During Hike For School Project, 14-Year-Old Helps Unravel Unsolved Mystery From WWII [video]

Updated March 16, 2017

 

A fourteen-year-old Danish boy made an archaeological discovery that could build a career for any professional historian.

While doing some research for a school project, he and his father stumbled upon the remains of a World-War-II-era plane. But even that was not the most remarkable part of a story you will not believe until you watch this video clip from CNN.

Daniel Kristiansen may well need to change his name to Young Indiana Jones after making a remarkable discovery with his father.

While working on a homework project, Daniel and his father, Klaus, went into a field near their home in Denmark with a metal detector. He was supposed to be researching World War II and thought that it might be interesting to see if he could find any relics.

His dad thought that during the war a German plane had crashed in the field in 1944, but also that the German army recovered it before the end of the occupation. He was wrong. Dead wrong.

Instead of finding small bits and pieces, the young Dane began to unearth larger portions of a crashed Messerschmitt 109.

Using a metal detector and a shovel, Daniel began to find tatters of cloth and then, remarkably, bone.

Speaking with CNN, Daniel said “At first, we were digging up a lot of dirt with metal fragments in it. Then, we suddenly came across bones and pieces of clothes. It was like opening a book from yesterday.”

His father was shocked. According to Klaus Kristiansen, his own father had witnessed the crash near the family home during the war, but in later accounts, had always claimed the wreckage and pilot were recovered by the German Army before the war ended.

Daniel has handed his remarkable discovery over to the Historical Museum of Northern Jutland, where they will use serial numbers, and personal effects and forensic evidence to determine the pilot’s identity. They will then repatriate the remains and notify any living relatives.

Museum curator Torben Sarauw hypothesizes that the doomed aircraft originated from a training base in Aalborg, Denmark, not far from the crash site.

The terrifying Messerschmitt Me 109 was the centerpiece of the German Airforce, or Luftwaffe, during World War II. It flew its first combat missions over the skies of Spain in service of fascist dictator Francisco Franco. He was a minor general who helped overthrow the government and seized power. His enemies made up of Spanish republicans, socialists, and volunteers from around the world, suffered terribly at the Nazi-backed regime’s hands.

Later, the Me 109 would serve as a bomber escort as fascist Germans rained terror over civilian targets such as London and Stalingrad. It would also intercept Allied bombers and cut through their ranks as they attempted to liberate Europe from the clutches of fascism. This fearsome aircraft was responsible for more aerial kills than any other plane of World War II.

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