The Swamp Ghost

Return Swamp Ghost to Agiambo
The National [ September 10, 2008 | Read Article Online ]

Simon Poraituk of the National Museum’s explanation justifying the removal of the Swamp Ghost from PNG to the USA is an absolute shame.

How can you just pick up something that had been on our land for 60 years and flog it off for a lousy K300,000?

Sixty years is over half a century, therefore, the aeroplane rightfully belongs to the people of Agiambo.
I am not a legal expert but my Miaru River tank tells me that if you apply the law of shipwrights to a lost ship found by someone, the finder is rightfully the owner.

Since the plane was an “airship” lost during wartime, it rightfully belongs to the people who own the land on which it crash landed.

What is a “modern history display, recreation playground, barbeque area and a lousy K300,000” compared to the millions Aero Archaeology will gain from displaying the Swamp Ghost in its US museum?
Therefore, I call on all like minded Papua New Guineans to stand together and challenge this decision by the NEC and relayed by Mr Poraituk in court.

War relics and war tourism is big business in the United States. The members of the Swamp Ghost all survived the crash landing (some of them have since passed on) and their generation live on in the US.
The plane has a rich history. It has a unique place in its squadron.

So, such a restored Flying Fortress bomber is a classical drawcard for millions of visitors.
Finally, Mr Poraituk, the US is already full of WWII memorabilia.
If you walk down Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco, you will find a WWII submarine that used to patrol around the Bismarck Sea.

It’s name is US Pampanito (SS-383). Over 100,000 people visit the old boat every year.
Now, how would your friends from Aero Archaeology feel if I were to walk into Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger’s office in downtown LA, thump down a few “mikes” on the table, hitch hike down to Fisherman’s Pier in SF, jump in the old bucket, and sail it full speed back to Port Moresby for display at Ela Beach?

Those people would sink me before I even cranked up the 40-horse on the back!
Oh, and if you are wondering about where SF & LA are, don’t think too hard, em yu yet kam na lukim!

Big Pat
Miaru River
Gulf of Papua

          B-17E 41-2446 art by Jack Fellows via IHRP

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