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The Douglas Bader Mystery

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posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 06:21 PM
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[Mod Edit: Please see this post. If you have any questions to ask staff over any action taken, such as the post here contained, please use the Complain/Suggestion feature provided or U2U the person concerned directly. That way discussions do not get sidetracked. Please also see Terms and Conditions of Use 1f. Thank you - Jak]

[edit on 20/2/08 by JAK]




posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 10:33 PM
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Originally posted by Peter Garner

I asked: "...Are you trying to tell us...?" Did I not?
I also asked "...You seriously believe?" Did I not?

Please try to read before you post! There's a good lad!

Peter



Peter, this is actually becoming an amusing, 'though only very slightly so, diversion from the rest of the mudslinging going on here. However, once again I repeat myself



should he have chosen to stay in the UK instead of returning to the Third Reich (assuming this whole tale is true).


Perhaps I should have added the words ", of course," in between "assuming" and "this". It would seem that the descriptive title "tale" was simply too inoccuous for some...


and therefore, yet again, I repeat myself


Do try reading before you post. There's a good chap.


Because if that wasn't an answer to your questions before they were asked, then the High Priest isn't an Offlerian and dragons don't explode in the woods.

In direct response to your question (I apologise for using more than one syllable in succession): Where do I suggest I "seriously believe"?

What I say is "assuming this whole tale is true".

I then said that perhaps what I should have said was: "assuming, of course, this whole tale is true".

Assume: suppose to be the case, without proof

www.askoxford.com...

Tale: noun 1 a narrative or story, especially one that is imaginatively recounted.

www.askoxford.com...



posted on Feb, 19 2008 @ 10:57 PM
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Ken,

I'm new to the fray here. I have to admit that I only read about the first five pages of postings before I tired of the bickering and back and forth banter. I first read your story on your website some two years ago now? or thereabouts. I have to admit that while a skeptic you posed some verying interesting questions and the rest of your travels and stories were very good I thought.

I've since read several well-known historians dismiss you as - well, lunatic is the word I've seen in print. But I'm not coming on to pass any sort of judgement. If you are what you say, then I thank you so very much for your service. I preface with that - if you are what you say - only because I don't believe everything I read, particularly on the Internet. There are people who claim to be all sorts of things who, in fact, are not. It's the nature of the beast with a medium that is so unrestricted and reaches so many.

But reading through this, a few things come to mind. Ken, you won't like them - but I call it as I see it. I've made it a point to meet as many vets in my lifetime as I can. All have been very unassuming. The type of venomous diatribe you've been conducting on this forum (and apparrently others) seems so far below what any vets I've met so far would do. They would not do anything so undignified. If you are genuine, you would serve yourself by keeping the memories what they are - great memories.

The second thing would be that I'd have to agree whole-heartedly with SPM45. You have presented much in theory, but nothing in the way of real fact except your word. Now the word of someone 'who was there' means a great deal. But in my dealings with vets, God bless 'em they have been wrong. I had a chap with 2 Para insist to me that the yellow lanyard was not instituted until well after the war, when it's documented fact they wore them early on, dying them in a deluted type disinfectant. I even own an original. The point is that memory is no always the end all.

You and all on here have met logic and lack of any real evidence with anger and accusation. This isn't a way to carry out logical and meaningful discussion. You tend not to refute facts against your claims with logical and measured replies, but with anger. Obviously you're fed up. But you have to understand that when a claim is made that refutes known history, more proof than one man's word is needed.

I thought your original claim and supposition interesting, and anything is indeed possible, if improbable. But your manner of argument takes the wind out of it. You had to know going in there would be skeptics.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 12:55 AM
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reply to post by Flyingswordsman
 




Thank you for your comments.

If as you say, you have read my story some time ago, all I can say to you is that along with the 99% of readers who have totally missed the point by being unable to grasp the subtext, you have also now fallen into the same trap of whilst you think you are arguing against my case, you are fact arguing against yourself.

If you still have a copy of just the first pages of my story, then read it again over and over and I guarantee that the penny will eventually drop!

I can only assume that the many unassuming vets that you speak of do not have such a strange story as mine to tell and if they have, are simply incapable of telling it and, nor are they constantly being challenged as to their very existence as you have just partially done.

Now, can you prove to me that you are not just another Sprite sent in by SPM45? You will find it very difficult to do so as I am also very sceptical.

Cheers

KW



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 01:54 AM
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reply to post by Flyingswordsman
 


Exactly, you reinforce the points I have been trying to impress upon Ken all along.

There are factual errors in this account and inventions - the latest being this idea that Bader's Spit was heavily modded for him, not that that in any way has any bearing on whether or not Bader could have been in Liverpool in 1942.

We are left, as ever, with a set of fantasies built on nothing more than a guess. Ken constantly uses double talk about subtexts and nuances to suggest people are incapable of understanding this tale or that there is more than meets the eye, but admits that there is no evidence - therefore how can there be a subtext?! If there is more than meets the eye, then articulate it. However it seems to me that the story is very simple and there is no subtext. This is a fantasy, nothing more.

For the record, and the nth time, I post here under the identification SPM45 and no other. Because many individuals have read this account and found it wanting does not = a conspiracy, in the same way that a man with no legs does not = Bader.





[edit on 20-2-2008 by SPM.45]

[edit on 20-2-2008 by SPM.45]



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 05:33 AM
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Ken,

I only began reading this thread yesterday as it was linked to the only other forum I read and belong to. I can assure you I've been sent by, and am in cahoots with no one, except my own logical brain. I can no more prove that I'm not than you can prove thay you are you say - word and trust I suppose. If you are indeed the vet that you claim - and I have no reason to doubt you - then you have my utmost respect. My purpose is not to in any way insult you, quite the contrary. I simply was pointing out that by stooping to insults and the childish bickering that can occur on these forums, you do yourself and your theory no justice.

I'm a Yank and a skeptic. We've had the wild rumors that Elvis has been working at gas stations throughout the U.S., that Area 51 is crawling with little green men, etc. The man who 'filmed bigfoot' long ago admitted it was his mate in a monkey suit. You'll understand my skepticism. I have seen no solid, tangible evidence other than your word. I can imagine no reason that Douglas Bader would be in some small hotel being attended by you when he was supposed to be in a POW camp - which he certainly was as there is witnessesed evidence and recorded evidence in the Stalags he inhabited. It is correct that DB refused a stick and loathed being helped. He hated the Germans to the point that I don't think they would use him, nor would agree to act as any type of peace agent on their behalf. Had they let him go for a moment, he would have been in a Spit in combat as soon as the authorities would have let him. Besides, the 'Prominente' in Colditz were even seen as a bargaining tool for the Germans; they would be unlikely to give up one of their most prized internees.

I also think it's silly to suppose they would have flown him all the way back to Britain for a new leg refit. The Germans certainly had doctors and technicians capable of adjusting his tin legs. The one he was dropped in the bombing run could have been (and was) modified accordingly.

But for sake of argument Ken, lets say you did indeed meet 'Douglas Bader'. This might sound preposterous, but have you considered that this DB might have been a double? Certainly there were several men in Britain who might have both legs missing at the time (particularly after the early fighting in France until Dunkirk), from accidents, etc. Perhaps the hotel was indeed full of MI-9 spies. Perhaps this double was part of some plan to free Bader and insert the double, or dupe the Germans somehow. While I do beleive DB is a great hero personally, I can't say the British government would have gone to such links to get - wasn't he a Wing Commander? - back. But it would satisfy all conditions in that you saw DB, yet he was a prisoner, and papers still possibly being marked as secret.

I would think you've thought of this and examined the possibilites, but I'd be interested in your thoughts.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 12:03 PM
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reply to post by Flyingswordsman
 



FS, if I might also give you my 10 cents worth on your thoughts - you're certainly correct that there would be little value in getting DB back for the British. By 1942 he'd been in the bag for a year thus his tactical knowledge was already obsolete and to admit that he was in some way valuable would to be to give the Germans a propaganda coup. So like you I can see no reason why he would be wanted back by the RAF, and therefore the value would not seem to support some sculduggery to get him back. Again, the fact that this person was openly lodged in a hotel would seem to weigh against any secret plot. Your reasoning follows mine on the other reasons that conspire to make the case for any alleged return dubious in the extreme.

On the subject of the alleged still secret papers, presumably Ken can provide a PRO reference to back up his claim that these papers exist. Sealed papers are still traceable, even if the contents cannot be divulged.


[edit on 20-2-2008 by SPM.45]



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 01:08 PM
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Originally posted by HowlrunnerIV
In direct response to your question (I apologise for using more than one syllable in succession): Where do I suggest I "seriously believe"?



Your suggestion is right here:
"Would he have accommodated the Germans? Probably not, based on what I know. But what if he was put "on his honour"? Bader was an upper middle-class (to upper-class) Pom. A species that (then) referred to itself as "gentlemen". Gentlemen were expected to be "men of their word", amongst other so-called virtues.

I'm sure that, at the very least, it would be fascinating to listen to a "gentleman" such as Bader rationalise his deliberate breaking of his word, should he have chosen to stay in the UK instead of returning to the Third Reich (assuming this whole tale is true)."

So after I read this all I wanted to know was do you seriously believe this?

Do engage brain before you post - there's a good lad.



[edit on 20-2-2008 by Peter Garner]



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 03:29 PM
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reply to post by SPM.45
 


SPM.45 I agree. My 'double' hypothesis seems unlikely as well. While Ken seems to take great offense, this isn't my intent or purpose, and despite his claims I don't think it's yours as your replies have been simple logic. And I'm not even saying that it's not possible. If Ken is genuine, I beleive that he did indeed meet someone, and that he honestly believes that somoene to be Douglas Bader. I simply just don't believe it was DB, at least not in the time frame given. Although even if it were before he was shot down and made a POW I would wonder why Bader would be in this hotel so uncharacteristiclly having someone assist him with his legs and walking about with a stick - which he simply never used. And by the way I don't think Paul Brickhill's book can be dismissed as totally innacurate, but perhaps was a bit slanted. Douglas was simply too busy to be in some shoddy hotel playing at some sort of spy game prior to his being shot down. And afterwards I simply don't buy him being mysteriously 'let go' for some period of time. If this were by some odd chance true they would certainly house him in a more secure and secluded locale since he was rather famous and well-known even in his day. You've stated all of this already, but it only makes sense.

I have no clue who Ken met. I'm also unsure as to why he becomes so extremely irrate each time his meeting is questioned, or facts to the contrary are presented. When you make a claim that goes contrary to documented historical fact - that's fine. But you have to expect to back it up with fact, and not one eye-witness claim and much supposition. Veteran or not - and I respect them immensely - the scrutiny of such a claim is the same. History isn't religion - you go on fact, not faith.



posted on Feb, 20 2008 @ 04:10 PM
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reply to post by Flyingswordsman
 


Exactly. I don't say that it is impossible - but it is _highly_ improbable and all the facts, such as they are, conspire to debunk the story.

I think the reason that Ken gets so irate is that he must have made this a part of his own life story ever since 1942 - he must have been proud to think that he helped a hero - and indeed, why wouldn't he. It must hurt to find that you have based a large part of your memories on a fallacy and a wild goose chase.

I agree on the Brickhill book. Brickhill was actually something of a stickler for accuracy - he thought his reputation stood or fell on it, but nevertheless it is something of a hagiography - maybe not actually wrong, but maybe it skirts round certain awkward truths. It can't be dismissed, but it should be treated for what it was, a triumphal story of a hero and heroic times, told at a time when Britain was a grimy, downbeaten place that didn't seem like the winner of a war.

And you are also right on my intentions. Right from day 1, I made it absoutely clear that I was interested in the truth, whatever that was.



[edit on 20-2-2008 by SPM.45]



posted on Feb, 21 2008 @ 01:32 AM
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reply to post by RNM1945
 

Oh Ken, you weplied, you weplied! You were so busy defending yourself against all those tewwible disbelieving people and you still took the time to notice silly little me! I'm so excited, I'm so excited, I'm so excited!

Anyway, what I weally wanted to ask you was, did it feel a bit funny to look at Dougie without his legs on?

I know it's not vewy nithe to feel like that, but we can't always help our feelings, can we? I remember when Daddy had his toe off for the gout, I could hardly bear to look at him.

Of courthe, the retht of the family couldn't bear to look at him ever.



posted on Feb, 22 2008 @ 10:41 PM
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reply to post by Peter Garner
 


Again and again and again.

Where do I seriously suggest anything? Where do I say I believe anything?

Again and again and again.

Read Peter. Actually read the entire post. If it helps, you might like to move your finger along the lines of text and say the words out loud.

I have nothing to add to what I have already said (type?). Everything that was necessary for understanding was in the first post. The fact that you still can't see the forest for all the trees in the way even after three clarifications is your issue, not mine.

If you can't follow, get out of the way.



posted on Feb, 23 2008 @ 12:50 PM
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On a lighter note I've been informed that Kenneth Williams and Bader did actually meet in verified circumstances, in 1971......on the Parkinson Show. However the Kenneth Williams in question was not our esteemed Royal Navy Medic but the well known Carry On comedian.

Nothing to do with anything, but an odd little coincidence.

[edit on 23-2-2008 by SPM.45]



posted on Feb, 24 2008 @ 04:15 AM
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Originally posted by SPM.45
On a lighter note I've been informed that Kenneth Williams and Bader did actually meet in verified circumstances, in 1971......on the Parkinson Show. However the Kenneth Williams in question was not our esteemed Royal Navy Medic but the well known Carry On comedian.

Nothing to do with anything, but an odd little coincidence.

[edit on 23-2-2008 by SPM.45]


OOOOOH Matron



posted on Feb, 25 2008 @ 12:01 PM
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Having said that Bader meeting the comedian Kenneth Williams has nothing to do with the other KW, it occurs that it might explain one other thing.

Kenneth Williams, the ex-RN Medic relates that in 1976 or thereabouts he spoke to Bader. Now it appears that some 5 years earlier, Bader had met a _different_ Kenneth Williams. Bader's views were somewhat reactionary, so I'd suggest that he would not have approved of Kenneth Williams, the comedian. So a phone call starting on the lines of "Hello, my name is Kenneth Williams, I wonder if you remember meeting me..." could explain Bader's brusque affirmative and quick ending of the call.

Supposition, like so much else here, but it makes some sense.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 07:22 AM
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Whilst studying my fathers army history, I was amazed to find a reference to Wing Commander Bader in his POW Camp records. This also is mentioned in a book written by an Arthur Evans called Sojourn in Silesia, where he makes reference to..." a colleague who was directly responsible for smuggling Wing Commander Bader out of Lamsdorf (Stalag VIIIB) wearing army uniform to a working party on Gleiwitz Aerodrome in 1942." He goes on to state that an Australian had tried to persuade him that Bader was in a Liverpool hotel where he had been waited on by the writer. "On the understanding that he duly returned to Lamsdorf..."
Now I am in no way able to say whether Bader was allowed out or not but my only addition to the debate is why Bader was incarcerated in a Stalag and not the StalagLuft given his notoriety? Especially one that was near an airbase !



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by TheIslandWhereIComeFrom
Whilst studying my fathers army history, I was amazed to find a reference to Wing Commander Bader in his POW Camp records. This also is mentioned in a book written by an Arthur Evans called Sojourn in Silesia, where he makes reference to..." a colleague who was directly responsible for smuggling Wing Commander Bader out of Lamsdorf (Stalag VIIIB) wearing army uniform to a working party on Gleiwitz Aerodrome in 1942." He goes on to state that an Australian had tried to persuade him that Bader was in a Liverpool hotel where he had been waited on by the writer. "On the understanding that he duly returned to Lamsdorf..."
Now I am in no way able to say whether Bader was allowed out or not but my only addition to the debate is why Bader was incarcerated in a Stalag and not the StalagLuft given his notoriety? Especially one that was near an airbase !


Well there is a problem with this account, though it might be semantics. Bader wasn't smuggled onto the working party but duped the guards by sweeping nearby and then mingling with the party after a diversion. The army uniform and brooms were smuggled to Bader and his compatriate so it might just be a confusion of description. Could you also clarify the passage relating to an Australian tying to persuade someone - was this your father or Arthur Evans and was this contemporary or later on?

Lamsdorf was a big camp and included Stalag Luft VIII-B Lamsdorf

Hence Bader's presence.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 03:34 PM
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I was genuinely unaware that Lamsdorf contained airmen before 1943 as you stated. My knowledge of lamsdorf is particularly around the timeline of my fathers stay which was after this 'event'. The passage regarding the Australian is in the 3rd edition preface and is from Arthur Evans, as was his choice of phrase.
I guess that one of the major problems regarding memories from many POWs is that the experiences of the war and aftermath were quickly stored away and rarely mentioned to friends and family and eventually lost forever upon death.



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 03:44 PM
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sine my last post I found a link to Bader on the Lamsdorf reunited website
[url=http://www.freewebs.com/lamsdorf/listofnames.htm]
and this is a passage from a relative of a POW
PAT HENNESSY
Contributed by Mrs Midge Hennessy

Sadly Pat died in August 2000. He was a POW for four years (captured in Greece) and worked with the escape committee for quite some time.

"One of their most famous escapees was Douglas Bader, but unfortunately it was unsuccessful through several unforeseen circumstances. Douglas Bader was very keen to escape and preparations were started. A man was picked who resembled Bader and he spent some time studying Bader's walk. When this was perfected arrangements were made for Bader to go out on a working party, from which the escape would be made. He was provided with a very long greatcoat to conceal his legs, and his very distinctive walk. But things went wrong. Transport which should have met them did not arrive - and so the party kept walking. This of course made Bader's stumps very sore and the attempt had to be abandoned. In the meantime everything had gone wrong at the camp. A high-ranking German officer who had previously met and admired Bader was in the vicinity and decided he would like to see him again. He went to the camp, the so-called Bader was sent for to meet this German officer. He took one look at him and said "You're not Bader!" and then all hell was let loose!"

No date on this but hopefully adds something to the debate



posted on Feb, 26 2008 @ 04:18 PM
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Originally posted by TheIslandWhereIComeFrom
I was genuinely unaware that Lamsdorf contained airmen before 1943 as you stated. My knowledge of lamsdorf is particularly around the timeline of my fathers stay which was after this 'event'. The passage regarding the Australian is in the 3rd edition preface and is from Arthur Evans, as was his choice of phrase.
I guess that one of the major problems regarding memories from many POWs is that the experiences of the war and aftermath were quickly stored away and rarely mentioned to friends and family and eventually lost forever upon death.


The Stalagluft at Lamsdorf dates from around 1943, as a result of overcrowding at Sagan, but Bader was housed in the sick bay at Lamsdorf rather than the later Stalag Luft. As you say many POW suppressed their memories for many years and so exact timelines and details are often lost or hard to unravel.

The fact that the reference to the Australian is in the preface to the 3rd edition makes me think that it's not a something contemporaneous to the story but mabe a reference to the erstwhile Royal Naval Medic -I'd be interested to know exactly what was said.

[edit on 26-2-2008 by SPM.45]




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