Famous Disappearances in Flight

When it comes to people disappearing in an aircraft, one of the most infamous of tales centers on aviator Amelia Earhart, who disappeared over the central Pacific in 1937. Her plane is thought to have downed somewhere in the vicinity of Howland Island. Rumors had it that she was captured and killed by the Japanese military. In this article, you will learn about other disappearances that involve an aircraft.

Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli

Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli were World War I pilots from France who wanted to beat Charles Lindbergh in being the first to travel nonstop on a transatlantic flight. On May 8, 1927, the two pilots took off from Paris in a modified Levasseur PL.8 biplane named the White Bird. They planned on flying a circular route over the southwestern part of England and Ireland , crossing the Atlantic to Newfoundland. They then headed south to a water landing in New York.

However, when the plane did not arrive at its intended destination, a search involving international participants was launched. No trace of the pilots or their plane was uncovered. There are two theories regarding what happened to Nungesser and Coli. The first one deals with a sudden change in weather that caused the plane to crash into the Atlantic. The second theory is that the pilots made it as far as Newfoundland (or possibly Maine), but then crashed thereafter. Numerous eyewitness reports claim to have heard the sound of an aircraft sputtering over his isolated camp at Round Lake, Maine , late in the afternoon of May 9, 1927.

In Maine, there have been small pieces of wreckage found that suggest a plane did reach the coast, but there has been no evidence to conclusively state that it belonged to Nungesser and Coli.

Glenn Miller

In the world of Big Bands, Glenn Miller was king. The jazz musician played the trombone, arranged music, composed and was a bandleader of the swing era. From 1939 to 1943, Miller was one of the best-selling recording artists. However, in 1944, Miller disappeared while on a flight from England to France to play for troops.

D.B. Cooper

D.B. Cooper was the name given to a skyjacker , someone who hijacked an aircraft while it was in mid-air. The suspect purchased his airline ticket under the alias of Dan Cooper. After collecting a ransom of $200,000, he used a parachute to jump from a Boeing 727 over the Pacific Northwest in 1971 and was never seen again. The FBI investigated the case and could not believe that the man was able to survive such a risky jump. While his file is still considered an active case, most people think he did not live to enjoy the ransom money.

Hale Boggs and Nick Begich

While flying in their Cessna 310 in Alaska, US House Majority Leader (D-LA), Hale Boggs and U.S. Representative from Alaska, Nick Begich disappeared in the state in 1972.