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The Hunt For The Missing Hercules 63-7789

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  • SimonBrown
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Sep 2011
    • 87

    The Hunt For The Missing Hercules 63-7789

    This year Deeper Dorset (http://www.deeperdorset.co.uk) intend to locate and document/investigate the crash site of the Hercules that was stolen from RAF Mildenhall in 1969.

    There will be a Kickstarter funding campaign to raise funds to cover some of the costs coming soon, but in the meantime here's a link to the campaign video:

    Last edited by SimonBrown; 3rd March 2018, 10:07.
  • Chitts
    Rank 5 Registered User
    • Jan 2009
    • 136

    #2
    Your link is cockeyed, Mr. Grassy Knollington. Should be dot co dot uk, not dot com or even Dot Cotton.

    Comment

    • Meddle
      Rank Bajin.
      • Sep 2014
      • 1626

      #3
      This exploration might sail into some bother quite quickly no? The Internet informs me that there is a chance that this aircraft was shot down, to avoid any diplomatic issues were the Hercules to have plowed into French terrain. However The Internet reckons it might have been a Hunter wot done it, or maybe a QRA Lightning or even a Sabre. Some journalist reportedly saw recovered wreckage with "bullet holes"!

      This seems a bit like another shaggy dog story. Apparently the pilot had a drinking problem and received a Dear John from his wife, who he already had a tempestuous relationship with. This is all ancient history, so is it really worth going to locate the wreck in a bid to ascertain whether it was shot down or not? What is to be gained here? Also, is it not a bit cheeky to call it 'Meyer's Hercules' when he nicked it?

      Comment

      • Sabrejet
        Rank 5 Registered User
        • Mar 2010
        • 1728

        #4
        I assume it's in the Atlantic? So what investigation of the crash site exactly? Should be very easy to find after all...

        Comment

        • Consul
          Rank 5 Registered User
          • Aug 2004
          • 1767

          #5
          SimonBrown in your thread title you refer to "... Hercules 63-6679". Wasn't the C-130 involved actually 63-7789?
          "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Mary Baker Eddy)

          Comment

          • Short finals
            Rank 5 Registered User
            • Apr 2004
            • 310

            #6
            63-6679 was a Martin AGM-12 Bullpup missile.

            Comment

            • SimonBrown
              Rank 5 Registered User
              • Sep 2011
              • 87

              #7
              SimonBrown in your thread title you refer to "... Hercules 63-6679". Wasn't the C-130 involved actually 63-7789?
              You are quite correct. Apologies...I will ask a Mod to edit the title.

              Edit...Admin...I have looked for a means to contact, but sadly failed...would one of you be kind and edit the title and correct the aircraft ID to 63-7789? Thanks in advance.
              Last edited by SimonBrown; 3rd March 2018, 07:31.

              Comment

              • J Boyle
                With malice towards none
                • Oct 2004
                • 9728

                #8
                The mistaken serial is proof of a cover up.
                I hate to give this story any credibility or further publicity, but allow me some questions...

                -If the C-130 impacted the Atlantic, you'd need to find a majority of the wreckage...or get very lucky...to prove a shoot down theory. Hitting the ocean would do a good job of shredding the airframe.
                -A journalist seeing "bullet holes"? Wouldn't a fighter have used a AAM?
                -The internet sources quoted by Meddle suggest A Hunter or Sabre.
                We're Hunters on QRA in the period? I certainly know Sabres weren't.
                Depending on the locale, it's possible any fighters would have come from Iceland...USAF F-102s. Which would have been armed with Falcon AAMs.

                At this late date in internet history, I would have thought all the conspiracy hucksters and nuts would have lost all credibility.

                If the aircraft were headed for landfall, I could see the decision being made to bring it down before a land crash could endanger civilians.
                No conspiracy would be needed. And as usual, there would be a lot of players and governments involved making secrecy from from a sure thing.

                However, if someone is really serious about finding the wreck, there is only one group with the experience for the job...TIGHAR.
                Last edited by J Boyle; 3rd March 2018, 07:41.
                There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                Comment

                • Sabrejet
                  Rank 5 Registered User
                  • Mar 2010
                  • 1728

                  #9
                  Not warm and sunny enough for TIGHAR. Plus there is a risk they might actually find something. They like to keep their enviable 0% record intact I think.

                  Comment

                  • avion ancien
                    Rank 5 Registered User
                    • Aug 2007
                    • 5246

                    #10
                    I assume it's in the Atlantic?
                    But does the initial post not suggest that the wreck of this aeroplane is 'off the Dorset coast'? And if, as seems to be claimed, it is diveable, presumably it's not far off the Dorset coast. And surely if departing Mildenhall, with the intention of flying to the USA, flying along the Dorset coast would not be the most logical route to take? And why the reference to French airspace when, surely, the aeroplane would have flying in exactly the opposite direction? Would it not seem more logical for the aeroplane to fly north-west across the British mainland - during which time, presumably, shooting it down would have been highly unlikely - and into the Northern Atlantic. And if anyone is going to shoot it down, surely it's most likely to have occurred there. And if that's the case, why search for a wreck off the Dorset coast? And if it did come down in the Northern Atlantic, surely that'll be like searching for a needle in a haystack and it's highly unlikely to be a wreck which is diveable by an amateur diver. There seems to be a great deal about this project that doesn't add up - indeed, so much that I'd unhesitatingly recommend it to TIGHAR!

                    Comment

                    • Discendo Duces
                      Rank 5 Registered User
                      • Mar 2006
                      • 253

                      #11
                      Rumours were that it was shot down near the Channel Islands by a USAF F-100; there was a Wing of them at Lakenheath at the time.

                      A more likely scenario is that he just lost control and spun in, but it's just guesswork.

                      DD

                      Comment

                      • scotavia
                        scotavia
                        • Nov 2005
                        • 2753

                        #12
                        http://hansard.millbanksystems.com/c...t-unauthorised

                        Location given as off Cherbourg Peninsula

                        Comment

                        • Nachtjagd
                          Rank 5 Registered User
                          • May 2009
                          • 288

                          #13
                          Can't see the USAF, the US Government or the UK Foreign Office being too pleased about having this story being dragged through the media again. Don't expect too much in the way of official assistance. Definitely a case of 'needle in an enormous haystack' but you may well find the odd Spitfire or two down there instead.
                          A Thousand Shall Fall

                          Comment

                          • Vega ECM
                            Rank 5 Registered User
                            • Oct 2005
                            • 488

                            #14
                            Was the wreak located and salvaged?

                            The video shows a picture which I'm pretty sure is a C130 undercarriage on the deck of a ship, although the narrative makes no reference to that particular picture and the attached link notes that British military units gave assistance with salvage operations.

                            Will there be anything left on the seabed? Enough to prove a shoot down?

                            If it was then a Freedom of Information Request should give a pretty good location?
                            Last edited by Vega ECM; 3rd March 2018, 17:54.

                            Comment

                            • farnboroughrob
                              Rank 5 Registered User
                              • Dec 2008
                              • 611

                              #15
                              The book 'Lightning boys' relays a story that a QRA pilot was asked to leave his QRA alert to a USAF exchange pilot who departed shortly after and returned without missiles and implies the Lightning shot down the errant C-130.

                              Comment

                              • grahame knott
                                Rank 5 Registered User
                                • Jan 2011
                                • 49

                                #16
                                Sadly this has all got off on the wrong foot which is entirely my fault. I am Deeper Dorset however I have a small band of brilliant supporters around me and good friend Simon Brown is one of them. He has worked very hard on aspects of this project and in his enthusiasm fast moving events got the better of him and he encountered a little brain fade!

                                The purpose of the post was to engage the historic aviation world in what we do which we think is quite exciting, share it in other words.

                                I have a background in shipwreck location and rather than blow my own trumpet a google around may be worth while in respect of me, The Shipwreck Project, Deeper Dorset etc.
                                Unlike other brands of wreck and story hunters we have had quite a bit of success over the years and haven’t asked anyone for a penny until now.
                                Maritime history and the stories within that history are what we are all about, for us the treasure is in the story.

                                Normally we deal with shipwrecks in particular very old sites typically pre-19th century, these sites are tough to find often standing only a foot or so above the seabed. Anyone that doubts our success please contact me and I will send you links to some of our finds that we have worked on with Historic England, Wessex Archaeology etc, alternatively if you become a friend of Deeper Dorset you have free access to much of our work on the website, it costs nothing.

                                This year we have turned our attention to aircraft and due to our setup we are perfectly equipped to find those engines and bits of undercarriage that in the case of the many wartime wrecks is all that remains. I have six aircraft stories to follow up on here off the Dorset Coast some I have mentioned on this forum before and I have been following up on these stories for years, in the case of the Hercules over ten years.

                                There is more to the Paul Meyer story than the aircraft that is only part of his story, the internet is a minefield of information and misinformation therefore we are not going to get the whole story sat in the chair. Anyone that relies on the net as their source of research is going to be disappointed, we have been out and about on this story over a large part of England.

                                I have heard every rumour and conspiracy theory there is going, from his body being washed up on the French coast to him escaping to the Eastern block. When it comes to his personal life he was a drunk, he was on drugs, he was screwing around, his wife was screwing around, it is endless. The fact remains he was 23 years old, served in Vietnam, was a good crew chief and had achieved quite a bit in his short life. What on earth made him take it upon himself to do something that to all appears total madness? It is unlikely that we will ever fully understand his actions even though we are in touch with Paul’s family and have their blessing to pursue this story. The family want to know what happened on that day in May 1969, did he crash, was he shot down and where are the remains of the aircraft. Their questions fall on deaf ears and that is what this is all about, someone knows the truth and if they won’t tell we are going looking for it.

                                We think it was entirely probable he was shot down, wherever were they going to let him try and land? No conspiracy there just makes sense as does the fact he could have crashed mid channel south of Portland Bill. This post is already way to long anyone that wants to know more please do get in touch and in the next week or so we will launch the Kickstarter campaign which is purely to try and cover some of our day to day costs primarily the 200 per day in diesel. We have the equipment, time and expertise already and this project has been all about the passion and the pain in this case self inflicted.

                                Cheers all at the very least I hope you wish us luck.
                                Grahame Knott

                                www.deeperdorset.co.uk

                                Comment

                                • grahame knott
                                  Rank 5 Registered User
                                  • Jan 2011
                                  • 49

                                  #17
                                  The undercarriage in the picture was recovered to Alderney after being spotted by a local boat. The air in the tyres kept this section afloat, we have no evidence so far that the wreck was ever located on the seabed. Other surface wreckage was spotted including a liferaft and various loose fittings, we believe some were picked up after being spotted by helicopter the vessel involved was probably HMS Thakenham.

                                  Comment

                                  • avion ancien
                                    Rank 5 Registered User
                                    • Aug 2007
                                    • 5246

                                    #18
                                    Well, whatever I may think it's useful to get the story 'from the horse's mouth'.

                                    Comment

                                    • XL189
                                      Rank 5 Registered User
                                      • Apr 2011
                                      • 58

                                      #19
                                      I was 6 years old & living in Mildenhall when this happened. Even at that age I had an interest in aviation and my scrapbook had all the newspaper cuttings about this!

                                      Comment

                                      • Wokka Bob
                                        Thread Killer
                                        • Jun 2011
                                        • 382

                                        #20
                                        Lars Olausson Lockheed Hercules Production List 1954-1992:

                                        C/N 3856, 382-48-C130E, USAF MAC, 63-7789, Nov 1963. Flown by VR-22 USN (65-10), 316TCW (6704) 779TAS (6808), DZ, LM, Cr in sea of Alderney UK , 690523

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