Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Many pent up words about the last week.

Well - back to work.   Of course all my photo files are not HERE but I can make due. I have most of my images still in my camera.

Last Wednesday I went to EAA with a new friend I met in Spring Green.  EAA is the Grand Canyon of Aeronautics. No matter how big someone tells you it is and how many planes you THINK are there, when you get there and drive mile after mile past parked aircraft that literally go over the horizon you will be, as my now English brother says  . . godsmacked (more on my now English brother later).

When you walk into a field with 3000 privately owned war birds, OMG!!  It's Woodstock with wings and as you take a tram and see 40,000 aircraft with tents below the wings and hundreds of presentations about oil viscosity and diabetes for a pilot you are awestruck.

The interesting thing was that everyone attending was very very friendly and most are not from Wisconsin. One person from Manhattan said coming to EAA was a lifelong dream.  Another commented that there was not one speck of paper on the ground anywhere.  Amazingly clean airport and surrounding 20 square miles.  In a line we were talking about safety and one person said she had left her camera on a bench and came back a half hour later and it was still there (I would not try that to test it).

NOT being an aircraft fanatic there was only so much I could take in.

The below image is from an Airbus A350 which dwarfed the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress that was next to it.     


Barely seen under the S in Airbus is a plane that will reach 96,000 feet. You can see the amazingly long wings under the engine.  They will use the polar vortex over Argentina to push it to that height next year for some scientific  . . stuff.

I'll have more photos as they come out of my camera.

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Then a few hours after getting home from EAA we drove to Indianapolis.  If I had to pick a large town to move to it would be Indy.  I love that town. They have so many bike paths (unlike Columbus (people keep telling me Columbus needs more (if any) bike paths) and art and beauty.

Anyway we were there for the USS Indianapolis reunion and while there we met a family from Fall River.   Carrol Gove's widow(??) lives in Fall River.  Carrol is the guy in the center of the image (above Survivors (he didn't).



  There are 33 survivors left (one died at home while we were there).

Last night Jenny was on the National Geographic Site and found this - a good read!! 

Warship's Last Survivors Recall Sinking in Shark-Infested Waters

The photo of Mel on that site was taken just after I took this photo.  Mel was a Marine guarding the components of the A-Bomb on the USS Indy on their secret mission.  The USS Indy was the flagship of the Pacific Fleet and after it was torpedoed and sunk 12 minutes later the 880 that made it off the ship were ignored for 5 days in the water and 500 were eaten by sharks.  BUT - the Navy covered their many many "mistake".    


In fact even though it was sunk a month before the war ended no one in the States knew about it UNTIL they released the story on VJ day.  Family's were told of their loss the same day the war ended.

There are two movies coming out - USS Indianapolis Men Of Courage, filming now which uses Hunter Scott as the catalyst.

Hunter was in middle school when he was watching JAWS and the part about the USS Indy was mentioned. He asked his dad if that was true and his dad said he was not sure.
Hunter and me

He started to look into it and made a history project out of it but the more he investigated the more weirdness he found.  Why was the Captain court-martial, why did no one look for them.

As he got older he started interviewing the 317 survivors and things were not adding up. He started to feel there was a massive cover up and tried to go in front of congress.

Because of him the Captain (who committed suicide a few years after his court-martial because of all the hatred towards him) was exonerated 50 years later.  Hunter is now a submarine hunter for the Navy.

If you wrote a script it would be unbelievable but being a true story . . . . . .The Captain who all the sailors loved was a scape goat.

Another movie being produced by Robert Downy Jr is about Captain McVay's ordeal and court-martial.  

Next year HBO wants to show a series called Indianapolis: The Legacy but HBO only shows series based on books.

SO - since there is a screen play there is a NYTimes best selling author writing a book so HBO can show the series.  We watched 1.5 hours of the show and it was GREAT!! all told from survivors (like Band of Brothers style) and it was riveting. 

DJ and Sara Vladic
We have had many conversations with the producer (seen with DJ) trying to get Mel to talk about his experience.

Getting stories out of these guys was like pulling teeth. Many would not speak of the ordeal for 30 years.  DJ is still finding out details (rescuing survivors was hard because their skin would pull off their bodies when grabbed).

In attendance were members of the Basset a rescue ship and the PBY that by a freak at of God noticed them 5000 feet below (no one knew the Indy was sunken yet EVEN THOUGH they got off an SOS which was ignored by the Navy).

I also got to talk to Doug Statton who wrote the best book out there In Harm's Way: The Sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors   

That book was in the process of being made into a movie but 911 happened and it was shelved!  Excellent book that tells the events like an adventure story. Highly recommended.


Hey - that's me on a website I just found
There is a huge undertaking by National Geographic and the Woods Hole Group (found Titanic and the Bismark) to find the Indy and that will be a big deal late next year.  That part of the ocean has never been mapped.

Anyway - you are probably getting bored.  So much to talk about.   I'll stop.