Land in the Sky: Accidental Monument

High on one of the highest peaks in the Catskills, just below the summit, in balsam-brake and moss, close by Rip Van Winkle’s now-depleted spring, we came upon the wreckage. Broken wings, battered fuselage, relic scraps of metal strewn across forest floor—all that remains of the small plane that came down here in thickening weather one June evening half a century ago. Two lives lost, no survivors. Days passed before the crash site could be located and the bodies recovered. A report was submitted. Probable cause of crash: “Pilot in command became lost/disoriented.” This is the place. No plaque. No marker. No record of any names. Just the bones of Icarus picked clean.