Type your paragraph here.

29TH ENGINEERS (TOPO) 

CAMP OJI, TOKYO, JAPAN

K 205 Port View

29TH ENGINEER BATTALION - CAMP OJI, TOKYO, JAPAN  CIRCA 1963

K 205 Port view

 The photos below were provided by Paul N. Hall  (unless otherwise noted)

SFC Paul N. Hall - Paul was also with the 329th Engineer Detachment (Geodetic Survey) and the 542nd Engineer Company (Survey) at Wheelus, AFB Tripoli, Libya from Feb 1958-Sept 1959 where he ran mostly 2nd and 3rd order levels across Libya, and was just a few miles from the 'Lady Be Good' when she was discovered.

K 205  Starboard View

Camp Oji Gate 1957

Paul N. Hall, who participated in the SW Pacific surveys from 29th Hq at Camp Oji has sent in two very interesting articles concerning the survey in New Guinea which took place around 1960/61. Paul writes:   ". . . the natives found the survey markers, and being very superstitious, connected these markers to a cult (who) actually had human sacrifices on these markers. These two articles appeared in the TIME and Army Times magazines."

NEW GUINEA - Waiting for That Cargo  

It was a weird scene even for the Stone Age world of New Guinea. Deliberately, several brown-skinned Melanesian tribesmen made their way down from the top of fog-shrouded Mount Turu. Strapped to the bamboo poles on their shoulders were two concrete survey markers that had been planted on the summit in 1962 by the U.S. Army Map Service-29th Engineer Topographic Battalion-29th Engineer Company stationed at Camp Oji in Tokyo, Japan. Behind the bearers trudged 4000 other natives from New Guinea's jungled East Sepik district, reciting the Roman Catholic rosary and clutching handfuls of precious mud that they had scooped from the mountaintop.
     The procession ended at Yangoru, a village four miles from the mountain. The leader, a sometime policeman and Catholic mission employee named Yeliwan Matthias, 42, told the bearers to drop the stolen markers outside the local government post, part of Australia's administrative network in Northeast New Guinea. Then Yeliwan raised his eyes and wailed: "It all depends on God."
     No Birds. Not even He could be expected to work the marvels that were supposed to follow last week's ceremony. Yeliwan and his followers believed that the white man's survey markers were corking up all the treasure within Mount Turu. Once the markers were removed, Yeliwan prophesied: "Crops would grow profusely, and we shall go hunting and there will be plenty of game in the bush. The bird of paradise, which has all but disappeared from East Sepik in recent years, would return and flourish.  A fleet of 500 jet transports would disgorge thousands of sympathetic Americans bearing crates of knives, steel axes, rifles, mirrors and other wonders."
     By week's end, neither the birds nor the jets had appeared. But even if they never show, the people of New Guinea's primitive north coast are not likely to abandon the so-called "cargo cult"- a conviction that if only the dark-skinned people can hit on the magic formula, they can, without working, acquire all the wealth and possessions that seem concentrated in the white world. 
    Officials are forever trying to explain how the world uses labor, capital and raw materials to acquire its "cargo," but that is all so much hocus-pocus to the tribesmen. As Sydney University Anthropologist Peter Lawrence notes, "They can't conceive of a factory where goods are manufactured. They believe that everything has a deity who has to be contacted through ritual," and who only then will deliver the cargo.   

CULT LEADER WITH TRIBESMEN BEFORE MOUNT TURU PROCESSION

LT 357 and FS 392 at dock

K 205 Bow/Starboard
Paul Hall
Enlargement 29th/CampOji/1963
LT 357 and FS 392 at dock

CULT LEADER WITH TRIBESMEN BEFORE MOUNT TURU PROCESSION Calling on Lyndon, the Duke of Edinburgh and Jesus Christ.

This photo of the main gate at Oji was taken and sent in by Glenn Kunkle of Mentor, Ohio. Glenn was

stationed with the Army Security Agency at Oji, Tokyo, Japan from 1957 to 1958.

29TH ENGINEER BN  BASE TOPO  

CAMP OJI, JAPAN 1957

Two men to die in sacrifice rite 
PORT MORESBY, New Guinea (UPI)

  
  The administration of Papua-New Guinea will take no official action to interfere with a native human-sacrifice cult which is sweeping the East Sepik district of New Guinea, a spokesman said.
    The cult leaders, who have thousands of followers, are planning to sacrifice two people on top of Mt. Turu.
     Latest reports say hundreds of villagers are already converging on the 4,000-foot peak, located near Wewak on New Guinea's northern coast, to watch the sacrifice, originally scheduled for July 7 but now likely to take place earlier.
     The cultists, led by Matthias Yeliwan, believe a concrete survey marker on the mountain is the key to the white man's domination of the area.
     During the sacrificial ceremony, when Yeliwan and a native boy, yet to be chosen are killed, the marker will be removed.
     The cultists believe the marker was placed by the white man to retard native crops and to keep the wealth and other trappings of western life in the white man's hands.
     The marker was placed on Mt. Turu in 1962 during mapping survey work by the U.S. Army Map Service -29th Engineer Topographic Battalion-29th Engineer Company stationed at Camp Oji in Tokyo, Japan.
     An administration spokesman said the government would not take any action to remove the marker and said: "We do not want to do anything to strengthen the hand of the cult leaders."
     "If we remove the marker the leaders will claim interference by the white man to guard the secrets of his wealth and knowledge," he said.
        The administration of Papua-New Guinea will take no official action to interfere with a native human-sacrifice cult which is sweeping the East Sepik district of New Guinea, a spokesman said.     The cult leaders, who have thousands of followers, are planning to sacrifice two people on top of Mt. Turu.
       Latest reports say hundreds of villagers are already converging on the 4,000-foot peak, located near Wewak on New Guinea's northern coast, to watch the sacrifice, originally scheduled for July 7 but now likely to take place earlier.
     The cultists, led by Matthias Yeliwan, believe a concrete survey marker on the mountain is the key to the white man's domination of the area.
     During the sacrificial ceremony, when Yeliwan and a native boy, yet to be chosen are killed, the marker will be removed. 
    The cultists believe the marker was placed by the white man to retard native crops and to keep the wealth and other trappings of western life in the white man's hands.
     The marker was placed on Mt. Turu in 1962 by an American Army geophysical team (29th Engineers Battalion stationed at Camp Oji, Tokyo, Japan) during mapping survey work.
     An administration spokesman said the government would not take any action to remove the marker and said: "We do not want to do anything to strengthen the hand of the cult leaders."
     "If we remove the marker the leaders will claim interference by the white man to guard the secrets of his wealth and knowledge," he said.

The cult goes back to the mid-19th century, when Russian explorers and Christian missionaries arrived in New Guinea with a dazzling array of possessions. It really took hold during World WW-II, when all manner of amazing cargo came from the skies, dangling under American parachutes or carried to earth by huge silver birds. Since then, cult leaders have tried again and again to duplicate the white man's magic. They hacked airstrips in the rain forest, but no planes came. They built structures that look like white men's banks, but no money materialized. A group on nearby New Hanover Island once raised $2.000 to buy Lyndon Johnson; they reasoned that if L.B.J. were to come, American cargo would surely follow. Cultists at the New Guinean port of Madang very deeply disappointed when the Duke of Edinburgh visited early this year but did not (walk) on the water or bring a big iron key to unlock a storehouse of goodies. 

Great Event.  In the Yangoru area, Jesus Christ is thought to be the secret. It was the Crucifixion, the tribesmen suspect, which got the white world its cargo.   

  At first, Cult Leader Yeliwan seemed bent on doing for his people what Christ had done for the whites. He stole-off to Mount Turu last month to begin a solitary fast. Word went out on the jungle grapevine that he would be beheaded on the peak; when his blood flowed over the white man's markers, the story went, the cargo sealed inside the mountain would at last be unlocked. Then, two days after "the great event of the seventh day of the seventh month," Yeliwan would rise from the dead. 

  Tribesmen began abandoning their jungle plots and their jobs in sawmills and rubber plantations to converge on Yangoru. There, in a few days of brisk recruiting, Yeliwan's deputy collected a tidy $20,000 in cult initiation fees-$10 for each man, $2 for each of his wives.  Why was the sacrifice called off? Warnings by Australian officials might have helped. What about the $20,000? As Yeliwan's deputy told it, the money would be used to construct a memorial, 2,200 miles away in the Australian capital of Canberra, to the ancestors of the Sepik people. Both the Queen and Pope Paul would attend the unveiling, he promised, and that would surely hasten the arrival of the cargo. 


 

Click on Photos for larger view.