Decades Long Mystery Solved When Plane From 1971 Found At Bottom Of Lake Champlain
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Decades Long Mystery Solved When Plane From 1971 Found At Bottom Of Lake Champlain

Well, we can chalk up one mystery as finally being solved. The wreckage from a private plane that crashed in 1971 has finally been discovered some 50 years later. Experts believe they found the wreckage at the bottom of Lake Champlain in Vermont. 

Let's rewind back to 1971 — Jan. 27, 1971 to be exact. The private plane, with the registration N400CP, was headed to Providence, Rhode Island from Burlington, Vermont. However, it disappeared shortly after take off. Well, it looks like it ultimately didn't get far from its take-off destination.

Sadly, all aboard died in the crash. This included pilots Donald Myers and George Nikita as well as passengers Richard Windsor, Robert Williams and Frank Wilder. However, their families can finally put closure to their deaths all these decades later. Over the years, there were 17 attempts to locate the plane with all failing unit now.

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Underwater searcher Garry Kozak and a team of researchers discovered the wreckage of the plane last month. They used sonar imaging to view the plane's custom paintwork, which matched the missing jet. "With all those pieces of evidence, we're 99% absolutely sure," Kozak told NBC 10 Boston.

However, families experienced a renewed amount of heartbreak upon discovering the plane. It reopened decades-old wounds for many. One family member felt a peaceful but sad feeling.

Wreckage Found In Lake Champlain

To have this found now ... it's peaceful feeling, at the same time it's a very sad feeling," Barbara Nikitas, niece of pilot George Nikita, said in an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday. "We know what happened. We've seen a couple of photos. We're struggling I think with that now."

Meanwhile, Frank Wilder's son is just happy to finally know what happened to his father after all of this time. "Spending 53 years not knowing if the plane was in the lake or maybe on a mountainside around there somewhere was distressing," said Wilder. "And again, I'm feeling relieved that I know where the plane is now but unfortunately it's opening other questions and we have to work on those now."

Initially, people found parts of the wreckage from the plane in spring of 1971 at Shelburne Point, Vermont. This was after the ice had melted for the season. A separate team is investigating the researcher's findings to confirm the wreckage. Having been to Lake Champlain before, I can say that it looks more like an ocean than a lake. It would be easy for a plane to disappear.