Southern Patrol – 2015

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” was a success, as always.  We met with old friends and met new friends alike, and all the while learning true and honest history.  Join us in our photos as we walk in the footsteps of history but before we begin, take a moment to read what GREG LUTTON, Member #7848 said about this “Patrol“.
“I will sign off with another endorsement of the Southern Patrol Tour.  First of all, a big thank you to you and your family for making it all possible.  As I previously said, we saw history that had been unlocked for us – something that other folks will never see on any mainstream tour of Germany and Austria.  Then there was the people, places we stayed and of course the food and the beer.  This tour was so unique and tailored for people who are interested in REAL history, not the mainstream fables.  Then there was Ulrichsberg – I met some of the most courageous, honorable men ever to wear a uniform.  All in all, this was something I will remember for the rest of my life.  It was more than a tour, it was an event.
Harry, it was a pleasure meeting you and the other Patrollers.  I had a better time than I imagined and all set in the most picture postcard scenery in Europe and in the world”
GREG came all the way from Australia to be with our “Patrol“.  Start making plans to be with us for next year’s “Southern Patrol“.

MÜNCHEN!  It means “Place of the Monks” but it means so much more.  This was the birthplace of the Third Reich and let us not forget Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest party.  It really is much more than that – it began as the wedding feast of Prince Ludwig before he was King Ludwig, and it is a celebration of the München brewed beers.
LISA HECKMAN, Member #7922 wrote this:
“I immensely enjoyed the tour and appreciate all that I learned.”
 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
München!
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” was a success, as always.  We met with old friends and met new friends alike, and all the while learning true and honest history.  Join us in our photos as we walk in the footsteps of history.

MÜNCHEN!  Officially, it means “Place of the Monks” but it means so much more.  This was the birthplace of the Third Reich and let us not forget Oktoberfest, the world’s biggest party.  It really is much more than that – it began as the wedding feast of Prince Ludwig before he was King Ludwig, and it is a celebration of the München brewed beers.

On the previous page and below we see LISA HECKMAN, Member #7922 in front of the Rathaus (City Hall) where each day at 11am and again at 12 noon the dancers whirl to the music of the band while the Bavarian knight in his white and powder blue defeats the red knight.  In hundreds of years, the red knight has never beaten the Bavarian knight.  Join us for the sights and sounds of München.

As we walk up to Fenlherrenhalle, there is a fair going on.The red circle indicates the area where the 9 November 1923 “Beer Hall Putsch” ended.  The marchers, led by Adolf Hitler with General Ludendorf and Hermann Göring, walked right up to the Bavarian police machine guns in the hopes of converting them to their cause.  That plan failed and many of the protesters were killed while Hitler and General Ludendorf were arrested.  We were there in the footsteps of history.
The two rows above and below are general scenes in München from the days of the Reich.  It is not necessary to label them.  Just being there, taking our own photos….travelling in the tunnels of time – incredible!
The building at the right is a major factor in this history.  This is the apartment of the niece of Adolf Hitler, Geli Rabaul in the red circle.  It is also the apartment where she was found dead, shot to death in suicide.  Some question if it really was suicide.

It is not possible to go into this apartment as it is sealed off even to this day by the police.

BOB JOHNSTON, Member #2025 has the pistol used to kill Geli.  He is about to publish a book about that gun at the end of 2015.

Off to Oktoberfest!
These revelers – left and two photos below – are on their way to Oktoberfest and by the look of them, they have been celebrating already.  The girl in the photo below appears to be quite ‘relaxed‘.  That empty beer bottle in her hand might have something to do with it.
to the Hofbräuhaus………
The red circle tells us we are near……..…..and here we are!
During the two week-long time of Oktoberfest, München is a madhouse of people from everywhere – from all over, and the streets, roads, avenues and the entire city itself is jammed to overflowing.  After unsuccessfully trying to find a parking place even halfway near the world famous Hofbräuhaus, the best we could do was to park FOUR MILES away and take the train in.  Every part of Germany has excellent rail transportation so it was quick and easy to get here.

With all the hoopla, bands and revelers – we must wonder if any but a small number of people really know the history of this place.  Most seemed to see it as a great place for food, beer and fun.  However, it was here in this very building that Adolf Hitler and other Party leaders gathered, made speeches and planned the course of the Third Reich.

Let’s go in and soak up all the history – not to mention some great German food and beer.

As we see here, the food is great, the beer flows freely and the fellowship can’t be beat.

Were you here with us?  If not, you missed a fantastic time.

In the upper room……….most are not aware
In this third floor room seen above that seats about 800 and from this stage came many speeches of Adolf Hitler during his rise and again when in power.

Were you with us?

The spirit of Oktoberfest appears to be spilling over to the entire city of Munich/München.  It is a nation-wide celebration with visitors from around the globe.

If you missed being with us this year, don’t miss in 2016.

München as seen through the camera lens of LISA HECKMAN, Sharkhunters Member #7922.

Click on this photo of LISA to join us.  At the end of that photo tour, just click BACK on your browser to come back to the main menu for our 2015 “Southern Patrol“.

 

 

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Nürnberg
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” was a a time to meet with old friends and met new friends alike, and all the while learning true and honest history.  Join us in our photos as we continue to walk in the footsteps of history.

When we arrived in Ingolstadt, just outside Nürnberg, there was a fair in progress with lots of great items for sale.

Since there is a fair we have to buy souvenirs, look at everything and naturally eat and have a beer……..or two.

Over the River………
…………….and into the altstadt (the old city)

This, like so many old German cities, just oozes charm and one can easily lose themselves in the ambience.

There is an old fortress and this one has been turned into the Bavarian Army Museum.  It is here the remaining treasures of our friend ERICH TOPP, Member #118, were brought for safe keeping after his house was broken into and priceless relics were stolen including the Honors Dagger presented to him by Großadmiral Erich Raeder as well as the presentation document for the Crossed Swords to his Knights Cross with the Oak Leaf.  These items have never surfaced since they were stolen from ERICH some 15 or more years ago.

This fortress has beautiful formal gardens that we stroll through.

 The formal gardens are magnificent.

……….ah, the food!  We never tire of the great German food.

Wienerschnitzel with potato saladA vegetarian dish…..how did that get on this page?

Naturally, where there is food there is beer – especially in Germany.

LISA HECKMAN, Member #7922
sees the camera watching her.
Look at that wink…….
LISA has that beer on the run.
She is getting ready to attack that beer!Wait one more minute and then PROST!
AHA!  Down the hatch with that beer.
While we all cheered LISA on to victory over that beer, I was doing my best to keep my blood sugar just short of critical mass.  WOW!  They have great ice cream in Europe.

If you had been with us, you could have attacked and defeated a beer yourself, or just relaxed with a massive ice cream sundae.  This one is called ‘Heise Liebe‘ which means ‘Hot Love‘ and it consists of three scoops of vanilla ice cream covered with hot raspberries with a mountain of whipped cream on the top and of course – a cherry.  This beats the hell out of a beer!

Churches are everywhere.

Onward to the historic places in Nürnberg…………..

Before we depart our hotel, we have to have a good breakfast and take a look at this breakfast buffet!  Our Sharkhunters “Patrols” always remember that an army marches on its stomach and if the tummy is happy, everything will go smoothly.  Is your mouth watering yet?

Let’s go – it is time to walk back in history.

   
GREG emailed us when he returned to his home and said:
“Let me tell you, I had the greatest time on the tour.  We saw history that has been locked in a time warp, opened for our eyes.  It was fantastic and if I’m really good for the next year, I might just be back for the next one.  You have some really nice people in Sharkhunters and I met a few of them!”

LISA HECKMAN, Member #7922 wrote this:
“I immensely enjoyed the tour and appreciate all that I learned.”

This is the door all the way at the top of the tribunal at Zeppelnfeld and only Adolf Hitler was allowed to use this door.  He would come out through this door after being ‘fashionably late’ when the crowd was in a frenzy to see him.  It is not possible for anyone to go through these doors now, as they have been welded shut.

Here we see GREG LUTTON, Member #7848 (g’day mate), LISA HECKMAN, Member #7922 and CHRIS REITCI, Member #7687 and his wife Jenny.

Now it is time to go down to the podium where the speeches were made.

Let me say a big VIELEN DANK! (Many thanks) to our good friend HOLGER WEINBERGER, Member #7589 for being our guide in this beautiful city.  He usually assists our friend MICHAEL KAISER, Member #6166 but MICHAEL is now an Oberstleutnant (Lieutenant Colonel) in the army and he had military duty this day.  HOLGER did a great job for us – Danke HOLGER.

It is time for Mittagessen – lunch; and we go to what is called “Hitler’s Train Station“.  This is the actual train station where Hitler would get off the train when he was to make a speech at Zeppelnfeld.  It was behind the stadium and far out of sight of the massive crowds waiting for his speeches.  We have our lunch here every time we are in Nürnberg and it is great that they keep the place looking as it did some eighty years ago.  It truly IS a trip through the tunnels of time…..and the food is really great as well.

There are many murals on the walls as we see above, depicting the very old history of Nürnberg.

In many of the former waiting rooms, we see the old shelves with old suitcases and if your imagination has any power at all, you can hear the thunder of the old steam locomotives rushing past, smell the smoke from the engine and hear the clatter of the wheels…..all this is now gone into history.

On our way to the next historic place, we pass this monument –

     

This is the Luftwaffe Memorial and you will note that it has the appearance of a crashed plane with the wings on the ground and the tail high in the air.  Luftwaffe Memorial you ask?  How is it that such a Memorial exists in today’s Germany?  Note at the lower left of the Memorial in the photo right; it covers the years 1914 to 1918 (World War One) and on the lower right it covers 1939 to 1945 (World War Two).  This Memorial was here before WW II began as a Memorial to the WW I fliers and so was allowed to remain.

The Congressehalle is next on our list and it has quite a history.  It is built in more a circular shape like the Amphitheater in Rome, but the Amphitheater could easily fit INSIDE the Congressehalle.  This was going to be a massive office complex for Third Reich Party functionairres with a massive glass dome over the courtyard where we are standing.  Note the school groups on an apparent field trip learning how evil were their grandparents………this is a common occurrence.  We are pretty certain that the teachers never mention that this place was used as a field hospital toward the end of the war and when the US Army took control of the Congressehalle at the German surrender, they found 17 wounded soldiers of the Waffen SS in the hospital.  They were unceremoniously taken into this courtyard and shot.  We doubt that the teachers even know this.

If you look closely at the photo in the center panel of this display, you can see what the Congressehalle would look like when finished.
There is talk that the Congressehalle will be completed in the next years to be used as offices, but there does not appear to be any progress as yet.We jokingly decided that this fellow was a spy because he was dressed in black from head to foot with a black overcoat and hat – the typical impression of a comic book spy.  Who knows – he was probably a violin teacher from the local symphony……
This fancy entrance was the entrance only for Adolf Hitler.  We guess that he did not like standing in line with the crowds……

This place is massive and the craftsmanship is magnificent, as one would expect from Germany.

…..on the where the ‘Death Ceremony’ was conducted.

At the Party Rallies, there was the long ceremonial walk by Hitler flanked by two top Party men through the hundreds of thousands troops to this structure where the ceremony was held.

And now it is time for snacks……………more ice cream!

The weather was fantastic, as we note in the photos above
and we sat outside to enjoy our ‘Heise Liebe’.  Well, I did.If this church to the right looks familiar, it certainly should.  In the incredible film “Triumph of the Will” produced by LENI RIEFENSTAHL, Member #3157, we see this church as the marchers and motorcade come through this plaza.  It was called Adolf Hitler Platz back then but the name has been changed several times in the past 70 or 80 years.

For our lunch HOLGER took us to a great micro-brewery named Krokodil (crocodile).  The food and ambience were great, but we didn’t have the heart to tell them that their mascot hanging in the main room is an alligator, not a crocodile.

HOLGER gave us a tour of a 13th Century watch tower that now contains a museum.  We climbed level after level until we were at the top and we could look over the city.  The chill wind whipped through the open places and we needed to button up our jackets as we looked over the ancient city laid out below us.

If you look closely in the far distance we see the castle of Nürnberg.  This was actually three castles together.  At the left is the castle of the Kaiser then the castle of the Burggraf and also that of Nürnberg.  The tall tower at the right of the castle was so that the people in that section of the castle could look down on the ones in the other castle.  Okay, they didn’t have cable TV back then – they had to do something…..In this view, we can see the ancient city wall and there is another building of some interest.  You will note the red building in the center of the photo – that is one of the local ‘Happy Houses‘ where lonely men – with money – can go for companionship or whatever it’s called.

It is evening now and MICHAEL is off duty and so gives us a tour of the very special room in the Rathaus – City Hall.  In the left photo we see how horribly devastated this building was during the war, but it is now rebuilt and is magnificent.  This is not just some meeting room in some city hall; these is incredible history here.  Treaties were signed here; dinners were held here between warring factions to seal peace.  We are not referring to the 20th Century – we refer to wars hundreds of years ago that were concluded with peace talks in this very room – and Sharkhunters are here, thanks to MICHAEL and HOLGER.

As we wrap up our visit to this extremely historic ancient city, we have our goodbye dinner…..in a Spanish restaurant in the altstadt of Ingolstadt.

We must sleep well because tomorrow we drive all the way south through Bavaria into Österreich – Austria.  The old name means ‘Eastern Kingdom’.

We must pass through the same mountain passes that faced Julius Caesar; caused hardships for Hannibal with his elephants as they came to fight the Romans in the Punic Wars…….this area is jam-packed with thousands of years of history and we pass castles along the way as well.  Keep the camera ready!

 

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Österreich
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” now takes us through the magnificent Bavarian Alps, across the border into Österreich.  This is German and it means “Eastern Kingdom“.  To us it means Austria, and the Austrian Alps are just as beautiful.

The drive south…..

We stopped for our lunch break along the way
The scenery here will take your breath away – come on guys, look at the Alps not LISA.  These are the same Alps that felt the footsteps of the Roman legions as well as the elephant troops of Hannibal from Carthage.

The castle in the photo below is just off the Autobahn and there is a small parking place for cars to pull off so that people may take photos.

Our lunch is finished and we have full tummies, so we head south.

…..and we arrive at our home in Austria; Hotel Gretl
Check in herethe lobby

With check-in complete, we set out on a three-hour tour.

We are told that people come from all over Europe to be married in this little church.  It is considered to be good luck.
Before you start singing that theme song, we are not on the SS MINNOW with Gilligan, the Skipper too – the millionaire and his wife, the movie star, the professor and Maryann…..here on Gilligan’s Isle.

We are on the sightseeing boat on the beautiful Worthersee and our cameras are taking it all in.  These are just a few of the shots we got on this crystal clear Alpine lake.

At the Marinekameradschaft – it means more or less the Navy League and we are invited for a luncheon of fellowship, visiting with old friends and meeting new ones.

Before we go into the luncheon we pass the emblem of the city of Klagenfurt, the dragon.  Local legend says that this dragon was once alive in medieval times and it roamed all over Europe.  The dragon could eat only virgins so when it got here, the poor thing just starved to death!

The legend goes on to say that if a virgin would walk past the statue, the tail would wag.  They say it has not moved in more than fifty years.

As we enter the clubroom, we get an idea
why the poor dragon starved to death…..
KARL-HEINZ FISTER, Member #7729, Präsident of the MK;
HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE, Sharkhunters President;
ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684 the Austrian Australian
What an honor!  KARL-HEINZ pinned this stickpin (needle in German) on COOPER, making him an honorary member of the Marinekameradschaft there in Klagenfurt.  It is huge honor.
Peter is a Doctor of LawWith PAUL RÖSCH, Member #7019.  He was Oberleutnant and a tank commander with the 5th SS. He’s approaching his 97th birthday and that is his Italian lady friend between him and COOPER.
COOPER has not shrunk and is not standing in a hole.  He is still 5′ 10″ tall but RICHARD STURM, Member #7807 at the left in this photo and his friend at the right, are just gigantic.  There are more guys this huge here; they just stay away from the camera.

It is great that they remember the old Germanic ways but even better, these men form more or less the Praetorian Guard for the old veterans to protect them from attacks by nutjobs such as Antifa.  Can you imagine trying to get past a group of these guys to attack the old veterans?  Talk about a death wish………

Don’t smoke in the MK headquarters or the lion will get you.

A short editorial here by Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE.  For military veterans in most countries, we have our clubs such as the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars etc. and we have our club HQ usually in a prominent place.  The national flag is flying outside and in the case of the American veterans, we have the POW/MIA Flag just beneath the American Flag.  At the American Legion Post in my town there is a huge sign proclaiming this is an American Legion post and there is a Huey helicopter out front.  Most Legion and VFW posts have a helicopter, a tank, a field artillery piece or some type of military hardware out front.

That is not allowed in Germany or Austria.  This MK meets in a converted coal bin in the basement of an office building.  It has been cleaned up and refurnished beautifully, but you will not see a huge sign out front.  There is no flag waving, no tank or chopper or field piece……….or anything.  Think about that, especially if you are a veteran.

…………and now, the Fellowship Evening; random photos of a great time

The ‘Flame of Flanders‘ is well representedOur friend PETER STOCKNER, Member #6894 taking photos
This man had very rare books for saleOur friend PAUL RÖSCH, Member #7019 of the 5th SS
GREG LUTTON, Member #7848;
ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684
and HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE whose medals are:
1. Stickpin of the Marinekameradschaft, Klagenfurt;
2. The Ulrichsberg Cross in Gold;
3. 2015 Ulrichsburg Participation Pin;
4. Landesehrenzeichen of Salzburg in Gold;
5. Landesehrenzeichen of Kärnten in Gold.These are all extremely important and worn by COOPER with deep respect and honor for all.
They sure moved a lot of beer this nightThe ‘Praetorian Guard’ has their own section
Some artifacts given to COOPER by PRUEGL
For those who do not know, even though they may not make a big display of it, clubs and associations are allowed for the Heer (Army), the Kriegsmarine (Navy) and the Luftwaffe (Air Force) but since the Waffen SS was declared a ‘criminal organization‘ they are not allowed to have such clubs – out in the open.

And so the 4th branch of the German military calls itself ‘Kameradschaft IV‘ or simply ‘K4‘ which is pronounced ‘Kah Fear‘ so if you hear anyone talking about ‘Kah Fear‘ you will understand.

What is so unusual about this situation is that this table flag was brought here by a group of Syrians who are here every year.  Very impressive.

Ulrichsberg Memorial
This is the high point of our Southern Patrol – this is why we are here.  These veterans and others are here to remember all who fell in battle no matter what uniform or under which Flag they fought.  It is incredibly moving.

All is in readiness for this beautiful day……….

Above – the band is ready with powerful music;
Above right – only a very small police presence is necessary
Right – ERNST PRUEGL, Member #7684 is making the banners ready.

Police presence is small because the Antifa nitwits who generally try to disrupt this beautiful meeting are busy helping people come into Western Europe illegally so there is no need for police here…..and the police are where the Antifa idiots are to keep them from hurting themselves.  They are not all that intelligent.

Masses of people are arriving……….………….meeting old friends

……….all is in readiness with these beautiful wreathes

Our dear friend WOLF-DIETER RESSING, Member #7220 with his adorable little grandson, who is a bit shy.Once Jenny Reitci gave him a pen and some paper,
he was a much more comfortable.
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Before the Memorial begins, we meet with old friends.
Above – the mayor of Redipuglia, Italy and his lovely wife.
Below – with the policeman in charge of the security.
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Once inside, the services begin…..
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President Hermann Kandussi begins the programA priest celebrates Holy Mass
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The mayor of Redipuglia talks of cooperation between Ulrichsberg and his town, where one of the biggest and bloodiest battles of World War One took place between the Austrian and the Italian troops.  We visit his town and we can still see the slit trenches, the bunkers and the biggest war memorial in all of Europe.

It was in this battle that Oberleutnant Erwin Rommel earned his Blue Max.
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As we depart, we say goodbye to NILS LARISCH, Member #7808 and his lady.  Now we are off to lunch

LUNCH in the ALPS – INCREDIBLE!  Great food, breathtaking view and good fellowship.

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What a place!  Incredible view, great food and – uh oh, if you order the venison it might not be good for Bambi’s father here.15SoPatUG9
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The view up here in the high Alps is incredible!
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Sadly, our time in Austria is coming to a close…..for this year, but we will return in 2016.  Hope you can join us.

Now on to a castle in the sky ………………

 

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
at the Castle…
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” has to have a visit to a castle, so we are here at the Castle Hochosterwitz on a beautiful sunny Austrian day.  Join us in our photos as we walk in the footsteps of history.

One thing about our Sharkhunters – they are tough!  The lift was out of service the day we were here so we walked the whole way up the mountain doggone near into the clouds!  Come with us now – it will be a lot easier for you to travel with us on your computer.

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We begin………….…….will we really make it to the top?
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The second gate………….……..so far, so good
15SoPatUH5Two more gates and we are still moving uphill

 

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15SoPatUH21This is where the witches would be sitting – if there are any witches on the grounds.
15SoPatUH18If we look over the railing in the “zur Hexe” photo above, we see that we are a very long way up in the sky…..but as seen to the left, we still have a long way to go to reach the top.

Foreign invaders in medieval times never even got this far up the trail.  This fortress is incredible when considered from the standpoint of the 16th Century.  As long as they had food and water, they could hold out forever.

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Getting closer and closer…………………climbing higher and higher
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Along the way up the mountain, we come across this cryptand this is the bronze plaque on the grave.
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Still climbing…………….

 

And here, way up on top of the clouds, is a beautiful garden.  It was in such a garden that the Baron and his family relaxed.  Five or six hundred years ago – what else could they do?  No television, DVDs, cell phones – nothing, so they relaxed in such places and they read a lot.  This is a very peaceful garden,

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…….and on we go, climbing even higher and higher.

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How many more gates are there?Seems like a thousand
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We are almost to the top and we come across this ancient cannon.  As a former weapons expert in the military, I’m not sure I would want to be standing anywhere near this thing when it was fired!15SoPatUH42
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………..almost to the top!We have arrived in the upper garden of the castle
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Up these ancient steps to the courtyardThe family crest
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We can just hear that gift shop calling………….
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There was an art exhibit by an incredible painter.  Here are a couple of his works.

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Now that our castle tour has finished, we depart for beautiful southern Bavaria.

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Berchtesgaden
This is the place where it began, where Adolf Hitler met with Dietrich Eckhart and the Third Reich began to take root.

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Above – a door into the coal bunker tunnel complexAbove – the coal bunkers seen from the road
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When we get close, we appreciate the enormity of this structure.  Coal was dumped into the bunkers from trucks on the road above and when coal was needed to heat the homes and office buildings on this level, trucks would back into one of the bays.  Overhead doors were then opened, allowing the coal to fill the truck for delivery to the home or office building here.  This was at the top of the mountain, more or less, and it was in the very heart of the Reich Sicherheits Zone – the Reich Security Zone where the leaders of the Reich had homes – Adolf Hitler, Martin Bormann, Hermann Göring, Albert Speer and others as well as office buildings and homes for their staff.

We had heard reports that there was a doorway entrance into the tunnel complex at the back of the last bunker in this structure, so a few years ago we climbed and crawled over the debris that was shoved in front of this bunker to prevent people from coming in…..but Sharkhunters never quit!  We made it over and through all the junk at the entrance and we found that door!  The door was welded shut!  And we didn’t think to bring cutting torches……………

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Onward to what remains of the Berghof, Hitler’s residence here but before we do this, take a moment to look at the photo by GREG LUTTON, Member #7848 to the right.  This is one of those ‘before and after‘ photos and GREG lays this out perfectly!

The top photo is what Adolf Hitler saw of the Alps through the parlor and out the great sliding window.  Magnificent scenery, isn’t it?

GREG positioned himself in approximately the same spot and shot the lower photo and we see that the mountains are in the same position, meaning that GREG is pretty much standing where the parlor had been.  Great camerawork to be sure!  You would have been standing here too – if you had been with us.  We will be back next year.  Will you?

We believe that the “Great Steps” are still here.  This is the massive staircase where Adolf Hitler would meet all the visiting foreign dignitaries.  They are there, but buried under a thick layer of dirt with the forest growing over it.

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Actually, there is nothing left of the Berghof – nothing one see, that is.  What we see in the two photos above is the retaining wall that was to keep the mountain from coming down on the house.

We said there is nothing left of the house…..nothing that one can see, and that is because it is possible to slither through one of the narrow openings in what was once a ventilating window and drop down into the cellar but we do not do this during any of our “Patrols“.  It is just way too dangerous!

The great steps are here too, but heavily covered over with a thick layer of dirt and undergrowth.  It would be a simple task to dig these stairs out except for the police, who would take a very dim view of such activity.  We are told that Mannheim Prison is not a fun place………….

To the right is the blast-proof door into Hitler’s personal bunker.  Behind this door are apartments for Hitler, Eva Braun, dining area and phonograph record storage room.  All are merely empty rooms now.

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Next we visit what was once Bormann’s farm
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15SoPatUK12This was actually called the Gutsof which means something like grand farm.  All the food for the houses on the mountain was produced here.  It has changed over the years.  Under the occupation, the US Army used this area for R & R so the farm was turned into a golf course in the summer and a ski area in the winter.  The Skytop Lodge once hosted famous names when they came to visit on the mountain.  It is gone now, torn down to make way for a putting green.  Or was it torn down to further eradicate history?

In these three photos we are on the parking lot looking down into a stairway and walkway system.  Entrance has recently been blocked by a fence and locked gate and nature is taking it all back.  Was it due to safety concerns as stated – or more history to be lost?

Treasure Train
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No, we do not mean the so-called “Treasure Train” allegedly found in a tunnel in Poland with 300 tons of gold aboard.  We mean the train full of treasure that Hermann Göring had hidden in this hardened tunnel which was meant to protect his train and its cargo from bombing at the end of the war.  He was going to make a run for Austria and beyond, but he was arrested and we know the rest of that story………
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15SoPatUK18Both above – so sad; these are images and memorials to sons and husbands who did not return from the battlefield.  It is the same in all countries involved in a war; so many do not return.  Nobody wins a war.  Well, maybe the banksters do and the weapons dealers do.

We always say that we eat well – REALLY WELL – on our “Patrols”…………….

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15SoPatUK23Above and left – the breakfast buffet was something to behold.

Below left – a sitting area in our hotel.

Below – the view out our window.

Bottom – Dinner at the oldest beerstube in Bavaria.

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“It’s good to be the King!”  That was a line in a Mel Brooks movie and it appears to be quite true.  Today we go forth onto the Königsee – the King’s Lake.  It is very beautiful…..it looks like it fell off a post card.  Join us aboard.

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This hotel was the HQ of Luftwaffe General KesselringWe depart past the fleet of electric boats
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Our boat stops at the ‘Echo Point‘ and the narrator plays a tune on his trumpet; and we hear it echo three times off the mountain walls.  Previously they would fire a gun which would echo seven times, but someone thought a gun was too military or whatever, so now it is a trumpet.Everyone is happy – especially the narrator/trumpet player
as he passes through those on board to collect his tips.
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We pass by incredible scenery on the lakeYep – it was good to be the king!
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At the upper end of Königsee, we disembark and walk to the Obersee.  This was once part of Königsee but the land shifted and cut off this small part.  As it is a bit higher in elevation than Königsee, the water is always running through this creek.
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As we walk back to the dock to catch our boat for the return voyage, we pass this little shrine.  These are all over Germany and Austria, big and small.  We were told they were all Godless Nazis – could it be that we were lied to?Our boat arrives for the return trip.
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We are at the dock and ready to boardMonument to König (King) Lutpold
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On the way back, we stop at Saint Bartholomè, a
beautiful old church on the shores of Königsee.
Inside the church

Now we go to beautiful Salzburg in Austria.

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Salzburg

No Sharkhunters “Southern Patrol” would be complete without a visit to the picturesque city of Salzburg.  Join us again in our photos as we walk in the footsteps of history……and do a lot of souvenir shopping.

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SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Walking in the Footsteps of History

Naturally, we must look at the history of this area so join us as we walk back some eight decades into history.

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After Adolf Hitler was released from prison, he and Rudolf Hess shared a rented house on the Obersalzberg where he finished writing his book “Mein Kampf” which, incidentally, is the second biggest selling book ever in history – second only to the Holy Bible in numbers of copies sold.  Only this portion of the foundation remains of the so called “Kampfhaus“.  Now it is time to go far up into the clouds.

The “Eagle’s Nest” or more accurately, the “Kehlsteinhaus” and as always, we are there.

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Yep – that is where we are going…..WAY up there!Getting closer and closer
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We enter through the 76 year old portal…….…..through the same massive bronze doors
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We walk through the very same tunnel…..…..as men of history walked decades ago
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…..and we ride the very same elevator to the top…..…..the VERY SAME elevator!
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The village of Berchtesgaden as seen from high in the sky.Another village far, far down in the valley.
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Foundations of the anti-aircraft gun emplacements.Colonel BERNHARD FRANK, Member #3225 was
in command of these anti-aircraft batteries.
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The name is Kehlsteinhaus – not the Eagle’s NestThe massive fireplace, made of red Italian marble, a gift from Mussolini
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Above and below – the views from up here……are nothing short of breathtaking!
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Inside, we are first in the ante-room.  Now it is used merely for the tour guides.  They do not take anyone on an actual tour – they merely stand here and talk about the building itself, giving history………and a few fairy tales as well.

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There is no lower floor here.”  That is what one of the waiters told me when I asked for the way to get downstairs.  I said there sure was a lower floor with a special room where Eva Braun and her girlfriends would have lunch and another room where the security guards would have their lunch.  He said I must be confusing this place with something else – I told him that I had been in the lower level before the local Hofbraühaus took over the operation, turning the place into a history-based restaurant.  He walked away shaking his head, probably thinking that I was crazy.  AHA!  I looked at what appeared to be blank doors, opened them up and what do we find………..the lower level!

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……….what can be behind this door?????????Stairs!  Stairs to the lower level that does not exist…..
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The entire lower floor – the one that does not exist, has…..…..been turned into storage and kitchen space for the restaurant.

After we looked into the lower level that “does not exist” we go back in the main level, in the great room where visiting dignitaries relaxed and did whatever visiting dignitaries do.

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The way it looked eight decades ago……..…..the way it looked for our lunch in October 2015
15SoPatUM28This was pre-lunch while waiting for the group to get their fill of sights and souvenirs.  It was rather chilly, so what’s better than hot chocolate with whipped cream alongside a dish of ice cream with chocolate sauce and whipped cream……sorry, I ate all the whipped cream before I shot the photo.

After the group returned and it was time for lunch – real lunch, naturally I had goulasch soup with a beer.  That is always great right after ice cream…

Our last treat for the day is a little restaurant and guest house hidden well out in the mountains.  Anyone who knows anything about this history knows that Adolf Hitler was not the guy who got things started – it was a guy named Dietrich Eckhardt.  His house is still standing far out in the mountains and it is one of the very few things that the U.S. Army has not returned to the Bavarian Government.  It is used by the Army for R & R…..officers, of course and not open to anyone else.  We drive past it, closed and dark when we passed by, down to a quaint little place for our dinner.  This is the place where Hitler and Eckhardt would meet and discuss plans for the future.  We try to include a stop here on each of our “Southern Patrols” for the history of the place.

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Who walked along this entryway eight decades ago?  Who warmed themselves by this antique fireplace – but it was not an antique back then.  Let your mind wander……what images does your mind conjure up?

This is the close of our 2015 “Southern Patrol“…….BUT we continued on a research expedition after the group departed for their homes in the USA and Australia.  We will begin loading those photos tomorrow; check back.

New and rarely seen photos of…………well,

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Intel Gathering Expedition
SECRET – Moon Lake
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” was a success – we met with old friends and met new friends alike, and all the while learning true and honest history.  But now it is time for you to join Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE and various S.E.I.G. Agents as we walk in the footsteps of history with brand new photos and new discoveries.

There are things we aren’t supposed to see here.  Can it be……….

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Maybe it is the magnificent scenery.  No, can’t be that – Austria is nothing but magnificent scenery.  The red arrow above indicates a church far below in the valley.  Let’s go down there and take a look at it.

It sure is a beautiful church – almost seems like we have seen this church before.  Churches………weren’t we told during the war and for years after that the Germans and Austrians were Godless Nazis?  Could it be that the government lied to us?  But what is familiar about this church?

AHA!  If you think that the hills are alive with the sound of music, you are correct.  This is the very church in which the wedding scene for the marriage of Captain von Trapp and Maria took place in the movie.

…..so this cannot be the area we are not supposed to see.  On we go.

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We go up and up and up some more mountains to the oldest wooden church in all Austria.  It is a tiny building, high up on the mountainside and we are shrouded by the heavy morning fog.  What a sight!  Let’s look.

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Eerie but very beautiful.Let’s go inside.
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Above and below are the names oftheir family members who did not return.
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Below are more views inside this beautiful churchThe black marks on the wall are from prayer candles
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So far we know that the churches are not off limits for us……..what can it be?  We have learned that this Mondsee (Moon Lake) Region was heavily used by the Waffen SS, primarily the 1st SS, for R&R – Rest and Recuperation.

There is quite a history behind the ‘Steinkreuz’ (stone cross) in the lake, in Mondsee – but that is a story for another time.15SoPatUN30
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15SoPatUN34Many of the homes, private buildings, municipal buildings etc. all had other uses during the time of the Reich.  Surely none of these are secret so then what?

There must be SOMETHING off limits that we are not supposed to see.

We see this sign, but we know they can’t mean us – surely not us, so we press onward.  Good thing I can’t read German……..15SoPatUN4x
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Doggone – why would anyone erect such a fence…..…..when we need to go in and look about?
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Nobody in what appears to be the guard shackThere is that doggone barbed wire again – not friendly at all
15SoPatUN23Thee is something beyond the apparent guard shack…..
There it is!  The bunker we aren’t supposed to see.  Nothing could stop us now – not the warning sign (which I can’t read), not the high fence with the electric barbed wire, not the locked gate – but my friend, our unnamed S.E.I.G. Agent, said they could not only get permission but also full access to all levels on this bunker complex next time I am in Austria.  However, I was told, that if we enter without permission now, we would never be allowed in again.

Okay, it is difficult to argue with that kind of logic and so we departed without ever going into the bunker………..this time.  Like Arnold said;
“I’ll be back!”

When I return, I am told we will see the test stands for the V2 rocket motor testing and the facility where the Xerum 525 was processed.  If you are not aware – Xerum 525 was used in ‘die Glocke‘ otherwise known as the ‘Nazi Bell‘, one of the absolutely MOST SECRET items of the Third Reich special weapons.

I have something to look forward to for next time.

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After the 2015 Southern Patrol finished, Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE continued into northern Italy to meet with ALDO VILLAGROSSI, Member #7907, to be briefed on a brand new mystery.  CLICK HERE to come along. 

 

SHARKHUNTERS International
2015 “Southern Patrol”
Italy!
Our 2015 “Southern Patrol” has come to a close – we met with old friends and made new friends alike, and all the while learning true and honest history.  Now ALDO VILLAGROSSI, Member #7907 takes us through northern Italy and a whole new mystery.  Follow along in these photos and learn new history.

Before we begin our visit to Soncino, we must give a huge THANK YOU to ALDO, to the Mayor and the people of this town.  COOPER had reservations in a pleasant hostel at $23 per night.  Instead, ALDO brought him to a very upscale, four-star hotel and said that the Mayor decided that the people of Soncino would take care of him.  COOPER could not spend a dime; everything – hotel, meals etc. was all compliments of the people of Soncino.  What an incredible welcome!  Grazie Soncino!

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15SoPatIT20We visit a beautifully maintained fortress from centuries past.  An invading army would have little chance of seizing this place by force of arms.  Even Napoleon himself visited here and was impressed.

This is a beautiful and historic Olde World treasure – but it is not the mystery.

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Let’s take a moment to tour this beautiful town and meet the Mayor.

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City Hall – and the clock tower dates from the 13th CenturyThe mayor – he gave the tour of the ancient tower.
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Look closely to see the graffiti carved into the walls…..…..before there was ever a United States of America.
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The Mayor signing the book he gave to COOPERThe Mayor’s signature and inscription
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The gifts from the Mayor and the people of Soncino – left is the book that the Mayor is signing above; center is the seal of the town of Soncino; right is a very rare book.  The town was filled with charm and friendly people, the Mayor is a great guy and ALDO an excellent host………..but where is the mystery?  Keep reading.

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These are the two promotional fliers to promote the speaking engagement of HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE on the escape of ADOLF HITLER and also the mystery that ALDO VILLAGROSSI, Member #7907 is investigating.  And now – on to the mystery……….and on we go – into the cemetery!

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On the marble plaques to the right, we read the names of the local men who were lost in the wars.

All cemeteries can be a bit spooky, but this one even more so because, as ALDO tells us, it was abandoned around 1960 and Nature quickly took over and grew over the cemetery.

It was later, more recently, cleared of brush and unwanted vegetation and made beautiful again.  But a reclaimed cemetery cannot be the mystery.

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Sadly, there are many small graves – children who died of starvation
and disease one or two years after the end of World War Two.
Small coffins?  Boxes for bones and hair?
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ALDO and his research teamThey check broken headstones
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…..this broken headstone is of interestThis grave is of particular interest – why?
Let’s take a closer look at that particular graveWho was…..or is…..buried here?
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Only the foundation block remainsthe upper portion – with the name – is gone
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Who was…….or still is………buried here?  Was the upper part of the stone destroyed by Nature in the decades the cemetery was abandoned?  Did vandals destroy the stone?  Or are we not supposed to know the identity of the person who was…..or still IS buried here?  This is ALDO‘s project and we can tell you no more until he gives us the green light to proceed.  When he does give permission, when he does break this story – it will have a profound effect on the history we have been taught.

In the meantime, we said we always eat well in Europe and although the food is quite different from that which we are used to in Germany and Austria, this is great food in Italy as well!

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Different cheeses – almost too beautiful to eat;
but COOPER ate it anyway – it was great!
Excellent – good for the sweet tooth.
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Chocolate salami!  No, it is not salami and not meat of any kind.  This is pure chocolate – it just looks like salami and so its name.  Being a chocoholic, COOPER dug into this and made short work of it.COOPER drove north out of Italy into Austria then on to catch his plane in München, Germany; this is what he found as he drove through the Brenner Pass into Austria…..a blizzard the first week in October.
This “Global Warming” is tough…..

Many thanks to ALDO VILLAGROSSI, Member #7907 and to the Mayor and people of Soncino for a great visit in their town as well as a powerful learning experience.  More on that once ALDO gives the green light to proceed.

This is the end of our 2015 Southern Patrol and it was superb!  We hope you can join us next year.

 

 

 

 

 

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NÜRNBERG – the hub of Germany in those days.  All rail lines converged on this ancient city and so it was logical that the Third Reich chose Nürnberg as the focal point for all their party rallies.

Click on the map of ancient Nürnberg to join us on this part of our 2015 Southern Patrol.  You will see things you will never see anywhere else.  Here is what GREG LUTTON, Member #7848 wrote:
“Let me tell you, I had the greatest time on the tour.  We saw history that has been locked in a time warp, opened for our eyes.  It was fantastic and if I’m really good for the next year, I might just be back for the next one.  You have some really nice people in Sharkhunters and I met a few of them!”

15SoPatUD2Österreich – that is German for Austria, and we head south along the Autobahn through the majestic Alps into this land of ‘The Sound of Music’.

We enjoy a cruise on a lake then gather with old friends, meet new friends and remember all who fell in battle no matter in what uniform and no matter under what flag.

Click on this photo of a sailor’s dream to join us.

15SoPatUH57Burg Hochosterwitz also known as “the Castle of the Fourteen Gates” because the route to the castle atop this mountain passed through fourteen fortified gates.   Since 1541, this castle and the mountain has been in the Khevenhüller Family and the descendants still own it today, although they live elsewhere in Austria.  This castle has been under heavy siege five times in past centuries but has never fallen.

Click on this photo and travel some six centuries back into the tunnels of time.

15SoPatUK1We drive northerly through the Alps, over the border into Bavaria and to the village of Berchtesgaden which looks as if it fell off a Christmas card.  This was the home of the leaders of the Third Reich.  In fact, it was here that the seeds of the Third Reich were sewn.

Click on the photo to the left and travel back some eighty decades with us.

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15SoPatUM18We walk in the footsteps of history – Third Reich history.  Click on this photo and join us in a trip back eight decades.

Incidentally – this is not “Hitler’s Tea House” or the “Eagle’s Nest” as commonly known.  This is the same place, but its official name is the “Kehlsteinhaus” which means the house on Kehlstein Mountain.  These other names have been added later.  Click on the photo and see history.

This is the end of the Sharkhunters 2015 “Southern Patrol“…..but look below.

15SoPatUN29Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE continued on through Bavaria into Austria and down into Italy, meeting with various S.E.I.G. Agents and learning much more.

There were things we should not know about and places we should not go – but why?

Click on the photo of the “Steinkreuz” and join HARRY and……we will not identify the various S.E.I.G. Agents with him because we cannot take the chance that some clever ‘Spook‘ will be able to guess who is who from the locations.

And for the benefit of ‘Fat Heidi’ and the rest of the SPitLIckers, S.E.I.G. is an acronym for Sharkhunters Eaglehunters Intelligence Group while SPitLIckers is short for SPLC.  Click now…..

Aldo001Once our 2015 Southern Patrol had ended and all said our “goodbyes” to new friends then headed for respective homes, Sharkhunters President HARRY COOPER, Member #1-LIFE, continued on into Italy at the invitation of ALDO VILLAGROSSI, Member #7907.

This was a chance to meet an important Member but as you will see in the photos, the beginning of a new mystery.  In addition, ALDO arranged for COOPER to speak before a large group on the escape of Adolf Hitler and others to South America.  One of the promotional fliers is seen to the left.