Cold War relic could hold the key to fate of lost son

IT once formed part of Britain’s first line of defence – but now RAF Bempton, a Cold War relic on the Yorkshire coast, may hold the key to discovering the fate of missing student Russell Bohling, his family believe.

Russell had used a device to put information about the former radar station onto his computer two weeks before he went missing, and visited a website about the site half an hour before he left home on March 2, last year.

On the first anniversary of his disappearance, his family have now appealed for help in tracing anyone with an interest in RAF Bempton who might have passed the information on to Russell.

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His father Roger said: “We know that before Russell left home at 8am he went online to look at the site for RAF Bempton. The police have told us that his first recorded interest in RAF Bempton was two weeks before that when he uploaded onto his computer information about the RAF Bempton website from an external device that could have been a memory stick or camera.

“That device or memory stick has never been found. The question that hasn’t been answered is where did Russell get that information from?

“What I would like your readers to do is think about this time last year and whether they can remember anybody at all talking about RAF Bempton; it’s not the sort of thing that comes up in most people’s conversation.

“I ask for this in the hope it can lead to people who have an interest in RAF Bempton for whatever reason.”

The site, which features a labyrinth of underground concrete tunnels, was abandoned by the RAF nearly 40 years ago and is believed to have been used as a meeting place by occultists, who left a series of graphic images on its walls.

Mr Bohling believes it is these that may have drawn Russell to the site.

Although police believe Russell may have had an accident or killed himself, the family have always suspected third-party involvement, while accepting he is probably dead.

Mr Bohling said: “We think he might have died accidentally but we don’t know. For some reason that other person is not coming forwards and we have a suspicion; is that person not coming forward because that person had a part in that death, because they had a part in that accidental death, or for personal reasons?

“We don’t have the peace of mind of knowing whether he is or is not in a field at RAF Bempton.

“We think the worst when someone doesn’t come forward. If it was just a tragic accident what would prevent that person coming forward?”

In the hours after Russell’s disappearance, four firefighters wearing breathing apparatus spent more than 40 minutes searching the bunker with a thermal imaging camera, but found nothing.

Humberside Police said yesterday: “The police and fire brigade have thoroughly searched the RAF Bempton site and police have thoroughly searched the caves at the bottom of the cliff. Since those thorough searches no new evidence or information has come to light.”

Officers are continuing to appeal for information, however.

Insp Colin Waddington said: “A huge amount of police work has gone into the investigation to determine what happened to Russell Bohling and yet nothing at all has come to light that has assisted us in our inquiries.

“I urge the public to come forward if they know anything about Russell and his disappearance. If anyone saw anything of Russell a year ago, or spoke to him about his intentions at that time, please contact us.”

Mr Bohling said the family did not know how they would cope with tomorrow’s anniversary.

“I don’t know how we are going to tackle Wednesday when it comes to eight o’clock; that will be very difficult,” he said.

“The last thing he said was ‘I’ll see you tonight’.”