Wreckage of a military plane believed to have crashed on Colony Glacier, east of Anchorage, AK, was discovered on June 10. Along with the wreckage, human remains of the 52 people who had been on board the plane were also found.
This is a story that struck a chord with me. It reminds me of the stories you read occasionally of mammoths being found in glaciers in Russia or even the story of Captain America that was touched on in “The Avengers” earlier this year. Unfortunately, these people weren’t lucky enough to live in an age when medical miracles like that could happen.
According to an AP account, the civil air patrol member was Terris Moore, who was president of the University of Alaska. After returning from the site, he told reporters that the plane “obviously was flying at full speed” when it hit Mount Gannett, sliding down the snow-covered cliffs, exploding and disintegrating over two or three acres.
Though the wreckage had been seen shortly after the crash in November 1952, snow buried it and then repeated thawing and refreezing allowed the ship to be absorbed into the glacier. A 12-member military team tried three times to get to the site, but was thwarted by the weather each time.
“The ice gives up what it wants to give up when it wants to give it up,” Army Capt. Jamie Dobson said. “It’s really in control.”
The crash was the third big Air Force transport plane to crash or vanish in Alaska that month and the sixth around the Pacific Rim, according to the AP.
It’s also sad that after 60 years of wondering what happened to their relatives, those wounds have been reopened and it could take up to six years to process all of the DNA samples. The article leaves me wondering why, if the location of the wreckage was known, efforts were undertaken to recover the wreckage once the weather warmed up in the summer of 1953.
At least now the families can get some closure.
You can find the article about the discovery here.