Thunderbirds are go (but the 4x4 club is possibly not!) -Info required

Submitted: Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 18:47
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I’ve just arrived home after an amazing trip retracing David Carnegies 1897 southern route through the Great Sandy Desert. While we made some fantastic discoveries along the way, one of the more intriguing finds was not Carnegie related.

Well off the beaten track we stumbled across aplaque left by an earlier expedition by members of the “Thunderbirds 4x4 Club”. The plaque had been nailed to a tree trunk at the base of Mount Hughes in 1998. While the tree had grown significantly and popped a lot of the nails, the plaque was still attached, in good nick and quite legible.

Despite a thorough Google search and various state and national 4x4 and vehicle club lists across the net, I have not been able to find any reference to this club. Can any of the forumites help?

Do you know of the club? Is it still in existence? Where is it based and has it morphed or been absorbed by another club? Our team would be grateful for any information on what has become of the club and of their 1998 expedition into the remote heart.


Cheers and thanks Mick





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Reply By: Member - Warrie (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:34

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:34
Ah Mick, they are from a remote tropical island and their clubhouse is hidden under the swimming pool. A bloke called Brains plans their trips and their pink Rolls Royce driven by club secretary Parker leaves no tracks and will use its machine gun on any bad 4WDers who are nosing about.... W
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:53

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:53
No match for our Arctic Cats Warrie but it may have explained the deep rumblings I heard across the desert from time to time (my colleagues in adventure thought I was mad but being stalked by a mob of puppets in a VTOL rocket ship would explain a lot!).
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Follow Up By: Gone Bush (WA) - Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 at 16:22

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 at 16:22
Speaking of that bloke called Brains. I believe he and Claudia Schiffer got married. She wanted to retain some links to her single days so she's called herself,

Claudia Schiffer-Brains.

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Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:43

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:43
Sounds like a terrific trip Mick.

We have just come from the Simpson Geo Centre and nearby remote areas and I'm sure I have seen similar recently , but just where eludes me - I'll ask around.
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:50

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 19:50
Thanks Robin.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Member - VickiW - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 20:32

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 20:32
Mick,

I'm sure I've seen something similar in a post within the last week. But I was looking at some archived posts so could have been an old one. Will let you know if I remember :(
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:32

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:32
Thanks Vicki.

The photo was included in Equinox's post on the Carnegie Line posted a week or so ago. There were three of us out on the quads (Me, Equinox and Jaydub) for more than a thousand kilometres ably supported by our ground crew further to the west.

Carnegie Line Post

Keen to find out anything we can about the Thunderbirds and contact them if the club is still around.

Cheers Mick






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Reply By: Member - VickiW - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:35

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:35
So I wasn't imagining that - thanks!
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Reply By: Member - eighty matey - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:36

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 21:36
I'm sure there's one on the Hay River Track.
Someone might have spotted that one, but it still doesn't answer your question who.

Steve
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Follow Up By: Member - Geoff M (VIC) - Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 07:19

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 07:19
We've just completed the Hay River Track and didn't notice a "Thunderbirds" plaque, but others may have.

Cheers, Geoff
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 23:21

Tuesday, Aug 20, 2013 at 23:21
Amazing isn't it, you think you're cutting ground that no white man has ever seen before and out of the scrub appears a sign that shoots you down in flames. :)

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 07:51

Wednesday, Aug 21, 2013 at 07:51
Well "flames" is probably overstating it Johnno but we were definitely singed and smoking a bit lol. We knew a white man had seen it because we were following his route as described in his actual journal of 1897. How many have been there in the interim 120 years is the interesting part. We found a few anomalies in the area which we now need to make enquiries about to see if they were made by European or T/O hands. It would be interesting to know if they were actually following DWC's route further south as it was pretty harsh country. We found no other signs of the Thunderbirds along the way so presumed they pushed into this place as it was relatively flat country and accessible from the north by vehicle. The dunes to the south were another matter as was the route from the west that we came by...hard yards even on a quad.
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Reply By: Member - Vince M (NSW) - Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 at 14:24

Tuesday, Aug 27, 2013 at 14:24
you could find that is a group from the military & was put there as a joke ?, when I was in lake Mackay WA in the 2001 3 military choppers landed & they put a plaque up that stated Swanbourne 4wd club had been there & it looked similar in army drab green & date stamped, years later when I was working at Swanbourne barracks WA there was a blank of the same plaque on the wall in the workshop,but no one could tell me anything about it
good luck hope you find out who
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Reply By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 22:41

Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 22:41
Thanks all, believe it or not I came into receipt of some info via the Landcruiser site, fired off a few emails and viola...the mystery is indeed solved. Thunderbirds are a group of mates who have done a bit of remote outback travel over the years.

Will look forward to a bit of a chinwag with them at a later date.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 22:51

Monday, Sep 02, 2013 at 22:51
Well done Mick,

Isn't it great to solve a problem otherwise you're always wondering. I'm looking forward to hearing more about that crew.

cheers



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Reply By: Member - PJR (NSW) - Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013 at 11:30

Tuesday, Sep 03, 2013 at 11:30
I don't know about hanging signs everywhere that we had been there. Isn't that what people did by carving or painting or scribbling their names on trees and all over rocks etc. We could end up with an eyesore. Okay if the club or group just spent some heavy work in rebuilding a well of log bridge. Also wouldn't that be called littering?

Look I understand the need to show one's exploits. But . . . .

But not just more "Foo was here" grafitti please.

Phil
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