WWII Navy ship wrecks disappeared from Java seabedto


#21

Salvage expert Leon van der Bel of the Dutch salvage company HD Demolition said that it is impossible to let these ships disappear as by some magical trick. Also the 6000 to 8000 tons of steel of each ship will only yield 6 to 9 million dollars. The job would take him with his craneship, at a rate of 43.000 dollar per day, one to one and a half year. I think he is ripe for a steep learning curve…

Quite surprisingly he seems to be totally unaware of the cheap blast and grab method of the scavengers. Also no expensive diver teams that pull the cutting cable underneath the hull are necessary. He is probably thinking in the standard neat salvage procedure of western compagnies were they cut up a ship in nice pieces and then hoist the ship parts above water and put it on deck of a barge.


#22

That blasting technique definitely looks effective. It would never get past environmental regs and safety regs in the western world. I can’t understand how the citizens of 2nd world nations let business or their governments do stuff like this. I feel like Americans would’ve protested about this sort of stuff, including scandalous media headlines even 200 years ago.


#23

[QUOTE=Kingrobby;192632]This threads starting to devolve…[/QUOTE]

must be Obama’s fault


#24

[QUOTE=ombugge;192631]OK I’ll will, but only if you can convince me that Americans are.[/QUOTE]

who ever said we were?


#25

I certainly agree that normal salvage methods for wreck removal takes years to accomplish, even in shallow water, involve heavy equipment and large number of people, hence is not something that can easily be hidden from view.

Although not involved I watch the salvage of car carrier Hayundai 105 back in 2010-12, which was carried out by Smit Salvage in protected waters off Batam. It took two years to complete, using two floating cranes and a number of tugs and barges.
Here is some pictures from one of the sub-contractors: http://tmcmarine.com/ship/hyundai-105-indonesia-2004

I took this picture in Nov. 2011:

That the removal of several large wreck could take place without anybody noticing is obviously not possible.
Whether anybody, local or foreign, on the ships passing through, or on the many oil & gas fields the area, where aware of the status of these wracks as war graves is obviously an open question.

I was a regular in these waters for many years and knew of the fact that there were many wrecks from WWII there, but nothing about their status, nor did I ever notice any wreck removal activities on any of the known wreck sites. (Towing rigs around, sometimes with the legs extended well below the hull, we had to take care to avoid such wrecks)

It is also obvious that this activity has been known to the outside world for many years, as reported in the media already in 2013. (Post #14)

PS> Indonesia predictably take no responsibility for the disappearance of the wrecks in their water: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/nov/17/indonesia-says-its-not-to-blame-for-missing-shipwrecks
Equally predictable is that Malaysia will take the same attitude.


#26

Karel Willem Frederik Marie Doorman RMWO RNL OON (23 April 1889 – 28 February 1942) was the Dutch Rear Admiral who commanded ABDACOM Naval forces, a hastily organized multinational naval force formed to defend the East Indies against an overwhelming Imperial Japanese attack. He commanded this naval force from the flagship Hr Ms de Ruyter, a ship with a length of 170 meters.

His 81 year old son Theo Doorman flew to the Java Sea at the beginning of this month to honour and commemorate his father and the seamen who died with him. He carried three plagues, in remembrance of the offers made by the perished sailors and to be attached to the wrecks of the three Dutch ships. The idea also was that relic hunters would leave the ships being war graves in peace, which is a little bit naive and whistful thinking in this part of the world where it would be considered as a welcome extra token, thank you very much.

The intention was to make a documentary which was to be shown next february on the 75th remembrance day of the Battle of the Java Sea. Theo Doorman said: I consider myself a lucky person that we discovered ourselves the loss of the ships instead of having to hear this from other parties. The plagues are now back again in the Netherlands…


#27

Plundering wrecks may now be done by Asians, but the expats pioneered the business. I knew a group of Singapore based expats, who in the 80s, blew the props off the Royal Navy battleships Prince of and Impulse, both sunk off Trengganu by the Japanese in WW2; the props were sold for scrap. Michael Hatcher, was an Australian wreck hunter who knocked off a 16th century Dutch ship off Tanjung Pinang near Batam, full of Ming porcelain, called the Geldermalsen (known as the “Nanking cargo”). The contents were sold at auction by Christie’s in Amsterdam in 1986.


#28

An interesting detail can be seen on the top of the command tower. What looks like a radar scanner is probably a rangefinder, in those days a very important instrument for accurate shelling of enemy targets. Rangefinders are of two general types: coincidence and stereoscopic. This apparently is a coincidence rangefinder. The German Navy used the stereoscopic one developed by Zeiss.

The accuracy of any optical rangefinder is dependent on how well it is made and the distance between the two reference optics. The further they are apart, the more accurate and the greater the distance that can be measured. The smallest rangefinders in naval use are the one-meter navigational instruments used for such purposes as maintaining a ship’s proper position in formation.

Problems involved in rangefinder operation are caused by the haze encountered at sea, by the necessity, at times, of looking directly into the sun, by the vibration of the instrument caused by the ship’s operation, pitching and rolling and by the firing of the guns. Getting an accurate result during battle conditions was a tedious job which required long training and experience. The high position on top of the command tower of the instrument is not helpful as the swaying and acceleration are worst there. An big advantage is however that the instrument has a clear 360° view. A gyroscopic platform would have helped…

The introduction of shipborne radar systems made the rangefinders obsolete overnight.


#29

The idea also was that relic hunters would leave the ships being war graves in peace, which is a little bit naive and whistful thinking in this part of the world where it would be considered as a welcome extra token, thank you very much.

Why do you think so? Maybe because of the many “Expat” divers that is visiting the region and plundering wrecks for souvenirs?

Professional wreck “salvors” does not go for small items. They take whole wrecks and are not of any specific race or religion. Although in this case it is happening in Indonesia and Malaysia, it is far from certain that the persons actually behind this are locals. The key figures may be financiers from anywhere in the world.


#30

This has been ongoing for years, a close friend dived several of these wrecks a few years back and there was a chinese barge working them. The wrecks were covered in blasting cord and explosives. If it can be ascertained who in is charge of the companies doing this I can only hope they end up on the receiving end of a predator drone.


#31

[QUOTE=Traitor Yankee;192717]This has been ongoing for years, a close friend dived several of these wrecks a few years back and there was a chinese barge working them. The wrecks were covered in blasting cord and explosives. If it can be ascertained who in is charge of the companies doing this I can only hope they end up on the receiving end of a predator drone.[/QUOTE]

If you by “in charge” mean who is actually financing and benefiting from the operation it may not be so easy to hit them with a drone, or even a court case. They may be sitting pretty in Dubai. London or even New York.


#32

As former colonisers the Dutch are a bit double in all this as we exploited Indonesia’s natural resources for hundreds of years, but it was then mainly about the spices. These days were are not very proud about this period of time. There is a page on my website referring to this. Decolonisation? Indonesia is until this day still exploited by Western companies but in a far more brutal way. For instance deforestation takes place on an immense scale in favour of palm oil trees plantations. The value of the torn up naval wrecks is peanuts compared to the benefits of these large scale operations. It is the sentiment that is hurting, we grieve about the dishonoring of the graves of over 2200 sailors.

On Madura Island, at a short distance to the northeast of Surabaya, shipbreakers are active. Madura is near the site of the Dutch and other shipwrecks. According to visitors it must be a hellish place with lots of pollution. The Madurese people, one if the 500 (!) ethnic groups in the Indonesian Archipelago, are famous for breaking up ships and selling the scrap using nothing but acetylene cutting torches.

In the mean time Indonesia and the Dutch have decided that the disappearing of the wrecks should be investigated. I donot think that much will come out of this. It is almost impossible to prevent these things to happen, the areas are too vast. It could be done by satellite, watching for ships that are stopped in a wreck’s position but that will be a costly affair…


#33

I might add that ruthless exploitation of Indonesia’s natural resources, without regard for the ultimate social costs, has been a part of the base business model for centuries. As someone pointed out above, removing scrap metal from old wrecks comprises 0.0001% of the country’s ancient colonial business model.


Indonesia agrees to help solve mystery of missing shipwrecks

AFP November 23, 2016
Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte chats to to Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta on November 23, 2016View photos
Netherland’s Prime Minister Mark Rutte chats to to Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the presidential palace in Jakarta on November 23, 2016 (AFP Photo/Adek Berry)
More
Jakarta (AFP) - Indonesia has agreed to work with the Netherlands to investigate the mysterious disappearance of several World War II shipwrecks – considered war graves – from the bottom of the Java Sea, the Dutch prime minister said Wednesday.

The recent discovery that at least six Dutch and British warships sunk in 1942 had disappeared from the seabed caused shock and dismay in Europe, and demands for answers.

Investigators believe the military wrecks – lost during the Battle of the Java Sea – were removed by illegal scavengers looking for scrap metal, an effort that could have taken years.

More than 900 Dutch and 250 Indo-Dutch sailors died during the battle in which the Allied navies suffered a disastrous defeat by the Imperial Japanese Navy.

Indonesia initially refused to take the blame for the missing ships, saying it had not been asked to protect the wrecks and therefore was not responsible for them.

But Jakarta has since agreed to cooperate with former colonial ruler The Netherlands in getting to the bottom of the mystery, Prime Minister Mark Rutte said following a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

“I would also like to thank Indonesia for its offer to cooperate after we learnt about the sad news on the shipwrecks,” Rutte told reporters at the state palace.

“We’ll work together to find clarity of what happened and we will coordinate in the future.”

Salvaging operations are rife throughout Indonesia, varying from large commercial operations using cranes and platforms to smaller ventures shipping scrap to dealers along Indonesia’s thousands of kilometres of coastline.

Experts say it could have taken small-time scavengers years to pull apart the wrecks piece by piece, with crews using crude diving apparatus to search for valuable parts like the huge bronze propellers.

  • Cracking the case -

Indonesia struggles to police its sprawling archipelago of more than 17,000 islands. Its vast waters are a hotspot for other criminal activity including people smuggling and illegal fishing.

Amateur divers discovered the long-lost wrecks of three Dutch warships in 2002, 60 years after they were sunk in the major naval clash with Japanese forces.

But an international expedition that sailed to the wreck site ahead of next year’s 75th anniversary of the battle was shocked to discover the wrecks and others had gone.
https://www.yahoo.com/news/indonesia-agrees-help-solve-mystery-missing-shipwrecks-082321705.html?soc_src=mail&soc_trk=ma


#34

>> the removal of several large wreck could take place without anybody noticing is obviously not possible

A single rough old crane barge barge in Indonesian waters with a pile of rusting metal scrap on the deck, is not an interesting sight to most passers-by. It seems that the scrap removal procedure minimises the use of divers who may do little more than place explosive charges on the wreck. A magnetic grab with a weight indicator is all the crane operator needs to fish chunks of steel from the sea bed. So a fairly minimal cost operation, easily financed by the local scrap towkays.


#35

[QUOTE=c.captain;192601]even if in very shallow water we are talking about a HUGE undertaking here with heavy lift cranes and many support vessels over these wrecks to raise the pieces of them and then transport them to scrappers. No way this could have happened without many hundreds of people actually employed on the projects which would have taken many years to complete. Obviously many high level officials in the Indonesian government also on the take to look the other way.

HIDEOUS![/QUOTE]

“Indonesian Ethics” The world shortest Book, like the Wisdom of the Indonesian Presidents, or great Indonesian Lovers.


#36

The Dutch are one of the big investors in Indonesia, for instance the multinationals Royal Dutch Shell and Unilever who owns 85% of PT Unilever Indonesia Tbk. They are the biggest supplier of consumer goods and that for a population of 262 million people. Profits without the hassle of administering a vast territory and the cost of maintaining a large colonial army, that really makes a difference.

The US is also very present, especially in Papua New Guinea. Currently, Indonesia produces around four percent of global gold production, half of which originates from the giant Grasberg mine, the world largest gold mine, on the western half of Papua. This mine, which is believed to contain the world’s largest gold reserves (67.4 million ounces), is majority-owned by the American company Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and makes it the largest taxpayer to the Indonesian government. But much tension surrounds activities in this mine. A string of violent attacks (including assassinations, robberies and sabotage) have been witnessed since the era of Reformasi.

Two underlying reasons for this situation are the ongoing quest for independence of Papua by the Free Papua Movement, and the feeling of resentment by Papuans (and other Indonesians) against a foreign company that manages to profit disproportionally from the country’s natural resources. Being situated in a province where the rate of relative poverty is among the highest in the country, makes this issue even more sensitive. Problems related to the aforementioned have temporarily disturbed production rates in the past and disruptions will - most likely - occur again in the future as the underlying reasons cannot be solved on the short or middle-long term.

Freeport has to thank JFK for the concession as he was instrumental in letting the Indonesians take over and occupy Papua New Guinea. The Papuan people are of Melanesian origin, ethnically not connected to the Indonesian groups and are often quite surprisingly black with blonde hair which is probably due to a mutant gene.

I suppose I am getting a little bit off course, must get back to business…

So meanwhile back at the farm, the Brits are going to undertake their own investigation in this matter.

According to the Dutch press of today also plundering of ship wrecks takes place in our North Sea although on a smaller scale than in the Indonesian waters. Even official salvage companies seem to participate in this illegal plunder. There is a heritage law that forbids to take away objects from a wreck without permission but the government finds it hard to maintain this law in practice, even in this rather restricted area…


#37

[QUOTE=Dutchie;192730]As former colonisers the Dutch are a bit double in all this as we exploited Indonesia’s natural resources for hundreds of years, but it was then mainly about the spices. These days were are not very proud about this period of time. There is a page on my website referring to this. Decolonisation? Indonesia is until this day still exploited by Western companies but in a far more brutal way. For instance deforestation takes place on an immense scale in favour of palm oil trees plantations. The value of the torn up naval wrecks is peanuts compared to the benefits of these large scale operations. It is the sentiment that is hurting, we grieve about the dishonoring of the graves of over 2200 sailors.[/QUOTE]

There is another “western” business that is causing as much de-forestation as oil palm plantations; Pulp mills.
Several large Pulp Mills has been built on Sumatra and in Kalimantan over the last few decades. These rely upon fast growing Akasia, which is planted as a mono-culture over hundreds of sq.km. of land.

To prepare the land for planting the primary forest is first cut and used to produce pulp. (The mills are designed to use even hard wood initially) The land is then cleared by burning, causing haze in S.E.Asia, before saplings are planted.

Akasia grows to usable size in 7 years and the cycle are repeated. The largest mills use 1500 Cbm of timber a day, just to put the size of the operation into perspective.

But this is not the only problem with pulp mills. They also pollute the air and water in the area where they operate: http://www.beachapedia.org/Pulp_Mills


#38

[QUOTE=Traitor Yankee;192717]This has been ongoing for years, a close friend dived several of these wrecks a few years back and there was a chinese barge working them. The wrecks were covered in blasting cord and explosives. If it can be ascertained who in is charge of the companies doing this I can only hope they end up on the receiving end of a predator drone.[/QUOTE] if you and your friend had knowledge of this the argument could be made you are a accomplice to grave robbing as well. For someone so well versed in stop work authority and maritime professionalism you sure sound like your deserving of a predator drone your self. See something say something capt!. Maybe you and your friend were preoccupied by Lady boys and clouded your judgement.


#39

A Chinese dredger engaged in looting wrecks in Indonesian waters have been detained: http://www.antaranews.com/en/news/110807/indonesia-detains-chinese-flagged-dredger-for-looting-sunken-treasure
Nothing to do with the wrecks mentioned inn this thread however.


#40

Did I ever say I was present thundermeat?

Authorities were and had been notified by more than one party as far as I know.

Now why don’t you take a class in reading comprehension and go fuck yourself while your at it.