Lake receding in California drought to reveal plane wreckage from 50 years ago


California’s drought problem has brought water levels in one lake low enough to search for the remains of plane wreck from almost 50 years ago.

Frank Wilcox’s brother Gene Amick was 15-years-old when his plane plunged into Folsom Lake on New Year’s Day 1965, he was one of four people who died. A renowned husband and wife sonar team has been brought in to try to find the remains.

‘I will get him out of there,’ an emotional Mr Wilcox told KTXL while standing on cracked, dry mud that not long ago was underwater.

The plane disappeared into the murky lake after a mid-air collision with another plane, according to KTXL. The plane came to rest more than 100 feet below the surface.

Navy divers originally called in to search for Mr Amick and his fellow passengers were called off after strong storms swept across the lake – they never returned.

The recent significant drop in the lake, about 25 miles northeast of Sacramento, has led to hopes the wreckage can now be found.

‘I’ve never seen such an outpouring of help and these folks here, this is what they do,’ Mr Wilcox told News 10. ‘I think something good will come of this.’

Many witnesses, including corrections officers and inmates at the infamous Folsom Prison, saw the plane go down. Their accounts led officials to believe the wreckage is in El Dorado County.

Three counties intersect the middle of the lake.

An El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office detective has joined the search and been on-board the sonar vessel hoping to find the remains.

‘We would like to recover the three individuals and give their family the opportunity to lay them to rest properly,’ Detective Dan Johnson told News 10.

Husband and wife sonar experts Gene and Sandy Ralston are conducting the search. They gained notoriety in the region last week for finding the body of woman who drowned in a nearby delta on Thanksgiving, according to news 10.

When asked if the Delta was more difficult than the lake, Gene Ralston scoffed.

‘The Delta is a piece of cake,’ he told News 10. ‘The bottom is flat like a road. [At Folsom Lake], we’ve got 50- and 60-foot-tall still standing trees on the bottom.’



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