Reprinted from The Sacramento Bee
February 26, 1982
Two Highway Patrol searchers who were killed while responding to reports of a downed military helicopter apparently were victims of a hoax, authorities said Thursday.
California Highway Patrol rescue pilot George R. Carey, 46, and observer Kenneth L. Archer, 43, died Wednesday night, when their chopper crashed while they searched Harper Dry Lake, 30 miles from Barstow, said fellow officer Charlie Page. The cause of the crash was not known.
Military officials in the area 125 miles northeast of Los Angeles reported no aircraft missing Thursday and said none reported any problems Wednesday night.
“It appears like it may have been a hoax,” San Bernardino County sheriff’s Sgt. Ron Mahoney said of the reported military helicopter crash.
“The original report – we got three, to the CHP, the Fire Department and the Sheriff’s Department – came in from truck drivers who had monitored a CB call,” Mahoney said. “The report was that there was a military helicopter crashed and four people were injured . . . near Black Canyon.”
Sheriff’s ground crews searched all night for the military chopper and were joined by two helicopters at daylight, but found nothing.
“We have not found anything. All local (military) aircraft are accounted for,” he said.