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Desert Travels - Motorcycle Journeys in the Sahara and West Africa!

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  #1  
Old 22 Oct 2003
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WW2 Jeep found in Libyan Desert (?)

Hi
I was just wondering about a newspaper article I read a long time ago about a jeep that was found in Libya when the sand shifted and uncovered it. it had skeletons on board and was 'frozen in time'. it seems it had got lost sometime during WW2.

anyone heard of it? Im curious to know more. I read it about 7/8 years ago I think.

cheers
Karim

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Old 27 Oct 2003
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Hi Karim,

I have not heard about a jeep in Libya - I have heard about a machine-gun found near Zella Mehla - a copy of the info. is below.

------------------------------
Date: Tue, 2 Dec 1997 21:22:02 -0600
From: Peter Kearns <peter@firearms.ab.ca>
Subject: Gun Smuggling, a worldwide problem.......

Skeeter, I submit the following article as a change from the usual
content, although it is gun related......

The following demonstrates the futility of gun control laws and shows
the ingenuity of some very devious Brits. I worked in Libya some years
ago, and saw how a Thompson M1 was smuggled into the U.K. Our EOD
people found the Thompson in an area that was the stomping ground of the
Long Range Desert Patrols. For those not familiar with either the
Southern Sahara or the Libyan desert, an explanation is in order. Tire
tracks from WW2 are clearly visible some 50 years after the cessation of
hostilities, as the desert is not dunes and shifting sand, but is gravel
and compacted grey sand.

The Thompson was found beside fifty year old Brit tire tracks. the
wood was spongy and the action was seized. There was no mag with the
gun. We carefully removed the wood and set the barreled action into
diesel fuel for two months. Then disassembled the gun and gave it a
thorough cleaning. It was obvious that it would never fire again and
one of the Brits wanted it to hang over the fireplace in a pub he owned
in Warwickshire. The gun was totally stripped and eight technicians
each carrying different parts cleared customs in Tripoli, Paris and
London. I was given the task of supplying wooden furniture and a
magazine, (which I did on my next trip).

We actually sat in a corner of the pub and assembled the completed gun,
(also imbibing pints of the local ). Then imbibed in some more
while it was attached to an oak display frame and hung over the
fireplace. The little plate below bore the legend that this relic was
found near Zella Mehla, Libya and was now a deactivated display item...
The gun was British marked and clearly used by the forerunners of the
S.A.S. and IMHO was an historical artifact well worth preserving.

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Old 28 Oct 2003
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Heh-heh- I think this is something I just saw at the "Indiana Jones" ride at Disneyland- old wwII jeep with skeletons. And I think the skeletons jumped out at us.
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Old 28 Oct 2003
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...anyone heard of it? Im curious to know more....


Hi coolkarim !

This may help You

I remenber very well, even I was young, of a jeep told to be found in Great Sand Sea in Libya , early 60. The vehicle recovered after several turns in "Badalucco’s Garage ,located in El Mutanaby street close ex Astra cinema, was entirely rebuilt and painted in “ Metallic Blue “ paint with chrome painted wheels No alloy at time !!

I cannot assure that it was the same vehicle you are enquiring, but the history of this car i s very similar and was reportes at time by the newspapers The jeep was to be found by chance , with skeletons nearby, in good conditions - Surely lost and run out of fuel - Badalucco Angelo, specialised in such works and after becomed the owner, told that the car required only to fit new all the rubber pieces,as tyres, gaskets, and wires , cover seats ecc, all cooked by the heat under the sand. The rest was only checked, and cleaned.

The new use of this jeep was mainly for fun and to reach uncrowded beachs.

After the Revolution, early months of 1970 the car was confiscated by the new governement, as Badalucco Angelo italian citizen resident in Libya was forced to evacuate the country, and parked as many others private cars in a area of Tripoli ‘s harbour called at the time “ Molo sottoflutto” . The rest is unclear, many said that most of this vehicles confiscated where sinked and used for cosruction of a pier as becomed rusty after years of uncovered repair very close to the sea ; others said were all sold on auction sale,anyawy the car was never seen again.

At the time in Tripoli and outside where circulating others willy jeep , coming and sold by the wheelus air base – now Ogba Ben Naafi base - but all could be recognised as such provenance trought the circulation documents.

Hope helps You Budrinna
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Old 29 Oct 2003
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fascinating thanks!
Karim
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