A Danish teen working on a history project decided to do a little investigating in his own backyard — and ended up unearthing one of the more surprising World War II discoveries in recent history.
Daniel Rom Kristiansen recently received history homework about World War II and mentioned it to his father, Klaus. The 14-year-old wasn’t looking for extra work, but he got some when his dad suggested they look for an old plane rumoured to have crashed in the family field, reports the Telegraph.
According to Klaus’s grandfather, a German plane went down over the family farmland in late 1944. Klaus had always dismissed the story as one of his grandfather’s wild tales, but still though it would be a fun to go and have a look with his son.
The Kristiansens headed out to the field with a metal detector but, according to the BBC, never expected to find a thing.
But find something they did. After receiving signals from the metal detector, the pair borrowed a neighbour’s excavator and began turning up bits and pieces of the plane about six metres down.
At firsts there wasn’t much, but then they found the engine of the ME 109 Messerschmitt plane that had been buried in the dirt for some 72 years.
“He was telling a lot of stories, my grandfather, Klaus told the BBC. “Some of them were not true, and some of them were true – but this one was true. Maybe I should have listened to him a bit more when he was alive!”
Further digging uncovered the bones of someone on board who had died in the crash. There was clothing bearing swastikas, books, a wallet, money and enough ammunition to warrant a visit from local bomb disposal experts. The artifacts have been passed on to a local museum.
Klaus told CNN that he had never bothered to search for the plane before because his grandfather had told him the German occupying forces had removed it shortly after the crash.
If it hadn’t been for high school homework, the incredible find might have laid buried forever.