Transcribed from The Age, Melbourne, Australia, October 6, 1960, p. 4:

Secret Document in Air Crash Mystery

 

BOSTON, October 5. — A mysterious document was missing today in the aftermath of the crash of an Eastern Airlines Lockheed Electra in Boston Harbor with a heavy loss of life.

Only 11 of the 71 on board were known to have survived.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation refused to comment on a police report that it had taken over the phase of the inquiry relating to the document.

Existence of the unidentified secret document became known late last night. Captain Carl Larsen, State police officer in charge of rescue operations at the scene, said he was informed of it by a member of the Office of Special Investigations (O.S.I.), a branch of the U.S. air force.

Captain Larsen said he was told the document had been aboard the plane at take-off and was later missing. He said the Federal Bureau of Investigation started a search for the document and an investigation of its disappearance.

An official of the O.S.I. at the airport, Thomas L. Hackett, admitted his organisation was looking for “something important” but said it was not top secret.

An airline spokesman said the F.B.I. had made inquiries at Eastern’s Boston office.

Young Recruits

The turbo-prop Electra — second of its kind to crash in less than three weeks — carried 66 passengers and a crew of five.

Among the passengers were 15 youthful recruits of the United States marine corps, on their way to training camp at Parris Island, South Carolina. Two of them are among the known dead and at least three others were injured.

Relatives of some of the young marines, who had seen them off moments earlier, saw the accident from the observation deck of Logan International Airport.

The plane, bound for Philadelphia, came down in muddy water about 200 yards offshore. It was low tide at the time and some rescuers slogged through seas of mud, while others hurried out in boats.

The airliner broke into two pieces.

After darkness fell, flashlights pierced the gloom as helicopters hovered at low altitudes and shone searchlights down on the wreckage.

Many of the dead were found by skin divers strapped in their seats in the oily waters of the harbor.

Fifth Crash

The Boston crash was the fifth for an Electra, a big turbo-prop which has been in service for less than two years.

Three of the four previous crashes took a total of 162 lives, and the Federal Aviation Agency ordered airlines using Electras to fly them at reduced speed while the builder undertook a modification programme.

The most recent accident involving an Electra was on September 14. All 76 aboard the craft lived to tell abouat it. The plane struck a dike on a landing approach at New York’s La Guardia airport, flipped over on its back and burned.

The head of the Federal Aviation Agency (Mr. E. Quesada) said late last night:–“We do not know what casued the Boston crash.

“There doesn’t seem to be any relation between this crash and any structural problems with the aeroplane,” he said.

The F.A.A. did not plan to ground the aircraft, he said. –A.A.P.

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