Mysterious Plane Disappearances


We at Burial Day Books have the families of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 that went missing after leaving Kuala Lumpur in our thoughts right now.

We have flown frequently in the past, and long distance flights do stir our fears and anxieties, more particularly my fears and anxieties. The Undertaker is a levelheaded flier. Each time we have been on an airplane and the aircraft hits a pocket of turbulence I feel the blood rush from my face, I dig my fingernails into his hand and I stop breathing. The Undertaker will then whisper to me ‘We’re on a bus, and we’ve hit a bump. That is all.’ While his words are kind, I can’t relax on board a plane. I frequently have nightmares about planes, because I have read so much about mysterious disappearances that involve aircraft. The recent event of the missing Malaysia flight has kept me up reading about recent findings, and thinking about the passengers and their families. It’s strange to think that planes can go missing in this modern age, but strangely they do. Below is a list of famous missing aircraft.

  • The most famous flight disappearance is that involving Amelia Earhart in 1937.  Earhart, and her navigator Fred Noonan, disappeared in her Lockheed Electra on her attempt to circumnavigate the globe. She was the first woman to fly independently across the Atlantic, and she was nearing the end of her around-the-world trip when her plane disappeared over Howland Island in the Pacific Ocean.
  • In Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince [SPOILER ALERT] the story ends with the narrator searching for the Little Prince who had previously stepped away with the snake, but when the narrator awakes to search for the Little Prince he is nowhere to be found. In 1944, while in the military, Saint-Exupéry too disappeared like his Little Prince. He was on his last reconnaissance mission when his plane disappeared.
  • I have spent much time researching the Bermuda Triangle, and the Bermuda Triangle is such a fascinating phenomenon that it deserves its own blog post one day, but for now, I wanted to cover a few flights that went missing over that area, and beyond. For those unfamiliar with the Bermuda Triangle, it’s the points between the Florida peninsula, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Bermuda. A number of aircraft and ships have mysteriously disappeared in this area, which have led a variety of government officials and paranormal investigative groups to investigate the location.

The legend of the Bermuda Triangle was cemented on December 5th 1945 with Flight 19. Five Navy Avenger planes set off on a series of training exercises. After an hour into their flight, pilots began reporting that they felt disoriented and were unable to recognize landmarks below. Pilots even reported that the compass on board their planes had malfunctioned. All five planes disappeared , which included 14 airmen and 13 crew members.  An airplane that set out to search for the training mission also disappeared.

In recent years, there has been growing suspicion over the numbers “19” and “191” in relation to air travel. In 1967, experimental X-15 Flight 191 crashed killing its pilot. In 1979, American Airlines flight 191 crashed shortly after take-off from O’Hare International Airport killing all 258 passengers and 13 crew members. In 2012, JetBlue Airways flight 191’s pilot had to be restrained by passengers when he had a sudden panic attack. Many airlines have since retired the use of the use of the use of the “191” number.

Other flights that have mysteriously disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle include British South American Airways Star Tiger, which went missing in 1948 and the Star Ariel that went missing in 1949.

Again, our thoughts are with the families of Malaysian flight 370. These mysteries are tragic and heart wrenching for so many.