Myanmar dig pledge by Spitfire hunter

February 20, 2013 - 1:10:19 am


YANGON: A British Spitfire enthusiast yesterday vowed to continue searching for Second World War planes in Myanmar after the project’s sponsor pulled out saying stories of buried aircraft were just “legend”.

David Cundall said he remained “very confident” about the prospects of finding the iconic single-seater aircraft at Yangon airport in the Mingaladon district of the city, despite splitting with the project’s backer.

Online game company Wargaming withdrew its support on Friday saying there was no truth in rumours that dozens of Spitfires were buried in 1945 by Britain, in what was then Burma.

But Cundall, a farmer and aircraft enthusiast who has spent nearly two decades chasing the Spitfires, slammed the decision and insisted the hunt would go on.

“Wargaming came into this for publicity. They are not Spitfire enthusiasts at all,” he told a press conference in Yangon, adding that he would contribute to funding the project out of his own pocket.

“I have interviewed eight eyewitnesses and I am convinced that they are telling the truth. They were all here in the war or just after the war. They are all pointing to the same area,” he said.

He said surveys at Yangon’s airport had recently identified two large metal objects, but no digging had yet been undertaken. 

The remaining team, including a local businessman, are awaiting the arrival of a European company that will conduct a specialist radar search, he added.         AFP