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Buried Spitfire fighters under Yangon's airport?

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60 years ago at the end of World War Two 30 fighter aircraft were buried by Americans as they left or so the story goes...

Spitfire LF Mk IX, MH434, flown by Ray Hanna in 2005. This aircraft shot down a Fw 190 in 1943 while serving with 222 Squadron RAF. (Source: Wikipedia)

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Breakingnews

Brits begin Myanmar Spitfire search

7/01/2013

A team of British experts searching for lost World War II Spitfire planes has started work in Myanmar.

Metallurgical surveys and accounts from witnesses suggest that more than 30 unused planes are buried in crates at Yangon international airport.

"The planes are believed to have been buried by American engineers as World War II drew to a close."

"It's taken me 17 years to find these aeroplanes in Myanmar and we're pretty sure we know the location," British aircraft enthusiast David Cundall, who led the search, told the BBC. 

The search team believes that around 120 unassembled Spitfires are buried at three or more different sites in Myanmar.

Only an estimated 40 to 50 Spitfires are thought to be airworthy today.

The search team, funded by a video games company in Belraus, includes archaeologists, film crew and survey experts.

An initial survey is expected to take 10 days, with excavations lasting between four and six weeks.

(Source: Bangkok Post, Breakingnews, Brits begin Myanmar Spitfire search, 7/01/2013, link


Treasure Hunt Vocabulary

spitfire - "a British single-seat fighter aircraft that was used by the Royal Air Force and many other Allied countries throughout the Second World War. The Spitfire continued to be used as a front line fighter and in secondary roles into the 1950s. It was produced in greater numbers than any other British aircraft and was the only British fighter in continuous production throughout the war" (See Wikipedia)

treasure hunt - searching for something that is valuable that usually has been hidden somewhere, buried treasure or undersea shipwrecks (See Wikipedia)
buried treasure - valuable things under the ground (See Wikipedia)

search - to look somewhere carefully in order to find something ค้นหา
search team

Spitfire search - "the RAF is rumoured to have buried a number of Mk.XIV Spitfires in Burma in August 1945, still unassembled in their crates, in order to dispose of what had become surplus airframes upon the war's end. Their exact location has never been determined but in April 2012 the UK government announced they were working with the post-junta Burmese government to locate and potentially return the total of 20 aircraft to flying status. Leeds University experts and an academic from Rangoon, using sophisticated radar techniques claimed to believe that they had discovered the site of the buried aircraft. In addition to the 20 aircraft thought to be at this one site, other sites with buried Spitfires may exist. One such site is thought to have up to 36 Spitfires. On 16 October 2012, the Burmese government, represented by Tin Naing Tun, Burma's director-general of civil aviation signed an agreement with David Cundall, a British farmer and aviation enthusiast, and Htoo Htoo Zaw, his Burmese business partner, allowing them to excavate the Spitfires. It was reported that there may be as many as 60 of them, and that the aircraft had been greased, wrapped, and buried in crates, and so were expected to be in good condition. Excavation was expected to start at the end of the month. However, in spite of the media coverage these events have attracted, there is no concrete evidence that the RAF ever buried the Spitfires, and some dismiss the whole story as implausible" (See Wikipedia)

British - people from the country the United Kingdom (UK) 
Brits - Same as "British"

Brits begin Myanmar Spitfire search
searching for lost World War II Spitfire planes

expert - a person who knows a lot about something
a team of British experts
a team of British experts searching for lost World War II Spitfire planes has started work in Myanmar.

survey - looking over and area to know what is there

metallurgical - related to metals
metallurgical surveys

expert - people who know a lot about a subject ผู้เชี่ยวชาญ
survey experts - people who know a lot about doing surveys

initial - early; first; happening at the beginning of a process ในเบื้องต้น
initial survey - the first survey

buried - covered completely by something, in this case, soil ฝัง
crate - a wooden box
buried in crates at Yangon international airport

accounts - detailed descriptions of something that has happened การให้การของพยาน
witnesses - a person who say an event, usually an accident or crime that they describe, an eyewitness
accounts from witnesses - descriptions from people who saw it happen

international - ระหว่างประเทศ between countries
suggest that ..... - make it look like... , make it seem something is true ...
metallurgical surveys and accounts from witnesses suggest that more than 30 unused planes are buried in crates at Yangon international airport

engineer -
a person who uses science to design and build things like machines, buildings or electronics วิศวกร
American engineers

drew to a close - came to an end, ended slowly
buried as World War II drew to a close.

"The planes are believed to have been buried by American engineers as World War II drew to a close.

enthusiast -
a hobbiest, a person who does some activity for the love of it (not a job or business)
British aircraft enthusiast

It's taken me 17 years to find these aeroplanes in Myanmar and we're pretty sure we know the location," British aircraft enthusiast David Cundall, who led the search, told the BBC. 

assembled - put together and built from parts
unassembled - taken apart, when all the parts are taken out of a machine  (opposite of aseembled)
unassembled Spitfires

The search team believes that around 120 unassembled Spitfires are buried at three or more different sites in Myanmar.

estimated - around, about this amount (not exactly)
an estimated 40 to 50 Spitfires

airworthy - an airplane that you can fly (you cannot fly old airplanes that are out of repair)

only an estimated 40 to 50 Spitfires are thought to be airworthy today.

funded - provide money for some project  or organisation ให้ความช่วยเหลือทางการเงิน ให้เงินลงทุน บริจาค
funded by

archaeologist - นักโบราณคดี
film crew - all the people and technicians who help produce a film (operate camera, lights, sound equipment, etc)

The search team, funded by a video games company in Belraus, includes archaeologists, film crew and survey experts.

expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
expected to take 10 days

excavations -
digging in the ground to find things from the past

lasting - continuing to exist or have an effect for a long time ที่กินเวลานาน
excavations lasting between four and six weeks

An initial survey is expected to take 10 days, with excavations lasting between four and six weeks.

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