Even though quite a number of planes – both civilian and military - had disappeared throughout the history of manned flight, will the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 370 destined to be an “unsolved mystery”?
By: Ringo Bones
As paradoxical as it seems, despite of scores of unexplained flight disappearances – both civilian and military – throughout the relatively brief but crowded history of aviation, it seems that air travel is still the safest way to travel statistically in comparison to other forms of transportation systems. But will the still unexplained disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Boeing 777 destined to be added unto the roster of aviation’s “unsolved mysteries” like that of the US Navy’s Flight 19 that mysteriously disappeared while conducting a supposedly routine flight over the “infamous” Bermuda Triangle?
Given that most idle speculations and conspiracy theories put forth so far seems to have only raised the ire – rather than provide closure – to the surviving family members and loved ones of the 290 passengers and crew on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that inexplicably disappeared back in March 8, 2014 somewhere over a yet to be determined part of the southern Indian Ocean, it is somewhat disconcerting to comprehend that the yet to be explained disappearance of the Malaysia Airlines MH370 Boeing 777 is not an unprecedented event in aviation history – that is it had happened before. Both civilian and military fights seem to be not immune from the misfortune of “unexplained disappearances”.
Probably the first – and still largely unsolved – unexplained flight disappearances in civil aviation history is the disappearance incident of Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 that happened back in June 22, 1950. The civilian passenger plane involved was a Douglas DC4 Propliner operating its regular daily transcontinental service between New York and Seattle when it mysteriously disappeared on the night of June 22, 1950 while flying over the “notorious” Lake Michigan Triangle. The flight was carrying 55 passengers and 3 crew members; the loss of all 58 on board made it the deadliest commercial airline accident in American history at the time. To this day, the wreckage of Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 Douglas DC4 Propliner has yet to be found despite of the involvement of famed underwater shipwreck hunter Clive Cussler in the search since he started his underwater salvage firm.
One of the most mysterious flight disappearances in the history of American military aviation was the disappearance of the Atlantic C-124 back in March 23, 1951 flying from Walker Air Force Base in Roswell, New Mexico to RAF Station Mildenhall, Suffolk, UK, when US Air Force C-124 Globemaster after an in-flight fire forced the pilots to ditch the plane in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Shannon, Ireland. After the mayday call was successfully sent, the ditching and subsequent evacuation was successful, except that when the rescuers arrived on the scene, the aircraft and its occupants had vanished. All 53 people on board were never fond and were presumed dead.
While previous images of the alleged wreckage of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 that was “seen” by Mainland Chinese reconnaissance satellites were later proved to be misleading in finding the plane to determine what caused it to crash, it seems that it could probably take some time before the rest of the world know what really happened to the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 Boeing 777. And due to the length of time involved in the search, all hands are now unfortunately presumed dead leaving the rest of us hoping that the lessons learned from this aviation tragedy would improve current civil aviation safety standards.