Says In A Statement That No Archival Evidence Exists For Planes In Myanmar
The Belarusian video gaming company that was backing a search in Myanmar for as many as 140 Supermarine Spitfires thought to be buried in crates as WWII was drawing to a close has pulled its financial backing from the project.
In a statement released to the media, Wargaming.net said that "The Wargaming team now believes, based on clear documentary evidence, as well as the evidence from the fieldwork, that no Spitfires were delivered in crates and buried," adding that according to archival records, 37 aircraft in crates were shipped to the country, but "none of the crates contained Spitfires and most appear to have been re-exported."
The company also said it believes that very poor weather at the time the crates were thought to have been buried, as well as a shortage of heavy equipment, would have made such an effort "almost impossible."
But the local partners in Myanmar don't plan to give up on the search, according to a report appearing in the Associated Press. Local company Htoo Htoo Zaw, which has been working with British farmer and Spitfire enthusiast David Cundall on the project, said that the video game company pulled up stakes before a complete survey of the possible burial sites was finished. A retired Myanmar geology professor who has been helping in the search efforts also remains convinced the planes are there. Soe Thein said he is "very confident" the planes are buried at both sites currently being excavated by the team.