P-MAN VI Update #3
16 January 2004

Day 2 on-island began with a round of courtesy calls and official visits. We had a meeting at the Palau Historical Preservation Office during which the JPAC folks signed a memorandum of agreement that set forth the rules by which the team will conduct the investigations at the three sites: Ngatpang State on Babelthuap, Malakal harbor in Koror State, and Pope's Ridge in Peleliu State.

The JPAC team had originally planned to start on Peleliu, move to Malakal, and finish in Ngatpang. Because of a legal problem, that sequence has been reversed, putting Peleliu last, for an interesting reason. The laws of Peleliu prohibit the kind of excavation and possible removal of remains that comprise the whole purpose of JPAC's mission. So the legislature is actually changing the law to permit the kind of special effort that this expedition and its goals represent. Since the law may not officially be changed for a couple of weeks, they had to slip the Peleliu portion until after it's legal.

We also met with a local EPA representative who had promised permits for the kind of limited excavation that JPAC will be doing at the three sites. On Monday, we'll meet with him again. JPAC will provide details of their excavation plans, and he'll issue the required permits.

The JPAC folks' logistic arrangements were not ... complete, so they've spent the past couple of days arranging for rental cars for the 9-person team, restructuring their reservations for accommodations, transporting the huge collection of stuff that they brought on the C-17, arranging for warehouse space for the stuff, finalizing arrangements for a barge to support the diving and suction-dredging operation that's planned for Malakal harbor, and so on.

Tonight, we went out to the airport to pick up Jennifer and Pete from PostStar Productions, and Flip and his wife Rebecca. Alas, Flip and Rebecca, who were flying standby, didn't get on this plane from Guam and will consequently (if they're lucky) come in some time tomorrow.

We traded the rental car for a rental van that will accommodate the growing team. It's a nice Japanese van with a bunch of seats. And the steering wheel on the right side. Pat got us back to the hotel safely in it, with a burgers-and-shakes stop at the Truck Stop.

When we got here to the hotel, the baseball team had already arrived, checked in, eaten some pasta and watermelon, and gone to bed. Haven't heard a peep from them. Even the rooster hasn't started tuning up yet, and it's already midnight.

Tomorrow, we're hoping to make a dive on the Malakal site.

Onward and upward! Strength through joy!

- Reid


  • Quiz question: Flying standby is a mode of travel in which the travelers have additional opportunities to ... what? Anyone? Anyone? Right: STAND BY.