By Tim Binnall
A difficult drought currently impacting California may have inadvertently provided the solution to a decades-old plane crash mystery. The curious case reportedly dates back to New Year's Day of 1965 when a small aircraft went down into the waters around Folsom Dam near Sacramento. The plane and three passengers were never found, despite extensive searches in the dam's reservoir, Folsom Lake, immediately after the crash as well as on several occasions over the subsequent years and decades. Last week, however, an underwater surveying company seemingly stumbled upon the much-sought-after wreckage while they were testing new sonar equipment at the site.
The potential breakthrough occurred when Seafloor Systems deployed a newly-acquired autonomous underwater device during a practice run for future projects. Much to their profound surprise, the sonar equipment appeared to produce an image of an airplane in the lake. Puzzled by the find, the team looked closer at the anomaly with some different devices and realized that, indeed, it was an aircraft. "You could see the plane as clear as day," Seafloor Systems CEO Josh Tamplin marveled, "we could see the fuselage here, we could see the right wing. We could see the tail." Unfortunately, they were unable to definitively determine if they had discovered the long-long aircraft from 1965, since they could not get a clear look at the tail number of the plane.
That said, by virtue of where the plane was found, many observers believe that it is the lost 1965 aircraft and that would seem to include authorities in the area. Investigators with the local sheriff's office plan to convene with Seafloor Systems sometime next week to develop a plan to look into the discovery further and possibly retrieve the wreckage from the lake. As for how the company was able to spot the plane in the first place, that is being 'credited' to the drought in California as water levels in the lake are considerably lower than normal, which allowed for a clearer sonar examination of the site.