The Quest: Six Decades of Searching for the MIA

Six decades

It was on a warm spring in 2008 and on board of a huge barge in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, casually camouflaged in his khaki T-shirt, distant from the freshens of the boys surrounding him, stood the archaeologist Eric Emery. Another one of the dozens of characters who previously traveled the same troubled waters, all for the need to understand what nobody knew; and what they didn’t know, they couldn’t imagine.

His journey began almost a decade earlier, when Emery was crossing an alpine lake on a small helicopter, when he was ten thousand miles away. He had prepared his whole life for this mission.

All he knew for certain was the pain and sorrow of the people he was leaving behind; the children, the brothers and the sisters, the families of those who have never returned home, the The Huffington Post reports.

Soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, top-notch air force historians, superhuman forensic scientists and a physicist specialized in “the mystical healing properties of super-oxygenated fields”, related by Wil Hylton in his book “Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search of the Missing Men of WWII”,  have all been pulled together on board of another mind-blowing campaign  headed  to finding the ones who served their country.

He followed the military unit who first came in 1945, trying to find them; he followed that doctor from California who kept returning to the islands for years and years; he followed the special army unit which was later sent together with hundreds of scientists and explorers.

Emery knew the islands well. He knew their stories, their people their unknown. He would never say much and he was unlike the other men on board. While they were young and with their arms bursting muscles, he was craving for the truth he knew was buried under the soft grounds of one of the deepest mysteries of that time. Sometimes, other men would stop to look at him as if they were seeing him for the first time. They often wondered how little they knew about him, if anything at all.

Emery would glare down into the water as if there was some kind of transfer happening between them; a connection that only him could translate and communicate back. His journey to the island marked the end of his own battles. He’s been waiting and pacing about his whole life to the point where he couldn’t even talk about it.

He then knew it was his mission to return to the ones who have been waiting for a return ever since that very first day. Some have been waiting their entire lives for the silent truth hidden in the heart of the island.

Ian Harvey

Ian Harvey is one of the authors writing for WAR HISTORY ONLINE