More recently, French scientists said that the place of the crash of the legendary writer Antoine de Saint-Exupery crashed July 31, 1944, finally found. His plane resting on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea near Marseille. The first crash site found the French fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco. In a network with a fish he accidentally found a bracelet on which was engraved the name of the famous writer, his wife's name and the address of the New York publisher, who published "The Little Prince". Fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco told "Izvestia" that at first was nearly thrown overboard chain.
- Yes, I will never forget this day. It was September 7, 1998. We have been in the sea in the "Horizons". This is my ship, it's pretty big - told "Izvestia" fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco. - It was an ordinary day. Somewhere around noon, we pulled out a trawl with fish. The men from my team began to disassemble the fish. One of the fishes seemed to me strange, and I told the sailors to throw it overboard. He began to extricate the fish from the net. Get out, he picked up together with a bunch of algae. And it's worth. I told him: "Throw away", and he told me: "Wait, there's something shiny." We started to dig in the algae. And fished out a chain bracelet. It was very dirty, covered in mud, but through the dirt to be seen, which is a metal plate that something is written, there was engraving.
We've been washed with this bracelet and finally made out the inscription. There have been written literally: «Antoine de Saint-Exupery (Consuelo) - c / o Reynal and Hitchcock Inc. - 386 4th Ave N. Y. City - USA) ». As I learned later, Consuelo - the wife of Saint-Exupéry, and the address - the address of the New York-based publisher of "The Little Prince". It was then that I finally realized that behind the magical discovery I made. Bracelet of course, I have kept, but could not figure out how he ended up in the sea near Marseille.
A little later, a professional diver and diver Luc Vanrel told me that on the day he saw the wreckage, he thinks that this is not a German plane, which we have at the bottom a lot. He had long thought that the airplane of Saint-Exupery, and my discovery confirmed his guess. Then he told the authorities about what he saw at the bottom, and that I found the chain, and then began the study. In my opinion, in 2003, I raised some of the debris that has found Vanrel. And as I found a chain or bracelet Well, then I was kept up to date. So when lifted fragments of the aircraft, also called me. I saw the wreckage. After this discovery, recognized fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco, he decided to read "The Little Prince".
- Of course I knew Saint-Exupéry and earlier - said M. Bianco, - I have read a few books about his life. But after I found the bracelet, I read "The Little Prince". When I started reading the book in the first few minutes it seemed improbable and unreal, that now I'm reading the book of the famous Saint-Exupéry, and recently I found a chain with his name. And then I was very pleased, and I thought perhaps this Saint-Exupéry through me signs to people.
July 31, 1944, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry took off from Corsica at about 8.30. He flew to France, in Provence. He had a reconnaissance mission. He had to make an aerial survey in the area of the Alps, between Grenoble and Lyon. P-38 reconnaissance aircraft remained in control of the US radar almost to the shore, he suddenly disappeared from the radar in the St. Raphael, a small town on the French Riviera.
Since then, military and civilian researchers have tried in vain to solve the mystery of the disappearance and death of Antoine de Saint-Exupery. For a long time was the main version that the writer plane crashed in the Alps. It was only an accidental find fisherman Bianco gave cause for searches in the sea. After Bianco with the same version was made by a diver Luc Vanrel. In May 2000, he stated that on the 70-meter depth found wreckage, perhaps belonged to Saint-Exupery. The remains of the plane were scattered on the runway in the kilometer and 400 meters wide.
Almost immediately, the French government has banned any research in this area. Permission was obtained only in autumn 2003. Experts raised the fragments of the plane. One of them was a fragment of the cockpit, the aircraft survived the serial number: 2734-L. According to the US military archives researchers compared all the numbers of aircraft that disappeared during this period. So it turned out that the on-board serial number 2734-L corresponds to the plane, which is in the US Air Force was listed at No. 42-68223, ie aircraft Lockheed Lightning P-38, driven by the "father", "The Little Prince".
- With the debris of the Lockheed P-38 I have been working since 1997. I researched all the fragments. And only now I managed to find a room - told "Izvestia" Pierre Becker, president of the company "Zheosean", which carried out the underwater part of the research. - It was an incredible stroke of luck, really amazing feeling. For me, this plane - a special story. I grew very fond of Saint-Exupery. I've read all his books and deeply experienced them. And can you imagine what I felt when I saw the number. Despite the fact that I was under the water, I had tears in his eyes. I was so glad that I can finally tell everyone that the plane of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry found. But, unfortunately, we did not know what happened July 31, 1944.
On the plane we found no traces of bullets or other signs of an attack. The military archives there is no evidence that they were shelling or aerial combat that day. Perhaps there was some damage. The only thing we know for sure is that the plane went into the water at high speed, and substantially vertically. At the time of the collision with the water was a blast. The aircraft was completely destroyed. Its fragments are scattered over a vast area under water. And of course, we can say that the pilot was killed in that accident. We have not found any fragment of human remains. The only thing that Antoine de Saint-Exupery, survived the crash - is a silver bracelet, which was found a fisherman. Bracelet lifted from the bottom right next to the crash site. It was another indirect evidence that the aircraft was flown by Saint-Exupery. But to tie the bracelet and the plane, we needed a board room. Now we have it.
Now the writer is the bracelet from his relatives. Fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco hopes. In the near future it will give the find to the museum.