The Night the Music Died

Searching for the ghost of Buddy Holly in Clear Lake, Iowa.
A small memorial marks the spot in the Iowa cornfield where Holly’s plane crashed on February 3, 1959.
Photograph by David Bowman

it came out of the sky about five miles north of Clear Lake, Iowa, and slammed into the frozen earth. The right wing dug a six-inch-deep furrow for 57 feet as it disintegrated into bits of fabric and metal. The fuselage bounced hard, careening and ripping apart over the next 500 feet while the nose gear, door frame, and tail cone were all smashed loose and scattered, until what was left of the red Beechcraft B35 Bonanza finally came to rest against a barbed-wire fence at

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