P-MAN IX (2007)               

The P-MAN IX expedition ended on 15 Mar 2007

Click here to read regular progress reports posted during this year's expedition.

The year leading up to P-MAN IX

We returned from the 2006 Expedition in mid-March with the usual list of things to research, and as usual, the list we brought home was larger than the list we had when we started the trip.

Many of the research issues we've been working are a direct result of the substantial collection of Japanese maps that we turned up during and after the P-MAN VIII trip.

We received some WWII-vintage Japanese maps of Palau from Vernice Stefano, project director at the PALARIS office. She had uncovered them on a trip to the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. We received some additional maps from Yoji Kurata, a biologist who was living with his family in Palau before the war and who was conscripted into the Japanese army on his 18th birthday, a month before the US invasion of Peleliu and Angaur. He was injured during the fighting on Angaur, and was held in the US as a POW after the fall of Angaur. He and his daughter Emiko have been extremely gracious and useful sources of information.

We also received some military maps from Minoru Kamada, our research contact in Tokyo, and some excellent aerial photos through Pat Colin of the Coral Reef Research Foundation and through Katie Rasdorf and Mark Swank, our skilled research volunteers at NARA.

This newfound trove of maps has been guiding our planning for investigation of land targets to the point where - as of late October - we can imagine devoting this entire upcoming expedition to land-based searches.

On the other hand, there was a development late in 2006 that could change the land/underwater equation for the 2007 expedition: the possibility of some side-scan sonar (SSS) support through JPAC. As our 2007 expedition got under way, a JPAC Recovery Team was already in Palau, beginning to resume recovery work at the Arnett underwater B-24 site. So maybe we'll get wet.

Proposed primary search list for 2007

We've developed a list of our primary targets for this year, which we fully expect to change the first day we hit the field. But we'll share it with you:

2007 Primary Search List
Just kidding! Click anywhere on the map
to see a version that's actually readable!

Progress Reports from P-MAN IX (2007)

While the expedition was under way, we posted progress reports more-or-less daily here on the BentProp site. Most of the updates were written by Flip Colmer; Report #20 was written by Derek Abbey.