Dan Purjes was fascinated to see a main story in the New York Times about the final list of most puzzling aviation disappearances. This was an interesting report that moved away from the normal stories in the paper, which tend to cover Wall Street, the Barrons, people like McTague from Rockwood, investment decisions, which asset to buy or sell, and so on. Hence, seeing the NYC’s most important newspaper venturing into something more tangible was incredibly interesting.
Dan Purjes Reviews the Final List of Strangest Airplane Investigations
- Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished over four years ago. An inquiry was completed into the disappearance and no conclusions were made. 239 people were onboard the Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia to Beijing flight when it veered off course and disappeared on March 8, 2014.
- Amelia Earhart, who wanted to be the first woman to flight around the world. In the late 1930s, she took off with navigator Fred Noonan from Law, New Guinea on July 2, 1937. They had chosen a Lockheed Electra for their flight. When they reached 1,900 to the southwest of Honolulu, there was a suggestion that started to run out of fuel and would struggle to reach Howland Island. Skeletal remains have recently been discovered and it is believed that it could be that of Amelia Earhart.
- Flying Tiger Line Flight 739 took over from Agana Naval Air Station on March 1962. It was destined for the Clair Air Force Base in Guam, the Philippines. 107 people were on board, 93 of which were American soldiers. The plane disappeared and wreckage was never found despite a 75,000 square mile search completed by over 50 planes and vessels.
- Pan Am Flight 7 was carrying 44 people, eight of which were crew members, in November 1957 when it went missing. The Boeing 377 Stratocruiser, known as the “Romance of the Skies” took off from San Francisco to fly around the globe, with a first stop in Honolulu. It never made it. Some wreckage and 19 out of the 44 bodies were found. No cause of crash has ever been determined.
- EgyptAir Flight 990 took off on October 31, 1999 from Kennedy Airport in New York, destination Cairo. Just 33 minutes after it took off, it crashed to the southeast of Nantucket Island. All 217 passengers and crew members died. It is believed that the copilot deliberately manipulated the controls of the airplane, reporting that he had been saying “I rely on God”. However, the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority believes that the American investigators ignored a credible body of evidence that would point to mechanical failure.
- An unmarked Boeing 727 took off from Luanda, Angola on May 25, 2003. The plane previously belonged to American Airlines and it is not clear why it took off, who was on it, or where it was going. Some believe that the plane was controlled by American citizen Ben Charles Padilla, who was an aircraft mechanic and in Angola at the time. He was never found, nor was the plane.