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bigun1_6605

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Posts: 108
 #46 
Would you believe two planes and three pilots are still missing from WW2. They were over CONUS when lost. One landed in Mexico!!!! And the pilot wandered off, never found. It is a big country and planes ain't real big.

I agree with your theory of a lake landing, snow blowing over it (or crashed) and it sinking when Spring hit.

Al
JasonC

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 #47 
I too have been following this still. My own opinion is its in a glacier or similar all year long snow pack area at high elevation, I live west a few hundred miles and have worked about 100 miles of the "gone missing area" and am very familiar with the mountain country here.  Im not convinced of a attempt of landing or any lake landing with modern sonar equipment these days. It also has very similar conditions that of a recently found plane flying to Juneau that had been gone for 50 years or so.

Jas
windwalker

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 #48 
I have visited this site on and off for several years but not for the past couple of years. Something told me to check it today and what do I find? New activity. I live in Montana just a few miles south of the Canadian border. I originally got interested in this site because some of my friends from across the border told me stories, some first hand accounts some second about this wreck. Teck1 if you are still looking at Google earth, Take a look around Gold Mountain a few miles west of Grasmere British Columbia. Some of the accounts I have heard conflict on whether smoke was coming from the left or right of the aircraft but then none of the people I talked to mentioned if the plane was coming at them or going away.

 Dave E
OklahomasFinest

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 #49 
theory I’ve had is that the plane may not lie within the search zone at all. That’s happened countless times, where a missing plane or ship goes missing for decades because it simply wasn’t where people were looking.

Perhaps issues with inclement weather, instrument malfunctions, or human error caused the plane to be piloted to a place that was far outside of its flight path, where it enventually succumbed to engine failure or lack of fuel.

Maybe after pinging over Snag, the plane either didn’t turn far enough or turned too far. What are the possibilities that it was flown into the Alaskan Gulf, or continued to fly straight into the NWT or into Saskatchewan or Manitoba?

I remember reading about a Russian plane that went missing for several decades after suspected of crashing in Siberia, but was eventually found the complete opposite way in Norway. I also remember watching a special on a plane that crashed while heading to Yellowknife, but was later found sunken at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean north of Alaska. It’s weird, but plausible.
canuck10

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 #50 
Many pages have been removed from the AF2469 accident investigation report, including the important Balance and Weight report Form F. Where are these removed, "sensitive" pages of these reports kept?

The B&W forms have been removed in other accident investigation reports as well: in the crash reports of C-49K, Serial 43-2004, for example, these forms were removed both in the 1943 (when it went missing) and 1948 (when it was found) investigation reports.

Fortunately, in the crash investigation of B-36B '075 (14Feb50), these were still there, and through this detailed summary we were able to prove their Mk IV nuke on board....

I guess I am just wasting time applying for a copy of the Form F from AF2469.....
AAIR

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 #51 
While form F is usually included in accident reports, it is not uncommon to not be included. I just checked the microfilm, and form F is not within the report. It is possible, they were never added to the report too. 


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Craig AAIR, Aviation Archaeological Investigation and Research http://www.aviationarchaeology.com
Tech1

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 #52 
C54 d.jpg
Tech1

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 #53 
I noticed this object while searching GE.  thought I would share.  This is approximately 2.8 miles west-south west of Aishihik.
SiskiyouJ3Kid

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 #54 

 

Using Operation Mike's Facebook photo #14 and scrutinizing the two radio bearings given from the USAF Operation Mike report, this is what I found. I won't go into how I narrowed my search for now, but I considered numerous Nav errors (rated Navigator).  The large shadow in the photo, I believe depicts a tall, narrow object.  I went to the NOAA website with the date, time, and Lat/Long to determine the declination angle of the sun. Measuring the shadow with Google Earth Pro and trig TAN theta, gives a height of 14.5 ft.  The C-54D tail height is 27.5 ft., and sitting on the ground may be 15-18 ft. AGL.  Shadows have errors and the biggest one is where does the shadow begin?  My estimate would be at most the error is 10%.  That gives a height between 13-16 ft.  What is VERY interesting is that due east north east of the object off the snow field is a 21 ft. "X"!  I think I see other things, but I will not speculate on those now.  The photos that I am attaching are dated 9/20/2002.  This date is all that I could find on Google Earth Pro.  Please feel free to agree or disagree.

Location is 12 nautical miles WSW Burwash Landing Airport

61º 15' 46.61" N   139º 23' 32.41" W
C-54d AF Burwash A.jpg  C-54d AF Burwash.jpg 


canuck10

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 #55 
  • The crash site is actually on Gold Mountain, 4-49 087 125N-115 36 190W.jpg  enhanced_4908115361-7.png  just above the British Columbia-Montana border. US Air Force carried out some cleanup operations out of Eureka, Montana during the summers of 1950-51 (and possibly after that), but considering the high altitude and very limited helicopter lift capacity at that time, much of the wreckage must have remained at least till 1959 when it was spotted again. Currently in this approx. 35 x 60-ft. opening in the canopy only shows a shaded blue object, possibly rock surface.
    Given the remote, inaccessible location, there should still be some big pieces not requiring a metal detector. There is definitely something that is reflecting sunlight. Two of the larger objects are closer to each other, both rounded, possible fuselage. The other objects are scattered close by in some sort of gully. Coordinates are: 49.087125 -115.36190

Searchmaster

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 #56 
Let me begin by stating that canuck10 has been a source of inspiration and advice for quite a while and I enjoyed touring the Everts facilities with him when he passed thru here a few years ago. He admonished me to get blinking busy with my book and I highly recommend his book 'Lost Nuke'. Where our thoughts diverge concerning AF 2469 is in the usefulness of Google Earth in locating it and the actual location of the crash site.

Wayne Williams and I have traipsed all over Gold Mtn and the nearby areas and there just isn't any place up there that I didn't find flagging from loggers and survey crews or stumpage from logging. Above 5500 feet the trees thin out on the slopes although I was surprised to find that the tops of the hills around Gold Mtn are somewhat flat and while walking on them you are in the dark due to the 30-40 foot 'pecker pole' canopy. Every fall armies of elk, turkey and deer hunters mob this part of the country. Our first trip perhaps 15 vehicles came up in a few days to the landing to check for a spot to camp for their hunts. You can also discern on GE what is old growth and what is reforestation plantings, which is most of this area. In the upper image, the date is '04; the road system has been expanded considerably since then. 

Just above the white arrow in Dirk's upper image a road is visible on the west flank and top of Gold Mtn. Not visible is the huge logging landing where the road terminates. This is where Wayne and I base camped for our first searches, back in '04-'05-'08. The logging roads are so well built out there that if they were in Alaska we would give them state highway numbers. You could drive a schoolbus to that landing. Where the arrow actually points to in that GE image Wayne and I crossed a dozen times on our way to search the south slopes of Gold Mtn and its neighbors. While it is easy to get an impression of remoteness looking at sat images the reality on the ground is not of an untrod wilderness. 

If you are of the very popular mindset that AF 2469 got swallowed by the icy wastes of the Wrangell-St Elias mountains, let me give you a condensed version of why I, Wayne, Dirk and the population of the Montana/BC borderlands beg to differ.

Robert Espe, husband and father of passengers Joyce and Victor Espe was told by the USAF he could not participate in the search so he HITCHHIKED the nearly 700 miles of dirt roads to Whitehorse. There he had no trouble talking his way onto the Canadian radio range admin/supply C-47 which took him to Snag. Impressive in that the plane disappeared Thursday evening and by noon Saturday he was talking to the radio people in Snag, having already been to Whitehorse. I have corroboration from a second source on this.

The radio folks told Espe two important things:
1. While AF 2469 did NOT declare and emergency, the radio guys thought that they had used a Gibson Girl radio to check in. Wow. That means a message keyed in Morse. That is NOWHERE in the crash report.

2.The radio folks also told Espe that they thought the plane went by about 25 miles south of the range station. My guess is they thought this because they didn't hear the plane go by and shaving the corners to the south makes more sense than adding time by going by to the north. The RR station Snag is about 13 miles north of the highway so 25 miles south puts AF 2469 still north of the mountains. In interviews elicited by the record cold of 1947 Snag personnel stated that when it was cold an a/c transiting the area at 10,000 feet sounded like it was flying between the buildings.

Espe also told of the plane's first attempt to leave Elmendorf delayed by a propeller feathering malfunction. This is also corroborated by a second source, which mentioned an oil leak on pre-takeoff runup. This second source told of being bumped for a pregnant woman and child during the delay.

Some research on prop feathering motor(PFM) malfunctions in this type of a/c uncovered a malfunction in which you get short-welded connections producing an unrequested feathering. The fix for this is to shut off ALL electrical systems and batteries. I could not believe that you could not isolate the PFM system but it seems that is the case due to  the bus system on the C-54. If you get this unrequested PFM activation you shut everything down and now you are flying on a compass alone.

So we have reports of use of a Gibson Girl emergency radio, followed by at least 4 witnesses seeing variations on the same theme; namely a plane following the road at approx. 2000 feet, under an overcast. These reports come from Alaska Highway Miles 1022, 1016, 997, 937, as well as Johnsons Crossing and Brooks Brook, near Teslin.
The last of these reports of a plane following the road comes from Steamboat, just 50 air miles west of Ft Nelson. A truck driver reported a large silver plane following the road southbound(actually almost due east on a compass) at about 2000 feet, under an overcast at about 5pm local time. Steamboat is pretty much the halfway point on this route.

I have a hard time dismissing out of hand every one of those reports spread over 700 miles, all telling a similar story. A PFM issue before departure, use of a GG radio to check in, and numerous reports of a plane flying low, under an overcast to me says they lost their panel, whether PFM connected or not. Weather at Whitehorse at the time AF 2469 would have passed by were misreported in summaries of the crash report; it wasn't 7500 feet and thirty miles viz, it was 2500 feet and 3/4 mile viz. At the time 2469 approached Ft Nelson it clouded over for just under an hour, then cleared off. With the exception of Watson Lake Whitehorse and Ft Nelson are the two places AF 2469 could have landed that actually had room for the plane and those aboard.

This is why the next three witness reports are interesting; the next place a witness saw something was in the middle of the Rocky Mtn Trench. At Horsely Lake, 38 miles NE of Williams Lake a gentleman saw what he perceived to be an aircraft in distress, and he drove to 150 Mile house to report it. His son told me his dad was a member of the 'tom-tom telegraph", keeping news(and probably gossip) moving thru the area. There is no reference to why he thought it was in distress, but my guess is if he didn't see flames or parachutes his indication of 'distress' was a large plane flying low over an area not known for that kind of activity, like it was looking for a place to land. This is purely speculation on my part.

The next two witnesses were not identified but stated that they heard an airplane go by and then thought they heard an explosion. The first was in Revelstoke, the second the now abandoned mining town of Natal, on the edge of Crowsnest Pass. This 'heard an explosion' element is mentioned numerous times related to AF 2469. I have had Everts, Brooks and others DC-4s, '6s and a C-46 pass right over my house in cold weather and the engine noise has some unusual characteristics, namely  as the a/c recedes the noise level suddenly drops off dramatically, leaving you wondering if the last noises you heard were the plane going down. People visiting me have been fooled to the point that they wanted to go out and see if the plane had crashed.

I find it extremely interesting that if you draw a line from Horsefly Lake thru Revelstoke and Natal, it points directly at Great Falls, as if someone was following a radial to GF.

If you don't buy what I am selling here that's OK, because another plane vanished between Snag and Aishihik and that one will be found by those who want to look for AF 2469 where she last reported. A C-48(a TWA sleeper version of a DC-3 conscripted by the AAF) vanished 6/6/44 with 5 souls and 56 lbs of mail after checking in halfway between Snag and Aishihik Now why would they do that? I'm thinking, sunny June morning, light load, let's go sightseeing. The only reason I can see to check in 6o miles early is that you are not planning to be close enough to make radio contact when you pass the longitude of Aishihik. Just a guess on my part. Unlike 2469 this plane was in wartime paint configuration, although my guess is that paint is gone now....

Back to Gold Mtn, 3 separate witnesses have told us of finding an area of trees broken off in a descending fashion leading to an area of disturbed ground but no wreckage. Don B. told us of going out at 7 years of age with his father and uncle to look for the wreckage in 1957. They found the broken trees, disturbed ground and a cliff face that looked as if it had seen some kind of impact. They found an approx. 12 inch square piece of aluminum, with torn rivet holes and rolled edges as if from an impact. Unfortunately this piece was lost when the family home burned in the early '60's.

I would like to point out at this time that the spots that Don B. and John D. told us of are not on Gold Mtn but within a few miles. As a hint, we reduced our search area by determining how high a Very pistol flare could go and where the flares that were seen by a dozen or so folks in four different places could have come from. For the flares to be seen by the folks we interviewed, they would have to be launched from either Gold Mtn or a nearby peak close to the same height as Gold Mtn, which is the highest peak in the area. Water also figures into the descriptions given by the three witnesses to the disturbed ground/broken trees. Our witnesses who saw flares were:

1. At Baynes Lake
2. across the street from the theatre in Eureka, Montana
3.just east of where Waldo now sits under Lake Koocanusa
4.in Newgate

I've said more than my partner Wayne would want me to say but he has been looking for this plane since the early '80's and I respect his desire for some secrecy. He has lightened up a bit since we interviewed 2 brothers who told us of their father's interactions with AF personnel in May of 1950. We are no longer looking for the kind of wreckage indicated by reports by dozens of locals of seeing/hearing a plane in trouble, flares, fires and smoke signals. These are all indicators of big wreckage that had survivors. This plane is legendary in the borderlands here; nowhere else on the route produced the sheer number of reports or prompted the locals to search like they do near Eureka/Newgate. Nowhere else do the locals still look for this plane. There just isn't any place to hide a big silver and red C-54 anywhere we looked; but dozens of folks reported seeing the same things so I cannot dismiss them all as crackpots. My two interviews with Dave and Johnny B indicated AF personnel in Eureka that May who were told not to discuss what they found as it was now a classified issue; two of them stating that there were bear eaten bodies all over but they were told to leave them and to remove a safe from the wreckage and keep their mouths shut. Also related in these interviews was that when the wreckage was found, it was obvious some had survived for over a week, someone had beaten the AF to the wreckage and looted the personal effects from the bodies.

So to summarize we have reports of a mechanical issue that if it reoccurred could leave the plane with no panel/nav/comms; use of an emergency radio to check in; a series of witnesses seeing a plane doing just what they would have to do without nav/comm gear, namely following the road under the weather; no witnesses on the route past Steamboat; witnesses off the route whose locations form a line pointing right to Great Falls and finally literally dozens of witnesses in the Eureka/Newgate area seeing planes trailing smoke and fire, flares, big fires in the roadless mountains early the next morning and smoke signals from the nearby mountains. All that is missing is the plane itself. We have plans to closely examine 4 slide areas and the afore mentioned water sources for materials that may have been missed during a cleanup of the debris. I know nobody wants to think that the US or Canadian govts would cover this up but this is where 20+ years of research, travel and interviews have led. I would love for someone to prove me wrong. Start by going out to Gold Mtn for a looksee. Scanning GE imagery of the Wrangel St Elias mountains is fun but you have to dismiss the reports of dozens and dozens of folks who my gut tells me cannot all be liars/mistaken. I cannot explain short of a magic wand how the wreckage was removed/hidden but I cannot just say, "there is no wreckage, therefore all witnesses to the contrary are liars." 

I am not showing all my cards here; you can either wait for the book(or the movie A Canadian filmmaker is working on)or you can buy me a beer or three. The good stuff, no Budweiser.......


SiskiyouJ3Kid

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 #57 

  OK, first Burwash landing airport is on the Alaska Highway south of Snag Junction.  I don’t know anything about Wrangell-St Elias.  If you were half way between Snag and Aishihik and having an emergency, the closest airport is Burwash Landing.  Burwash Landing airport would be the choice if you needed to land ASAP.  It has a runway right on the highway and a settlement with people.  Approaching from the NE with a NE 50 knot tailwind equates to at least 3 to 4 nautical mile per minute GS. That means a large overshoot to a left downwind can happen and I’ve done it even without an emergency.  So the aircraft wreck being 12 miles from the airport, as if it were trying to land, is definitely a possibility.  

  This flight had a Navigator who should have been plotting the route, time over fixes, and fuel burn/ fuel remaining.  This would have been done even if the pilots were doing Radio Navigation.  Also a good Nav could have flown this route with Dead Reckoning (DR) and a wind forecast.   I agree with cutting the corner, as my WW2 pilot father would have navigate that way.  That said, the Nav would plot out any turn.  C-54’s had sextants and the dome behind the cockpit is for taking celestial nav shots, both day sun and night star.  Celestial navigation can go a long way to making your DR fix more accurate. 

  I have some old school IFR knowledge from that WW2 pilot I talked about earlier.  He would not continue to fly for over 1000 miles with a candle and a compass.  The list of what you would lose with a total electrical failure is huge.  Flying in intermittent IMC conditions on a dark night with no horizon is suicide.  You cannot even count on your Airspeed as ice crystals can plug the pitot tube.                  

  The DF lines of position from the B-29 and Bainbridge Radio station give you a good starting point to use Celestial Navigation 3 star fix techniques.  I will not go into all the details but this procedure should move you closer to your true position.  Now for the last Nav fix that was reported.  Occam-razor says that the simplest explanation is most likely the correct one.  If the flight didn’t report Aishihik they didn’t make it passed that point.   I know also that low frequency radio wave are effected by the magnetic north pole and solar activity.

  If you go to GE Pro with the lat/longs I‘ve given there is more to be seen.  Look upslope from the object I call the tail, and you should see 4 roundish smaller objects with shadows.  I have looked all over this area and this is the only place with objects on a snow field.     

   I don’t drink beer, I don’t like the taste.  I wish you luck on Gold mountain and hope you find something that solves a mystery.   I also think I’m on to something on the north side of Mount Hoge.  I got involved in this by way of looking for a WW2 wreck I want to find and recover (good story no one died).  This search has helped, but I want to get back to that search.  Good luck on the book, hope one of us writes the ending!

Searchmaster

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 #58 
Siskiyou,
Thank you for your response. I am not following your references to the navigator plotting turns; hoping you can clarify the context of that for me.

As for astral nav, that astrodome can't help you when you are under or in overcast.(not a pilot or navigator, just an old grey former ticketless tech, Boeing assembler/installer and ramp rat)

Due to a "failure of the weather circuit" on Amber 2 from 2030Z to 0030Z we don't have a good weather picture between Northway Alaska and Cut Bank, Montana during that 4 hour period. We do have parts during that timeframe and from 0030 on for most of the route. A mention was made of the check in at Snag referencing the plane entering IMC at 10,000 ft.. Northway, about 80 miles west at 2130Z reports a measured ceiling at 6,000 ft, lower broken....added is thin broken at 20 thousand, estimated 5,500 broken deck...
 
Snag and Aishihik no report; 2469 would have passed Aishihik around 2135Z; the soonest weather report For this area is 0030Z with Snag at 4500 ceiling, overcast, lower broken and Aishihik at 9500 broken, lower scattered 2500 feet. Whitehorse at this time reported 3500 overcast, visibility obscured at 1.5 miles. After that the ceiling yo-yos between 5500 and 9000 feet out almost to Ft Nelson. With no sky to observe, and with a possible panel/radio failure, you are gong down on the deck and flying the original IFR...I Follow Roads. The experimental farm worker at Mile 1022 stated he saw a large multi-engined plane following the road with a landing light at a low altitude, under a snowstorm. That combined with the other weather reports  does not paint a picture of a celestial nav environment.

As for Burwash, I am familiar with it. Pan Am had operations there in the late '30's but in the Lend Lease days it was an emergency strip, no more desirable for landing a C-54 than Snag, maybe less so due to terrain. It's on a lake but the mountains around it are higher. 

Just down the road 10 miles south/southwest from Burwash is Destruction Bay and the Talbot Arm Motel. I haven't looked at your location yet on GE but it sounds to be about 5-6 miles behind the hotel. We stayed at the original building in 1970 on our way to Fairbanks. The owners are Charlie Eklund and his family; he told me his brother was involved in a dredging attempt in the 50's to see if 2469 was in Wellesly Lake. I gave Charlie one of my AF 2469 Missing/Reward Tee Shirts and his family bought like 5 more so if you decide to put boots on the ground on this matter he is familiar with the story and might cut you a deal on a room stay. If you do go for a look, keep me posted, it's a day's drive from where I live. Who knows? Maybe you are looking at the tail of that missing C-48........

Surprised to see that you don't seem to think much of what the passel of witnesses, all way past Snag, had to say. There was 1 other plane on this route the whole day. The Dilts boys told me the plane they saw on the border was the second one they had seen in their lives. These weren't a bunch of today's social media addicted attention hounds; they were hard working Joes who took time out to make long trips to report this long before it made the news. But Andy Beebe seemed to feel the same way you do, Occams Razor and all, and I guess I get it. GE and high tech search stuff can be very intoxicating. There was a hubub over a big silver, tubelike anomaly several years ago spotted on GE about 15 miles from Haines Junction. A third generation Canadian pilot, Kyle Cameron told me of being in a helo flown by a friend, hovering for 15 minutes where this thing was supposed to be and he said if there had been a beer can there it would not have stuck to the steep slope at 9,000+ feet. But the Air Force Mortuary team sent out due to family pressures waited until late August and arrived to find 12 feet of extra snow sitting on this area and told me they might come back. They never did. Some of that info may be here at this site, not sure.

Do you have a copy of the crash report? I can send you one from online; not as good as an AAIR copy but its a start. Full of mistakes and US/Canadian mutual admiration exercises but the truth is in there in pieces.

Another item to peruse would be a document from the NWS titled 'The Weather Over the United States on January 26, 1950'.  Andy showed it to me on our trip down to the Air Force Historical Research Agency at Maxwell AFB. Not every day gets it's own NWS document.


SiskiyouJ3Kid

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 #59 
Searchmaster

  Any time you turn off course, you hack the time and note what you think is your position on the chart. You also note your heading/course as this is the bases for your next leg on the flight.   This is the pole in the ground, figuratively speaking, that ties you to your final destination.   

  I’m not into who is right or wrong, as I see it, all information has value.  Wrong answers, conclusions, and hypothesis all have value and they usually funnel you in the direction you need to go.  Your information is very helpful, as a lot of it isn’t in the Air Force report.   

  I might be wrong about it all, but the photo, to me, shows an almost 2 story tall, skinny, shiny object that can stay upright on a mountain that has 100mph plus winds during a storm!  As the government guy in the movie Contact said; That IS Interesting!

Searchmaster

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 #60 
Siskiyou,
Got no definitive proof of my theories, just the free time to inflict them on others. I hope you will do what 98% of those pointing to anomalies on GE do not do and actually have a look. Over the last 20 years many have sent me GE imagery hoping I would add them to my list of places to check. I went and looked at several on Gold Mtn and nearby locations as well as near Aishihik. Unlike what you posted, most do not look promising from the gitgo. Your anomaly is well placed to be sniffed out; what with a motel/restaurant/BAR within 8 miles, owned by someone familiar with the story and the area. My offer to help in any attempt to suss out just what is sticking up on that slope stands should you decide to check it out.
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