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C-130 stolen in 1969 found

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posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:23 PM
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On May 23, 1969, Sergeant Paul Meyer stole a C-130 from RAF Mildenhall, after a phone call home to his wife, in an apparent attempt to get home. An hour and a half later, the plane disappeared from radar. The only thing found of it was a life raft that washed ashore on the island of Alderney. There have long been rumors that it was shot down by interceptors launched to track it. Ten years ago, a search was begun to find the aircraft, and possibly find out what really happened to it.

Now, professional diver Grahame Knott has found the aircraft at the bottom of the English Channel. He was able to narrow the search area from 100 square miles down to 30, and were only able to make 21 trips to the search area over 9 months due to weather. On the last day of their search in November, they got a hit on a target. They lowered a camera down to where it was, and found it was aluminum, then found a wheel, and larger and larger pieces of debris. He said that it was more intact that he was expecting. He plans to go out in the spring, when weather is better, and make a detailed 3D map of the wreckage, which will hopefully allow accident investigators to determine what happened to the aircraft that night.


It's taken 10 years, but professional diver Grahame Knott has finally found a US Air Force plane that crashed into the Channel in 1969. The wreck may help resolve a mystery: did the homesick mechanic who made off with the aircraft from his base in Suffolk lose control - or was he shot down?

"It cost me a fortune in beer," says Grahame Knott, "and I had to filter out a lot of chuff."

A crucial part of his decade of research was spent in pubs along the south coast of England, looking for men who operated trawlers and scallop dredgers.

These boats scrape nets along the seabed and occasionally turn up curious pieces of metal - which is what Knott was buying beer to hear about.

By listening carefully, he could guess whether the objects were likely to have come from aircraft, and if so how old they were, though it was not always easy to know exactly where they had become snagged in the net.

Source.




posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Wasn't that dude drunk AF when he stole the plane?



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:27 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58




"It cost me a fortune in beer," says Grahame Knott


That's a lot of time spent on a boat looking for a wreck among wrecks.

Awesome story.



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:30 PM
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a reply to: Allaroundyou

Yeah. He was removed from one of the base clubs and told to go home and sleep it off, but instead stole the aircraft.



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:34 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Really bad life decision but funny as all hell.

If only he lived to tell that story now!



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:53 PM
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a reply to: Allaroundyou

You never know. There was a life raft found washed ashore. Do you know if the raft had been deployed Zap?



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 02:57 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

Probably, but they've been known to deploy from impact forces as well, so it might have inflated when he hit the water.



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 03:24 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

so this guy is like a drunk DB Cooper with no money?

I always smiled hearing this one, being a 130 guy.



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 03:36 PM
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a reply to: network dude

Yeah pretty much. It was always a really interesting mystery as to what happened to him. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of the mapping.



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 04:33 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

I read an article yesterday about this although it was originally from July. Story is along the lines of was it shot down or did it crash. Few comments from people who were around at the time and details on the incident.




"Well, honey I'll be really honest with you," he admits. "I kind of think I made a big dang wrong mistake here. I feel like the biggest dodo around here right now. Over."



Was the newlywed mechanic who stole a plane shot down?



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 04:39 PM
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Surely if it was shot down then the aircraft that intercepted it would of seen it go down and would of known the rough location as I'd expect they would of got close enough to try and establish some communication. Being drunk I'm going with he crashed or ran out of fuel (was it fully fuelled?)

On a side note I'd love to dive on the C-130 wreck but they won't be allowing it. Would love to dive on some aircraft wrecks

edit on 30-12-2018 by ThePeaceMaker because: (no reason given)

edit on 30-12-2018 by ThePeaceMaker because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 04:42 PM
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"It cost me a fortune in beer," says Grahame Knott, "and I had to filter out a lot of chuff."


Interesting path to take in research that worked. Ya just never know...



posted on Dec, 30 2018 @ 04:53 PM
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a reply to: network dude

I was with the 314th tactical airlift squadron an Little Rock in 1972. An AGE flight line mechanic.



posted on Dec, 31 2018 @ 12:52 AM
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originally posted by: CharlesT
a reply to: network dude

I was with the 314th tactical airlift squadron an Little Rock in 1972. An AGE flight line mechanic.


What is an airloft squadron?



posted on Dec, 31 2018 @ 10:48 AM
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a reply to: Zaphod58
Well the first thing I would like to know is the time Mildenhall found out their aircraft was missing. Because that part of the UK is massively covered by detection equipment. They would have seen him from virtual take off. The only thing they would want to know was it a planned flight.
He must have been extremely drunk, stupid or plain ignorant cos he was flying away from the US not towards it to get home.
Now scenario, I would assume that the relevant authorities would have known what aircraft, where it came from and that it was an unauthorized flight.
The C-130 is a transport craft not an armed threat so I don't think the shooting down as a legible scenario. I think he would have been monitored and some-one would be trying to communicate with him. He would have had a couple of strike aircraft by his side within half an hour or less. Now why would they shoot him down. Don't forget he was over the Channel, not anywhere near a target to crash into if that was his assumed intention.



posted on Dec, 31 2018 @ 10:57 AM
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a reply to: crayzeed

They knew from the time he took off. He took off at 0508, and the aircraft impacted the water at 0655. They have the logs of when he ordered the aircraft fueled for a flight back to the US, posing as "Capt. Epstein".



posted on Jan, 2 2019 @ 05:38 PM
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a reply to: Zaphod58

Geez - when I read the header imagined that it had turned up in some dusty hanger or overgrown field ……..



posted on Jan, 5 2019 @ 06:30 AM
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I'get always been fastinated with this story, I read your OP the day you posted it but had nothing to add.

Just popping in to say that it's only just made the local news, I'd be interested to know which specific rumours and conspiracies he's referring to here;


...Having located the aircraft we can already dispel a lot of stupid rumours and conspiracy theories, which is certainly half the battle won.


Jersey Evening Post

While it's still not known where his body lies, I hope that the discovery of his downed aircraft can bring some form of closure for his family.




posted on Jan, 5 2019 @ 10:27 AM
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a reply to: MerkabaTribeEntity

It's long been thought that the F-100s were ordered to shoot him down, instead of trying to help him land. His last words to his wife were about something being wrong, or trying to deal with something.



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