PORT MORESBY, Papua New Guinea (PNG Post Courier, May 23) – Swamp Ghost, an American warplane that crashed into the swamps of Oro Province during World War II is about to be shipped out to the United States of America.

[PIR editor’s note: Oro Province comprises the northeast part of Papua New Guinea’s mainland peninsula.]

The WWII bomber, a B17E plane, is reportedly to be restored in the United States. The plane has been shifted from a swamp in Oro Province to Lae and is expected to be shipped to the United States soon.

The National Museum authorities said Fred Hagen from the U.S. and Robert Greinert from Australia, have been allowed to have the plane salvaged and restored in the United States at a cost of thousands of U.S. dollars. It is believed the war relic, if sold could be worth over a million U.S. dollars.

National Museum acting director Simon Poraituk said in a letter last month that the National Museum and Art Gallery board of trustees have made a decision to let Mr. Hagen salvage and restore the plane. The board was empowered by the National Museum and Art Gallery Act of 1992 to make decisions on war surplus materials that were protected by the war surplus material act (1952), he said then.

The plane had remained fully intact for the last 64 years in Karisa village of Oro Province. However, Karisa leaders Jerry Yogoni, Gilbert Yogoni, Gutari Yogoni, Colin Tom and the chairman of the Beach Head Battlefields Tourism Committee in Popondetta, Joachim Olai, do not want the plane to be salvaged, removed or damaged. They all agreed that the plane should be left where it was because it was "priceless" and that it could be used to attract tourist.

May 23, 2006

PNG Post Courier Online: www.postcourier.com.pg/

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