I have a thing about history. And I’ve read a lot of information about World War II, mainly because of the personal connection I feel to that time. It’s really hard not to feel a connection when three members of your family get the dreaded telegram saying “We regret to inform you…”
When the opportunity arose to be a part of The Bridge of Deaths event that aligns with the 75th anniversary of World War II, I jumped at the chance. Throughout the week, I’ll be posting additional insights into this wonderful book, starting with my interview with M.C.V. Egan herself:
Is The Bridge of Deaths really a culmination of 2 decades of research? Why are you so interested in WW II History?
Yes, at least a good eighteen years of research. I was so clueless when I began to dig around the plane crash that killed my grandfather in 1939 so I guess someone with a better historical background would have never taken that long.
I am embarrassed to admit that I had to look up almost every incident I came across even something as common knowledge as The Munich Pact.
I know I had to have studied it at some point in school or university but to be honest I know I did fail history at least once.
Why are you releasing a revised edition and what is different from the original?
When I released the original in 2011 I was so afraid that people would dispute some of the files I used that I carefully and meticulously added footnotes for EVERYTHING, over 200.
To my surprise some people loved that, mainly lawyers! But it felt like awkward reading for some, and it was understandable, especially in the e-book format as the footnotes can be distracting. In the revised version I added the necessary footnotes to the narrative and got rid of all of them. I also summarized two parts that were loaded with information and detail and added them to the back as appendices for the more curious readers.
The book is formatted in a very user friendly way so the reader can go from one chapter to the other or to the appendices.
To give it a more up to date touch, as the book takes place in 2010. I added an epilogue in the summer of 2012.
The new cover has the image of my grandfather’s watch which is part of the story.
What new information have you come across since the first edition was released in 2011?
I actually found and connected with Mr. Simonton’s daughter, here in south Florida. I also found that Anthony Crossley was very linked to the famous spy Anthony Blunt which opens a whole other can of worms! I have also found more data on Mr. Wicks which makes him seem like privy to information that perhaps saved his life because other who did far less than he were hung for treason.
What is so important about the blue dye?
To answer this I am going to borrow what a young British engineer used to explain it to me. A tea drinker with a favorite mug would have a mug with inside stains from the tea after using it many times and just rinsing it with water; (I guess he likes his tea with no sugar or lemon) , the more tea the darker the stain.
Aircraft fuel even to this day is categorized with a special dye in the 1930s it was a blue dye, it may or may not be the case today.
The argument that the fire started from constant seeping of fuel cannot be accurate (even if it did become part of official findings) because there was no blue stain, there is no way sea water especially for such a short time, less than 24 hours would have removed the stain accumulated after presumably several years of seepage.
Mr. Willans – those in positions of power worked very hard to discredit him. Why? Is it because they knew he was on the right track, and they didn’t want the truth to come out? Which smacks of serious collusion between several major and minor people involved in this investigation.
YES! I am obsessed with Mr. Willans on two notes, one because years ago one of the people who held the watch said to me “there is a man named Williams, he knows the story, find him before he dies.” And because of the documented data that just scrams he was on the right track and was not acknowledged.
I am by nature very skeptical and not keen on conspiracies but I feel that yes this was very conspiratorial and that it was not limited to one power.
I did find a trail for Willans I will find it for you scan and have Anne send it to you.
What made you decide to look into the plane crash to begin with? Did someone in the family think there was something suspicious about the crash?
We were told it was sabotage. Especially by my step-grandfather who was living in London at the time and also working for Standard Oil of New Jersey. When I came in contact with Anthon y Crossley’s grand-daughter she too had been raised with the story as sabotage.
The letter which is an image in the book, although poor quality from my grandfather’s boos in 1939 just a few days later calling it “One of those mysteries that will never be solved” is also the type of thing that make you question WHY?
You stated in a previous interview that the Danish government does not intend to release the information when the time limit expires. Why?
When I was finally officially allowed to sit in a Police station and work with files I was not allowed to photocopy. The head of the department who had a background in law and had worked for the equivalent of the FBI or CIA I think in Denmark they are one and the same told me, you will never see that file. He was very nice and not threatening he was simply stating a fact as he knew it to be.
Do you feel there is a cover-up going on?
I am certain there was a cover up, there are too many discrepancies I do not want to give in full detail for spoilers, but the corpses, the plane and the discrepancies in the archival materials. Also a huge thing is that not just Willans but others requested an addendum to the report stating they DID NOT agree with the findings.
Over 200 footnotes? So this is not a novel, or is it?
Oh yes it is a novel. It has fictional elements so it must be categorized as such. The characters that sift through the data are fictional even if two are strongly based on real people; one of whom is me!
I also used very “unorthodox” ways to research such as psychics and past life regressions; not my own, and that to many is fiction.
How did you use psychics and past lives?
I have two watches, one that was my grandfather’s and another sent to us by British Airways LTD. The use of psychometry is not that scoffed at, I mean the FBI has used it, so I thought, Why not? It was just amazing, with no photos or previous knowledge a psychic started describing the bridge and another the lettering on the wing of the plane.
The most shocking was that all described to a T another of the men who died for the second watch, no spoiler! I won’t tell you which but it was uncanny. There were five people gifted in psychometry who did this for me.
The individual who had the long past life regressions, five in total has asked to remain anonymous, but I was allowed to sit in and take notes, they were also recorded but the quality is horrible which is a shame because just like Maggie in the book, I did ‘go under’ and slept through one of them.
Stop back tomorrow to learn more about the history surrounding The Bridge of Deaths. While you’re waiting, click here to enter to win a $75 Amazon Gift Card!