Plane missing in 1953 found in Gaspésie

Plane missing in 1953 found in Gaspésie

À DAY

It took nearly seven decades to track down a bomber that went missing in April 1953. Authorities believed at the time that it had crashed on the Côte- North, but parts resurfaced this year in a forest area near Grande-Rivière, Gaspésie. 

The device found in a forest area in early summer is indeed a twin-engine Lockheed Ventura type that mysteriously disappeared at that time.

“Earlier this year, the Sûreté du Québec reported to the TSB that what appeared to be parts of an aircraft had been found in a very isolated location in Gaspésie. The parts were identified as parts belonging to a Lochkeed device from several years ago. After carrying out research, the probabilities are that it would be the remains of an aircraft that disappeared in 1953,” said Liam MacDonald, communications coordinator for the Transportation Safety Board of Canada.

According to According to information gathered from the Aviation Safety Network website and various newspaper articles of the time, at the time of the crash four people were on board: a pilot, a navigator and two engineers. 

The aircraft was on a flight from Gander, Newfoundland to Ottawa. The crew was returning from a fact-finding mission in Africa that had been commissioned by the US government to do an aerial survey.

“The latest news of the twin came as it flew over Buchans, Newfoundland at 10:25 a.m. yesterday. (…) The missing plane did not communicate by radio to Sept-Îles – its first point of contact after having passed Buchans, Newfoundland, in a direct flight from Gander to Ottawa”, can we read in the pages of the newspaper Le Canada, April 20, 1953.

Several American bombers and planes stationed in Canada had “flew over a region of 50 miles on their way to Sept-Îles and were then to continue their search east of this locality”. Without the slightest trace of the Ventura, the authorities believed that the aircraft had crashed into the sea.

It was only 69 years later, last June, that a group of forestry workers discovered by chance on the wreckage of the aircraft, while planting trees. At first glance, the workers thought it was waste that had been thrown into the environment.

“Parts were all over the place. They were pieces of aluminum. It wasn't rusty, it was weird. We thought it was a dump. Before, the world, we had dumps, but that was not it”, explains Serge Aubin.

Since then, several teams of police officers have surveyed the area on numerous occasions to recover metal parts belonging to the aircraft.

“The deployment on the ground takes place in a complex geographical context involving, among other things, remoteness. Our police are continuing the search, equipped with specialized equipment,” said Claude Doiron, of the Sûreté du Québec.

The police force did not comment on the new information put forward by CHAU.

As of now, no bodies have been found at the scene. However, authorities are currently working with the Laboratory of Forensic Science and Forensic Medicine, as well as the coroner's office, to identify victims, if any.