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The basic reasoning and purpose behind the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) investigations of all civil aircraft accidents is analogous to statute law or to the study of history: we want to know what happened and why it happened, in order to avoid repeating the accident or incident. Nevertheless, history shows us that even the FAA has been hoodwinked by several notable and perplexing American plane disappearances within the past century, and here are four of them, listed chronologically:

Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly across the Atlantic ocean in 1928 and “the pond” in 1932, seemed to be making headway for women in the field of aviation. As many history books reveal, Earhart’s twin-engine Lockheed Electra disappeared from a journey across the Pacific Ocean, carrying Earhart and her navigator, Frederick Noonan, with it in early July of 1937. A plethora of theories continue to circulate until this day as to her actual demise, including the rumor that she actually survived a crash and lived on for years on an island. Fast forward to 2018 and there are new claims that bones found in 1940 on the Pacific island of Nikumaroro belong to Earhart. Read more about this theory right here.

Aviation accidents have taken many celebrities from the spotlight and from us over the years; perhaps the loss of Glenn Miller is one of the most puzzling. Post-WWII America lost an entertainment legend on December 16, 1944, when Miller’s aircraft, on a short journey between Paris and London, never arrived at its intended destination. Check out his musical timeline here.

Early December of 1945 can be considered the period that put the term “The Bermuda Triangle” into many people’s minds. On this date, not only was one flight lost, but six total flights were lost in that triangular portion of the Atlantic Ocean known as the Bermuda Triangle. During the time that intensive rescue missions were attempting to recover the five Avenger torpedo bombers who had gone missing after departing from Fort Lauderdale, another plane vanished along with its 13 passengers within that same triangle.

The famous United States Flying Tigers lost one of their Lockheed Super Constellations in mid-March of 1962. It seems that the huge airliner simply disappeared near the Pacific Ocean’s Mariana Trench during these early years of the Vietnam War. Flight 739, enroute from Guam to the Philippines, vanished without any type of distress call and remains a mystery until this day. Intensive search and rescue missions proved fruitless; as was the case with many other “ghost” flights, myriad theories continue to circulate regarding what actually happened. Check out this link to read more about the Flying Tigers.

There have been additional “vanishing” aircraft from other countries as well; check out this site to read more.