Sonar technology used to recover cars at Foss Lake


FOSS LAKE – Many are still amazed at the accidental discovery of six bodies in Foss Lake. It’s bringing closure to some families, but there’s also talk about the technology used to do it.

Oklahoma Highway Patrol showed NewsChannel 4 how sonar technology works. The device first used by fishermen, scans the water picking up two dimensional objects.

Those images from an underwater camera are then transferred to a computer.

It takes a trained eye, but sonar technology picked up the image of a machine gun almost 14 feet deep in Lake Thunderbird.

OHP says thieves robbed a pawn shop then rippled the water with a cache of weapons. This is one example of how device is used.

If they find something unusual, the dive team is called in to take a closer look. Troopers have found everything from bodies, to weapons, stolen ATM machines as well as vehicles.

“We always look in the cars to see if there are bodies. When the door was open we saw a shoe with a femur bone sitting beside it,” said Trooper Daniel Proctor.

Three people were found in each vehicle at Foss Lake, all had been missing for decades.

“The fact that they found a couple of cars is not unusual but what is unusual, obviously, is that there were remains in those cars,” said Lt. Greg Giles.

Troopers say the technology cuts down thousands of man hours and recovery time for drowning victims. Some of the equipment can range from several thousand dollars up to $40,000.

Right now, troopers use the sonar devices for training purposes unless they have enough evidence to make a specifics recovery. Being able to use the equipment requires a lot of training.