The media has been going back and forth with theories and conjectures about the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370: a radio call before, then after a left turn; denial there was a turn; data showing engines ran for several hours, then didn’t … ad infinitum. One NBC ‘expert’ remarked several times that there has never been another disappearance like this. I respectfully disagree.
I’ve written an entire chapter on an eerily similar disappearance of our wing B-52 (Meal 88) in detail in Jet Age Man, chapter 20, “Voices From the Sea.” The similarities are striking: experienced crew flying at night over water, sudden loss of all communications and radar–vanished into thin air. Meal 88 is even harder to explain. The B-52 disappeared just offshore from Texas in the Gulf of Mexico, relatively close to a radar (RBS) site, on a clear night where hundreds, if not thousands of people should have seen a fire or explosion.
At the very beginning, an FAA flight center radar station reported that it was tracking Meal 88 on a return leg to Carswell AFB. It turned out to be another aircraft. This was followed by a report from an ADIZ site (Weakfish) that observed Meal 88 climbing out of low level and heard a call from “Meal 88” after their disappearance. This went on for ten days: dozens of eye witness reports, crash debris spotted all over the Gulf, an SR-71 mapping all bases within fuel radius for possible hijacking, a virtual armada of the best underwater exploration ships in the world on station–finding nothing. Ten days of intensive searching by hundreds of ships and aircraft for the world’s largest production aircraft at the time (Feb 1968) that disappeared within sight of land–and nothing, not a trace, not a scrap of metal, life vests, maps–nothing.
Ten days after Meal 88 first disappeared, shredded pieces of wing, honeycomb, and even a flight jacket washed up on the shores of Padre Island.
It’s a cruel sea that does not give up its secrets willingly.