Frank Benjamin Wilder
North American Missing Persons Network
Frank Benjamin Wilder

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Above Images: Wilder

Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 21, 1971 from Burlington, Chittenden County, Vermont
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Age: 49
  • Height: 60-70"
  • Hair Color: Black. Short cropped hair, receding hairline.
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Race: White
  • Gender: Male
  • Case Number: 14A103322

  • Details of Disappearance
    Frank Wilder was lost in an aircraft crash over Lake Champlain in January of 1971.

    The aircraft and the remains were not recovered. Last radar contact was over Lake Champlain, the plane was last seen flying over Juniper Island. Frank Wilder was a mechanical engineer retained by Cousins and one of five people believed to be on board the corporate jet when it disappeared in a heavy snowstorm. The plane was owned by Cousins Properties of Atlanta, Ga. Some reports indicate that the private jet was carrying $1 million or more in cash or negotiable bonds.

    No oil slicks were found and the lake froze over four days later. On April 24, 1971, several pieces of airplane debris, including a tire on a rim came ashore. In addition to Wilder, the others who disappeared that night were: pilot George Nikita; co-pilot Donald E. Meyer; Robert R. Williams, vice president of Retail Planning Corp., and another mechanical engineer retained by Cousins, Kirby Windsor. Wilder was from Jacksonville, Florida, and the other four men were from the Atlanta area.

    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Vermont State Police

    Source Information
    The Burlington Free Press