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Thread: Supposed WWII skeleton found dangling above Kokoda Track

  1. #1
    "Shooter" evangilder's Avatar
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    Supposed WWII skeleton found dangling above Kokoda Track

    Australian, US and Japanese authorities are investigating the discovery of what is thought to be the skeleton of a World War II pilot along the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea.

    Hikers say they discovered the skeleton hanging from the jungle canopy halfway along the 96-kilometre historic World War II path.

    Guide David Collins from Melbourne's No-Roads trekking company was there.

    "It's swinging like somebody caught in a tree and that's when you can really see the cabling and it's the exact shape of a body, same size, everything, but it's just covered in moss," he said.

    "It's exactly what it looks like, just somebody caught in a harness, in a seat harness."



    Australian, US and Japanese authorities will check records to see if any pilots were reported missing in that area.

    'Lost in the fog'

    Mr Collins said a lot of planes went missing during the war in the general area where the skeleton was found.

    "All of them were generally lost in the fog and bang they go in," he said.

    Among those that flew in the area at the time were the Royal Australian Air Force's 75 and 76 Squadrons, which flew P-40 Kitthawk fighters.

    American B-25 Mitchell bombers were also in the area at the time along with P-39 Airacobra fighters.

    "There were a lot of aircraft lost up there during the war and a lot of Japanese aircraft as well," Mr Collins said.

    Mr Collins described the location of the skeleton as being on the right side of the track heading north from Myola, about four days walk in from the Port Moresby end of the track.

    He said the the tree with the skeleton had been marked with plastic to help furture investigators find it again.

    The remoteness of the site and the difficulties involving in locating and working with anything in the thick jungle canopy mean that it could be months before any identification of the skeleton is made.
    Supposed WWII skeleton found dangling above Kokoda Track - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)


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    Senior Member wilbur1's Avatar
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    Wow that would be weird ..to find it now along a well known path

    Dont shoot him...... It will just make him angry.

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    Senior Member Heinz's Avatar
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    I just heard this myself. I think also we operated a lot of Beauforts around that area. I hope they can identity the body.


  4. #4
    Senior Member <simon>'s Avatar
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    Wow, thats amazing.
    We just heard it on the radio going into school this morning.
    Incredible that it has stayed like that for 60 years, undiscovered.
    At least now the family will have closure, instead of a 'missing in action'
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    Doesn't sound right. If it's in the harness, wouldn't all that stuff rot away in the Jungle. Even if it is covered in moss, it would all just waste away to nothing. Probably happen in a couple of years.

    Unless they actually saw the harness and whatnot, I'd be suspicious. If it is a human in there, it might be a better idea to find out if anybody jumped out of an airplane over the last couple of years.

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    Senior Member RabidAlien's Avatar
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    Agreed. My first inclination is to be slightly skeptical. Troops were complaining of uniforms and boots rotting away after a matter of months in the jungles, I don't think anything would survive 60 years, much less still capable of holding a human body suspended in the air. I also don't think that the animals/insects would allow enough tendons to survive that long to keep a skeleton intact. We'll see.


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    World Travelling Doctor? Gnomey's Avatar
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    Interesting!

    The fact that the skeleton is still there is entirely possible but the harness is for me unlikely and that could possibly be more recent.


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    Der Crew Chief DerAdlerIstGelandet's Avatar
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    Interesting. Can't wait to see what comes of this. If it is a WW2 pilot, lets get him home. Whatever country he is from!


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    Senior Member trackend's Avatar
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    IMO I would say it is highly unlikely that the ligaments between bones and clothing could last 60 years exposed in a tree

  10. #10
    Pacific Historian syscom3's Avatar
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    Maybe it was a bush pilot from the past few decades.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by syscom3 View Post
    Maybe it was a bush pilot from the past few decades.
    More likely, that is if it is in fact a pilot and not a mixture of vines, moss and an odd looking tree. All the article says is these guys saw something in a tree, they didn't come home with dog tags or any physical evidence. Can't say as I blame them, I wouldn't want to go climbing around in a jungle either.

    Just have a hard time believing anything, including bones, would keep it's shape up in a tree over 60 years. Maybe the last 6 months or possible a year or two.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Heinz's Avatar
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    Yeah the above comments have gone through my head. Anyway lets see.


  13. #13
    Senior Member Wayne Little's Avatar
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    Hmmm.....interesting, hope they solve the mystery soon...which ever way it goes.




  14. #14
    Senior Member Negative Creep's Avatar
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    Even if a body cold last that long, surely animals would have picked it clean long ago?
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