Flight of Gold


Two Pilots’ True Adventures Discovering Alaska’s Legendary Gold Wreck

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On March 12, 1948, Northwest Airlines Flight 4422, a DC-4 with a crew of six, carrying twenty-four Merchant Marines on a six-leg flight from Shanghai to New York, crashed high up on Alaska’s Mount Sanford. Air reconnaissance flights spotted the charred remains of the plane, but the site was too remote for recovery teams. Rumors that the plane had been transporting gold and diamonds immediately erupted and enticed treasure hunters to the mountain. Life-threatening conditions kept them from reaching what became known as “Alaska’s Legendary Gold Wreck.”

Flight of Gold is the first-person account of commercial airline pilot and mountain climber Kevin McGregor, who with pilot Marc Millican attempted to accomplish what dozens of other expeditions failed to do: discover the remains of the plane and solve the mystery of the reputed treasure. Working in secret, the two daring and adventurous explorers journeyed into the vast Wrangell-Saint Elias National Park. Facing horrific winds, avalanches, and threats of wild animals, these courageous and determined men returned year after year in search of the truth.

After four years of near-obsessive efforts, they made a monumental discovery: Wives, siblings, and children of the victims were still alive a half-century later and seeking answers. Continuing their efforts for the sake of the families, McGregor and Millican made two more startling discoveries: one led them into leading-edge forensics and the other gave substance to the treasure rumor.

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Kevin A. McGregor


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