Saturday, August 1, 2009


South Australian authorities have recently taken another look at the operation of crematoria, something that wasn’t taken seriously at Auschwitz. Strict conditions apply to crematoria disposing of human and animal remains. Pollution in the form of odour, smoke, greenhouse gases and chemicals is addressed with requirements in the design of crematoria.

My brother lives quite close to Fremantle Cemetery and at odd times we, enjoying a lager out the back of his house, have noticed a smell not unlike that emitting from a McDonalds outlet? Nah; can’t be?

We have made arrangements to install five computers at the Noongar Centre in Albany and will drive down to Albany in about ten days. The director of the centre said it was a good idea and would give bored kids something to do. There have been a number of suicides amongst aboriginal youth in the town. We plan to stay overnight at least and take a lot of photographs of the historic town and maybe catch up with an ex-student who is teaching there.

Albany, like Fremantle, was a U.S. Navy submarine base during the second world war. It was at Albany that test were carried out to prove to navy authorities that early torpedoes were faulty and that many misses were because the torpedoes were running deep and missing targets. See here. Those tests caused the redesign of the Mk XIV torpedo and with that high success rates against Japanese shipping. One of the successful sinkings was that of the Montevideo Maru, a Japanese cargo ship carrying Australian POWs and civilians from the Japanese held New Guinea port of Rabaul en route to Hainan. All prisoners died in the sinking.

To this day there are people who believe that the Montevideo Maru was not carrying Australian prisoners when it was sunk. One suggestion is that they were embarked on the ship at Rabaul and thrown overboard at sea. For those who love such conspiracy theories, you can read more here.

There are calls for a HMAS Sydney type investigation and search for the wreck of the Montevideo Maru. There were more Australian deaths on that ship than on the Sydney.


Anonymous said...

There is no doubt that the Japanese navy threw allied prisoners into the sea when it suited them. See


Rod Miller said...

Having researched the Montevideo Maru for nearly 14 years I personally, don't think there was any conspiracy.

Could I suggest that you read my debunking the theories page

The Rabaul men died when the ship sunk.

There are two aspects of the loss that have never been satisfactorily explained
a) Why were the Japanese moving the older and civilian men from Rabaul to Hainan?
b)the Chifley governments reluctance to bring the affair to a satisfactory closure post war.

Believe it or not the loss of the Rabaul men was also a disaster for the Japanese.

It was all about politics.

Rod Miller