Man who solved Chelmsford teen cold case now helps to find missing Vermont jet in Lake Champlain

EXETER, N.H. — On Burlington Vermont’s Lake Champlain, a team of undersea investigators believe they have solved a decades-old mystery.

They believe they’ve found a corporate jet missing since 1971 at the bottom of Lake Champlain.

“It’s hard to describe, it’s just like, wow. Five people. 53 years, gone. But we have it,” said Hans Hug, who owns Sonar Search & Recovery.

Hug, using his side scan sonar, was part of the team.

He says team leader Garry Kozak had been looking for the missing jet for years, and even identified potential debris fields.

Last July the team found a plane in 300 feet of water, but it was a false alarm.

“It’s not our plane. It’s not the one we are looking for,” Hug said.

In May, the team twice returned to Lake Champlain, this time searching a second debris field.

Before long, Hug’s side-scanning sonar, and underwater video from team member Timothy McDonald’s ROV made an unmistakable discovery

“We line them up. There’s no way in the world this is not our plane. I get goosebumps thinking of it,” Hug said.

In 2021, Hans Hug’s device found missing Chelmsford teenager Judy Chartier and her car in the Concord River after 39 years.

Now, it seems a new case is closed.

It is now up to federal investigators to confirm the discovery.

“How does it feel to solve this mystery after more than half a century?” Boston 25 News Reporter Bob Ward asked.

“It’s the same sense of disbelief as when I found Judy Chartier,” Hug said.

The resolution of this case is already leading to a new mystery: What’s the identity of that first plane they found in Lake Chaplain?

Hans and his team are already on the case.

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