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    SWAMP GHOST SIEZED

    B17 Swamp Ghost has been siezed by the PNG Government who now intend to legally investigate and pursue other recent recoveries


    http://www.thenational.com.pg/091406/nation3.htm

    PAC: Seize Swamp Ghost

    By JULIA DAIA BORE

    THE parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) yesterday told the National Museum and Art Gallery management that it had no power to sell the World War II aircraft the B-17 E Flying Fortress dubbed the Swamp Ghost, or any war surplus materials to overseas buyers.
    The PAC said the war relics remained the rightful property of the PNG Government and its people; and that it could only be sold following normal Public Finance (Management) Act and/or by the financial instructions promulgated thereon.
    In saying this, the PAC yesterday ordered that the Swamp Ghost be immediately seized by the State and protected and preserved until a decision can be made as to its future.
    The State (of PNG) still owns the Swamp Ghost and no effective contract of sale, salvage, removal or export has been formed nor could the museum do so, PAC acting chairman Malcolm Smith-Kela said.
    The museum cannot enter into contracts to bind the State. The museum is a corporation in its own right; but it is not an agent or representative of the State, particularly in respect to the sale, salvage, removal or export of State-owned property, he said.
    He said any purported contract between foreign buyers, the Military Aircraft Restoration Corporation (MARC) and the PNG National Museum and Art Gallery to remove the Swamp Ghost aircraft was illegal, unenforceable and invalid.
    He told acting museum director Simon Puraituk that as custodian of WWII aircraft, war surpluses and our artefacts, Im dismayed that you have dealt in them in such a shabby way.
    The museum is looking after all these heritages, and what we are seeing right now is that the war relics and indigenous artefacts are being disposed of in a most dubious manner.
    The committee has very carefully considered a large number of documents placed before it in relation to the dealing and export of the Swamp Ghost.
    The committee is of the view that there has been a concerted attempt to illegally obtain State property by virtually any representation, promise or undertaking.

    http://www.postcourier.com.pg/20060914/thhome.htm

    News
    Thursday 14th September , 2006


    Swamp Ghost sale halted

    THE Public Accounts Committee has disallowed the contract for the sale, salvage or export of the controversial Swamp Ghost aircraft. The PAC yesterday, in its interim findings, emphasised the Swamp Ghost is still the property of the State of Papua New Guinea and the National Museum and Arts Gallery is not an agent or a representative of the state to sell, salvage, remove or export state-owned property as the museum has no power to sell the Swamp Ghost or War Surplus material. The committee found the actions of the museum in selling the Swamp ghost as unlawful. The committee identified about 82 other aircraft or aircraft parts that have been exported from PNG. A large number of aircraft have been traced to private hands, museums and collectors and the committee found there has been an ongoing international trade in war surplus material illegally obtained and exported from PNG. The committee intends to refer transactions and salvagers and their agents or vendors who sell materials on the open market to the Royal Papua New Guinea Police Force, Foreign Police Forces and International Law Enforcement Agencies Some of those materials have been sold on the open market by salvagers The committee also found there were four major salvages that had been operating in the country with the assistance of the National Museum, although the museum had no power at all to action or permit salvage, removal or export of war surplus materials pursuant to the War Surplus Materials Act. The committee added that there were two and possibly three salvors operating in the country that have engaged in unlawful conduct while dealing with state property or selling it for their own profit.

    Regards

    Mark Pilkington
    "Never has a Country so Big!, owed so Much!, to those who Flew!"

    #2
    Ownership Issues

    This is an interesting legal point, perhaps, in respect of "ownership" or title. The PNG Govt claims the aeroplane belongs to them, but if our MoD here are to be believed then US aircraft wrecks still belong to the US Govt and, in respect of US aircraft in the UK, for example, they, the MoD, act as agents for the US Govt. Have the US Govt formally abandoned title of Swamp Ghost to the PNG Govt, I wonder, or are our own MoD here telling us porky-pies about legal title to these wrecks? Andy Saunders

    Comment


      #3
      Whether or not the remains of American aircraft which crashed in the UK are still US property is something of a mute point as the Protection of Military Remains Act covers all military aircraft crash sites,irrespective of nationality or who actually owns the crash site or the wreckage.

      If the USAF have indeed abandoned ownership of aircraft which crashed during WW2 legally ownership would then go to the owner of the land on which the crash occured as he is in possession of the wreckage,however the site would still be protected under the PoMRA and if anyone(including the landowner) "tampered with,damaged,moved,removed or unearthed" any part of the aircraft he would be guilty of an offence under the act.

      In regard to "Swamp Ghost" I am not familiar with the legal system on PNG but it would appear that their "War Surplus Materials Act" is similiar to the PoMRA here.

      Comment


        #4
        Will it be home for Christmas?

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

        Comment


          #5
          What a load of red tape drivel. There is no way that PNG gave a toss about its wartime wrecks when they were stuck in the jungle. And I reckon that they have zero chance of getting any money for already recovered items.
          As for the UK POMRA its an often ignored piece of legislation, landowners have gone by the old adage that its finders keepers when items are on their land especially farmers.

          Comment


            #6
            This is a bit like the saga of the Richard Montgonery, its a US Flaged ship that sunk in UK teritorial waters still laiden with munitions,

            should she blow who do the people of Sheppy, North Kent, and Southend turn to,

            The UK will not have to pay Non-UK flagged ship

            The US can claim Sovereign Rights and will not have to pay.
            Pass the remote

            Comment


              #7
              So surprise that PNG is pulling this crap, was always on the cards really

              Comment


                #8
                God Bless the 'Richard Montgomery'

                Originally posted by Old Fart
                This is a bit like the saga of the Richard Montgonery, its a US Flaged ship that sunk in UK teritorial waters still laiden with munitions,

                should she blow who do the people of Sheppy, North Kent, and Southend turn to,
                The UK will not have to pay Non-UK flagged ship

                The US can claim Sovereign Rights and will not have to pay.
                I was thinking (hoping !) that, North Kent aside, folks on the above wouldn't need to worry themselves too much about "who to turn to ?" - they'll be too busy being 'Kebabed or Atomised'

                Just think, no more Isle of ****ty, Shoeburyness back in business as usual (the M.o.D Range) hopefully unearthing as yet, unfound T.S.R.2 components.

                But best of all, no more Sarfend & resident/Indiginous Chav's & their Vauxhall Nova's - they'll all be mere fragments, Hallelujah.

                Then I can go back & visit the Kursaal Dome, a year later in eerie silence, reminding me of that Dome shaped 'thingy' that's always featured on the Hiroshima aftermath footage....... NICE :diablo: .

                Comment


                  #9
                  hows this going to effect aircraft that are allready out of the country? as the way i read this the png government has identified a large amount of aircraft(82 i think) that have been recoverd by their words illegely ,could this meen that they intend to try and recover these relics which could include some planes that are allready flying ?
                  the one's that come to mind include the p40 little jeanie and the tfc p39.
                  paul
                  Last edited by oz rb fan; 15th September 2006, 01:30.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    No huge surprise.
                    I wonder if they really want to keep it or if it's a ploy to get some extra money out of the deal.

                    If they are sincere, hopefully they'll take care of her. At least she's out of the swamp.
                    There are two sides to every story. The truth is usually somewhere between the two.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Will it be home for Christmas?
                      Realy it should be asked.."Will it be at legends"...As far as I understand it.Swamp Ghost will "go back" to PNG after it has been restored.Same as another warbird which is languishing in a quiet corner in a hangar at Amberly collecting dust ..waiting till the PNG officials get off their fat heinies and build a proper museum for it.Where do they get off ..They say it crashes there, it is theirs now.Fer christs sake do something about recovering the wrecks and protect them!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!If they don,t ,then why stop someone else from doing the right thing by them,restore them,give them back to you for future generations to enjoy and get the tourists to pay to see them.Talk about being blind to the future....."shakes head,kicking loose stones,muttering to the stupidity of it all".........
                      "If the C.O. ask's you to be Tail End Charlie...just shoot him!!!....A Piece of Cake.
                      http://spitfirea58-27.blogspot.com.au/

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Ofcourse the scrap merchants from Australia and other countries who almost
                        stripped PNG bare of wrecks in the 1950's and 60's are the exception to your rule! I find it amazing that the PNG people are slated for doing nothing with these aircraft because of their location but the U.S and other countries including Britain melted anything they could get their hands on!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I think the difference is, they don't do it today!..comparing scrap drives of the 50s and 60s when such aircraft were still 'relatively common', is totally out of context.

                          Dave

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Why is it out of context??? The American's scrapped large numbers of P-61's -indeed a Reporter crashed in the late 1960's on a firebombing flight in the U.S. However the example in Irian Java had been left alone on Mt Cyclops so it was fair to have it ? So because the people of PNG have left their wrecks alone they are fair game? I don't think it's a matter of when the aircraft were 'common' - I think it's a matter of that they are now worth more now as warbirds than the effort to recover them and scrap them in the 50's and 60's.
                            Last edited by David Burke; 15th September 2006, 12:14.

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Hornchurch
                              I was thinking (hoping !) that, North Kent aside, folks on the above wouldn't need to worry themselves too much about "who to turn to ?" - they'll be too busy being 'Kebabed or Atomised'

                              Just think, no more Isle of ****ty, Shoeburyness back in business as usual (the M.o.D Range) hopefully unearthing as yet, unfound T.S.R.2 components.

                              But best of all, no more Sarfend & resident/Indiginous Chav's & their Vauxhall Nova's - they'll all be mere fragments, Hallelujah.

                              Then I can go back & visit the Kursaal Dome, a year later in eerie silence, reminding me of that Dome shaped 'thingy' that's always featured on the Hiroshima aftermath footage....... NICE :diablo: .
                              Southend WOULD survive thank god, no windows would the sea front would be flooded but the water level would drop, Thames Forts would probably be lost along with the pier (at least any fire would be put out) but best of all

                              No more Canvey


                              PS: Chav Capital is Basildon, Colchester or Chumpsford...
                              Pass the remote

                              Comment


                                #16
                                [QUOTE=David Burke] So because the people of PNG have left their wrecks alone they are fair game? I don't think it's a matter of when the aircraft were 'common' QUOTE]

                                Because they aren't leaving them alone ,wrecks are currently being cut up for scrap, with the knowledge of the Govt. who have little motivation to stop it. ironically, a lot of the scrap metal is ending up being shipped to Oz for smelting.

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  crashed US machines in UK

                                  As far as I remember crashed US wrecks in the UK are still legally owned by the US but our UK MOD act as agents on behalf of the US as they would on our own wrecks.

                                  This is why whether it is US or UK owned if a dig takes place you have to provide details of what was excavated and removed, just in case the RAF or USAF want to retrieve the parts for themselves as a historical artifact or as spares should they be in good enough condition to renovate for use.

                                  Obiviously they need to consult the recovery team but they retain the right to the parts until the are written off the air forces books.

                                  this is what I read the rules as but if anyone knows better.
                                  Regards Merlin

                                  www.acia.co.uk

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    There does seem to be a contradiction in terms here, where the people of PNG and their govt don't actually want these wrecks, and when they do its just for the scrap; but when someone from outside the country expresses an interest, they think to themselves "he wants it more than us ,so its worth more to him , therefore we need to see just how much we can get out of the interested party, for something that we place such a low value on".

                                    A bit like a farmer in this country, with an old Fordson major laying in a hedge, totally derelict; it isn't even worth the effort of pulling it out the hedge to scrap it, and yet when a tractor boy turns up with badges in his cloth cap, the farmer thinks "how much is this worth now?" and invariably asks way to much for it ,so it stays where it is.

                                    In my view its greed, on the part of the farmer, and the PNG govt.
                                    Why be your own worse critic, that's what the forum is for.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Difficult to quatify greed - The RAFM Beaufort for example wouldn't be here if it weren't effectively for the PNG people leaving it alone! It could be argued if the aircraft are being scrapped to satisfy Australian smelters maybe the Australian government should ban imports from PNG of aluminium if they feel strongly about it.

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        I don't think any of the governments in consideration are exactly working to the agenda of either the preservationists, purchasers or locals - I know the Australian government's attitude to aviation in Australia's pretty ropey, and we've all noted the remarks on here about the UK government's variable attitude to vintage aviation in the UK - Likewise I'm sure in PNG, plus even less interest in acting for the locals whose land the aircraft was on. I can't see the American's getting much support from their government either. No votes any which way outside PNG; and in PNG it's all about the politicians and the smart guys. I'm sure there are some who are crusading for a good reason, but the locals won't get anything out of it.

                                        Sadly now it's purely political, so a (sadly safe) prediction is that there's going to be some rich lawyers, a LOT of money that could have been spent on the Swamp Ghost's locals won't be, and another large chunk of cash won't go towards vintage aviation (either Swamp Ghost itself, other a/c or a PNG museum or a US or Australian etc. display) but to people after the main chance.

                                        Another waste. And I'm afraid the aircraft was either better off out and off to the USA, or where it was. I believe it's on the dock, which is the worst place.

                                        Rotten show.
                                        James K

                                        Looking and thinking...
                                        Vintage Aero Writer: Blog & Details

                                        Comment


                                         

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