According to legend, the Catskill Mountains are littered with wreckage from plane crashes - but they're not always easy to find.

You never know what you'll come across when you go hiking throughout New York State.  Endless acres of forest, waterfalls, and cliffs, summits provide for chance encounters with fascinating wildlife, creepy abandoned buildings, and perhaps even some fascinating wreckage.

The loss of life is sad, but what Keith Thomas stumbled upon in a remote area of the Catskills is certainly an interesting one.

The Catskills are notorious for this type of find, and the plane wreckage that Thomas located at Stoppel Point dates back to a crash on Memorial Day in 1983.

Thomas, from Naugatuck CT, told us that he takes Fridays off from work so he can take what he calls solo hikes, and he's been exploring the Catskills lately.

"I love finding stuff like this or anything abandoned," he said. "I try my hardest not to hike the same place twice...I don't know what I'm going to see."

Thomas said the terrain during his 9.5-mile hike was muddy but that didn't stop him.  "It was well worth it...I was glowing when I got off the trail!"

What happened at Stoppel Point back in 1983?

  • Sources say that on Thursday, May 26, 1983, 26-year-old Rex Miller took off in his Piper PA-28-140 (registration: N1316T) from Poughkeepsie, NY at approximately 9:12 am heading for Watertown, NY.
  • Before taking off, the manager of a flight school informed him that the weather was bad, with poor visibility due to fog and overcast skies.
  • Miller, with a student certificate that had been previously revoked by the FAA for violations and no flight plan, ignored the warning.
  • At approximately 9:48 am his plane collided with trees at the top of mountainous terrain at an elevation of approximately 3400 ft. After the initial impact, his aircraft continued about 500 ft. before coming to a stop in a wooded area atop Stoppel Point.
  • Miller was the only passenger and he did not survive the crash.

Thomas shared photos and a quick video of his recent hike, see them below!

Hiker Locates Place Crash in Catskills from 1983

According to legend, the Catskill Mountains are littered with wreckage from plane crashes - but they're not easy to find! But Connecticut resident Keith Thomas told us he hiked the muddy 9.5-mile trail to locate it, and once he did, he was "glowing!"




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