The machine guns were in place, and even the coffee thermoses were intact. For 64 years, this downed B-17 Flying Fortress rested intact among the waist-high water and kunai grass in Agaiambo swamp. But it would be a disaster for the Swamp Ghost. https://www.pacificwrecks.com/aircraft/b-17/41-244... https://www.smithsonianmag.com/travel/swamp-ghosts... http://www.pacificaviationmuseum.org/pearl-harbor-... Santos-Dumont vs The Wright Brothers: Who Really Invented the Airplane. Although an island, with likely many virgin beaches, people were arriving not for the tropical paradise experience. When Hagen and Tellichet eventually got to the Swamp Ghost, they found that the aircraft was remarkably well preserved. What the pilot had initially thought was a large wheat field ended up being something far more treacherous. One man, who also happened to be the son of a local chief, set out to make sure that the B-17 bomber wasn’t removed. The villagers had to be persuaded to hand over the Swamp Ghost. From the view of a trained eye, one would know that this object held a lot of value, not only monetarily but also historically. Fortunately, it didn't detonate. Every year, war enthusiasts had flocked to the country to see for themselves the wreckage that lay strewn over many parts of the islands. But how did it get there in the first place? The plane is nearly impossible to locate during the 'wet season', due to the high kunai grass and swamp around, and is half submerged in swamp water. 9.             $(this).css("visibility", "hidden"); Even though it was deemed impossible to salvage the plane, the two kept at it and weren’t going to be deterred by anything. They nicknamed the plane -Swamp Ghost- and the name stuck. Thus, finding the remnants of war was another thing to be considered. The efforts, however, were not effective. The country, while incredibly beautiful, is full of dangerous and impassible obstacles such as tropical rainforests, rugged mountain chains, savannas, and swamps. They called it the Swamp Ghost. But still, the Flying Fortress is one of only four other planes of its kind and of all the wrecks that took place over Papua New Guinea, the Swamp Ghost is the most famous of them all. It was located in the Agaiambo Swamp, around eight miles inland from the northern Papua New Guinean coast. And it is the only B-17 in the world that still bears its battle scars,” the institute stated. Friend's Email Address. But that didn’t stop locals from ransacking the inside of the plane. While the crew of the Swamp Ghost was redeployed on a new mission, their Flying Fortress was all but forgotten, about half-submerged in the distant swamp. Had it been normal villagers, they would have left the plane untouched. The type of plane was a B-17E Flying Fortress. They could have just left it alone, but curiosity got the better of them. Over 600 US planes crashed over the country alone, not including other allied or enemy forces which altogether would equal thousands of planes. For four weeks they labored over the aircraft, dismantling it in order to ship it out of the country. To the local villagers, the bomber was a relic sitting on holy land. The plane didn’t explode, thankfully, but one of its wings was majorly damaged. It had been sitting in the middle of the jungle in Papua New Guinea for many years, yet nobody really knew where it came from. The Papuans didn’t fight in the war for the most part, but they did help. But this wasn’t all.     $(".price--withoutTax").each(function() { The bomber was a strategic resource in the war and was responsible for dropping 640,000 tons of bombs (out of 1.5 million total) on Nazi Germany. The villagers know of the sunken freighters, submarines, and troopships that rest on the bottoms of their harbors and hidden bays. Your brick will be inscribed with your name or the name of someone you wish to commemorate, and are available for donations of $200, $500, $1,000, and $5,000. However, the controversy over its removal halted the cargo before it could be shipped to the United States. The B-17E was appropriately nicknamed the Flying Fortress. So, David and Fred started their endeavor in the 1980s, but it took them decades to restore the plane to its original appearance.         } They were there to see something far more ominous. Still today, many of the locals in the rural Papua New Guinea area are upset that the plane was removed. But they ignored their warmings. Get the latest updates on new products and upcoming sales. Mostly because of being partially submerged in water and the difficult to get to the location.         } But he still didn’t know exactly what type of plane was stuck in the swamp. Then, in May 2016, an American salvager took the bomber apart and removed it from the swamp, causing controversy. Currently, there are about six million people that live in Papua New Guinea, most of whom live in remote and secluded areas. He was thrilled to add another plane to his list of salvaged military aircraft. For more than seven decades, that lucky Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress, serial 41-2446, lay intact and virtually undisturbed, all but forgotten. The Swamp Ghost - B-17E 41-2446             $(this).hide(); Another issue that they had during their operation was convincing the locals to let them remove the B-17 bomber. In fact, curious travelers have been coming and going to explore the place for the treasures it held. But their team was so bent on finding out more about its mysterious origins that it wasn’t even minutes until one of them stepped up to enter it. A dogfight ensued after the Swamp Ghost made its second pass on its target, which luckily was successful as they were able to finally get the bomb bay open, giving the enemy less time to counter-attack. From there it was time for them to be reunited with US forces. US forces completely forgot about the plane and no effort was made to recover the plane from the wreck site. ​ The news hit international media and the Swamp Ghost became famous. It took two days of hacking their way through the razor-sharp kunai grass until they reached dry land. This particular B-17 Flying Fortress (41-2446) was delivered to the United States Army Air Forces (USAAF) on December 6, 1941-just one day before the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. Most people are loyal to their local clans and live a simplistic lifestyle of hunting wildlife and growing crops such as pawpaw, yams and other foods native to the area. It was a plane from World War 2, they could tell from the structure, which wasn’t really a surprise because Papua New Guinea was a war hotbed and major conflict zone. But they were not ready for the Swamp Ghost. They weren’t familiar with the terrain and certainly did not know what the swampy marshes held in store for them. Once the fad of recovering WWII aircraft really took off, trekkers made it to the site and began stripping the aircraft for keepsakes and sellable items. When 41-2446 was to drop its payload, the bomb bay malfunctioned. The name "Swamp Ghost." The Flying Fortress It was determined that ‘swamp ghost’ was actually a B-17E Flying Fortress, plane type. Then the pilot spotted a perfect place to make a crash landing. 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