reply to post by fakedirt
Damn I was hoping for some stories surrounding your sleepy Cornish fishing village. 'Strange goings on' by the military. That the locals know better
than to talk about. Oh well.
After a big more looking it seems that the body wasn't in great shape. So probably no need for frozen bodies after all.
Here is Jim Knights description, which he recalled in 2010. He was a member of an R.A.F. Marine Craft Unit stationed at Portsmouth and claims to have
been one of three men that recovered the body for the authorities.
I'll let Jim tell his story;
"...................Cmdr. Crabbs body .... was not found 'floating around' in Chichester Harbour. It was in fact, brought to the surface by 2
net-fishermen, from Prinstead or Southbourne, West Sussex. They made some sort of SOS signal that was seen by the lads in the Air traffic control
tower at RAF Thorney Island. ATC in turn notified us at the Marine Craft Section in the mid morning.
Myself and two other members of 1107 MCU detachment were duty weekend crew. We had an old World War Two 40 ft assault landing craft which was used for
inshore and harbour rescue, and in this craft we made our way to Pilsey Island which was only about a mile up channel towards the Solent.
We found the fishermen with their net tangled-up, with what eventually turned out to be Cmdr Crabb’s body. Untangling the net, we hitched the body
onto the lowered front ramp and got it on board..... the head and hands were missing, and in the cavity where the head had been, were hundreds of
small crabs, and other such creatures. The odour was abominable.
On returning to the MCS (Marine craft Section) we were able to run almost up to West Thorney road, due it being still high tide. Waiting for us on the
bitumen, were a mob of RAF Officers, 4 men in long black overcoats, RAF Ambulance, local Police and many unknown onlookers.The body, still clad in a
frogman’s suit, was removed to Chichester Hospital for examination and identification. Later, we members of the Marine Section discussed the
incident. None of us could see how the body was identified. With the advent of DNA, perhaps it could now be proven one way or the other, if the body
was that of Cmdr Crabb.
Among those on the beach that day was Group Capt. Boxer, Station Commander of RAF Thorney Island. The 4 men in black overcoats must have been MI6 or
such. I have checked the RAF records at RAF Hendon, and they told me that all the records for ALC 1948 had been destroyed. It is a pity that no one
has ever given credit for the recovery of the Frogman’s body to the RAF Marine Craft Section.
In every report I have read on this incident, there is no mention of our (Marine Craft) involvement in this clandestine affair, much of which is still
under wraps. We ourselves, following the dispersal of the official's, were reminded of the 'Official Secrets Act' and told to keep our mouths shut. On
my enquiry to the RAF Museums Historical Section for details of the Daily running record (RAF Form 1524) for ALC 1948, for the date of 9/7/57, I was
informed the records for many Marine Craft had been destroyed or lost. Was that not convenient.
I have contacted some of my ex crew mates some of which have passed on. Only one remembers the incident, but [he] was not involved. I have been trying
to get information of this for a number of years now. Just to prove that I did not dream the whole thing.
Another coincidence is, that just a few day prior to Crabbs disappearance, myself and a few apprentice mates (Shipwright's in Portsmouth Dockyard)
went to have a look at the Russian ships, unaware that I would be involved with Cmdr. Crabbe's espionage attempt again in 14 months, but this time as
a National serviceman on RAF Marine Craft .........."
Heres the link www.submerged.co.uk...
edit on 13-3-2013 by region331 because: punctuation