A New Zealand writer has disputed and scorned the claims of a Sydney, Australia, filmmaker's claim that he had found the final resting place of legendary and iconic Australian aviator, Sir Charles Kingsford Smith.
Sir Charles, or Smithy as Aussies love to call him,was the first pilot to fly the Tasman Sea in both directions in 1928. Seven years later he and his co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge disappeared off the face of the earth while attempting to break the record for a flight btween England and Australia in the historic aeroplane, Lady Southern Cross.
Now 75 years later the Australian filmmaker,Damien Lay claims he has solved the mystery of Australia's lastgreat mystery by allegedly locating the wreckage of the plane off the coast of Burma.
"One of Australia's oldest mystery's and greatest legends. The war hero and adventurer, the world record attempt, and the sudden disappearance, and a number of small clues, hinting and whispering of their tragic end." (Justin Vallejo), March 21, 2009.
He reportedly said that he had found the wreckage under 20 metres ofwater and mud in a bay of tremote Aye Island, after a five day search involving 63 dives and sonar tracking. But is it the Lady Southern Cross?
Not so says New Zealand writer,Ian Mackersey, author of SMITHY: THE LIFE OF SIR KINGSFORD SMITH, who dismissed Mr Lay's claim as outright nonsense.
Mr Mackersey apparentlt quoted two aircraft experts from Australian Defence Ministry Aero nautical Research Laboratory who,in 1992, concluded:" The two occupants bodies would have quite quickly disappeared without trace and so, in those tropical waters, would all the wooden components - followed eventually by the light alloy section which would include quite a bit of the engine."
"All that would remain somewhere probably spread across two hundred yards of the ocean floor, will be the few steel bits of the engine."
Ian Mackersey concluded:"There is no way that the object on the seabed can be Smithy's aeroplane. Alas, the discovery claim is nonsense."
So much for the claim at this point in time. Mr Lay would have to come up with his own expert witnesses to refute Mackersey's denial.