Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Airplanes in the River

The tale of the ill fated B-25 bomber that crashed in the Monongahela River in Jan 1956 is well known in sothwestern PA lore.Discussions of its removal from the river the night of the crash and the alleged government cover up have been hashed over in the taverns of Pittsburgh and the surrounding area all too many times.Untill recently,I,too, was one of the believers the plane was towed out during the night and carted off on awaiting flat bed trucks.However,I'm not so sure.
Within the last year,I've learned of another twin engine bomber that crashed in the muddy Mon within 3 months of the B-25.This plane crashed near Grey's Landing PA.Details are here:


So..what dose this have to do with the B-25,you ask? Well..after learning of the second plane crash,I couldn't help but wonder how many people have the two crashes confused.I mean,c'mon..two similar military aircraft,crashing in the same river..about 60-70 miles apart within three months!? I can't help but wonder how many witnesses to the B-25 removal,were actually at Greys Landing.
Recently I talked with my Uncle Biff,who was a fresh riverboat Capitain when the second plane crashed into the Mon just south of my hometown.He was there for the removal of the second aircraft which took an extended ammount of time.The bardges the planes was loaded onto were guarded 24/7 during the whole operation.The recovery was done during daylight hours and was anything but stealth.Keep in mind,they knew where this plane came to rest,unlike the B-25.
So,this makes one even more skeptical of the "overnight removal" of the B-25.Anyone who is familar with the Monongahela River in winter knows it moves...fast.During the flood of 1985,I watched full coal bardges fly downstream at lightning speed.So,imagine how fast an airplane (or parts thereof) would disappear.
So,as I type this,I must offically state my position as a believer that that the B-25 bomber is still in the Mon.I just don't see the logic of a plane being removed in the dead of night...in the winter,covertly.Even if there was mystery cargo..why dig up the whole plane?
I doubt any positive proof will ever be found either way.The Freedom of Information Act should have declassified any documentation to its removal.As far as I know,the "official"stance on this per the government is the plane was never recovered.Its been over 50 years,so the chance of any plane parts being recovered are probably nil.So I guess all thats left to do now is calculate the odds of two planes crashing in the same river,three months apart!Let the conspiricy theories begin!! Remember,you heard it here first!!


  1. My grandfather died in that second crash. I had never heard of the first crash before today. Really, how often do planes crash into the Mon?

  2. I plan on revisiting this story with my Uncle.He was there for the entire removal of the Grays Landing plane and it took several weeks.There actually was another plane that went in the Mon.I believe it was a larger passenger type plane.I'll update this as soon as I can.Thanks for reading the blog!

  3. My mom and I are driving out tomorrow to the and take a peek at the area where the "stoof" went down. Hopefully we'll be able to get at least close to the general location.