Sonar images may solve 65-year-old mystery of missing plane following fatal crash

A lake in California lowered by drought and a coincidental test by two men with sonar equipment may have finally cracked a 56-year-old mystery following a fatal plane crash in 1965.

The men were testing some underwater sonar technology in Folsom Lake, about 30 miles outside Sacramento, when they claim to have discovered a plane lying at the bottom of the water.

The aircraft matched the description of one which went down in the area in 1965, reports The New York Post.

Tyler Atkinson from the company Seafloor Systems, along with his colleague Jeff Riley, knew that what they had found was not normal while they tested the equipment in the lake.

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Folsom Lake, where the plane was found
Folsom Lake, where the plane was found

Atkinson said: “I saw something that was not normal.”

The low levels of the water helped the company’s sonar equipment get a crystal clear picture of an aircraft’s tail and propeller.

And the images taken of the plane in the depths of the lake match the Piper Comanche 250 which was lost over 50 years ago.

The President of Seafloor Systems, John Timplin, told CBS 13 News of Sacramento: “He sees something on the bottom that looks man-made, and that’s when we say, ‘There’s definitely something down there,’ and maybe it’s the plane.”

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Following a mid-air collision on that fateful New Year’s Day in 1965, four people were tragically killed as a result of the crash. The pilot’s body was found, but the bodies of the three passengers on board were never recovered.

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This is despite numerous extensive searches over the years, the most recent being a three-day search in 2014.

The plane discovered by the Seafloor Systems employees was lying in the deepest part of the lake, several miles away from where the plane was initially believed to have gone down.

It comes after terrifying footage captured a plane passenger trying to open the door of the aircraft mid-flight.

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