I WAS very interested to read Hamish MacPherson’s article “The popular prince who died in mysterious Highland tragedy” (Aug 22), recalling the demise of the Duke of Kent on a Scottish hillside in 1942.

This brings back into the public view one of the long-standing mysteries of last century, and equally importantly, the possible secrets of our ruling house of Windsor. For a long time this was the subject of much speculation as to the actual implications of it all, and to many it took on the general heading of a conspiracy theory.

There are certainly enough unanswered questions to justify a detailed investigation to get at the truth. Hamish states that the ill-fated flying boat took off from Invergordon just after 1pm and that it crashed around 1.30pm. However, the official Court of Enquiry, held soon after to whitewash the whole episode, lists the time of the crash as 2pm.

READ MORE: The popular Prince George who died in a mysterious Highland tragedy

The cause is listed as being the result of the plane, allegedly on its way to Iceland, turning left too soon in poor visibility and crashing into Eagle’s Rock. If it had continued on its original course for another ten minutes or so it would have cleared Caithness and all would have been well. Why did the plane not fly direct from the normal headquarters of the Flying Boats at Oban direct to Iceland? This would have been a relatively straight forward journey.

Subsequent investigations later in the century, long after the crash, turned up other problems. If the plane had turned left too soon and crashed, it the would have been travelling in an east-to-west general direction. Searches by later investigators using the new metal detectors then available found, from the metal fragments of the plane still to this day embedded in the mountain, that the flight at the time of the crash had been travelling in a west-to-east direction. Why?

We then come to one of the other ingredients in this “conspiracy theory”: Rudolf Hess. It has been suggested that at some stage after his falling into British hands, a “doppelganger” took his place and the genuine Hess was spirited away by kindred spirits in the ranks of British society, and it was later that an attempt was made to get him back to Europe.

Just over the hill from where the crash took place is Loch More, in an estate at that time the lands of Sir Archibald Sinclair, Minister for Air in the British Government. A resident in one of the lodges on the shore of Loch More at the time is reported as having said that they had been aware of Hess living there.

Deviate from the original route, land on Loch More, pick up a waiting passenger, then take off again to get back to the original route, and the 2pm time for the crash is about right.

Lots of other things also need explanation. The first statements put out by officials after the crash stated that the total number of people on board had been 15, and all 15 bodies had been located. The next day, the young tail-gunner, Andy Jack (from Grangemouth), appeared at a local cottage some distance away, suffering from burns acquired in the crash. Since he was obviously one of the genuine crew members of 15, who was the extra body? Where did the extra body go?

It is generally accepted that the Duke of Kent had a briefcase chained to his wrist – still there when he was found – and this was spewing out Swedish currency. Was the Duke doing the honourable thing and taking Hess back to neutral Sweden? He had, after all, come to Britain unarmed under a white flag.

All documentary proof of the entire episode appears to have “disappeared”. One suggestion is that because of the royal involvement it has been squirreled away into the royal archives at Windsor.

This would seem to be a good time for the House of Windsor, particularly the Queen, and probably also The Duke of Cambridge, to use their carefully cultivated profile at this time to help clear things up. I, and I am sure a lot of other people, would not be critical of the late Duke if any of the above were to be found to be true.

George M Mitchell