Bonus: Better Call Bob
Missing in Alaska

[00:00:00.09]
I'm Alex Aono and I have a new podcast. Let's get into it. It's all about tackling the stuff you and I want to know. Each week I'm joined by a friend and a wisdom tree and we discuss everything you want to know about money, love your relationships, even fitness and mental health. I love having deep conversations with my friends. And now it's your turn to get in on it.

[00:00:19.07]
Listen to Alex Iona. Let's get into it on the I Heart radio app. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast.

[00:00:29.08]
Hi, I'm Devon Leary. And I'm Carolina Barlow, and we're here to tell you to dump him. Break up with your boyfriend and we want you to listen to our podcast, True Romance every week where we talk about our love lives and the love lives of others. Please join our exes who we know will also be listening, like Kyle. Kyle, are you there? Hey, babe. How's life? No, you look good, though. Me?

[00:00:50.08]
Oh, my God. Stop, please. I haven't even gotten a haircut like three months. Okay. Please help us pay for a Carolina psychiatrist bills by listening on the I Hurt radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to podcasts.

[00:01:16.04]
From my heart media, this is missing in Alaska. The story of two congressmen who vanished in 1972 and my quest to figure out what happened to them. I'm your host, John Waldeck. On October 15th, 20 19, right before I flew back to Anchorage with Paul Deck and our supervising producer, I placed an important call. Paul and I, along with our captains, Mark and Andy, had just visited the exact spot in Port Etches where Bob Martinsen found part of a Cessna tail sometime around 1980.

[00:01:54.05]
We all had follow up questions for Bob. So I put my phone on speaker and. John. Hey, Bob. I'm with Andy and Mark and so so Rob.

[00:02:10.07]
So they had a few questions and I figured before I left, they know the area better than I would let them ask the questions.

[00:02:16.09]
I thought, OK, yeah, I'm not I'm I'm driving. So go. OK. So drive carefully by.

[00:02:32.02]
So are our questions. So we had gone into Port Dutches and trying to help figure out a little bit more of this lead of where to look. And and then we also had some specific questions. One of them, I guess we could start with that, like. So you were. Do you remember the boat you were standing on? Yeah, I ended up owning up, that was my dad's boat. The ocean wave. Ocean wave. OK.

[00:03:02.08]
And so how how big is the ocean wave? It was a 32 footer. Wow. Charlie, more boats. Like I don't know if you remember that you were around when the George and Shirley age and those kind of boats were around. Yes, I know. I know. I know exactly what you're talking about.

[00:03:21.09]
So I had the same for men and they helped build that boat and it would have been at that point or maybe the worn out from it, but wherever it was, fairly clear beach.

[00:03:35.06]
Yeah. It looks like a really good sanes set. Right the spot you selected. It looked like it's right at the end of a nice scrape like you could. Yeah. Yeah. I don't remember which way we were looking. I brought it up in the lead. Not very far from the beach. It was the whole tail section. And I told John it didn't have any gross on or anything. Looks fairly recent but when I called troupers to report it.

[00:04:09.02]
They said the numbers came real close to what they were looking for, for that crash. Huh. So I think I remember putting it on gender because we were still fishing, you know, and it wasn't like the days when you go back and forth. It was it was when we were fishing all week long. Yeah. You could just store it or anything. What?

[00:04:31.01]
I mean, they were taking up a huge part of the back deck. How big how big of a chunk did you find?

[00:04:36.07]
It was the whole upright tail section. You know, the part that sticks up. I gotcha. It was shredded. It was sheared off. Right. Right at the bottom of the upright. Yeah. You know, big sharp shards of metal. And I don't know if it had all the number. I recall that they said it might have been one number off or something. But they wanted to see it. And I think it was red and white.

[00:05:10.01]
Now, I also know that my friend Mike Crawley, who died right near there crashing his plane into the cliffs. But that was later. I believe that's the. His sister, Butch Johnson, is that the one eighty five, you know, might have been what? He was fine. He was spotting for him and Butch Johnson, and he was over a big school inside of Constantinian and he was losing elevation because he was circling and then he slammed into a class and that plan was pretty much destroyed.

[00:05:43.07]
I don't know if it lands on the beach or went in the water, but it would have been that plane. So I think it was earlier than that. Right.

[00:05:53.09]
So that area that we were was at the right spot. Yeah, that's that's the right spot. So we had just where these guys were ask us, you know, who might have been around, might have been in the search.

[00:06:05.01]
And so we went and talked to Terry Kennedy and he told us that I think of that plane that you were talking about, the spotter. And he he had actually trained with the pilot. Don Johnson had some interesting info, was flying that very day and had been contacted about the weather and some other stuff.

[00:06:26.08]
But, yeah, so that so we were we were in the right area.

[00:06:32.09]
Sounds like I don't know. You know, I don't I, I know exactly what year that was, but the crash happened in 72 and it was probably around 80, 81 somewhere. Maybe before that I started fading in 73. But my dad. Oh, I'm pretty sure I was at my dad at that time. So it was pre 80.

[00:07:02.09]
I guess you don't happen to remember that piece. Did you did it ended up on a tender. And then any chance of remembering the name of that tender?

[00:07:14.06]
No. No, but it took me a while to even think about, you know, what happened to it. I knew somebody ten minutes. Well, it would have been a tender because that's that's all anyone's going back to town right now. I don't know who the trooper was around town then. Calvin was there. Do you remember a guy named Bill Bag Ron or Bag Ron? Yeah, he was the police chief. Yeah. I neustar do it.

[00:07:50.06]
Yeah, he's a he's since passed away, but I was trying to find names of people who you might have talked to.

[00:07:58.00]
Well, I think I talked to the trooper's office because they were pretty serious. When you find a piece of a plane and they wanted they wanted to see it. We have no way to bring it that time without giving up our season.

[00:08:15.06]
So what company did you fish for? Were you fishing for specific processor?

[00:08:20.08]
Well, what we saw was fish for more. But I don't know. One more Bactrim in the Drop River seafood's. But that was just to get that. That would have been I mean, that was well, after I got here, it was still Moorpark. So, I mean, that would have been in the. 90S at some point. Well, I was just thinking, if some old timer, if it was some, you know, our fishmonger could remember something about.

[00:08:52.00]
Oh, yeah.

[00:08:52.03]
Came in on a tender and, you know, something of that nature was so long ago, I can't possibly.

[00:09:03.08]
Yeah, well, that process, you might remember if there's some old retiree that may remember who is taking fish in that area.

[00:09:13.06]
Maybe, you know, I ask him a long shot, of course, because I knew my dad was pretty faithful to our company Fish. You know, he was actually the last drink before and stayed had jammers out there at that time. So we called gendering was more back to him. They had a lot of those scows. I know Jim Rock'em lives down there by me during one of those same tannish.

[00:09:51.00]
But Bob, how confident are you that you put it on a tender versus just leaving it be and taking the numbers?

[00:09:58.01]
Oh, no, I'm throwing away. I remember somebody taking it in a chamber, you know. Yeah.

[00:10:07.05]
Do you remember when you you called the numbers? You talked to the troopers and they expressed interest in it being this plane. Do you know if it was just like a casual like who maybe this is related to or were they pretty seriously interested that this could actually be accurate numbers?

[00:10:26.08]
Yeah, they were the ones that brought it up. Apparently, it was on their radar that the plane was missing somewhere in that area. You know, they're the ones who told me about it. I was shocked when they said that.

[00:10:45.03]
But do you remember do you remember if that was based on, like a general suspicion that might be the plane?

[00:10:50.03]
Or if they told you that after they saw the numbers, them saying something about the number being real as to what they were looking for. So, you know what that was. But you said around 1980. Well, I think so. A new system.

[00:11:14.06]
You said you think it was roughly four numbers that were visible. No, I think there were five or six. So how many you're on a tail? Six. Six on a tail? Yeah, it was it was pretty much the whole tail section. It was shredded at the bottom. Like I said, that's the number round.

[00:11:36.07]
Well, it's it's really fascinating. If they did base that suspicion that it was the missing plane on the characters and you had four or five of the six characters, I mean, that would almost have not definitively, but it'd come close to definitively saying that it was from that plane. I'm curious.

[00:11:55.05]
Was it a red and white plane? Do you mean it was white and like, burnt orange? So I haven't I haven't found any photos of it. And I've been asking people. But, yeah, I it's all I know is it was white and orange.

[00:12:08.09]
Could be orange shaped by an entire plainsong orange. Red.

[00:12:17.04]
Yeah. Well yeah.

[00:12:20.00]
I mean I was I was really fascinated when you e-mail me in 2015 and then I, you know, we, we made it over to Cordova. We met Andy and Mark and I had no idea that they they knew you. So it's it's been a it's been an interesting experience. We went out into Port Duchesse and we want to come back with more equipment. So we had, you know, a limited amount of time and we use the ROV.

[00:12:43.09]
But yeah. Don't have any other marketing. Did you guys have any other questions?

[00:12:49.04]
No. So did it seem to be off of that smooth you're talking about, like the scourer?

[00:12:53.05]
No, it made sense from what Bob was saying about, you know, where you do a scrape for a saying that and in where you don't.

[00:13:02.05]
Where you don't. And. And we surveyed the area where you'd scrape and then we got into the eelgrass where you don't because it's all jagged a rock that would you know, that I remember I remember a lot of rocks on the outside of that area.

[00:13:19.03]
Yeah. And we were looking for a place we could set, you know, and you want to be furthest out spot for, you know, reach out.

[00:13:28.07]
Yeah. And it's the perfect little the perfect little spic kind of all point whatever that comes out there. Nice, smooth gravel beach as far as we could see in. Water looked really nice and looked like it was really clean of growth. Like it's regularly used for seining, so. And then as soon as we got to the rocks, we got into lots of eelgrass and kelp and things like that. So we pretty confident we were in the spot they were talking about.

[00:13:57.05]
Yeah, we just just set all the time across the mouth constantly in high water, and we'd catch so many fish that wouldn't even move and just be sitting on bottom and have to scoop them out right there. And, you know, occasionally we fish over in that spot where I got the tail. But that was like a regular fish down.

[00:14:23.06]
Yeah. I don't know if they let them go up into them that tight anymore, but up into the mouth of the harbour, I my chair, there were monitors at the mouse.

[00:14:34.01]
That's where we found that that was the marker set. Okay. Huh. Yeah. Well, neat spot.

[00:14:41.07]
And before the hatches there would have been. We had to pick up before we got to golf to rock the boat. And you know, it was nice when we got so many fish that didn't move up and pinned you right there.

[00:15:02.08]
That's cool. Yeah. Well, thank you, Bob. Yeah. Y'all have any other questions? No. Okay. I appreciate it, Bob. Thanks for talking to us again.

[00:15:13.01]
Okay. Well, good luck, guys. Thanks so much. Money on the screen. Huh? That was all he remembers what the gibbers reaction was, so it's. He got here. So there's quite a of difference there that what I was thinking when he said the whole tail section.

[00:15:36.05]
I was thinking of this grow up playing. I probably did convey it went off. I'm sorry. The top of the tail.

[00:15:43.01]
Yeah. And then looking at the assessment, three tens.

[00:15:49.05]
Yeah.

[00:15:50.04]
You can see that sometimes the number is an operator. Big picture. Got most of the time the numbers down there. Yeah.

[00:15:57.08]
That's why I've been trying to find a picture of the actual plane. I haven't found any.

[00:16:02.02]
There's a 310 with its own tail and some of it's kind of black. Right there.

[00:16:06.09]
This one. Yeah, this one. I pulled up because if you broke that off and it was ripped off, you might be able to get most of the numbers.

[00:16:17.06]
It's interesting to hear that says 1957. I think the three times he was 59. So that's close to one. The sea would have been produced. And a lot of them have it. The number is down here. And then some have it way up, way up there. So the number moves around, which is good to know.

[00:16:39.04]
Yeah, it would be very fascinating now to find a picture of the plane, because if you found a picture of the plane and the number was a little bit further up where it would have been on like the upright piece, I mean, that would at least wouldn't preclude the piece that Bob found from being the right one.

[00:16:58.09]
Well, that's a really interesting one. A little more clarification. The piece got here, obviously.

[00:17:07.01]
So say, who cares? I mean, it's not I mean, you know, a guy or so did he give it to attender to another seiner coming back as it broke down or something? This is a good question.

[00:17:16.07]
I mean, would there be a possibility that someone maybe would have slike scrapped it to get money, might shut it off it? You could pick it up by hand.

[00:17:27.07]
Probably when somebody more aluminum in my backyard, would somebody have, like, taken it in like, I don't know, just acts not accidentally, but, like, just dumped it in their shed somewhere. Sure. And possible I mean, they probably I can't imagine them not taking it to the troopers, but. Well, they took it to the troopers. They probably kept it. The troopers kept it. Not that they didn't someday throw it away because it was taken up too much room.

[00:17:52.09]
I don't know what their process is. You know, they take a bunch of photographs of it and maybe they don't need to keep it around.

[00:18:01.03]
I don't know. But Deb.

[00:18:03.02]
Yes, it's very fascinating now. So I got to town the troopers according to his memories.

[00:18:09.05]
I thought it was a possible match. At the very least. So five or six numbers, how could you not go on?

[00:18:21.08]
Well, that's it or not. I don't know.

[00:18:31.02]
You can reach us by phone at one eight three three MBA tips. That's one eight three three six four two eight four seven seven again, one eight three three six four two, eight, four, seven seven. Or you can reach us via email at tips at eye heart media dot com. That's tips t i.p s at Hart Media dot com. Ben Volin is our executive producer. Paul Decadent is our supervising producer. Chris Brown is our assistant producer.

[00:19:03.03]
Seth, Nicholas Johnson is our producer. Sam Teagarden is our research assistant.

[00:19:08.02]
And I'm your host and executive producer, John Walls. Like you can find me on Twitter at at John Wall Act, Jay O and WAFL sie ze AK. Special thanks to our captains Mark and Andy and to Bob Martinsen Missing in Alaska is a co-production of I Heart Media and Green Fought Media.

[00:19:34.08]
I'm Alex Aono and I have a new podcast. Let's get into it. It's all about tackling the stuff you and I want to know. Each week I'm joined by a friend and a WisdomTree, and we discuss everything you want to know about money, love your relationships, even fitness and mental health. I love having deep conversations with my friends. And now it's your turn to get in on it.

[00:19:53.06]
Listen to Alex Iona. Let's get into it on the I Heart radio app. Apple podcasts or wherever you get your podcast.

[00:20:03.07]
Hi, I'm Devon Leary. And I'm Carolina Barlow, and we're here to tell you to dump him. Break up with your boyfriend and we want you to listen to our podcast, True Romance every week where we talk about our love lives and the love lives of others. Please join our exes who we know will also be listening, like Kyle. Kyle, are you there? Hey, babe. How's life? No, you look good, though. Me?

[00:20:24.08]
Oh, my God. Stop. Please. I haven't even gotten a haircut like three months. Okay. Please help us pay for a Carolina psychiatrist bills by listening on. I hurt radio app, Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcasts.