Kurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 414 posts, RR: 0 Posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 7418 times:
Very interesting article in the (Denver) Rocky Mountain News about United 629 that was bombed Nov. 1, 1955 enoute from Denver to Portland. The DC-6B exploded after 11 minutes in the air, killing 39 passengers and five crew members. The bomber was John G. Graham, who snuck dynamite into his mother's luggage to collect a large insurance settlement. Here's the lead:
The house shuddered.
It was a death rattle, announcing the bodies plunging from the night sky into the fields out beyond the barns and corral.
In the house, with the farm work done for the day, the Hopp family of five boys and two girls had finished supper when the explosion split the country quiet, shaking them to the quick. A ball of flame seared through the sky as if their frame house was its target.
"It went down behind the outbuildings, so I never saw it hit the ground," Conrad Hopp said, recalling the tragic night of Nov. 1, 1955. Hopp, now 68, was an eyewitness when United Airlines Flight 629, en route from Denver to Portland, exploded and crashed onto the sugar beet fields of southwestern Weld County.
Tom in NO From United States of America, joined Nov 1999, 7194 posts, RR: 40 Reply 1, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 7229 times:
Robert Serling did a brief write-up on this incident in one of his long-ago published books on air safety.
As I recall, this crash was one of the first ones that caused a law to be written regarding the invalidating of insurance and prosecution of people who bought insurance on themselves or on other passengers who took flights that had incidents that were traced back to insurance collection-type motivational causes.
Tom at MSY
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
FlagshipAZ From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 3419 posts, RR: 15 Reply 5, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 19 hours ago) and read 7162 times:
The aircraft was ironically known as the Mainliner Denver, a DC-6B line #224, registered N37559. Until Kurt posted the topic, I've never knew the story until today. As said before, may the innocent victims continue to rest in peace.
"Beer is living proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy." --Ben Franklin
Kurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 414 posts, RR: 0 Reply 9, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6958 times:
I ordered the book from Amazon - it was only $11.90 and it looks very interesting.
What's amazing to me is that Mr. Graham was able to just calmly set his plot in motion and it actually succeeded. A timer-based bomb has so much potential to go off at the wrong time, right? If it had gone off just a few minutes earlier that aircraft would have crashed in a heavily-populated area and could have caused much more havoc. Or if the flight had been delayed the bomb may not have killed as many. Pure speculation, of course.
The world was a much more innocent place in 1955 but Graham was pretty evil to kill those people so coldly.
Highflier92660 From United States of America, joined Apr 2004, 596 posts, RR: 0 Reply 10, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 18 hours ago) and read 6927 times:
We are quickly approaching another sad 50th anniversary. The grand daddy mid-air of the post WW-II era, and one that ultimately led to a badly needed modernization of the air traffic control system in the U.S. and the transformation of the CAA into the FAA. Here's the link to a good web page synopsis of the crash between a United airlines DC-7 and a TWA Lockheed 1049A Constellation on the morning of June 30, 1956.
A few years ago I flew a Cessna T210 into the canyon near accident site at the confluence of the Colorado with the Little Colorado Rivers. High on the shear canyon walls, one can still see markings and some glint of metal from the United aircraft.
Richierich From United States of America, joined Nov 2000, 4036 posts, RR: 6 Reply 13, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 6695 times:
I guess, judging by one of the articles, that actual crash site remains farmland to this day. I'd almost have expected the suburbs to have expanded beyond the 11-minute radius the DC-6 was capable of flying from Stapleton.
Kurt From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 414 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (7 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 6559 times:
That TWA/United crash over the Grand Canyon from '56 is another one for the history books. I was surprised the DC-7 flew so much faster than the Connie, although the Connie is still so much sleeker to my eye.