'Da plane' from 'Fantasy Island' used in drug smuggling
Fans of the 1970s Saturday-night TV drama "Fantasy Island" remember it well. As each episode opened, a white seaplane with orange and red stripes would purr to a landing in a tropical lagoon, while Mr. Roarke's assistant Tattoo (the late Herve Villechaize) called out, "Da plane! Da plane!" Stars such as Bill Bixby and Sandra Dee would step off the plane, their characters all seeking a $50,000 dream wish from the magical Roarke (the late Ricardo Montablan).
But that plane didn't lead much of a fantasy life after the show was canceled in 1984. The production company sold the plane, and it began a new, illegal life. The famed plane was used to smuggle cocaine into southeastern Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics announced Monday on its Facebook page.
The agency didn't realize the plane had a television history until it seized the plane in an investigation and ran the tail number. Mark Woodward, an spokesman for the bureau, told KFOR-TV that the plane was stored in an airport in Norman, Okla., and eventually sold, with proceeds being put back into the drug law enforcement program.
"But it's quite unique that that plane from the 'Fantasy Island' television show would go from a tropical paradise to someplace like southeastern Oklahoma full of cocaine," Woodward told KFOR.