Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Bristol Blenheim Mk.V AZ876

Weather and work have interfered with recent outings, but just before the weather closed in I went over to Idridgehay in Derbyshire to see what remains to be seen at the crash site of this Blenheim, which took off from Ashbourne in July 1943 only to nosedive straight into the ground killing all of the crew. Answer- this patch of nettles in a slight depression.

My picture above is rather less interesting than this one, (which I got from Pat Cunningham) of the armour plating taken away by enthusiasts subsequent to an unlicensed excavation of the site by the farmer in the last 90's.

The farmer also dug up an extensive collection of personal effects, including a wallet containing a leave pass and a month's wages. It's bad enough for a serviceman to get killed, but dying with a full wallet and a leave pass, that's a tragedy!

Location: SK 29599 47544

More info

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Handley Page Hampden Mk.I X3154 coded ZN-A

Had a day out with Pat today on a windy Rushup Edge to have a look at a few sites. If (like everyone else) you took a photo of the 0.303 round which was embedded in one of the lumps of formerly molten aluminium at this crash site, you'll not be able to take another, as it has disappeared since our last visit.

The nearby Oxford site had also been disturbed.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Armstrong Vickers Wellington Mk.IC Z8808 coded KJ-E

A long trek in (as usual at this location) foggy conditions yielded extensive scattered wreckage from this crash near Ashfold Gill Head on Gouthwaite Moor in the Yorkshire Dales.

Location: SE 07303 68831

More info

Monday, 27 September 2010

Grumman Avenger FN821 coded 4-K

Grumman Avenger FN821 coded 4-K

A visit yesterday to this little known site confirmed by its obvious signs of recent interference what we have known for a good while now: left to their own devices, sad anoraks will ignore the law and strip crash sites illegally, including sites like this one where all crew involved died.

Compare the dug out crater and piled wreckage you see here with the description of the site in August 2006:

"The crash site has, basically, been left untouched all this time, being protected by the heavy vegetation. Wreckage is still embedded in the crater that used to be water filled but now mostly drained by the surrounding trees. Showing all the signs of a vertical high speed descent, the wreckage lies crumpled around. The crater clearly shows the outline of the frontal aspect of the Avenger being lopsided as if missing a wing. The remaining wing area still contained remains of undercarriage, tyre and fuel tank structures. Cockpit framing lay embedded into one side of the crater only" Source : Ezraysnet

The tiresomely repeated claim of the grave-robbers that "curious walkers" are responsible for taking bits away from these sites simply will not wash here. Being very well hidden in extensive forestry, this is not a site which any casual walker would stumble upon, and before now, there were no accurate published coordinates-the High Ground Wrecks coordinates are well out at this site.

The diggers clearly knew where it was though-bits have apparently already found their way to Fort Perch Rock, a wreckologists "museum" which we are told makes the Millom scrapyard look like Duxford.

We are led to understand that the thorough work-over shown in the photos has happened in the last year. Anyone know anything else?

Location: SJ 01382 25611

More info

Monday, 13 September 2010

Republic P-47 C Thunderbolt 41-6246 / HL-F

Republic P-47 C Thunderbolt 41-6246 / HL-F

Had a day out on Aran Fawddwy yesterday, getting the last two sites on there cleared up.

This is one of the larger wreckage piles from the crash of this Thunderbolt, whose trail we only touched on previously. Skinning and assorted bits are scattered all around this location, which lies more or less directly below the impact point.

Location: SH 86389 21890

More info

North American P 51-D Mustang 44-72340 / WD-K

North American P 51-D Mustang 44-72340 / WD-K
Rainforest 0 wreck-hunters 1

We located one of the wreckage piles from this crash site, whose close-packed spiky vegetation and deep ground cover defeated us (as it has many others) previously. Result!

Note that the coordinates below are plus or minus around 25m, (rather than our normal 5m) due to interference with our GPSr signal from the dense tree cover, so here's some additional assistance: there is a stream too small to appear on the 1:25K OS map in the vicinity of these coordinates. Close to the side of the stream is a really big boulder, the largest we saw in the wood. You should more or less be able to see the wreckage from this boulder.

Location: SH 84043 23682

More info

Monday, 30 August 2010

1942 headstamp

A clear close-up view of the ACP cartridge case found at the Norseman site on Shining Tor, clearly showing the (19)42 headstamp which proves it can't be from the 1941 Defiant crash

More info

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

NOT Armstrong Vickers Wellington Mk.III BJ652 coded Z

Reports have reached us from a number of relevant museum staff that this is not in fact part of Wellington BJ652, contrary to what we were told over on the Aero Parts Identify Board, and reported previously.

We are happy to go with the new information, unless someone has an informed alternative opinion?

Friday, 20 August 2010

Millom "Museum" Closes


We hear that the "museum" pictured where bits of unrecognisable scrap dug pointlessly and amateurishly from crash sites by "enthusiasts" were piled up ("exhibited" would be too generous, as the quote below shows) is to close.

A local resident is quoted as saying:

"is that a museum on devenshire road? i thought it was some sort of scrapyard or dumping ground for old planes and rusting junk. its an accident waiting to happen with no fencing around it to stop kids getting in and hurting themselves! its also a bloody eyesore and ruins a good walk in what used to be a beautiful part of millom"

So that's a result, then! The only problem now is what will happen with all of the stuff the anoraks dug up?

We know the answer to that - just the same as always happens - it will be lost, and neither scientific knowledge nor permanent exhibits will remain from these saddoes playing at archaeologists. Why don't they just leave things alone?

Friday, 13 August 2010

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22491

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-22491

A buzz around with Pat C today yielded a few new sites, though being all in the lowlands, nothing too spectacular.

First up is this memorial plaque erected recently on the Upper Tean cottages hit by a US Thunderbolt in 1944.

Location: SK 00786 39584

More info

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-74728

Republic P-47D Thunderbolt 42-74728

Despite previous excavation by enthusiasts, there are still scraps of aluminium to be found amongst the trees alongside the Greenway Hall Golf Club where a pilot-less Thunderbolt hit the ground.

Baling out hadn't helped the pilot in this instance , as he opened his parachute prematurely, and was killed by the sudden deceleration.

Location: SJ 91936 50646

More info

Handley Page Halifax Mk. 2 BB320

Handley Page Halifax Mk. 2 BB320

What appears to be an inspection cover found at the site of the crash of this Halifax, despite a previous amateurish excavation by Macclesfield's enthusiasts.

Crash date 7th February 1944-due to icing and engine failure, compounded by the pilot's inexperience with losing engines

Location: SJ 97409 47408

More info

De Havilland Venom FB Mk.1 WK390

De Havilland Venom FB Mk.1 WK390

Pat with some scraps found at the Caverswall (Staffordshire) crash site of this test version of the Venom, which was essentially an uprated Vampire.

Location: SJ 95188 43844

More info

Friday, 30 July 2010

Vickers Armstrong Wellington Mk. 10 LP397

Vickers Armstrong Wellington Mk. 10 LP397: Aluminium debris

Had a day out with Pat C on Wednesday to a few sites I'd not been to previously (as well as the Fauld Crater).

These are a couple of bits from the Church Mayfield Wellington crash site.

Location: SK15449 44950

More info: Crash date 13th June 1944- an experienced pilot for once, brought down by a thunderstorm

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

Vickers Varsity T1 WJ897 / G-BDFT

Vickers Varsity T1 WJ897 / G-BDFT

Though the unfortunate 'plane dated back to 1952, this crash took place in 1984, with a crew drawn from the enthusiast group which had just restored the aircraft.

This memorial was erected in 2009, replacing the less-formal one which was at the site prior to that.

A collection of the burned aluminium debris which still litters the crash site (in Marchington, Staffordshire) is shown beside the plaque.

We have received a communication from a relative of one of those who were aboard with concerns that the coordinates below will encourage diggers and metal detectorists to disturb the plantings they have made at the site.

As Pat Cunningham already published the site coordinates in 2005, we will leave them up, but we very much hope that the conscience of anyone reading would prevent them disturbing this recent crash site using these coordinates.

Location: SK 15103 30064

More info

Republic P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6259

Republic P-47C Thunderbolt 41-6259
Since Pat last visited this crash site in Sudbury Coppice (near Ashbourne in Derbyshire) other visitors have apparently piled scraps of aircraft wreckage on the tree stump directly beside the crash crater.

Location:SK 15617 35518

More info: Crash date-19th January 1944-the pilot was ferrying the aircraft from Halesworth in Suffolk to Maghaberry in Northern Ireland, and lost control of the aircraft when attempting to climb through low cloud.

Sunday, 25 July 2010

Ringinglow Gyroscope: The other side

Ringinglow Gyroscope: The other side

I went to see the man who has the Ringinglow gyroscope now a bit back, and noted that this side didn't match the pics we were sent of the torpedo gyro. The chassis certainly looks the same, but it seems to have been modified...

Saturday, 24 July 2010

North American F-86 Sabre F.Mk 4s XD707 + XD730

Cockpit:North American F-86 Sabre F.Mk 4s XD707 + XD730
The cockpit from one of the Kinder Sabres is in someone's house, along with a great deal of stuff from other crash sites, and assorted ordnance....

De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.30 NT266

De Havilland Mosquito NF.Mk.30 NT266

The much looted crash site of NT266 on Pockley Moor, Yorkshire still had these undercarriage parts as of last week. Look on ebay for the rest.

Location: SE 62039 92492

More info

Avro Lancaster Mk X KB701

Avro Lancaster Mk X KB701

I was lucky to find even this one of the few remaining scattered bits of wreckage at the Helmsley Moor crash site of this Lancaster Bomber.

Location: SE 58808 92116

More info

Thursday, 8 July 2010

Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman 43-35439 or Defiant Mk.I T3921?

A rubbish photo of what appears to be a .45 calibre ACP round headstamped "A T 42" found at the disputed crash site.

This US standard sidearm ammunition leads us to conclude that this does indeed seem to be the crash site of a US 'plane, rather than a British one, and it cannot be the 1941 Defiant crash site, as the "42" is a year marking.

Norseman it is then.

Wednesday, 7 July 2010

Noorduyn UC-64A Norseman 43-35439 or Defiant Mk.I T3921?

Pat sent me this picture of a component marked with a distinctive merged AP logo from the disputed Shining Tor crash site-click through on pic. above to zoom in.

Where have I seen that logo before?

Friday, 25 June 2010

North American Harvard Mk.IIB FT442

A day out with Pat today. Amongst other things we found this bit of metal at the Harvard site on Shining Tor, more convincing that the scraps of perspex we found last time.

We also found a discharged handgun round at the nearby Defiant/Norseman site, about which more later...

Thursday, 24 June 2010

Gloster Javelin F.A.W Mk.5 XA662

Gloster Javelin F.A.W Mk.5 XA662

We had a grand day out in Wensleydale (I had the cheese on the way back, it was nothing special in its native area) yesterday in fine weather to look at a couple of decent wreck sites above Castle Bolton.

The photo shows a detail from the extensive wreckage pile over the hill in Apedale from the crash of this early jet fighter (the pilot and trainee on board both ejected safely after both engines failed)

It is an end-on view of a jet-pipe, which is maybe 10 feet long. Pictures of the rest of the wreckage can be seen on the Flickr site, click though on the pic if you want to see them.

We'd be more concerned over the degree of inaccuracy we established in Clarks' published coordinates here if you couldn't see the site from over 200m away...

Location: SE 01545 94188

More info

De Havilland Mosquito F.B Mk.VI TA525

We recognised this pothole from Richard Allenby's site (see "more info" below), so we knocked the nettles aside and had a peer in to find...

...this wreckage, formerly to be seen just outside the pothole. It seems that someone has thoughtfully "tidied it up".

There is a much bigger pile of wreckage just above this location which certain others might pretend they had visited, but their photos didn't come out-in our case however the truth is that we were so focussed on finding this pothole that we just forgot.

Location: SE 02111 92966

More info

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Avro Vulcan B. Mk.2 XH536

Avro Vulcan B. Mk.2 XH536

An outing to the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons yesterday in flag-cracking sunshine proved successful in locating two wreck sites from the Brecon Beacons pamphlet.

First up was this one, a crater left when a Vulcan crashed into a snow-covered hillside indistinguishable from the low cloud around it on 11th February 1966 with no survivors. Click on the pic to see the wreckage in the crater.

Location: SN 91152 21363

Avro Vulcan B. Mk.2 XH536

Avro Vulcan B. Mk.2 XH536

This incredibly heavy bit of the Vulcan flew quite some distance from the crater. Not sure what it is, but it was built to last

Location: SN 91199 21489

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903 "Ascend Charlie"

Cairn and Crater: Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903

This cairn is partially constructed from previously molten and torn aluminium from the Pen Gwylt Meirch crash site of Flying Fortress "Ascend Charlie". Unlike so many of the crash sites we have visited, this crew were on their way back from having seen action, rather than being casualties of training or hi-jinks.

Location: SO 24177 25366

More info:"An American Bomber crashed on the mountain near the Cwm Farm, Llanbedr at 21:20 hours on 16 September 1943. Fortress 42-5903 known as Ascend Charlie piloted by First Lt. Herbert Turner was hit in No. 1 engine by flak over La Rochelle. On the return journey the formation hit a cloud front with the oncoming darkness the formation scattered resulting in the plane hitting the hillside and killing all 10 crew." Addis.,J. (2002) "Crickhowell Yesterday" Abergavenny: Broadleaf

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903 "Ascend Charlie"

Memorial:Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903

The memorial to "The Turner Crew" as they are sometimes known is immediately adjacent to the crash site. The average age of the crew was 22.

Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903 "Ascend Charlie"

Memorial:Boeing B-17F Flying Fortress 42-5903

The memorial to the crew of the flying fortress in the church in nearby Llanbedr. There's one in the Red Lion next door too...

Location: SO 23933 20465

Thursday, 10 June 2010

North American P 51-D Mustang 44-72340 / WD-K

Rainforest 1: Wreckhunters 0

We ( Me, Mick, Matt ZX) went over to Aran Fawddwy yesterday with a view to finding a bit of the Mustang whose wreckage was scattered there.

We had the crash report, and the various published coordinates. There were three of us, we had all day to look and we had all found a good few wreck sites.

We found nothing where the crash report map showed wreckage should have been, we found nothing where TR Hill's book described wreckage in a rainforest, and we found nothing where Clark's book reported wreckage, other than incredibly tightly packed trees, festooned with moss.

Crash Report: SH 845 233
Clark et al: SH 841 237
Hill: SH 846 234

We have a report that someone from Chester looted the site back in the early 90's, and that one of their friends has been operating nearby recently.

Anyone know anything?

Bruster Rooster? The fake crash report documents

So I now have one of those sets of "fake" crash document reports, reproduced below. I'm not convinced that they cast any doubt on the veracity of the Overexposed report posted previously, but appear to me to be joke documents produced as part of an outward bound type exercise. Apparently there is another set, more intended to deceive. Will publish when I get them. Comments?

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Where did it all go?

Here's evidence from the May 1968 issue of Air Clues, an RAF magazine as to where some of the bigger sections of the Peak District sites went. Wonder where the bits taken are now?

Looks like the readily portable stuff was already gone by then, judging by the slim pickings available to these air cadets.

The crash sites referred to are believed to be that of Botha W5103, Defiant N3378, Blenheim L1476 and Swordfish P4223, but this last one is strangely a long way from the others, which form something of a cluster. Is there another Swordfish site?

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Lockheed Lightning P-38F 41-7677 (Maid of Harlech) Update

We hear that the anoraks are once again up in arms about not being able to loot the Harlech P-38, which is receiving further press attention due in part to interest in TIGHAR's current expedition to Nikumaroro to look for Amelia Earhart's 'plane.

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Blackburn B-24 Skua Mk.II L3054?

Report from Rob the Tog on the continuing saga of Elidir Fawr...

I decided to have a go a pinning down the Skua (L3054) crash on Elidir Fawr. Well the short story is that I didn’t find the crash site. At first I walked up the valley skirting the bottom of the lower scree and looking with the binoculars to see if I could spot anything. I was working on the principle that wreckage usually moves downhill, but nothing.

Then I climbed up and moved to the top boulder field (I thought I spotted it, but as usual it turned out to be a brown rock!). I scouted round, but the place is nightmare to search on your own, the boulder field is big but stable, so you can cross it, but you could be a few feet away from any wreckage and still not spot it.

I did find a six foot long rusted steel tube with about a two inch diameter (no markings etc, too much rust), it could be from the aircraft but only its age makes it a possible. [see pic. above]

I searched the main boulder field as best I could in the fall line from the summit but didn’t find anything else. The problem with this one is the boulders spread right from the top of Elidir Fawr all the way along the summit ridge for a good few hundred metres, so unless the location can be pinned down a bit it will take an epic search to find it (or just a lot of luck!).

I did spot some nice fossils in the rocks at the top of the mountain and found a rock which I think could be a meteorite (because of it totally out of place look and its got a very high iron content which doesn’t fit with the local rocks). So not a bad day out despite not finding the crash site. I guess it might be a case to try and get a copy of the accident card from Hendon.

Location: SH 61238 61230

Anyone know anything?

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Sperry Gyropilots and Torpedo Gyroscopes

Sperry Gyropilots

We are told that the "V1 gyro" from Ringinglow is actually a Sperry gyropilot as illustrated in this pic from the manual. They were apparently fitted to C47s and early B17s.

But others claim it is a GA VIII Gyroscope from a WW2 German G7e torpedo. The torpedo gyro pic below (from German Wapedia) looks pretty convincing to my inexpert eye, there are so many points of similarity that this must be it, or a very close relative.

So who missed the sea by 100 miles?

Thursday, 22 April 2010

Ringinglow V1 gyroscope?

This was apparently found near Ringinglow, and is believed by the finder to be a V1 gyroscope, despite no reports of V1s in the area.

For some reason, this was our most popular Flickr picture ever. 2250 views as of now...

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Armstrong Vickers Wellington Mk.III BJ652 coded Z

Some well-preserved bits of geodetic found earlier in the week on an outing with Welsh Barry near the site of the Smerill Wellington.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Miles Master Mk.III W8474

Miles Master Mk.III W8474
A day out with an assortment of air crash site old-timers today, visiting the Broken Ground Liberator as well as this memorial to a fatal training accident (Pat Cunningham gave it a less charitable description) suffered by a Polish pilot.

Location: SJ 99530 95530

For more info, click on the pic for memorial text

Miles Master Mk.III W8474

Miles Master Mk.III W8474
A local enthusiast (who incidentally witnessed the crash first-hand) has amassed this collection of scraps from the crash site.

Location: SJ 99772 95326 (crash site)

Consolidated Liberator PB4Y-1 63934 USN

Consolidated Liberator PB4Y-1 63934 USN: Engine

We were shown where a number of previously buried components of this Liberator were concealed today by the people who had hidden them.

We'd never have found some of them without this help.

This cylinder barrel comes from one of the two engines which were relocated.

Location: SE 00838 01630