On a hunting trip in November of 1958, a friend, Al Stevens, and I came across some unusual tanks in an area of large rocks in the Maine forest. Going farther in among the trees, we found the remains of what has to be the famous aircraft White Bird that vanished in 1927.

What remained of the framing were two large beams running parallel to each other about 4 feet apart. There were no wings, wheels, cockpit or fuselage.

The engine was clearly visible and was about 4 feet up in the air supported by the frame resting on dead trees and brush, slanted upwards. We concluded that some lumberjacks had used the machinery for some purpose.

We went around the pile of brush and small trees to the front and discovered a mound of bones with the skull and feet missing. We took it for some animal. But I did say to Al that if it were human it would have to be a small man.

We walked back to our car and estimated that the plane remnants were close to 350 feet from the road. We headed back to Massachusetts, not realizing what we had left behind in the Maine woods.

We had no knowledge of it being a missing aircraft. When Al and I got back on the main road and traveled along it, we noticed a large area of marshland on both sides of the road.

On the 8th of May in 1927, two French aviation World War I heroes took off in the White Bird in an attempt to win the $25,000 Orteig Prize for being the first to successfully make a nonstop trans-Atlantic flight from Paris to New York.

Being experienced ace pilots, Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli would know, when their engine started to knock and seemed ready to give out, that they would have to use up as much fuel as possible to avoid a fiery crash.

This explains Evelyn Magoon Sharpe of Augusta having seen at the age of 10 a strange white biplane flying over her parents’ 90-acre farm in Crawford on May 9, 1927.

According to Sharpe, after the second pass over the farm, the plane continued on toward Love Lake and the Machias area toward the hills.

Years later I moved to Maine. I read an article about the missing plane and subsequently searched for the gravel road for years.

I finally found the same location and background of the gravel road from where Al and I hunted in the ’50s. After some research it turned out to be Route 9.

John Dudley of Alexander had a wonderful newsletter that provided much relevant information about the history of Route 9. This now tarred road had been a gravel road in the 1950s and ’60s.

In those previous years I had correspondence with Air and Space Magazine and received from Rebecca Maksel much information about the White Bird.

She told me to write to Linda Shiner, editor-in-chief, and give her all the relevant information. This I did in the course of three letters and never received any reply.

The dead silence suggested to me that the White Bird issue was to be forgotten. It showed me she was interested only in making history, not in changing it.

Francois Coli and Charles Nungesser deserve the recognition of being national heroes, as does Amelia Earhart. Like Amelia, they ran into unknown conditions — bad weather, rain and fog.

Searching for the remains of the aircraft flown by Amelia and Fred Noonan in the South Pacific is a noble and worthy cause, but it will cost millions of dollars and require high technology.

By comparison, it will cost almost nothing to conduct a search for the White Bird here in Washington County, and such a search would prove to be of great significance all around. This actually would bring national as well as international attention to Maine, providing economic and tourism benefits.

Being a pilot myself, I have a particular interest in the search and recovery of this missing aircraft, and even more so since I came upon the remains myself.

Having put the pieces of this puzzle together after much searching and research over many years, I feel confident that this mystery can be solved without undue expense or trouble. In fact, this time of year would be an excellent time to begin this undertaking.

We need expert help to recover the engine of the White Bird, Governor, as we have the exact location.

Arthur P. Dolan lives in Princeton, Maine.