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The Oroville U-2 spy plane crash[es]

by Ivan Seeking
Tags: crashes, oroville, plane
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Ivan Seeking
Nov13-08, 01:48 AM
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I was reminded of this tonight and thought it worth a post. I lived in Oroville, California, for a time, and my parents lived there for a couple of decades. Strangely enough, there were two U-2 spy planes that went down in Oroville during this time. I was there for the first, which landed on the property of the mother of a friend. You can imagine her surprise when she saw a U-2 coming down!

The second event was witnessed by my father, who saw the pilot and the plane coming down separately. The plane crashed into the newspaper building in town, and the dead pilot landed on a street very near my parents house.

I checked and spotted a page dedicated to these events, with a photo of the crash scene.

I remember when that happened. I was driving home from work in Chico and was just north of Oroville when I came across a group of highly armed Air Force Security personnel (pointing M-16's) who had staked out the area near the freeway. The U-2 had crash landed out in the volcanic rock area west of the freeway. The area is flat and the pilot was not seriously injured. I am not sure of the circumstances but rumor had it that the pilot had passed out and the plane was so aerodynamic that it crashed landed itself. Apparently just then the pilot woke up, panicked, and ejected from the ground! His only injury was a broken nose.

The above information lays the groundwork for the following story that involves a U-2, the Oroville Mercury Register, the personnel of Beale and the people of Oroville. The devastating incident effected them all, but especially it changed the lives of all Oroville Mercury employees and destroyed the lives of two other people.

Amazingly, it has now been over a decade since this tragedy. But time has not diminished the terror of it.

This web site is dedicated to the victims and their families. It is also dedicated to those who came to their aid in this deadly incident. [continued]
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Nov13-08, 03:43 AM
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A horrendous event that reminds me of the Victor that crashed (quite) near us

People all ways worried as we were only two miles across country from the end of the runway.
Nov13-08, 05:38 AM
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A strange twist to the Victor crash, one of the guys to be first at the the crash site is now my father in law, he was posted at Gaydon at the time.
Small world.

Edit. not my farth in law.

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