The Lighthouse at Point Sur
- Box of ten : $14.95
- Per note card : $2.00
- Watercolor by Royce H. Vaughn
- January, 2001
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Waves crashed against the rocks of the jagged California coastline, but on February 12, 1935, the threat of danger was in the water -- and the air. Around 5 PM, Point Sur lighthouse keeper Thomas Henderson suddenly saw an extraordinarily large shape blotting out the sun. It was the USS Macon (three times the size of a 747 jumbo jet), a zeppelin built for the US Navy with room for five Sparrowhead fighter airplanes on board. In the midst of a coastal squall, the previously damaged tail fins were severed completely. Shards pierced the ship's rear gas cells. It spun out of control and within minutes sank into the sea. Eighty-three men were on board. All but two survived. The zeppelin was built in Ohio during the Depression for long range reconnaissance and for 16 months was berthed at Moffett Air Field in Sunnyvale, California. Attempts to find the wreckage were unsuccessful until 1990. In 2006 a five day, multi-agency expedition conducted a survey of the crash site using a deep-diviing, remotely-operated vehicle (ROV). It spread over 75,000 square feet of the ocean floor.
From the collection of Andrew and Scharlene Heston