The Mystery of the Arm in the Ice

Dec 20, 2011

In 1948, a plane crash in a remote Alaskan mountain range killed everyone on board …twenty-four merchant mariners returning to the US from Shanghai, and six Northwest Airlines crew members. The crash site was quickly covered by snow and eventually entombed in ice…where it remained until 1999. It was then that a pair of former US Airforce pilots turned their hobby of solving forgotten aviation mysteries into an investigation. A debris field was discovered, and in it, a severed arm, preserved in the ice. That kicked off a decade-long project and unusual collaboration of scientists trying to figure out to whom the arm belonged? Here with more is Christine Gorman, Senior Editor at Scientific American.  

Producer's note:

We incorrectly identified the passengers in the plane crash as "merchant marines." The correct term is "merchant mariners." /RL