Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.) – A bit of a rant I am afraid…….

I was pleased to see that by this afternoon the post I put up yesterday evening on the “Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.)”, the German aircraft recovery group headed by Uwe Benkel, had been seen so far, by a 100 people.

What disappoints me, however, and this is based on their GoFundMe site, nobody has actually given anything………

The vast majority of people involved in activities related to World War 2 and more specifically the Air War, do what they do, at their own cost, in their own time, basically for the love of it.

I know from my own experience with this blog, that it’s a labour of love – if I costed out the time I spend on, it wouldn’t exist – it would simply be, in crude financial terms, too expensive to bother – but irrespective of this, I do it and will continue to.

Uwe and his group do not have the luxury as I do, to sit in a warm studio and type – what they do is ‘dirt under the nails’ stuff, they locate, and excavate aircraft crash sites. Often these crash sites are ‘wet’ – still containing the remains of airmen. This, they have to deal with and despite the noble endeavor, must, put simply, be a disturbing and dirty experience – but they do it and hopefully for all of us, will continue to do it.

My theoretical ramblings about the relative cost in time of maintaining this blog is just that, theoretical. To locate, excavate and when necessary remove human remains is not theoretical – it is real and physical and it costs money.

I know from my own experience, that some people see all of this, simply as something to be viewed – whilst not a regular occurrence, I do sometimes get inquiries, that literally expect me to give the world – I have even received complaints, due either to my poor speed of service, or simply because I was unable to furnish the inquirer with a highly specific photograph that ‘obviously’ I must have. Responding to a request, generating an Op history – a few hours work however you look at it – is taken without acknowledgement or thanks. I appreciate some people are just strange and clearly see no issue in behaving this way and I suppose it comes with the sort of interactive community I have tried to generate with the blog.

…… but it still pisses me off…….

If each of the 100 people that viewed last nights post gave just $10 ( £6.46 in pounds sterling), they would have $1000 more than they did this time last night.

Please, get off your arse, put your hand in your pocket and give Uwe’s group a donation. If you do nothing more than this, because your interest extends no further than this, then at least let those that want to act, be able to do so.

If you read all this and it annoys you and you think I am being unfair – prove me wrong and give.

You can donate to Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung here.


8 thoughts on “Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.) – A bit of a rant I am afraid…….

  1. Stephen Price

    Don’t beat around the bush…….tell it like it is lol. I can’t believe you get complaints….Big thank you from me

    Sent from my iPad



  2. Martyn Birch

    Fully endorse and support Simon’s well made point. Make it $50.00 and then it would be 5k from the 75 family…………. 99 now needed.


  3. Rex Bunn

    Hi Simon, you’re entitled to feel aggrieved when after the effort with the 75S resource…your admiring public take a step back on this. Yet you recognise… “I know from my own experience with this blog, that it’s a labour of love…”

    A problem shared is a problem halved, so I report your situation is identical to “agony aunts’ in classic motorcycle land. Having volunteered as an aunt, I never got used to the more demanding of Joe Public. Some people have no discretion genes or sense of the “reasonable man”. In your case, you may find some visitors have only a tangential interest in 75S and support other charitable outlets… or indeed are frankly ignorant and scared of the concept of such contributions. A few may even find the concept of former foes digging up family members a bit, shall we say…off-putting. For example, the “Bone Man of Kokoda” was pilloried in his homeland.

    After ten years as an aunt for motorcycle crankcase ventilation woes, I retired but couldn’t get away from the enquiries. I made an end to it by writing up the decade research into the first two books written on the subject. I suggest you consider a similar approach and regard the blog as a way station to a fine book about a great squadron. I was lucky to grow up with kids who were sons of Bomber Command vets. Indeed, I believed my dad was the only one of my friends’ dads who hadn’t flown Lancs!
    Keep up the good work…good karma is winging to you.


  4. Reg Mulder


    I do understand your point but would like to brings some grey between this black and white. When showing interest in a topic like 75NZ Squadron there might be a number of reasons. I myself for example am doing research in the men that went missing in action over the northern part of the Netherlands. Some of them were from 75NZ Squadron and that is my reason for showing up on your great blog. It is my decission however to contribute in a different way, not spending money on other initiatives but in investing it in my own research. I also decided not to ask other people for contributions on money, any support by sharing information is the only thing I would like to see in return. No money from me for CSI.


  5. Adrian

    It seems to be an unfortunate quirk of human nature that people are more likely to complain when something is wrong than praise when something is right. In fact in my line of work a figure has been given to the phenomenon in that people are 5x more likely to complain than praise. This therefore gives a unbalanced and disheartening view to those who may have spent many hours and a lot of hard work providing a service especially one dear to their heart. I too have been victim to this, especially in my research into my family history. Many hours of research has been given freely, sometimes upon request, and on occasion has not been graced with even an acknowledgement of receipt. Most annoying to say the least.

    Perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising donations haven’t been too quick to come in to the CSI site. I can understand that their work may not seat quite squarely with some people, with others it may but 24 hours may be a bit unrealistic to expect people to decide whether they wish to support the group or not. At the end of the day they are dealing with very sensitive issues that some families will wish longer to consider.

    Rex, to balance things a bit, your research and work is much appreciated. I have one of your units fitted to my Enfield. Praise where praise is due, it works a treat! Many thanks.



  6. Anne Fortune

    Simon, Didnt respond to the fundraising right away because my computer keeps “freezing” but have done so now. I think the work you do is fantastic and a resource which has been invaluable in my research for the Thomas Crew, Your website makes the whole period come alive and it is not just dry statistics but pictures of the crews and anecdotes and histories. And all at the click of a mouse. People who seriously do this kind of historical research are probably a bit obsessive – so keep up the good work and know that there are people out there hanging on your every word! Kisses on both cheeks!


  7. Pauline Whittall

    Simon, I’ve only just read this one and I quite agree with you. If it wasn’t for people like you who give of their own time and energy on a voluntary basis there would be a lot of things in the world that simply wouldn’t happen. You’re doing a fantastic job and so are the Arbeitsgruppe Vermisstenforschung – Crash Site Investigation (C.S.I.). This group is giving a lot of families the closure that they need and it’s a very worthly cause. There are just some people in the world who want everything for nothing, you know what they say, ‘give them an inch and they’ll take a mile’. Fortunately these people are in the minority but as Adrian said, it always seems that people would rather complain than praise.



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