Farmer Palmer's Pincer.
Fairy Barracuda MX691
(Distance covered =
1.5 mile/Ascent =+87m)
Day 7+8 of my 2019 walking holiday. On day 7 we were back off to remote moorland right up the north east end of Scotland to have another search for Short Sunderland P9622.
In 2018 we found what we believed was a bit of fuel pipe from the Sunderland* so we returned with high hopes of finding some more bits. After spending the whole day scouring the boggy and featureless moor we didn't even manage to find the bit of pipe from 2018; but at least we could tick off a large area where we now knew there was no Sunderland wreckage to be found. Because we found no further wreckage in the vicinity of the fuel pipe I relegated P9622 from my confirmed list of crashsites found to a probable.
As I said; boggy and featureless.
We did think we spotted Sunderland wreckage through the binoculars at one point but as we
approached we suffered the disappointment familiar to all wreckhunters; it
was just a collection of white rocks.
On our way back to our accommodation for the night; at Stuart's Mother in Laws house at Gartymore: where I must add we'd been enjoying some michelin star cooking courtesy of Stuart's wife Dotty; we stopped off to have a search for the crashsite of a Fairy Barracuda near Berriedale.
Our search area, initial appearance suggested there was nothing to be found.
After already suffering one ftf we thought we were in line for a second
one in a day after an initial sweep of the hillside turned up nothing. We
even had a metal detector; not because we intended to do any digging; we
believe in leaving that activity to the people with 'Air crash
Investigator' patches sewn to their jumpsuits; ours was simply in case
there were any bits hidden under the heather.
As we were about to give up and leave Stuart spotted a tiny scrap of alloy lying in a small exposed area of peat, not much but enough to put this one on my confirmed list and enough to merit a return visit the following day.
After a full day's searching without success this tiny bit of alloy was enough to send us both home happy, difficult to comprehend if you're not a so called 'Wreckhunter'!
The following day our plan was to go and have another look for another ftf from 2018; this time it was Avro Anson DJ178 on East Scaraben. In his youth Stuart had found pieces of this Anson; he remembered the parts he found were definitely pieces of Anson and not bits of Whitley P5070 which crashed nearby, he's visited enough Anson crashsites to be sure of that; he also remembered the pieces were lying next to an old wall.
The Anson crashed in the area below the prominent bump in the centre of the skyline.
We parked up in the same disused quarry as in 2018, but this time we had no encounters with Mr Mcgrumpy**; in 2018 we walked into Scaraben via the crashsite of Sunderland W4026**, this time we made a beeline straight towards East Scaraben.
Crossing Berriedale Water.
While crossing Berriedale Water we were treat to the spectacle of a rather
large Salmon jumping out of a pool in the river, the thought of how pissed
off Mr Mcgrumpy would be if we caught said Salmon did cross our minds but
as we had other fish to fry we resisted the temptation and continued on
We didn't find any sign of the Anson again and we couldn't even find the wall so DJ178 stays on the ftf list for now.
Back to Berriedale.
After the disappointment of another ftf we were hoping our moral would be lifted by returning to the Barracuda crashsite near Berriedale on the way home and finding some more pieces there, and that's exactly what we did.
While searching around for more bits of Barracuda I was approached by the Farmer and his entourage of Border Collies, after I explained what we were doing he became quite amicable and he was very interested that we had found bits of the Barracuda on his land; he had heard of the crash but wasn't aware of it's location. As I was talking to him another man appeared unnoticed from behind me, I think he had been dispatched around the other side of the hill to perform a classic pincer movement and cut off our escape should we have been up to no good. Both of them were very friendly once they knew what we were doing and they gave us some useful information about another crashsite in the area that Stuart had been searching for for quite a number of years.