We’ve developed five different theories as to why the aircraft were buried. Some are as they’ve been described to us, whilst others are our own theories based on research material.
The first is purely for posterity, to preserve the aircraft for future generations. A noble exercise indeed but one must question whether anyone could really be bothered burying something the size of a 40 foot shipping container… by hand.
The second, the Brisbane Line theory. Let’s just suppose that the Air Force, as part of a long term strategy, were instructed to conceal a number of aircraft in the ground in case of a full-scale Japanese land invasion, or in case of future threats to Australia. With Oakey sitting so close to the supposed Brisbane line, what better place to conceal brand new Spitfires than just near Australia’s last line of defence.
Third, a stockpile for use years after their burial in case of a nuclear attack on Australia. Possible but not entirely credible.
Fourth (and most likely), demobilisation. These personnel had just lived through World War II. After six years all they wanted to do was go home, back to their families and get their lives back on track. Going home was so tantalizingly close. The only thing stopping them was clearing out the base. The quickest way to fix that was to dump the aircraft and leftover parts anywhere they could.
And fifth, that the company behind the scrapping of aircraft at Oakey, Austral Bronze, was facing a contractual obligation and simply had to get rid of the aircraft as quickly as they could to meet their looming deadline.
Of course there’s a chance that there were a number of different teams burying Spitfires at different locations for different reasons. Until we locate an aircraft, the reasons behind its burial will remain a theoretical one.