Category: Off The Beaten Path

On This Date: July 21, 1948 B-29 Superfortress Bomber Crashed into Lake Mead

July 21, 2014
A Modified B-29 (F-13) crashed in to Lake Mead on July 21, 1948

A Modified B-29 (F-13) crashed in to Lake Mead on July 21, 1948

On July 21, 1948 a Boeing B-29 Superfortress (F-13)  crashed in to Lake Mead. The Bomber was modified from a B-29 into a F-13. The “F” meant that it was modified for photo reconnaissance. It was on a special mission to conduct atmospheric research using an instrument called the “Sun Tracker”.  Painted on the nose of the plane was the words “Cosmic Ray Research”.  The plane operated as high as 30,000 feet down to just about as low as you can fly.

While on mission, the plane was making a very low pass over the Lake Mead surface with what is described, “glass like” when it hit the water.  The plane was traveling at about 250 mph as it crashed and skipping across the surface for over a quarter of a mile.  Five men on-board escaped via life rafts before the plane sank in water over 170 feet deep.  The crew was rescued from the lake six hours later and was instructed not to disclose any details of the flight, its mission or its loss. As the mission was classified, these details were not released until fifty years later.

In 2001, a private dive team searching for the B-29 using side-scan sonar found the wreckage in the northern arm of Lake Mead. Because the bomber lay inside a National Recreation Area, responsibility for the site fell to the National Park Service. Due to the cold deep water, the plane  has been well preserved. Currently the site is off limits to divers.

Photo By: Wikipedia.com – Public Domain

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On This Date: July 3, 1930 Appropriation Bill for the Boulder Dam Was Signed

July 3, 2014
hoover dam

Hoover Dam on the Nevada - Arizona Border Built Starting in 1931

On July 3, 1930, President Herbert Hoover signed the appropriation bill for the Boulder Dam.  Work started on the dam in 1931 and Las Vegas’ population swelled from around 5,000 citizens to 25,000, with most of the newcomers looking for a job building the dam. The casinos and showgirl theaters first appeared in Las Vegas to entertain the largely male-majority dam construction workers. The name of the dam was later changed from Boulder Dam to Hoover Dam.

Photo By: LasVegas360.com
Date Taken: November 26, 2011

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Lone Mountain Hike

February 9, 2014

GPS: N36°14’17.88″ / W115°18’59.026″

Lone Mountain is a steep, isolated, rocky crag located in the northwest part of Las Vegas just inside the Interstate-215 Beltway. The summit stands some 600 feet above the surrounding desert and homes, giving great views of the city and the surrounding mountains.

Lone Mountain Summit, Las Vegas Nevada

Lone Mountain Summit, Las Vegas Nevada

Click Here for a 360° Virtual View

There are several routes up Lone Mountain. The Northwest Route is fairly steep, but it is short (0.51 miles) and takes only about 30 minutes if you stop to enjoy the scenery along the way. The other is a longer from the north end. Lone Mountain is good place for a quick get-away or after-work hike. Be careful hiking this during the summer heat it can be very hot. This hike would make a good sunset/sunrise climb with a great view of the Las Vegas valley.

Elevation: 3342 ft.

Photo By: LasVegas360.com

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On This Date: January 27, 1951 First Nuclear Bomb Detonated at Nevada Test Site

January 27, 2014
Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

Able- First Nuclear Test At the Nevada Test Site January 27, 1951

The first nuclear bomb was tested at the Nevada Test Site on January 27, 1951. The Nevada Test Site is located 65 mi northwest of Las Vegas. The series of test was called Operation Ranger it was the fourth American nuclear test. The nuke shot was called  ‘Able’ and it was the first air-dropped nuclear device to be exploded on American soil. The test took place on Frenchman Flat, a dry lakebed in the Nevada Test Site (site 5). The .5-kiloton explosion was the first series to be carried out at the Nevada Test Site. The bomb was dropped by B-50 bombers and exploded in the open air over Frenchman Flat (Area 5).

Photo:  Department of Defense

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On This Date: January 16, 1942, Carole Lombard Dies in Plane Crash Near Las Vegas

January 16, 2014

On this date, January 16, 1942, a Douglas DC-3 Propliner left Las Vegas and crashed in to nearby Potosi Mountain.

TWA Flight 3

TWA Flight 3 Crashed in to Mount Potosi on January 16, 1942 near Las Vegas

After taking off from now named Nellis Air Force base, TWA Flight 3 flew for 15 minutes and slammed into a sheer cliff on Potosi Mountain, 32 miles southwest of the airport, at an elevation of 7,770 ft. and was destroyed.

All nineteen passengers on board, including movie star Carole Lombard, who was married to husband Clark Gable, her mother, and all three crew members, died in the crash.

Potosi Mountain can be seen from the Las Vegas valley and has a elevation of 8,517 ft.

GPS: 35° 57′ 3.71″ N, 115° 29′ 25″ W
Photo by: Wikipedia

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Carpenter 1 Fire Update Day 11 Hot Spot Map 7:15am

July 11, 2013
Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 11 2013 7:15 am PST - Click to view Large Map

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 11 2013 7:15 am PST - Click to view Large Map

Here is the latest map. It looks less smokey upon the mountain this morning and there has been some rain come through. I hope it helps. Last Night, fire could be seen from the Las Vegas Valley as flames came over the ridge behind Red Rock Canyon.

Hot Spot Map Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 11 2013 7:15 am PST - Click to view Large Map

Hot Spot Animation Carpenter Fire 1- Mt Charleston July 11 2013 7:15 am PST - Click to view animation

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