Elephant Mountain B-52 Crash Site

Introduction

The Elephant Mountain B-52 Crash Site is an outdoor memorial, honoring one of the most tragic plane crashes Maine has ever known.  7 Men lost their lives on a routine training mission back in 1963 and the wreckage remains, strewn across the forested landscape of Elephant Mountain.

History of the Crash

January 24, 1963 a B-52 plane was flying overhead while conducting a training run on ‘evading Russian radar’. The Soviets had developed a new radar technology which required American pilots to learn how to fly under it to remain undetected while in enemy territory.

The B-52 aircraft is capable of amazing things, including flying more than 600 miles an hour and at altitudes that exceed 50,000 feet.  So it’s built to be rugged, but also dynamic in terms of its function during wartime. The problem was, flying at such a low altitudes prevented some of the safety features from being as effective as they were designed to be.

When this B-52 plane was originally designed the Soviets hadn’t developed this new radar technology, so there really wasn’t any need to consider flying at high speeds at low altitude. During this particular run the flight crew had a choice of testing over the mountains of the Carolinas, or over the mountains in Maine.  And, of course we know, they chose to fly over Maine.

The weather conditions the day of the test flight were typical for winter in the mountains of Maine.  It was -14º and the wind was howling upwards of 50mph. When you combine that with having to fly 500 feet or below, to avoid being caught on radar you wind up with a very challenging situation – both, for the pilot and the structure of the plane. The turbulence on the plane, from the wind drifting off the mountains is what really brought this mission to its knees.  But the construction of the plane didn’t help, either.

The B-52, at this time, was really built for higher altitude work, and not at all designed for quick maneuvering – at any altitude.  So when the flight crew realized the turbulence was unmanageable at the low altitude they were flying, the pilot was directed to bring it up so they could fly over it. This is when tragedy struck.

When the pilot attempted to get to a higher altitude through all of the turbulence, a loud bang was heard. Then it turned right with the nose of the plane pointing right down to the ground.  There was nothing that could be done.  There was no regaining control so the pilot ordered everyone abandon the aircraft.

The 3 men in the cockpit could just use their ejection seats, which is what they did.  All 3 successfully ejected.  1 hit a tree and died on impact, 1 hit a tree and hung 30 feet above ground overnight, and the other hit the ground so hard he cracked his skull, shattered 3 ribs, and bent the framing of his ejection seat.  The 2 survivors were in very bad shape.

Worse news is, these large B-52’s weren’t made for low altitude ejections, so the plane had to be above 200 feet for the lower deck ejection seats to work.  They ejected downward, so if they weren’t above 200 feet the seats would launch the person straight into the ground and death would be unavoidable.  So the lower level ejection seats were non-functional, and there were spare crew on board during this training mission – and spare crew don’t have ejection seats, so they have to jump out of the plane manually by forcing open the doors and donning a parachute.

It was only seconds after the last flight crew member ejected that the plane hit the side of Elephant Mountain.

It was going well over 300mph.

There was nothing the bottom deck crew could do.

The reason for why the plane crashed was investigated and deemed a ‘turbulence induced structural failure’ and after a few more crashes and a bunch more lives lost on other missions, the problem was fixed.

Reported Phenomena

It’s no surprise … We’ve been told by numerous people over the years that there’s something about the wreckage on Elephant Mountain that brings immense sadness and anxiety, and that some people have had to vacate the memorial area while their family remains to investigate the debris – and that we should come up here to check this place out for ourselves.

How to get to the Elephant Mountain b-52 Plane Crash Site

To get here you’re going to want to drive to Greenville.  From the center of town you’ll take the Lily Bay Road for about 6 and a half miles until you reach Prong Pond Road. You should be seeing signs put up by the Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club that point you in the direction of the wreck site from here.  It’s still a ways in, and we recommend hitting up a few websites to print out driving directions in case the Snowmobile Club signs fall down or go missing. The trail rating is “easy”.  It’s a well groomed trail and there is even a little parking area for 3 to 4 cars just outside the entry gate.

Please respect this place like you would a graveyard, because that’s what it is.  7 men lost their lives in this crash, and the place this plane landed is sacred ground.

Do NOT remove anything from this site.

Do NOT carve your name into any of the remaining pieces

Do NOT desecrate this site by leaving any marks indicating you were here.

This is a mass grave and should be respected as such.

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Sarah Ware and the Haunting of Silver Lake

Introduction Over 100 years ago a murder took place here that was so brutal its victim has never been able to rest.  Today we tell you the story of Sarah Ware and the haunting on the shores of Silver Lake.

The Story On the night September 17, 1898 Sarah Ware was making her way home by foot through the fields and streets of the tiny town of Bucksport when tragedy struck and she was never seen alive again. 2 weeks later she was found in an open field. She had been so beaten and brutalized her head fell off her body when it was picked up to be put into a wagon to be transported into town.

Although there were suspicions that one of the local men in town was a prime candidate for Sarah’s murder, the case against him took so much time to bring to trial that key evidence was lost and witnesses recanted their stories against him.  The case against him was dropped and Sarah’s murder was never solved.

Who was Sarah Ware? Sarah was a 59 year old divorcee in 1898, a time when failed marriages were blamed entirely on the wife. She had grown children who had married and moved away, an ex-husband and his extended family – all who still lived in the same town as her, and no family support structure to help her through the hard times of being a single, financially destitute, woman with no established means to support herself.

Life was very hard for a single woman with limited means. Sarah depended on her neighbors in a tiny town where everyone knew each other, during a time when being associated with someone who was divorced wasn’t exactly great for their social reputation.

Sarah moved to Maine from Nova Scotia and her ex-husband’s family was actually from the town of Bucksport, and highly regarded within the community.  So even though she had lived there a number of years, raising their children, reestablishing herself as a single woman was doing so among her husband’s peers, more than her own.

That said, Sarah made her way as best she could.  She took odd jobs cleaning people’s houses and providing childcare services to whoever would hire her.

Mysteries of the Murder Who killed Sarah Ware? That’s what everyone wants to know.  Who killed this woman and why?

If you read write-ups in blog entries or websites that tell her story, you’ll likely read that Sarah was a “woman of the night” or a “prostitute” but in historical documentation this isn’t supported all that strongly – or at all, for that matter. In highly researched documentation you’ll find that Sarah was a hard working woman who was prone to getting taken advantage of financially, and being stiffed for the jobs she’d done for people in town – mostly men.

On the night of her murder it was thought she was out and about collecting payment for the work she’d done in the previous week, and she’d arrived at one particular residence where she encountered trouble. This was the Treworgy residence.  It was the home of a divorced father whose ex-wife left him and left their 2 young girls behind for him to raise.  Sarah had worked here, at length, before quitting for not being paid, and some say, because the man of the house kept hitting on her and she wasn’t interested.

William Treworgy was known to be a guy with a really short fuse, a hot temper, and he would have been the last stop on Sarah’s way home.  He also became “Suspect Number 1” when a bloody hammer with his initials were found with a bloody tarp, and witnesses came forward and told police he paid them to move Sarah’s body.

The Haunting of Silver Lake So why would Silver Lake be haunted?

One of the more obvious reasons this lake might be haunted is because it’s man-made and was put into place after a cemetery had already been established on the land that’s now covered with water.  The graves were supposed to have been removed and reburied up on a hill overlooking this lake in the 1930’s, but there’s been this undying rumor that all the grave markers were moved, but not necessarily all of the bodies.

That said, more to the point of this blog entry; Sarah Ware’s murdered body was found not too far from the water’s edge, and you can walk a trail from Silver Lake that leads you closer to the exact location. But more importantly, her headless body was originally buried in a pauper’s grave at Silver Lake.

The story is that her body was moved along with all the others, and placed in Oak Hill Cemetery in town, to rest for eternity behind the graves of her mother-in-law and father-in-law in her ex-husband’s family plot, along with their daughter.  But not everyone is convinced this actually happened, since her original place of burial was less prominent than those with headstones and clearly visible grave markers. There have been many witnesses who have come forward over the years who have stated they’ve seen her wandering the edge of the lake, or simply gazing out over it, still waiting for her killer to be brought to justice.

Conclusion Sarah Ware’s murder has been officially, and legally, considered unsolved, but the facts of the case still stand:

William Treworgy was the prime suspect because;

He knew Sarah Ware very well, given that she worked as a sort of live-in nanny for his children for an extended period of time, and they didn’t part ways on particularly amicable terms.

After her body was discovered, a bloody tarp was found next to a bloody hammer with his initials carved into it.  And since Sarah’s head was clearly struck repeatedly with a blunt object, the hammer became a primary piece of evidence.

Witnesses came forward and told the police that he paid them to help him move Sarah’s body

By the time the case against him went to trial – years later – the sheriff and undertaker had already died, and a bunch of witnesses had either moved or had died.

A couple of those key witnesses were even thought to have been murdered before the trial.  One was actually beaten to death.

Sarah’s head was of the utmost importance to the case so it was kept as evidence in a lock box and basically forgotten about for the next 80 years.  Someone came across it in evidence lock-up and the discovery caused quite a stir amongst the present day population. It was finally allowed to be reunited with her body in her final resting place.  The trouble is, Sarah’s head is thought to have been buried in the wrong location – a original place her body was buried – in a pauper’s grave.  But, it’s thought her body was moved to another location within that same cemetery and her head was actually buried in a family plot in a completely different cemetery.

It’s no wonder why Sarah Ware might not be at rest, and why she could be haunting the edge of Silver Lake.

If you’d like to visit Silver Lake to try and catch of glimpse of Sarah for yourself, THIS IS HOW YOU GET THERE:

Put 362 Central Street – Bucksport, Maine into your GPS.

The road to Silver Lake Trails can be found just before this building.

DIRECTIONS

From Main Street in Bucksport, turn onto Central Street (beside MacLeod’s Restaurant and across from Fort Knox Park Inn). Follow Central Street approximately 1.8 miles and turn left into the parking area of Bucksport Public Works (362 Central Street). Follow signs for Silver Lake Trails to the left of the blue buildings and down a dirt drive to the parking area for the trail network. A kiosk with a trail map marks the trailhead.

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