Mt. Charleston hiking trail marker reads:
On a cold winter day in 1955, fourteen men boarded a C54 aircraft bound for Area 51. A short time after take-off, a snowstorm ensued and their plane crashed near the peak of Mt. Charleston, NV.
A Las Vegas Sheriff’s Mounted Posse, along with several US Air Force personnel, experienced a grueling 20-hour ordeal in severe weather, with few provisions, as they attempted to reach the crash site and recover the bodies from the plane. The secrecy of the U2 was so vital to United States’ security that the families of the passengers were given no details as to the reason their loved ones were aboard the plane that day, their work remaining a mystery to their spouses and children. To ensure silence, the men in the Sheriff’s Posse were sworn to secrecy.
For over four decades the circumstances of the C54 Crash remained buried in top-secret documents, eventually declassified in September 1998.
Event Location: Mt. Charleston, Nevada.