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Secrets of the Dead: Airmen and the Headhunters


Secrets of the Dead is an ongoing PBS television series produced by Thirteen/WNET New York, which began in 2000. The show generally follows an investigator or team of investigators exploring what modern science can tell us about some of the great mysteries of history. Most programs incorporate primary source material, first hand accounts, dramatic reenactments, and computer-generated imagery (CGI) to tell the story.


S9 Ep. 2: The Airmen and The Headhunters (11/11/2009)

A tribe in Borneo protects a shot-down U.S. bomber crew from Japanese occupiers during World War II. The local missionaries, who converted the tribe to Christianity, were executed by the Japanese invaders, who had forced out Dutch and British colonialists, while massacring Borneo natives. A surviving missionary from Indonesia, employed by the Japanese military as an area administrator, outwits Japanese forces by hiding the U.S. airmen deep in a jungle canyon. The local Dayak people risk their lives, and force the occupiers to abandon their hunt for the airmen, using blowpipes and machetes against the Japanese army search parties.

The Airmen and the Headhunters: A True Story of Lost Soldiers, Heroic Tribesmen and the Unlikeliest Rescue of World War II

November 1944: Army airmen set out in a B-24 bomber on what should have been an easy mission off the Borneo coast. Instead they found themselves unexpectedly facing a Japanese fleet—and were shot down. When they cut themselves loose from their parachutes, they were scattered across the island’s mountainous interior. Then a group of loincloth-wearing natives silently materialized out of the jungle. Would these Dayak tribesmen turn the starving airmen over to the hostile Japanese occupiers? Or would the Dayaks risk vicious reprisals to get the airmen safely home? The tribal leaders’ unprecedented decision led to a desperate game of hide-and-seek, and, ultimately, the return of a long-renounced ritual: head-hunting.


A cinematic survival story that features a bamboo airstrip built on a rice paddy, a mad British major, and a blowpipe-wielding army that helped destroy one of the last Japanese strongholds, The Airmen and the Headhunters is a gripping, you-are-there journey into the remote world and forgotten heroism of the Dayaks.

Murdered Christian missionaries killed by the Japanese. 

Attack Force Z (1982, Australia)

Small unit consisting five men is dispatched from submarine in kayaks and lands on one of the islands on Southwest Pacific. The men are commandos from Z Special Force (a joint Australian, British and New Zealand commando unit) and their mission is to find survivors from American plane that crashed on the hill somewhere on the island.

Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on November 7, 2017 at 1:00 PM 76 Views