Tony Graves, a famed British aviation archaeologist, who has unearthed dozens of warplanes in his native England, believes he's located the wreckage of a downed WWII British Short Stirling LJ850 Bomber lost in France on June 18, 1944. This plane had set out from the UK on a crucial mission. With a full complement of ammunition intended to reinforce the French Resistance and acting as a transport for paratroopers to further aid Resistance efforts, LJ850 disappeared, never making it to its destination. The plane and the 23 people thought to be onboard never reached the mission's destination, vanishing instead into the night sky of that day.
Graves believes he has located the aircraft in a field near a village in Normandy, and he wants to excavate the site. Graves discovered some small pieces of wreckage by following up on an old war story about a plane that fell burning out of the sky. It crashed on a farm that was eventually rechristened with a name that would set off bells for even the most amateur sleuth: June 18th, as CBC News reports.
French authorities are reluctant to disturb a war grave with an excavation, however. “If there are any remains here, the police will be called and they’ll have a proper burial instead of laying under a field with cows trampling all over them,” Graves told CBC Canada, Archaeologist reports.