Saturday, December 24, 2011

Scuba divers discover airplane submerged off coast of Palm Beach County Divers say plane may be from WWII

JUPITER, Fla. - It was supposed to be a typical scuba dive. Randy Jordan, owner of Emerald Charters in Jupiter, grabbed his gear and ferried a small group of divers to a spot about four miles east of the Jupiter Inlet. "Completely random drop and the captain just dropped us right on it," said Jordan. "It was just totally by accident."

The group dove about 185 feet to the ocean floor.

"We get down to the bottom and I see some fish that are swimming over to the right and I followed them," said Jordan. "They swam right up to this airplane. It was the most amazing thing."

Right in front of them, Jordan said, were the remains of an aircraft. "When you backed up, you said 'that's an airplane,' " he said.

Underwater video taken by Jordan shows the aircraft upside-down on the ocean floor. "The wings were intact, the tail was intact and if you go to the front of it, the engine's there and the propellers," he said.

Jordan sent his images to the Warbird Information Exchange , an online source for historical aviation information. Experts there told Jordan that the submerged aircraft could be a Curtiss Helldiver SBC2. Some of those airplanes flew in the early 1940s during World War II.

"I thought, that's pretty cool. 'Helldiver' is the name of something a bunch of divers would find," said Jordan. "It's never been discovered before so somebody's looking for it."

No representatives from the U.S. Military have been out to examine the aircraft wreckage. The group of divers plans to be in talks with the military, in hopes that someone can provide answers about this discovery off the coast of Palm Beach County.

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