2014 BentProp Progress Report # 05

P-MAN XVI Update #05 - A nice walk in the woods. Cool wildlife.

19 March 2014

Well, today really kicked our butt!

We met for our standard breakfast and brief this morning. The plan we discussed last night shifted some as we reviewed some information from some past interviews. Either way the planned called for us to head off into the jungle for the day. After packing up, we headed out the door to revisit a previously found site deep in the jungle. As we looked more and more at what this elder said in the interviews it became apparent that some executions might have taken place in the area we were heading. We decided that we needed to see if we could confirm this information or not.

We figured it would be a pretty easy day, because we had been to this site before. It was about an hour hike in. This is the case when you got the right route and the route has not been destroyed by two massive typhoons. Ultimately we made it, but it took us twice the planned time to get there. We searched and investigated the area and ultimately determined that we couldn’t confirm that executions took place there, but also couldn’t rule it out.

After the extra long trek into the jungle we decided to take the direct route back to our vehicle. The only problem with this is it forces you to traverse cross-corridor (this means you end up having to go up and down hills a lot). After a tiring day and some oppressive heat, the route out took about the same amount of time as the route in. We reached the van after several rest stops to cool off and catch our breath and ended up relaxing for a bit at the van before heading out.

Back to the hotel and off to an early dinner. We were all starving. Mark from the University of Delaware joined us for dinner. Mark is part of the group helping us with water work. We were happy and surprised to hear that they have already started work. Dan and Mark left for the airport after dinner. A couple of more folks from Scripps are arriving as well as our team member, Casey Doyle [active-duty.Marine and grandson of Jimmie Doyle, nose-gunner on B-24 #453, which will be meaningful to those of you who've read Wil Hylton's amazing book "Vanished"].

Tomorrow we are headed back to the jungle!

Photos that follow are all © Sean Richardson 2014:

Pat Scannon: Sandwich-Commander-in-Chief.

The team getting ready.

Dan is but a drop in the green sea.

A battery, circa 1944.

Glass we found. There were full panes of it, and it was frosted. There
was a tree with glass embedded in the roots, like it had grown around
the glass. Very strange.

A box, overgrown with roots and vines, and containing...noting very interesting.

Pat after he slithered back out of a hole..

Derek and always-happy Joe, taking a siesta. With their eyes open.

"Sean takes too many pictures" - Pat
"No, he doesn't" - Reid

A Japanese helmet that was found on the way back.

Very large and beautiful spider.That's a gloved hand in the righ-hand shot, for reference..
[Note from Reid: these beauties are what taught me an important jungle-hiking lesson many years ago:
always, if possible, walk behind someone taller than you. These Golden Orb spiders are the size of your hand,
and they like to build their webs at just about face-level. WAY cool.]

Pat, Dan, and Derek decompressing.

- Derek Abbey, with some photos by Sean Richardson

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