Save B-17E 'Swamp Ghost'
Government of Papua New Guinea
Anyone worldwide who believes in the protection of the 3rd world's cultural and historical heritage
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Since the war, these relics have been scrapped, sold or stolen by outsiders and wealthy collectors as trophies of the past. Often bribes are made with local villages and government officials, as high as the National Museum of PNG to broker these deals. This makes a small select few profit off these relics, and forever removes priceless historical treasures from inside this country, forever removing its cultural legacy, and these monuments of WWII that was so important and tragic for the people of PNG and important historically for the rest of the world. Today, few relics still remain, and those are now all the more important as tourist sites, and natural memorials to the past and the lives lost during WWII. Some even still contain bones and are considered MIA (Missing In Action) sites.
Today, a former American B-17E Flying Fortress bomber that crash landed in a swamp is one of the last remaining well intact WWII aircraft wrecks in that country. It is significant of the struggle that took thousands of Papuan, American, Australia, New Zealand and Japanese lives. This aircraft has been coveted by aircraft restoration groups, outside the mainstream of the museum system as a valuable relic. A restored B-17 today is "worth" millions of dollars to collectors.
Currently, groups are vying to recover this aircraft from where it has rested for over a half century, undisturbed. Plans for restoration, display or return of this priceless relic to the government, and people of Papua New Guinea after it is removed are vague at best, or include for the outright sale of this relic - for the profit of a small few, and the loss to an entire country.
This petition is NOT against the idea of aircraft restoration, but rather having private interests buy such a relic and have it exported to a private collection in the United States. The world has seen how developing countries have had their cultural legacies bought, stolen or sold by wealthy individuals and organizations that can exert power over their officials and people.
Please sign the below petition to show your support to the Papua New Guinea government AGAINST the removal of one of the last remaining WWII relics left undisturbed in the Pacific.