Finding the Dunderberg Plane Wreckage
Dunderberg and Timp - NY Travel Blog› entry 766 of 1090 › view all entries
The following newspaper article could be read in the "Bridgeport Post" on Sunday the 14th of May 1967:
MISSING PLANE, PILOT DEAD FOUND AT BEAR MOUNTAIN
BEAR MOUNTAIN, N.Y. (AP) - The wreckage of a small plane missing two days and the body of its pilot were discovered Saturday in a gulley on nearby Dunderberg Mountain.
Two hikers first came upon the plane but saw no signs of life. They returned for police and led a party of nine back into the brush.
The battered body of the pilot Arnold D. Schaefer, 36, of New York City, head of a car-telephone leasing firm was found in the plane. Police said he apparently died in the crash.
Schaefer's one-engined green-and-white plane was reported missing Thursday after it left Hartford, Conn. at 5 p.m. and failed to arrive at its destination, Teterboro Airport in New Jersey.
The Civil Air Patrol had been searching for the plane for two days when two hikers happened upon the wreckage Saturday morning. The plane apparently had crashed into a gulley on side of the mountain which is the first peak south of Bea fountain along the Hudson River in Palisades Interstate Park. Schaefer's body was taken to Nyack hospital. He lived at 201 E 28th St., Manhattan.
A tragic accident! And you may wonder why I have added it to my weblog. While researching for other blog entries I discovered a story of a plane wreckage that should be on Dunderberg Mountain, the 1967 plane of Arnold Schaefer! It turns out that Mr. Schaefer's body was salvaged, but his plane was left to perish at the shoulder of Dunderberg Mountain. And, after almost 45 years, the remains are still there...
The funny thing is that I, during my earlier hike on Dunderberg (see here), I walked right along the wreckage but had not noticed it.
I hiked the trail counter clockwise, on or near the track of the never completed "Dunderberg Spiral Railway". I had found two GPS coordinates. The first one sent me into the bush, gave me great views but no plane. The second one was bingo. I arrived at the heavily decayed metal remains of the plane. It is not green-white anymore since some disrespectful idiot has sprayed graffiti paint on the wreckage. But, given the fact that it has been here for almost 45 years in harsh conditions the pile of metal still showed some resemblance with plane parts.
I continued the loop via the 325-meter (1066-ft) high Dunderberg (name come from Dutch and ironically means Thunder Mountain) and the 300-meter (984 ft) high Timp Mountain. When I wanted to add an extra loop to the hike I was sent back by Mother Nature who made it snow all of a sudden. And she was right, I had hiked enough. I headed back to the car and had a nice dinner.
More pictures below.