Sometimes you park on top of it

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Having found the X-1A crash site, Pete Merlin and Tony Moore decided to search for the X-1D as well. The only information they had was a vague idea of that it impacted near the south end of Rogers Dry lake and a poor-quality photo of the wreck in a book called Bell X-1 Variants by Ben Guenther and Jay Miller.

On 29 July 1995 Pete and Tony Moore visited Edwards Air Force Base and attempted to find the crash site. They parked as close to the search area as they could and used copies of the crash site picture to identify surrounding terrain features. After about two hours of searching they climbed to the top of a sand dune to get a view of what they though should be the impact site. They found themselves looking at their car. They had gone full circle.

Time was running out as they had other engagements back home. After a quick search of the area near the car, Pete found a single fragment of aluminum. Despite this tantalizing clue, they had to depart. "Wouldn't it be funny if we were parked on top of it," said Tony.

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They returned with lance Thompson on 12 August for another attempt. This time they searched the area immediately adjacent to their parking place. Within minutes they had found the crash site. It matched the photo perfectly and there were numerous pieces of debris. It was similar in nature to the X-1A material they had found the previous year. They gathered their finds together and took them to Doug Nelson at the Air Force Flight Test Center Museum.

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