GREENVILLE, Maine — The Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club is pleading with the public to stop vandalizing and plundering the remains of a U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress that crashed on Elephant Mountain in January 1963.
The crash site and the plane’s wreckage are part of a memorial established several years ago by the snowmobile club in recognition of all the servicemen and women who serve and protect the country. In particular, they wanted to honor the nine crew members of the plane that crashed near Greenville, seven of whom died.
“Anything removed from this site shows a total disrespect for those committed to protecting all of us,” Pete Pratt, Moosehead Riders Snowmobile Club B-52 coordinator, said Friday. “I consider it equal to an Indian burial ground.”
Pratt encouraged anyone who may have taken parts of the plane to return them to the snowmobile clubhouse on the Scammon Road. No questions will be asked, he said. Pratt explained that it’s small pieces and parts that have been removed, not large sections of the plane.
Some people apparently have felt guilty in removing some of the debris, according to Pratt. He said one piece of metal taken some time ago was found recently leaning against a tree. Based on its condition, it had been housed indoors, he noted.
In addition, an elderly Bangor-area woman, who has owned a piece of the airplane for many years, indicated that she would like to return the part. She was worried that she might be arrested for having the part, but was assured otherwise, Pratt said.
While some have plundered the site, others have left behind mementos, including several American flags.
Pratt can be reached at 695-8965.