Aviation is a relatively young form of transportation, however, throughout its history, they try to make it as safe and comfortable as possible. It's just impossible to foresee everything, and emergencies continue to happen. Moreover, it is far from always, even after the occurrence of many years, that it is possible to establish the exact cause of what happened. We would like to bring to your attention 8 controversial aviation accidents, for which no explanation has been found.
1. Disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 (8 March 2014)
One of the most mysterious cases of the disappearance of an airplane in modern history, which so far remains unsolved. Malaysian flight MH370 flew on the Kuala Lumpur-Beijing route. The flight took place without incident at 00:42 local time. There were 227 passengers on board. Forty minutes after the start of the flight, the plane was approaching the border of the Malaysian air responsibility zone and was supposed to enter Vietnamese airspace. Therefore, following the instructions, the Malay dispatcher ordered MH370 to contact the dispatcher there.
At 01:19:30 the MH370 crew responded to the Malay dispatcher: "Good night, Malaysian three seven zero." And this phrase was the last one heard on the ground from the plane. Further events defied any logic: almost immediately after the MH370 left Malaysia's area of responsibility, a transponder - an aircraft radar transponder that transmits information about the flight - ceased to function on board. Thus, the liner disappeared from the screens of air traffic controllers.
The loss of the plane was quickly discovered, and ground services of several neighboring countries tried to find it. Then a full-scale search was launched at the alleged crash site of the liner, when it should have run out of fuel. However, as a result, nothing was found out: the search for flight MH370 continued for three years, after which the Malay authorities officially closed the investigation.
There were plenty of oddities in the history of the disappearance of flight MH370: for example, the reason for the disconnection of the transponder was not clarified, and there are only two options: either it was damaged as a result of external influences, or it was turned off manually. In addition, in the last moments of its operation, the system managed to record an intentional change in the direction of the aircraft by one of the pilots. The data of the last military radar, which "spotted" the plane, showed that the liner was flying practically in the opposite direction from the given course.
All these few facts, which are difficult to fit together, aroused a lot of suspicions about the causes of the incident. Among the alleged versions of what exactly happened with flight MH370, most often they call an explosion or fire on board (it could have happened due to the cargo - lithium batteries), a pilot's suicide and even a terrorist attack, probably from North Korea. However, even after seven years since the disappearance of the plane, no one still knows, and even the six wreckage of the plane found in the ocean did not shed light on this mysterious story.
2. Airplane hijacking by "Den Cooper" (November 24, 1971)
This case is often called the "perfect crime". And all because one person managed to crank up the hijacking and hijacking of the plane for the purpose of robbery, and then from the same liner to escape during the flight along with the money and remain undetected. This man went down in history under the pseudonym Den Cooper.
The story took place on November 24, 1971, when a man posing as Dan Cooper boarded Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, which was on the Portland-Seattle route. A few minutes after takeoff, D. B. Cooper handed the flight attendant a note stating that he had a bomb in his briefcase and demanding four parachutes and $ 200,000 in $ 20 bills. As proof of his words, he showed a battery tied with wires in his luggage.
When the plane landed in Seattle, the airport authorities gave Cooper money and parachutes, after which the robber released all the passengers, leaving four crew members on board to fly with him towards Mexico City. Moreover, the hijacker ordered the pilot not to rise above 3 thousand meters. However, he did not reach Mexico City: on the route between Seattle and the state of Nevada, Den Cooper lowered the rear ladder and jumped out with a parachute. Nobody ever saw him again.
The FBI undertook the investigation of such a demonstrative crime: they immediately put forward a number of assumptions, one of which was that Cooper was an experienced paratrooper or paratrooper. However, experts refuted this theory, because someone who is really versed in skydiving would never do it at night because of the high danger of such a maneuver. The investigation lasted almost half a century, many versions were worked out, but neither the money nor Cooper himself was found, and in 2017 the case was closed.
3. Crash of EgyptAir Flight 99 (October 31, 1991)
EgyptAir Flight 990 departed on October 31, 1999 from New York Kennedy Airport for Cairo. There were 217 people on board the twin-engined Boeing 767. However, the flight was just over half an hour, after which the plane crashed into the Atlantic Ocean 100 kilometers south of the American island of Nantucket.
For the investigation of the catastrophe, which became the largest in the history of Egyptian aviation, two structures undertook at once - the Egyptian Ministry of Civil Aviation (ECAA) and the National Transport Safety Board (NTSB). Finding out the reasons for the plane's fall into the ocean was of particular importance, because there were more than thirty Egyptian soldiers among the passengers, so the terrorist act was not rejected as a reason for a long time.
When the investigation was carried out, a confrontation began between the American and Egyptian sides regarding the causes of the crash. The fact is that the restoration of the logbook helped to find out that just before the fall, the co-pilot probably turned off the engines and sent the plane into the water, constantly repeating in Arabic: "I rely on Allah", so the Americans came to the conclusion that Hamil Al-Batouti committed suicide.
But the Egyptian side categorically refused to accept this version of events. According to their conclusion, the failure of the control mechanism was the cause of the plane crash. It was this discrepancy between the findings of the investigation that gave unnecessary mystery to this tragic story.
4. Crash of the B47 Stratojet (February 5, 1958)
A B47 Stratojet took off for exercise over Hampton County (USA) on February 5, 1958. For the first seven hours, everything went on as usual, but suddenly the liner collided with the US Air Force F-86 Saber fighter. An experienced pilot, Major Howard Richardson, managed to make a safe landing after dropping a load. And this episode would have remained one of the many accidents, if not for one detail - what this cargo was like.
And the whole point is that the ballast turned out to be neither more nor less, nuclear weapons, also of considerable power - 1.69 megatons. And the total weight of the hydrogen bomb that Richardson had to drop was 4 tons. It goes without saying that the American government could not leave such a load unattended, even in the Atlantic Ocean. In addition, there was no exact information as to whether the bomb was serviceable - some said that it worked, others that it was in a disabled state.
They searched for the bomb for several months, after which the military announced that the search did not give a positive result. For many years, nothing was really known about this investigation, until in 2004 retired US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Derek Duke made a statement that he had found the alleged coordinates of the fall of the lost bomb. Here are just positive shifts in the search, it did not give, and the secret of the dropped nuclear weapons remains a mystery.
5. Disappearance of Link 19 (December 5, 1945)
Almost every person on the planet knows about the phenomenon of the Bermuda Triangle - this is not surprising, because only one aircraft in the history of flights over this area has disappeared 75 units. However, there was a case when five cars disappeared at once, and we are not talking about passenger liners, but about American torpedo bombers.
This mysterious aviation incident took place on December 5, 1945, when five TBM Avengers under the general name "Link 19" began a training flight with the aim of test dropping bombs from an air station in Florida. After completing the priority task, the second phase of the flight was supposed to begin, but the lead bomber's compass was out of order, and soon the weather also worsened - the pilots quickly realized that they were most likely off course.
Flight 19 tried to independently return to the correct route, but several hours passed, and there was no response from the planes. Attempts to contact the aircraft were unsuccessful. Then the search operation was started. Moreover, the wreckage of the bombers or any other traces of the missing group were never found - they seemed to have disappeared into thin air. The case of the disappearance of Link 19 remains one of the most mysterious aviation accidents today, fueling interest in the infamous Bermuda Triangle.
6. Disappearance of a cargo plane with works of art (1979)
This unusual story took place in 1979 when a Varig Brazilian Airlines cargo plane took off from Narita International Airport in Tokyo with six crew members on board. It would seem that an ordinary flight, although carried out in not the most favorable conditions, should have passed as usual. However, in reality, everything went wrong: half an hour after the start of the flight, the plane disappeared from the radar, although 10 minutes before that the captain reported to the dispatchers that everything was normal.
The investigation of the accident did not give anything: neither the place of the alleged crash of the aircraft, nor the probable reasons were found. However, not one conspiracy theory was born around this story, but all because the Boeing 707, flying to Rio, carried on board 153 paintings by the artist Manubu Mabe, which, according to the Novate.ru editorial board, were estimated in total at 1, $ 2 million. That is why many believed that either a robbery had occurred, or the plane was hijacked, but they also consider a more trivial course of events - the failure of control systems - as the reason for the loss of the liner.
7. Boeing 727 hijacking (May 25, 2003)
For nearly twenty years, experts have been puzzling over what happened at the airport in Luanda, Angola, in May 2003. The story is presented as follows: Boeing 727 was supposed to carry out cargo transportation, for which it was bought by one businessman. Aviation engineer Ben Charles Padilla and John M. Mutantu, a hired mechanic from the Republic of Congo, were to prepare the liner for flights after a long downtime.
On May 25, they boarded, and soon the plane began to take off without the permission of the dispatchers. Attempts by the airport administration to contact Boin failed. The situation seemed completely unrealistic: firstly, to operate this type of aircraft, not two people are needed, but three. In addition, although Padilla had flying rights, he did not have access to control the Boeing 727, and it is far from the fact that he would have managed to fly far on it.
Numerous attempts to at least find the plane in the area where, according to calculations, it should have run out of fuel, did not lead to anything. Neither the Boeing nor the two people who flew away on it were ever found. Quite quickly, a variety of versions began to be built around this story: from the opinion that Padilla could have been made to take off, but he lost control, to assumptions that in fact the liner was intended to carry illegal substances.
8. Disappearance of a British aircraft after the STENDEC report (2 August 1947)
Perhaps this case is the most mysterious among the plane crashes, when the crashed plane was not found. And it was like this: On August 2, 1947, a British South American flight known as Star Dust took off from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile. However, a few minutes before landing, the liner crashed, presumably in the Argentine Andes. However, the search operation did not return any results. And only in the eighties a group of climbers found the remains of an aircraft, but this did not shed light on the causes of the disaster.
The only clue that remained after the disappeared plane was a mysterious Morse code message - the last that was transmitted from the aircraft. It sounded like "ETA SANTIAGO 17.45 HRS STENDEC", and it was transmitted from the plane three times. But neither the dispatcher, nor the investigators, nor other lovers of conspiracy theories could decipher this strange message. It is not clear what this code could mean, so a version appeared that "STENDEC" is a random combination of letters or an error while typing.
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