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Botanist Discovers Wreckage Of Cold War Era Aircraft In Death Valley

Botanist Discovers Wreckage Of Cold War Era Aircraft In Death Valley

A botanist who was out in the wild mountains of Death Valley in California to look for wild plants came across an unexpected surprise when he discovered the wreckage of a Cold War era aeroplane.

Have a look, it's pretty cool.

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It turned out that the plane had crashed back in 1952 whilst out on a secret mission. Don't worry, the crew of the plane parachuted to safety, leaving their unmanned aircraft to crash to a final resting place right in the middle of the desert.

He then documented that, as well as some of his rare plant finds, in a YouTube video.

If you want to learn about botany in one of the most arid landscapes on the planet, whilst also checking out some seriously cool plane wreckage, then this is the video for you.

The YouTube account that posted the video is that of one 'Sheriff Woody PCT' and he - as well as outlining some cool rare plants - found out the backstory behind the plane crash, too.

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Credit: YouTube/Sheriff_Woody_PCT
Credit: YouTube/Sheriff_Woody_PCT

In the description, he wrote: "On a hike looking for rare limestone endemic plants in Death Valley, we spotted the wreckage of a plane!

"After several hours of hiking and many interesting plants, we managed to scramble over to the wreck. Turns out the plane has been there for 68 years!

"In January 1952 this SA-16 Albatross was flying from Idaho to San Diego supporting classified CIA Cold War operations when its left engine caught fire over Death Valley, California and the plane began losing altitude and velocity.

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"The pilot gave the order to evacuate the plane and all six people on board jumped out the back door!"

Credit: aviation-safety.net
Credit: aviation-safety.net

"They parachuted and safely landed 14 miles north of Furnace Creek which they then hiked to.

"The abandoned plane then smashed into the steep limestone hillside in the Panamint Mountains.

"It was a great day of botanizing with an awesome unexpected thrill!"

Hey, aren't all days of botanizing great, though? Unexpected thrills are just the icing on the cake when you've got rare vegetation to wade through.

Anyway, this story is backed up by the website aviation-safety.net, which states that the plane was a Grumman SA-16A Albatross that crashed exactly there on Thursday 24 January 1952.

Credit: aviation-safety.net
Credit: aviation-safety.net

Travelling to an unknown base in San Diego, it suffered issues and forced the crew of six to jump for their lives.

What's more, the plane will remain in the Panamint Mountains for the foreseeable, too.

After the crew were picked up by the US Air Force, they came to the site and collected any sensitive information that might have been there, but left the plane behind because - frankly - it would have been too much hassle to move.

Still, it makes for an interesting off-the-beaten-track tourist spot, if you're into that sort of thing.

Featured Image Credit: YouTube/Sheriff_Woody_PCT

Topics: Interesting, US News, Weird

Tom Wood

Tom Wood is a LADbible journalist and Twin Peaks enthusiast. Despite having a career in football cut short by a chronic lack of talent, he managed to obtain degrees from both the University of London and Salford. According to his French teacher, at the weekends he mostly likes to play football and go to the park with his brother. Contact Tom on [email protected]