Atlantic Ocean – April 29, 1965

Atlantic Ocean – April 29, 1965

     On April 29, 1965, a U. S. Navy, Grumman C-2A Greyhound prototype aircraft, (Bu. No. 148147), took off from Long Island, New York, for a test flight over the Atlantic Ocean.  (News accounts did not state the airplane’s intended destination.)

     The pilot was Commander Murdoch M. McLeod, (40), of Minneapolis, Minnesota; and the co-pilot was Lieutenant Commander Thomas A. Eades, (30), of Dallas, Texas.   

     Both men were assigned to the Patuxent River Naval Station in Maryland.

     At about 5:30 p.m. the pilot radioed that they were having engine trouble and that he was making an emergency landing in the water.  A search and rescue operation was instituted, during which an oil slick was sighted off the coast of Charlestown, Rhode Island, (One report states Block Island Sound.)  The oil was analyzed and found not to be the type used for aviation, and was presumed to have been from a fishing vessel. 

     At one point a navy helicopter from Quonset Point, Rhode Island, that was taking part in the search, was forced to make an emergency water landing in Peconic Bay, Long Island, due to lack of fuel.  There were no injuries, and the helicopter was towed to shore by a Coast Guard boat.  

     The search encompassed a huge area of open water ranging from Long Island, New York, to Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, but no wreckage of the aircraft was found.  One Coast Guard vessel involved in the search was the 210-foot Vigilant.  Others included the 95-foot Cape Fairweather, and the 82-foot Point White, as well as the Cape Star and Point Wells. 

     On May 1st, the bodies of Commander McLeod and Lt. Cmdr. Eades were recovered from Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts, west of Cuttyhunk Island.  According to all newspaper reports, they were the only two crewmen aboard the aircraft.  


     Unknown Newspaper, Associated Press report,  “Test Plane, crew Sought In Sound”, April 30, 1965.

     The Berkshire Eagle, (Pittsfield, Mass.), (UPI report), “Search Goes On For Missing Navy Plane”,  April 30, 1965, page 30.

     Newport Daily News, (R.I.), “Planes Hunt Sound For Lost Fliers”, April 30, 1965, page 2.

     New London Day, “Air, Sea Units Searching For Missing Navy Plane”, April 30, 1965 

     Sag Harbor Express, (N.Y.), “Bodies Were Recovered”, May 6, 1965.

     Biddeford-Saco Journal, (Biddeford, Maine), under “Personals”, May 11, 1965.  The funerals of Fireman Frederick R. Fredette, of Biddeford, and Electrician’s Mate 3/C Arthur J. Brown, of Old Orchard Beach, Me. were listed together.  It was stated that both had been serving aboard the Coast Guard cutter Vigilant during the search for the missing aircraft ten days earlier.  No details were given.       

The Mystery of Gerhard Finkenbeiner – 1999

The Mystery of Gerhard Finkenbeiner


     On the afternoon of May 6, 1999, Gerhard Finkenbeiner, 69, took off in a single-engine Piper Arrow, (Reg. N8235Z), from Wiggins Airport in Norwood, Massachusetts, and neither he or his airplane have been seen since.  

     His intended destination was unknown for he didn’t file a flight plan. 

     The weather was relatively clear with 7 to 10 miles good visibility.

     Once he was reported “missing”, authorities began an intensive search. 

     The Massachusetts Wing of the Civil Air Patrol obtained radar data from the Federal Aviation Administration.  This data was included in the National Transportation Safety Board, (NTSB), report narrative, which reads in part: “Air traffic control radar began tracking a target squawking 1200 in the Norwood area, about the same time the missing airplane was suspected of departing.  The target tracked southbound to a point 5 miles south of Taunton Airport, then turned eastward at 1506:02.  At that time, the altitude of the target was 1,100 feet.  At 1506:14, at 41 degrees, 49 minutes, 83 seconds, north latitude, and 70 degrees, 49 minutes, 22 seconds west longitude, radar contact was lost.  At 1518:14, a target was observed at 41 degrees, 50 minutes, 32 seconds, north latitude, 70 degrees, 46 minutes, west longitude, at an altitude of 500 feet.  There were no further contacts.”

     Assuming that the radar contact was Mr. Finkenbeiner’s aircraft, the search was initially centered in the area of Carver, Massachusetts.  However, it was also speculated that Mr. Finkenbeiner may have attempted to fly to Jaffrey, New Hampshire, where he owned another home.   Another area of interest to searchers centered around the Danielson, Connecticut, area where witnesses reported seeing a plane circling that may have been in trouble.   Despite repeated searches, nothing was found.  

     Mr. Finkenbeiner was a well known manufacturer of glass armonica’s; an instrument introduced in the 1700s by Ben Franklin.  The business is still in operation today. See  

     What happened to Mr. Finkenbeiner and his aircraft is open to speculation, and to this day there are those still hoping to bring the matter to a close. 

    One website dedicated to solving the mystery can be found at The Search For Gerhard Finkenbeiner – Rick’s Home Page, 



     National Transportation Safety Board report, #NYC99FAMS3

     Boston Globe, “Glass Armonica Maker vanishes”, May 9, 1999, Pg. B01

     Lewiston Sun Journal, “Authorities Perplexed By Missing Pilot”, May 10, 1999

     Providence Sunday Journal, “Conn. Police To resume Search For Missing Plane”, November 14, 1999

     Providence Journal, “Missing Plane Remains A Mystery”, November 22, 1999









Missing Aircraft – April 27, 1966

Missing Aircraft – April 27, 1966


B-57 Reconnaissance Bomber U.S. Air Force Photo

B-57 Reconnaissance Bomber
U.S. Air Force Photo

     On April 27, 1966, an Air Force B-57 reconnaissance bomber was on a training flight from Newburgh, New York, to Otis Air Force Base in Falmouth, Massachusetts, when it disappeared after radioing a distress signal, presumably  somewhere near the Falmouth area. 

     There were two men aboard the aircraft: (Pilot) Major Malcolm T. Kalser, 42, of Biggs, California, and (Navigator) Major Frank N. Guzzetta, 40, of Darby, Penn.    

     After a widespread search nothing was found, and the Air Force called off the search after eight days.

     Then, on Sunday, May 9, 1966, two fishermen from Cuttyhunk Island reported finding what they though might be pieces of the missing aircraft on a nearby beach.  “The wreckage”, it was reported, “included one part about five feet long and a rubber de-icing boot.” 

     The pieces were turned over to the Air Force.


    Woonsocket Call, “Plane Search May Resume; Parts Found”, May 9, 1966, Pg. 6       

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