PLACERVILLE, CA - It turns out a Placerville man who stumbled upon aircraft wreckage while camping in the Nevada desert wasn't the first person to make the discovery.
The United States Navy knew it was there all along.
Donnie Prince, 60, is a former Air Force mechanic who was certain the pieces he found May 13 on a dry lake bed northwest of Lovelock were parts from a small jet -- and he was right.
The wreckage he found is what remains of a Navy F8U-1 fighter jet from the nearby Fallon Naval Air Station that crashed while on gunnery practice in August, 1960, at a loss to the government of just over $1 million.
The Navy pilot ejected safely and was rescued by an Air Force helicopter crew from Reno.
Prince also found a large bone near the wreckage, which happily has no connection to the crash.