2014: Malaysian Flight 370
Perhaps the most notorious plane disappearance in recent memory, Malaysian Flight 370 left Kuala Lumpur bound for Beijing on the 8 March 2014, due to arrive at 06:30 in the Chinese capital. The plane and all 227 passengers never made it. At 01:07, the plane made its last ASCAR transmission – the plane computer communicating to computers on the ground – and then fell silent, failing to transmit its next scheduled transmission at 01:37.
The last human transmission was just seven words, spoken at 01:19 by either the pilot or co-pilot: “Goodnight Malaysian three seven zero.” Investigators are now searching the sea bed 1,100 miles off the coast of West Australia, but so far have unearthed no sign of the missing plane.
1948/1949: Star Tiger and Star Ariel
The disappearances of these two planes were so notable that they caused the entire fleet of model Avro Tudor IV planes to be decommissioned.
On January 30, 1948, the Star Tiger departed from Santa Maria in Azores, headed for Bermuda. Somewhere along the way, they hit some extreme weather and fell off the radar.
One year later, on January 17, 1949, the Star Ariel set off from Bermuda to Kingston. Their last radio report indicated they had good visibility and had an easy flight. That was the last anyone heard from the plane.
One thing both disappearances had in common? Their flight paths travelled either near to or through the Bermuda Triangle.
1944: Glenn Miller
Christmas, 1944. Big band leader and wartime celebrity Glenn Miller boarded a single engine monoplane, heading directly from RAF Tinwood Farm to Paris, France. The short trip was to be Miller’s last. He never arrived in the city of lights, and is believed to have gone missing at some point during his journey over the English Channel. One theory suggests Miller may have gone down as the result of friendly fire. A fleet of Lancaster Bombers dumped a payload of 100,000 incendiary bombs into the Channel before returning back to base.
1947: BSAA Star Dust
STENDEC. This might sound like the acronym for a mysterious comic book organisation, but it is actually the final cryptic message sent from the BSAA Star Dust, which disappeared whilst flying over the Andes mountain range. Flown by Reginald Cook, a renowned pilot, the plane was headed from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile on August 2 1947 when it failed to appear on the other side of the mountain range. Fifty years later, the only clues to what happened to the Star Dust were unearthed by two Argentine mountaineers – engine shrapnel and clothing shreds on the side of a mountain.
1979: Varig Boeing 707-323C
Six people went missing only 30 minutes after this plane left the runway at Tokyo, Japan, bound for Rio de Janeiro. Despite the small crew, the plane held a precious cargo – 153 paintings worth a total of $1.2 million. Neither the people nor the artwork ever made it to their destination.