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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Unfortunately, the low animal numbers has a flow on effect for would-be aircraft wreck searchers also…there are very few deer trails in the area and any bush other than the most mature beech involves much thrashing and crawling to get through.


If I were to go into the area again, I would probably base myself in the large head basin of Haggard creek and search up into the areas of mature beech - rather than face the alpine scrub each day. I believe that if NZ5517 lies in the area it will be in one of these more heavily forested areas, most likely between the mis level and the bushline (as opposed to the base of the valley). Overall, the area looked like it has all the ingredients required to hide an aircraft for decades though – large, remote, inaccessible, inclement weather, low animals numbers (and therefore of no attraction to hunters - who are the usual folks to stumble on wreckage), and impenetrable bush.


I am no doubt not the first person to think of this but as I sat on the tops and surveyed the 1000’s of hectares of potential hiding place for NZ5517 I couldn’t help but think an aerially-carried magnetometer or something would be an ideal way to search such terrain.


Perhaps as technology advances then such tools may eventually reveal the last resting place of NZ5517 and its pilot, Bran Barstow. Until then, the mystery of what happened to NZ5517 that day in November 1944 remains unresolved.



Thanks Simon for the great write up and incredible photos!


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