The video above (which has no sound) was filmed by Dr Lora Little in the Bahamas. She said the scene was eerie as they snorkelled the site, moving fast from spot to spot to collect as much information as possible. The video intrigued me and I saw it was hosted on APmagazine. Browsing through their updates, I found out more: the story behind their exploration and this aircraft is amazing. I got in touch to ask if I could share the story on my blog and and the Littles were kind enough to answer my questions as well as allow me to host the video.
Dr Greg Little and Dr Lora Little have been exploring the waters of the Bahamas, searching dark, underwater formations they’ve located in the Bermuda Triangle. These formations show as dark spots in aerial surveys and the Littles have found over one hundred of them.
The area is famed as being the site of the lost city of Atlantis and although the Littles have not found anything to link to the legends, they believe they have seen archaeological evidence of “an unknown, somewhat sophisticated maritime culture operating in the Bahamas during ancient times.” The primary focus of their expedition has been to find evidence of this maritime culture.
One of the largest and most interesting forms visited on the Great Bahama Bank was approximately 35 miles off Andros lying in 20 feet of water. Taking the shape of a dark “eye” with white sand outlining it, the center of the formation showed a round white spot. From the air, it is a stunning view and the formation is nearly 500-feet long. In the white center spot of the formation we found a plane, turned upside down. The plane was completely buried under the sand, but a retractable front landing gear was sticking out from the bottom. It was removed and brought to the surface by Eslie Brown.
Greg and Lora Little explored over a hundred dark spots in the Bermuda Triangle and began to publish details of the aircraft ion hopes of identifying them. In December 2009, they found the remains of a DC-3 which appears to be NC-16002, one of the most talked about mysteries of the Bermuda Triangle. (Read the detail on Wikipedia: NC16002 disappearance). The DC-3 discovery was featured on National Geographic last year in the episode, The Truth Behind the Bermuda Triangle and the History Channel has featured the Littles finding several aircraft on MysteryQuest: The Devil’s Triangle.
In June 2011, Dr Greg Little posted about another plane that they had discovered: a twin engine that they’d discovered during a dive 100 miles south of Bimini. He asked for help identifying the aircraft.
The pilot’s headphones and microphone piece were removed from the cockpit. There was other cargo in the plane. It seems unlikely that there could have been any survivors, even if they survived the actual crash. The location is simply too far from any land. The photo of the plane is shown below and we would like any pilot or mechanic’s opinion as to the make of the aircraft. My father, a pilot and WW-II Naval air veteran believes it may be a large Beech. It looks like a large Piper to me.
One of the engines had its plate removed. Our hope is that someone can run down the model and engine number and eventually find the specific plane the engine was installed on.
Lora and Greg Little were able to find the mechanic who installed the engine. They removed the engine serial number plates from the aircraft and contacted the manufacturer, AVCO Lycoming in Williamsport, PA. A technician there was able to use the serial number to track the engine: including the company in Texas which received it in 1970. Greg found a company of the same name and phoned them. They no longer did aircraft work and the records had long since been destroyed, but one of the “older” employees knew a mechanic, now retired, who had worked for the company in 1970. They managed to get in touch with the mechanic within a week.
He was in his mid-80′s and had a recent stroke. But he remembered the plane and immediately said it was a Beech Queen Air. The family was actually surprised and happy that he remembered it so well, but he could not remember the name of the owner nor the plane’s N-number. In addition, all of the written records the mechanic had were long gone.
With this information, they were able to confirm that the engine was installed in 1970 in Texas. The aircraft has now been postively identified as a Beechcraft Queen Air (note: always listen to your father).
With this information, they have managed to narrow down the aircraft to two possibilities:
The most likely identity of the aircraft is a plane that is on the “semi-official” list of planes lost in the Bermuda Triangle compiled by Gian Quasar, whose website http://www.bermuda-triangle.org is considered to be the most authoritative information source on the subject. After getting information on the “lost” plane, a lot of research led to the family of the long-lost pilot of the plane. I have now spoken to the father of the pilot who disappeared as well as two other family members and had contacts with others who were involved. Not knowing what to expect in the initial contact I was pleased that the plane’s possible discovery was a relief to them. This has turned out to be one of the most interesting and intriguing stories I have ever been involved with.
In the unlikely event that this is NOT the above mentioned plane, then another, perhaps even more baffling and mysterious disappearance has been solved. Oddly, this information came as a complete surprise to us in an email from a Coast-to-Coast listener who found our request on the popular radio show’s website http://coasttocoastam.com. This involves the inexplicable disappearance of a young pilot some decades ago. While this plane is not on the Bermuda Triangle list, oddly we found (online) official requests from law enforcement agencies, which had placed the disappearance in a closed case file that requested further information from the public.
Greg told me that they are definitely returning to the Bahamas this month with a goal to solve the mystery once and for all. They will publish an update on APmagazine as soon as they get back, around the 2nd of September. I can’t wait to hear more!