A plane crash hidden within a glacier is now exposed uncovering a family history
THIS IS A STORY about my grandfather's disappearance and my visit to his plane’s crash site now that the wreckage is no longer locked inside glacial ice. It is a story about how family history can help build one’s identity, and how identities are very often something that must be searched out. It's a universal story of the search for where we come from and where we are going.
Become the Mountain
Become the Mountain Outline
Part I Dead Reckoning
The never-before-seen footage brings back to life Mason Hall's grandfather for an entire family that never knew him since he disappeared in 1948 before all of his children were age 4. Mason interviews family members about Albert Jr and Virginia (his grandfather and grandmother), focusing on their relationship from their elopement and early deployment to WWII up to Albert’s disappearance and how it altered life for Virgina and her 4 young children. What does the documentation left behind tell us about who Albert Jr and Virginia were? What were the details of Albert’s disappearance and how did it change his family for generations to come.
Part II Skip Distance
Part II focuses on the details surrounding the plane crash in 1948 up to 1990, when the navy sent a team of specialists to retrieve human remains and bring them to Arlington Cemetery for burial. Swentek’s story of persistence was responsible for the 1989 mission but mysteries around what happened to the plane still remain hidden underneath unstable glacial ice. This part of the story affected everyone involved including those specialists the Navy employed. What do the surviving members of these events have to say about the story and where are they now?
Part III Celestial Navigation
Reflecting on the relationship we have to our past can be a process of defining the truth of a story and this truth can be tied to how we define our personal identities. In the final chapter of the film Mason journeys to the remote crash site alone and uncovers new evidence of what happened to Albert’s plane now that the glacial ice that hid the plane wreckage has melted. The experience of making this film is as much a personal journey of reconciling family as it is a universal story of where we are from and where we are going.