Hugh and Hazel Armstrong were flying from Portland, Oregon to Seattle, Washington one day in 1959, when for unknown reasons, their plane went down in a forest in Centralia, Washington. Though both passengers died, Hazel's wedding ring was found and recently returned to her family.
The couple's daughter, Joyce Wharton told Seattle's Fox Q13 that Hugh was a very experienced pilot. The crash site was discovered by hunters, fourteen years later. At that time, Hugh's wallet was found and returned. But 24 years after that, in 1997, a logger named Nick Buchanan found a ring at the site, while digging in the roots around a cedar tree.
Buchanan said if the tree had continued to grow much longer, it would likely have been buried forever. "I never once though it belonged to me. I just was hoping that there was a daughter or a family member that I could turn it over to." Buchanan's nephew and a friend recently did some research, which led them to the discovery of the crash at the location, and then to the Armstrong's daughter, who was 3,000 miles away in New Jersey.
Joyce said, "It restores your faith in humanity, because there are so many bad things happening, and yet there are good people out there." She received her mother's ring, a 5-stone band, in the mail this week.