Jim Dupont, Root Lake, Jack discussed on Dateline NBC
As summer came to a close in one thousand nine hundred eighty two there were rumours in the water. Crazy idea was making the rounds. The mysterious airplane had landed may be even crashed on pristine gene little bitter Root Lake and that the odd young man who wandered the shoreline encountering several locals was perhaps the pilot. I don't remember being afraid. He might come back or anything like that. Forgot about it. I think we kind of forgot about it But naturally the sheriff heard about all this and said a young deputy name Jim Dupont to take a look around by the time. We talked to Dupont back in two thousand thousand eight. He'd been looking at the mystery for most of his career. In fact our old video here and said how long we've been following this story anyway. Dupont on was assigned the case way back in nineteen eighty two partly because he was a private pilot as well as a deputy so he knew a thing or two about small planes mm-hmm and low and behold in the very spot where twins Jimmy. Johns said the young man at built a fire. We indeed found a little fire ring and right away the way I found what's called a gust lock and a gust lock. It's bent piece of metal that actually fits into the yoke of an airplane in the fire in the burned up in the Fire and plus there was some wires in a Jack Plug on a microphone. Jack and I knew it was unlike Jack from an airplane so so what what. Then I actually took that gust lock and went to the airport found a one fifty and indeed it fit to one fifty that I looked at one fifty. Would it'd be a Cessna one fifty like this one. So does that mean the rest of a Cessna. One fifty was indeed in the lake. Just like the gossipers were saying Dupont want reported all this to his boss the sheriff and the share of called in a couple of expert divers recall and Ernie Free Perry. The sheriff believed that there was a plane in the slake and earn. I suited up and we're on boats that were trying to locate it with fish. Finders you can only imagine the the challenge back then technology being what it was in the nineteen eighties and the lake in spots. Be well over two hundred feet deep. Still the sheriff had confidence they'd find the plane and alerted the media which certainly came to watch the divers diving and listen to the sheriff's optimistic daily daily predictions overly optimistic predictions. He said that the media quite a few times. Today's the day and and we'd go out and everybody work hard and it wouldn't happen. They'd all go home again and then the next day. Today's the day I I mean everybody was doing what they can do. That went on for days more than a week. So maybe all that talk about an airplane in the lake was just that Taw walk. Then the share of heard about a thing jake did was new at the time called side scanning sonar so they brought one of those in lowered it way down to the bottom. If we don't get results here today or tomorrow We will call off the search because there's a limit to your resources from in time and effort but just as sheriff was about to give up a breakthrough when we gotta hit on the Sonar. He also brought a here remote remote camera that you know that had an umbilical and basically flu that camera down to the aircraft there it was the plane right there on the video screen. What was it like to see that thing? Do you remember if it was actually somewhat satisfying to know all the hours that suspend out there looking at really was there except now there was another problem. The plane was more than two hundred fifty feet down way too deep to safely. Send the divers so the used the submersible cameras. The guide hooks onto the airplane. And they've pulled it up to a depth of about one hundred feet where the divers were percent down to retrieve it. The water was very clear they could see the plane almost like it was flying down the Col- cold water but then they saw something. What the Hell's the plane wasn't empty inside stopped pleasant when you see that the body of a woman and just a girl really? She was sitting in the passenger seat and our seatbelt was still on but would she look as I recall she was a pretty girl and she was a young girl and it was. It was just a shame. The divers each got behind a wing flew the plane to the surface as the plane came out the crowd watching saw something many of the people here would never forget. The girls hair was stuck in the door and her long locks were waving in the water. The twins were there crowded up close as little more than I expected ever. We're pulling it out and the hairs hanging out. Never seen in person before they put a sheet over the aircraft window the shield prying eyes while the law men moved in. I removed her and just took her immediately. Down to our state state pathologist amazulu. What sort of condition was your body? She was in excellent condition. She just looked like she was actually sleeping a That was part butter. The girl in the lake. Who was she? What was she doing alone? In the passenger seat of a Cessna one fifty fifty in the bottom of the Montana Lake and if she was the passenger where was the pilot coming up in a modern twist on a story oldest time. What emerged was the suggestion that they were kind of a Romeo Jio and Juliet that their families had been disapproving of their relationship eloping? That was the suggestion when dateline continues.