Douglas Bader mystery - Page 5




 
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November 28th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
It is unfortunate that his website has gone as I would like to have read his story rather than the collection of "random" sections that people on the various sites have posted because if the real story is as I suspect (that he is looking for help in verifying his story) then I believe he has been rather poorly treated.
November 28th, 2011  
James Christie
 
he does seem as you put it a grumpy old bugger so I assume his attitude has not helped. everything I've seen from him has been based on his word is gospel which is going to provoke reactions

anyway,I have found it. click on the archive date

http://pandora.nla.gov.au/tep/20422

I've not read it all but the bader story in there is a few lines, I assume his website had a lot more with his theories on why. it does seem that the dates and contemporary events seem confused. he also talks of the man having two sticks which contradicts all the descriptions of baders ability to walk, even if one accepts he might have had something temporary - however the german description of walking well without a stick is from his attempted escape just prior to his spell in lamsdorf solitary so the two descriptions don't seem to fit together. I'm still struggling to see any basis for his story having any way of fitting in with what's known of bader and the facts we have. the more I read the more I think he's got something badly wrong
November 28th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
As I have said I think he is a year out, especially when he talks of the blitz and Churchill's visit.

There were a number of duplicate events that fit his timeline and an earlier one I suspect he has mixed these up.
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November 28th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
As I have said I think he is a year out, especially when he talks of the blitz and Churchill's visit.

There were a number of duplicate events that fit his timeline and an earlier one I suspect he has mixed these up.

its known as 'blended memory' where similar events become run together and conflated into one event. that said, I'm relatively sure the man wasn't bader.
November 28th, 2011  
BritinAfrica
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
its known as 'blended memory' where similar events become run together and conflated into one event. that said, I'm relatively sure the man wasn't bader.
Bader was quite well known, I think it would be almost impossible to get him mixed up with anyone else.

As far as I am aware, the MOD hasn't denied or confirmed Williams story, the only thing they have done is refuse to give Mr Williams any information whatsoever. What makes me suspicious is that IF there wasn't any information regarding Bader was in Liverpool while he should be in a POW camp, why not come right out and say so?
November 28th, 2011  
James Christie
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BritinAfrica
Bader was quite well known, I think it would be almost impossible to get him mixed up with anyone else.

As far as I am aware, the MOD hasn't denied or confirmed Williams story, the only thing they have done is refuse to give Mr Williams any information whatsoever. What makes me suspicious is that IF there wasn't any information regarding Bader was in Liverpool while he should be in a POW camp, why not come right out and say so?
bader was well known as a name but in those pre tv and internet day his face might have been less identifiable. hard to know for sure but I think mis identification would be very possible. the story says that he was told it was Bader but the man himself never really spoke - to me it sounds like he took the identity he was given by his manager at face value and probably had nothing to compare it against until years later by which time the quirks of memory would have made it hard for him to be sure either way. Today you could find a photo of a well known person on your phone or computer in seconds, then it would have been much harder.

the MOD angle seems a red herring to me and I don't think anything can be read into it either way. they get a lot of crank letters eg the flying saucer stories from the public which were released recently as I read it on ATS the MOD said they had no information, which seems a standard response. By then the MOD would have no papers as everything would have been at the public records office at kew so they probably did have no information and they'd not go hunting for anything more on what probably looked like a crank letter. ken williams seems to have done a lot of reading meanings into vague coincidences or making things like a non committal response seem more meaningful than it probably was intended to be. I get suspicious when people start putting a spin on things, it usually hides something far more prosaic.
November 28th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Christie
its known as 'blended memory' where similar events become run together and conflated into one event. that said, I'm relatively sure the man wasn't bader.
Personally I think it was Bader but the time line is out by around 12 months and it is set before he was shot down.

Essentially I think there are too many consistencies for his story to be entirely wrong or made up but there is not enough evidence to say that the 1942 timeline is correct plus I think the 1941 timeline fits the story far better.

I really hope the guy finds the evidence he is looking for but I suspect this late in the piece there is little chance he will.
Being a fan of the Occam Razor principle I think the simplest argument here is that he got his dates wrong.
November 28th, 2011  
James Christie
 
I
Quote:
Originally Posted by MontyB
Personally I think it was Bader but the time line is out by around 12 months and it is set before he was shot down.

Essentially I think there are too many consistencies for his story to be entirely wrong or made up but there is not enough evidence to say that the 1942 timeline is correct plus I think the 1941 timeline fits the story far better.

I really hope the guy finds the evidence he is looking for but I suspect this late in the piece there is little chance he will.
Being a fan of the Occam Razor principle I think the simplest argument here is that he got his dates wrong.
I'm interested to know what consistencies you've found. my analysis sees too many inconsistencies for it to be bader. the man used sticks which bader didn't , bader was proud, class conscious and known to reject help, ross attended bader in solitary which seems to plug the potential window of opportunity. occams razor would seem to me to dictate that it didnt happen.
November 28th, 2011  
MontyB
 
 
One of the problems I have with this story concerns Bader himself and separating reality from the myth and you find the same thing with the likes of Churchill and Montgomery (I have no doubt a lot of others but those two were contemporary) there is no doubt they achieved great things but they also wrote their own history and created their own myths and that includes writing out the negatives.

As far as what aspects I find consistent well I think we have discussed those in this thread already and we have both agreed that no matter how unlikely we believe the whole story to be there are aspects we can not disprove so I can not see any reason to rehash them.

It is my opinion that he probably did meet Bader at some point and probably in the capacity of a medic but I can not find any thing to verify that it was after Bader had been taken prisoner (although there is a small window of opportunity that he may have) and think it more likely that he has confused and merged similar events of 1941 and 1942.

As I have also said I hope that one day he finds his proof as it would make a very interesting chapter to what we know of Douglas Bader.

This also raises another question for me, we have asked why would the Germans help Bader when there was clearly no reason for them to do so and we have also asked why Bader would have accepted help from the Germans when clearly he was hostile to them even in captivity.
So now I also would like to know what reason Williams would have to make up a story like this and to be honest at this stage in his life I can not see any obvious reason, it is not going to bring him notoriety and fame (lets be honest here 90% of the world have no clue who Douglas Bader was without the help of Google) and he wont get rich off it, without personal gain I cant see a motive for him to lie.
November 28th, 2011  
James Christie
 
I agree there's no obvious reason for gain so the only motive I can think of is pride. had one spent years telling all and sundry a story that proved to be false one can imagine there would be great urge to show one was right all along. williams seems to be very full of his exploits and id imagine not the type to swallow his pride
 


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