5 December 1956 – A Northrop XSM-62 Snark, 53-8172, N-69D test model, fitted with a new 24-hour stellar inertial guidance system, launches from Cape Canaveral Missile Test Annex, Florida. It wanders off-course, ignores destruct command, disappears over Brazil. It is found by a farmer in January 1983. The Day They Lost the Snark By J.
Edward J. Haerter
“Edward J. “Ed” Haerter served in the United States Air Force from January 1955 through June 1988. Haerter graduated from the United States Air Force Academy (USAFA) in 1960 and deployed during the Laotian Crisis later that year. In 1961, he was sent to Craig Air Force Base near Selma, Alabama for pilot training. After graduating first in his class he was able to choose his next assignment and selected F-100s in order to be a fighter pilot. He was next sent to Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix, Arizona for training on the F-100, followed by George Air Force Base in Victorville, California to be trained on the F-105. In 1964, he deployed to Spangdahlem Air Base in Germany before he applied for a transfer to Truax Field in Madison. At Truax he was a part of the 10th Air Division, serving as a Fighter Officer.
In 1967, Haerter opted out of active duty and took a job as a pilot for Trans World Airlines (TWA), but shortly after joined the Air Guard in Iowa. As part of the 174th Tactical Fighter Squadron (TFS), he deployed to Vietnam and landed at Phu Cat Air Base in April of 1968, where he went on to complete 194 combat missions.
Haerter came home in April of 1969 and left the Guard to return to TWA, only to join an Illinois Guard Unit a year later. He stayed with that unit until his retirement in 1988, having attained the rank of Brigadier General. He later settled in Madison, Wisconsin.” (1)