Friday, January 18, 2013
Are there entire crates of factory "new" Spitfires buried in Burma?
That's the theory.
At the end of World War II (coincidentally during the height of production) surplus items were destroyed in BULK (I'm literally crying typing this thinking of all the Army Jeeps not in my driveway) in order to control [black] market pricing...
Soon after WW2, much of the material was written off at the time it was accepted; if too much of it got into the hands of traders (the Chinese excelled at this), it could depress the market for new goods. And in fact, the West did experience several challenging years until their manufacturing capacity was reconverted to the manufacture of peacetime goods.
To cope with this, many Allied countries had to get rid of their surplus equipment. It got so bad that, in some cases, the excess equipment was disposed of by burning, including aircraft. In one account, an entire pier was constructed entirely of new jeeps still in their packing cases.
But according to the recollections of some U.S. veterans, an entire squadron's worth of Mark XIV Spitfires were buried in various parts of Burma — about 140 fighters to be exact. And according to one source, there may be as many as 36 buried close to the runway at the Rangoon airport.
Unfortunately, the initial search has turned up short.
A team of 21 archaeologists had spent the last few days digging up various holes around the Rangoon airport looking for the giant crates. But all they found were bundles of electric cables and water pipes. According to the archaeologists, they haven't stopped searching, and "cannot stop" now. They consider it a setback and a delay in their work.
Source -> http://io9.com/5977177/are-there-perfectly-preserved-wwii+era-spitfire-airplanes-buried-in-the-burmese-jungle via http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jan/18/spitfire-search-burma-draws-blank