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TheGozr
02-15-2007, 06:51 PM
http://www.gozr.net/iocl/viewtopic.php?t=2307

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's plane wreckage answers a 60-year-old riddle. Or does it?

http://aerostories.free.fr/biographies/saintex/p380011g.jpg
http://aerostories.free.fr/biographies/saintex/p380003g.jpg
http://aerostories.free.fr/biographies/saintex/castellano1.jpg

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/67/Antoine_de_Saint-Exup%C3%A9ry_Lyon.JPG/450px-Antoine_de_Saint-Exup%C3%A9ry_Lyon.JPG

http://www.zonalibre.org/blog/zahir/archives/saint%20exupery50.jpg
By Brad Wetzler

"A MYSTERY has been solved," says Bernard Chabbert, talking about French pilot, writer, and national hero Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. "And yet the mystery remains." Chabbert, a Bordeaux-based aviation writer, is referring to the stunning announcement in April that mangled airplane parts pulled from the Mediterranean last fall, off the coast of Marseille, France, had been identified as wreckage from the World War II–era P-38 that the beloved Saint-Ex was flying when he vanished in 1944. For Americans, the revelation might not seem earth-shattering: Saint-Exupéry, author of the celebrated adventure classic Wind, Sand and Stars and the best-selling children's fable The Little Prince, is not exactly a Yankee icon like, say, Amelia Earhart. But in France, the disappearance of the 44-year-old aviator provoked equal amounts of mythologizing, fascination, and, until now, fruitless searching.

"Finding Saint-Exupéry's plane is like finding the Titanic," says Philippe Castellano, president of Aéro-Relic, the amateur diving-and-archaeology group that helped search for the P-38 aircraft. "It's the Holy Grail."

The mystery began unraveling in 1998, when Jean-Claude Bianco, a Marseille fisherman, found tangled in his nets a bracelet with the inscriptions SAINT-EXUPERY and CONSUELO, the latter the name of the author's wife. Two years later, professional diver Luc Vanrell uncovered a chunk of engine, part of a tail, and some landing gear 200 feet underwater near Ile de Riou, a mile and a half from the Marseille coast. French ocean-salvage firms Comex and Geocean spent a combined $1 million to raise the parts, and an acid bath revealed a hand-engraved 2734L: the serial number of Saint-Ex's plane. The pieces are slated to be displayed in June at the Musée de l'Air et l'Éspace du Bourget, near Paris. But what the exhibit won't answer is the biggest question of all: What happened?

Though he was overfond of reading in the cockpit, the homme de lettres was no slouch as a pilot. By age 21, he'd spent years flying over the Sahara and South America, and he was undaunted, if not inspired, by adversity. (One of his crashes, a plunge into the Mauritania desert in 1927, provided the backdrop for The Little Prince.)

By 1944"”overweight and 15 years older than his colleagues"”Saint-Ex finagled his way into a unit of the Free French Air Force, based in Bastia, Corsica, and active in Sardinia and other Allied nations. In nearly a dozen missions, he photographed the Nazi-occupied Rhone Valley. But on July 31, returning to Corsica from a sortie to Lyon, he vanished.

Some speculate that the oft depressed idealist committed suicide. Others, including his relatives and experts like Chabbert, believe he ran out of oxygen and blacked out. (P-38's had unpressurized cabins, so pilots wore oxygen masks.) A third camp argues that he was shot down. The wreckage indicates that Saint- Exupéry hit the water at a near-vertical angle, which suggests an unconscious man at the controls.

Castellano's group and Geocean hope to keep searching the sea for more secrets"”like bullet-riddled plane parts. But such a coup isn't likely. The debris is 60 years old and probably lies scattered for miles. Perhaps in the end, says Chabbert, there is only one certainty. "The coast of Marseille is a beautiful place," he says. "It would have been a beautiful
place to die."

He was also the caracter in the French 50 francs
http://www.banknotes.com/FR157A.JPG

http://aerostories.free.fr/pilotes/france/mermoz/st-ex_gui.jpg

BillyTheKid_22
02-15-2007, 06:59 PM
Wow, Sea!!!

Stackhouse25th
02-15-2007, 10:15 PM
wild

Marcel_Albert
02-15-2007, 10:21 PM
Interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We'll never know for what reason he died , perhaps he lost consciousness during the flight .

was it a P-38G that he flew ?

FlixFlix
02-16-2007, 01:37 AM
"The Little Prince" is one of the most beautiful and fascinating pieces of literature ever written.

"On ne voit bien qu'avec le coeur; l'essentiel est invisible pour les yeux."


S!,
I/JG78_Flix

Heliopause
02-16-2007, 02:10 AM
Finally they found the location and his plane.
Throughout the years articles have come up about possible airplane crash sites and the question if it was his plane.

PB0_shadow
02-16-2007, 02:18 AM
Originally posted by Marcel_Albert:
Interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We'll never know for what reason he died , perhaps he lost consciousness during the flight .

was it a P-38G that he flew ?

F-5B

The Pics above are not showing St Ex's lightning, but different planes; the piece being raised from the sea is part of a P-38G (American Pilot James Riley)

Pirschjaeger
02-16-2007, 02:20 AM
If Oleg's model is accurate then I can see blacking out from a lack of o2 and coming to and realizing you've got to much speed and the controls are useless.

BrewsterPilot
02-16-2007, 06:30 AM
This was a very interesting read! Thank you for sharing!

Maybe now I'll finally start reading on a book I got for christmas; Paul Webster's "Antoine De Saint-Exupery, The life of the little prince".

MadBadVlad
02-16-2007, 06:58 AM
This is quite old news. The plane parts were lifted in 2003, but the central gondola was never found, so proving the lifted parts actually belonged to his plane was impossible. The find was further confused by the fact that five F5-B aircraft went down in the same broad area during the war.

The first and second photos down are of the inverted P-38 which belonged to 2nd Lt Harry R. Greenup, aircraft serial no. 43-2545 at Les Lecques and have nothing to do with Exupery.

Marcel_Albert
02-16-2007, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by PB0_shadow:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Marcel_Albert:
Interesting http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

We'll never know for what reason he died , perhaps he lost consciousness during the flight .

was it a P-38G that he flew ?

F-5B

The Pics above are not showing St Ex's lightning, but different planes; the piece being raised from the sea is part of a P-38G (American Pilot James Riley) </div></BLOCKQUOTE>

Thanks http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

There was a Magnificient movie i saw about 10 years ago , it featured famous American actor Val Kilmer , it was made by J-J Annaud (the film maker of Stalingrad , ennemy at the gates ) .

This movie is called "Wings of Courage " , it was shown at the Futuroscope , a cinema where you see the movies with 3d Glasses , everything is in 3d .

It was awesome , the movie is about the great pionneers of Postal aviation in the late 20's/1930's that were doing the trip from Argentina/Chile all the way up to the north , having to pass the Andes Mountains .

Among these guys were St Exupery and Jean Mermoz and Henri Guillaumet , 3 great names of aviation , the risks they were taking were enormous , their aircraft Potez 25 was nothing reliable to today standards . You needed to be almost suicidal to do it , it was more than courage , it had never been done before and was extremely risky with the wheather conditions .

It's a great film , Franco-American , one of the best aviation movie if you watch it in 3 dimensions http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif .

XyZspineZyX
02-16-2007, 04:17 PM
the bracelet would seem to be very conclusive

Insuber
02-16-2007, 04:28 PM
I remember that an hypotesis lied onto the memories of a German pilot, who reportedly downed a solitary recon P38 in front on Marseille, the very date of Saint-Exupéry disappearing.

Regards,
Insuber

MB_Avro_UK
02-16-2007, 05:03 PM
Hi all,

The pics of the P-38 on the sea bed don't indicate to me a high speed dive into the sea. (But I'm not an expert!!)

The props are vertical which may indicate a controlled belly-landing. And the debris is mainly intact.

Maybe he survived and is living a quiet life of leisure...??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

leitmotiv
02-16-2007, 05:28 PM
I read FLIGHT TO ARRAS in high school and never forgot the bravery of those French pilots of 1940. St-Ex was one of my youthful heroes. Book would make a great film.

http://www.villastjean.com/saint-exupery/St.Ex.bmp

Ratsack
02-16-2007, 05:53 PM
I'd always wondered why there was an elephant inside a boa constrictor on the 50 franc note.

Ratsack

Marcel_Albert
02-16-2007, 07:58 PM
Originally posted by MB_Avro_UK:
Hi all,

The pics of the P-38 on the sea bed don't indicate to me a high speed dive into the sea. (But I'm not an expert!!)

The props are vertical which may indicate a controlled belly-landing. And the debris is mainly intact.

Maybe he survived and is living a quiet life of leisure...??

Best Regards,
MB_Avro.

Hi mate http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Interesting thoughts , and as told us PB0_Shadow , this plane is likely not the plane of St Ex , but the one of James Riley .

TheGozr
02-16-2007, 08:09 PM
Very Interesting.

UberDemon
02-16-2007, 11:09 PM
For those of you who are UQMG users... you may remember this mission that came a long time ago in one of my upgrades... open a UQMG data file in the File menu and go to the folder/file:

"upgrd0006\_Net5 Finland\Red - Exupery Last Flight.uqmg"

Below is the briefing:

---------------------------
UQMG Mission for Red/Allied Army
Title: ''Exupery's Last Flight''

Date: Monday, 31 July 1944
Time: 0500h
Weather: Clear
Cloud Height: 1000 meters
Map: Net 5 "Small Gulf of Finland" (Summer/Sea)

Aircraft Type: P-38 J (1943)
Load: Empty (No Ammo)
Unit: France, Sq. 2, Flt. 3
Position 1 - Leader

DESCRIPTION:
Antoine de Saint Exupery was one of France's most well known writers... and consequently an aviator. His most famous book was probably the classic "The Little Prince."

He flew a great number of hazardous photo-reconnaisance missions in the Potez 63, the Bloch 174, and the unarmed photo-recon versions of the P-38 Lightning.

At the age of 43, in June of 1943, he was removed from flying status due to his health, but was returned to flying status by US General Ira Eaker. He completed a further eight missions flying from Bastia in the Mediterranean into southern France.

He died in the ninth mission after his return to flying. He was shot down by two pre-production Fw-190 D-9's off the coast of St Raphael.

Saint Exupery's books has graced and inspired the lives of many children and adults alike with his compassionate, yet realistic and critical view of mankind. He holds an important place in the world of Aviation, and he lived and died doing what aviators love the most: flying for the sake of flying, a type of statement that Richard Bach, another aviator-writer, would have said in his book "John Livingston Seagull."

In this mission, try to relive what any of St. Exupery's missions may have been like. Follow the waypoints into the enemy airbase and conduct recon over it. Experience the long and lonely flight through enemy lines. Try to avoid enemies, and try bringing back the precious cargo: the pictures.

OBJECTIVES:
Take picture of enemy Air Base. [Mission Complete will display when you Recon over base. In this map the base is located north of Kotka.]
---------------------------

TheGozr
02-17-2007, 12:47 AM
UberDemon Thank you very much for the tribute, as we are doing a Mission for "Historia" server on a MTO subject, I grew up with St-Exupery in my head like many others French kids. You could maybe partipate to built this mission with us.
Thx

Insuber
02-17-2007, 07:03 AM
Yet on the bracelet: a French book seen today at FNAC tells the story of the fisherman Bianco, who found in his net the bracelet. A phto shows the object, with the writer's name, an address in New York and other numbers, and the name of Consuelo. The curious thing is that the heirs of St-Exupéry received the object, but denied its authenticity ... the book tells how Bianco launched a search to prove his goodfaith, sponsored by some richmen interested to advertise their products in this way. Sounds quite suspect ...


Bye,
Insuber

leitmotiv
02-17-2007, 07:24 AM
pathetic

UberDemon
02-17-2007, 11:41 AM
Originally posted by TheGozr:
UberDemon Thank you very much for the tribute, as we are doing a Mission for "Historia" server on a MTO subject, I grew up with St-Exupery in my head like many others French kids. You could maybe partipate to built this mission with us.
Thx

If you can send me some details, I'll see what I can do. http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

TheGozr
02-18-2007, 01:23 PM
UberDemon here the "HISTORIA" server corner http://www.gozr.net/iocl/viewforum.php?f=20 Check around, I'm sure you will find very interesting as I am interested on you for a mission(s) Any help would be exelent! http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_smile.gif
Thx