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Posted: Dec 8 2005, 09:12 AM
Special Projects Director
Group: CCForum ADMIN
Member No.: 1
Joined: 20-February 04
Yet another great entry that was submitted to the Sea Hunters Comp. This one by eashtoni
It was 25 feet, lighting fast and brand spanking new. The 250CR Stingray was Charley’s pride and joy. He shoved it into high gear and tore through the Monongahela River sending water spray all over himself and his three passengers. The Pittsburgh river traffic was unusually light for this time of year.
“Hey, Chas, knock it off.” Pete yelled spilling his beer as he tried to right himself in his seat.
“Chill, man, just sit back enjoy the ride.” He screamed over the roar of the engine.
“Chill? Charley, you know the river is down. We could hit debris.”
The girls were screaming for him to listen to Pete. Logic prevailed and he slowed down.
“Whoa, thank god. Charley, I really think you are out of your mind sometimes.” Bet turned to her boyfriend. “I thought you said Charley was calmer now, isn’t that bullshit.”
“I said he was but---”
“I still like fun.” The evening sun shown down on his skin the color of coffee unlike his three companions.
Grabbing her arms around his waste, his fiancé tossed her blond hair back off of her shoulders. She leaned in and kissed the back of his neck. “Oh Charley, what will we ever do with you. My hair is drenched and we have that party to go to later.”
“Sorry, maybe we could forget the party.”
“Sure and what would your mother the commissioner say to my father, the great mayor of this city.”
“censored, why do you always have to bring up politics?” Both of them smiled.
“Charley what party is this? And can Pete and I come?”
“Sure, in fact you can go instead.” You know I think this looks like a good place for a dip. He put the boat in idle and dropped the anchor. “Any one for a swim?” He dove off the side into the murky Mon River. Pete followed him over the side.
“You know you boys are nuts. That water is not too clean.”
Pete splashed water at Bet. “Oh come on in. It feels great and it is so damn hot in that boat.”
“No way. I’ll pass.”
“How bout you , Lanie? Are you brave or what?”
“Just watch your ass, Pete, I’m coming in.” She dove off the side and hit the water. Coming up to the surface she spit water out of her mouth. “Yak, it may feel good but, Bet’s right it ain’t too clean looking.” Charley grabbed for her. She dodged him and laughed. Pete swam around the boat and pulled himself aboard.
“What time is it?” Lanie held on to Charley as they treaded water.
Pete was drying himself off with a towel. He glanced over at the clock. “Its about 8.”
“Geez, Charley we had better get going You know we can’t be late.” Lanie swam over to the boat and Pete reached down and pulled her in. Charley followed and declined Pete’s hand. He grabbed a towel and plunked down in the captain’s seat. He reached for the knob for the anchor. The was no movement from the anchor.
“What’s the matter?” Pete asked.
Charley hit the knob again and nothing happened. “Damn something’s up with the anchor.”
“What do you mean, is it stuck or what?”
“I don’t know Pete. Hey see if you can reach down and pull on the line.” Pete followed Charley’s direction as he groped blindly in the river.
“Pete, can you see it?”
“No way, it’s too dark with that Bridge right in the suns path and I can’t feel it either. Look, I’ll jump in the water and see if I can pull it loose. Just guide me on where it should be.”
Pete dove into the river. Following Charley’s directions he then swam under the boat quickly searching for the rope before he ran out of breath. After a minute, he returned to the surface gasping for air.
“Anything?” Charlie asked as he pulled on the knob again.
Pete was trying to catch his breath. “No, but I’ll go again and see if I can find it.” He dove under again. He was gone for almost a minute before he surfaced. “I found it.” he gulped in the air. “I pulled on it but it won’t budge. Look do you have a pole with some kind of hook? Maybe I can grab it and pull it with a pole.”
“I don’t know. Bet, look in that compartment back there where the life jackets are.” She reached down and opened the compartment jammed full of jackets and ropes but no pole.”
“No pole, I got rope.”
“Okay, well, that will have to do. Bet, hand me one end of the rope.” Pete directed her.
“What are you going to do?” Charley was still playing with the knob to no avail.
“Listen, I’ll tie the rope around the anchor and then we can all pull on it. Maybe that will be enough to let it loose.” Taking the rope from Bet he dove under the water and returned with a thumbs up. “Okay, let me get on board and we will all pull.”
“Pete couldn’t you see what it’s stuck on?”
“Lanie you can’t see censored. Its too dark the Homestead Bridge is in the way and look the sun is almost set.” He turned to Charley. “Okay ladies, we three will pull on the rope and Charley you try the button. Okay get in position. Lanie, you behind me and Bet you behind Lanie. Now Grab the rope. On three, one, two, three , pull. pull.” The three of them yanked on the rope their hands burning as they tried to pull the anchor free. Grunts and groans filled the twilight air, mosquitoes seemed to multiply by hundreds. Sweat poured from their bodies. The humidity appeared to raise since the sun had set. “Pull, keep trying.”
Lanie let go and fell back into a seat she was followed by Bet. “Stop, stop, my hands their bleeding and its not budging. We need another idea.”
“Why don’t you call the river rescue?” Bet offered.
“Are you crazy. Bet, my parents would be pissed. The commissioner’s son out on the river in his new boat with alcohol and in an area that was forbidden.” “Forbidden, what the hell are you talking about?” Pete had picked up a towel and was rubbing his rope burned hands as he dried off.
“Oh , come on, you know. This is where the sunken barge is and I just bet there is other crap caught on that and I’m caught on all of it.”
“God Charley it’s almost 9:00. And its damn dark. We gotta call someone. I’ll use my cell. We won’t use the rescue.”
“Alright, fine, okay, Lanie, I don’t know who to tell you to call.”
“I’ll call my brother, Jack. He can get down here in 10 minutes.”
“Fine, but I don’t know what he can do for us.”
“Well for one thing he can bring a set of cutters and we can cut the damn anchor off.” Lanie pulled out her cell phone and began to dial. When the call was picked up she could be heard giving her brother directions on what they needed and where they were. Hanging up, “he’s on his way.”
“Look lets try and pull it again till he gets here. Maybe it’ll budge.” Pete reached down and grabbed the rope.
Bet was behind him. She looked up and turned her head, listening. “Do you hear something? “
“Here what?” Charley asked her.
Bet listened again. “Yeah I hear something, a vibration. What is it? It seems so far away. But, you know, I think it’s getting louder. Yes, it is. I know it is. Don’t you hear it now?” Her voice had raised a pitch higher in her excitement.
“Okay, yeah , now I do.” Pete nodded his head as he listened toward the sound.
All four remained quiet and listened to the vibration become louder the closer it came. It was impossible to hear each other speak.
“What the hell is it? Where is it. Its so damn dark I can’t see. Charley you better put running lights on.” Pete yelled as loud as he could.
“What did you say. Oh my god.” Charley screamed as a huge shape appeared towering over them and heading straight for their boat.
Pete screamed. “Jump! Get out of the boat.“ He leaped into the river, Bet was right behind. Hitting the water they swam furiously out of the monster’s way.
Bet looked back to see Lanie and Charley had not jumped “Get out, Lanie jump, Charley.” They both yelled again. Suddenly there was a loud crashing sound as the monster consumed the boat like paper. Pete and Bet just missed being pulled under by the wake. They kept swimming looking back for Charley and Lanie. Reaching the shore, Pete pulled Bet out of the water with him. Both turned to where the boat had been. All they saw was twigs of scattered wood and fiberglass.
“Charley, Lanie, Charley , Lanie, where are you. Did they get out ? Pete, My god where are they. Bet began to cry as she continued screaming their names.
Pete run along the water’s edge calling for them and searching the river. “Charley? Lanie? Hey where are you?” He watched pieces of the boat float to where he stood. He reached down and picked up a piece. He looked at hard, his face contorted in anger, eyes filled with tears, he screamed, “Charley.”
A car horn suddenly blared in the night and both of them turned to see a red mustang heading toward them. They waved and shouted to get the drivers attention.
The car sped up close to where they stood. Pete and Bet ran toward the car. The driver got out and started toward them. He recognized Pete and Bet and seeing their excitement he hurried to them. “Hey, Pete, Betty, what’s going on? Lanie said you were stuck in the boat where’s the boat.” He reached Pete and Betty as she collapsed in his arms screaming.
“Their gone, the boat gone.”
“What, I don’t understand. Who’s gone?”
“Jack we were hit by something . Me and Bet jumped in the water I thought they were right behind us. I can’t see them.” Tears came to his eyes. Jack had his cell in his hand and 911 on speed dial. It seemed he hadn’t closed the phone when the sirens shrill cut through the night air.
“Commissioner Bryant, they are still searching but it is getting too murky to see. They want to resume at first light.” Commission Anna Bryant was dressed for a party. Her dark hair down up, the red sequined gown complemented her tall and slim figure. Her skin the color of caramel dotted with sweat as she stood shivering . Her husband took off his suit jacket and placed it around her shoulders. Charley took his looks from his dad including his dark skin. Together the family was striking.
The officer who had informed her they were stopping the search walked over to one of the police cars and took the radio in hand. “Tell them we resume at first light.” In the back of the car sat the Mayor and his wife who was crying. “Your honor, do you want me to drive you home or somewhere. Since they will be stopping the search till light?”
He nodded. “Yeah but first I want to talk to the Commissioner and Dr Cyril and Captain Thompson from the River rescue. Get him and Doc, and bring them over to the Commissioner.” Taking Daria, his wife, in his arms, he looked into her teary blue eyes, “ Daria?” “Honey will you be okay here? I want to talk to the Commissioner?”
She took the hanky she had in her hand and put it to her eyes. Her carefully coiffure hair was mussed. Her Blue satin gown was wrinkled and tear stained. “Yes, go on.” Her voice, a mere whisper.
Mayor Ted Williams was 52, and this was his third year as mayor. The first republican, since 1933. He had the backing of the police and fire department since that was where he got his start. Most of the mayors were former councilmen but the city wanted a change and they got it with Williams. He had a Masters in Criminal Justice and also certified as a paramedic. He had worked first, for the fire department and then using his salary to obtain his education as a paramedic and the training, it was on the job experience. Working together with the police, firemen and paramedics was standard procedure. An accident or fire did not happen without all of them on scene. They even socialized together. It was a tremendous victory when Ted Williams won the city. Someone would now speak for the working men.
Ted made his way to the Commissioner and her husband. He saw his son Jack coming from the river with Dr. Cyril and Captain Thompson. They all converged at the same time. Ted reached out and took Anna’s hand. She nodded.
Dr. Wilhelm Cyril was the Chief coroner for the City, a lawyer and former Superior court Judge. Currently he headed an office of 10 assistant coroners. Much the politician he had secured funding in the last ten years to finally build a modern and up to date facility that would make Kay Scarpetta envious. “Anna, Ted, it is not the most ideal conditions out there. And I don’t think day light is going to help much.”
“I know, I was afraid that might be the case. Anna, I think we may need to get other help.” Ted nodded in agreement.
“Yes,” she sniffled wiping her eyes and nose with her husbands’ handkerchief
“Look, let me make a suggestion. I have a call into Carl Betters at Melon. He’s their Dean of Environmental Sciences. He specializes in the study of rivers and I’m sure he can help us or he knows of someone who can.”
“Okay, fine, Cyril, as soon as you have something, will you call me?”
“Sure Ted. Now Captain Thompson and I will head over to Melon see if we can track him down. I was told he was there but in a meeting.”
“Ah Wilhelm, come in. So nice to see you. Captain Thompson.” Carl Betters greeted the two men in the hallway of his office in the Carnegie which housed all of the professors offices and meeting rooms on the second floor. The first floor held the library and a small coffee hutch. The third floor contained several classrooms dedicated to the sciences in chemistry, biology and oceanography.
“Come in please, would you like coffee?” The two men followed Carl to a sitting area with a couch and several chairs.
“Please, coffee would be nice.” Dr. Cyril said as he looked over at Captain Thompson who nodded in agreement.
After they were settled with their coffee Carl sat down. “What brings you to me on this late hour.” He glanced at his watch. “Oh my, its almost midnight. I didn‘t know it was so late.”
“Carl, I agree it is a late hour. So I won’t beat around the bush. The mayor’s daughter and the commissioner’s son were in an accident in the Mon tonight and they are missing.”
“That’s awful. What happened?”
Captain Thompson spoke up as Cyril sipped his coffee. “We are not sure.
The witnesses stated some huge boat or something like that ran them over. The witnesses stated they jumped in the water but did not know if Lanie and Charley followed. They don’t think they did.”
Carl shook his head, his face grim. He sat up and leaned closer to them. “Well, I know that is not the reason you are hear to bear such bad news.” His accent still carried a faint touch of German. His hair had gone completely white at the age of 50 and 10 years later he still had a full head.
“No you’re right we have a problem, which I know you are aware. They had to call off the search because of the it was too dark, but tomorrow it won’t be much better. With the drought the water is so murky they can’t see a foot in front of them. How are they going to find the bodies?”
“Ah , I see, yes you are right. The rivers are bad as it is but now they seem loaded with mud.”
“I know, Carl, you have some influence and contacts. Perhaps you could get us some assistance in this matter. After all it is the mayor’s and the commissioner’s children who are missing.”
“Right, right, let me think a moment.” Carl sat very still and closed his eyes. After a minute he sat up opened his eyes. “Yes, yes I can give you help I have a friend in NUMA.”
“NUMA?” Thompson asked.
“Ah, yes NUMA. They are explorers of the waters and seas. They have very fine equipment and experience with such matters. They are who we need. With your permission I shall call my friend and see what he can do for us. It is rather late so I feel a need to wait till tomorrow. I hope that will be okay.”
“Yes it will have to. Thank you Carl.” Cyril and Thompson both stood setting the cups on the table. They shook hands with Carl and headed out into the hall.
“Very well, I shall call you as soon as I talk to NUMA.”
Thompson and Cyril said their good byes and headed home for the night.
The turquoise helicopter with his familiar letters NUMA circled the old steel mill site looking for the landing area. The pilot spotted it and slowly descended making note of the many personnel below.
The pilot put the helicopter down and started to turn off the equipment. Removing the helmet he was a she displaying short blond hair. Beside her the co pilot got out of the copter and made his way to the group of people. The pilot followed.
“Ah Gary, its good to see you.” The professor said reaching out to shake hands.
“You too, professor. Its been a while. How is Rudy?.”
“Oh, my son is fine. He is on a dig somewhere in Egypt. Claims he’ll make Christmas home this year. Now please, let me introduce you.”
“Oh by the way this is Eva Stevens., my partner and boss.” Eva shook the professors hand.
“Nice to meet you Professor.”
“Oh please not so formal call me Carl.” He turned to the group around him and introduced them.
“This is Dr Cyril, our chief coroner, and Capt Thompson head of River Rescue. This is Bob Stern and Frank Elder. They are from the committee trying to locate the down B25.”
When everyone had finished greeting each other Dr Cyril spoke up. “I can’t tell you how grateful we are that you could come on such short notice. I never thought you’d be here this quick.”
“ Carl called last night-”
“Yes, after you left, Will, I thought about the time it takes to get things in place and I thought we’d better get started fast. I hope it did not cause any hardship for you, Gary. I know you were on assignment.”
“No problem, in fact right now was the best time. We just finished a project and in fact the boat we are planning to use has all of the necessary filtering equipment on board and it is coming down the Ohio as we speak. It should be here in about two hours. So, in the mean time give Eva and I a run down on what we are looking for. I know you have not found the missing people, correct?”
“No they are still missing. Gary, that is our priority to find them and if they are deceased, well at least we can give their families peace knowing they are found.” Dr Cyril reached out his hand and pointed to a trailer that had been set up. “Come I think we will be more comfortable in there. It is air conditioned and we have coffee.”
“Lead on, Doc.” Gary leading Eva followed him, Carl, and Captain Thompson into the trailer leaving Bob and Frank outside. “Fellows aren’t you going to join us?”
“No Gary you guys go ahead too crowded in that tinder box. Besides we come in later.” Frank said. Gary looked at him perplexed but turned back to the trailer following the party inside.
Two hours on the dot an identical colored ship arrived sporting the same logo, ‘NUMA‘ on its side. It was about 50 feet in length, and able to travel as fast as 17 knots. It had a long open deck, large enough to hold a huge cylinder shaped machine. A clear type plastic umbrella shaped cone sat on top of it. The boat made its way into the dock. Gary grabbed the line thrown to him by the Captain Justin Smith.
“Hey Gary good to see ya.” He leaped off the boat and shook his hand leaving his first mate and two other hands on deck. “ So what have you got for us?”
Gary introduced the group including Bob and Frank who now stood on shore beside the others. Gary took out the map of the river and showed Justin where the search area was. “I think if we put the ‘Sucker’ in around here we can clear an area 15 by 15 and that may be enough.”
“Sucker? What is that?” Bob asked.
With a proud look Justin pointed to the cylinder object on deck. “This NUMA’s latest addition to our research equipment. It can be placed in the water and once operating will filter an area about 1000 square feet. If you look up at the umbrella cone you can see those small tubes. There are about a thousand of them, they suck the water in and if you see that long hose it is laid down stream where the water is returned.”
“Pretty impressive.” Bob looked at Frank and smiled.
“Okay, well let us get in position. Is there much debris there we should worry about?”
“Oh yeah in fact let Frank and Bob fill you in.
Bob stepped forward and pointed on the map to an area called Bird’s landing. “This is an area where we believe a B25 went down in 1956. There is also a barge there. We have pictures of the site taken several years ago with a magnetometer. I gotta tell you though that was in 1997. Here it is 10 years later god only knows how much has changed. But I will say this, that when the boat was hit its anchor was stuck on something and we believe it’s probably the barge.”
“I see. Well, let me have the specs you have and I’ll lower our cameras and see what we can see. I guess not much with the muddy water but I can use the sonar at least and get a read so as not to get us stuck.” He took the map and the sheets and headed on board.
“Justin is our equipment all ready?”
“Yep, just as you ordered all the diving gear is ready for you and Eva.”
As Eva and Gary dressed in their equipment Justin and his crew studied the maps. The others waited on shore. The boat was in position over birds landing. Justin was attempting to use his cameras to film the area. “Ah, it is too murky.” He reached over and turned on the sonar scanning the area. After three minutes the sonar sounded and as it took pictures of the area a shape began to appear. “Hmm can you make it out, Ty?” He asked his first mate.
Ty peered into the screen of the computer. He made several adjustments feeding the data to the central computer in Washington. DC. “Lets see what they get on Yeager’s baby.” Several minutes passed and suddenly data started pouring over the second monitor. Gary and Eva joined them at the screen.
“Well Frank and Bob appear to be right. According to the data this probably is the barge. There is something else but it is unknown.”
“Perhaps, Justin, it’s the B25 like they suggested.”
Shaking his head, “I don’t know its been along time and with the contaminants in the water it would be a miracle if she is still there any of her.”
“Well if the crew has the filter ready to go guess Eva and I will dive.” They headed out of the cabin door onto the deck and watched as the crew finished lowering the filter in the water. Immediately a long hose was sent out the back which would carry the sediment several about 30 yards away. They waited several minutes for the water to begin to clear. Suddenly in the area around the filter they could make out fish and debris in the water up to about 6 feet down and around. “Wow that does not take long.”
“No you wait this thing is incredible. It will clear this area in fifteen minutes or less.” Justin watched as the two hooked the last of their gear and headed to the open gate.
“Okay, Justin, test our mikes. Testing, he tapped the mike in his mask. Eva followed suit.
“Coming in loud and clear.” He turned up the volume on his hand held radio. “Any time your good to go.” He watched as Eva and Gary jumped into the Mon River. They adjusted their masks and dove under the water.
The cameras on the ship was able to follow them recording it as they searched. The area became so clear they could see the where the anchor had gotten stuck on the barge. Gary and Eva then looked further into the debris surrounding the barge. Eva spotted Lanie’s body first. It was caught in some rock and branches that had sunk into the barge. Not far from her they found Charley’s body. They didn’t have to signal Dr Cyril and the River rescue they had gotten the signal from Justin as he viewed the screen.
As Eva waited for the divers to secure the bodies, Gary took a look in the area under the barge on the river bottom. His eye seemed to catch something unusual in the silt. He reached down and picked it up. It was heavy, rectangle and the color of mud. He put it in his pouch and started up following the divers.
The bodies, recovered by river rescue was brought to shore where the Mayor and the Commissions’ family stood. Gary and Eva watched from the deck of the NUMA boat as they removed their equipment. Eva glanced over at Gary as he placed the heavy rectangular object on the deck. “What is that?”
“I don’t know for sure. But I think I will do some tests on it and see if I can find out.”
The call sounded urgent otherwise Bob and I would not have left Pittsburgh at such a crucial time. Gary promised that NUMA and he would be in town for several days. Hopefully we could meet tomorrow or the next day and go over our proposal. After all, Numa was into research and locating lost ships. This was the perfect time to get the help in locating the B25. Our plane started to descend into LAX. The smog grew thicker as we got closer to the ground.
“Bob you grab our luggage and I’ll get the rental car. Meet me at the rental desk in 15 minutes.”
The directions were pretty good and the rental had ‘On Star’ so we were able to find the address with out trouble. We pulled into the driveway on a quiet suburban street. Kids were out playing, parents watering their lawn and we, we headed to the door to meet a man we had no idea why.
“He is not well. He just got over a stroke. I don’t know why he insisted on seeing you.”
She stood all of five feet and thin. Her house dress appeared to hang on her tiny frame. Very fine wrinkles lined her face. Her white hair was pushed back in pins. Turning from the frame of the door she led us inside the house. It was built around the 1950’s in a typical Californian ranch style. The house still had allof the original fixtures and windows. It was obvious that money was not put in to decorating. We were led down the hallway to a closed door. Turning she gave us last minute rules.
“He tires easily so please-”
From inside the room it was obvious her husband’s hearing had not been affected. “For god sakes Marylee let them in here.” Opening the door she led us into the bedroom.
Lying in a hospital bed lay Major Thomas L. Usher. He was hooked to tubes and oxygen and though he appeared fragile he managed to reach the operator for the bed. Slowly it raised allowing him to see us without straining. His wife went over and adjusted his pillow.
“Tommy don’t tire yourself. You know what the doctor said.”
“I know what he said.” He waved his hand impatiently. “Sit please. Marylee how about getting our guests some ice tea.”
“That’s okay don’t go to any trouble.” I said.
“No, no. Go ahead Marylee and shut the door.“ He struggled with his breathing and moved in his bed trying to get comfortable. “Damn stroke. Sure took me out of the game.” He stopped moving and took a deep breath. We waited. After a minute he looked at us and said “I guess you are wondering why I asked you to come.” Bob and I both nodded.
“Well I understand you are trying to find the plane in the mon.” He waited for our response.
“Yes sir that is true. We have a group together trying to raise the funds .” I answered.
His blue eyes seemed to penetrate my own mind as he spoke of things I could not believe he was aware of. “I know you have tried to raise the funds for years over 15 near 20.” I nodded. “I know that you think you know where it is and now is a good time to try and locate it.”
“Well, yes, that is true. “ Bob agreed. “You see, we have had a drought-”
The old man waved his hand in impatience. “I know all about the drought and about the accident and the missing people.”
“ I didn’t know that made national news.” I leaned closer to him as he continued.
“I make it my business to know. You see I know about that plane going down. I know about it cause I was on it.” He let his statement sink in and watched for our reaction.
Bob and I both looked at each other puzzled. “I don’t remember your name in the list of the members?”
“Of course you don’t. You see I was not a scheduled passenger. You see I was the seventh on board.”
“What? “ I exclaimed “That can’t be.”
“Frank, you may be wrong. don’t you remember someone was interviewed claiming they saw a seventh person in the water.” I looked at Bob and thought about it trying to remember what I had read from the interviews of the people on the shore and the people who rescued the airmen. It began to come back to me.
“My god I do remember. But they never found any sign of him. So they dismissed it. You are telling me you are that person. But how did you survive. Two drowned and the other four were in bad shape with hypothermia and frost bite?”
“I was lucky.”
“But how did you get on the plane and why didn’t the men say anything to the rescuers. They should have looked for you.”
“Huh, they new better and so did I. What I did was against regulations. I had no clearance to be on that plane but I needed to be there. It wasn’t easy to get them to agree. And they knew their ass and mine would be on the block if it was known.”
“How did you get them to take you onboard?”
“What I was doing was not regulations. And I did not want anyone to know what I was doing. I lied to get them to take me. I told them that my wife had gone into labor and may not survive the birth. They took pity on me and finally let me on the plane.”
“That wasn’t true?: I asked
“Hell no. Marylee and me didn’t meet until five years later. I’m telling you I was considered a stowaway and in deep trouble if I got caught. So were all the airmen. So when we went into the drink they shut up and I knew I was on my own . And I preferred it that way.” He began to cough and motioned to his water. Bob picked up the glass and held it for him as he sipped out of the straw. He finished and leaned back taking a breath.” Give me a minute here.” He was quiet for a minute and then began again. “If I can, let me tell you about that flight. You see we took off from Las Vegas and the flight was uneventful till we got closer to Pittsburgh. This was the last official Military flight for this B25. It had served its country well during World War Two and now on this night, January 31, 1956, it was officially retiring its military service.
The engines hummed like a baby. “Hey how’s the cargo?” Major William Dotson shouted through his mike hooked to his head gear.
“Its fine from what I see which is nothing.” responded Master Sergeant Alfred Alteman . “Am I supposed to see something?”
“Hey, I was told there is cargo below in the hold.”
“The hold that can’t hold much at all.”
“I just want to know if you hear any noise from it shifting.” The plane gleamed against the moon lit night as it flew through the on and off bursts of fine snow.
“Okay, its fine, no noise Sir.”
“Good” Dotson turned to his co pilot, Captain John Jamieson. “Hey can you get some heat in here its really cold.”
“Its as high as it goes, Major. You know the temp dropped five degrees in the last 30 minutes. You think we are okay flying in this?”
“Yeah, sure. This plane has been in worse.” Glancing to the west he noticed the sky becoming a twilight rainbow of oranges and yellows and reds. “Looks like we’ll see a sunset.” As Dotson continued flying he could feel a slight vibration. “Hey, John, do you feel something?” Jamieson looked over to him and shook his head.
“Well I do. Hey Major ?” Dotson directed his call to Charley Smith, Airman Second Class. “One of the engines sounds off.”
“Off, Sir? I don’t hear anything.” Smith answered into the mike.
“If I didn’t know better I’d say it sounds like we’re running out of fuel.“ Dotson turned to Jamieson. “I know it can’t be they calculated the fuel for the pounds on board. Hey, John, check the gage would ya?”
“Sure.” Picking up his clipboard Jamieson examined the fuel amounts when they left the air field and he put down the current time 16:01. He looked over at the first gage writing down the number then followed it with the second fuel gage number. Moving his pencil on the paper he mumbled numbers as he figured the amount of fuel. His face became pale as he shook his head, “Can’t be.”
“What, can’t be?” The Major looked over at him, hearing the concern in the Captain’s voice.
“Damn, this can’t be right.”
“What, tell me?” Dotson glared at him.
“According to my figures we are almost out of fuel.”
“That’s impossible” He keyed his mike “Jean, you and Soocey, check those tanks back there and see if we have any other fuel.”
Captain Jean Ingram and Staff Sergeant W. F. Soocey reached down and opened the hold compartment . Before they could react, a hissing sound exploded followed by smoke. The two men coughed and choked gasping for air.
“Lieutenant!” Gasped Soocey, keying his mike. “Fire.” Smoke enveloped the back of the plane causing both men to loss consciousness.
“Soocey, Jean, censored, Smith. Someone answer me.” Dotson yelled in the mike.
“I’ll go back.” Jamieson offered unhooking his safety restraints.
“censored, hell. I’m losing engine one.” He grabbed the gage to the engine trying to restart it. Jamieson put his restraints on again and both he and Dotson fought to restart the engine.
“Can we fly with just this with only one engine ?” Jamieson asked, sweat creased his brow. He saw the look of fear in Dotson’s eyes.
“I’d say yeah, but I’m concerned about the low fuel.” Smoke began to drift into the cockpit. “Damn, where the hell are we? God almighty. if we do manage to keep it in the air that fire will get us. Alteman, go back and see what’s going on fast.”
The Master Sergeant leaped out of his seat and headed into the smoke filled compartment.
Jamieson grabbed the flight plan and quickly calculated their location. “We are right over Pittsburgh. In fact I can just barely make out a river.” He said looking out the cockpit window.
“Okay, look for a place to set down.” He commanded. Suddenly the plane started to shake and then the second engines propeller slowed and sputtered to a stop. At once the plane was dead silent and all that could be heard were the rapid beating of fear stricken hearts. “Oh God. Hang on were going in the drink.” Gripping the wheel, he fought to keep from losing control.
“Look if you can get us on top of the water we can float for a while.” Jamieson suggested reaching for the mike and issuing a ‘Mayday followed by the call letters and location. “We have lost both engines and we are going into the river. We should have a dingy on board with life vests.”
“Come on baby hold steady.” Dotson pale and shaking held onto the wheel sweat beaded his brow. The smoke surrounded him and Jamieson. Both started to choke and gasp. “Damn what the hell happened to our fuel. What was in that cargo?” He struggled to breath . “Oh Hell hang on we’re going in.” The plane cleared the bridge over the River and descended closer to the freezing ice scattered river.
Jumping out of their seats they grabbed life vests and through the hatch open to the outside. The river started to pour in. “Hurry up. Get out of the plane!” Dotson followed Jameson and Smith to the emergency exit over the wing behind the pilots side. Alteman was shoving open the door as Dotson and JSmith grabbed for Jean and Soocey in the smoke filled compartment. Jamieson started pulling open several compartments.
“What are you doing?” Dotson asked him coughing from the smoke.
“The dingy, where the hell is it?” Jamieson was frantic. The smoke was so thick it he could hardly see.
“No time, forget it” Dotson reached Jean who lay unconscious on the floor, beside him he could barely make out Soocey, also unconscious. “Hey these guys are out of it.”
“I’ll help you lift them out of the plane on the wing. When they hit the fresh air maybe they will be okay.” They dragged both men through the door with Altemens’ and Smith’s help. The bitter cold air cut their faces like a knife. After breathing in the smoke, the crisp frigid air stung their throats. Standing on the wing the men watched as the frigid fast flowing current began to consume the plane tipping them into the river.
People had gathered on the shore yelling and tossing ropes to them. As the men grabbed for the ropes their frozen bodies were yanked in by their rescuers. On shore they were immediately covered with dry blankets. Dotson was shriving he could hardly feel his hands and feet. Jamieson was beside him shaking. “Hey what about, ya know, him?“
He shook his head. “Don’t know, guess he didn’t make it.”
End Part 1
Posted: Dec 8 2005, 09:13 AM
Special Projects Director
Group: CCForum ADMIN
Member No.: 1
Joined: 20-February 04
B25 Part 2
When we hit the water there was seconds to get out. It was every man for themselves. They never looked back once they left the plane. I waited and when the plane tipped they went in the water and so did I. Immediately I headed to the shore. The two guys that were lost were unconscious from the smoke I saw their bodies float down the river. There was nothing anyone could do. Just saving ourselves was near impossible. Everyone was panicked. I could hear their screams and people on shore yelling. The water was so cold it froze my legs and arms. I was lucky enough to grab onto some branches in the water .
The current was moving so damn fast all of us were separated and the sun was going down. I saw people on the shore tossing ropes to the others but no one saw me. I thought I was a gonner till my branch caught on some debris closer to the shore and I was able to crawl on it and drag myself out of that god forsaken ice trap. God, I never thought I’d make it and I was shaking so bad. I saw the people trying to get to the others. I don’t know how but I was able to pull myself up the hill and I saw I was in near the rail road tracks. I followed them till I spotted a building. The door was open and when I looked inside there was no one there. I Guessed they were out helping. So, I made my way inside. They had a pot belly stove going. I almost burnt myself trying to get warm. I found a set of lockers and took some dry clothes. They were big but they fit well enough. I put them on. They had a rail road insignia so I figured them for a uniform. Someone had left shoes and I found a coat. I tossed my wet stuff in a garbage can outside. I didn’t want anyone to find it too quick.”
He leaned back exhausted. It was then that Mary lee returned with glasses of ice tea and set them on a table. She saw how tired her husband looked and the distain showed on her face as she went to his side.
“Tommy you need to rest. Gentlemen I think it is time for you to go.”
Tom did not argue with her but he did add, “I got myself back but not the cargo.”
“Cargo? There was no cargo.” I said.
“There was and that was why I was there.” He appeared to fade in his strength closed his eyes. Struggling he continued. “The cargo was everything.”
“What was it?” Bob inquired.
“Tommy, please you are tired. Let these men go.” Marylee rubbed his forehead.
He lay there for a minute. Ignoring his wife, he answered Bob. “I can’t tell you, it would not be safe. Just let me know your progress.” He became quiet and his breath became regular as he lapsed into a deep sleep.
Bob and I took our leave. “What do you make of this? And what did he mean about safe?”
“I don’t know, Frank. You know, we need more information or something. I want to raise the plane or what is left of it. But if there is cargo, and it is dangerous, I don‘t want to die over this.” Bob paused for a minute. His eyes seemed to raise up as he spoke. “Remember they said something about the cold war at that time and all the spying that went on. Hell, there was even a plane shot down cause they thought they were spying. Wasn’t in Russia or somewhere?” He didn’t wait for an answer. “And it was right around the time this plane went down. You know, maybe we had better rethink this. God only knows what it could be. I don’t want to get blown up.”
I shook my head in agreement as we got into our rental car. The California sun was drooping in the sky and I was tired with jet lag and hunger. We had planned to make it a short trip but I could see that may not be the best recourse. “How do you feel about a hotel, hot shower and a thick steak with all the trimmings?”
“Oh Boy, now your talking.”
“Good. Okay, here’s what I think we should do. Tomorrow, I think we should drive to Vegas and see what we can come up with at the base there and maybe the local papers will have some info in their archives.”
“Okay, I think that makes sense. You know I could check out the base see what they have on that period regarding the plane and the flight and our friend Tommy. Frank, you wanna check the papers?”
“Sounds like a plan. Now, lets find that hotel.”
The next afternoon Bob dropped me off at the Clark County Library on Flamingo Rd. Located conveniently between the University of Nevada-Las Vegas, the McCarran International Airport and all those money making casinos, least I forget the hospital. I made my ways through the doors of the Vegas Library. It was bright and airy and not surprising, empty. I guess gambling was more of a draw. Seeing the information desk I headed in that direction. The young women was a lot prettier then librarians I knew, in fact I wondered if she moonlighted at night as a dancer for one of the casinos.
“May I help you? “ She smiled.
“Yes, I am interested in looking at old copies of the major papers for Vegas.”
“What dates are you looking for?”
“Around 1955 to 56 or 57.”
“Then you need the microfilm section. I’ll show you.” She led me back to a separate room marked “microfilm.” She opened the door and led me to the draws lined against the back wall. “All of the major papers are here and if you look at the drawer they go according to dates. Here is one from 1955 for the Sun. I’ll thread it up for you.”
I watch her thread it in the microfilm machine and demonstrate how it worked. I took a seat at the desk and started to explore the items on the page. As she left she told me to let her know if I needed any help. I nodded my head and took out a pad and pencil making a note of the dates I was looking at.
Time seemed to fly and when I looked at my watch it showed I had been there three hours and 5 tapes later. Nothing had jumped out at me. I could hear voices in the main library and one I recognized. The Librarian entered with Bob.
“Hey. You still at it?” He asked.
“Yeah and I have found nothing.”
“May I ask what it is that you are looking for?” She asked.
I turned to her noticing how really attractive she was. Her eyes were brown she was about 5’ 6” on the thin side. Her hair matched her eyes and she wore it over her shoulders in long waves. The skirt and blouse she had on accented her figure. “Well,” I began not sure of how much or what to tell her. “We are researching a possible lost cargo around January of 1956.”
“What kind of cargo?”
“You see, we don’t know.” Bob added. He looked at me for conformation. I nodded. “Well, you see a B25 left Vegas on a mission and its destination was for a base in the east.”
“But it went down in Pittsburgh.” I interrupted. “And there is little information on its mission. So we assume there was a cargo.”
“Okay.” She stood quietly thinking.
“By the way, what is your name?” I asked.
“Its Marie. Marie Meyers.”
“Marie, I’m Frank and this is Bob.”
“Well, nice to meet you. I guess you are visiting Vegas.”
“Yes a short visit.” I answered.
“No time to gamble?” She smiled
“Nope too short on time.” Bob leaned closer to the machine scanning the screen. “Hey did you see this?” He pointed at an article describing a movie to be filmed in Vegas staring Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis Jr., Peter Lawford and others. It was named “Oceans 11.”
“Oh that was quite a movie.” Marie smiled. “It was really a blockbuster at the time and with all of those famous actors.”
“Marie, I didn’t think you were even born when it filmed.”
“Oh no, but Frank, may I call you, Frank?, I feel I should call you Mr. Frank or “
“No no, Frank is fine.” I interrupted anxious to here her explanation. “ So tell me, how did a young lady like you become aware of ‘Oceans 11‘.”
“When I was in college George Clooney was filming the remake. All of the actors, him, Julia Roberts, DeCaprio, whoever, were all in town and I got curious about the original file. I did some research and saw the film and I have to tell you George may be good but still, the original is the best. I know most of the actors were way before my time, but doesn’t matter. The film can’t be touched.”
“Well, true it was a good piece of fiction.” Bob offered his two cents.
“Fiction, no way. It was not fiction.”
“What do you mean not fiction?” I looked at Bob who’s surprised look matched my own.
“No, it was based on a real caper. Look, I’ll show you. Just let me find the right date.” As Bob and I sat there looking at each other Marie went through the films I had watched and spied the one she needed. Threading it into the machine she quickly found the date she wanted. Our eyes peered into the microfilm. I swear if it had been paper it would have burned.
“Hmm, I know it is here, just let me move a little further, There. There it is.” Her fingers pointed to an article entitled, “’Thieves Attempt Daring Heist and Fail‘.”
“Last night five men attempted to rob the Desert Sun Casino.” I skimmed the article, which went on to say that they had tried to cut off the electric, but the system had a back up and they were caught with the money on their way out of the darkened building when the lights suddenly came on.
“I don’t believe it.” Bob just shook his head. “Do you?”
“Hell I don’t know . I never heard of it before now.”
“Well, you wouldn’t. It hardly made the papers here. I mean that is the only article on it.” “There’s no follow up? A trial perhaps or anything. What about when the movie was made?”
“The only thing, Frank, was just a small blurb when the film was being filmed later in the 60’s. I can find it if you want.”
“Yes please. Do you remember what it said about this heist?”
“Not really. Let me see if I can find the article. I need to find the dates when they started to film. I’ll be right back. I need to check the catalog.” She left Bob and I alone.
“Well what do you make of that?” Bob asked.
“I don’t know. It may be nothing but it certainly made for a good film.”
“Hey what about you at the base? Any luck?”
Bob looked disgusted. “You know, I went in there and thought I’d start off asking about records for that years on personnel. What I got was can’t help you we have no records back that far. Check with the VA. So, I thought, I’d just try the guys name, Usher. Frank, I swear, there were two military guys there, young and I know the one guy recognized the name. But, of course, he and his partner said they still could not help me. I thought fine and figured I’d ask for the fifty cent tour and that’s exactly what I got. Here’s this and that and see you around. I asked if I could see the hangers and boy did I get the door closed in my face with its restricted. Have a nice day. Come back anytime. What a bunch of crap. Maybe, I can talk to someone at home in the military. You know, see if they can obtain any information for us.”
“Yeah, worth a try.”
Marie returned after a few minutes with film in hand. She threaded it into another machine. She was able to locate the article which she read aloud to us. It pretty much covered what we knew already. Hollywood was planning to remake history regarding a botched heist in the fifties. I asked Marie to print copies of the articles we had read. We then bid her a fond goodbye with a promise to look her up if we ever returned to Vegas.
“Frank, I think we’d be crazy to stop looking now. We have spent over 20 years and now we finally are this close to finding that damn plane. I don’t care if there is cargo or if not and I’ll risk getting blown to kingdom come. I just gotta know its there.”
Placing my arm on his shoulder I patted him. “I guess you are right. It would be a shame to stop now. Lets return the car and catch that flight home.”
We stood in the morning sun in our scuba gear, Bob, Gary from NUMA and me.
“Okay, you boys ready? The “Sucker” is in place and has cleared a good size area for us to search.”
Gary led us to the side of the NUMA boat. “Okay, here’s the deal. I will take you to where I found the article and you follow. Then, we will spread out and search around. Okay?”
Both of us nodded. Gary dove into the Mon and we followed. He led us through the clear water to the area known as “Birds Landing”. “Justin, can you see us?” He asked keying his mike.
Justin, the captain, was closely monitoring our progress on the monitor. “Affirmative, looking good. You are about 20 feet from Birds Landing. He watched us swim further to our target area. “Okay, you are right in the area.”
“Bob, Frank, this is the area I found the article. Lets save time and spread out taking a section. Anyone see anything key the mike.” Gary swam away from us.
Each of us started searching the area, looking for any thing at all that could be part of the B25 or the cargo. We swam around the sunken barge and the filter had cleared the area well enough to see a good size pit where through the years people has removed fill.
Gary reached the river bottom first, he lifted the end of a tube that was secured to his belt. The other end of it was attached to the “Sucker”. He lowered the tube to the river fool and we watched as the silt cleared from the area through the tube, to be dropped down stream several 100 feet away from our search area.
I had explained to Gary that the B25 was supposed to be in this area in 15 feet of silt or more, since so many years had passed. With the drought the river was down from the 32 feet, to about 25 to 28 feet in depth. We were about 150 feet off shore.
Gary also had a portable small sub bottom profiling sonar. He worked it over the area for 15 minutes. He was interrupted by Justin.
“Hey, Gary, the gage is reading something right where you are now. It appears pretty big.”
In his mike, Gary called for us to join him. We swam over and watched as the portable filter did its job revealing several objects.
“Mrs. Usher, please it will only be a minute. I just have one question for Tom and he did want to know our progress.” I felt like I was begging.
“Just a minute. I will see. He has not gotten any stronger since you saw him last.”
I heard the phone hit the wall. I could imagine it hanging from the wall. Her footsteps slowly grew fainter. It was at least two minutes before she returned.
“He was a sleep but tell me what you wanted. He can’t talk to you directly.” She did not sound at all happy that I called.
“Mrs. Usher, please just ask him this, is 25 the right amount?”
“Did you say 25, Frank?”
“Well, I don’t know what that means. I hope he does.” She dropped the phone which banged off of the wall.
I waited. The minutes ticked by at least five of them. I was beginning to be concerned that Usher didn’t understand or remember anything. Stokes can do that. Finally I heard the phone being picked up.
“Hello, Tom said yes, that 25 was right. I don’t know what that means.”
The phone clicked off. I tuned to Bob and Gary smiling. “Well, Boys, 25 is it.” You could have heard the cheers ten miles away. Bob popped the cork on a bottle of Champagne. We each grabbed glasses and he filled them to the brim.
“To the once lost Ghost of the Mon, now been found and with it 25 lovely bars of gold.” Bob raised his glass clinked ours and then lifted it to the 2 foot by 3 feet piece of the B25 wing. He then turned and toasted the neatly stacked 25 bars of solid gold. The gold was somewhat brown and green but gold is gold.
I sat down on the cushioned bench in the main cabin. “My God. I never had any idea or dreamed that we would find anything like this.”
“Frank, I know. All these years, I just wanted to find the plane. I can’t believe we found this gold.” He turned to Gary. “Say, Gary, now that we found this gold, can we keep it?”
“Well, you declared this site for salvage. I can’t be positive, but I think it may work like in the seas. You know, kinda like finders, keepers. But don’t take my word for it. We’ll need to find out for sure.
“Okay, do if we do get to keep it, 1/3 of 25 bars is?”
“Eight bars. Guess math wasn’t your high subject, huh Bob?” I laughed and Gary smiled.
“You know in all honesty where the hell did this gold come from and how did it get here?’ Gary looked perplexed.
“When we were in Vegas, the Librarian told us about a heist pretty close to the date this plane crashed.”
“Wait a minute, Frank. You said it was a failed attempt.”
“I know, but-” It was at that moment all of us heard a noise outside of the cabin door. We waited quietly, listening for another sound. It was after 10 seconds or so a gun appeared in the door way held in the biggest hand I ever saw. The hand was attached to a hoodlum that stood at least 6 feet tall and weighing in at 350. As he came into the cabin he had to turn sideways to get through the door. The gun never stared at us in the face. Following the brute came a smaller man, thinner, not quite as tall. He still looked like a scum bag criminal. How right I was.
The scum bag looked over at the stacked bars and smiled. “Well boys you saved us a lot of work. And just so you know, the heist did not fail as reported, but the owners of the other casinos feared that the truth would be an open season on the casinos.
I finally gained my voice back and felt strong enough to speak. “Who the hell are you?”
“We are the owners of the gold and we are here to retrieve it.” Fat boy spoke still holding the gun on us.
“What do you mean, your money? You can’t be 60. And you would have to be at least that to claim ownership.”
“Well now, Frank, is that your name? He watched me nod. “You see, we have been looking for years for the gold. Your little recovery group made it easy to keep an eye on this wreck. We have followed your every move, waiting for the time when you would try and go after the plane. Scum bag smiled, looking over at the gold bars.
“Now wait a minute.” Bob took a step toward them. Fat boy showed him the sound of a bullet being loaded into the chamber. Bob stopped.
“What you boys need to understand is this is gold from our casino. My father owned at the time of the heist and I was just a runner. But now, its mine.”
I looked at Scum bag and scowled. All I could think about was all the money and the years of we spent on this. I was pissed. “Where the hell does Major Usher fit in, huh?”
“Major Usher, he ain’t no major. That story is such crap. I can’t believe those idiots on that plane believed that. He wasn’t even dressed proper. God!” Scum bag waited a moment before continuing. “Usher, Mister, not major was a dealer for us, until he and five of his coworkers got this brilliant idea. They believed that could cut the power and load up the gold before anyone could stop them. He didn’t consider we had a backup that kicked in. He also didn’t realize that I saw them. Being a runner was exactly what it was. My job was to run errands for any of the big players. It took me all over the casino. So it just happened that when the lights went off, I was waiting at the vault to get more chips. I thought something was up when I heard voices coming toward the vault. I hid and waited. I recognized their voices. I saw them open the vault and take out the gold. It was then I took off to find my dad. Unfortunately, I got detained due to the confusion of no lights, people were milling around in the hallways. It held me up to the point that Usher got out with 25 bars of gold before he could be stopped. Two of his crew were caught right in the vault. The two others were gone with Usher. My father traced them to the base but the plane was gone and so were the three thieves. We never gave up. When the plane landed in the Mon, my dad was there and from that moment on someone was always there, waiting for the day they could retrieve the gold.”
“But you let Usher go, why?”
“Well, Frank, we knew there were three and what if they had split the gold up. We had only him to lead us to the other two.”
It was hard to believe. I thought of the Mayor and the Commissioner and their kids. I was angry. “I guess you don’t know anything about the two people run over the other night in the Mon?”
“Oh, that. That was a shame.” Fat man spoke. “Hey they was too close.”
“What he means is, we were getting ready to dive ourselves when they came along. I have to say my boy here can be a little impatient when it comes to solving problems. But, hey, it worked.”
“You killed them.” Bob shouted. “Why the hell did you have to do that.?”
“It wasn’t planned, actually it was an accident. We had a faster and bigger boat, came up on them saw them too late to stop. Simple as that.” He thought a moment then continued. “You know no one had to die at all, if these idiots hadn’t stolen the gold and, to boot, they didn’t figure the added weight and the fuel. So what happens they run out of fuel, go in the drink, and two people drown.”
Bob’s face was red. He appeared ready to tear into these scum. “Hey, Bob, wait!” My eyes locked on the gun. He got my message and stood put.
Gary looked over at the scum. “So, because they got in the way of your gold, you kill them. Is that right?”
Gary just shook his head. He caught my eye and looked at the clock. I realized that in about two minutes Justin and Ty would return. Suddenly it was looking more hopeful for us.
Voices could be heard getting closer and louder outside. The sum both glanced to the door taking their eyes off of us. Gary and I jumped on top of fat boy and Bob grabbed the partial wing from the B25 and smashed it over scum bags head knocking him out and the gun landing at Bob’s feet.
Gary and I sat on top of the scum bag as Justin and Ty came in. Quickly assessing the situation they took control, securing both men in restraints. Bob called the police.
The sirens came fast and loud. Dr. Cyril and Captain Thompson entered the cabin followed by the Mayor and the Police Commissioner. It didn’t take them long to read the scum their rights, as if they should have them. They were locked in handcuffs and lead away. It was evident from the looks on the Mayors and Commissioners faces they were relieved. An officer came into the doorway and handed Captain Thompson a piece of paper. He quickly scanned in shaking his head. “Unbelievable, do you know who these two are?”
All of us shook our heads.
“They are connected to “the Vegas Consortium. You are lucky to be here. Apparently they have left a trail of bodies wherever they go.
I guess I had some prayers to say, many prayers.
Bob and I stood next to Gary and Eva as they finished loading their stuff in the NUMA helicopter.
“Gary, Eva, I can’t thank you enough.” We shook hands.
“It was our pleasure.”
“Say, Gary, will that extra weight be a problem?” Bob asked slyly.
Gary grinned. “No, I think Eva and I will be fine and I think NUMA will be happy with the added weight.
They jumped into the copter and we watched as they ascended into the gleaming morning sun in a blue velvet sky.
“After all these years of searching and now, well, I feel kind of lost.”
“Say, Frank, do you remember that bomber that went down in 1945 in the Mon, at Christmas time? It had all those GI’s returning from the War.”
I just smiled.
I would like to thank the following sources for their input and help into my story.
The Northern Tier Library-Richland Township, PA
Northland Library, McCandless, PA
Carnegie Library, Oakland, PA
The B25 Recovery Group
The Wright Patterson National Museum of the US Air Force-Dayton, Ohio
Clive Cussler - NUMA/Yeager’s Computer.
B25 Mitchell Units of the MTO-Steve Pace
PBJ Mitchell Unites of the Pacific War- Jerry Scutts
Pilots’ Manual for B25 Mitchell-Aviation Publications
Posted: Mar 12 2006, 12:04 AM
Philosopher, Pirate, Poet, Poseidon & The Admiral
Group: CCForum admin
Member No.: 23
Joined: 24-February 04
Very good story, Eashtoni!!! Other than some grammar and misspellings it was a compelling story!!! And I happen to live in Vandalia, Ohio just north of Dayton. I have been to Wright-Patt a couple of times and I also know what it's like to do research before the Internet came along. This old Pirate is always happy when Gold is involved.
Posted: Mar 14 2006, 07:38 PM
Group: CCForum Member
Member No.: 34
Joined: 26-February 04
Yet another great story! all the way.
Posted: Mar 15 2006, 12:21 AM
Member No.: 764
Joined: 22-July 04
The B25 is one of my favorite planes from WWII. Good story. Of course I’m a big fan of planes in water. Smacking the bad guy over the head with the wing fragment was brilliant.
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