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British Explorer Prepares To Dig Up 140 Mint Condition Spitfires That Were Buried In 1945

•, Robert Johnson
 The rumor wedged itself in his mind and he resisted it for more than 10 years before finally satisfying his curiosity.

The satisfaction didn't come cheap, and over the last 15 years Cundall spent $200,000 of his savings on trips to Myanmar, the country formerly known as Burma, looking for the aircraft before finding them earlier this year. Now he's been given the government's permission to dig them up.

The original find was thought to be about 20 planes, but updated estimates put that number at 140.

So as we wrote when Cundall announced his find, the Spitfires sit still crated, with their wings folded back along their bodies, covered in grease and wax paper and buried in their original shipping crates. Their joints are even tarred and they're expected to be in pristine condition.

The Americans buried the planes, covered them with 40 feet of soil and assumed the British would be back later to dig them up and wipe them off, but the RAF never bothered.

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