Introduction to Findings
P-MAN VI was different from the start from other BentProp Project missions. It was longer (6 weeks), permitting most team members to stay only half the time. It saw the return of P-MAN II team member, Reid Joyce, and a new PostStar Productions cameraman, Peter Galli. For the first time, P-MAN VI produced real time, daily logs with photos for our BentProp web site readers (through the journalistic efforts of Reid) - with ongoing commentaries as well from Flip Colmer, when he was in country. P-MAN VI also differed from prior missions in finding more crash sites and opening up more leads for future searches. Concurrent with the P-MAN VI mission, JPAC sent a recovery mission to investigate three American sites, two of which P-MAN teams had discovered (Corsair and Avenger) and the third in which P-MAN teams had participated in identifying and expanding (POW site). See a brief description of JPAC mission goals below.
Since JPAC will issue their own separate report on their recovery mission (and we have agreed not to discuss their findings before then), this report will concentrate on the P-MAN VI findings.
Since its inception, the BentProp Project has recognized that our searches within Palau occur within an independent and sovereign country. Hence, we understand that we owe the Palauan people an explanation of our intentions before proceeding and a summary of our findings afterwards. For some time, we have been notifying the Palauan Historical Preservation Office (HPO), headed by Ms. Vicky Kanai, Director, and Ms. Rita Ulsudong, National Archeologist, of both, including detailed GPS tables, and when appropriate, maps of our findings. We have been honored that on several occasions, members of HPO have asked our opinions on various matters relating to WWII. We have also stayed in touch with key Palauans, such as Senator Surangel Whipps, Mr. Mason Whipps, Mr. Surangel Whipps, Jr., Mr. Ephram Polycarp and Governor and Mrs. Shallum Etpison - who in turn have connected us with state government officials and Chiefs, so that we may explain and receive permission to proceed with our efforts. We also work closely with Mr. Tangie Hesus on matters relating to Peleliu. On an informal basis, I have been invited on several occasions to make presentations to different Palauan organizations, which I am honored to do. The BentProp Project does not take lightly the generosity of the Palauan people, both on an official and informal level, and we are determined to work hard to retain the trust we have been able to create with the people of Palau.
The BentProp Project also feels that, as we are investigating historical matters concerning our forces during WWII, we owe the American people a summary of our efforts. Accordingly, we coordinate our activities, as appropriate, with the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hawaii (JPAC), the U. S. Navy Historical Center (NHC), Washington, D. C., the U. S. Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA), as well as the Charge d'Affaires ad interim of the United States of America in Palau. We send confidential reports to these agencies, as appropriate, and we also provide a non-confidential version to the public through this Web site.
To all of the above, the members of the BentProp Project express our deepest gratitude for the spirit of cooperation and interest that we receive from each person and organization.
As with prior BentProp Project missions, P-MAN VI generated a lot of information in a non-linear manner - by which I mean that we typically explored more than one site in any given day and revisited sites according to need, weather and opportunity. Since this apparent chaos does not lend itself to a cohesive chronological review, I have decided to pool descriptions by event and not by date. As many P-MAN VI personal events are ably captured in the daily logs on the BentProp Web site, the summary below will focus more on the key findings.
A complete report of the P-MAN VI findings has been sent to the President of Palau, the Palau Historical Preservation Office (HPO), the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command, Hawaii (JPAC), U. S. Navy Historical Center (NHC) and the U. S. Air Force Historical Research Agency (AFHRA). At these agencies' request and out of respect pending formal identification and notification, all references to specific identities of deceased individuals, human remains, aircraft, detailed maps and GPS readings obtained during P-MAN VI have been deleted from this Web site summary. Accordingly, for some of the crash sites, wording is intentionally vague. When we are permitted, we will release our full report.
The following map depicts the approximate locations of four new U.S. aircraft crash sites found by BentProp Project Team during the P-MAN VI mission of 2004. These sites are discussed in attachments 2 through 6, which follow.