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What We Do

Upcoming Fieldwork and Other Investigations

The Kolibri Forensics team during a skeletal recovery training exercise in April 2019

The volunteers of Kolibri Forensics practicing their excavation and remains recovery skills during a training exercise in April 2019 (Please note: the skeleton is a replica)

NOTE: During COVID-19 pandemic, all field work was temporarily suspended out of concern for the health and safety of our volunteers.  Unfortunately during that time, due to a fire at the storage facility we had our main equipment and supply cache located at, we are also working on replacing what was lost.  

We are currently working on our plans for 2024 and 2025 field work seasons related to several cases. Some of the cases include:

1) Conduct non-invasive survey work on what is suspected to be the crash site of a P-38 Lightning fighter plane in central Italy.  This will be a continuation of fieldwork started in 2022 and could help resolve the case of the pilot who is still unaccounted for.

2)  Operation Dovetail: We are currently pursuing a project to help link unidentified remains recovered during World War II with known losses through comparison of historical records, application of oceanic drift analysis software, and other methods.  This work currently includes cases off the east coast of the United States, in the Mediterranean, and off Western Australia.  Potentially this could help identify the remains of military personnel and civilians from the United States, Australia, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, and several other countries who have been buried for eight decades as "unknowns".

3) Conduct search operations for the crash site of a B-25 bomber in a lake in Alabama.  Two of the crew members remain unaccounted for despite multiple-- likely false claims by looters-- over the years that the site has been found.  This site remains at high risk of disturbance by unscrupulous individuals and action is urgently needed to prevent this.

4) Conduct historical research into several known aircraft losses with unaccounted for personnel off the coast of North Carolina.  This may result in non-invasive survey work on a wreck site that we have determined may be one of these aircraft. 

5) Conduct search efforts off the coast of Georgia for the crash sites of two P-40 fighter planes whose pilots are currently unaccounted for.  

6) Conduct further search efforts to locate the crash site of a small civilian aircraft that disappeared in Massachusetts in 1999.  The pilot, Gerhard Finkenbeiner, remains missing and this is one of the true mysteries of the Boston area.  We previously assisted local law enforcement with a search in 2022 and plan to return to the area in hopes of locating Mr. Finkenbeiner's remains.

7) Conduct non-invasive surveys of what is suspected to be a crash site from World War II in the waters off the Florida Keys.  There are several US Navy and United States Army Air Forces aviators unaccounted for in the area and we suspect that this site may hold the remains of one or more of these individuals.

8) Assisting a sheriff's office in Wisconsin in the identification of an unknown set of remains recovered from Lake Michigan in the 1980s.

If you would like to help make these missions possible, please consider making a donation.  We do not charge families for our services so your donation is what makes it possible to provide this vital humanitarian service.

If your company would like to become a general partner in or sponsor of our work to bring the missing home-- or would like to fund a specific mission to reunite a missing military member or civilian with their family -- please contact our development officer, Chris Petrakos