So an odd thing happened in my house last night. There was a plane crash!
Aircraft wreckage on my living room floor.
My husband came up with the idea to treat it as I would a historic crash so that I can demonstrate some of the methods that can be used by anyone with limited equipment to record a site. I will be working on the write up over the next few weeks, along with the write ups from my thesis. My hope is that it will help you record any site you know of (please check with your local archaeology or heritage offices for any regulations or permits that you may need) and that you will share any survey work you do to help better improve the methodology for historic aircraft crash sites. My experience is Newfoundland and Labrador terrain, but other areas will have their own set of challenges. I do also welcome guest posts from anyone who has visited, surveyed, or researched historic crashes, particularly those with a Newfoundland or Labrador connection.
The cause of the crash is just visible in the header image for this particular post…
Over the past month my site has been absent. I had a bit of a cost issue associated with my previous website host, and while I was trying to figure out the costs, they deleted my content. I managed to save a little bit, which I will repost, but otherwise I am starting over. Which is fine. 2015 was a hectic year, and I plan to devote much more time in 2016 to research. I have some plans for this year, such as editing my thesis so as to give the Gander Airport Historical Society better reports on sites around Gander to post on their site (and subsequently post those reports here).
Sites I have investigated around Gander and are featured in my thesis.
As well, thanks to Aviation Archaeology Investigation & Research, I have reports for a couple of sites around Newfoundland, including a partial report (the full report is huge) of the Burgoyne’s Cove crash. I hope to visit that site in the spring, and perhaps some more around Gander. As well, 2016 is Stephenville’s Come Home Year in celebration of their own “Friendly Invasion”. 1966 saw the close of the American Base at Stephenville, and the town is using that landmark to have a week or so of events to encourage folks to “come home” to Stephenville. While I am not a native to the area, I do have family there and would eventually like to do more research beyond Crash Hill and Garden Hill (and do further research on these sites).
As part of the hype for Come Home Year, the gate to the base was re-erected in Stephenville in 2015.
Thus far my research has been about Gander, which can be considered easy research because before construction of the airport started, there was nothing really in the area (beyond railway and hunting outposts). Stephenville, on the other hand, has rich Acadian and native history that helped shape it before and after the Americans ran Harmon Field. Coupled with all of this, I will have my tourism work, volunteering with Youth Heritage NL and Steampunk Newfoundland, and hopefully other jobs (preferably of the research or exploration variety) as the year progresses.