Republic P-84B (45-59502)
"Say, aren't you…"

Tony Moore and Pete Merlin had read accounts of Bob Hoover's P-84 mishap and decided to find the crash site. It was said to be about 15 miles west of Lancaster near the rural community of Neenach.

They made their first search attempt on 13 September 1997. After driving to Neenach, they stopped at the local convenience store to inquire if any local residents might remember the accident. The proprietor pointed them to a nearby house wherein lived one of the oldest members of the community.

An elderly man answered a knock at the door. He introduced himself as Bill Barnes. What spectacular luck! This was the very man who had rescued Hoover and driven him to the hospital. He briefly recounted the story and pointed to the area where he remembered the airplane crashing.

Tony and Pete drove to the spot and were disappointed to find nothing but a dirt lot and several trailers. There was no sign of wreckage. They though maybe Barnes estimate of the distance was off, so they moved further out along the line of sight and searched the surrounding terrain. Having no luck, they gave up for the moment.

They spent the remainder of the day visiting a prehistoric pictograph site and successfully locating the crash site of a JB-57E (55-4272) that fell victim to a midair collision in June 1958.

On 30 APR 98, Tony and Pete again sought the P-84 crash site. This time, they had a copy of the original accident report, including several photos of the accident scene. Using the pictures, they pinpointed the crash site in short order. It was exactly where Bill Barnes said it was.

Air Force personnel had removed all of the major wreckage in 1947. Over the years, the field had been plowed and planted repeatedly. Eventually it was abandoned and sold, then graded for the placement of several trailer homes. Little aircraft debris remained.

Undaunted, Tony and Pete set about searching the area with metal detectors. They found several small pieces of the airplane's aluminum skin and structure as well as a few compressor blades from the engine.

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