Plane Wreckage Found in Grand Canyon

Identifying the human remains in the plane could take several months.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Plane Wreckage Found in Grand Canyon

Likely from missing 2011 aircraft

A group of river rafters in Grand Canyon National Park have reported finding plane wreckage with human remains inside during a May 20 trip near Emerald Canyon. Park rangers were able to recover the skeletal remains and the plane on Sunday. A statement from the park said that the wreck matches the description of a plane that went missing back in 2011.

The rafters were hiking at Mile 104 of the Colorado River when they came across the wreckage. Park officials have yet to officially identify the plane, but it appears to be the red, home-built RV6 experimental craft flown by Joseph Radford out of Grand Canyon Airport on May 11, 2011, according to National Parks Traveler. A search was carried out across 600 square miles at the time, but the plane couldn’t be located. The AP reports that the wreckage was wedged between two boulders and naturally concealed.

“It was so smashed, so compressed that it was really hard to find an actual skeleton,” John Weisheit, one of the rafters that found the crash, told the AP. “But then we did notice vertebrae in the cockpit.”

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) couldn’t originally determine the cause of the crash, but, as the AP reports, the agency said that Radford could have crashed intentionally. He had recently argued with his wife and told a girlfriend that he planned to kill himself. Radford turned off his radio signal shortly after taking off from the airport in Tusayan.

The remains are with the Coconino County Medical Examiner, but identification could take several months, according to the AP. In the meantime, the NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

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WATCH: ‘Point Break’ Reboot Trailer

The antagonists in the 1991 version of 'Point Break' were surfers and skydivers; the reboot seems to feature additional extreme sports.     Photo: Warner Bros. Pictures/YouTube

WATCH: ‘Point Break’ Reboot Trailer

Remake of 1991 cult classic surf movie

Production house Alcon on Wednesday released the first trailer for its reboot of the 1991 movie Point Break. The new film stars Edgar Ramirez (as Bodi) and Luke Bracey (as Johnny Utah) and will hit theaters on Christmas Day 2015.

The 1991 original, starring Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze and directed by Kathryn Bigelow, was about an FBI agent who infiltrates a group of surfers moonlighting as bank robbers. If the new trailer is any indication, the 2015 film appears to skew more extreme—featuring free-solo rock climbing, BASE jumping, wingsuit flying, and motorbiking, in addition to skydiving and surfing, which were the main activities of the antagonists in the original.

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Dakota National Parks Underpaid for Bison

To bring herds back within population targets, 1,159 government-owned bison were moved to private owners.     Photo: Wikimedia Commons

Dakota National Parks Underpaid for Bison

Part of population control measure

Hundreds of government-owned bison in the western Dakotas were transferred to private owners last fall, but in many cases, the exchange was far below market value or included no money at all, the Casper Star Tribune reported Wednesday.  

More than 3,000 of the bison were corralled before 1,159 were ultimately removed to bring the herds back within population targets. The rates these bison brought varied across circumstances.

From Custer State Park in South Dakota*, 223 bison were auctioned off, fetching $378,425 in proceeds that stayed with the park system. 

An additional 103 bison were removed from Wind Cave National Park in South Dakota in exchange for a $40,000 donation from the Nature Conservancy. This comes to about $390 per bison, well below the established market value of roughly $2,000.

Native American tribes received a total of 833 bison from Badlands National Park and Theodore Roosevelt National Park, according to the Casper Star Tribune. These bison were free of charge with the exception of roundup costs such as feed, labor, and veterinary supplies.

*An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Custer State Park is in North Dakota. It is in South Dakota. Outside regrets the error.

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