Right from the off with the Paul Meyer story I was determined not to add to the wild rumour and speculation that just developed into conspiracy theories. I am only interested in facts. It was however obvious something wasn’t right that is why we got involved in the first place.
I get asked all the time what I think and I am always cautious, even Paul’s step son Henry pointed out the other day that he thought I was just being nice about an obvious cover up. With the evidence we now have from the seabed and one or two folks starting to break cover as I always knew they would we now have hard facts, so much so that I can now say yes indeed we have not been told the truth.
For now I am going to keep my powder dry and I do know more than I am letting on which is fine because the longer this is allowed to run then the more guilty some are going to look but that is up to them. Come on USAF get that file out and stop pissing us about I know what ya did and I will prove it. When you read the telegram sent to Paul’s wife and see the level of incompetence at the time it says quite a lot, hopefully things aren’t still the same. That wasn’t quite so cautious was it?
In some ways finding the aircraft was the easy bit (HaHa). We now have a real task ahead of us but as usual we will come at it straight and level whatever it takes. We will treat the aircraft remains as if it were a crime scene the first job being to map out and image not just the main site but the various pieces we can see on the sonar around the site.
Already it is obvious we will learn a lot from what is still there after fifty years however the work is going to be painstaking as we reverse engineer the sequence of events. We cannot do this alone we require folks with specialist knowledge and we are working on that very hard right now. Having located the aircraft we can already dispel a lot of stupid rumours and conspiracy theories which is certainly half the battle won.
It is though fairly obvious that many facts regarding that day have been withheld and it would be a really good idea if someone got the file out and started talking to us before we start to tell the story our way, trust me we have a David and Goliath situation here and we will stop at nothing to figure this sad story out.
We made this little video back in August which highlights the enormity of our task when we still had the weather on our side! The soundtrack is from “Flying home” written and performed especially for the project by our friends and huge Deeper Dorset supporters The Dolmen. We are still getting out there dodging the weather and battling with the now decaying in-water visibility however we will soon have to call it this year as winter descends. We are quite keen to follow up on the last of our sonar targets gathered this year so we have a fresh start and a new area to work on next year. We got very excited by one particular target that came to nothing last week but now another has caught our eye that we really want to check out before we are forced ashore. Back on terra firma it is frantic as we make a final push for this year and we go back over hours and hours of sidescan and video always with the fear we missed something. RWTwo is about to clock up 1400 miles on search duties and is starting to gasp a bit for some TLC which she will be getting soon. https://vimeo.com/287962995?fbclid=IwAR0KUoCam74Q7O2NTyOfH9BByg04akTHsnJxQPPTHC5M8sWZRyAiyF41JVQ
Exciting times ahead.. After three years of being messed about and shoved from pillar to post we now have a way forward with historic racing yacht Dolly Varden. Sadly it doesn’t involve my home town of Weymouth but it wasn’t for the lack of trying, just a shame there is such a lack of vision around here. More details soon but at last the boat is saved for the nation. Sub heading on the Deeper Dorset website says “Find the plane fix the boat” so I am now halfway there and can turn all my attention to finding that big bird. I mean how hard can it be????
The amount of rumour and conspiracy theories surrounding the disappearance of Paul Meyer beggars belief. I am doing my level best not to add to them but just chip away at each and every one a process that takes time and in most cases requires professional help. Slowly slowly we Are stripping back the stories and putting them in the possible or not possible trays and some we can now declare as at best fanciful. Regards the last we can forget the story about the aircraft being intercepted on the German border, we can put to bed the story of an American mystery pilot who went up in a Lightning and shot him down as claimed in the book “The Lightning Boys”. We can also now view the conclusion at the end of the USAF report as either careless or requiring a rewrite of the laws of physics. Right now I am spending time checking out all that was recovered after the crash and who recovered it, the bag pictured is something under scrutiny right now.
Grumpy bird awaits us at the entrance to the National Archives! For now I think we have checked out every line of enquiry at this fantastic facility with regard to Paul Meyer and the flight of the Hercules, we now have to look further afield. Same applies to the newspaper archives which we have trawled through again and again here in the UK and in the US. The more I delve into this story the more I realise we are missing key pieces firstly in the form of documentation which in the circumstances is not surprising but then there is Paul himself? Bringing his story to life is key in understanding what happened almost fifty years ago, suffice to say I really do not buy the fact that he was just a drunk that made a really bad decision there is much more to it than that. At the military academy he was described as a Huckleberry Finn kind of character which seems a little odd in the light of how others saw him certainly during his time in Germany and the UK. What I would really like to know is what was he like prior to being in the military and also during his time in Vietnam which no one as yet seems to want to talk about. That said there may be nothing to talk about but for sure if we are really going to bring this man home we have to leave no stone unturned. There is a lot more to all this than meets the eye and that is the reason I am on this seemingly endless road.
What have we here then? Centre stage the dunny from Dolly Varden soon to be off to Blakes for restoration, we know King GeorgeV spent time onboard Dolly I wonder if the value of the bog increases if we could prove he used the facilities?? Everything else is torpedo related and is soon off to a museum. The motors are part of a collection I rescued a few years back and now after much effort virtually every piece of that collection has been saved. I donated three complete (yes complete twenty odd foot long) torpedoes to the Castletown Regeneration Project, one to a dive centre and one to a technology college. There are three motors in restoration now due to their importance and the one remaining motor will be receiving the attention of Simon Brown. Project complete big bits of local history saved by Deeper Dorset. Yay.
When I started The Shipwreck Project a good few years ago
now it was primarily based around diving and trying to get folks involved in maritime
history, sadly it didn’t work out and hard expensive lessons were learned. Trying
to do too many things at once is a failing of mine but that said in my defence
if you don’t push on lots of doors you will not find out which ones open. Deeper
Dorset is much more focused all about the local area and its maritime history
above and below the water. At this time I am concentrating on two projects
finding the Hercules and saving racing yacht Dolly Varden, typical me I choose
two with a difficulty level off the scale! There is of course a bigger picture
and shaping that is what keeps me going fighting like an alley cat. If I was to
tell you what the bigger picture is I would be laughed out of town…… This
either makes me visionary or mad!
It might look a bit Heath Robinson but we are slowly refining and tuning this bit of kit into our eyes beneath the waves. As can be seen a couple of posts back it has already found its first shipwreck and we are now very quickly able to check out sonar targets without wasting diver time. It didn’t come cheap nothing to do with being in or on the sea ever does and with that in mind I am now already starting to think about how we are going to fund the project if we haven’t found the aircraft by the end of the summer and our Kickstarter funding has run out. One thing for sure we wouldn’t be where we are without the Kickstarter backers and the publicity that surrounded the campaign, another thing for sure we are not going to give up we are way too far down the road for that to be an option. This project is not just about finding the aircraft it is just as much about telling the real story that according to many of today’s armchair aviation experts is already done, dusted and out there! Nowt so queer as folk best describes them I guess.
As we search for the remains of the Hercules we are often reminded just how much lies at the bottom of the English Channel. This is the wreck of a British minelayer from WW2 and back in the 90’s we were the first divers to visit her. She is upright largely intact 130ft long and lies in 210ft of water. By the time we complete our search we should have a nice little sonar image library of mid channel wrecks, not a bad little by-product to have.
The best day this year as we roar out into the channel yet again. We are settling into a routine now scouring the channel looking for what may remain of the Hercules. As the press interest dies and the hard up film production companies have given up ringing asking me to give away everything for nothing we settle back into a tough regime of long hard days punctuated by even longer days post processing and researching. This is a tough task and only the tough ones are left, it was never going to be a five minute operation ending with an instant result. Even our critics have gone quiet for now and silence surrounds us as we just keep smashing it the only way we know how.