27 September 2002, 04:08 AM
Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Schorndorf - Germany
Dear Forumities, Dear Dan-San,
I have been asked by Paul Leaman to post the following for him, which is officially addressed to Dan-San Abbott.
The document concerned is the salvage report on Werner Voß´Fokker triplane.
I have been receiving disturbing reports of a number of curious statements
that you have put out on the 'aerodrome' site. In particular these refer to
my book 'Fokker Aircraft of World War One' and a couple of reports on a
captured triplane that I used in it. In this, I understand that you have
said that the first of these was a copy of one of the Rodney Gerrard reports
and that I had been taken in by its appearance in the files at the PRO.
I ask that you withdraw that mistaken statement and publish a public apology
for its appearance. The report in question was NOT one of the numerous
'Gerrard reports' in my collection but was in fact one that I'd found in the
PRO prior to Rodneys' appearance on the scene. Further, you obviously do NOT
understand the system in use at the PRO in Kew - have you ever been there?
First, it is simply NOT possible to insert a report into their files and
second, Rodney never visited the PRO, his physical conditionwas such that he
was unable to travel. As a matter of interest, I have checked the RAF
records for the names of the various of the various 'Equipment Officers' and
authenticated those that I have used. Finally - on this topic - I am well
versed in research at the PRO and have been visiting there for some thirty
plus years. My files on captured German aircraft are extensive - even though
not as comprehensive as I would wish. I am NOT likely to be taken in by a
spurious official report. Those in Rodney's collection were NEVER 'official
Another point, I understand that you have said that at the meeting at San
Diego, the late night discussion of the Gerrard collection was between,
yourself, myself, Allan Toelle,Greg VanWyngarden and Glen Merrill. Your
memory is totally at fault. Glen Merrill was NOT present on that occasion
and, while I have corresponded with him, have never met him. The decision to
publish the results of Allan's research was taken between myself and Allan
some time AFTER the meeting. I originally sent Allan small samples taken
from the edges of some of the pieces I'd had from Rodney and then, at his
request and after discussion, sent him the entire collection. It was after
Allan had examined these items that we [he and I] took the decision to
publish. You were NOT a party to that decision then or ever.
To say that I am puzzled and hurt by your comments is a great
understatement. They will have hurt my reputation as an historian and my
personal integrity. I had thought that we were friends and would have
expected you to discuss such things with me prior to publication. As it
happens, you have not had the courtesy to contact me on the subject in any
way. You seem to have been carried away by somewhat childish enthusiasm
without a great deal of thought. I must now insist that you completely
withdraw your comments and make a comprehensive apology for what you have
If you do not do so, I shall be forced to consider what formal action I can
take publically to repudiate what you have said and the damage that you have
My worksop is closed to public orders.
I may just sit down and write another book. This time on the whole story ...