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Everyone has an opinion on what has happened to missing flight MH370, whether it be a government operation or a tragic accident. NCC have put together a list of other mysterious flight disappearances that have never been solved. Maybe we can piece together some of the clues?

1979 – Boeing 707-323C Tokyo to Rio

In January 1979, a cargo ship heading from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro with a stopover in Los Angeles disappeared 30 minutes after take-off. The plane would have been approximately 200 km NE of Tokyo at the time of disappearance. The 6 crew members were experienced professionals, with Captain Araujo da Silva having more than 23,000 logged. There was one slight difference that made the vanishing of this cargo plane all the more intriguing. The small matter of 153 Manabu Mabe paintings with an estimated value of $1.24 million threw a different angle to the investigation. This though was eventually discounted and the official report stated cabin depressurisation as cause of the crash. The wreckage was never found.

1937 – Lockheed Electra 10a Round the World

Amelia Lockhart is a name synonymous with early aviation, but her career came to a sad end with her disappearance in 1937. Amelia was attempting to be the first person to fly the equator route around the earth. After gaining celebrity status through being the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Earhart wanted to take her career to the next level. This though was to be her last journey, as 22,000 miles into the journey Amelia was lost around the Howland Islands. The search was unsuccessful and the plane was never found. There are a number of theories as to what happened to Amelia. Some documentation has been found from Ex-Japanese soldiers who claim to have bared witness to the capture and execution of Amelia.

2003 – Boeing 727 Angola to destination unknown

The Boeing 727 was station at an Angolan airfield. The plane formerly belonged to the passenger fleet of American Airlines. It was then leased to Angola Airlines in which time it was idle for 14 months building up an incredible $4 million in unpaid fees. In 2003 the plane was seen by air traffic control preparing for unauthorised take off, when communication was attempted the pilot cut radio connections within the airliner. The plane then took off, and neither the plane nor pilot Ben Charles Badilla have been seen since. There are not many leads of the whereabouts of the plane even after a huge FBI and CIA investigation.

1962 – Lockheed L-1049 California to Vietnam

In 1962 a plane carrying 107 U.S servicemen from California to Vietnam was lost somewhere over the Pacific Ocean. The plane had landed in Guam to refuel, ruling out many technical issues that would have been identified in the stop over. An 8 day search was carried out with not one piece of evidence found. The search was called off as no credible witness accounts of any crash could be sourced. The disappearance remains a mystery to this day.

1944 – UC-64A Norseman England to France

Glenn Miller was once of the biggest stars in the world during WW2 and accompanied by his big band he shot to stardom with 70 top ten hits in 4 years. Miller was scheduled for a performance in Versaille and left a foggy runway in Bedfordshire on the afternoon of 15th December 1944. Miller was never seen again. There are a number of theories that suggest the aircraft may have navigated incorrectly, but new evidence in the form of a young boy’s plane spotting notes from 1944 suggest the aircraft was seen over Maidenhead which was the correct line of navigation when leaving the British Isles.

There are a number of reasons why planes go missing and are never found and it has happened countless time throughout history. Let’s hope flight MH370 is not added to this tragic list of unsolved mysteries.

Nick Cooper
Nick is NCC's resident blog author and covers a range of subjects, including teaching and health & social care. NCC is an international learning provider with over 20 years’ experience offering learning solutions. To date, NCC has engaged with over 20,000 employers, and delivered quality training to over half a million learners.
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