Posted by Lex, on August 12, 2008
Witch doctor, US Navy save hiker
A MELBOURNE lawyer who became seriously ill while hiking on the Kokoda Trail was guarded by a witch doctor in a remote Papua New Guinea village until she was rescued by the US Navy.
Debra Paver had seizures and fell into a coma on the trail last week.
While she clung to life, a woman witch doctor brandishing a machete watched over her…
At the request of the US embassy in Port Moresby, a helicopter was sent on Friday from the ship.
The helicopter landed on a small patch of land in the mountains in thick fog at 1800 metres.
Ms Paver, 44, of Brighton East, was flown to the USNS Mercy and admitted to the intensive care unit where she began to recover from hyponatremia, low sodium levels in the blood.
Join the Navy, see the world. Provide material support to Papua New Guinian witch doctors.
Some guys will do anything for a little liberty.
Update: As Sim points out in comments, the Mercy’s CO has his own blog and talks about the event. Cool.
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By lex, on March 4th, 2011
Perspicacious readers will have by now noted that your hosts store of “there I was” stories of naval derring-do have, well: diminished. Either through the telling, distance or the egregious assaults made by father time upon our brain cells.
So we’re offering up a guest posting position to one Whisper, active FA-18 pilot and patriot. See how that goes.
So without further ado, here y’are.
It is where ships go to die.
Forrestal and Saratoga are unrecognizable.
Constellation arrived a couple of weeks ago.
The three Good Ships I made cruises on are in the queue. Independence, Ranger and Kitty Hawk.
Old friends they are to so many who chose the sea.
The times are indeed, a changing.
“Goldie, how many times have I told you guys that I don’t want no horsin’ around on the airplane?” The words came from B-52 Aircraft Commander Major Kong in the dark movie Dr. Strangelove in response to being apprised by Lt. Goldie, his radio operator, that Wing Attack Plan R for Romeo was in effect. Nuclear war with the Rooskies.
Slim Pickens (Major Kong) and his crew get ready to go toe to toe with nukes. And before they can be recalled the CRM 114 radio that should receive the message calling off the attack destroys itself, and Major Kong’s crew becomes the opening act to World War III.
I don’t propose at all that I am an expert on the CRM 114, in fact it doesn’t exist. It was made up for the movie, although we all know there has to be some device or devices like it out there. Continue reading
Having served in Independence and Ranger, this does tug at the heart strings a bit. I did serve in those years with men who were aboard Forrestal during the tragedy of 1967.
The Navy has paid one cent under a contract to have the 60-year-old vessel dismantled by All Star Metals in the Gulf port of Brownsville.
I’m currently reading Theodore Roscoe’s United States Submarine Operations In World War 2. This particular edition was probably a first edition published in 1949(!) by the United States Naval Institute Press. It’s even looks like it was published in 1949:
From the preface:
This volume is not the official operational history. Strictly speaking, it is not a history, nor is it to be studied as such. Herein, in the narrative form, the reader will the inspiring saga of submarining. For the student, the technical side is featured. And many aspects of submarine warfare which would ordinarily be excluded from a purely historical text are detailed and discussed.
It’s in my care for now, on loan from the Pritzker Military Library. I wanted to see if there are historical parallels between the sub campaign in the pacific to seeing how reasonable it would be to use SSNs/SSKs to contain the PLAN within the first island chain.
Going through the first chapter I found this enclosed in the book:
It’s an unknown newspaper clipping detailing the moorings of Pearl Harbor on the morning of December 7, 1941 at 7:55am.
The other side of the clipping features an ad for a book called “Home Before Dark” by Eileen Bassing. According to a quick Google search it was first published in 1957.
That leads me to believe the map and newspaper were published in 1957.
The map itself is very interesting as it details most of the ships in port and even tells I what some witnesses were doing moments before the attack.
Even more unusual, the paper left a stain on the page which makes me believe maybe it hasn’t been seen since 1957. Who knows.
Anyway, this is a treasure map and maybe, if the reader know more than I, of some historical significance.
Just amazing…you never know what you’re going to in and on these books.
We had a great time there last night, with Mary, Beth, her husband Armando, Padre Harvey and his bride Tamara, Dwight, and Patrick. I only got two pics to come out, but hopefully Beth can get the pics Mary took, and Patrick needs to forward a few. Dwight too, for that matter.
Much Guinness and a fair amount of Jameson (and the odd gin and tonic) and some fantastic stories from Mary. Lots of hugging, laughing, and just plain fun.
It was a hoot. I’ve been to quite a few blog inspired meet ups over the years, and it’s always amazing how you meet people for the first time, and you pick up your previous online conversations without a break. If you’ve never done one, you really should do so.
Padre Harvey kicked it off with a very nice invocation. He also said something that touched Mary. Pointing to the seemingly sparsely populated venue, he stressed that every seat there was filled, by you, dear Lexicans, in spirit.
And I’ll never hear the song “Roxanne” the same way again (inside joke).