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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You might ask, is there anything else that may give a hint of what happened to Paul and ZK-WAC?....The answer is YES... Maybe?

 

Pinnacle Hill, Mangawhai - 1720 - Travelling: over Mangatawhiri Valley - Diving steeply at ground - I was looking towards Paparimu School - Weather fair - strong wind - metallic colour - acute angle dive.... Mr Wells, phone 883 Mangawhai

Unfortunately, after quite a bit of trying to track this person down, it turns out he has since passed on, so now we have great difficulty trying to decipher this jumbled up observation!

There is no “Pinnacle Hill” in Mangawhai, but there is one not that far from the Hunua Ranges, so this must be the position he was in when he observed it. There is a “Pinnacle Hill Road” that goes right past the actual “Pinnacle Hill” so this is now possible that he could have been anywhere along this road at the time of observation. There is a Paparimu School at just over 5 miles as the crow flys from Pinnacle Hill, so we obviously have the correct place.

After talking to various long time residents in Mangawhai, no-one seems to have any knowledge of a Mr Wells ever living there, so this then brings about the possibility that “Mangawhai” is some other place that has been spelt wrong - as I found in some of the other reports! The three digit phone number “883” has long disappeared with all numbers now being in the 7 digit form. I eventually found that there was a Mr Wells that lived towards the northern end of Pinnacle Hill Road at that time (1982), but as stated above, he had passed on. Presuming that he was at his home when he observed the plane, this now gives us a spot to work from.

I Googled Paparimu School and found out exactly where it was, so this enabled me to get a direction, but the “travelling over Mangatawhiri Valley” just didn’t seem to fit in, as Mangatawhiri is further to the south.

While looking over maps to try to find any named place in that area that could be mistaken for Mangawhai, I noticed that there was a “Mangatawhiri River” and that ran into the “Upper Mangatawhiri Reservoir”, and then it finally occurred to me that the valley ran from there down towards Mangatawhiri township shown as a green line below:

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