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

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8 years 5 months

Posts: 901

Andy, I will sum it up another way.

Sod Dennis and his family we have the P40.........Result.

Nice one MOD, what a way to treat a pilot who served his country.

Everything should be done to prove or disprove that it's Dennis the Americans would do this.

Profile picture for user Bruce

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21 years 5 months

Posts: 8,458

No - not at all, whilst a number of mistakes have clearly been made, its important now to get the bones tested that were found by the Italians. I'm not being antagonistic at all - just stating the facts.

The Italians do indeed read the thread - and they aren't the only ones.

Bruce

Member for

9 years 1 month

Posts: 21

i can understand the frustration and heartbreak for the poor family suffering this continuing fiasco especially when the authorities cannot tell the difference between the remains of Mr D Copping and Mr T Rex. i hope that digits are extracted urgently to regain some credibility and give the family closure.

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21 years 5 months

Posts: 9,780

I find it interesting that many people seem to consider the Italian group 'lucky' to have found human remains so close to the aircraft. . We don't know if the pilot sighted somewhere to head for in the last airworthy minutes and followed that after the crash . Or the other possibility is that the area in which the bones were found was on the 'easiest' route to walk. There are so many different factors but we can assume with an incredibly limited supply of water a pilot would not have survived for long with little shelter. That makes the potential search area that the Italian team looked in a lot smaller!

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21 years 5 months

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I find it interesting that many people seem to consider the Italian group 'lucky' to have found human remains so close to the aircraft. . We don't know if the pilot sighted somewhere to head for in the last airworthy minutes and followed that after the crash . Or the other possibility is that the area in which the bones were found was on the 'easiest' route to walk. There are so many different factors but we can assume with an incredibly limited supply of water a pilot would not have survived for long with little shelter. That makes the potential search area that the Italian team looked in a lot smaller!

'Lucky'....it's relative.

With the reported bones 8 kms from the wreck, that is just a mere 201,088,000,000 square metres of desert to survey...and stumble on the 'bones'!.

Talking to a leading member of the recovery party and having viewed several hundred images, I share his view there is no obvious geographic route that a pilot might take away from the wreck.

I'll stick with 'lucky' find.

Mark

From what I know of the logic applied to the Italian discovery, I think you have possibly hit the nail on the head David.

It does seem a very lucky break to have found them there. Some would say more than a million to one, perhaps. However, I do think that, to a degree, it may have been one of the obvious places to look. Evidently, though, human bones are not uncommonly found in the desert. Certainly, we know these are human. And if the reports from the Italians are correct then they seem to have been found with what appears to be a section of parachute very similar to the parachute remnants at the crash site.

Just to comment on Mr Merry's post - I think it important to understand that the matter of the remains (and the dealings thereof with the British Embassy and MOD) are an entirely separate one, procedurally, logistically, legally and practically from the involvement of the RAFM with the recovery of the airframe.

And Mark12....as I said above and previously, and if I understand information correctly from the Italian team, they didn't exactly 'stumble' upon them. At least, not from what I have heard thus far. If they had just chanced upon them, then that would have been truly remarkable and unlikely given the infinite possibilities of where and in which direction to search! In any event, what is important is that we know they are human bones. That is 100% fact. And since we know that, then one can't just dismiss the find as not likely to be Flt Sgt Copping because it seems unlikely.

I think there may well be a difference of opinion between those who have been to the crash site and taken the view that there was "no obvious route for the pilot to have taken" and those who went to the desert and found the bones.

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21 years 5 months

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I like your maths Mark . However we need to add a few other factors i.e -contrast of bones and parachute material to surround - number of people searching - distance between searchers . Whilst it might seem a massive area to search we don't know if they were searching on foot or vehicle and what elevation they had at various times during the search.

Profile picture for user pat1968

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17 years 2 months

Posts: 258

where to start?
With regards to the Italian search I have no more information than anyone else on the forum, except the Italian team themselves. I have to say I agree with David, i suggested that I/we don't have the full picture, i.e. I have not visited the area in question, i don't know what the rational for the search was and i have no idea what intelligence was available to the search team prior to commencing the search. Without any of this information it is difficult to draw any meaningful conclusions regarding the search. I have to say, as many already have, on the face of it, it seems to be an amazing find akin to finding a needle in a thousand haystacks. However without having the background information available to the search team i would reserve judgement.
I also agree with Bruce, the bones found by the Italians need to be tested and as soon as is practical. The family have been fed misinformation so many times now it is beyond ridiculous. I have no information available to me that would confirm that the location of the bones has been passed on to the authorities, if anyone from ARIDO would care to confirm this it would be helpful. I have been told that this has taken place, however we have been told that the MOD have had no contact with the Italians. The latest information that I have is that an expedition is planned for later in the year when the temperatures are cooler. I will certainly pose the question of who has been informed of the location of the bones as i think it warrants an answer. As Laurence and others have stated on a number of occasions this is a relatively simple process made seemingly next to impossible! In the meantime Dennis Coppings' family have no answers. This sorry saga seems to be never ending!

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12 years 6 months

Posts: 922

Just bumping the thread so that anyone keeping a eye on it/us from the establishment,will know that the mushrooms are still here,and waitng for answers.
We have not forgotten...

jack...

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15 years 4 months

Posts: 2,098

Thanks Jack. We are still on this!

As time moves on it becomes more and more apparent that things are not exactly as they have always seemed. The obfuscation, economy of facts, distortion of truth, lack of transparency, politics, breakdowns in communication, unwillingness to communicate the truth and a desire for 'ownership' of all elements to this story have impacted adversely on any meaningful attempts to deal with the central and only really important issue; answering the question as to Flt Sgt Copping's fate.

From what I have seen and from what I know through quite close involvement in some elements of this story it is a shameful catalogue of events. There does seem to be an entrenched attitude that is resistant to making an honest statement of the real facts, here, or in properly dealing with the uncomfortable pieces of the story that have emerged. If there have been failings, mistakes or even untruths originating from sources where they should not have originated then surely the only honourable way forward is to be open and apologetic about those issues and to give a truthful account of what has happened, why, and how, along with some meaningful statement as regards to a proposed way forward - even if it is determined that the authorities can take things no further forward, officially. That is really all the family desire at this time and they have certainly been misled, taken up several garden paths and, frankly, lied to from some quarters.

We all hope that the P40 comes back to RAFM but I cannot help feeling other than that it would be singularly misguided to announce the arrival in the UK of the aeroplane whilst matters relating to its pilot have been left in such a shocking muddle and with the family not knowing what to believe. The press will surely be interested in the family and their views at that time and I would have thought the MOD, and RAFM, would wish to see a situation at that time where the family are not critical, questioning and upset by recent events. Unless there is some satisfactory resolution to their disquiet then this will not look good from anyone's point of view and will surely present a negative picture and one that some might think may indicate a greater interest in the P40 than its unfortunate pilot.

Feelings regarding British servicemen are running high with the British public at this time and although this is a casualty of 70 years ago any perception that the authorities have treated his case with anything other than the utmost care, diligence and respect will not be well received. I know for an absolute fact that the media will seize upon that and are actually waiting to do so.

It really cannot be too difficult for somebody to get a grip on this. Can it?

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15 years 4 months

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In the context of the Do17 about to be dredged from the Goodwin Sands, and now another one just reported found on the French coast, someone asked me where the Egyptian P-40 was now. I replied still in El Alamein as far as I knew. But he then told me that he meant where in the UK.
There is apparently a rumour that it was quietly shipped back without publicity. I have no idea how true this is, but maybe someone out there can settle my mind. If it is in the UK, I wonder where, and why it was not announced. If it is not, I wonder what triggered this rumour.

Interesting development if correct, Laurence!

If it is correct, then I don't believe the family are aware. Whilst a reticence to talk about it in-limbo at El-Alamein is understandable during sensitive negotiations then, clearly, and for whatever reason, RAFM are not prepared to talk about it yet.

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15 years 4 months

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The fact that no-one seems to have noticed it suggests to me that it might be just a rumour.
Earlier in the thread we had a photo or two of the blue container outside El Alamein museum in which the P-40 was "rescued". If that was shipped and taken to an aviation-related site in the UK (presumably not too far from the RAF Museum) surely someone would have spotted it.
With all the eagle-eyed people on this thread, anyone seen a blue container parked anywhere?

Member for

12 years 6 months

Posts: 922

hi,
I shall be away on the 25th,so again bumping this thread,a month on and still no news,or container sighting.The mushrooms are still here and waiting...patiently as we,ve had to learn to be...maybe now the RAFM preoccupation with their project off the south coast as ended,it will start clearing the intray.They might even ask the embassy to clear up certain points out standing...

regards
jack...

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21 years 5 months

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I suggest they have a rather different agenda to you and I.....

Profile picture for user dko

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 93

Today, 71 years ago, he had to challenge the first long night in the desert.....
a memory and a prayer for Dennis Copping !

Member for

8 years 1 month

Posts: 1

Last month I sent a letter to my MP about Dennis Copping, asking for answers as I was so outraged by these events over the past year. Today I received a reply, via my MP, from the Minister for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans. I'm not sure whether I'm allowed to show or quote this in a public forum, but I can tell you, if any friend or relative considers joining the British armed forces in the future, I'll show them the letter and tell them they're insane. The contrast I've witnessed between the UK and the USA in their attitudes towards their deceased war heroes is a revelation.
Kudos to my local MP (David Burrowes) for chasing it up for me though.

Profile picture for user l.garey

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15 years 4 months

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Thanks for your comment ked01, and welcome to the Forum.

I have continued to try to sort out what is happening, if anything, in this sad story, and the latest is that the MOD say they know nothing about the supposed two sets of bones (see my posts earlier), but that as far as they are concerned bones from the site were tested by an Egyptian laboratory and found not to yield any DNA to permit identification.

We are going round in circles, and we can get nowhere in our attempt to unravel this sad puzzle.

Profile picture for user dko

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8 years 7 months

Posts: 93

Since the discovery of the wreck of the P40 was a media event that has affected the whole world.
I propose to use the same channel to sponsor the search for the remains of Dennis Copping!
Parachute or abandon an experienced competitor in the same spot landing of 70 years ago,
with a reserve of food and water for 4 days and entrust to him the instinct of salvation (a kind of reality)
The White Desert is the environment, the man and the survival kit are the ingredients .....
all controlled and taken up by the camera!
The challenge could be extended to three attempts and if not will be found the remains of Copping,
all gains paid by the media will be strictly invested to new targeted searches, controlled by a special commission.
This is just a different idea to move something and do everything possible to bring home Dennis!
I hope that BBC or other media will be interested in a project or format like this!
Comment with criticism and suggestions ....... at this point everything is constructive!