At a Jan. 15 appearance at Seattle’s Museum of Flight, author and mountaineer Peter Stekel will tell the story of a mysterious 1942 military plane crash that did not begin to unfold until decades later, when the mummified remains of an airman in a World War II uniform — with an unopened parachute — were found entombed in ice in California’s Sierra Nevada mountains.
The museum presentation is based on Stekel’s 2010 book, “Final Flight – The Mystery of a World War II Plane Crash and the Frozen Airmen in the High Sierra.” Stekel’s story is part mystery, part history, and part personal journey to uncover the truth of what happened on an ill-fated military flight in 1942. The lecture is at 2 p.m., and is free with admission to the museum. Stekel will field questions from the audience and sign books following the program.
In 2005, two mountaineers climbing above a glacier in the High Sierra found what soon became known in the media as the “frozen airman.” Stekel became fascinated with the story and began his own investigation into what happened to the four-man, U.S. Army Air Forces crew who disappeared with their Beech 18 AT-7 Navigator on a routine navigation training flight in 1942. His quest led him to the mountains, where in 2007 he discovered a second body in the glacier. The identities of the pilot and three air cadets on the crash are now known. Two crewmen have yet to be found.