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The Douglas Bader Mystery

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posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:07 PM
Hi Alan. Good points all. I would like to see hatchets buried and lets all hope that can happen.

I Think one of the most telling things is the German wanted poster from exactly the alleged time frame. It does seem to completely contradict the description of the 'Liverpool amputee'. It almost seems too convenient but it's absolutely real and the dates are unquestionably right.

I agree with you that had something covert happened then you might expect various records to be redacted or falsified and one certainly might expect that of government agencies from either side, but I think not the IRC. the Swiss were very strong in defending their neutrality and the IRC had a difficult job to do. That doesn't eliminate the possibility but I think makes it unlikely but a switch to fool the IRC isn't beyond the bounds of possibility. I'd tend to think that it seems a bit like making hard work when it could easily have been said bader had just been moved to another camp. But sure it's possible. I just think not very likely

I struggle to see what the purpose could have been. Medical? Pretty sure not so as we know he was On good health in July 42, breaking out from Sagan. He could have injured his legs in the course of this but the Germans had good hospital facilities and weren't cooperating on repatriation until 1943 so I think this can be pretty much ruled out. Some sort of diplomatic messenger? Bader and diplomatic are two words rarely seen in the same sentence so it seems a stretch. What does that leave? I can't think of any likely reason

Anyway. Good to talk and I hope we can further the debate

edit on 3-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:13 PM

Sorry this is very scrappy reply, but it's late.

Somewhere I have seen a reference to another pilot that had both(?) legs missing?

Seems so unlikely but it is on the web somewhere, maybe even somewhere in these 17 pages.
Maybe this was the double?

Maybe this was the man seen in Liverpool,

A man with 2 false legs would be rather obvious, so there aught to be other witnesses, I wonder if newspapers had any reports.

I do wonder if it was in Baders' character to be a peacemaker, but that may be the result of watching the film too much.

Would not the Germans have made a lot more publicity? I suppose if it failed it would not, except it might have drummed up bad publicity for the Allies, if an offer of peace was turned down?

Hess did not do to well out of his attempt at making peace, a very long time in Prison, very long. But even that is in some ways questioned.

War indeed breeds some strange stories and beliefs. Myths & Legends of the second World War by James Hayward is an interesting read

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 06:35 PM
reply to post by dowot

f/l Colin "hoppy" hodgkinson. Also a double amputee raf pilot though he started off in the FAA and yes it's entirely possible. Though hodgkinson, like bader, was very reluctant to accept help. He wrote That "let me help you" was one of the worst phrases he knew so maybe the description of a man needing a lot of help isn't a very good fit
edit on 3-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 07:56 PM
Good Morning Alan and all..

I am staggered to find this morning that much has taken place and been said whilst I was sleeping and that a degree of calm, for the moment, has oiled somewhat these very troubled waters.

Alan, it is a terrible shame that you were not involved in this saga when it was at its height a few years back, when I was younger, fitter and more able to fight back with the assistance of two fine people in Europe, one an investigator for the Belgian Government with seven languages at his disposal, a German photographer and believe it or not a member of the Colditz Society, an English writer with contacts in many places including MI5, a Candain film maker who made a filmed interview cum documentary with me for submission to the BBC with a view to making a documentary on the Enigma.However due to a number of reasons, mainly the still problematical lack of other evidence, the BBC pulled out and what might have been not a story about Bader being in Liverpool in 1942 but a story about the possibilty that he might have been in Liverpook in 1942 and that was what I wanted, to open up the matter for all to see and hopefully get inputs. I have it on very very good authority that this film was looked at by people at MI5 too and maybe caused the uproar before, during and after I was interviewed by phone on a talk back programme on BBC Merseyside FM. I have the film and a record of the interview in my Bader dossier!

But now to the future and your involvement that I am very optimistic about notwithstanding that other not so friendly people are still going to be involved who have hurt me so much over the years and I find the idea of burying the hatchet hard to come to terms with as the hatchet has been often very forcibly burined in the back of my head!

It is a small small world and I am sorry to hear that your gradfather was incarcerated in what are known to be the worst POW camps on record in WWII The thing is if you pardon my oft use phrase, I WAS THERE! I was however not there as a prisoner but as a liberator and rescuer of these very sick men. I will send you today to your website address a copy of the chapter of my memoir that tells of this experience.

I cannot any longer become invovled in brawling to protect my story and reputation as my health is failing now and I want to be around for a while yet, but I will be happy to provide input that can be dissected and discussed.

A good starting place is to read the sometimes rubbished Paul Brickhill book Reach for the Sky and begin at the point where Bader was thrown out of the camp he was in before Lamsdorf, the name escapes me right now.
The account of his removalis totally mind boggling in that it was done with great ceremony to impress upon the other inmates that he was being sent elswhere.

The account of his so called escape attempt from Lamsdorf was, like his leaving the other camp,I believe was choreographed and well planned. The fact that it is said that when he arrived at Gleiwitz, a German airstrip he triied to steal an aircraft and escape is ridiculous if you consider the idea dispassionately. He was then brought back to Lamsdorf and thrown into the cooler for 10 days. I do believe that at some point in this 10 day period that the IRC may have or did see him in the said cooler but no one seems to be able to date this period with accuracy. So, there was no need to lie to the IRC, they saw him in the cooler at some point but I say that they did not see him in the cooler for each and evrey one of the alleged 10 daya. This then is the only obvious real window of opportunity I can find for a planned brief return to England for whatever reason that was done with the cooperation of all sides.

That is why I say that he was in Liverpool at sometime in July or August that coincides with his period of being apparently in the cooler. Upon his return to Lamsdorf via Gleiwitz he was put into the cooler and then ceremoniously released and then despatched to Colditz with Ross his batman and lackey according to Bader where he remained for the rest of the war.

If all will look at this scenario in the light of the Brickhill accounts at the time no reasonable person would argue that what I say happened, indeed could not have easliy happened.

So why not go into this more deeply and see if my argument is flawed or feasible?



posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 09:35 PM
Bader was in the lamsdorf cooler August 5th to 15th 1942, give or take a few hours either side.

It's also important to know that bader was passing intelligence back to the uk from germany These letters gave intelligence such as could be gleaned about enemy morale, food supplies, public healt and so on The letters were aggressive with phrases such as "keep bombing the bastards to hell" and at least one also referred to anti nazi contacts in Germany. At least one such letter was intercepted by the Germans and bader was tried for it although the charges were later dropped. Nevertheless these and baders relentless hostility had him classed as "Deutschfiendlich" ie an enemy of the state. you can imagine that such a status would get bader no favours from the German authorities.

This coupled with the other evidence of identification issues I think answers the question regarding feasibility.

Ken, I am glad you have decided to go with the flow. I bear you no malice and hope that we can continue to discuss this sensibly.

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 09:42 PM

edit on 3-
edit on 3-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: Unintentional duplicate post
extra DIV

posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:04 PM
What we must establish before any final conclusions can be made or to dismiss this theory is when did the IRC observe Bader languishing in the cooler? This must be date establsihed accuratley as I cannot imagine the IRC watching Bader in the cooler for the 10 full days. If the IRC only saw him once, then the theory must be fully examined. If the theory is somehow blown out of the water then this does not prove that Bader still was not in Liverpool in 1942 no matter what is said! As a thought to be also considered, Bader could easily have been flown from Gleiwitz to the UK and back in a day as I have no idea how long he was in England other than the couple or so days I was involved with him.

In recent weeks I was given a contact address as well as the e-mail address of the Polish operated memorial museum at what remains of the POW camp at Lamsdorf. I gave them a potted run down of what I was trying to do regarding Bader and my brief contact with him, and about his time at Lamsdorf. Sad to say I have had no response from any of the two contacts.

I am going to attempt to post as soon as I can, a letter from a British Government Department that on the one hand said they had information on Bader's movements throughout his stay in Germany, then said they did not have this information and suggested my researcher read Paul Brickhills Reach for the Sky where the information could be found. This is one of my prize gems coming out of this quest. I hope I can post it.

I sent you an E-mail Alan, hope it gets to you.


posted on Apr, 3 2012 @ 10:07 PM
August 8th 1942

The logistics of 'easily flying' in mid 1942 need to be considered. There was no Easyjet then! Getting an aircraft into hostile airspace meant either great risk - or careful organisation to Ensure it was not intercepted. The latter would involve many people knowing something and this seems at odds with the lack of any other knowledge of this or the secrecy that's seems to be assumed this was conducted in. At the same time the time span seems to short for a sea voyage and much of the same objections apply
edit on 3-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:21 AM
As you seem not be aware,,there were regular flights by German aircraftf into an airstrip I think in Scotland or the east coast, just escapes me now but have in my files. The most famous of these flights was by Erich Kantwell and partner who flew in and handed over the latest German radar equipped aircraft to the RAF. This aircraft is on display in your famous air museum near London or somewhere, check it out and the goings on at this little airstrip during the war.really astounding but not suprising! Meanwhile a little bit of Dejavu from the infamous Aviation Forum a few years back.


I would like to make a number of things clear to both my supporters and detractors postings in this place that have generated a large amount of vitriol in the many comments/remarks/statements etc made on this Forum.

I accept my share of blame for some of this vitriol because as you have probably gathered by now, that I do not suffer apparent fools gladly, particularly when such fools condemn my writings out of hand without the benefit of having FULLY read and considered my work.

Please consider this. I will be 83 in November and have been pursuing the answer to this Enigma as I call it, for three years.
All I have ever claimed is that met Douglas Bader during his brief stay at the now much ridiculed and maligned (by the uninformed) Stork Hotel in Liverpool and, that I was asked to assist him each morning with dressing his stumps, fitting his legs and harness then helping him to dress – that is all I claim. I then state CATEGORICALLY in my Bader Enigma section, as those who have read my book will know, THAT I CANNOT CORROBORATE THIS MEETING so why the Hell would I continue with a “Concoction” as “Moggy” so terribly wrongly labels my efforts, if I had not really met DB?

However, I say to you all now. that like it or not, my story is 100% solid gold factual.

The events pertaining to this Bader episode take up around 200 words or so in my long three part autobiography and that is all. Douglas Bader is not ever mentioned again in my story until about 60 years later!

Those apparently very few of you who may have actually read my Trilogy will be familiar with the events that lead up to me being told by a reader that the events that I described could not theoretically have happened! You will also then know of the commencement of a quest that I have called THE BADER ENIGMA. The rest is history and the Bader Enigma is still unsolved but, a great deal of very interesting information and facts have come to light in the last 3 years and that, is as far as I intend to go down that road now.

If you HAVE read the COMPLETE Trilogy you will have to fairly concede that I am certainly not a wannabe, a longing that some Forum members appear to telegraph to all and sundry.
I have lead a most interesting and satisfying and I would say spectacular life for these last 83 years and I have no need for reflected glory or wish that I had done this or that as my life has been so full that there was little time to do anything else. Of course many of you will now be thinking what a right bighead this old fool is. Fine, go for it and think what you will, but, if you have time to read my whole work and are not convinced that I have no need to be a wannabe then you are beyond help. If you do take the time to read my book as now nearly 30,000 others have, you will find much to entertain and it should prove to be very thought provoking – give it a try you could just enjoy it in spite of your bias.

So, now having established that I am not a wannabe or a Walter Mitty (hi! some forum members) why do you think I am putting myself on public display for all and sundry to observe, analyze and if they feel so inclined attempt to shoot me down in flames (how does it go, Tallyho chaps! Three bandits at 1430 hours!)

I will tell you why I continue this highly complex and it seems controversial quest… it is simply because sooner rather than later (my age you know!) I would like to see the facts released or unearthed as they undoubtedly will but not probably in my lifetime but most assuredly in your lifetimes. I would just love to be there see your reaction poor old mixed up Liverpudlian Moggy but then again, I doubt that if Bader himself came back to confirm my story that you would even believe him!

I don’t need any limelight; I have had a surfeit of it. Believe me I just want the truth of this matter, is that unreasonable? Is it too much to ask people to help me with finding the key to the riddle? It would seem that the answer to my last question here is a resounding NO! At least in the case of this hostile Forum.

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:27 AM


Open minds and a willingness to investigate rather than denigrate are a must for embarking on such a convoluted and serious subject as, was Bader shot down or did he collide with an Me 109? And on this subject what do you guys think NOW of “historical statements of fact” in relation to this controversial matter, surely there must be the “accepted and learned” explanation of the facts? Where is it now? Who will find it?

Given all that, the next question of course is not, DID Bader visit Liverpool in 1942 but WHEN and WHY was he there – someone in a high place (Bader for sure) has the answers and these are the answers I shall strive to find until I drop of my unsteady perch.

I was hopeful that members of the Forum may have matured enough to look at my story dispassionately and then banded together to make a concerted effort to assist this tired old man solve his puzzle – but no, many of you are so happy to play silly games on what should have been a worthwhile and useful Forum.

That’s all I want to say but would ask that all those immature folk among you to just give me a break form all the funny gags – OK? And of course please qualify that you have read my book in FULL if you want to rubbish me and my story, I can live with that, but don’t expect me to treat you kindly if you start bad mouthing me without having read all that I have written as a reference – now that’s fair I believe!

Kenneth Williams

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:36 AM
reply to post by SPM.45


May I suggest that you read Hoppy Hodkinsons book as it is a great way to compare these two amputee pilots and his book is in many ways a better story particularly the way he lost his legs and the way Bader lost his, very interesting to be sure. His story sadly has also been pushed under the mat so that Bader can appear to be the only great legless piilot, There were also German pilots so afflicted .Hoppy was as different as chalk and cheese from Bader and also had unmistakable flaming RED hair.


posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:47 AM
we have to be careful not to conflate one real incident with unsubstantiated conjecture The raf museum ju88was indeed flown into raf Dyce by a defecting crew, in 1943 ( and it was intercepted by raf aircraft and though the raf pilots held their fire even so it was shot at and hit by the airfield defences before it landed). There were other isolated incidents of defection and lost aircraft landing in the uk but in all my researches I have never come across any reports of 'regular' flights into dyce or any other uk airfield by German aircraft.

There is an unconfirmed tale about a Feisler storch - a German army co operation type - seen flying at dyce on some weekends but the storch has a range of 250 miles and the nearest German occupied land to dyce is over 300 miles away so it certainly had not flown in from occupied europe Thus I think that story can be explained by a captured aircraft being flown and is probably the source of this story of flights in by the luftwaffe .

edit on 4-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 01:59 AM
Indeed we do have to be very careful and not disregard the corrnucopia of other language information and articles/Photos available to those who know where to look for it and better still to be able read it!

My Belgian researcher was/is fluent in seven languages and found a pile of information and photos probably never published in English. I now have a respectable cache of such translated information that tells much about Dyce and the many messages and messengers that came through Dyce regularly We must not forget, that information we have availablel to us through our official sources is only the tip of the iceberg and then not always the truth or at times accurate.. Also details of many other German aircraft that came to grief attempting to fly to England and give up the fight that have never been publish in England. My researcher and I have found much information regarding captured Germans being sent to Canada and their later activities when the war ended. We have also, believe it or not traced the address of Erich Kantwells wife and have had some dialogue with her,

Just so you understand that my team have not been standing still all these years and gained access to much information that you probably don't know exists. My Belgian researcher is now working on some aspects of WWII that he is interested in and is now talking with a number of ex U-Boat commanders and recording their memories.

To fully understand what is going on around us we must at all times have no blinkers on to restrict our scope of vision. The full and true story of WWII has never been told and it is unlikely that it ever will. Just because there are no visible published records of many events in WWII does not mean that such certain events did not happen and if we are prepared to accept the proposition that because it has never been set in concrete that it could not of happened labels us as fools.


posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 02:06 AM
I agree there is much still to be told and not everthing is accessible and no doubt many strange things did occur but lets not let ourselves be carried away by assuming all weird things are cover ups ! Some may be others will be chimera

I'd certainly be interested to know more about dyce if there is anything substantive

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:45 AM
Got your message Ken and sent a (long) reply - sorry for all the words!

I have read with interest the comments since I last posted. I'm not sure I can add anything further to the debate as I'm merely an amateur historian studying with the OU with very little time available to me and not nearly as experienced as some of the others providing all this information, but it is really interesting reading this all the same. At the very least it has provided me with some topics to explore with some further reading. Thanks for all the fascinating information and I am glad to see things are a bit more peaceful - I hope it continues as it is more important to keep uncovering new information and sharing it and debating it rather than going over old ground and continuing old arguments. Please everyone try to keep this in mind and hopefully this thread can be a useful resource for people in the future who come across the topic and may wish to dig a bit deeper and help shed some light on the subject rather than be written off as a huge slanging match between two opposed parties.

I'll watch with interest and may chip in now and again if I have anything useful to add but I suspect that I'll be learning more from you guys than I am able to contribute myself.

Thanks to everyone who has interacted with me on here - it has been a pleasure connecting with you and best wishes to all!

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:49 AM
You wouldn't really expect me to provide you with information that was hard to find and at times quite expensive as part of the team from time reseaching the Bader Enigma, were paid Pro's funded by the BBC.
However, to illustrate that I have always taken this matter very seriously I am attaching a copy of an e-mail that provides some valuable information on the RAF base at Dyce. Parts of the message have been removed for obvious reasons.

----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, April 03, 2004 1:33 AM
Subject: The Dyce Ju88

Hi Ken , I noticed you were looking for info on the Ju88 which flew into Dyce airfield with Schmitt , Rosenberger and Kantwill , initially they flew into Debden to drop off papers to Allied Intelligence . On their last flight together they flew into Dyce with a radar equipped Ju88 , British defences had tracked her right up the East Coast and 2 Spitfires were sent up to shepherd her in . Rosenberger and Kantwill had to hold a pistol to Schmitts head as he most definitely did NOT want to defect

After the war Kantwill went to Canada where he runs a small hotel , Schmitt went home to Germany and Rosenberger lived in the UK until fairly recently - but I THINK he may have passed away now. I am still very friendly with one of the RAF chaps who was actually at Dyce when they defected - and I am still in daily contact with the man responsible of taking care of the Ju88 and by coincidence I know the chap who restored the Ju88 at RAF St Athan - he has a copy of the full report of the JU88s flight to Scotland and of what happened to it afterwards.

I'll phone *****right now for some more info on the Ju88.



Interesting stuff most would have to agree and a really good possibility for bringing Bader from Germany to Scotland very quickly in the period I am interested in. It also clearly indicates that there were regular German visits to Debden prior to the defection of the state of the art JU 88 to Dyce.

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 06:57 AM
Well no I wouldn't expect to share everything at the drop of a hat it's an interesting letter but it doesn't add much that which was known. Most of the facts there are well known and you can find them via google What it doesn't add iof course is any confirmation that bader was flown in beyond extending the possibility Thus was an action bu individuals (as underlined by the unwilling third crew member) and isnt indicative of regular flights taking place. I'm not sure the debden flight is confirmed though I've heard it rumoured. The raf museum records on the dyce defection say that "it is suggested" that a prior flight to debden took place - a fairly careful wording I'd tend to think a German aircraft would have been impounded and the crew arrested but maybe they were given parole.

But kudos for sharing so I hope this spirit of goodwill will continue. I'm not being negative about this merely looking to all possibilities.
edit on 4-4-2012 by SPM.45 because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 09:00 AM
Thanks SPM, for that, f/l Colin "hoppy" hodgkinson, was the person I was thinking off and who is mentioned at the very start of this topic (Must research before I post!)

For my part I am asking some friends I have who live in Liverpool, if anything else was known, rumour, fact what ever.

I did come across a connection with Liverpool and Bader. Prosthetic manufacturer, Critchley. Haven't as yet found much about them, an example of their work is in the "Science Museum".
Maybe there is a list of clients associated with them.

I suppose there is the possibility that Ken has made an error with dates and when he saw Bader, he was simply having a fitting, but before 1942. Hope, Ken, you do not mind a bit of a negative, but if it is a possibility, it should be looked at, even if it fails to help it might strengthen some other aspect of this story.

Critchley seems to have been employed since the 1st WW, supplying prosthetics, and Baders accident was also pre-war.

As you mentioned, very often people with mobility problems, are very anti help, even if they eventually have to accept some, so this self sufficiency should not be too highly played.

This is an intriging episode, one which obviously goes against the hero-ness of Bader, and as such is bound to raise tempers somewhat. The most important point is to keep an open mind and not ignore facts or possibilities, nor over play them.

Regarding Dyce, any idea when were the radar defences installed on the east coast of Scotland, and what was their coverage?
edit on 4-4-2012 by dowot because: Adding link to item in the science museum.

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 09:32 AM
Interesting. Baders legs were made by Dessouters in west london and it was they that had the moulds of his stumps

posted on Apr, 4 2012 @ 12:15 PM

Originally posted by SPM.45
Interesting. Baders legs were made by Dessouters in west london and it was they that had the moulds of his stumps

Thanks for that bit of information.

Another idea out the window then.

I do find it rather strange that there was such a respected company in Liverpool, I suppose, that there were hundreds of such companies after the 1st war.

Don't suppose there would be any reasonable reason for a change of provider?

How about the US? What records might they have, I appreciate that they were still out of the war in 1942, but could they have been consulted at this time in any way?

Of course, if this were TV, a forensic investigation would have provided, rare pollen, in a fold of the false legs that could only have come from a field in Liverpool, in August of 1942! Suppose this is not possible is it?

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