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Posts: 847
Does anyone know the serial number on this RF-84?  Missing on 18 August 1966.

Apparently the aircraft and pilot were never found.  Only a little bit of debris.

Crashed off Beaver Island, Lake Michigan.   What's the depth out there?

He was from Nebraska ANG on 2-week training at Alpena, MI.  Low-level photo mission over the lake and disappeared.  Afternoon flight, clear weather. They only searched for 2 days so the pieces they found must've been quite conclusive...

Chris Baird

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Posts: 1,284
While I have family in Alpena Mi, and am somewhat familiar with the depth of Lake HURON on that side of Michigan, I don't have all that much experience with Lake Michigan.  Based on my couple of times passing the strait between Huron and Michigan, and Beaver Island being somewhat in the middle of that part of Lake Michigan, I'm guessing it is deep (100 - 300 feet?)  Dennis

P.S. For the time frame, I find the grammar of the articles interesting "Find Helmet??????",  "Find Pieces"???????.

EDIT: this might be a good question for Jeff Benya.

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Posts: 343
Here is my entry for this missing aircraft from my Missing Military Aircraft Data Base:

18 Aug 1966





Enroute from Alpena, MI to local & return. The aircraft departed at 1305 on a routine training flight. The pilot’s flight plan called for a low level training flight heading NE from Alpena to the Straits of Mackinac, W over upper Michigan, & SW over Lake Michigan back to the W coast of the peninsula & return to Alpena. At approximately 1400 the USCG received reports of an explosion over Lake Michigan in the area of Beaver Island & the MI mainland. Residents of Traverse City reported seeing an explosion & smoke. This would have put the area within the flight pattern of the missing jet.

At 1500, a missing aircraft alert was issued by the pilot’s unit & USCG aircraft began an extensive search of the area. They centered their search on an area halfway between Beaver Island & Charlevoix, MI. On 19 Aug, debris was picked up by the USCG approximately 4.5 miles NE of Charlevoix. The following day more debris was picked up in the same area & was positively identified as being from missing RF-84. The search was suspended 20 Aug.

1LT Kenneth R. Knott, 25 was an airline pilot with TWA.  155th Tactical Recon Group, NE ANG.




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Posts: 2,594
There are many “missing” aircraft in the northern part of Lake Michigan. As far as I know the bottom of the northern part has not been explored unlike the southern shallow part where all the carrier training took place and almost 200 Navy planes were located. The average depth of Lake Michigan is about 300 feet. The most famous missing plane is an F-89 that was chasing a UFO
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