Tucumcari, NM Air Force Weather Plane Crash Jul 1958
Wreckage Of Plane Scattered Two Miles
TUCUMCARI, N. M. (AP)--- An Air Force weather reconnaissance plane spun in from two miles high late Wednesday and scattered wreckage over a two-mile area.
A spokesman from Laughlin Air Force Base, Del Rio, Tex., where the plane was based, said police misinterpreted orders and this led to a cloak of secrecy being thrown over the crash.
The pilot was Capt. ALFRED V. CHAPIN JR., 28, San Angelo, Tex.
The Laughlin spokesman said the U2 jet was on a routine weather reconnaissance flight when it crashed. He said it carried classified instruments, but there was nothing specially secret about it.
The spokesman said police were asked to aid the pilot if he were still alive, and if not, to "secure the area," meaning not to touch the wreckage.
However, the military immediately cordoned off roads leading to the crash site and spectators were kept five miles from the wreckage on orders from the 2nd Air Command at Shreveport, La.
Laughlin said the pilot was found dead in the cockpit.
The News, Frederick, MD 10 Jul 1958