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   Interview with Phil Bradley

JT  Any good wreck anecdotes to retell?


PB  I guess part of the appeal of wreck hunting is in the finding. I�ve been fortunate in that most of the ones I�ve seen have been reasonably accessible though a lot of clearance is usually required to have a good look. And invariably there are mosquitos about so I ended up with malaria three times.

The But aerodrome one was a classic... I had driven out from Wewak on a day I should have been working and we found a lot of engines and aircraft bits to look at. Then our vehicle got a puncture and by the time we were ready to go some angry locals had turned up waving bush knives (machetes) at us. They thought we were stealing bits and pieces which was not the case, but an angry Sepik man takes some convincing.

  Fortunately my work mate Jimmy stepped in. Jimmy knows everyone - even the local police commissioner who had provided us with a police escort the previous day. And it transpired one of Jimmy�s sisters (read villagers) had married a local guy. So next moment we are all the best of friends. It is a good example of how to get on with locals- there is a fine line between very best of friends and deadly enemies.

Japanese Motorcycle
Japanese Motorcycle But Aerodrome

 


Ki-49 Helen wreckage near But

 

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