October 19, 2005

“World War II Airman Found Frozen in Glacier”


It was a plane crash back in 1942 that wasn’t discovered until 1947. Now, hikers made a frozen discovery in connection with a World War II plane crash.

Hikers found the frozen body of an airman while scaling Mount Mendel Glacier in the Sequoia National Park. Now, the military is working to find out who this airman is and whether he was ever reported missing.

It’s believed the airman has been frozen in the glacier for decades until a pair of climbers got much more than ever imagined on a hike.

Two glacier climbers, 13,000 feet above the national park floor on Mount Mendel, made the incredible discovery.


Tuesday afternoon, an archaeologist and two U.S. park police officers went up to survey the area. A team of two will camp nearby to preserve the scene until the body can be recovered.

It’s believed most of the plane is still preserved under the glacier above the spot the latest airman was found.

Veterans familiar with common military practices say the serviceman should have some identification on him.

The climbers who found the man said they could not find anything around his neck, but they did cut out a piece of the parachute that 63 years later is still strapped to his back.

The crash is believed to be one of many that happened in the Sierras during the 1940’s and 1950’s.

The Park Service is working with a number of agencies and is hoping to chisel the ice around the body on Wednesday to get the man out and eventually identified.

Wow.  Pretty freaky day for those climbers, I’ll bet.

Which, now that I think about it, this reminds me of a time back in ‘91 or ‘92 when the same kind of thing happened to me—only instead of a dead airman frozen in glacial ice 13000’ up on Mount Mendel, it was some fat guy passed out under the table at Friday’s from one too many shots of Sambuca whom I happened to find when I tried to slide my foot up Heather Cornbleuth’s sarong, only to wind up with my big toe jammed in the drunk bastard’s distressingly dry mouth.

update:  Hi, Heather.  Yeah. So now you know.

(h/t Tom Pechinski, via Rantburg)

Posted by Jeff G. @ 7:40pm

Comments (25)

  1. A bit like the Iceman, except a little younger.

  2. Yeah, of the 88,000 or so US military still missing in action, about 78,000 are from WWII. They identified a couple found in a crashed plane in Central America last week. If you subscribe to the DoD’s press releases, they seem to find a couple every few months.

  3. …some fat guy passed out under the table at Friday’s from one too many shots of Sambuca…

    That wasn’t Sambuca, it was Bacardi. I don’t even know what Sambuca is, so why would I drink it?

  4. The Airman was Bubba Kerry, John Kerry’s uncle on a secret mission to nuance Adolph Hitler into total disarmament.  Oh if he had only survived, the course of history would have been so different.


    The military takes missing airmen and even more so, missing aircraft pretty serious.  I believe the mystery will be solved pretty soon.

  5. Global Warming continues to pay dividends!

  6. I think I saw this movie.  If I remember right they thaw him out, he has a lot of trouble adjusting, and he falls in love with the grandaughter of his high school sweetheart.

  7. So, are they going to name him Gorak or Steve?

  8. So, whose thigh was I rubbing?

    Word: “remember”, somebody help me out here.

  9. Oh and GO REDBIRDS.

  10. Does this mean that Brendan Fraser will get to play the pilot part in the made-for-TV movie?

  11. Ya see! Ya see!

    If it wasn’t for global warming, we’d never have seen this poor bastard again!

    GO SUV’S~!

  12. Only if they can’t get Mel Gibson, JD.

  13. Ummm…Jeff?  It might have been distressingly dry, but that wasn’t the drunk bastard’s mouth afterall.

    I hope you’ve started filing your toenails.

  14. Goldstein, you’re so indiscreet you’ve gotta be hiding something.

  15. Heather,

    So, does that mean your vagina has teeth and a tounge of it’s own…because if so, that would be like owning a goldmine!  Think how many state fairs you could go and display, “The long lost twin of Heather Cornbleuth, Micky!” I’m telling you that would be money in the bank…

  16. Did he come with a big red white and blue indestructable shield ?

    Just wondering.

  17. Did he come with a big red white and blue indestructable shield ?

    It reassures me, Matt, that at least one other person had that thought also.

    Now if we find that the Air Force is looking to contact a “Mr. Namor” to complete their inquiries, well…

  18. Check his boots.  All the airman I know wove one dogtag into their boot laces.  You can even see them in old photos.  Mine are still that way in the bottom of my A-bag in the back of the closet.

  19. I have it on good authority that Heather can pick up a dollar bill without using her hands.

    (As a serious side note, the article itself is kind of sad. I hope his family finds confort.)

  20. The climbers who found the man said they could not find anything around his neck, but they did cut out a piece of the parachute that 63 years later is still strapped to his back.

    Yeah, I’m sure it was a little freaky for those climbers. But not so freaky they didn’t try to loot the body before reporting it.

  21. Which treasure table do you roll on when looting the body of a dead airman?

  22. Could this possibly be the long lost, . . . .  “ D.B.Cooper? . . . .  Hummmmmmmm!

  23. There are likely to be many more downed aircraft to find than you may think.  There are a few well preserved craft on the north ehd of Ellsmere Island.  The same Ellsmere of the shameful and childish Hans Island incident. 

    They are well preserved because the climate is semi-arid and the snow falls like white powder.

    Another dented aluminium cigar tube [fuselage] with dayglow orange markings exists in the trees behind the ski-lift at Cypress bowl on the north shore from Vancouver BC.

    That one was likely student error.  Buzzing the bunnies on the ski slope can be fatal.

    OH shi….  TG http://My.Opera.com/T-G/

  24. was he fat and over weight mabey he had blubber

  25. Hi Mom, Never thought you would choose to visit this way.  Do they use anything besides harps up there?

    How about Fender strato-casters?  Do I have to bring mine along, when my time comes?  Somehow I don’t think so.

    I turned *notify* on so I will get any more comments you feel like making.  You can tell dad my hair is just starting to get thin the same place his did.

    You can find sis at:


    but you have to sign in.  Don’t let that scare you though. Everything is free in spite of the heavy use of the word *account*.

    73s 4 now, TG