1977 Airplane Crash in Yosemite


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - May 21, 2005 - 10:35pm PT
In 1977 a plane loaded with dope crashed into Lower Merced Pass Lake. I knew the pilot and his wife since high school. His wife and I are working on co-authoring a book about the incident. I am looking for anyone that can recall any stories about what went on in the area during the first few weeks following the crash. We are not looking to expose anyone, we are looking for stories to add to what we already knew happened up to that night.I have talked to a few ex park employees that were there at the time and have gotten their take on things. Anyone else?

Rick Schloss
San Jose, CA

May 21, 2005 - 11:52pm PT

I lived thru that whole thing man and always wondered [where the fu-ck] were those guys really flying to? Where was the original drop point for that plane load of grass going to?

Surely not into the lake ............

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2005 - 12:54am PT
WB, yeah there is so much more to the story as most stories have.

Tell ya what, I'm interested in hearing from anyone that has first hand stories about things that happened either by them or around them because of this crash. Anyone is welcome to email me with anything they have. They don't have to include their names, but if so, we'll certainly give them credit.

We are also looking for stories about what might have ended up in something good for people. You know, business that were started, colleges that were attended, that kind of thing. After almost 30 years we know there are lives that got a kick start from this thing, we'd love to hear about it.
Karl Baba

Trad climber
Yosemite, Ca
May 22, 2005 - 02:15am PT
There was a thread about this recently


Social climber
The West
May 22, 2005 - 02:44am PT
yellow, proceed with caution

Trad climber
Austin, TX
May 22, 2005 - 01:40pm PT
What is the statute of limitations on possible crimes that might have been committed?
For instance, if someone found and sold the mary jane at that time, could they still be prosecuted now?
Just curious.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2005 - 01:54pm PT
Well, believe it or not, one of my brothers was working a gate at Yosemite back then. Now he's in law enforcement and I'm seeing him today. I'll pose that question to him. Not to play legal eagle here, but its hard for me to believe almost 30 years later that it would still put people jeopardy. So, hold your breath and I'll report back. I'd bet a google search would yield that info as well for those that don't want to take my word.

And as far as a "Yellow Alert" goes. As I've said, we aren't even looking for names, just stories.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2005 - 09:48pm PT
WB, to answer your question, they were about half way from where they came from to about half way to where they were going. AND, they'd been doing it for quite a few years.

Stay tuned for more....

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 22, 2005 - 10:01pm PT
I can't imagine chiming in on this thread--so far as personal involvement goes--even though I've written around the topic several times, especially in Rock Jocks. Hiking for dollars we used to call it . . .


Trad climber
cayucos california
May 22, 2005 - 10:38pm PT
John, Rock Jocks is my favorite climbing book ever, good job!


Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 22, 2005 - 10:41pm PT
Well since "one" never really knew the story behind the crash, a movie based on it might end up being a "reach" if ya grasp my point.

May 22, 2005 - 10:46pm PT
Yo Largo. Bet that stuff could have you doing wheelies on that one wheelasickle. Underwater.

Ice climber
Ashland, Or
May 22, 2005 - 11:22pm PT
was the movie Cliffhanger loosely based of this event? I remember Stalone looking for bags full or drugs or money or something from a plane crash in the mountains...

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2005 - 01:07am PT
I'm going to have to rent it tomorrow and watch. I understand the story line was just that, loosely based on a real situation.
can't say

Social climber
Pasadena CA
May 23, 2005 - 08:47am PT
Correct me if I'm wrong John, but were'nt you the first person to be given a screen credit for a premise.

based on a premise by....

Trad climber
Austin, TX
May 23, 2005 - 11:46am PT
I have always been intrigued by that story and found most details in Lynn Hills' book, and knew that John Long had a connection to Cliffhanger, but didn't know Largo wrote about it as well (Rock Jocks?).

I would buy that book Licky. Working title?


Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2005 - 01:29pm PT
I'll have to pick up a copy. I think the pilot's wife is working on contacting Lynn.

Thanks for the posts guys, this is starting to build some steam.

Social climber
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2005 - 02:24pm PT
Geezo...yeah kinda. Rick and Ricky were already taken. As a kid in Japan in 1954, our house maids couldn't pronounce Little Ricky, so it I was named Rittle Licky. Stuck with me all of these years. Came in handy in college

Trad climber
May 23, 2005 - 03:16pm PT
Perhaps people who were or were not involved would rather the subject was laid to rest. The seventies were a crazy time. Todays young people may not understand the climate in which our heros made those decisions. If you tarnish the reputations of those people you :

hurt the sport of climbing
ruin peoples reputations
may put sombody in jail
enrage law enforcement who will now view climbers as criminals
dont even know these people
encourage young people to screw up
help noone

people died dealing drugs from that plane. Perhaps you and your friends should be held responsible for that... okay? If you destroy good peoples image as climbing heros by spreading nasty rumors about it, we the climbing community will hold you responsible. If you really were related to the pilot then screw all this secrecy stuff. Put YOUR NAME up there and tell us all who YOU are and who your friends were and what illegal stuff THEY did. Nobody appreciates what you are trying to do. Expose yourself if you want to tell a story.
Leave the rest of the rumors were they are: Ancient history and probably BAD BETA!

Social climber
May 23, 2005 - 03:24pm PT
Hey, his name IS up there. Your solution to prevent young people from screwing up is to block history from being told and hold these strung out, dirtbag climbers on pedestals?
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