The Public Speaks on Swamp Ghost
Post Courier [ May 24, 2006 ]
By Jessie Lapou
THE Public has flooded in comments against the removal of warplane bomber Swamp Ghost from Oro Province. The plane is currently sitting at Lae Wharf and soon to be exported overseas.
Minister for Transport, Civil Aviation and Higher Education, Research and Technology Don Polye said the Swamp Ghost must not leave the shores of Papua New Guinea.
“I called on the Americans who are attempting to take the world war two bomber 17 war relic to create a museum in PNG to store American war relics found in PNG. We can not allow our history to go out of the country just like that and we need to respect ourselves and be respected by others,” said Mr Polye. Mr Polye called on the board of trustees of the National Museum and Art Gallery to stop the Swamp Ghost shipment.
Former Parliamentarian and leader of the Musa Wetlands landowners in Oro Province Akoka Doi said he was not happy about the attempted exportation of Swamp Ghost. Mr Doi said the plane was important to the people of PNG because of its historical value. He said the plane must be returned to Oro Province because landowners were totally against its removal in the first place.
“…The agreement signed between the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery and Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation expired. It was valid for five years from 1999 to 2004 June 23,” he said. MARC is a museum in USA where the Swamp Ghost will be restored.
Senior journalist from Oro Province Barnabas Orere said “it is sickening that the state has failed to protect the heritage for the people and has demonstrated openly that tourism based on war history is a farce”. Mr Orere said the government should promptly stop the shipment and the police should investigate the swamp ghost as another possible fraud case in which PNG public servants colluded with foreigners. “It is a major corruption,” he said.
An American who wished not to be named said the plane was probably one of the last intact WWII wrecked in both PNG and the world. He said Swamp Ghost must not be removed from the country and that PNG could use the PNG capitalize on the tremendous tourism value of the war relic.
He said the plane was something “special”.