Artist Marte Röling (often misspelled Martha) has a Lockheed F-104 starfighter in her garden in Uithuizen, Groningen that apparently has to be removed if she hasn’t removed it already. Although it has been sitting there since 1989, some boffins at the Ministry of Defense now think it could be slightly radioactive. Röling received the starfighter as a long-term loan art project. This reminds me of some Peter Tooms in Schoonloo, Drenthe who has a Russian MiG in his yard, although maybe it has been removed as well.
Back in 1976 Prince Bernhard (husband of Queen Juliana) cashed a US$1.1 million bribe from American aviation company Lockheed to ensure that the Lockheed F-104 would win out over France’s Mirage 5 made by Dassault for the purchase contract. Long story short, Bernhard refused to admit it, but after his death in 2004, it turned out to be ‘highly plausible’, but I don’t know if proven is the right word. Lockheed deposited large sums of cash into an account of some guy called Victor Baarn, a person that could never be traced. Co-blogger Branko tells me that Dutch comic strip artist Martin Lodewijk has been milking that story for ages, as in almost every Agent 327 comic book (a character loosely based on James Bond) the secret identity of Victor Baarn threatens to come out.
UPDATE: This was our 1,500th posting, hurrah!)