My Dream Of Flying To Wake Island

Many years ago I took a trip to the eastern end of Jamaica... to get there you have to take a small airplane from Montego Bay. Halfway there we stopped at a grass strip airport, and there I found some very Ballardian abandoned planes... each image links to a bigger version.

"Rusting engine blocks and sections of cannon breeches emerged from the sand, somehow brought to the surface by the transits of the sea..."

"The combination of scuffed sand and concrete, metal shacks rusting by the runways, the total psychological reduction of this man-made landscape, seized his mind in a powerful but ambiguous way."

"Careful though he was, the physician was no more successful at dealing with Melville than the doctors at the institute of aviation medicine, who had tried to free him from his obsession that he had seen a fourth figure on board the three-man craft."

"During the following weeks he spent much of his time sheltering under the aircraft, watching the wind blow the sand back across the fusilage."

"Returning to the dunes, he continued to dig the crashed bomber from the sand, careful not to expose too much of it to the air. Although often exhausted in the damp winter air, he felt increasingly calm, sustained by the huge bulk of the Fortress, whose cockpit he never entered, and by his dream of flying to Wake Island."