We have talked about the F-89 that disappeared over Lake Superior in 1953. The legend has been that the aircraft was scrambled to chase a UFO, the blips of both the fighter and the UFO merged, and then the single blip left the scope. The fighter was never found...
Then, just last year (2006), a company announced that they may have found the missing jet on the bottom of the lake and offered photographs to prove it. If true, one UFO mystery had been solved. But then, Gord Heath wrote to UFO magazine in November 2006 reporting on his investigation. He posted the same to UFO UpDates in January 2007. Following is his letter.
I read your article on the alleged discovery of the missing F-89 in your November issue and was quite surprised to note that it contained no mention that this discovery is now widely believed to be a hoax. Also, contrary to the brief follow-up comments by Dirk Vander Ploeg in the December issue of UFO magazine, there seems to be nothing of the story which can be verified.
Many individuals have checked into this story and it seems that no one has yet been able to verify even the most basic information. I am sure that your readers would be interested to know the findings of the investigation by James Carrion, international director of MUFON into the claims of Adam Jimenez.I will briefly summarize the findings:
1) No one has yet been able to verify the existence of "Great Lakes Dive Company" (GLDC) which Jimenez claimed to be an incorporated company or LLC in the state of Michigan.
2) No one in the Great Lakes shipwreck searching community or dive community seems to have any knowledge of Great Lakes Dive Company as an organization actively involved in the searches they mentioned on their web site.
3) No one seems to have any basic information about Adam Jimenez to validate he is who he claims to be, such as an address or current phone number.
4) While the GLDC web site was operational, no photographs of team members, boats or sonar equipment were ever posted to the website to document their alleged discovery.
5) Some experts in the field of side scan sonar believe the alleged sonar images may be fakes.
6) The initial story quoted in an email that was forwarded to the UFO Updates list, appears to be faked as an Associated Press story from a Port Huron, Michigan publication.
It should be noted that Adam Jimenez claimed to have video recordings obtained from an ROV survey of the alleged F-89. He claimed that the tail code was visible in the video and that the canopy of the craft was intact, implying that the crew were still inside. Despite these claims, he never shared any of this evidence with any of the family of the missing pilot, Lt. Gene [most reports suggest his name was Felix] Moncla.
It is unfortunate that persisting questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance have largely been side-stepped in your coverage of what seems to be an elaborate hoax. I have spent many years researching this incident and my findings are published on the UFOBC website at www.ufobc.ca/kinross.
I am sure your readers will be quite interested to know that parts from a military jet aircraft were found in the bush near the eastern shore of Lake Superior back in October 1968. A photograph of the tail stabilizer is shown with an Ontario Provincial Police officer and USAF officer on the front page of the Sault Daily Star newspaper, accompanying articles about the discovery. It appears that the identity of the mystery jet was never released to the public and the Canadian government claims they have no file records of this discovery.
Were these parts from the missing F-89?The article in UFO Magazine also reprints a map which erroneously places the last position of the F-89 in the accident report as being at coordinates 45 degrees 00 minutes north at a location near Sturgeon Bay, Michigan. The actual coordinates are printed in several locations such as the Search and Rescue report prepared by the RCAF and in several telexes. All state the last coordinates were 48 degrees 00 minutes north and 86 degrees 49 minutes west, north of the US Canada border over Lake Superior.
In closing, I wish to bring to your attention the photograph which you published in your magazine of Lt. Moncla, contains no caption mentioning this photograph was provided to me by his sister, Leonie Shannon and his cousin, Carol Campbell. I don't know where you obtained the photograph but I know it has been published several times on the web since we first posted it in an article printed in the UFOBC quarterly and now posted on our web page devoted to the missing pilot http://www.ufobc.ca/kinross/persons/personsMonclaMain.htm I enjoyed reading many of the other articles in your November issue, but I couldn’t restrain myself from responding to your articles referring to the missing F-89.