2009 BentProp Progress Report # xx

P-MAN XI Update #14 - Sonar school. More police hill. Elevator eats laundry.
02 March 2009

From Flip

Another rip-roaring day with The BentProp Project. We think we have finished up on Police Hill and will be ready to make recommendations for official government work.

But first, lessons learned!

  1. Did you know some folks do not like fried Hot & Spicy Spam?
  2. Check for all pieces of the jack set before going into rough terrain.
  3. You should make sure your stuff is stacked in the middle of the freight elevator.

We started the day with my world-famous fried Spam. I sure ate well but some folks turned their noses up at the world's perfect food. Can you believe that? I did have cold cereal just in case, but I thought they should eat it dry for punishment.

The water team headed out a few minutes before the land team. Today, Rick took Katie and Warren out for SSS training. They found a few interesting items on the ocean floor. We are starting to get the hang of this SSS work. We're not rock stars like the Navy, but SSS will be a good tool for us going into the future.

The land team headed back out to Police Hill in Ngatpang State. We had our archaeologist friend Jolie as a guest today. She wanted to see what we've found and we wanted her opinion of some sites as to whether they were ancient or modern.

We showed her our jumping-off spot at the Kempetei Headquarters and then proceeded up to the execution sites. She got to see the mounds of stones that we considered graves. She found them interesting as they were not ancient, but did not look modern either. Something for JPAC to consider.

Mark had predicted that a transportation unit should be close by this HQ area, but across the river. We crossed the river and sure enough, there were Japanese artifacts and earthworks.

Then up to the area where the Japanese said they reburied the bones. The Japanese War Crimes Trial transcripts show that the Japanese tried to cover up their deeds by digging up the bodies, burning them and then burying the ashes. We find this story suspect, but if we do not track down the testimony, we're just making guesses. However, in each of the statements of the accused, and in each hand-drawn map, there is almost always an element of truth. It's up to us to figure out what that is and find the missing people. Then we showed her what we believe is the execution area, and she liked that, too.

Molly looking down into a potential execution site.

When we declared Police Hill a closed site, we drove up to a spot that an elder said we should enter the jungle from. He said go into the jungle here, walk an hour and you'll be at two bunkers that hold records from the war. We're turning Paul loose on this to do his surveyor thing and hopefully narrow this search down a bit. Although we like the elder and we actually believe him, his directions don't narrow it down enough to make this a search instead of just exercise.

However, enroute to this location, we had to take an old road that has seen better days. Since the maIn road opened all around the island, the cross island roads have been neglected. The jungle is already starting to cover them up. We had to climb a very stony road and veer around rain washes to make sure we completed the journey. At one particularly rough patch, we heard a clang, then a whoosh. That whoosh was the air from a rear tire escaping through the side wall. And we were in the middle of nowhere.

Not a big deal, we'll just use the spare. Thank goodness we asked Muj to give us one. But when I went to use the jack, the jack handle was missing. The skinny little rod that actually goes into the jack was there. The piece used to turn the skinny little rod was not.

But karma was on our side: Jolie followed us. We used her lug wrench, got the spare in place and headed again. I'll get all the tools we need and get the tire fixed on Monday.

She looked around at our target area and has already started to hatch a plan - which, after all, was the whole idea of being on that road.

We parted ways with Jolie once we got to the main road. Called our fellow teamies and decided to meet at Sam's for sunset. Or least what was left of sunset. Changing the tire burned up a little time. We had a rousing good time with lots of stories and current events from home.

Gratuitious pictures of Katie and Molly

Back at the casa, everyone got their laundry back today but me. At least that's what I thought since I could not find mine at the front desk or in my room. The front desk crew said my laundry basket came back and that someone put it in the elevator. I went to each of my teamies' rooms and they all remember the basket, but it was nowhere to be found. Seems that when the elevator was filled with our stuff, one bag of laundry, plus basket, fell into the machinery and jammed it. Now a few of my items are being personally cleaned by the hotel staff. I think one pair of jungle pants made its way to pants heaven. But the story unfolded very slowly as I searched up and down the hotel for my laundry.

I'll add some photos to yesterday's update and today's and hopefully get these underway to you.

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