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Old 22nd January 2013, 03:41
ValorStudios ValorStudios is offline
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Re: Franz Stigler:What is the truth??

I'm a proud member of this forum and have some facts to share about Franz Stigler. I spent a couple of years researching Franz for the book, “A Higher Call,” so I know what I'm talking about.

Franz is one of the most fascinating pilots of WWII, known for sparing a damaged American B-17 and saving the lives of its 9 mine crew. Yet some say this never happened and worse—that Franz Stigler is a liar. They've debated it since 1990 when Franz and Charlie first reunited and publicly told their story. What grounds do these people have to doubt this story for 22 years and running?

Facts? Nope. Data? Nope. Just their opinions. Did they do what historians are supposed to do---due diligence--work---research? Nope.

They have no evidence, yet they persist in debating an issue that has already been proven by a USAF Lt. Col with 30 years of service in military intelligence...

Want some proof, not opinions? Here you go.

To start, German victory records confirm that Franz Stigler's squadron was operating over Bremen on Dec 20, 1943. This is the same day that Charlie Brown bombed Bremen and claimed to have a German pilot fly alongside his wing. The records are online, anyone can see them. You'll see that Franz's squadron leader Willi Kientsch downed a B-24 that day over Bremen. So Franz's squadron was there. Not on the Eastern Front. Not over Italy. Over Bremen.

So Franz Stigler was in the neighborhood. But was he was the one?

The trail of proof begins BEFORE Franz and Charlie reunited in 1990. In 1985, Franz attended the 50th anniversary of the B-17 party by invitation of Boeing. There he met old 8th AF pilots and asked if anyone had heard of what he did, of a German pilot who escorted a B-17 out of Germany. None did, although it gave them a laugh. A camera crew from King TV Seattle found Franz that day and filmed him. Guess what? He discussed Charlie's B-17. Look up the film if you need proof. I did.

But that’s just the start.

To determine if Franz was "the one," or not, historians should have asked the man who was there, the only living person who looked eyeball to eyeball with the German pilot and later staked his reputation on the confirmation that Franz was the one---Lt Col. Charlie Brown. He was alive up until 2008. Why didn’t they ask him instead of slandering the dead?

Charlie Brown made a career in the USAF in military intelligence as an investigator. He served even into the Vietnam War doing covert work there. His decades in military intelligence bred an inherent skepticism in his manner of doing business. FIVE years after Franz appeared on King TV and attended the Boeing reunion seeking Charlie, Charlie began searching for Franz.

Charlie placed an ad in a German pilot's newsletter looking for the German pilot who flew along his bomber's wing and he held a fact back as a secret test. (All of this is described in "A Higher Call.") He wrote in his "looking for" ad that the German pilot encountered his bomber over northern Germany, near Bremen. Charlie gave the date and mentioned that the German flew alongside of him, presumably "out of ammunition." That's it. Charlie said if the German pilot read this and knew the details, to contact him.

When Franz Stigler saw the ad he wrote to Charlie. That very letter has been scanned and published in "A Higher Call." All Franz said in the letter was that he was glad it was worth it and he hoped he and Charlie could someday meet. It was a simple letter. No "lets write a book or tour the world." Just the words, "I'm glad it was worth it." You can read the letter yourself, it's signed by Franz and it's in the book.

When Charlie got the letter he immediately called Franz. In their conversation, Charlie asked Franz to describe his bomber's battle damage. Franz described the damage in detail. This was proof #1 for Charlie.

Some “historians” say "Oh the damage to Charlie's bomber was well known by then, any impostor could have said that." Are you kidding? Charlie's story was obscure in 1990. He was not some celebrated hero. No one knew or cared about his B-17 “Ye Olde Pub.” He was just a veteran with a memory of an incredible event.

Next Charlie sprung the secret question on Franz. "Where did you salute us and fly away?" "Over the north sea," Franz said. That's when Charlie knew Franz was THE ONE. Charlie had never advertised that he and the German flew away from Germany, out over the coast and over the sea where they parted. He had just said the German encountered him "over northern Germany, near Bremen." Yet Franz knew this detail.

This was proof #2 to Charlie. Here are his words, from a letter that is printed in its original form in the book: "My conversation with you totally dispelled any doubt, when you mentioned going over the water (North Sea) with us. That has never been advertised in any of the letters seeking the 109 pilot."

Charlie then sought one last answer from Franz. He remembered that Franz was pointing and gesturing wildly during their flight together. Charlie asked him why?

"To get you to fly to Sweden, instead of trying to reach England," Franz said. "I had no idea," Charlie replied, "Otherwise I would have flown there and would still be speaking Swedish today!" This was proof #3 for Charlie.

Can we prove this "conversation" happened? Scientifically and empirically? Yes. The day after Franz and Charlie spoke, Charlie reiterated ALL of the above in a 4 page letter to Franz, a letter that appears word for word---not retyped---but scanned and printed, with Charlie's signature and all, in "A Higher Call."

The historians who persist on cutting down Franz need to buy the book and read these two letters of evidence. And if that doesn’t sell them, they need to go to YouTube and watch MOH recipient Joe Jackson's film of Charlie and Franz on the day of their reunion in 1990 when both men sat side by side and recounted their encounter for the camera.

And if this doesn't move them, they need to see Franz break down and nearly cry on camera when he says "I love you Charlie." It's free and on YouTube now.

After they see this, these detractors need to stop questioning the honor of these men. Because to persist in calling Franz Stigler a "liar" is to call Charlie Brown an "idiot." Charlie interrogated Franz for himself and for us and for the world. The facts declared: Franz Stigler was the one. Now let the dead rest in the honor they earned.

- Bryan Makos

Last edited by ValorStudios; 22nd January 2013 at 05:10. Reason: added a video link
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