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Thread: Wyvern burials - Gosport

  1. #1
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    Wyvern burials - Gosport

    Tonight's Portsmouth paper.

    Mark

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

  2. #2
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    This should get Wyvernfan's juices flowing. Keep us inform Mark.

  3. #3
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    My 'juices' have been flowing for quite a while Doug . Just need to be patient.

  4. #4
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    I think there may well be some truth in this one.
    I remember , around 1955, seeing some(half a dozen or more) derilect Fireflies close to a rough track that went along the western side of the airfield.

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    Rob,

    Fingers crossed for you - bit worried about those 'juices' though.

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  7. #7
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    Rob (Wyvernfan)

    It would be worth your while talking to Xtangomike.

    He knows something about this!

    Andy
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

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  8. #8
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    Wasn't there an article in Flypast some years ago, about a group who were planning to try & recover a load of aircraft spares etc from the exact same place ?. Seem to recall that there was supposed to be a large amount of stuff burried there, including trucks, jeeps & general station waste as well as the aircraft spares.

    Bob T.

  9. #9
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    could there be another tf1 wyvern in this whole as well as a s4?
    i must admit i'd love to see a s4 displayed sometime in the future!!

  10. #10
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    Thanks to those who have contacted me about this, but i am merely 'in the loop' as regards information at present. As the news article says it has the potential to be a really exciting proposition, but the guys at Gosport need a little more information before venturing further.

    Andy (Tangmere) - I believe Xtangomike has already been in touch with someone involved down there.

    oz rb fan - There would appear to be a TF.1 down there, and a TF.2. But yes like you i would love to see an S.4 displayed sometime.

  11. #11
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    Oh not again!

    Firstly we know where the aircraft dump is reputed to have been. During the 1990s a team of Royal Engineers working at Sultan were asked to run their metal detactors over the area and they reportedly went off the scale. All very well, but that only points to large deposits of metal; it doesn't indicate whole aeroplanes, nor of their condition (bearing in mind those who were around at the time of Gosport's closure clearly recall all manner of unwanted material being literally "bulldozed" into the pit).

    The area they're interested in is very well-defined. It is, however, also a Site of Special Scientific Interest! Digging, and potentially disturbing old machinery and anything containing oil, isn't going to go down well with the council and the environmentalists. Regardless of whether some company could be brought in to sponsor the excavation, I'd be surprised if one would be willing to pay for or be associated with any clean-up operation as a result of unearthing some toxic substance.

    This isn't meant to be discouraging; it's merely reiterating that others have had the same thoughts before but, after some investigation into the possible outcome have decided it's probably best to leave as a bit of folklore.
    The views I express are PURELY my own. Please respect that.

  12. #12
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    If I had a pound for every "complete buried aircraft on a dump" story....!

    Or, how many airfield dump-sites I have investigated and excavated? The most exciting finds amongst all the clinker from boiler rooms (and once a smashed ip Slingsby glider in fragments) has usually been broken RAF crockery.

    Yes, I know, I know....Kenley and the Spitfire was an exception. But......

    If it were my time, and my money, I'd invest it elsewhere, frankly.
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

    A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

  13. #13
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    ^^As above^^

    If there are any buried airframes they will be well & truly wrecked by the weight of soil & corrosion anyway.

    However, in this case I would love to be proved wrong as Wyverns are a bit of a fave of mine also.
    Sometimes it's better to be a bumblebee than it is to be Professor Heinkel.

  14. #14
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    Any Wyvern that can be recovered is worth the effort!

  15. #15
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    Well.....just am very sceptical about these stories after so many of them over so many years.

    I'm always eager to be proven wrong, though!

    I wouldn't say its not worth surveying but if they are deep they are not going to be in much of a good shape I shouldn't think? I think I am right in saying that the Kenley Spitfire was not far under ground, but from what I am hearing this was quite a dep pit with what must be thousands of tons of soil and other matter on top.

    Am just having a Doubting Thomas moment.
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr Strangelove View Post

    If there are any buried airframes they will be well & truly wrecked by the weight of soil & corrosion anyway.
    And possibly cremated!

    Memories of raking through Mawgans dump, hoping to find crated Harley Davidsons, cans of USN paint, and bits of Liberator, all we found was Shackleton firewalls, bent nose framing, and lots of smashed Mess crockery!
    Like you though I would love to see a bit of Wyvern dragged out, though I fear Andy and Lee are on the button here.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    If I had a pound for every "complete buried aircraft on a dump" story....!

    Or, how many airfield dump-sites I have investigated and excavated? The most exciting finds amongst all the clinker from boiler rooms (and once a smashed ip Slingsby glider in fragments) has usually been broken RAF crockery.

    Yes, I know, I know....Kenley and the Spitfire was an exception. But......

    If it were my time, and my money, I'd invest it elsewhere, frankly.
    Andy! I'm quite surprised at your willingness to scoff this one away....perhaps Kenley was the beginning and proof that such prizes could be found....
    These aeroplanes were seen by many locals before their 'disappearance', and it is more than one 'eye witness' that has pointed to the site of the 'pit'.
    A Wyvern or two, plus a couple of Firefly fusalages would takesome serious crushing, even with a large tank !!for what purpose, if they were going into a big ready made pit anyhow?

    Both types were built for Navy carrier landings. They were built like the proverbial brick sh.t h..se, and would easily suvive:
    "If there are any buried airframes they will be well & truly wrecked by the weight of soil & corrosion anyway." yea right!!!!(You should see the Wyvern stuck in the ground at Littlehampton...and that crashed in from 10k feet)

    Now I am not saying they are there...or that they might even be there...but I am saying that we shall have to be sure that they are not there..

    The biggest problems will be the costs..the timetable...and the reparations to satisfy the local councils.

    At least some of us can get down and dirty and recover some valuable treasure on land......can't get involved with the Goodwin Sands...would get wet and probably trip over some 'wannaby aviation celebrity'.
    'Where the hell have you been?'

  18. #18
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    The Truth about this Dig

    Hi everyone,
    Firstly I have to lay claim to the article placed in the Portsmouth papers on Friday 2nd of December. This project has been on-going for a number of years now and the time seemed right to go public for further information. Several of the people posting against this thread know of me and the project in general. I have found it quite strange that I wasn't named before this post. I have a personal interest in the Wyvern and some years ago was in talks with a representative of a well known film company regarding a possible dig. This involved various TV companies including the BBC Channel's 4 and 5 Discovery Channel and National Geographic. All movement stopped as a project because of the downturn in the financial world. Money for new projects dried up so the whole thing was put on Ice for a while. It has been placed in The News now because circumstances have changed and the TV people are once again asking us as a group to proceed further. That first move is to get public interest and hopefully further information. I would like to thank Peter Arnold for his permission to use his photographs in the paper article as the News failed to give him due credit.
    As and when I have further news on this article I will of course post it here on the forum.
    Ollie

  19. #19
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    Aircraft dig

    Go for it, Chaps, and the best of luck.

    If it won't cost an arm and a leg and you can afford it, then you should do it. I'd love to see some stuff come out.

    If you just get a luvverly, battered, cowled but complete R-R Eagle engine, that would be ample reward - anything else will be a bonus!

    Anon.

  20. #20
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    They are more than likely buried next to our RAAF F111's(TIC) :diablo:

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anon View Post
    Go for it, Chaps, and the best of luck.
    You know what, even though experience has directed us otherwise, the "go for it" still sounds good, certainly won't do any harm, nothing to lose, everything to gain, so the can do attitude gets the Strangelove seal of approval
    Sometimes it's better to be a bumblebee than it is to be Professor Heinkel.

  22. #22
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    Couldn't argue with that, Strangelove.

    After all, I have been pessimistic (and some!) prior to some of the more succesful projects I have got involved with!
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

    A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

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    IF there are any remains of the Wyverns etc still there, then does it matter what condition they might be in ?. After all, how many of you would turn your noses up at a large lump of Spitfire, no matter how squashed, burned & corroded it might be ? "exactly, not many of you", so whats the difference if it's a lump of Wyvern, surely the chance of recovering any Wyvern parts is worth the effort, especially given the types rarety.

    Bob T.

  24. #24
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    Couldn't of put it better myself, Bob T.

  25. #25
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    If you want to dig up a Wyvern.....
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

    A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

  26. #26
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    My spade is already sharpened at the ready. Its just a shame that some have decided to rubbish this project at the first moment it goes public for info!

    It seems there's nothing quite like the Wyvern for dividing opinion on here, apart from the Vulcan.. and TSR.2.. and dayglo paint... and.....................

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by sopwith.7f1 View Post
    IF there are any remains of the Wyverns etc still there, then does it matter what condition they might be in ?. After all, how many of you would turn your noses up at a large lump of Spitfire, no matter how squashed, burned & corroded it might be ? "exactly, not many of you", so whats the difference if it's a lump of Wyvern, surely the chance of recovering any Wyvern parts is worth the effort, especially given the types rarety.

    Bob T.
    It's surely worth a try!!!

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tangmere1940 View Post
    If you want to dig up a Wyvern.....
    Carefull Andy..I hear there are one or two sharpened spades heading towards Hastings as we speak..Why don't you go and clean out your pool or something as equally useless....XXXX
    'Where the hell have you been?'

  29. #29
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    Talking Gosport Aircraft Dump.

    Quote Originally Posted by daveg4otu View Post
    I think there may well be some truth in this one.
    I remember , around 1955, seeing some(half a dozen or more) derilect Fireflies close to a rough track that went along the western side of the airfield.
    Daveg4otu, Mark12,
    I am not sure of any Wyvern burial site at the fomer Gosport airfield, (if any), but I agree there was a fenced off aircraft dump area on the western side of the airfield. As kids from nearby Bridgemary, 4 of us managed to squeeze under the double gates to this compound and explore the 5 or 6 aircraft wrecks within. Interestingly, 1 or 2 had neat holes in their front cockpit windscreen panels, about one half inch (12mm) in diameter, these holes revealed the thickness of the glass, at least the same measurement, we unanimously agreed they were bullet holes!!?.

    One of the aircraft types was so far off the ground that we could not climb up to inspect the cockpit, I am thinking now if this was the Wyvern and could its remains? still be there?, the other types, we managed to reach the cockpits via the lower height of the wing trailing edge.

    All of us were expecting at anytime an MOD Policeman to chase us away, but none appeared, I can only assume it was the year after HMS Siskin had closed. Naval houses were later built in this area, the compound was very near Rowner Church (still extant) which was situated through the boundary hedge and across the old Rowner lane, not far from where we once excitedly explored.

    Thanks to Mark and Ollie for bringing this interesting development to our attention.
    Gerry R

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by xtangomike View Post
    Carefull Andy..I hear there are one or two sharpened spades heading towards Hastings as we speak..Why don't you go and clean out your pool or something as equally useless....XXXX
    If I cleaned it out I might find a Browning .303 in it!! Got bored with it standing in my office as the owner shows no sign of coming to collect it...

    In fact, if I decide to fill the pool in I shall of course rubbish the notion that anyone would have ever done anything like bury a Browning there....along with all my Wyvern bits!
    Editor: 'Britain at War' Magazine

    A 'Key Publishing' product - Britain's Best Selling Military History Monthly

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