The Needle in the Hay Field

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A Chuukese warrior from the island of Weno

A Needle in a haystack?  Yes, please!  But no, I got the worse-case scenario of a rusty bent needle in a hayfield that hasn’t been harvested in over seventy years.  How do I say “Ugh” in Chuukese? BTW, if you went “huh??” with the word Chuukese, the definition is as follows:  Ahem…

Chuukese (also called Trukese) is a Trukic language of the Austronesian language family spoken primarily on the islands of Chuuk in the Caroline Islands of Micronesia as well as on the on the islands of Pohnpei and Guam. Estimates place the number of speakers at about 45,000 including second-language speakers. Chuukese has the unusual feature of permitting word-initial geminate (double) consonants.

So, if you happen to speak Chuukese, please feel free to add or correct the above.  Mr. Wikipedia and I would be most grateful. Now back to that needle… hmm, where did I put that… hmmm, oh yes.

I don’t know where it is.. yet!  You see, the needle is the location of the fifteen passengers and crew of the Hawaii Clipper, lost presumably at sea on July 29, 1938.  Do I buy this?  No, not with my money and not even with yours.  For the past decade, I have become more and more convinced Martin M-130 flying boat did not meet its end in the deep waters of the South Pacific but rather on the shores of Japan.  The proof is finding those remains in the hayfield that is Tonoas Island, which has been over growing with jungle for what seems like a bah-zillion years.  Lucky for me and the lost souls are some excellent folks that have been working with me behind the scenes.  Armed with tenacity, patience and a few pre-WW2 maps with ground penetrating radar, we have been steadily eliminating places where they could be… to places they most definitely are not.  The good thing is that we have crossed may of those places off the map.. the bad is that there are still plenty left.

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A Japanese Hospital on the island of Dublon / Tonoas prior to WWII

So, with wild abandon, I will return to these wondrous islands and once again take up my Scythe.  However this time, I know where I need to go and how I will finally (gulp) clear away the ages of growth and experience a revelation and bring a close to this very tragic story.  

For illustration, the images shown here are a sample of locations visited, checked with maps, historical records, cross references with village elders and plotted on GPS / World War II era Japanese, British and American maps.

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To this effort, I will be looking at crossing the rest of the cement slabs that have been evaluated to be of the proper age, size and location if the lore and eye-witness accounts are true.  I have no genuine reason to believe they are false so the only way to really know is to return and begin the hay-hacken.

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