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4.3 Objects

       - Pontoon found at Torsvåg  on 31 August 1928.
          It was later ascertained that this was the left wing pontoon
          of the “Latham  47.” In 1928 it was concluded that the
          pontoon had been torn from the wing, probably as a result
          of a hefty collision with the sea.          

        - Fuel tank found on the Haltenbanken, 13 October 1928.
           It was ascertained that this was the Latham’s forward internal
           fuel tank. Subsequent modification of the tank might indicate
           that they had attempted to use it as a float, perhaps as a
           substitute for the pontoon that had been torn off

        - Sheet of plywood found on Edgeøya.
          
One of the many encouraging contacts made by the working
           group after the open hearing in Tromsø on Spetember 30 on
           the disappearance of the Latham, came when they were approached
           by a former hunter in Svalbard, Per Johnson.

During his time as a hunter on the island of Edgeøya, he found a double sheet of
plywood in 1964 with studding and ribs between the sheets. The piece of wood had
metal fittings and in some places it was insulated with a bakelite-type substance.
The sheet of plywood was approximately 120 cm x 120 cm. It was flat and the
colour of the wood had faded to grey after spending such a long time in the sea. 

The sheet of plywood was used to make improvements to the hunting shack,
“Blåsebelgen” east on Negerpynten point on the island of Edgeøya. The
improvements were made to the southern wall of the shack, by the entrance.

The working group has not had the necessary resources to visit Edgeøya in order to
further examine the sheet of plywood. The drawings of the Latham that we have
received from the Musee de l’Air et l’Espace in Paris are probably not detailed
enough to allow us to identify this part of the aircraft. However, experts with
knowledge of the “Latham” and similar aircraft will, on inspection and retrieval of a
smaller section of the part in question for further examination, be able to say
something about whether the part orignates from a wooden aircraft and possibly
from the “Latham”.

The newspaper Svalbardposten has shown interest in the story and is considering a
trip to Negerpynten point on the island of Edgeøya. If this trip is realized, the group
examining the part should include aviation experts. At the time of writing we do not
know whether the trip to Edgeøya will actually be made.

 On the basis of today’s knowledge of currents and wind conditions in the northern Atlantic, any possible confirmation that the part belonged to the “Latham” would strengthen the theory that the accident occurred near the island of Bjørnøya. In the light of this, verification of this find will be of considerable interest.

Pontoon/tank found at Skolmen in Vestvågøy; Lofoten
I 1933/34 a possible pontoon/tank was found at Skolmen in Vestvågøy. The object
 was reportedly handed in to the police in Svolvær. The Regional State Archives in
Trondheim can find no entry regarding the handing in of such an object in the
police archives and it has therefore not been possible to trace the object.

Wreckage from an aircraft and a skull found at Auvær.
During the hearing at the Polar Museum in Tromsø on 30 September 2002, a
fisherman, Håkon Robertsen from Aurvær in the borough of Tromsø, said that
during the halibut fishing in 1990, a skull was found together with some alumimium
mesh at a certain location off the island of Sommarøy. Finds of aircraft wreckage
made near Aurvær over several years are interesting, but may originate from two
German aircraft that crashed into the sea in that area during World War II. A skull
was also brought up there. This incident was followed up, but the search ended at
the police station in Tromsø where we were informed that the skull had disappeared
in transit.

The Navy has been informed of the finds so that further examination of the area can be undertaken in conjunction with other tasks.

Cylindrical container found at Skittenelv.
In 1928, a cylindrical container was found at Skittenelv north of Tromsø. The receptacle was handed over to the local teacher who apparently sent it on to the local sheriff’s office, although this has not been corroborated. Examination of State Archives provided no clues as to whether the object was handed over to the police, or what became of it.

The drop tank find at Håja.
The newspaper “Tromsø” reported that a local squire, Alfred Paulsen of Håja, had found something he assumed to be a “drop tank” from the “Latham.” The tank cannot be traced and it seems to have been thrown away in conjunction with a local clean-up operation.



  
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