Moffat County couple dies after plane crashes in ‘Nevada Triangle’ |

Moffat County couple dies after plane crashes in ‘Nevada Triangle’

Sasha Nelson
Craig Press

A Moffat County couple was killed in a plane crash Friday near Ely, Nevada.

On Wednesday, Feb. 20, the White Pine County Sheriff’s Office in Nevada released the names of two people — 72-year-old Phillip Bethell and 66-year-old Linda Bethell — who were killed in a plane crash on a hillside north of Ely. The crash was first reported by a “local subject” on Friday morning.

Deputies responded and, with the aid of the reporting party, “discovered the wreckage of a small plane and the remains of two people,” the news release stated.

At the time of discovery, “the victims were unable to be identified due to trauma resulting in the crash. The remains were transported to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office, where they were identified.”

The cause of the crash is unknown, nor are the reason for the Bethell’s trip last week or their flight plan.

The area in which the Bethells’ plane went down is known for crashes. It gained notoriety after the Sept. 3, 2007, disappearance of aviator Steve Fossett — a Chicago millionaire businessman, who also owned a home in Beaver Creek. He became famous for making record-breaking flights.

Fossett’s remains were found in 2008 in California along the Eastern Sierra Nevada, and his disappearance — as well as a history of more than 2,000 plane crashes in the area — have some calling the region “Nevada Roswell” or “Nevada Triangle.”

In addition to the White Pine County Sheriff’s office, the National Transportation Safety Board responded to the incident.

The NTSB stated in a Tweet Friday evening it is investigating the crash of a Cirrus SR22 after it went down about 10 miles northeast of Ely, Nevada.

The Federal Aviation Administration is also involved in the investigation.

Contact Sasha Nelson at 970-875-1794 or

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