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Two Mass. men say they have found long-lost ‘black boxes’ in Bolivia


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Aug 1, 2014
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For two Massachusetts men, what began as a fascination with missing planes and their data recorders a year ago ended with a trip to Bolivia, a potentially ground-breaking discovery, and a flash of Internet fame.

About a year ago, while he researched the vanished 2014 Malaysian Airlines Flight 370, Somerville resident Dan Futrell learned something. Since 1965, crash investigators have failed to recover flight data and cockpit voice recorders — often referred to as “black boxes” — from almost 20 crashed aircraft, including both planes that crashed into the New York City’s Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

But it was another flight that caught Futrell’s eye: Eastern Air Lines Flight 980, which took off from Paraguay for Miami in 1985 but crashed on Mount Illimani in western Bolivia. Crash investigators have long suspected that the plane’s debris landed in a spot that was nearly inaccessible.

Challenge accepted, Futrell said in his blog.

“How is it that there is a place on this Earth that we can’t reach?” Futrell wrote in amazement.

Two Massachusetts men say they have found long-lost ‘black boxes’ in Bolivia - The Boston Globe
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