Dentith, who like his colleague grew up in Devonport, is fascinated by the way the North Head story evolved from local folklore into conspiracy theory, becoming increasingly convoluted and threatening. Initially, it fixated on the location of the seaplanes and it was presumed they had been blocked up to keep them dry. When the military denied their existence, it became a full-blown conspiracy theory.
“Why were they hiding these planes? Two rotting seaplanes doesn’t seem like a good reason to keep an entire complex of tunnels hidden from public view, does it? So the story gets an added layer, the discarded ammunition theory.
“It’s almost as if the story had to become as big as the hill itself.”