Thursday, November 1, 2012

Phantom Planes

I first became aware of this phenomenon when I read a personal account written by Cindy Akins. Her story took place in the mid 1950s when she was a little girl. Her family lived in rural West Virginia in the mountains. One night as her parents and sister sat talking in the families’ kitchen a low flying plane flew past their house. Akins recounts how she heard a loud “whirring and sputtering sound”. In the next moment herself and her family heard the plane crash into a nearby mountain, they also heard high pitched screaming.

The next morning her father and Uncle went in search of the crash but despite their extensive efforts they never found any wreckage. When they later explained what they had seen and heard to the authorities they were informed that no planes had been reported missing. Akins account is very intriguing, her complete story, entitled The Phantom Plane Crash: A True Story can be found at—note: you need a subscription to access this site.

I found Akins story so interesting I decided to do more research into Ghost or Phantom Planes. What I found amazed me. It appears many people have experienced this phenomenon. Their stories all have common elements. When these planes are spotted they are reported flying very close to ground, and they are often described as planes that are outdated or from a different era. Shortly after these planes are seen and/or heard they either vanish or they plunge downward-- seeming to crash but no evidence of wreckage is ever found. Here are several of these stories.

One compelling sighting was reported in the Cincinnati Post in 1976.

“Butler County, Ohio, deputies discontinued a search yesterday afternoon for a plane which reportedly had crashed in Reily Township near Imhoff and Indian Creek Roads late Wednesday night. Deputies said an amateur radio operator heard what he thought was a distress call from a plane believed to be flying from Oxford to Cincinnati about 11 p.m. About 1:45 a.m. yesterday, George Mosley, 1203 Azel Avenue, Hamilton, his son and two other boys became separated in the same area while coon hunting. During the separation the boys said they saw a white flash in the sky at treetop level, then heard screaming and a crash. Airports in Hamilton and Butler County had no record of any small craft filing a flight plan during those hours. Deputies used a plane and walked the area in search of a downed plane Wednesday night until fog set in on the Reily area. The search was continued yesterday morning and discontinued after nothing was found.”

Another compelling account occurred in Wales in the village of Llangernyw, Denbighshire. As moms were picking up their children after school several stated they were “sent running for cover” as a very old rusty unpainted plane roared close over their heads. They then watched as it dipped at high speed toward the ground in the distance. At the last minute it managed to pull itself up. When these moms inquired after the fate of this plane they were told that no plane was authorized to fly that low to the ground and that a plane of their description would not have been in good enough condition to fly.

Many Phantom Plane sightings have been reported in Britain. Here are several more. An Englishman by the name of Tony Ingle reported his strange experience as he walked down a lane in Derbyshire one evening. He spotted an old-fashioned propeller warplane fly over him close to the ground. He was amazed because this plane made no sound. He watched as it descended quickly then bank to the left and disappear over a hedgerow that was in front of him. Ingle rushed to the spot only to find sheep grazing quietly in the field. There was no wreckage and he stated he felt an eerie silence.

In 1997 in Sheffield Peaks, a group of people spotted yet another old-fashioned propeller warplane flying very low to the ground. They stated they had to duck as it soared close over where they stood. They were all certain they saw this plane crash in the moors. Despite several searches this plane crash was never found. During World War ll this area of the moors witnessed over 50 plane crashes with numerous deaths.

One of the first reported sightings in Britain occurred in 1987 in the North Wales town of Abergele, when several people saw what they described as a very large unmarked “wartime transporter” appear out of no where and then vanish. They reported what they observed to the local airfield but no explanations were ever discovered. Yet another sighting in Britain in June of 1994 occurred when a couple spotted a plane while they drove over the Denbigh Moors. They watched as this plane passed near the front right side of their car—only about 100 feet off the ground. Stunned they saw this plane turn to the right and then “vanish into thin air”.

Another phantom plane was spotted over the Pacific Ocean exactly one year after the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. This plane traveling from Japan was heading toward land. An America airplane was sent up to intercept it. The Americans were surprised to see the plane was shot up on the side and that the plane was actually an American plane-- a P-40—the kind attacked at Pearl Harbor the year before. As they closed in on the plane they spotted a pilot slumped over with blood on his face and clothes. When he spotted them he smiled and waved. Alarmed they noticed his landing gear was gone. They watched in horror as this plane lost altitude quickly and crashed into the land below. The wreckage of this plane was found later but no sign of the pilot was ever found. Where this plane came from remains a mystery.

In Montana in the 1950s three women who lived in Ovando saw a plane with smoke trailing behind it drop what they thought were several parachutes. At the same time a young man who lived in the same area of Montana spotted an explosion in the sky near his home. The local police were called out but no wreckage was ever found.

In 1997 in Long Island witnesses in Westbrook reported seeing a single engine plane crash into the water. They were surprised to note that as it hit the surface of the water it made no splash. When they reported what they had seen they were told that no planes were missing. But a search was carried out and no evidence of a plane was found in the water.

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