CODEX Entry 3651: C-46 wreck
On a shallow reef, just off the isolated Norman’s Cay in the Bahamas, lies a wrecked C-46. This WWII-era military transport plane was part of the legendary smuggler, Pablo Escobar’s cocaine fleet, delivering drugs into the USA. In 1978 the Medellin cartel started purchasing land on the island of Norman’s Cay. Those who did not sell, were threatened and driven off the property. The island was a refueling point for drug runners between the United States and Colombia. He built a fortress protected by armed guards and attack dogs along with a runway and radar station. One guest recalls, on landing, that a brand new Land Rover pulled up to the plane, driven by a very beautiful naked woman. Despite the radar and other preauctions a Curtiss C-46 Commando, registration N355BY, landed well short of the runway in 1980. Finding its final resting place on a shallow sandbank, the smuggling plane was abandoned not before its cargo was hurriedly recovered. The cartel’s smuggling activities at Norman’s Cay ended in 1982 when the U.S. cracked down on the region with help from the Bahamian Government. The site was seized by the authorities in 1987.