‘Glacier Girl’ on a mission

WWII Plane that was buried in Greenland ice flies its original mission


U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. Ben Bloker. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons P-38_Lightning_in_flight
Steve Hinton flies ‘Glacier Girl’, a P–38 Lightning dug out from under 80 m (268 ft) of ice in eastern Greenland in 1992. The aircraft was part of a heritage flight during an air show at Langley Air Force Base, Va., in May 2004.

We previously reported (including a very popular feature story in our Creation magazine) on the amazing story of the lost squadron of P–38 and B–17 aircraft that crash landed in Greenland during World War II and that was afterwards buried under 75 m (250 ft) of ice within 50 years. The first plane from this lost squadron was found in 1988, and another was salvaged in 1992. In 2003 the plane the salvage team recovered from Greenland, dubbed ‘Glacier Girl’, had been restored with 80% of its original parts and flew again for the first time in over 60 years.

Now Glacier Girl has set out to complete the flight she had to abort in WWII. The flight has been dubbed ‘Operation Bolero II’ after the original mission and was commenced on 22 June.1 The original mission, consisting of six P–38s and two B–17 bombers, was to send American aerial support to the allied forces over in Europe via Canada, Greenland and Iceland, but the squadron hit bad weather and was forced down in Greenland, never finishing the mission.2

Glacier Girl’s story is a powerful reminder to us that thick layers of ice don’t have to take immense time spans to form. Rather, this ‘slow and gradual’ belief of how such things form is so ingrained in our society today that it comes as a shock to people when they read stories like that of Glacier Girl. This is exactly what happened with the salvage team, who expected the planes to be under a thin sheet of snow and ice.3 This belief had nothing to do with the actual evidence, but was an assumption made about the past used to interpret the evidence in the present. However, Glacier Girl is only the tip of the iceberg of evidence that contradicts this pervasive ‘slow and gradual’ belief.4,5

It’s ironic to note the basis on which some evolutionists have critiqued CMI’s use of the ‘Planes in Ice’ story. They say things like, ‘We know from actual measurements that snow and ice builds up fast enough in that part of Greenland to account for the buildup of that much ice in only 50 years’. They seem to be implying that this somehow undermines the creationists’ use of this evidence. But that is precisely the point we’re making! Many today believe that it must take hundreds of thousands of years to build up the huge ice sheets that exist today. But if planes can be buried under that much solid ice in 50 years even at today’s rates of deposition (not even taking into account the increased precipitation from the warmer waters after the Flood) then clearly there is ample time to lay down the ice sheets of today well within the biblical timeframe of history. When we start from the Word of God and its history, Glacier Girl’s story makes sense.

Published: 31 August 2007


  1. Lyons, P.J., Plane freed from a glacier sets out for Britain again, New York Times, 22 June 2007. To keep track of the flight of ‘Glacier Girl’, Operation Bolero II: From Glacier to Glory, bolero.flightexplorer.com. Return to text.
  2. Anonymous, Lost Squadron flies again, The Sunday Mail, p. 57, 24 June 2007. Return to text.
  3. Wieland, C., The lost squadron, Creation 19(3):10–14, 1997. Return to text.
  4. Oard, M., Do Greenland ice cores show over one hundred thousand years of annual layers? Journal of Creation 15(3):39–42, 2001. Return to text.
  5. Silvestru, E., Caves for all seasons, Creation 25(3):44–49, 2003. Return to text.

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