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The Douglas Bader Mystery

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posted on Aug, 25 2007 @ 05:05 PM
Ken did try to get papers released, and also got help from a BBC department (I believe it was Radio Merseyside who had a particular interest in the story as it happened in their area) who tried to pursue this avenue for him but every avenue was blocked and after a visit from some MoD representatives RM suddenly 'lost interest'. Ken has been unable to obtain anything officially ever since.

[edit on 25-8-2007 by waynos]

posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 08:15 AM
I appreciate your thoughts on this particular subject and as the case may be they could be true.

It is also true however that the story of Douglas Bader has helped and inspired many people. People who needed something to hold on to, a myth, a legend. DB, conspiracy or not, was a great man in terms of his determination, guts and courage. Remember this is a legless man who made a documented escape attempt from a nazi hospital. So despite the insignificant matter of who helped him on with his legs in the morning there is much that testifies to is triumph over adversity despite a severe disability.

I wouls be loth to go to far in discrediting this man for despite his many and obvious flaws he provided an example of courage that inspired many to fight and die for the good of us all.

Rather we should focus on ensuring that theur example was not for nothing.

posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 12:44 PM
One line of inquiry that I didn't notice among the posts to this thread is the notion that Bader may have been an emissary of sorts from Goering to Churchill or possibly someone else in the British diplomatic service or Foreign Office.

Having read Shirer's Rise and Fall of the Third Reich a couple of times (what a great book!) I'm aware that there were numerous plots against Hitler's life emanating from the army and numerous attempts by various dissident groups to make contact with and coordinate their efforts with the British, in order to either assassinate Hitler or to negotiate a separate peace with Britain.

1942 was a very fateful year for the Germans, who sustained serious losses at El Alamein and at Stalingrad. I wonder if Bader, a man that Goering would have respected and who he knew that the British trusted, was used in a clandestine attempt to make contact with British officials on Goering's behalf.

posted on Sep, 21 2007 @ 11:25 PM
I doubt that DB and Fatty Goering would have gotten on very well, especially after Galland befirended DB and showed him around Abbeville. Galland and Fatty were not exactly on a friendly basis at the best of times.

posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 03:39 PM
reply to post by JimmyBlonde

What, in this quest, makes you think that any of this in any way diminishes the Bader Legend?

The question is, in its most simple terms, How did a man who had been a PoW since 1941 come to be in a Liverpool hotel in 1942 and for what purpose?

Whether he was there is not the question, this part is a fact confirmed by Bader in private conversation, the mystery of how and why remains however.

I am now in possession of a full copy of the original document and therefore should be able to answer any questions from this source. Posting it in full might be an option but I need to look into the practicalities as there is a lot of it.

posted on Sep, 23 2007 @ 03:45 PM
edit; tried to post full doc but it wouldn't go, too large. I will have to put some work into formatting and presentation.

[edit on 23-9-2007 by waynos]

posted on Sep, 24 2007 @ 11:11 PM
Interesting that the meeting took place in '42. Pat Reid made his escape from Colditz in '42 and I distinctly remember him writing that Bader was conducting the orchestra whose starts and stops warned Reid and cohorts of the movements of the German guards...

posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 02:22 AM
Nobody is saying he was in Liverpool throughout 1942
As I say, the question is why and how a known PoW should turn up at all. The obvious point would be that ken got his dates mixed up, however the information is contained in a diary which was maintained throughout the war years and ken only realised the significance many years later when he came to do his memoirs. Also the outright hostility recieved from official sources who are usually happy to help with wartime research lends weight to the feeling that there is more to this.

posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 02:25 AM
reply to post by ipsedixit

I have wondered the same, it could be anything frankly from something like that to pure medical/compassionate reasons or even something else entirely.

posted on Sep, 25 2007 @ 03:25 AM
reply to post by waynos

I was just a bit shocked to see his name thrown around on this site I guess? A Douglas Bader conspiracy etc. I grew up with books like "Reach for the Sky" and all that so I guess I'm a bit sensetive when people start examining my childhood heroes. Personally I don't think that DB would have wanted a thing to do with any negotiations with the Nazi's but that is just my predjudice in this case.

posted on Sep, 27 2007 @ 12:09 PM
Sorry guys, but you've been had. This story has been comprehensively debunked over the last couple of years. Ken never kept a contemporaneous diary but wrote his story from memory and whether he was the victim of a hoax, mistaken identity or was himself hoaxing, it's very clear that Bader was not in Liverpool in 1942. Key dates and events that Ken used to position Bader at the hotel in 1942 were found to be mixed up or wrong and every time such a finding was made, Ken just subtlely changed his story which very much detracts from any credibility the story could have had. Furthermore Ken has never been able to provide any corroborative verification for any of his theories - it is all just his word.

Ken has now admitted that he was either the victim of a prank, or just got his dates mixed up and has taken down the website, which rather draws a line under it all.

My opinion is that a dogmatic, aggressive person like Bader, who loathed the Nazis would have had no truck with some form of espionage or covert attempt that would mean he would have to co-operate with the Germans and to suggest otherwise is a slur on his character.

[edit on 27-9-2007 by SPM45]

[edit on 27-9-2007 by SPM45]

posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 03:16 AM

Ken has now admitted that he was either the victim of a prank, or just got his dates mixed up and has taken down the website, which rather draws a line under it all.

This part of your post troubles me in what would otherwise appear to be a reasonable debunk.

I know that ken has made no such concession and that his website has been taken down for three specific reasons, his advancing age, the ongoing cost of maintaining the site after his has brought forward no definitive answer after several years, and the outright hostility he has been subjected to for even daring to ask, which brings me onto this;

and to suggest otherwise is a slur on his character.

This shows that angle that you are coming at it from and it is utterly wrong. Bader is, and always has been, one the greatest heroes of all time in my eyes, even allowing for his character flaws (which cannot really be flaws as they gave him the determination to succeed that many of us would have lacked in his shoes).

All this is doing is asking a question, it is not attacking anybody. Your attempt to portray as such however smacks of a more sinister overtone.

The suggestion of 'go between' is nothing more than a guess, the whole point is that we do not know of any reason why this might have happened, and yet papers relating to Bader are still classified, which can only serve to deepen my curiosity.

Obviously I do not know who you are, nor you I, so I can only comment as I see. If there is genuine proof that ken did not keep a diary or has been proven wrong, then please show it and that will be an end to the matter, otherwise the tone in the post speaks for itself.

[edit on 28-9-2007 by waynos]

posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 04:00 AM
Hi Waynos,

firstly let me be very clear that I am not seeking argument or confrontation over this but reasoned debate! I have been in contact with Ken in the past to try to debate reasonably the possibilities surrounding the theory, but have not been able to do so - Ken takes the view that anyone questioning his story is attacking him. One of the reasons he has encountered hostility is because of this attitude.

All this is doing is asking a question, it is not attacking anybody. Your attempt to portray as such however smacks of a more sinister overtone.

Please don't don't draw any overtones as there are none beyond a Bader "fan" wanting to see justice done. If there is a story to tell then by all means tell it, but the story Ken tells does not simply ask a question, which of course would be entirely reasonable. He questions and then goes onto postulate certain conspiracy theories that involve Bader in collusion with the German forces. That, in my opinion is beyond what is reasonable. Question by all means, but one should not publicly accuse a man without at least some hard evidence. And Ken has admitted publicy on his own website and others that he has no evidence whatsoever. Bader was by no means without his flaws - a very forceful arrogant and dogmatic character (without which qualities he probably would not have acheived what he did), but to accuse a man of collusion with the enemy without so much as a shred of evidence is unreasonable. The point is made elsewhere about the Germans having a "bad year" in 1942 - however again the facts do not support a covert German attempt at peace. El Alamein was not over until November, Stalingrad lasted until 1943. The Germans were still very much on top through most of 1942.

The fact that after several years of searching that not _one_ single corroborative fact has come to light shows that this is a chimera. The only corroboration of any sort is Ken's own testimony that he spoke to Bader on the phone who confirmed a meeting - hardly firm evidence! Bader was a private man who did not wear public adulation easily (as you probably know, he did not go to the Premier of 'Reach For the Sky' and did not even see the film until many years later - one can imagine that if Ken did speak to him on the phone in 1976, Bader would probably have got rid of the caller quickly and if it meant saying "Oh, yes I remember you" and then ending the call, then he may well have done so without actually having any recollection of any event, real or otherwise.

papers relating to Bader are still classified, which can only serve to deepen my curiosity.

In fact the existance of classified papers relating to Bader has not been confirmed, other than by Ken.

If there is genuine proof that ken did not keep a diary or has been proven wrong,

Ken has never said that he did keep a diary. His website said that in his old age he "decided to write down his story" (or words to that effect). Ken has, by constant re-editting of his site, made it very hard to show the flaws in the story. However, in an early version of the story, Ken placed the Bader incident in early 1942 and recounted around the same time as the witnessing the shooting down of a German bomber over the city by anti aircraft rockets and noting the presence in Liverpool of "large numbers" of US servicemen. Both these latter facts can be dated - the last German bomber shot down over Liverpool was in 1941 rather than 1942. American servicemen only began to appear on mainland UK in any numbers from late 1942 onwards - the first drafts landed in N Ireland in May 1942 and forces were built up there for some time before moving across the Irish Sea. Obviously this confusion of dates and events and sunsequent re-editting of the story on the website makes it very hard to place any credibility on the story as a whole.

I hope that makes the position clearer.

[edit on 28-9-2007 by SPM45]

posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 05:52 PM
There is much to ponder in your reply, thank you. However a point strikes me that I would like to address briefly. There is no suggestion that Bader was colluding with the Germans in some treacherous way. I would certainly hold no truck with the idea. However the war was much more complex than many today can appreciate. I do know for instance that the Germans were still actively, if clandestinely, seeking a peace agreement with Britain right through the Battle of Britain and had several leading politicians, though obviously not Churchill himself, in agreement and there were even noises about Churchills removal as the battle was raging. This is not of course directly linked to this question in any way but merely serves to show that the popular view of all the allies being completely united against Hitler is an oversimplification. You had anti-war protesters then just as you do now, but it was all hushed up of course in those days. I only mention this to highlight that I see this quest as a possible example of another, complex, arrangement (possibly). Who is to say that Bader wasn't being even more of a hero than we credit him for by getting involved in one of those complex double bluff arrangements where he was working for Britains benefit under the noses of the Germans? As I say this is all purely hypothesis but serves to show why I see no reason to immediately assume that this is an attack on Baders character.

The claims you make about Ken in fact taking this stance are news to me, and I have been following kens quest closely for several years and only decided to raise the matter on here after ken decided that he had had enough of being accused of mud raking (and worse).

Over the years I have seen many arguments put forward as to why ken must be wrong and I have seen ken answer them with patience and in detail. There must always come a time however when one cries enough! and for ken that time has come. I am merely hoping that some fresh eyes will be able to offer more information and the objections you have raised, although as I say they are news to me, I will at the very least give consideration and research time to.

posted on Sep, 28 2007 @ 06:07 PM
Fair points, however the constant rewriting of the story to my mind fatally holes the whole vessel. We have a story based on nothing more than who a young lad was told to be a some 70 years ago (and teasing young staff is an old game - go to get a long weight, etc) , which was never documented and is "verified" on the same person's report of a phone call 30 years ago. The facts that have been put forward have been shown to be wrong, or misplaced. Another fact is that in 1942 the Germans were refusing to cooperate with POW repatriation - this did not get underway until 1943. By 1942 the war was very much in full flow and the Hess mission in 1941 had probably been the final throw of the peace dice. I just do not see any convincing argument that Bader could have been on a peace mission and I maintain that to accuse him of some form of unspecified and unproven collusion would have angered him in life - to do it after he has passed on and has no way to reply is dishonourable

Re Ken's attitude, you are probably aware that on certain fora he has had a rough ride - however this has been very much a two way street and in fact he has inflamed a lot of such situations by coming in "all guns blazing" where a reasoned reply would have garnered a far more constructive debate. I paste in here an example, which I think says volumes about the whole affair.


I am about to be expelled from this miserable forum because what I want to say to a nasty little P***K such as you is probably unprintable and,your mate the neutered Moggy, who has no more ide of moderating than a deaf dumb and blind monkey, is rubbing his hands with glee to see me go and being kicked out for putting you all into the too hard basket. Whoever you are mate if you were on fire I would not P*SS on you, there are no words that would describe such a low form of life as you. PLease join up and go to Iraq and volunteer rto become a human bomb.

You mate should be effing lynched by any sane members left in this Form and I hope next time you slander a Veteran that he lives in your area and able to come round and beat the s**t out of you you miserable little ass whole.

By the way have you stopped beating your wife yet?

I'm outa here - where's the effing exit?


[edit on 28-9-2007 by SPM45]

[edit on 28-9-2007 by SPM45]

posted on Sep, 29 2007 @ 05:28 AM

That is one thing I have not seen before. Clearly, taken on its own it is appalling and indefensible. However I would appreciate a link where I could view the whole discussion so that I could place some context on that barrage and whether it was OTT or not.

I am probably regarded by some on here as one of the most level headed and reasonable of posters but I can remember several occasions where I have felt provoked into something like that myself so I couldn't judge that quote in isolation. I'm sure you can see the sense in that.

posted on Sep, 30 2007 @ 12:58 PM

Ken used the name "Kenjomo" on this forum. As I said, this was not one way traffic - Ken was subject to quite a degree of micky taking, but his abusive responses were quite unacceptable which ended with Ken being banned from further postings. Ken also took to writing long abusive tirades about various forum members on his website. I am aware that he was also banned from the BBC forum owing to his abusive behaviour. This seems to mark Ken out as a trouble maker and detracts from the stance he tries to give of an "Honest Broker". He takes the attitude that unless anyone was at the event then they have no right to an opinion or to question him.

Aside from Kens character, there are a number of major problems with Kens postulations.

Bader was classed by the Germans pretty much from day 1 as a hostile prisoner owing to his attitude towards them - this was what got him the room at Colditz. It seems unlikely that the Germans would select someone so hostile to them if they were to attempt to broker some sort of a deal. If Bader was on some sort of covert diplomatic mission, quite apart from the unlikely timing of it, can you think of a less diplomatic candidate to select? The Germans had far more useful prisoners such as Giles Romily, Churchill's nephew. A covert operation that employs one of the most distinctive people imaginable? Hardly likely.

In the same way, were this really a mission so covert that papers are still secret, would the main protagonist really would be housed in a public hotel where his presence was openly disclosed to junior staff? We also know that Bader jealously guarded the privilege of his batman, as Alec Ross' experience in Colditz shows, yet we are asked to accept that he was alone in the hotel and needed the hotel to send up a lad to assist him.

If his presence was to do with his legs, why was he not at Roehampton at the leg hospital? We know from the photos of him with Galland that the legs could be worked on by the German staff and if he needed a new stump cast making, this could have been arranged via the Red Cross. In 1942 the Germans were not co-operating with repatriation even of the most desperate cases so it seems most unlikely that this was a medical requirement, and again this would hardly seem likely to require 100 year sealed papers.

The constant rewriting of Ken's website to take out numerous inconvenient howlers that undermine his story and points such as the above combine to make the whole story so unlikely as to be impossible. Certainly odd things happen in war, but people tend to find out about them. For this to have happened and there to be not a single trace of it to be found makes it seem all the less likely.

The truth is that Bader was in German captivity from 1941 to his liberation from Colditz in 1945 and he did not make any covert return to the UK. Either Ken met Bader before he was captured in 1941 or alternatively it is a hoax, either perpetrated by or on Ken. I think that really is the bottom line.

[edit on 30-9-2007 by SPM45]

[edit on 30-9-2007 by SPM45]

posted on Nov, 12 2007 @ 05:05 AM
Hello Waynos,

I have recently suffered another major computer crash no doubt due to the nefarious activities of a number of people in the UK that I once did battle with and who still want to hound me.

Before I go any further I should let you know that this is indeed Ken or the much despised (by a few) Royal Navy Medic 1945. Now fully retired and getting back to the more peaceful life that at 84 I now deserve.

Waynos, why I have decided to make a short statement is because having read your exchanges with a certain fellow who by his very style of denigrating me and my STILL true story reveals himself as one of two trouble makers, WEBPILOT and IAN LE SUERE trouble making membere of many many Forums or as WEBPILOT always preferred to call them, FORA.

The AVIATION FORUM was their main stamping ground and if you have the time you will find pages and pages of invective and ridcule poured upon me by both of these vicious people and the some other members of this disreputable forum. By the way a very remarkable female Moderator apologised and published on the site that the Forum members caused all the trouble - it is there if you can search it out.

Under extreme provocation I am not ashamed to say that I did use some pretty strong words in attacking these two forms of low life during various exchanges and their joint attempts to rubbish my story.

I would just like to say once again that my story was and always will be a story in progress and because of its very nature, constantly evolved as new information came in and old theories were rejected. I offer no excuses for these frequent updates, a procedure that seems to be a cause of annoyance to these fellows.

I repeat again and again that despite the disbelievers that my story is true and the events that I describe in my narrative happened exactly as I have chronicled them, no more no less - he was there and I was there.

Now, if WEBPILOT and IAN Le SUERE and any other vocal detractiors would like to put their money where their mouths are, I challenge them to provide the funds to enable them to organize ANY or ALL lie detection testing of this old man to prove once and for all that I am NOT LYING - Why on earth would I bother to come back now and make this statement if I was a silly deluded old man? HE WAS THERE AND I WAS THERE and nothing will change those events back in 1942 so, gentlemen the ball is now in your court.

Waynos, I'm sorry but I lost all my e-mail addresses including yours.

Tkae care and best wishes.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 02:08 AM
I doubt anyone here is interested in your feud with another forum, however having read through other postings on this subject as I made clear there was blame on both sides, though it is also clear that you responded to ribbing and mickey taking with some fairly foul personal abuse.

It's also clear that the balance of probability is that Bader could not and did not leave German captivity.

posted on Nov, 14 2007 @ 02:28 AM
reply to post by SPM.45

Then why did you bring it up?

You dragged it here, utterly without context, in a neat piece of character assassination. Waynos pointed out that it lacked context. RN Medic linked back to the entire thread, to give it context for those who wanted to go find it, and explained his words.

So now you want to dismiss it as being irrelevant?


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