised to read the regular culturally biased comments being made by persons who have no knowledge of what they say.

And, to finalise this sermon, I do use a translator when in PNG to ensure the accuracy of the discussions and agreements entered into, not to bewilder the other parties with shiny beads and trinckets. I look forward to reading your responses and to one day, having the last laugh as I take great pleasure in arranging the long term accomodation of fraudsters!,
all at her Majesty's pleasure of course.


thanks

Anom.

DaveM2
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Re: Swamp Ghost and other activities

Post by DaveM2 » Fri Jun 16, 2006 7:41 pm

L_eagle wrote:PNG is the sole owner of all war relics that rest on any of her territories including waterways, seas, ocean floors and any other site contained within its territorial boundaries. It also has lawful control over many relics that rest within a minimum distance of its territorial waters as is an accepted practice in International law.
Anom.
I wonder if you have consulted the US Navy about that? They seem to have a different take on who has legal title to 'their' aircraft.

Dave

Mr.Chris
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Post by Mr.Chris » Fri Jun 16, 2006 8:11 pm

Yes interesting indeed:

What if a Navy plane is in PNG and the PNG gov't informs the Chief of Naval Operations and the Naval Historical Society, that "the Hellcat is ours".

I can think of a scenario, perhaps the US Navy will declare war on PNG and invade. Perhaps we could call it the Relic War I, instead of WW3? A word of caution, it could end up being another Vietnam. The Navy may order carpet bombing of all relics, or laser guided relic liquidation, etc.

All of the crusty rocks and shoals in the Navy may even declare the relics scrap, and give them away to end the war, under severe criticism of the US populace.

Mr.Chris
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Post by Mr.Chris » Fri Jun 16, 2006 9:15 pm

Legal Eagle:

In regards to your post the answer is quite simple, defamation is very difficult to enforce. (Look at all the nasty things they say about Bush). Even he can't send the IRS or Labor Dept. against all who openly criticize him.

Another case in point is the simple saying, "One man's junque is another mans treasure". In fact, many a relic in PNG looks like scrap to me. It either goes in one category or another. Scrap or worth more than a Van Gogh, prized prime relic.

It seems a lot of these kooks (lack of a better word) are so obsessed with relique's (I emphsize the snooty accent) that they automatically think a junky corroded Zero tail is worth 5 million.

So I say, people are way to obsessed with WW2. These planes ought to be considered junk by everybody, except the enthusiasts who fly them, much like golf nuts. (Nobody like golf except the nuts).

These natives and historical societies should take their obsessions and use them on something else, like becoming a golf nut, or baseball nut. Go and collect Barry Bonds baseballs. Stay out of planes. Leave the pilots and mechanics for planes. People are way too obsessed with the wrong things.

They get lawsuits into it to, and every greedy arse wants a piece of the pie. That's how it seems in PNG, everybody is on the take. They say, "Wow, scrapmetal is worth gold, I want a piece of the action". Again I say get into Barry Bonds or collecting Monkey teeth or something else.

I say this; The Swamp Ghost isn't worth that much, because it will probably cost 2 million in time, parts and labor. It ain't worth the gold some would be golf nut says it is.

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Post by clutchfan » Fri Jun 16, 2006 10:58 pm

My post was rediculous, fine. So, since I'm am so far out of line, what do the PNG native people plan to do with this B-17, that is so much better than having it professionally restored and cared for. Letting the thing decay in a swamp for some sentimenatal attachment that the PNG folks have to it is REDICULOUS. It needs to brought HOME to the U.S. so it can be properly restored and cared for by people dedicated and skilled in their work. It needs to be in a hangar, not a swamp. It needs to be a real, honest to God piece of American military history, preserved for future generations.

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Post by Mr.Chris » Sat Jun 17, 2006 12:37 am

You are right Clutchfan:

You are recognizing something is wrong, just like I did.

Just like I wrote earlier:
These natives and historical societies should take their obsessions and use them on something else, like becoming a golf nut, or baseball nut. Go and collect Barry Bonds baseballs. Stay out of planes. Leave the pilots and mechanics for planes. People are way too obsessed with the wrong things.
So as you say, this B-17 belongs in the right hands, not the greedy PNG folks who are using people's obsession w/ WW2 for their greedy hands.

That's why I say it's people's obsession that's the real problem. They should replace that obsession w/ something like golf. Let the pilots themselves, mechanics, and museums worry about the planes. Everybody else just visit the museums, and don't get obsessed.

NS38th_Aristaeus
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Re: Swamp Ghost and other activities

Post by NS38th_Aristaeus » Sat Jun 17, 2006 11:38 am

L_eagle wrote: To clarify a few points I shall state the following as facts. The aircraft in question does not belong to the USA or Australia as PNG inherited it in the legal transfer of war relics signed over in an Internationally recognised agreement.
Could u please post a link or direct me to this Internationally recognised agreement.
L_eagle wrote: PNG is the sole owner of all war relics that rest on any of her territories including waterways, seas, ocean floors and any other site contained within its territorial boundaries. It also has lawful control over many relics that rest within a minimum distance of its territorial waters as is an accepted practice in International law.
If I remember correctly the U.S. considers anything past a two mile radius from ones costline to be international waters.
Again pls direct us to this accepted practice in international law.
L_eagle wrote: My advice to many people on this and other forums is to say nothing unless you are prepared to become involved.
Threatening free speech are we? I will address any issue I feel inclined to.
L_eagle wrote:It should be remembered that the real victims in all of this are the people of PNG who have no control over their nations assets and sadly, have no control over who says what about them.
Is PNG a Communist or Nationelist state? If not then they have all the control they wish to excercise over this or any other matter concerning them and thier nation.
It should be remembered that the real victims in all of this are the people of PNG
I believe the real criminals here are the ppl of PNG and any others who allow history to rott in the jungle.
It has been made quite clear that the ppl of PNG have no disire or inclination to preserve any historical relic even those from their own past.
Those aircraft and any remains of U.S. military personnell found in them are the property of the American ppl who bought an payed for them. If the ppl of PNG wants to lay claim then they should reimburse the U.S. at market value.
Since the ppl of PNG have not moved forward in the past 60 years to preserve WW2 history then we can consider that they have abandond these relics and as such these relics can be treated and considered has abandond property.

RECOVERY AND RESTORATION BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY!
CAN'T TALK; GOTTA SHOOT
http://www.Hawaiiclipper.com
http://www.NS38th.com
http://www.com-central.net
Find Them, Restore Them, Fly'Em

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