FOLSOM (CBS13) - A chilling discovery at the bottom of Folsom lake: A plane missing for five decades may have just been found.
Images taken from underwater sonar technology show a fully intact airplane deep in the water.
Tyler Atkinson and Jeff Riley, with Seafloor Systems in Shingle Springs, know Folsom lake like it's their own backyard, but on this day, as they surveyed the water, something unusual stood out.
"I saw something that was not normal," said Atkinson.
"These lights on the ROV allow me to say, 'OK there is no way that's a rock,' " said Riley.
Low lake levels made it easier for the sonar technology to get a clear image, and they saw the plane's tail and propeller matching the description of the Piper Comanche 250 that crashed in 1965.
"He sees something on the bottom that looks man-made, and that's when we say, 'There's definitely something down there,' and maybe it's the plane," said President of Seafloor Systems John Timplin.
It was New Years Day in 1965 when a plane crashed near the Folsom dam after a mid-air collision.
But the bodies of three people on board were never found. The body of the pilot was the only one discovered.
Frank Wilcox, the brother of one of the victims on board, never stopped looking for the plane or his brother's remains. But Wilcox's son told CBS13 his father passed away two years ago, never learning of this discovery.
"It's right here, we know where it is," said Atkinson.
In 2014, crews looked once again for the plane's wreckage but came up empty. Newer technology has allowed for an easier search.
It's a rewarding prospect to offer some sort of closure. It will be up to the sheriff's office to determine whether the plane will be recovered and how.
According to the Placer County Sheriff's Office, right now, there is no investigation currently underway.
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