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Strange events on Hankley Common

When you walk alone, you can change your mind and deviate from a planned path at will! Walking with a group, we don't often get that luxury.

Anyway, I was out recently when I decided I wanted to find the memorials to the Bossom plane crash in 1932. They were miles from my planned route, but I didn't let that stop me. Nor did I let the soldiers firing upset me. I had carefully checked and there were no red flags nor any posted warnings. (Nor for that matter did anyone worry about me, and the bullet wounds were only scratches! They will soon heal.)

For those of you who don't know, on 27 July 1932, 21-year-old Bruce Bossom was flying a de Havilland DH.80 Puss Moth (G-ABDH) with two passengers. On board were his mother Emily and a friend, 23-year-old Prince Otto Erbach Furstenau. Emily was the wife of Maidstone's M.P. The route was from Heston to Hamble near Portsmouth, and around 6pm they were flying over Hankley Common in the aftermath of a big storm. The plane entered a large black cloud and broke up. A watch found on the Common near the crash stopped at 5.58. The enquiry into the crash could not determine the cause, but a lightning strike was suspected.

On Hankley Common, there are two small memorials in the ground to the exact places where the bodies of Emily and Bruce landed. As far as I know, there is no memorial to where the Prince fell (conspiracy theorists - that in itself is interesting).

What makes this crash interesting was the passenger - a German Prince - Otto Adolf Joseph Emich Alexander, Graf zu Erbach-Fürstenau. Rumours quickly circulated that he was carrying bags of jewels or vast amounts of cash with him on the flight. This led to frequent searches of the area by children, looking for the loot. However, to the best of my knowledge, nothing was ever found. I did my best looking, but the army were on manoeuvres nearby and I didn't want to hang around long!

Have you found any buried treasure on your walks?

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