Flt Sgt Copping's P-40 From The Egyptian Desert

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Profile picture for user pat1968

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16 years 10 months

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Bruce I can neither confirm nor deny any of the Italian claims as i have not visited the area in question. The quote clearly says that they "previously studied the paper, reports and surveys done on the ground" It does not say they rocked up had a quick coffee and winged it.

My reason for posting the quote is to illustrate that they had offered an insight into the rationale behind the search which you said they had not. That assertion is incorrect.

It is also incorrect to categorically state that the chances of stumbling across remains at a distance of more than a few hundred yards are nil. I agree that on the face of it it seems improbable from my arm chair but the fact that neither of us has been to the area in question means that we cannot rule it out either however improbable it seems.

Profile picture for user pat1968

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Bruce, unless you actually go, then you never know. You may be right , you may be wrong. All we can draw upon is past experience. Lady be Good crew members remains were found exposed on the surface by searchers. Why not Lt Copping?

I quite agree!

Profile picture for user Bruce

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At which point, we must agree to disagree. I have no desire to fall out with you, and will leave it there. It is for others now to examine our respective arguments and consider their worth.

Bruce

Profile picture for user pat1968

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At which point, we must agree to disagree. I have no desire to fall out with you, and will leave it there. It is for others now to examine our respective arguments and consider their worth.

Bruce

Absolutely no reason to fall out, but as you say we disagree.

Profile picture for user Southern Air99

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Gentleman, Bruce is talking sense, there is no need to argue, it really solves nothing, Copping and his plane have been the subject of much, in my opinion injustice, and there is no need to argue on top of that, as long as the plane is preserved to his memory and his remains are either found or left in peace, there is no point arguing!

Profile picture for user pat1968

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Gentleman, Bruce is talking sense, there is no need to argue, it really solves nothing, Copping and his plane have been the subject of much, in my opinion injustice, and there is no need to argue on top of that, as long as the plane is preserved to his memory and his remains are either found or left in peace, there is no point arguing!

I am not arguing with Bruce we are having a debate.

Profile picture for user Mark12

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Bruce, unless you actually go, then you never know. You may be right , you may be wrong. All we can draw upon is past experience. Lady be Good crew members remains were found exposed on the surface by searchers. Why not Lt Copping?

43-2195. I am with Bruce here. The are deserts and there are deserts, but I base my 'credibility gap' on a number of 4x4 adventures across the battlefields of Tunis, right across Libya and the Western desert of Egypt....and I called in on the LBG.

Casually finding body parts from a moving vehicle 5-8 kms from the crash site, 70 years on...not a chance.

Mark

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mark12/Album%202/70%20-%20The%20Western%20desert%20-the%20wire%20%20Img_9230a_zpsfkwqycyx.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mark12/Album%202/90%20-%20Sandstorm%20Tobruk%20%20161_6179a_zpskqfm9ef3.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mark12/Album%202/94%20-%20Outer%20defences%20Tobruk%20%20161_6181a_zpsdjj0a9zm.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v634/Mark12/Album%202/Img_8789a_zpshvo7tdpx.jpg

Profile picture for user Southern Air99

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I am not arguing with Bruce we are having a debate.

It sounded to be bordering on an argument, but let's call it a debate then

Profile picture for user pat1968

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43-2195. I am with Bruce here. The are deserts and there are deserts, but I base my 'credibility gap' on a number of 4x4 adventures across the battlefields of Tunis, right across Libya and the Western desert of Egypt....and I called in on the LBG.

Casually finding body parts from a moving vehicle 5-8 kms form the crash site, 70 years on...not a chance.

Here we go again misquoting the Italians! Maybe you should actually look at their website, you don't seem to be able to get even the most basic facts correct! They state that they searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan. Not the same as driving across the desert in a 4x4.

Nice holiday snaps by the way!

Now can you answer my question yet?

Profile picture for user Mark12

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"They state that searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan."

On foot, at 5-8 km radius, during daylight and at what temp...45c? Searching?

Get real.

Profile picture for user pat1968

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"They state that searched on foot after research and coming up with a plan."

On foot, at 5-8 km radius, during daylight and at what temp...45c? Searching?

Get real.

Been there and done it!

Are you going to answer the question now?

In case it helps, I was not aware that any party was altruistically suggesting they self-funded the project. Instead...

By 21 May 2012 National Geographic had agreed they would fully fund the recovery of P-40 and a search for Dennis Copping. For this, a team of specialists in various fields and disciplines were being assembled and the project had been 'green lit' at that time. Costings were not an issue at this stage, although I'd seriously doubt the £120,000 price tag for the recovery operation.

My understanding was that via Pat1968 and a well known, well established and reputable TV production company a route was offered to RAFM for a risk-free project (ie zero cost to them) but, for whatever reason(s), this was rejected.

By 23 July 2012 the situation had changed and, subsequently, the aircraft was recovered via another route.

There was no guarantee, of course, that the P-40 would have been successfully recovered out of Egypt via the first option, or that Flt Sgt Copping would have been found. That said, the whole modus operandi would have been significantly different.

This is not to enter the debate, but merely to add some dates and facts to perhaps assist those who have been discussing these matters.

Also, just to add comment regarding Bruce's statement that:

"As the Italian team never stated where they had found the remains, despite being asked..."

Yes, it is true there is a great deal of obfuscation and confusion over this. However, the Italians insist they told the British Embassy. The MOD say not. On the other hand, the Egyptians confirm in letters to the British Embassy that they tested the remains for DNA, albeit that the information they subsequently offered about this testing was somewhat contradictory; ie DNA was not recoverable but the DNA showed the remains to be from the same person. Certainly, and even if the Embassy/MOD had been notified where the remains were, it would not have been up to the British Embassy to remove or interfere with human remains that were under the jurisdiction of another sovereign state. Somehow, though, the remains ended up in the hands of the Egyptian laboratory. This can only have been through the Italians telling somebody where they were, and the Egyptians collecting them, or else through a party unknown taking them to the laboratory - possibly the Italians themselves.

One last thing that came from an official source was this:

'It was clear that the pilot got out of the aircraft, stood on the starboard wing and released himself from the parachute. The release harness straps were found. He then opened the 'chute just behind the port wing (D-ring release handle and wire found) and used part of the material to stop bleeding. Some blood soaked parts of parachute have been found.'

This comes from a highly placed source in HMG. I have no way of knowing how it was established he got out onto the starboard wing, but merely report what came from an official source. Of course, this flies in the face of other reports via Mark12 that the seat harness was cut. I don't doubt that it was. But, of course, there could be more than one reason for that.

I would also note that pieces of parachute, apparently blood stained, were photographed by the Italian team in association with the human remains.

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Were they?

As the Italian team never stated where they had found the remains, despite being asked, how do you expect anyone else to find them? Which direction are you going to go?

as posts 2147, 2149, and 2156 indicate, tests on 2 sets of remains seem to have been tested as although no DNA could be extracted, both sets of remains were from the same person?. These remains were only known to the Italians so if tested they must have made them available...

So I withdraw my apology made in post 2147...

regards,
jack...

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6 years 11 months

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"As ever, there is much obfuscation here." - point taken Bruce, and very probably so. Stories get changed somewhat, and reported inaccurately. However it would seem purposeless to go to great lengths to fabricate maps and photos.

I think the position where the ARIDO team indicate that they found bones is pretty predictable, and that with a map in front of them on site they could easily have sat on the wing of the plane and taken a decent bet on the best route to follow based on the terrain (which is fairly readily apparent from the photos they have posted, coupled with Google Earth, and having seen some similar environments) and the nearest source of water or help.

I think it's very likely that Dennis Copping had worked out where he was approximately, and may well have seen the oasis at Farafra (approximately 30km southeast) before he landed - the plane was pointing roughly in this direction, assuming it did not rotate on hitting the rocky ground. The plane landed on elevated rocky ground - a hill or ridge of sorts, where the going east or west is probably rough on foot. Immediately south is a 4km wide sandy area then more NE-SW trending low rocky hills and ridges, through which are a series of sandy valleys or gullies where the going would have been easier to get through/over the ridge to the plain area beyond. The bones found by ARIDO appear to be in one of these - heading south in approximately the right direction for Farafra.

And based on what others have now said, I do agree that there does appear to be scope to criticise the RAF museum's methods. I can only think that they were persuaded to go a high cost route because of the perceived urgency or immediacy of getting it done.

Profile picture for user Bruce

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as posts 2147, 2149, and 2156 indicate, tests on 2 sets of remains seem to have been tested as although no DNA could be extracted, both sets of remains were from the same person?. These remains were only known to the Italians so if tested they must have made them available...

So I withdraw my apology made in post 2147...

regards,
jack...

Jack,

We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.

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Is it really that naughty to expect evidence based decision making, or even evidence based accusations!

No, I just thought prodding Mark 12 with the No Spitfires in Burma stick was. But don't misunderstand me, all meant in a light hearted, pythonian way of course.

Profile picture for user pat1968

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Jack,

We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.

Bruce at the risk of repeating myself, how can you yet again state that you cannot get to the bottom of what Italians said or did when they have comprehensively documented it on their website? If you are saying you think they are dishonest then say so. But to keep repeating that they have not provided an account of their actions is nonsense.
I, like many others on this forum and more importantly Dennis Coppings family have been unable to get to the bottom of the actions of the RAFM and their agents in this matter as they have avoided accounting for those actions at every juncture using spurious excuses. This thread was suspended on the dubious notion that it was being monitored by the Egyptian government and that comments made here may in some way scupper the recovery.The RAFM even refused to honour an FOI request for equally dubious reasons, in reality that was more likely to be to avoid their own embarrassment than for any higher purpose.

Just to be clear once again the Italians have accounted in detail for their actions and documented them, the RAFM have not, the question remains why not?

Profile picture for user pat1968

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No, I just thought prodding Mark 12 with the No Spitfires in Burma stick was. But don't misunderstand me, all meant in a light hearted, pythonian way of course.

I can assure you that no offence was taken and I appreciate the humour.

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Posts: 922

Jack,

We are in danger of being tied up in knots here. If no DNA could be extracted from something that was (or was not) tested, how can it be stated that they were from the same person?

As I said, I have spoken to people involved in the recovery, and have seen the thousand or so pictures taken on site. I am biased towards the information I have from them, as despite asking, on this thread, on many occasions, I haven't been able to get to the bottom of what the Italians said or did.

hi, morning,
if Andy does not mind me quoting from his post 2149...repeated and expanded upon in 2194.

As an example, however, in relation to the recovered bones the Egyptian authorities claim they DNA tested them and wrote to the British Embassy to say these tests had proved 'negative' in that they were unable to obtain DNA to compare to Dennis's relatives due to the age of the remains, contamination and their exposure to the sun. However, in the same letter they went on to say that 'the DNA in all the bones come from the same person...'

This is at once contradictory; how is it possible to say that the DNA from all the bones match if they were unable to extract DNA?

un-quote- also I remember a number of posts on this thread concerning the " quality" of the said letter...

regards,
jack...

Profile picture for user Bruce

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Bruce at the risk of repeating myself, how can you yet again state that you cannot get to the bottom of what Italians said or did when they have comprehensively documented it on their website? If you are saying you think they are dishonest then say so. But to keep repeating that they have not provided an account of their actions is nonsense.
I, like many others on this forum and more importantly Dennis Coppings family have been unable to get to the bottom of the actions of the RAFM and their agents in this matter as they have avoided accounting for those actions at every juncture using spurious excuses. This thread was suspended on the dubious notion that it was being monitored by the Egyptian government and that comments made here may in some way scupper the recovery.The RAFM even refused to honour an FOI request for equally dubious reasons, in reality that was more likely to be to avoid their own embarrassment than for any higher purpose.

Just to be clear once again the Italians have accounted in detail for their actions and documented them, the RAFM have not, the question remains why not?

Pat,

OK, I am not suggesting dishonesty here. However, the Italian account was, as far as I recall, published some time before the aircraft was recovered. It is the only information we have to go on from that camp, as despite asking, their representatives have chosen not to debate on an open forum.

I have no choice but to veer towards the accounts I have - as i cannot get to the counter position by direct debate. I feel that there are sufficient holes in the Italian narrative that clarification would help move the conversation on.

Bruce