By Heidi Zemach for SCN
Lucky Wilson, a longtime Alaska pilot and Healy Helicopter warrant officer in Vietnam, who owns the aircraft storage hanger at Seward Airport, says he knows where the famed Russian bomber plane, missing since August of 1937 can be found. He saw the historic bomber in 1978, a couple of miles east of Oliktok Point off Alaska’s Arctic Ocean Coast while overflying the area on a clear, sunny day. It was shining through the shallow water in which it was submerged. He could tell it was Russian by its curved wing tip, and its engine pod. American bombers have rounded wing tips, Wilson said.
The bomber is directly to the east of the early warning Dew Station at Oliktok Point, and when he saw it, it was submerged under less than 20 feet of water, he said. Wilson could clearly see the plane because the water was so clear, he said. It was still shiny-red.
He informed the men working at the Oliktok station, and has since seen it during the 80s, while flying out of Prudhoe Bay for a private North Slope contractor.
Wilson has over 13,000 hours of flying time over Alaska, and knows his planes well. He has discovered four aircraft in Alaska that were missing, including a B-25 that went down over Eagle, Alaska. After informing the Federal Aviation Administration, they are located again, and marked with red X’s to indicate that they’ve been found, he said. The one he found in the national park near Eagle around 1980, also has a plaque on it commemorating the plane and crew who had bailed out of it. Some of them survived, and the rest did not, he believes.
Wilson’s attention was drawn to the matter by an article on the front page of today’s (Monday, Sept 30th) Anchorage Daily News by reporter Mike Dunham. It details the history and search for the downed plane and its famous captain.
The world watched as the massive plane took off from an airdrome near Moscow, according to the article. Stalin’s war ministry had abandoned its usual secrecy about such things, and invited Western reporters to witness the takeoff. The massive red wings of the Bolkhovitinov DB-A lifted into the evening air, and banked over a row of trees as its captain set a course for Fairbanks, Alaska. But it was never seen again.
A Russian team, with assistance from the Russian Geographic Society, visited North Slope village of Nuiqsuit after long-forgotten reports that the plane came down off the Arctic Ocean Coast of Alaska surfaced. Yuri Salnikov, who heads the expedition, said the group has received new information about its location. He is a documentary filmmaker, filming the search.
Wilson said he would be glad to help them locate the plane he saw. They’re just a few miles off, he said.
To read more about the missing Russian bomber, please visit the Anchorage Daily News article here: