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.
Peter T. Potts
Peter Potts “was born on July 20, 1935 in Chicago, Illinois and shortly thereafter the family moved to a suburb, Winnetka, where he grew up with two brothers and two sisters, attended Saints Faith, Hope and Charity School through sixth grade and North Shore Country Day School through eighth grade. He graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1953, Stanford University in 1957 and was commissioned second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. He completed Primary Flight Training (T34,T28), Bainbridge AB, Georgia, Basic Flight Training (T33), Craig AFB, Alabama, Combat Crew Fighter Training (F-100 Top Gun), Luke AFB, Arizona/Nellis AFB, Nevada – and Peter was supersonic.
In Phoenix, he met and married his wife, Olta, and in 1960 they were stationed at Wethersfield AB, England. In 1963, he was reassigned to Nellis AFB, where he flew as Instructor Pilot in the Fighter Weapons School (F-100). His last USAF assignment was as Forward Air Controller, Bien Hoa AB, Vietnam, Where he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross and Silver Star for bravery by the Air Force Chief of Staff.
In 1967, he resigned from the Air Force to become a United Airlines Pilot. In 1995, he retired as International Captain (B767-300), flying to London and Buenos Aires from Kennedy completing thirty-eight years of flight, accident free.”(1)