As an Alaskan glacier melts, a 1952 plane crash site has been revealed. Relics, human remains, and the the plane itself have appeared from under the thick ice. The Air Force cargo plane crashed into the glacier in 1952 during a storm.
The C-124 Globemaster II crashed into Mount Gannett in November 1952. Although the location was known, it was impossible to reach. Throughout the years, the wreckage was buried under snow and ice.
As reported by Reuters, the wreckage was finally located last year by the Alaska National Guard. Part of the plane was spotted during training exercises around the Colony Glacier.
The plane was located 12 miles from the initial crash site. As the glacier melts, the 1952 plane’s location continues to shift. In the last year alone, the ice has shifted more than 900 feet due to melting.
The recovery effort is ongoing and may take many years. The majority of the 154-foot aircraft is still encased in ice. Additionally, the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command is tasked with locating and identifying the remains of 52 servicemen that were were on the plane when it crashed.
Recovering the victims will likely be difficult. However, the climate may have preserved the remains enough to aid in identification.
As reported by the Huffington Post, personal items recovered so far include a hockey puck, a fishing kit, and a pack of Camel cigarettes. The items will be preserved and used in an eventual memorial.
Recovered tissue, thought to be human remains, will be analyzed in Hawaii. Surviving relatives will be contacted to provide DNA samples to aid in identification.
Forensic anthropologist Dr. Gregory Berg, who leads the recovery, has stated that they hope to announce the identities of some victims “in the near future.”
As the glacier melts, officials, scientists, and military personnel continue their recovery efforts. Nearly 2,000 pounds of debris have been recovered from the site of the 1952 plane crash.
**Photos of the wreckage: Here
[Image via Wikimedia]