November 28, 2012
A British farmer and flying enthusiast who has spent the past 16 years scouring the jungles of Myanmar believes he has finally found what he was searching for - a horde of buried Spitfire fighter planes dating back to World War II.
Rumors of a huge treasure trove of buried aircraft in Myanmar have circulated for years but now geological surveys of one specific site have lent credibility to the idea and David Cundall plans to start digging as soon as possible.
“I’ve been digging up dumpsites and crashed military aircraft for 35 years, but this is something else,” Cundall, 62, told reporters.
Why an estimated 36 planes - and possibly more - should have been buried in the tropics of southeast Asia, is a source of much speculation.
But what is known is that after four years of brutal battles against the occupying Japanese forces, the victorious British buried much of their inventory in 1945.
And at Mingaladon airfield, just outside the former capital city of Yangon, Cundall thinks he’s found the exact location.
Cundall first caught wind of the tales of buried British airplanes in the late 1990s.
He spent two years grappling with visa restrictions, and after amassing eight matching eyewitness accounts of the exact location where U.S. and British servicemen had dug a massive trench, he devoted himself to the project.
Long encumbered by unhelpful local bureaucrats and beaten to the initial contract by an Israeli bid, a thaw in the West’s relations with Myanmar - formerly known as Burma - facilitated the excavation process.