Controversial Footage Of A B-24 Shot Down Finally Debunked!
For 70 Years This Footage Was Argued Over. Now, Let’s Look At The Facts.
On May 4th, 1945, A B-24 nicknamed Brief was sent on a mission to destroy anti-aircraft installations in Koror, the capital city of Palau. This mission was being filmed by the War Department to be used for training and news footage and was titled Mission To Koror And Arakabesan, Palau Islands. As you’ll see, while filming Brief’s port side wing explodes and folds over, the plane spiraling down towards the earth.
After the footage was released, people have debated whether or not the plane was shot down or if another plane in the formation dropped a bomb from above. Nowadays this debate got even more heated as the YouTube comment section is open to anyone willing to give their opinions. To shut the lid on this controversial topic, we’ve compiled this list of facts and common sense observations.
1. Expert Opinion Of Dr. Patrick J. Scannon
Dr. Patric J. Scannon is somewhat of an authority when it comes to World War II, but more specifically, the wrecks that reside in the Pacific Theater. Having served in the U.S. Army, he later got his PhD. from UC Berkeley and then an MD from the Medical College Of Georgia. He started a company called Xoma which specializes in therapeutics, but his life changed when he vacationed in Palau in the early 90s.
Finding a piece of a wrecked B-24 sticking out of the water, something hit him and he was unable to shake a feeling of melancholy. Over the past two decades, he has been coming back to that place looking for sunken ships and wrecked planes in order to identify the remains of these who perished. He now has a team dedicated to this job, their organization being named the Bent Prop Project.
Wrapping it up now, Dr. Scannon found Brief’s left wing in 1994 in shallow water south of Koror while the rest of the plane was on Iberor Island. Following through on his promise, he dug into the history of this wreckage to find out details on what happened. 10 of the crew perished in the crash, while the navigator, 2nd Lt Wallace F. Kaufman, managed to bail out. He was promptly captured by the Japanese and executed shortly after.
After seeing the footage and its surrounding controversy, he spent some time cleaning up the footage and analyzing it frame by frame. Upon studying the footage for an extensive amount of time, he and his colleagues established that no bomb can be seen, especially since they had secondary footage from a different vantage point (unfortunately it’s not available on Youtube.)
2.Frame By Frame Analysis And Observations
The most important thing to note in the next four frames is the placement and movement of the bombs below the left wing. Falling from another B-24 flying above, one can spot them moving at a pace within these four frames. If that’s the case, it’d be safe to assume that if a bomb was dropped on Brief it would be visible in the frame just like the other bombs in the frame.
Also, those bombs were dropped in succession all the time. You can also see in the footage that the bombs in the background are falling constantly. Taking that into account, it would make sense that more bombs would follow after the initial bomb hit the wing. No such bombs can be seen, however.
In addition, many naysayers are adamant about the fact that the fuel is coming more from the top than the bottom, indicating a strike to the top. Dr. Scannon and opponents of that version of events say that you simply can not see the bottom portion of the fuel since the plane is flying through the air and the slipstream took it back. As the wing breaks off, you can only see the spray of fuel from the top, masking what’s happening on the bottom.
All in all, this event was tragic and only goes to show what World War II was like. 11 young lives lost within minutes in just one incident. Of those, there were literally thousands. We all thank them for their service, bravery and sacrifices.
Here’s the full video if you haven’t seen it and the 40s commentary that originally came with it.