Last mystery of Saint-Exupery: how to solve the riddle of the writer's death
• The last mystery of Saint-Exupery: how to solve the riddle of the writer's death
July 31, 1944 died the famous French writer, author of "The Little Prince", a professional pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The circumstances of his death for a long time remained a mystery to biographers. The secret was revealed only in the twenty-first century, when one of the participants made a sensational recognition of the tragedy.
The last two years of his life Saint-Exupery was the squadron intelligence officers, and in 1942-1944 years. repeatedly made dangerous flights over the German lines, making an aerial survey. July 31, 1944 he did not return with the next job. His plane suddenly disappeared from the radar in the Saint-Raphael - a small town on the French Riviera. The remains of the aircraft and the pilot were not found, and for a long time he was considered missing.
* Lockheed Exupery to * F-5A-1-LO zarulivaet the parking lot after a reconnaissance mission in the spring of 1944
There were several versions about the causes of the disaster: mechanical failure, air combat and even suicide pilots. The most common version was that plane shot down a German fighter Exupery and it crashed in the Alps. But in 1998 a French fisherman Jean-Claude Bianco in the Mediterranean near Marseille, in a network with the fish found a bracelet on which was engraved the name of the writer, his wife, and the address of the publisher, who published "The Little Prince". As it turned out, this bracelet really belonged to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, which gave rise to the conduct of searches in the Mediterranean Sea.
The bracelet Saint-Exupery, a fisherman found
The diver and the diver Luc Vanrel confirmed this version, having found out in 2000 on the 70-meter depth wreckage. After this, the French government banned any research in this area. Permission was obtained only in the autumn of 2003, when lifted from the bottom of the aircraft fragments, among them was a fragment of the cockpit to save the serial number: 2734-L. We verified information in military archives and found that it was the board room Lockheed Lightning P-38 - the same aircraft, which operated Exupery.
Aircraft * * Lockheed, which flew by Antoine de Saint-Exupery
aircraft remains were dispersed on a sufficiently large space - 1 km in length and 400 m in width. On the fragments found no traces of bullets and other signs of attack, the military archives was no evidence that the attacks were carried out, and air battles that day. So we decided that the plane crashed as a result of breakage. It was also found that it entered the water vertically at a high speed, an explosion occurred at the moment of impact with the water. The pilot had no chance to survive. The only thing the pilot, survived in the crash - the same silver bracelet found by a fisherman.
The mystery of the death of Saint-Exupery suddenly revealed in 2008, when a former Luftwaffe pilot Horst Rippert confessed that it was he July 31, 1944 shot down Exupery plane. At that time he did not know who's in the cockpit, and then very sorry about what has caused the death of the writer. According Rippert, he decided to admit to 88 years to facilitate the soul, and so Exupery was not considered a deserter or suicide: "It was not far from Toulon. I made a reconnaissance flight, when he saw a fighter with the French identification marks. I decided to join the fight. He made a maneuver and ended up in the wake of the enemy. The attack was successful, and I shot down the plane, which fell into the waters of the Mediterranean Sea. I hoped and still hope that it was not him. In his youth, we all read his books and loved them. " Recording magazines were missing, as witnesses of aerial combat, except the Rippert, it was not, and the plane was not officially counted as a downed him. Wreckage with traces of bullets could not find, although getting into the cockpit would have been enough to drive virtually intact the plane into a nosedive.
Monument Saint-Exupery in Tarfae
For a long time the relatives of the writer and his admirers would not believe in his death. They said that Saint-Exupery simply vanished as the little prince, and repeated his words: "You look at the sky at night, and in fact there is such a star, where I live, where I laugh - and you hear that all the stars are laughing ".
The writer and war pilot Antoine de Saint-Exupery