After a long search, they found remains at the bottom of a lake in California that could be from a plane that crashed 56 years ago.
The Piper Comanche 250 crashed in 1965 in Lake Folsom, killing its pilot and three other passengers. They could never locate it until now.
A mystery of more than five decades may have been solved by two subjects armed with sonar equipment who discovered in Folsom Lake in California what could be the remains of a plane that crashed at the site 56 years ago.
The intriguing and chilling discovery was made thanks to a drought that significantly lowered the lake's water levels, allowing sonar equipment to reach the deepest limits and identify the plane's wreckage.
"I saw something that was not normal," said Tyler Atkinson of Seafloor Systems, who, along with his co-worker Jeff Riley was testing equipment on the lake recently.
Low water levels helped the company's sonar team get a clear picture of an aircraft's tail and propeller. The images of the plane in the water match the Piper Comanche 250 lost since 1965.
John Timplin, president of Seafloor Systems, told CBS13 News in Sacramento, "I saw something at the bottom that looked like man-made, and when we say 'there's definitely something,' and maybe That should be an airplane. "
These lights on the ROV allow me to say, 'Okay, there's no way that's a rock,'" Riley added.
It was New Year's Day in 1965 when a plane crashed near the Folsom Dam after a mid-air collision.
But the bodies of the three people on board were never found. The pilot's body was the only one discovered.
The case shocked the county at the time and remained a mystery for 56 years. Relatives of the victims on board, such as Frank Wilcox, dedicated his life to searching for the plane or his brother's remains. According to his son, the news of the discovery of the aircraft would have cheered him up and served to heal the wounds left by accident. Still, unfortunately, Frank died two years ago without learning of the discovery.
"It's right here; we know where it is," reiterated Atkinson, one of those responsible for the find.
In the past, unsuccessful searches had been conducted to find the crashed plane. The last one was in 2014, but now radar technology has advanced, allowing for easier searching.
The final word on the fate of the Piper Comanche 250 now rests with the sheriff's office, who must decide whether the plane will be recovered and, if so, how the recovery will be made.
The decision weighs, above all, the resources that must be used to get the plane out of the depths of the lake and where they will come from.
At this time, the Placer County Sheriff's Office has said there is no ongoing investigation into the find of the sunken plane.