|Phony story spread about this loss incident||Press description of one excavation of this loss site||The whole story and then some|
This article and the three pages linked to it reproduce the four pages of a report by the Joint Task Force -- Full Accounting summarizing the material found during the excavations of the Hopper-Hall aircraft. Each page is reproduced as a separate jpeg file.
This message does not include the fragmentary human remains found at the site; this lists only the relevant pieces of wreckage and crew-related equipment. Crew-related equipment found in crash sites are critical to determining the fate of the crew. Here is the process:
|The crash site is excavated using accepted academic excavation techniques. If you have ever seen photographs or an televised documentary of an archaeological excavation, you have seen the techniques used in excavating crash sites.|
|Crash sites from the Vietnam war are now thirty or more years old -- the last US aircraft was lost in February 1973. Human bodies are mangled by the forces of a crash, especially in the case of high-performance aircraft where crash speeds are in excess of 300 miles per hour. Bodies are shredded then, fragmentary human remains lie exposed to weather and acid soil for three decades.|
|Excavations usually recover only small bone fragments and a few teeth. Excavations also recover -- usually -- fairly large quantities of "crew-related" equipment -- pieces of the survival kit attached to an ejection seat; personal items that the crewmember(s) would have had in pockets; pieces of parachute and/or ejection seats. The presence of these items indicate that one or more crewmembers were in the aircraft at the time of impact.|
In the case of the Hall-Hopper crash site, this is known:
|There were two men in the aircraft, Hall and Hopper.|
|Hall ejected, was captured, and released at Operation Homecoming.|
|Hopper was never seen to eject from the aircraft. He made no emergency calls, his beeper was not heard after the crash nor was any contact established with him on emergency radio frequencies.|
|The excavation recovered substantial quantities of equipment associated with one crewmember -- pieces of ejection seat, the survival radio, many parts from the survival kit, and the like. The message reproduced below lists the pieces of crew-related equipment recovered from the Hall-Hopper crash site.|
Note the conclusions of the life support equipment specialists: "The aircrew related items recovered within the crash site confirm a crewmember was in the aircraft at impact." There was one man in the aircraft at impact: Earl Hopper, Jr.
Note: This message is a report on the final excavation and a summary of artifacts found in previous surveys and excavations of this crashsite. Do not be confused by the comment that "items recovered are not sufficient to correlate to the" Hopper-Hall aircraft -- read the whole sentence and note that items recovered in previous investigations did establish that this was the Hopper-Hall aircraft.