On November 23, 1953, a US Air Force F-89C jet fighter
interceptor was dispatched from Kinross Air Force Base near Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to identify an intruder that had appeared on radar. For thirty
minutes, the jet raced out over Lake Superior under guidance from radar operators at a remote station on the Keweenaw Peninsula.
Suddenly, the return from the jet merged with that of the bogie it was chasing. The IFF (Identification Friend or Foe) signal from the jet was lost.
The radar blip from the F-89 never reappeared.Radar blips of the aircraft and the UFO "merged" on the screen and the F-89 and its two-man crew were
Length: 53 ft 10 in (16.4 m)
Wingspan: 60 ft 5 in (18.4 m)
Height: 17 ft 6 in (5.3 m)
Wing area: 606 ft² (56.3 m²)
Empty weight: 24,200 lb (11,000 kg)
Loaded weight: 42,250 lb (19,200 kg)
Max takeoff weight: 46,800 lb (21,200 kg)
Powerplant: 2× Allison J35-A-35A afterburning turbojets
Dry thrust: 5,600 lbf (24.9 kN) each
Thrust with afterburner: 7,400 lbf (32.9 kN)
Maximum speed: 636 mph (553 knots, 1,020 km/h)
Range: 1,367 mi (1,188 nm, 2,200 km)
Service ceiling 49,200 ft (15,000 m)
Rate of climb: 8,360 ft/min (42.5 m/s)
Wing loading: 69.7 lb/ft² (340.4 kg/m²)
Thrust/weight: 0.35 (3.4 N/kg)
Last position of impact!
Start Position and Time
The start position for the flight was Kinross Air Base at 18:22 EST.
End Position and Time
The end position for the F-89 when its return "merged" with its intercept target was 4800 N and 8649 W. The time the F-89 return merged with the
target on radar is 18:55 EST.
The initial bearing for the F-89 was 300 degrees magnetic. Given magnetic declination of 1 degree 30 seconds west, the actual initial bearing would be
Final Turn and Bearing
The final bearing provided by GCI to the F-89 was a starboard turn to 20 degrees magnetic (18.30T) at 18:51 EST.
Previous to Final Turn and Bearing
The previous to final turn was a port turn to 270 degrees magnetic (268.30T) at 18:47 EST.
Pigeons to Home Plate
"Pigeons to Home Plate" was requested by the pilot about 18:50 EST. This was a request for a return bearing and distance to home base and was
provided by GCI as "150 - 125 miles".
A large scale search was immediately launched. Its important to note that the aircraft was lost in late November and although the weather was
stable, it was winter, snow covered the ground and the water of Lake Superior was freezing.
The Air Force later stated that the "UFO" turned out to be a Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) C-47 "On a night flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba,
to Sudbury, Ontario Canada." The F-89 apparently had crashed for unknown reasons after breaking off the intercept. In answer to queries from the
NATIONAL INVESTIGATIONS COMMITTEE ON AERIAL PHENOMENA (NICAP) in 1961 and again in 1963, RCAF spokesmen denied that one of their planes was involved.
Squadron Leader W. B. Totman, noting that the C-47 was said to be on a flight plan over Canadian territory, said "... this alone would seem to make
such an intercept unlikely."
Till this day the F-89, has never been found! but wait!
Amazing new photos have been released by The Great Lakes Dive Company concerning their discovery of the famous Kinross F-89 Scorpion jet fighter that
disappeared over Lake Superior on November 23, 1953.
Radar information and the original search grid were available as to where the F-89 was believed to have gone down, so the company had area to
investigate. They had just begun searching the area, using the new wide trajectory side scan sonar, and on their first pass located an object on the
bottom. It was a plane and the scans proved it was a F-89. The port (left) wing was missing, probably sheared off as well as a piece of the rear tail
wing. The starboard (right) wing was partially buried, due to the crash or the gradual build up of silt over the years.
Further evidence was uncovered using Hi Res scans which show that the canopy and the fuselage of the aircraft were intact. The groups took a total of
28 passes over the area, but were unsuccessful in finding the missing wing and tail section. "We have not been able to confirm that the bodies of the
two pilots are inside the aircraft", explained Adam Jimenez, spokesman for the company ,"but with the canopy intact, one would assume that would be
the case. However, the ROV survey would tell the tale."
< Jimenez stated, "We have confirmed the identity of the F-89 using several techniques. First, the general design of the aircraft is a complete
match. Our scan shows an upswept tail section which is a design characteristic of only the F-89 (hence the model name "Scorpion"). Second, this
aircraft has a wing pod. Also a design match to the F-89. Also the canopy location is a match. There are also other exact matches that I can't go
into at this time. There were no other F-89s or similar aircraft lost over the middle of Lake Superior."
Initially, the object appeared to be large and almost tear-drop in shape. It was only 212.5 feet from the F89! Jimenez added, "But the scan showed
something very interesting...a plow mark trailing behind the object (as if it had crashed). This plow mark caused us to focus our immediate attention
on the object, we lowered our ROV (remotely operated vehicle) to it and confirmed that the mystery object was metallic, and also had a strike mark
that matched the missing wing hole on the F-89c Scorpion. It is possible that the missing wing may be underneath the mystery object.
Low resoluton photo.
Blue - Trail from object as it crashed
Red - Object view from front
Yellow - Pushed lake bottom from impact
Black Box - Protects GPS and depth data
High resoluton photo.
Blue - Trial that object left when crashing
Red - Object partially buried
Yellow - Pushed up bottom sand from plowing of object
Black Box - Protects GPS and depth data
Let me know waht you think~!!