Researchers from the UK believe they have found the Spitfires planes from World War II buried near the Yangon airport and are ready to excavate them next month, after a lengthy process of investigation and negotiation.
Quest for Hidden Spitfires Nears Completion
The Irrawady, 11 December 2012
Burma’s first large-scale export since the suspension of sanctions may well be 36 World War II Spitfire fighter planes buried at Rangoon’s Mingaladon Airport in 1945, according to the man who found them, David Cundall.
Cundall, a British farmer and aviation enthusiast, tracked down the planes’ location by talking to Burmese and ex-Allied forces witnesses and carrying out geophysical surveys of sites where the planes were believed to have been hidden.
He pinpointed their location in 2004 but had to keep it a secret for eight years until the lifting of sanctions earlier this year.
If the planes had been excavated while the sanctions were still in place, they could not have been taken out of the country.
“The aircraft, under the sanctions, were regarded as arms. If we had dug them up we’d just have to have kept them in Burma and they’d probably have ended up as pots and pans,” said Cundall.
Within days of sanctions being suspended, Cundall signed an agreement with the Burmese government to excavate the Spitfires.
Full story here.