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History is all around us!December 19th, 2014

To those familiar with Dr Who’s Tardis, wouldn’t it be amazing to be able to borrow it and to go back in time and simply sit and watch historic events unfold?

This is the view from the Reserve’s top path over to the hills of Kingairloch scene of a more recent piece of history –

We have Iron Age settlements already found on the Reserve or possibly it’s a Shieling (which is a hut, or collection of huts built for Summer grazing higher up the hills) – but without excavation we may never know for sure. The old black and white photo is a Shieling from the fifteenth century. Even our new Reserve ‘BumbleBee Haven’ has mysteries yet to be unlocked. At this stage we have no idea of the history surrounding the old bothy we have on the new site, shown in the coloured photo below.

sheiling 2




However, wouldn’t it be brilliant to go back and see it and to know for sure? Maybe even back to the brutal betrayal of trust that was The Massacre of Glencoe!




History is all around us, and I’m going to share a newer piece I discovered recently. With the help of photos by Neil Daniel and a very informative website here – – I give you the story of what lies across the loch from The Reserve….

A McDonnell F-101C 45 MC Voodoo long range escort fighter exploded and crashed on the hills of Kingairloch on the 7th May 1964!
The F-101 first flew in 1954. This fighter-bomber had a maximum speed of 1,000mph and a cruising speed of 550mph. Originally, it was intended as a long range escort fighter for the B-36 bombers operated by Strategic Air Command (SAC).



At the time of the accident, the F-101C Voodoo featured here was on a training flight from its base at RAF Bentwaters in Suffolk, England. Voodoo 56-0013 was flying in formation with two other Voodoos.

However, while flying over the Scottish highlands at 28,000ft, fighter 56-0013 exploded in mid-air —apparently without warning—as the pilot had no opportunity to eject from his stricken aircraft.

Wreckage from the fighter-bomber was strewn over a wide area in the vicinity of Maol Odhar (Creach Bheinn) in the Kingairloch area of the Scottish Highlands, about 15 miles SW of Fort William. An extensive search was conducted by the USAF, RAF and mountain rescue teams. However, the crash site was not discovered until 10 days later.

voodoo2_30 voodo1_30



Involved in the search were no less than eight Hercules aircraft from Prestwick; eight HC-54s (Skymasters), and eight C-47 (Skytrain / Dakotas), together with other aircraft and ground search teams.
Much of the wreckage was removed from the site by US Army recovery teams. However, some wreckage remains onsite, scattered over a very wide area.

The airman who died was: Capt. Morris H Reed (28). Pilot.

What historic event would you like to go back and witness unfolding before your very own eyes?


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