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Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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  • pat1968
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Apr 2004
    • 260

    So your answer is that my credibility is questionable, what a surprise!

    Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
    pat1968. I like a number of people on this forum have a credibility gap with casually finding the pilot's remains as reported variously as 5-8 kilometres from the crash site. That is millions of square metres of search area. I offered a reasonable and possible answer to your question... "but i struggle to come up with a scenario which would benefit them if they lied about it?"
    You may well be right with regards to finding the pilots remains, I can neither confirm or deny any of the Italian claims. As for your scenario as i have stated quite clearly it doesn't stand up to scrutiny. If the Italian team wanted to obscure human remains as they represented a complication to a potential recovery why report them at all? Sorry scenario yes, reasonable and possible nonsense!

    Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
    As I know what the costings were to get the P-40 to El Alamein, I also have a credibility gap that you were personally going fund an operation in excess of 100k...if the P-40 was to be professionally dismantled and transported at minimal risk to the aircraft and the participants. Perhaps you can confirm if you had a sponsor in mind.
    You are clearly having some difficulty understanding what i am saying. The sponsorship would have come from the production company. They document the search and recovery and provided security. The aircraft could surely have been dismantled by the RAFM experts? I have never said that i would fund a recovery personally. As far as 100K to dismantle an aircraft and transport it a few hundred miles after loading it into a container as many others have said I would love to see where the money was spent! But again that won't be forthcoming will it! I recovered two container loads of aircraft dismantled them, packed them into two shipping container transported them hundreds of miles through a war zone, had them loaded onto a container ship and transported back to the UK for a fraction of that cost. If you have/had an issue with my credibility with regards to recoveries why did you generously (as you put it) give me the coordinates for the spitfire?

    Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
    Having generously given you the Spitfire co-ordinates, yes, I can see why the information you gave me re the Spitfire was confidential...and the two weeks to the recce, became six months plus, and then never. I considered that freed me of our agreement and the image you referred to, which I never saw, and from the source you referred to, was total 'tosh'. The site has been inspected by satellite and on the ground. Minimal steel Spitfire remains only.
    I am afraid i have credibility gap when it comes to believing that you do anything out of generosity! You haven't mentioned your generous finders fee and desire to be involved in any documentary that may or may not have materialised. The idea that I agreed to carry out a recce in two weeks is nonsense and i am not surprised that you can offer a BS reason for unilaterally going back on promises that you make. I know it isn't the first time either do you remember publishing pictures of the Hinds when you were asked to keep them under raps? Selective memory it seems when it comes to sticking to agreements! As far as my sources are concerned i will happily discuss this with you face to face when we meet again.

    As you have failed to answer my question I assume i can use the Italian rationale and use that as a means of assuming your lack of credibility!
    Last edited by pat1968; 9th January 2016, 22:36.
    "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

    www.hawkerhind.com

    Comment

    • pat1968
      Rank 5 Registered User
      • Apr 2004
      • 260

      Bruce I can neither confirm nor deny any of the Italian claims as i have not visited the area in question. The quote clearly says that they "previously studied the paper, reports and surveys done on the ground" It does not say they rocked up had a quick coffee and winged it.

      My reason for posting the quote is to illustrate that they had offered an insight into the rationale behind the search which you said they had not. That assertion is incorrect.

      It is also incorrect to categorically state that the chances of stumbling across remains at a distance of more than a few hundred yards are nil. I agree that on the face of it it seems improbable from my arm chair but the fact that neither of us has been to the area in question means that we cannot rule it out either however improbable it seems.
      Last edited by pat1968; 9th January 2016, 22:34.
      "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

      www.hawkerhind.com

      Comment

      • pat1968
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Apr 2004
        • 260

        Originally posted by 43-2195 View Post
        Bruce, unless you actually go, then you never know. You may be right , you may be wrong. All we can draw upon is past experience. Lady be Good crew members remains were found exposed on the surface by searchers. Why not Lt Copping?
        I quite agree!
        "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

        www.hawkerhind.com

        Comment

        • Bruce
          Independent analyst
          • Jan 2000
          • 10226

          At which point, we must agree to disagree. I have no desire to fall out with you, and will leave it there. It is for others now to examine our respective arguments and consider their worth.

          Bruce

          Comment

          • pat1968
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Apr 2004
            • 260

            Originally posted by Bruce View Post
            At which point, we must agree to disagree. I have no desire to fall out with you, and will leave it there. It is for others now to examine our respective arguments and consider their worth.

            Bruce
            Absolutely no reason to fall out, but as you say we disagree.
            "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

            www.hawkerhind.com

            Comment

            • Southern Air99
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • May 2015
              • 560

              Gentleman, Bruce is talking sense, there is no need to argue, it really solves nothing, Copping and his plane have been the subject of much, in my opinion injustice, and there is no need to argue on top of that, as long as the plane is preserved to his memory and his remains are either found or left in peace, there is no point arguing!

              Comment

              • pat1968
                Rank 5 Registered User
                • Apr 2004
                • 260

                Originally posted by Southern Air99 View Post
                Gentleman, Bruce is talking sense, there is no need to argue, it really solves nothing, Copping and his plane have been the subject of much, in my opinion injustice, and there is no need to argue on top of that, as long as the plane is preserved to his memory and his remains are either found or left in peace, there is no point arguing!
                I am not arguing with Bruce we are having a debate.
                "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

                www.hawkerhind.com

                Comment

                • Mark12
                  MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                  • Jan 2000
                  • 10868

                  Originally posted by 43-2195 View Post
                  Bruce, unless you actually go, then you never know. You may be right , you may be wrong. All we can draw upon is past experience. Lady be Good crew members remains were found exposed on the surface by searchers. Why not Lt Copping?
                  43-2195. I am with Bruce here. The are deserts and there are deserts, but I base my 'credibility gap' on a number of 4x4 adventures across the battlefields of Tunis, right across Libya and the Western desert of Egypt....and I called in on the LBG.

                  Casually finding body parts from a moving vehicle 5-8 kms from the crash site, 70 years on...not a chance.

                  Mark







                  Last edited by Mark12; 10th January 2016, 07:49.
                  "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                  Comment

                  • Southern Air99
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • May 2015
                    • 560

                    Originally posted by pat1968 View Post
                    I am not arguing with Bruce we are having a debate.
                    It sounded to be bordering on an argument, but let's call it a debate then

                    Comment

                    • pat1968
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Apr 2004
                      • 260

                      Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
                      43-2195. I am with Bruce here. The are deserts and there are deserts, but I base my 'credibility gap' on a number of 4x4 adventures across the battlefields of Tunis, right across Libya and the Western desert of Egypt....and I called in on the LBG.

                      Casually finding body parts from a moving vehicle 5-8 kms form the crash site, 70 years on...not a chance.
                      Here we go again misquoting the Italians! Maybe you should actually look at their website, you don't seem to be able to get even the most basic facts correct! They state that they searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan. Not the same as driving across the desert in a 4x4.

                      Nice holiday snaps by the way!

                      Now can you answer my question yet?
                      Last edited by pat1968; 9th January 2016, 23:06.
                      "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

                      www.hawkerhind.com

                      Comment

                      • Mark12
                        MEANS MOTIVE OPPORTUNITY
                        • Jan 2000
                        • 10868

                        "They state that searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan."

                        On foot, at 5-8 km radius, during daylight and at what temp...45c? Searching?

                        Get real.
                        "...the story had been forensically examined and was deeply impressive. I knew that the whole story was a load of myth and baloney"

                        Comment

                        • pat1968
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • Apr 2004
                          • 260

                          Originally posted by Mark12 View Post
                          "They state that searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan."

                          On foot, at 5-8 km radius, during daylight and at what temp...45c? Searching?

                          Get real.
                          Been there and done it!

                          Are you going to answer the question now?
                          "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

                          www.hawkerhind.com

                          Comment

                          • Guest's Avatar
                            Guest

                            In case it helps, I was not aware that any party was altruistically suggesting they self-funded the project. Instead...

                            By 21 May 2012 National Geographic had agreed they would fully fund the recovery of P-40 and a search for Dennis Copping. For this, a team of specialists in various fields and disciplines were being assembled and the project had been 'green lit' at that time. Costings were not an issue at this stage, although I'd seriously doubt the 120,000 price tag for the recovery operation.

                            My understanding was that via Pat1968 and a well known, well established and reputable TV production company a route was offered to RAFM for a risk-free project (ie zero cost to them) but, for whatever reason(s), this was rejected.

                            By 23 July 2012 the situation had changed and, subsequently, the aircraft was recovered via another route.

                            There was no guarantee, of course, that the P-40 would have been successfully recovered out of Egypt via the first option, or that Flt Sgt Copping would have been found. That said, the whole modus operandi would have been significantly different.

                            This is not to enter the debate, but merely to add some dates and facts to perhaps assist those who have been discussing these matters.

                            Also, just to add comment regarding Bruce's statement that:

                            "As the Italian team never stated where they had found the remains, despite being asked..."

                            Yes, it is true there is a great deal of obfuscation and confusion over this. However, the Italians insist they told the British Embassy. The MOD say not. On the other hand, the Egyptians confirm in letters to the British Embassy that they tested the remains for DNA, albeit that the information they subsequently offered about this testing was somewhat contradictory; ie DNA was not recoverable but the DNA showed the remains to be from the same person. Certainly, and even if the Embassy/MOD had been notified where the remains were, it would not have been up to the British Embassy to remove or interfere with human remains that were under the jurisdiction of another sovereign state. Somehow, though, the remains ended up in the hands of the Egyptian laboratory. This can only have been through the Italians telling somebody where they were, and the Egyptians collecting them, or else through a party unknown taking them to the laboratory - possibly the Italians themselves.

                            One last thing that came from an official source was this:

                            'It was clear that the pilot got out of the aircraft, stood on the starboard wing and released himself from the parachute. The release harness straps were found. He then opened the 'chute just behind the port wing (D-ring release handle and wire found) and used part of the material to stop bleeding. Some blood soaked parts of parachute have been found.'

                            This comes from a highly placed source in HMG. I have no way of knowing how it was established he got out onto the starboard wing, but merely report what came from an official source. Of course, this flies in the face of other reports via Mark12 that the seat harness was cut. I don't doubt that it was. But, of course, there could be more than one reason for that.

                            I would also note that pieces of parachute, apparently blood stained, were photographed by the Italian team in association with the human remains.
                            Last edited by Tangmere1940; 13th January 2016, 00:44. Reason: clarification

                            Comment

                            • jack windsor
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Dec 2008
                              • 923

                              Originally posted by Bruce View Post
                              Were they?

                              As the Italian team never stated where they had found the remains, despite being asked, how do you expect anyone else to find them? Which direction are you going to go?
                              as posts 2147, 2149, and 2156 indicate, tests on 2 sets of remains seem to have been tested as although no DNA could be extracted, both sets of remains were from the same person?. These remains were only known to the Italians so if tested they must have made them available...

                              So I withdraw my apology made in post 2147...

                              regards,
                              jack...

                              Comment

                              • TonyL1962
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Mar 2014
                                • 84

                                "As ever, there is much obfuscation here." - point taken Bruce, and very probably so. Stories get changed somewhat, and reported inaccurately. However it would seem purposeless to go to great lengths to fabricate maps and photos.

                                I think the position where the ARIDO team indicate that they found bones is pretty predictable, and that with a map in front of them on site they could easily have sat on the wing of the plane and taken a decent bet on the best route to follow based on the terrain (which is fairly readily apparent from the photos they have posted, coupled with Google Earth, and having seen some similar environments) and the nearest source of water or help.

                                I think it's very likely that Dennis Copping had worked out where he was approximately, and may well have seen the oasis at Farafra (approximately 30km southeast) before he landed - the plane was pointing roughly in this direction, assuming it did not rotate on hitting the rocky ground. The plane landed on elevated rocky ground - a hill or ridge of sorts, where the going east or west is probably rough on foot. Immediately south is a 4km wide sandy area then more NE-SW trending low rocky hills and ridges, through which are a series of sandy valleys or gullies where the going would have been easier to get through/over the ridge to the plain area beyond. The bones found by ARIDO appear to be in one of these - heading south in approximately the right direction for Farafra.

                                And based on what others have now said, I do agree that there does appear to be scope to criticise the RAF museum's methods. I can only think that they were persuaded to go a high cost route because of the perceived urgency or immediacy of getting it done.
                                Last edited by TonyL1962; 10th January 2016, 08:28.

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                                • Bruce
                                  Independent analyst
                                  • Jan 2000
                                  • 10226

                                  Originally posted by jack windsor View Post
                                  as posts 2147, 2149, and 2156 indicate, tests on 2 sets of remains seem to have been tested as although no DNA could be extracted, both sets of remains were from the same person?. These remains were only known to the Italians so if tested they must have made them available...

                                  So I withdraw my apology made in post 2147...

                                  regards,
                                  jack...
                                  Jack,

                                  We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

                                  As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.

                                  Comment

                                  • Sideslip
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Apr 2012
                                    • 641

                                    Originally posted by pat1968 View Post
                                    Is it really that naughty to expect evidence based decision making, or even evidence based accusations!
                                    No, I just thought prodding Mark 12 with the No Spitfires in Burma stick was. But don't misunderstand me, all meant in a light hearted, pythonian way of course.
                                    Last edited by Sideslip; 10th January 2016, 08:53.
                                    Work! You don't know what work is. When I was a boy...

                                    Comment

                                    • pat1968
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Apr 2004
                                      • 260

                                      Originally posted by Bruce View Post
                                      Jack,

                                      We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

                                      As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.
                                      Bruce at the risk of repeating myself, how can you yet again state that you cannot get to the bottom of what Italians said or did when they have comprehensively documented it on their website? If you are saying you think they are dishonest then say so. But to keep repeating that they have not provided an account of their actions is nonsense.
                                      I, like many others on this forum and more importantly Dennis Coppings family have been unable to get to the bottom of the actions of the RAFM and their agents in this matter as they have avoided accounting for those actions at every juncture using spurious excuses. This thread was suspended on the dubious notion that it was being monitored by the Egyptian government and that comments made here may in some way scupper the recovery.The RAFM even refused to honour an FOI request for equally dubious reasons, in reality that was more likely to be to avoid their own embarrassment than for any higher purpose.

                                      Just to be clear once again the Italians have accounted in detail for their actions and documented them, the RAFM have not, the question remains why not?
                                      Last edited by pat1968; 10th January 2016, 09:39.
                                      "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

                                      www.hawkerhind.com

                                      Comment

                                      • pat1968
                                        Rank 5 Registered User
                                        • Apr 2004
                                        • 260

                                        Originally posted by Sideslip View Post
                                        No, I just thought prodding Mark 12 with the No Spitfires in Burma stick was. But don't misunderstand me, all meant in a light hearted, pythonian way of course.
                                        I can assure you that no offence was taken and I appreciate the humour.
                                        "Only the dead see the end of the war" Plato

                                        www.hawkerhind.com

                                        Comment

                                        • jack windsor
                                          Rank 5 Registered User
                                          • Dec 2008
                                          • 923

                                          Originally posted by Bruce View Post
                                          Jack,

                                          We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

                                          As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.
                                          hi, morning,
                                          if Andy does not mind me quoting from his post 2149...repeated and expanded upon in 2194.

                                          As an example, however, in relation to the recovered bones the Egyptian authorities claim they DNA tested them and wrote to the British Embassy to say these tests had proved 'negative' in that they were unable to obtain DNA to compare to Dennis's relatives due to the age of the remains, contamination and their exposure to the sun. However, in the same letter they went on to say that 'the DNA in all the bones come from the same person...'

                                          This is at once contradictory; how is it possible to say that the DNA from all the bones match if they were unable to extract DNA?

                                          un-quote- also I remember a number of posts on this thread concerning the " quality" of the said letter...

                                          regards,
                                          jack...
                                          Last edited by jack windsor; 10th January 2016, 10:23.

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