Article about: so i was watching HBO's new miniseries, the pacific. it got me thinkin, the soldiers there and all of the other pacific islands must have left good stuff scattered all over them. i checked t
so i was watching HBO's new miniseries, the pacific. it got me thinkin, the soldiers there and all of the other pacific islands must have left good stuff scattered all over them. i checked them out online and most of the islands are barely inhabited. have any of you done any digging in the pacific? what are the usual laws around there concerning battlefield relics? am i correct in assuming that there a lot laying around just waiting to be found?
id love to go to peleliu and dig. they were throwing empty canteens away left and right on t.v., so id like to see how accurate that is : )
Soil conditions, salt content of the sand and air, combined with the "mining" of sites by professionals and locals have reduced most of the available relics to lumps of rust or skeletons of their former selves.
I was in the Solomons and Papua New Guinea in the late 60's and early 70's when my Dad took a USIA contract job and spent many days exploring with the local kids. Most of what we found had been stripped in the late 40's and early 50's either by semi professional aluminum miners or professional gun dealers (many aircraft wrecks had ALL the .50 cals removed). Seeing the remains of P38's, B25's and god knows how many Japanese aircraft after they were cut up and site smelted into rough ingots for export with no attempt at recovery of the pilots remains (I distinctly remember finding a Japanese pilots skull impaled on a stick at a Betty bomber site-chilling site when you are 9 years old!).
I did have quite a collection of rust jammed toys-(45 MA1911, M-1 Carbine, Arisaka 99 and Nambu pistol) which Dad made me pitch into the sea before we left each year to go back to the land of the big PX...
Right now, relic hunting in Papua New Guinea is frowned upon unless you like spending lots of $$ and having all confiscated by the Govt as "cultural heritage" when you try to export the lot, or just being led into the bush and being robbed by your "guides" (it has happened more than you think) and the local officials just laugh when you file a complaint.
Also I have a different view as I have aged, and based on time I have spent in the modern battlefields of Bosnia, Iraq and Kuwait, I treat them as the shrines they are meant to be, reminding us of those who made the untimate sacrifice for their country.