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Ricknie

1977 Yosemite Plane Crash

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Bad me! Yes...I read them. They were also published in Mountain Gazette. Here's the link at ST: http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=68674&f=0&b=0

 

This is the link that got the pilot's wife and I started on writting this book.

 

 

My memory is of a very short article, in Mountain Gazette, I think, that said low snowfall that season aided the (dope) recovery efforts. What I liked was a line something like this: When the terrible drought of '77 was brought up in conversation, smiles were seen in certain parts of California.

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I have just received a bunch of photos taken by those involved in the recovery of the plane, bodies, and uh....the cargo. Some great stories to go along with the images as well. Oh yeah, and yes, the winter of 76/77 was in the middle of the famous seven year drought. The photos taken in December look as though they were taken in late April. Although the holes cut with chainsaws show clearly how low the temperatures got as the lake was totally frozen over.

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Another up date for those that are following this saga.

 

A guy that appears to have the only remaining tee shirt has contacted me. He'll be sending me photos of his shirt which we'll include in the book.

 

So far I've heard from more than 18 people that want to provide stories from this event. They range from some of the original climbers out of C4, NPS employees, Curry Company employees, and those involved with the investigation from the Fed's side. Truly an eye opening experience to say the least.

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is that a dude or a chick in the picture? I really can't tell.

 

remind me never to bivi anywhere near you shocked.gif

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Another up date for those wanting to know.

 

I've just been contacted by the wife of one of the original four guys that found the crash site. He died ten years ago, but they both were working in Yosemite at the time. She has agreed to tell what she can recall.

 

Stay tuned...

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A year later and many interviews. Thought an up date for those that might be interested.

 

For those that are not aware, the pilot and copilot were from the Seattle area.

 

The plane was a modified WWII Navy submarine hunter/killer

 

I now have a couple of images of the plane during its civilian days. I also have photos of the salvage operation up at the lake.

 

I thought that maybe I'd have this book out by this Christmas, so hold your breath and cross your legs.

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Just when I thought I knew everything there was about this event someone comes forward and provides enough information for me to create another chapter.

 

I have now started to interview those involved in the drug dealing side of this story. The number 1 guy was found shot to death in his car a few months ago, but the number 2 guy has come forward to tell me about the world as he saw it 30 years ago. Pretty amazing stuff....stay tuned.

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A year later and many interviews. Thought an up date for those that might be interested.

 

For those that are not aware, the pilot and copilot were from the Seattle area.

 

The plane was a modified WWII Navy submarine hunter/killer

 

I now have a couple of images of the plane during its civilian days. I also have photos of the salvage operation up at the lake.

 

I thought that maybe I'd have this book out by this Christmas, so hold your breath and cross your legs.

Was the plane a Douglass SBD Dauntless, by any chance? I just saw a TV program about this plane. There was an American pilot who fought three Japanese A6 Zeros at the same time in one of these planes. He not only survived, but shot down all the enemy planes.

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I was in high school in the Bay Area at the time. I had some friends that hung at camp 4 at the time. I remember smoking the buds. Mexican seedless. Dried twice but still worked. I heard a few stories at the time but i didn't know which were urban legend or not. I heard there was pot and some coke and some money and a book with names and such. The guy who found the book died a questionable death. That's the stuff I remember.

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Almost every house in El Portal is dope-plane money. Get your car repaired there and you'll get the scoop.

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In 1977 a plane loaded with dope crashed into Lower Merced Pass Lake. I knew the pilot and his wife since high school.

 

If you knew them, then do you do dope?

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Keybone, the research I am performing and the information that I am gleaning has nothing to do with me. I can appreciate your troll, but its a little off base. How about leading your question with "I do dope, do you Ricknie"?

 

No Cat, it was not a Douglass SBD Dauntless. It was however, not a Lockheed Lodestar as people who have told the story for the past 30 years thought it was. What it turns out to be changes the entire story about how much dope was on board, confirmed by the #2 guy in the drug organization as he was there supervising the loading prior to the plane's departure.

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Ricknie:

You have to understand that every village has a Resident Idiot. For cc.com, it's kevbone.

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Time for an up date.

 

The plane was a WW II fighter/bomber called a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura. It was the original submarine hunter/killer. It was more powerful and capable of carrying more load than a Lockheed Lodestar, and this one did. Before it found its way into US ownership, it was owned and operated by the Royal Canadian Air Force.

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Time for an up date.

 

The plane was a WW II fighter/bomber called a Lockheed PV-1 Ventura...

Look likes you could haul quite a lot of smoke in that puppy...

 

pv-1_1.jpg

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Yeah, and that's not the whole of it. That plane was modified. It was bigger, faster, and capabile of longer trips than the Feds figured on. The load was larger.

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Been busy chasing down leads about the pilots and their exploits prior to the Yosemite event. Quite a few wannabie "I was there...well, maybe not there, but I knew a guy that knew a guy....." You can fill in the blanks.

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There's a book at the end of all this, right? I'm in for a copy, it'll be a great tale. Thanks for the various updates on your research.

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It did help make that summer very entertaining in the valley. Some of the stuff had the annoying habit of bursting into flame when smoked in a joint, rumor was that this was due to getting soaked in fuel. Best enjoyed in a pipe. This shot is from that summer, in the Lodge lot, back in the day when you could sleep in your van for free there for the entire summer. Note the home made india print curtain on the window.

 

463865-yosemite1977.jpg

 

Also, that summer, a good amount of the stuff made its way to Jackson. It was smoked as a last resort.

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If anyone saw Sylvester Stallone's movie, "CliffHanger" it was written on the premise of this crash. There have been a number of books written on the crash. By the way, the pilot was from Seattle. Almost no one knows that tidbit of info.

...and the premise was written by John Long.

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