There was recently news regarding a story of a former US military pilot who crash landed his plane somewhere in the southwest. He was accused of flying the airplane to Mexico to deliver it to the Russians. The Russians then supposedly dropped him off in the desert from which he walked back to civilization. I believe this was Post WWII & Korea. The pilot lived with the accusation his entire life despite claiming his innocence despite the plane never being found.

The wreckage was just recently found, vindicating the pilot although he had passed away some years ago.

Any help would be appreciated. My google searches came up with many defection stories and red herrings. I know the story is recent. I just can't find it.

  • $\begingroup$ @ChrisStratton, I believe that you are correct. I knew I recently heard about it and it appears I read about it here: planeandpilotmag.com/article/the-case-of-the-missing-t-33 For some reason I thought that the reason I had read about it recently was due to the recent publication of the article. $\endgroup$ Commented Jan 2, 2019 at 1:05

1 Answer 1


According to the relevant Wikipedia page Lt. David Steeves of the USAF bailed out of a T-33 trainer in 1957 near King's Canyon National Park in California and was not found until 52 days later. When the crash site could not be located Steeves became the subject of various rumors, despite the T-33 being a relatively unimpressive trainer aircraft.

Steeves left the air force after the incident and reportedly conducted some of his own searches on the ground and in the air before being killed in an unrelated crash in Idaho in 1965.

A canopy located in the park in 1977 was as identified as being from this aircraft in 1978 but the remainder has not been found. While no developments appear to have taken place in the story since then, it has occasionally been the subject of articles over the years.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .