2011 BentProp Progress Report # 16

P-MAN XIII Update #16 - Warren writes about a whirlwind tour of Babeldaob

20 March

Tour de Babeldaob

Not much to report today from Palau, as most of today was spent “shaping the battlefield” for the rest of the mission.

At the beginning of the day, Casey split off to begin training for his open water SCUBA qualification and Derek, Joe, and Warren began the drive up to Ngiwal to investigate a lead on a historical site that may hold plenty of information regarding the Japanese occupation. Of course, to do that, we had to track down the Governor of Ngiwal State to request permission to conduct this search (and others for later in the mission if needed). After finding and meeting with the Governor, we began the search for the site. To make a long story short, we realized we had conflicting information from multiple sources that needed further vetting and agreed to come back to the site after that was complete.

With our tour of Ngiwal stopped a bit short, we got back on the road and continued to drive all the way around the island to Ngeremlengui. First stop? The Governor, of course, from whom we requested and received the necessary permission to conduct BentProp business in his state.

With that required step complete, we stopped at the wreckage (known) of a Japanese Tony and had lunch. With Ngeremlengui errands conducted, we got back on the road to Airai State to talk to a good Palaun friend/source about an aircraft that he has seen on another island. His business associates informed us to come back later as he wasn’t currently around. He did in fact return and we returned as well to have a meaningful discussion about his helping us locate this aircraft.

With our business in Arai finished, it was back to Koror to follow up on another lead with a local Palaun. A bit of a wild goose chase, but we finally tracked him down in his element at the shoreline getting ready to go spearfishing. He too is helpful and is making plans to assist us later on!

Like I said, not much to report today but some good steps taken to include Palauns with first-hand knowledge of aircraft locations later on in the mission.

The highlight of the day was of course meeting up with BentProp team member Jolie Liston. She graciously helped all of us this year by keeping some of our things in Palau since last year’s mission so we don’t have to haul all of our gear back to the U.S., then back to Palau. She also may be joining us later on during this trip as a break from her work on her archaeology dissertation for Australian National University.

- Warren

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