2009 BentProp Progress Report # 13a

P-MAN XI Update #13 - Katie, Warren, and Wil
28 February 2009

Okay - if you've been holding your breath for a couple of days, here's the scoop. In addition to continuing Internet problems that the team has been experiencing in Palau, they spent a day on Peleliu where there's no Internet capability. So everyone's reporting skipped a day. At this end, I've been traveling and there have been a couple of days when I was without access to the 'net. So now I have a connection and I've been able to download the last couple of day's worth of inputs. Below I'm going to give you inputs from Katie, Warren, and Wil. I'll call this Update 13a. When that's finished, I'll combine Flip's two latest inputs into a single Update 13b. Fair enough?

- Reid

From Katie

28 February

As you all know, I am in Palau searching through jungles among other things. We made a trip to Peleliu yesterday and we got a little more than we bargained for in the thousan- man cave..... see attached photos. Bats and Spiders (...alien looking spiders).


We saw various things underwater today using sonar..... including several cartoon characters and Davy Jones from the pirate movies....

And, yes, that is molly riding her "Miss Behavin" bike... .ha haha ha.

From Warren

28 February

The land team returned to Police Hill for more work, search, and investigation. Many hours on the hill as the team was joined by its own talented archeologist, Jolie Liston, and was able to provide a great deal of insight and knowledge on the area.

The water team continued to refiine i's procedures with the side-side scanning sonar and was able to identify many potential targets for future dives and search. The Neco guide - Nas - was also able to hit a waypoint on the water within 2 meters several times in a row! Also spent several hours dragging a snorkeler behind the boat scanning the bottom for US hardware....nothing today but we are here and we will keep looking...

Gotta go!

From Wil

28 February

Hey Reid! Not much time to write, but I thought I'd get off a few pix to supplement your supply. The internet situation here is still pretty tough, but we're able to visit the PPR and get online for patches. I'll annotate some of the photos below for context. Hope all's well stateside!

Pat learning about a new site from Vince.
We expect to send the land team there in the next few days. Looks promising.

Warrant Officer Randy Duncan of MSDU-1.
These guys were an invaluable help to our water team,
lending much expertise with side-scan sonar,
and a couple of the guys even humped out to the jungle with us one day.

Pat and Master Diver John Klukas of MDSU-1, standing on the deck
of the USNS Safeguard. The divers had been in Palau to remove
this anchor from the bottom of a channel, where it was
obstructing passage. The anchor was later found to have
marking from the 1930s, including the name of Emperor Hirohito. An historic find.

Pat being swallowed by elephant grass!

Rick, Warren, and Molly taking a break on a hillside
overlooking the compact road and Police Hill.
Notice the long-sleeved jungle gear - perfect for hot, humid Palau!

Chief Paul Wotus of MDSU-1, taking a lunch break
on the day he and Master Diver John Klukas
joined us in the jungle. These guys had great eyes for finding stuff.

View of the water from the boat, heading for Peleliu.
It's constantly amazing how beautiful it is here.

Tanks on Peleliu.

The island felt haunted to me, tortured. I can't say that going there was fun. It was upsetting, disturbing, in too many ways to recount. 13,000 souls were eviscerated on that small patch of coral in the span of just a few weeks. The pieces of their lives are literally scorched into the landscape. I stood on one of the landing beaches and tried to imagine the scene, the horror, how much blood was spilled there, soaking the sand and washing into the ocean. I'm glad we went and remembered those fallen soldiers, but I hope I never go back.

Warren in one of the Japanese caves on Peleliu.

Paul inspects a massive Japanese gun emplacement.
This thing looked like a dragon in its lair.

From right: Flip, Paul, and your humble narrator,
preparing for another day in the brush.

Joe Maldangesang, one of the world's most wonderful people.

Fighting Paul Schwimmer takes in the vast magnificence of Police Hill.

King Flip: BentProp consigliere, mission coordinator, Spam Pusherman.

It's official - we're in Palau!

Return to Progress Reports Index