Weird History

A Missing Test Plane, 54 Days In The Mountains, And A Communist Conspiracy: The Story Of Lt. Steeves

The survival story of David Steeves was one that stunned the nation. He crawled out of the Sierra Nevada Mountains after being deemed "missing" for 54 days. Lieutenant Steeves was piloting a test flight for one of the Lockheed aircrafts (a T-33A) for the United States Air Force when he went down in an unknown location in May 1957. He not only managed to survive the crash, but he was also able to feed himself and travel over 20 miles over rugged and unforgiving terrain despite injuring both of his ankles. 

When he first returned, the media adored him. However, his time as a hero was short. Because no one could find the lost Lockheed T-33A, he went from legendary survivor to possible Cold War traitor almost overnight. His marriage fell apart, his reputation was ruined, and the crash essentially turned Lt. David Steeves's entire life upside-down.