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The replica of Bluebill (B&W1) sits on the tarmac next to a Boeing 737 showing the magnificent stature of the 1916 biplane.  CLICK HERE to view the gallery page.

A Book & Feature documentary concept by Jon Smyth

The extraordinary story of Bluebill and John Earnshaw’s

‘The Search For Boeing One’.

 

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This document is an introduction to the story of a series of investigations spanning 50 years into the fate of Bluebill, aka “Boeing One”,  the very first airplane designed and built in 1916 by William Edward Boeing who went on to found the world’s largest aerospace manufacturer. Nine years later in 1925, Bluebill, having been purchased in 1918 by The New Zealand Flying School, disappeared in circumstances that have never been satisfactorily explained, leaving it’s legacy cheapened by myth and speculation.

 

The document you are reading is also an introduction to the story behind the 'hijacking' of John Earnshaw's “Search For Boeing One” documentary film:- an  odyssey that began as an intriguing idea in 1978,  led to a treasure hunt for hidden tunnels in 1988, was strangled in red tape in 1990, was stolen and fenced to rivals in 1992 and finally crashed and burned at the Auckland High Court in 2003.

 

Set against a background of local lore, historical research, vested interests and a quest to find or reveal the fate of a now priceless relic, a quest in chapters spanning half a century that ranged from the intrepid to the vainglorious, all of which became lost in a dank maze of enigmatic tunnels under an abandoned coastal fort at the bottom of the world, The Hijack Of Boeing One is a story of mystery, history and hubris weaving into its complicated fabric, revelations,  broken promises, plagiarism and Machiavellian conniving.

 

Between 1978 and 2004, a ‘ripping yarn’ of adventure, ancient airplanes, heroic pioneer aviators and a mystifying labyrinth carved into a dormant volcano became a darker tale about the venal mask of human nature and the eternally churlish scything of tall poppies. 

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