Scunthorpe Spitfire hunter returns to Burma for fresh search

Rangoon airport
Image caption The excavation will take place near the runway at Rangoon's international airport

A man who has spent more than 17 years trying to establish whether Spitfires were buried in Burma at the end of World War Two has returned to the country to conduct a new search.

David Cundall took part in a failed attempt to find the aircraft in 2013 but remains convinced they exist.

A dig at Rangoon airport was abandoned when no trace of the planes was found.

Mr Cundall told the BBC that ground surveys had suggested a new underground location near the runway.

The North Lincolnshire farmer said he has been granted permission by the Burmese government to drill bore holes at the new site, prior to a full excavation.

'Amazing story'

He has new backers after his previous supporters pulled out of the project when they failed to find evidence of the aircraft during the search in February 2013.

Claridon Group's managing director, Chris Scott, said: "We decided that after hearing his amazing story and seeing the passion that this guy had for this project we thought that we had to get involved and help him find them."

Image caption David Cundall has been searching for the Spitfires for more than 17 years

Mr Cundall has collected eyewitness reports from United States and British service personnel and local people who claim a number of the fighter planes were buried at the former RAF base between 1945 and 1946.

According to those accounts, the aircraft were unused, unassembled, packed into crates and buried on the orders of Lord Mountbatten.

The previous excavation at Rangoon airport was unsuccessful, despite a survey by scientists that uncovered large concentrations of metal under the ground.

But Ian Reed from the Yorkshire Air Museum, near York, said he had doubts about the story.

"Why were they buried when they were still worth a lot of money? They were still operational aircraft, so why would a country bury them?" he said.

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