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The drought in California caused a plane to surface at the bottom of a lake.  This could solve the mystery of a 1965 crash.


California suffers from a Severe drought that dries up lakes across the state. As water levels drop, authorities uncovered the remains of what they believe was a plane crash in 1965 – potentially solving a decades-old aviation mystery.

Workers testing underwater sonar technology at Folsom Lake near Sacramento recently discovered a fully intact aircraft at the bottom of the lake, and it fits the description of a missing aircraft, the Piper Comanche 250.

“I saw something that was not normal,” Tyler Atkinson, one of the workers, told CBS affiliate KOVR-TV.

The underwater surveying company the men work for, Seafloor Systems, were able to take clear images of the aircraft’s tail and propeller due to the lake’s low water level.

The drought in California caused a plane to surface at the bottom of a lake.  This could solve the mystery of a 1965 crash.
Seafloor Systems employees believe they discovered the remains of a 1965 plane crash at Folsom Lake.

KOVR


“He sees something back there that looks like it’s been man-made, and that’s when we say, ‘There sure is something out there,’ and maybe it’s there. ‘airplane,’ said Seafloor Systems president John Timplin.

The New Year’s Eve crash following a mid-air collision with another plane 56 years ago killed all four on board. The pilot’s body was found, but the bodies of the three passengers were never found, despite research as recent as in 2014.

Frank Wilcox, the brother of one of the victims, did not stop looking for the plane or the remains of his brother. Wilcox died two years ago, never having been successful in his search, his son told KOVR.

The drought in California caused a plane to surface at the bottom of a lake.  This could solve the mystery of a 1965 crash.
People on Folsom Lake during a severe drought in Granite Bay, California, United States on Tuesday, May 25, 2021.

David Paul Morris / Bloomberg via Getty Images


The Placer County Sheriff’s Office will need to determine whether the plane can be recovered, but no investigation is currently underway, KOVR reports.

A dangerous heat wave is raging across much of the western United States this week, following the region’s worst drought in modern history. Death Valley is expected to reach or exceed 127 degrees Fahrenheit four days this week.

At present, 27% of the West, a record, is categorized as “exceptional drought” – the highest category. The 20-year record since 2000 was only 11%.

And his not a coincidenceis climate change. Since 1970, average temperatures in the West have risen by 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, fueling more extreme heat waves. And the excess heat means more intense droughts.

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