In March 2008 a human skull was found in a forest by some children in Ulestraten (Holland). The children also found live ammunition that was later removed by the EOD. According to Internet sources the forensic institute confirmed that the skull dated form the Second World War period and most likely belonged to a German soldier.
The skull was in a plastic bag along with grenades. The local police suspected that the remains were excavated by a collector probably feared of getting caught.
Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) has the same presumption. Actually, we believe that the finder has "re-buried" the remains near the initial recovery site.
This suspicion derives from the fact that the re-burial took place near a WWII German artillery position (probably Heeresgruppe B, 6. Armee).
First of all; Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) disapproves the re-burial of the human remains substantially. It would have been better to report during the discovery. The excavation by a non-professional person may have caused the loss of important clues. The fieldgrave will be irreparably damaged and we suspect that there may have been attributes stolen like the erkennungsmarke (dogtag), personal belongings and personal standard equipment.
Even more serious is the fact that the finder also left live ammunition (3 hand grenades according to most sources). Fortunately, nothing happened, but this could have been different. A hand grenade, even after 65 years, is still very dangerous.
We recommend that the original finder or other persons who have information, to come forward and inform your local police.
This discovery gained our interest. Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) would like to perform an more thorough investigation to this piece of forest. A number of steps must follow before we can even make a try.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
An e-mail is sent to the general e-mail address of the Region Limburg-South Police. In this e-mail the following questions were asked to the police corps;
> Is metal detection research carried out on and in the direct vicinity of the site just after the discovery?
> Is it allowed for Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) to, in cooperation with the police, perform a "verify search" on site?
Monday, September 29, 2008An acknowledgment of the Region Limburg-South police with information that our request has been forwarded to Region Heuvelland.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Until this date, no response per telephone or e-mail with any answers to our questions. It's now almost three months later and perhaps our request ended at the bottom of the "more urgent requests" pile. We decide to again draw attention to our requests by responding to the earlier received acknowledgement e-mail.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
07:15 - An acknowledgment from the Region Limburg-South police, with information that our request has been forwarded to Region Heuvelland again.
10:00 - The mobile phone rings. Private number appears in the display. It's a employee from Region Heuvelland Police with apologies for the fact that Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) wasn't contacted after the first request. The gentleman is able to tell that the hand grenades are certainly from WWII, but the skull is definitely not! According to his information, the skull is from the War Against Spain (80-year War (1568-1648)). The War Against Spain is not our goal. With this message, Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) will no longer put effort in further investigating this skull.
16:00 - Again, the cell phone says private number on the display. Again it's a employee from Region Heuvelland police, with the apologies that Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) wasn't contacted after the first request. According to this man; the grenades found, are from WWII, but the skull is certainly not!. The skull was reconstructed by a hobbyist and was definitely not much older than 40 years. That must have been around 1970. A quick calculation provides a difference of at least 322 years with the four hours earlier told story about the Spain War! Again, we indicate that the 70's are not our goal.
A number of questions begin to arise;
Who discards a 320-year-old skull together with WWI grenades in a plastic bag in a forest?
Why do internet publications report stories about a German WWII skull?
Who reconstructs a 40 years old skull?
Why is there at least 322 years difference between two stories of people who are working in the same department?
In short: Our research is still in full swing ...
Friday, January 30, 2009
Due to the fact that Region Heuvelland Police could give no clear answer about the exact era the skull was from, we decide to contact the Dutch Forensic Institute. Of course we hope for a positive response from the NFI. After research on their Internet site, we can't find any information about the skull from Ulestraten.
In the e-mail, we ask whether the NFI can give answers about the time period of the skull. We also mention that there was already contact with the local police, and indicate that their answer was not entirely satisfactory. Also we provide some details of what our foundation does.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
An e-mail from the Dutch Forensic Institute with the message that they do not provide any information on investigations. They advise us to contact the police or the Ministry.
This is what Stichting Missing In Action (MIA) was afraid of. We understand that information regarding research content will not be shared. But; if you don't try, you've got a "no" for sure....