In the early morning hours of July 12th, 1949, a C-46 Standard Airlines passenger plane took off from Albuquerque, New Mexico, on it’s way to the Lockheed Air Terminal in Burbank, California, with 48 people on board. At 7:43 AM the plane descended from patchy fog into the Santa Susanna Pass. Flying too low, the wingtip of the airplane struck the mountain. Turning 90 degrees, the plane bounced 300 feet into the air before it crashed into the mountainside. The accident, a few hundred feet below the crest of the Santa Susanna Pass, killed 35 people; strewing burned and mangled bodies among the wreckage.
Shortly before the accident, a fist fight broke out between two men on the plane. Some thought the incident may have distracted the pilot, but survivors of the crash discounted the story. The subsequent investigation deemed the accident to be pilot error.
According to an article in the Los Angeles Times, a survivor, actress Caren March, said, “I heard screams and fire crackling. I knew my leg hurt and I just lay there, sort of numb.
“Then I remember a woman grabbed my arm. She was wonderful. I heard her say: ‘Let’s get out of here.’
“She dragged me out of the plane and into the brush. I don’t know who she was and I don’t think I could recognize her if I saw her again.
“I shudder to think what might have happened to me if she had not stopped to lend a hand. I don’t think I could have gotten out otherwise.”
Pictures of the crash can be found at http://www.stargatethetwins.com. You’ll need to scroll down the website to the Krishna Venta link to find the photos. A few of the pictures are truly gruesome, so if you decide to enlarge them, click carefully.
Oddly emerging from the canyon, and up the hillside to help rescue victims of the disaster, were the bearded, coarse-robed, and barefooted members of the Fountain of the World cult, led by Krishna Venta. Their headquarters, a Box Canyon ‘monastery,’ was situated only a few hundred yards from the scene.
In 1999, Caren Marsh remembered her encounter with Krishna Venta and his disciple, Brother Paul. After she emerged from the wreckage, Caren saw the robed and bearded men walking around her and thought for a moment she had died and gone to heaven.
Return on Woolsey Canyon to Valley Circle.
Left on Valley Circle.
Left on Box Canyon.
Left on Mesa Road.
There’s a pull-out at Mesa Road. The crash site is just 100 yards north on the mountainside (the road didn’t exist at the time of the crash.)
Look for Part Three, our next stop, posting soon.