Video footage recorded aboard SUNDIVER II
with a tethered underwater camera.
This is the first video footage recorded of San Diego's lost B-36 Peacemaker. The wreck site is a massive debris field, understandable considering the violent impact and explosion that occurred when the aircraft struck the water in a steep nose-down attitude. Contrary to popular belief, the aircraft is not spread over large distances. As the crash photos suggest, the wreck site is quite compact spanning a distance of about 350 ft in diameter.
The most notable feature in the video is a brief glimpse of a seat sitting upright on the seabed. The seat appears to still be attached to it's sliding track. Upon close examination, the seat is likely the pilot or copilot seat. If it turns out to be the copilot seat then this is the very seat that Pilot Dave Franks was sitting in when the plane went down 56 years ago.
Other features include the forward landing gear, a pair of 20mm cannons, large pieces of aircraft skin with circular openings, one engine, several propeller blades, an empty propeller hub, a single main landing gear tire, electrical wiring and innumerable pieces of wreckage.
Capt. Ray Arntz, John Walker and myself worked together to record this footage on October 28, 2008 aboard the dive boat SUNDIVER II out of Long Beach, California.