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 Post subject: Justin Taylan Arrested
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 8:43 am 
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Forwarded to me by Jim Lansdale

Dear Friends & Colleagues,

I would like to share with you an important news release about my absence from email & regular contact.
My friends & I inadvertently observed the largest single salvage of WW2 Japanese aircraft wrecks, from Ballale Island.
I would like your help to make sure the truth about or captivity and charges are known to you, by sending the news release below.
After 18 days of being held without charges, we were arrested for 'illegal entry to Solomons", and have plead not guilty. Our trial is on Wednesday, December 12th at 9am in Gizo Court.
Also, to make you aware of the new website: http://taylandefensefund.org
For any future emails related to this matter, please use: justin@taylandefensefund.org
Our entire group is a part of this single defense fund. It is based in the USA for PR and financial considerations.

"NEVER GIVE UP"
- Justin Taylan, Yoji Sakaida & Rodney Pearce
TOURISTS HELD
CAPTIVE IN SOLOMON ISLANDS
One American’s Battle to Save World War II History in the South Pacific
SOLOMON ISLANDS — December 10, 2007 — American, Justin Taylan, 30, of Hyde Park, New York, has been held captive five weeks since November 6, 2007 in the Solomon Islands, a tiny Pacific island nation off the east coast of Australia. Taylan is founder of a non-profit history website detailing World War II stories and Pacific theater airplane wrecks. Traveling by boat from Papua New Guinea, he hoped to explore relics from the Battle of Guadalcanal.
Also held in custody by Solomon authorities are Taylan’s colleagues Yoji Sakaida, 41, of Chiba, Japan, World War II enthusiast and graphic designer, Rodney Pearce, 57, citizen of Australia and the ship’s captain.
On November 6, they inadvertently stumbled upon a salvage operation underway at Ballale Island, part of the famous Battle of Guadalcanal. “There are more World War II plane wrecks there than anywhere else in the world,” Taylan said. “We saw six Zero fighters, a Val dive bomber and a Betty bomber being removed. That’s why all this started.”
The group drew the attention of the salvagers. The Royal Solomon Island Police Force confiscated their passports, photos, and videotapes placing them in detention without charges. They have since been charged with illegally entering the country and pleaded innocent since they crossed borders through a published port of entry and in accordance with Solomon Islands law. Trial is set for December 12 and the maximum sentence is three years in jail.
Taylan testified in September 2006 before Papua New Guinea Parliament National Parliament in the “Inquiry into the National Museum and Art Gallery and the Sale and Export of the Swamp Ghost Aircraft.” He received an official commendation from the governing body that his “evidence as to the extent of the removal of these aircraft over the last decade and the complicity of the Museum to be of great assistance.”
The grandson of World War II combat photographer Carl Thien, Taylan gained an appreciation for Pacific War air battles early on. As a teenager, his grandfather returned with him to the Papua New Guinea to photograph wrecks in their original locations.
More information, photos, and updates are available at http://taylandefensefund.org. Interviews with Taylan may be arranged through the press contact listed above.
PACIFICWRECKS.COM Taylan searches out wrecks, safeguards human remains, and returns dog tags and other artifacts to surprised veterans. He is founder of PacificWrecks.com, a free, non-profit history website detailing World War II stories and Pacific theater airplane wrecks. that draws 45,000 hits a month. He produces and distributes historical his own documentaries and has appeared on The History Channel and PBS.
Taylan was featured in the November 2007 issue of Smithsonian Magazine in an article titled “Swamp Ghosts: In Papua New Guinea, a journalist investigates the controversy over a World War II bomber.” He wrote his first book about the war, “No Place for a Picnic,” at age 16 and has since been published in many historical and flight publications and spoken on this topic around the world.
Posted by Jim Lansdale for Justin TAYLAN

http://taylandefensefund.org

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:36 am 
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Wow. I am at a loss for words.

I hope Justin and everyone else are free'd ASAP.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:43 am 
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Man, what a raw deal, someone that has proven himself to be an advocate of documentation and preservation, observes a "theft" and is in the process of "documenting" the "theft", is hammered by the cops without first "Investigating" what is going on. Note to self; avoid cops in this region. Raw deal.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 9:58 am 
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Hi Jack,

A few questions, were these a/c being salvaged for restoration or are they being scrapped?If they are to be restored who is involved? Are they being salvaged for scrap? If thats the case why wouidnt they sell them for lots more money to the restoration community? I know that some folks are determind to keep them in their final resting place but that just seems to be fatal to so many of these surviving relics. How many have become shinny jewlery for the local natives? How many have been scrapped for a few dollars? They need to be recovered NOW ! ! ! History is great but time marches on, they are fragile and with out some type of presevation they will be gone forever. If these a/c are being recovered for restoration thats great but if they are being scrapped with the support of the local government then its time to make a stand about their recovery for future preservation. A few have tied the hands of those that would like to recover and restore these war machines at their own expence, so is their policy to leave them rot in the jungle or let the locals sell them as scrap for a little beer money? I cant and will not support the mentality that their historic value would be lost if they are recovered its a foolish man that thinks they will be safer were they lay. The bottom line is they should have been recovered years ago but everyday that goes by is critical as they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Thanks Mike

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:10 am 
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Whoever ws recovering behind swamp gost probably has an ax to grind with justin and the kid will probably see 3 years


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:47 am 
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Jack Cook wrote:
On November 6, they inadvertently stumbled upon a salvage operation underway at Ballale Island, part of the famous Battle of Guadalcanal. “There are more World War II plane wrecks there than anywhere else in the world,” Taylan said. “We saw six Zero fighters, a Val dive bomber and a Betty bomber being removed. That’s why all this started.”


Hmmm...

Justin Taylan "inadvertantly stumbled upon a salvage operation..."

Hmmm... :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:48 am 
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Mike,
I know nothing. The story was just passed on to me.

While trying to have some sympathy here, I read the story in the Solomons papers. They are trying pass themselves off has accidental tourists who have heard about the history of the Solomons and just wanted to see them for a couple days. Justin's been out there more times than I've been to the corner market :shock: He's no accidental tourist. I'm guessing he knew what he was looking for and found it.
Nothing in anything I've seen said illegial salvage and we all know Justin's stand on recovery :idea:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:50 am 
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I assume it was an illegal salvage operation? Who were the people doing the salvaging and why werent they arrested? Anyone have any more details?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 10:52 am 
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Thanks Jack!! Keep us posted lets hope they are on their way to preservation :wink: Thanks Mike

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:32 am 
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HELLDIVERS wrote:
Hi Jack,

A few questions, were these a/c being salvaged for restoration or are they being scrapped?If they are to be restored who is involved? Are they being salvaged for scrap? If thats the case why wouidnt they sell them for lots more money to the restoration community? I know that some folks are determind to keep them in their final resting place but that just seems to be fatal to so many of these surviving relics. How many have become shinny jewlery for the local natives? How many have been scrapped for a few dollars? They need to be recovered NOW ! ! ! History is great but time marches on, they are fragile and with out some type of presevation they will be gone forever. If these a/c are being recovered for restoration thats great but if they are being scrapped with the support of the local government then its time to make a stand about their recovery for future preservation. A few have tied the hands of those that would like to recover and restore these war machines at their own expence, so is their policy to leave them rot in the jungle or let the locals sell them as scrap for a little beer money? I cant and will not support the mentality that their historic value would be lost if they are recovered its a foolish man that thinks they will be safer were they lay. The bottom line is they should have been recovered years ago but everyday that goes by is critical as they are disappearing at an alarming rate.

Thanks Mike


I'll toss my hat into this corner, since I've said this before. There has been a sharp rise in the demand and prices for scrap metal in the past few years. (How often are we all reading stories of deaths from removing copper from live electrical grids now? Some people will risk anything.) The explosive growth of Chinese, Indian and other South Asian economies will only increase demand for more goods and more scrap metal (including some to feed a growing aerospace industry.) It's my opinion that any wrecks in remote locations are eventually going to be picked clean for scrap. Leaving wrecks in place will not protect them from time (and fading history) and their significance will be lost on most individuals

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Last edited by DoraNineFan on Mon Dec 10, 2007 3:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:34 am 
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me109me109 wrote:
I assume it was an illegal salvage operation? Who were the people doing the salvaging and why werent they arrested? Anyone have any more details?


The only one questioning the legality of the salvage at this point is Mr. Taylan. Evidence may eventually prove him correct, but perhaps assumptions should be based on more solid stuff? :wink:

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 11:48 am 
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Yes, use caution Assume...could turn to Ass out of You and Me. We must be able to read the hard facts, but who actually has the hard facts? Would be interesting to read the court documents in this case.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:05 pm 
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I've gone 'round and around with Justin a few times on the legality of various salvage operations before. It's to bad he got himself caught up in a situation like this. The problem is that the people in power in some of these far off places decide what is “legal” as they see fit.

If I was to offer some speculation (it's not an assumption :D ), I would say that someone with a lot of power (enough power to control the police) out there was getting paid rather well to allow the salvage of these aircraft. If Justin showed up and tried to block this, I could very easily see him being arrested to keep him out of the way to ensure this person, or people could get paid. Hopefully when the transaction is completed he will be let go. It's the golden rule, “he who has the gold, makes the rules.”

Just like I don't talk about religion of politics around here, with Justin I avoid talking about aircraft recoveries and we get along just fine.

Justin is a good guy and has a lot to contribute. I hope he gets out soon. If you have the ability to help I would encourage you to do so.

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 Post subject: ???
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:55 pm 
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By their pictures they don't look very much abused by the system there.
Boat arrest doesn't seem has bad has a Turkish prision. :shock: Especially when you can work on your tan and set a a nice webpage and have email. :roll: :idea:
does anyone know the IDs (background) of the other 3 people Yoji Sakaida (any relation to Henry?), Rodney Pearce and Daisy Eliah (cook).

Pierce
http://www.pacificwrecks.com/people/visitors/pearce/index.html

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 2:03 pm 
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I must admit I am mystified a lttle by what is going on.

Justin's stand on swamp ghost was what? Was he behind the misguided petition that stated that in order to "Save Swamp Ghost" it should be left out in the Kunai Grass? LET THE LOCALS SEND OUT TOURS FOR LOOKIE LOUS FOR A COUPLE BUCKS A HEAD? That is a tragic and disgusting use for so unique a survivor and ignores its importance to the preservation movement, as well as the sacrifices made during those dark days of war.

Scrap metal is the ultimate tragic loss for these aircraft. However its no less final than condemming them to corrosion in situ.

What is actually going on? Is scrapping taking place because people have made it impossible to place them "in private collections in the United States"? If they are legally impossible to export, surely the indiginous people must seek to derive as much cash from them before they corrode to dust?

In my mind whoever was behind the railroading of "Swamp Ghost" and hastening her destruction by leaving her on the docks as future scrap metal has a bit of bad Karma chasing them...I am sure that airplane is pissed!


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