This Site is dedicated to all those families of the people that have tragically disappeared on flights in and around New Zealand. I  only hope that from all the effort in building this site and from all the effort of those taking part in this venture, that it will bear fruit in bringing ‘closure’ to their memories!
Gavin Grimmer
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Update 23 June 2012

Of all the aircraft missing in New Zealand, this one seems to attract the most attention.

Reports and claims of seeing the wreckage is incredible on its own.

To date there have been claims of seeing it in Chatterbox Stream,  Mokihinui,  Slate Creek,  New Creek,  above Murchison, 2 x sightings at Berlins Bluff, Haggard Creek, King Solomon Stream, and somewhere south of Reefton. Obviously it can only be in one place, so the mind boggles as to why all these sightings.

Over a period of time, I hope to report on this site, all the information I have on each area, for all to see.

 

Slate Creek

 

This sighting was referred to me by Brian Gough of Amberley, and he has given me permission to publish it here. The following is extracts from his letter he sent to me:

 

I first heard of the Corsair  when I was stationed Greymouth Police Station 1963 to 1970.

I was tidying out a spare room in which a lot of stuff from the old Police Station had been stored. A lot of stuff dated back to the Gold Rush days. Old files and things.

I found a Police file that related to Brian Barstow missing in his Corsair. I didn’t take too much notice.

The next time I heard of the Corsair was at the time of the Inangahua earthquake in 1968. Inangahua was evacuated, even the farming families, all carried out by Airforce Iroquois helicopter. We did 24 hour rotational shifts ‘looking after’ Inangahua. We were also ferried in and out from Reefton by Iroquois.  On one flight we took some dairy farmers in to milk their cows. One old bloke told me about the Corsair. He remembered hearing them flying over. (Couldn’t see them because of cloud). He heard them return in the direction of Westport.

He later heard one aircraft make several passes up and down the valley between Reefton and Inangahua.  It finally flew north straight up New Creek and over into the South Branch of the Mokihinui.  Apparently no one heard it after that. I began to get a bit more interested.

About 1986? I was working at Wigram when I heard that Tim Wallis’s Spitfire was flying up from Wanaka.  While waiting around for that, I got  involved with a group in Hanger 7 who called themselves “Wigram Aircraft Recovery Group,” or something. I went out with them a few times and did actually find an aircraft.  It was a RNZAF Auster that the Army borrowed in 1955 and crashed, (ran out of fuel at tree top height) in their training area ‘Little Malaya’ behind Oxford.  It was while associating with this group with Flight Sgt. Harris in charge, that I was able to view the original Airforce file on the missing Corsair.  I read it right through. Apart from various supposed sightings in the New Creek area, people finding a flying helmet and flying boot, the most important things I found was a grid reference off a 1943 ‘mile to the inch’ topographical map which a gold prospector gave as where  he found the Corsair.  Also a party of trampers about 1953 were on the Lyall Saddle and maintain they saw an aircraft in the bush some distance in a NW direction. (There must have been a lot less trees on the Saddle than there is now!)

Anyway, because of all the for going I’ve always thought the Corsair might be in that area.

There is a mention in ‘MISSING’ of a Mines Dept. Employee, who was in the Ngakawau River area giving a grid reference from the same map as above. He said he saw an aircraft in the bush in the distance. His grid reference is a bit over a mile due west of that given by the gold prospector.

 

Regards,

Brian Gough

 

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