Beatles’ Original Yellow Submarine, Lost in 2011, Discovered in Makawao


GOLDEN DISCOVERY: Photo taken from a distance of the original yellow submarine that influenced the Beatles to write the popular song. (Photo by Everett Hanahewa)

The original yellow submarine that influenced the Beatles to write the hit song was discovered in Makawao last weekend ~ after being missing for over a decade due to a mysterious memorabilia heist.

The Yellow Submarine was identified from a distance by a passerby who was lost hiking the wilderness above the Upcountry, Maui town.

“I mean, the thing is yellow so really how could you miss it?” asked Everett Hanahewa, 56, of Honolulu, who was visiting relatives when he decided to just explore into the hills. “I crept up, and up closer, then used binoculars and saw what I remembered in the cartoon as a kid.

“It was unbelievable, really,” he said. “So I looked at it really close, and it looked like whoever put it there tried to make it look like a fancy propane tank. I took a picture of it with my Polaroid.”

Hanahewa contacted authorities, who through a global computer search discovered that the original sub was stolen in 2011, during a tour in Tahiti.

In that situation, a group of wealthy U.S. and English collectors of Beatles memorabilia were meeting in the town of Papeete in Tahiti to look over a group of old Beatles items considered of value.

Due to their visit, the original owner captained the ship to the political center of French Polynesia.

“I’ve had the yellow submarine since the late 1960s, after the band and management group used it to draw up the cartoon version in support of the song,” said Edward Edwardio, 86, of Guam. “I kept the thing in good shape. It still operates, and got to Tahiti just fine.”

Edwardio simply wanted to impress the wealthy visitors, and maybe get an inkling into how much it might be worth. He arrived the day before the rich men were scheduled to meet, and checked in to a local Airbnb.

When he woke up in the morning, the sub was gone from its slip.

“I was flabbergasted,” Edwardio said. “I had the thing for over half a century, and there is no one else on the planet who could have captained it. No other submarine looked like it then, and still does not to this day.”

On Maui, authorities tracked down the owner of the property where the sub was located, who said he, too, was dumbfounded by the placement. The owner, Jim Kaawale of Lana’i City, said he rarely visits his family’s old ranch land that is now leased to an American family from Susana Knolls, California, who use the land to catch peacocks.

By the end of the weekend, police investigators had tracked down Augie Stratton, 31, of Pukalani, who was the last person seen in the area.

“Yeah, I left it there. It started to freak me out. I could almost see the Beatles’ faces in those little portholes, trippin' me out,” Stratton said. “We found it abandoned along Hana Highway, which we thought was rather unusual because it was not burned out. So we pulled up our Tacoma to give it a peek, and later got a trailer to haul it off.

“But there’s nothing you can do with an old yellow submarine, except maybe live in it, and we all didn’t think that was a good idea,” Stratton said. “We live a life of ease. Every one of us has all we need.”

Authorities did not charge Stratton or his friends with a crime, and the investigation as to how it was placed in Makawao continues.

Meanwhile, Edwardio expressed frustration that he couldn’t take the yellow submarine home until the investigation concludes.

“I was distraught when it disappeared so many years ago,” Edwardio said. “I can’t wait for the day that I can get inside to find a sea of green, and live beneath the waves, in my yellow submarine."

"Yellow Submarine" was released in 1966 on the band's "Revolver" album. Later it was issued as a double A-side single, where it rose to the top of the charges in the United Kingdom, other European countries, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

In the United states, the double single peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

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