Stolen Herc Wreck Found

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The discovery of a plane wreck at the bottom of the English Channel will likely solve a 50-year-old mystery that some believe the RAF and USAF might rather remain below the surface if local lore is correct. Few details have ever been released about the crash of a USAF C-130 that was stolen by a homesick mechanic in 1969 but one theory is that it was shot down, ostensibly out of fear it would crash into a populated area. Sgt. Paul Meyer, a private pilot and a chief mechanic with the Air Force, got drunk on the night of May 23, 1969, and hatched a plan to fly the transport from RAF Mildenhall back home to Langley, Virginia. He posed as a captain, got the plane fueled and took off. 

The plane dropped off radar and military officials on both sides of the pond were tight-lipped about its fate at the time. Wreckage, including a life raft, washed up on the island of Alderney in the Channel Islands. As for Meyer, the authorities just said they presumed he had died even though a body in what looked like a flightsuit was spotted in the same area and apparently left to drift away. An organization called Deeper Dorset believes it has found the wreck of the Herc, and vows to get to the bottom of the mystery. It’s urging the military to fess up if it has anything to hide.

“Having located the aircraft we can already dispel a lot of stupid rumors and conspiracy theories, which is certainly half the battle won,” an unnamed spokesman told the Daily Mail. “It is, though, fairly obvious that many facts regarding that day have been withheld and it would be a really good idea if someone got the file out and started talking to us before we start to tell the story our way.” The spokesman said they have clear photos of the wreck that prove it’s the right airplane and they’re looking for a deal from a film company to finance the full investigation.

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