|THE MILLAR STORY||A SEARCH FOR KH158 IN LAKE BOLSENA, ITALY|
|In 2005 there were some indications that the plane might have crashed in Lake Bolsena. Harry Shindler,the Italian Star representative living in Italy approached Leo Venieri of Romagna Air Finders.It was agreed that a search would be conducted in two possible locations. The Ministry of Defence provided a Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) and a team of operators, namely Gordon Vickers, Bob Coombes and Mark Tilbury.|
|AT THE PREFETTURA di VITERBO|
|The director of operations was Commander Sean Steeds RN, the Naval & Air Attache, at the British Embassy at Rome, and the search was conducted with the encouragement of Dr Alessandro Giacchetti, Prefect of Viterbo.|
|On the morning of April 3rd 2006 the investigating team assembled at the town of Capodimonte under the watchful eyes of the Carabinieri Chiefs of Viterbo and Capodimonte, the Personal Representative of the Prefect, the Mayors of Capodimonte and Bolsena, and Sr.Venieri and members of the Romagna Air Finders. In attendance from embassies in Rome were Michael Doncaster of the Australian Embassy , Col. Sue Palmer, Defence Attache of the South African Embassy, and Francesca Maggi of the British Embassy. Also present were correspondents of The Times and Channel 5 as well as Italian press reporters.|
|PREPARATIONS||HARRY SHINDLER (on left)||ANNE, ROY and SUE PALMER|
|THE YELLOW ROV & EQUIPMENT||AN INTERNATIONAL MEETING with SEAN STEEDS and LEO VENIERI|
|SAILING OFF TO THE SEARCH||CARABINIERI ESCORT||THE SEARCH|
While the search was underway the Mayor of Capodimonte arranged for us to have the use of a room at the Holiday House Hotel, and a Carabinieri escort and transport were kindly provided.
It was a long day both for the investigating team and the shore based observers who were awaiting news. Sad to say there was no discovery on the day. This was disappointing but it had been thought that the odds on finding KH158 were long and consequently it was not surprising. In spite of the disappointment there was still some optimism and it was agreed to carry out a further search on the Tuesday.
|Dinner at a local restaurant on the Monday night as
guests of Dott Guiseppe Micarelli, Mayor of Capodimonte.
It was a most enjoyable dinner.
The ROV team can be seen on the right, and Jason from Channel 5 on the left.
|CWGC CEMETERY AT BOLSENA|
|On Tuesday, after a formal but friendly meeting at
the Prefettura, the opportunity was taken to visit the
Commonwealth War Graves at Bolsena at the invitation of
The cemetery lies by the peaceful lakeside.
Here the visitors book was signed .
Unfortunately no useful discovery was made on the Tuesday and it happened that the ROV cable snagged on part of a helicopter wreck, lying on the bottom of the lake. The cable was recovered the next day but, by then, it was decided to abandon the search.
It had been a demanding two days and it would have been a culmination if KH158 had been found. The organisation, effort and goodwill from everyone concerned was excellent and very much appreciated.
Perhaps one day the fate of Liberator KH158 will emerge .