More From the Eye in the Sky

Posted in Mixed Nuts on May 2nd, 2010 by MadDog
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You’ll be spared my usual chatter today, because I’m running up against some serious deadlines. I have a few more aerial shots from my Helicopter ride a few days ago. I also have some mystery images for you. If you’re not a PNG resident they will probably mean nothing to you. However, the closer you live to Madang, the more likely you will know what they are.

Here’s a shot of Madang Airport. If you’re landing in the Heart of Paradise, this is what it looks like:I have heard about the opening of the airport to international traffic since I arrived here in 1981. I’m still hearing about it. The tragicomic series of events which have thwarted it are simply to bizarre to dump on you. When I asked Sir Peter if he thought that I’d live long enough to see it, his answer was “Not likely.” I don’t know what to make of that. Does he know something that I don’t? Well, of course, he knows a plethora of things that I don’t. But it’s still a puzzling answer. It raises the hair on my arms a little.

Not far from the airport runway is Siar Island:This is about as close to a tropical island paradise as you can get. It’s lush, peaceful, absolutely gorgeous and close to town.

This is the wharf at the Madang Resort Hotel which graciously supplies our little gang of divers with rental tanks and equipment when needed. Without the support of the hotel, there would be no recreational diving by us locals. We’re very grateful for their support:Every Saturday morning we gather here to gear up and depart for our underwater adventures.

This is one of the images of which I spoke at the beginning:I have nothing to say about it. I’m not a citizen of PNG, so I must be circumspect in my comments. I have opinions, but I’m not going to state them here. It’s enough to state factually that the circumstances surrounding this are more and more controversial as the days pass. Personally, I’m praying for peace. We’ve been through this before and it was very ugly.

This is another landmark about which I’ll keep quiet.I am just thinking that, for those who are interested in its existence, it might be amusing to see it from the God’s Eye View. Man, could I tell you some stories about how this one got in! But I won’t.

Finally, this is the reason why everything is running out in Madang. I don’t know if they have it open yet, but from the looks of it a few days ago, I doubt it:

You’re looking at a complete blockage of the only road connecting Madang to Lae, from which all cargo flows, well, nearly all cargo. This is why hotel owners are fretting seriously over their supply of eggs. Madang is pathetically helpless without this road.

I don’t know if the pipeline of a certain company was damaged in the landslide. If it was, it was certainly quickly repaired. If it were my guess, I’d say that that is because they have all the money. They certainly had money enough to get into PNG.

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P-38 Lightning Crash Site at Siar Island

Posted in Mixed Nuts on February 4th, 2010 by MadDog
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A few weeks ago, after a dive, Monty Armstrong (Swami Monty) and I went over to Siar Island  to have a look at a crashed P-38 Lighting on the beach at the west side of the island. If you saw these bits an pieces sticking up out of the ground you might not suspect that they were once part of a mighty warplane:You can read what is known about the wreck at PacificWrecks.com I’ll be sending the URL of this post to them so that they can have some better images of the site.

It was very fortunate to have Monty along. He is an aircraft expert and has actually worked on several P-38s and many other war birds. He explained to me that what we’re looking at here are parts of the fuel bladders which held the high-octane aviation gasoline which powered the P-38’s engines:When exploring, it’s always helpful to have along someone who actually knows what they are looking at.

Here you can see that a tree on the beach has grown around parts of the aircraft:I don’t think that anybody is going to be recovering that bit.

Here is Monty examining the underside of the wreck. According to local reports, the P-38 crashed just off-shore and was dragged up onto the beach by the Japanese soldiers:Monty is apparently digging for gold.

Here’s a wider shot of the wreckage:The holes that you see in the ground are land crab dwellings. Do NOT handle!

Here’s another shot with my manly, manly foot for scale:Isn’t it magnificent?

This is actually my favourite shot of the day:Real people, men and women at war, assembled this machine bolt-by-bolt and sent it off with a real man flying it into battle. So many people, so many, many people  died in the horror of WWII and the spasm of madness that gripped mankind at that time.

If you are a regular reader, you know that images are my thing. This one really grabs me.

I’m planning an expedition soon up to Nob Nob Mountain  to revisit the site of another P-38 crash which nobody seems to claim. Though I’ve reported it several times to several agencies, nobody admits to knowing anything about it. I have a propeller from it in my front yard. With the images that I’ll show you, I hope to establish that it is real and, hopefully, identify the aircraft and pilot.

Stay tuned.

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