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6 Mysterious Plane Crashes That Baffle People To This Day

The chances of dying in a plane crash are pretty slim, but that doesn’t make these crashes any less terrifying.

In 1903, the human race did the unthinkable and learned to fly. While aviation is a huge industry today, we often forget that every time we take off, we’re essentially tempting fate.

It’s highly unlikely that any of us will ever die in a plane crash, but accidents do happen. Here are some of the most mysterious plane crashes in history.

Star Dust

During a flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago back in 1947, a British South American Airways plane called Star Dust disappeared over the Andes mountains. For more than 50 years, we didn’t know what happened to the plane. In 2000, however, pieces of the wreckage were found on a glacier. Many speculated that it had been abducted by aliens before that discovery. Still, no one seems to know the meaning of the last morse code message that the pilot sent out: “STENDEC.”

Amelia Earhart

We know that she and her navigator, Noonan, took off from Lae on July 2, 1937. We know that she was having trouble with her radio near the Nukumanu Islands and that she never arrived to her destination on Howland Island. Other than that, we don’t really have any idea what happened to Amelia Earhart or her plane, although there are many theories. Some think that her plane merely ran out of fuel, and others believe that she may have been captured by the Japanese. There’s even a theory that she survived the flight and secretly moved to New Jersey after assuming a new identity.

Pan Am Flight 7

No one has ever determined what caused the crash of Pan Am Flight 7. On November 8, 1957, the plane departed from San Francisco on its way to Honolulu, but along the way, it somehow crashed. Pieces of the wreckage could be seen in the ocean. All researchers know is that corpses recovered from the scene contained high levels of carbon monoxide.

EgyptAir Flight 990

While flying from Los Angeles to Cairo in 1999, EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic 60 miles outside of Nantucket Island, killing all 217 aboard. The FBI was asked to join the investigation when evidence suggested that the plane was taken down intentionally.

Egyptian officials didn’t like that idea, so they launched their own investigation. That’s why there are two conflicting stories. The Egyptians insisted that it was a mechanical issue, while the Americans were sure that Gameel Al-Batouti crashed the plane on purpose. Al-Batouti was recorded saying “I rely on God” 11 times before the plane hit the water.

Helios Airways Flight 522

As Helios Airways Flight 522 was in its holding pattern, two F-16 fighter jets came to intercept it. But as they passed the cabin, they realized that the captain wasn’t in his chair and that all the passengers were dead. Apparently, the plane ran out of oxygen, which killed everyone on board. The plane then crashed into a mountain.

B-47 Stratojet

This plane’s 1956 disappearance was especially disturbing because it carried two nuclear reactor cores. It disappeared while descending toward its refueling station near the Mediterranean Sea. It went into a cloud and was never seen again.

On one hand, I know that the chances of being involved in a plane crash are pretty slim. On the other, stories like these make me never want to fly again. What goes up must come down, and sadly, the outcome isn’t always pretty.