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Can Online Crowdsourcing Solve Korean War Mysteries 60 Years Later?
Jul 26, 2013 (10:07 AM EDT)
WASHINGTON, July 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The 27th of July marks the 60th anniversary of the Korean War truce, but questions remain over the fates of almost 8,000 American POW/MIAs from the conflict. Those still alive at war's end were supposed to be repatriated in the weeks after the truce, but US officials feared many were not. A new Web site hopes to answer questions on many of these cases– some of which have stumped government researchers for years -- by leveraging the power of the Internet.
"We are running out of time to solve these mysteries. Online sleuths may be able to find what the Pentagon and CIA cannot," said John Zimmerlee, POW expert, author and son of a missing aviator from the war.
For example, declassified CIA reports list the names of unreturned US POWs in their Chinese transliterations -- how the English-language names sounded to Chinese-speaking sources. Someone on the Internet probably has the linguistic skills to match those names to the official POW/MIA list and determine if they are real. A captured North Korea film includes the faces of many US and South Korean POWs. Most families of the missing and Korean War veterans have never seen the film and could probably identify the men. Other reports include substantial background details on alleged Americans in enemy hands, included a Marine officer and Naval Academy graduate said to be alive in the Soviet Union decades after the war. Someone might recognize the details or help determine the report is a hoax. Chinese and Soviet military officials mentioned in previously secret documents would have critical information, but have never been contacted. Online sleuths might be able to find them. The declassified documents and film are on www.cynicalattitude.com
The mysteries were uncovered during research for a new Kindle ebook, American Trophies: How US POWs Were Surrendered to North Korea, China, and Russia by Washington's "Cynical Attitude," by Zimmerlee and investigative historian Mark Sauter, published by Orcinus Solutions, LLC. The expose had already generated national headlines and includes many photos and declassified documents, plus a foreword by Sydney Schanberg, Pulitzer Price-winning reporter and inspiration for the Academy Award-winning film "The Killing Fields." Two leading POW/MIA family groups provided research assistance.
SOURCE Orcinus Solutions, LLC