Posts Tagged ‘Crash’

Wellington, Washington State was founded in 1883 and was relatively unknown until an event in February 1910, when the community there suffered a 9 day blizzard. Around a foot of snow an hour fell to the ground and initially two trains (one passenger and one mail train) found themselves trapped but the worst was to come.

28th February and the snow stopped only to have rain and warm winds replacing it. Just after 1am the next day a slab of snow broke loose during a violent thunderstorm and this slid towards the town. A previous forest fire had exposed the approach into the town and down it rolled without resistance.

The impact to the two trains threw them 150 feet downhill to the Tye River, the result was the death of 35 passengers, 58 Great Northern employees and three rail-road employees that were in the depot. The 23 survivors were rescued by rail-road employees.

It took months to recover the bodies, Alaskan-style dog sled, slopes with ropes and pulleys and sheer hard graft took a toll on the physical and mental being of the rescuers. Wellington was renamed Tye in October that year and the depot was closed down in 1929, the town was then abandoned and raised.

The Iron Goat Trail allows visitors to go to the site, however hiking there in the winter is highly discouraged due to the nature of avalanches in the area. A retired editor for the Monroe Monitor newspaper said it is a very eerie feeling to be stood there.

The most common reports are about the sensations experienced at the site of the old town, often people feel that there is someone else watching them and many hikers will avoid camping there overnight. Oak Harbor resident, Bill Robards, is certain it is haunted having been there. He witnessed apparitions following them when they walked at night and even heard a child’s voice and states they captured audio evidence of a man (an immigrant working on the train perhaps) singing in Italian.

Train wreckage from Wellington WA avalanche cph.3b13980.jpg
By E.J. Frazier, Thompson, Montana – This image is available from the United States Library of Congress‘s Prints and Photographs division
under the digital ID cph.3b13980.
This tag does not indicate the copyright status of the attached work. A normal copyright tag is still required. See Commons:Licensing for more information., Public Domain, Link

 

(Sorry about the cheesy image I had nothing else)

Near to Prohlandnyi at 1am on the 10th August, 1989 a report came in about a Soviet Military radar picking up an unidentified flying object.

An attempt to contact the occupants of the aircraft was made but they got no response and it was declared hostile. MIG-25’s were put into the air to identify the UFO and they were authorised to use weaponry if it was deemed necessary.

The UFO then ditched over mountains so a retrieval team was dispatched. The area was completely cordoned off to everyone other than military personnel. The object was 20 foot long, 10 foot tall and shaped like a long cigar. There was a small amount of radiation and some members of the team were affected. The object was moved back to Mozolok Air Base, a scientific team was sent out. By then a KGB cover up was supposedly in action and yet it seems details were still released by unknown sources.

By crashing, the door to the UFO fell open and inside were three alien bodies. Two were dead and one was barely alive, the deceased two had been killed by equipment falling on them and the third they tried to save but he could not be helped. The aliens were said to be 3 ½ foot to 4 foot tall and grey outwardly. Underneath their outerwear the skin was a blue-green colour, they had no hair, large black eyes with a protective lid, web fingers and slender arms.

Due to a further lack of information this seems more like some strange local story than fact, but I found it interesting none-the-less.

17187-illustration-of-a-ufo-pv

PD Info: This image is licensed under Public Domain.
Released to the Public Domain by author.

The general synopsis of this one is that a blimp patrolling the California Coast during WWII crashed but there were no crew members aboard. In 1942 the Second World War had not been given a final outcome, the Japanese might still be due to launch an attack on the West Coast of America. The US Navy put together a fleet of 12 blimps that  patrolled the California coastline and the mission of this squadron proved pretty much uneventful until August 1942.

A blimp crashed in the street of Daley City in California, the two man crew was not on board. Later that day the legend was born. It was felt that it would be damned near  impossible for them to have gone unnoticed as they would have had to have jumped out or at least ran from scene.

San Francisco – August 16th 1942, Flight 101 was preparing to take off with Lt Ernest DeWitt (27 yrs old) and Ensign Charles Ellis Adams (34 yrs old). Both were an experienced and reliable pilot which adds the fuel to the mystery. Riley Hill was supposed to go with them that morning, but just before they set off for some reason he was ordered off. He thinks that the heavy moisture in the air would have meant it was unsafe to have three men on board.  The flight plan too them from Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay, passed the Golden Gate Bridge over the Farallon Islands and then to Point Reyes and south along the coastline. It went smoothly until an hour and a half in, where Lt Cody told them four miles east of the Farallones they reported an oil slick on the water. They were the last words received and with no further communications it was assumed it was going okay.

After three hours of trying to contact the blimp it was definitely a concern, there was no answer and finally a message came from someone else 8 miles off course just south of  San Francisco. A swimmer called through, Mr Capulvea, to say that he was bout to go into the water when the giant blimp came right for him!

It dragged along the sand for a while, then eventually hit heavily on the side of the canyon. It was seen by hundreds of people, the blimp lost its altitude and came crashing down towards the city. It was impressive that no one was injured and when the authorities arrived the door was latched open, unusual for an in-flight position. The safety bar that blocked the door was not in place and a microphone used for the outside loudspeaker was found dangling from the gondola. The radio switch was still on and working, the fuel valves had not been tampered with and still had 6 hours of fuel. The Lt’s cap was resting on the instrument panel, two of the three life jackets were missing suggesting they were wearing them as per regulations, all crew had to wear them whilst in flight.

There was also a locked briefcase on boar with top-secret codes that were still there. It looked like they had opened the door and disappeared into thin air. Planes that passed between 7am and 11am that morning had even passed close enough to see the passengers inside. So just what did happen?

The Naval investigators theory was that they had tried to repair it; one was on the outside and got into trouble. The other came to assist and both were swept overboard. A year later both Cody and Adams were officially declared dead. And the blimp? It was repaired and after the war became the Goodyear Blimp, seen by millions at the sporting events across the country. How many of those people would likely have known that it was the infamous Ghost Blimp?

An in-depth look at this is here….

Roads, streets and highways are all subject to the lore of a phantom vehicle and other strange phenomena. I’ve already touched on phantom hitchhikers but what about other myths and legends?

America

Annie’s Road in New Jersery, USA is the the site of local haunted legends. A woman supposedly killed on the road continues to haunt it. The area is located in Totowa, NJ and on the first half of River View Drive. A quick internet search will show you that there are several local myths about this one, including a need to put on old music to draw her out as you drive down but you will also find just as many comments about how this is nothing more than another Urban Legend.

Boy Scout Lane, is located in Wisconsin and it a dead-end road with no outlet. This appears to be an urban legend or something taken from pure fiction and lifted into semi-myth fact. Basically they say that there was the death of a fictional troop of Boy Scouts. There are however no records of either fatalities or mystery disappearances but despite this is remains an area where people try to conduct paranormal investigations.

Clinton Road, United States is another one of those with a tale that I find a little more like an old myth or urban legend that includes alleged sightings of ghosts, strange creates, witches, Satanists and even the Ku Klux Klan? If you go to the bridge at the reservoir at midnight and throw a penny (or maybe a cent who knows) into the water it will then be thrown back by the ghost of a boy who drowned there. Not content with one ghost there is a possibility of running into a Camaro being driven by a girl who crashed it in 1988 (and if you mention that event she is more likely to appear). Of course if two ghosts isn’t enough how about two more? There are also supposedly two park rangers that haunt the Terrace Pond area.

England

A616 road or Stockbridge Bypass connects Newark-On-Trent to the M1. When it was being constructed staff reported encounters with a ghostly monk who may have been from the nearby Hunshelf Priory. However I could not find any recent records about it. Harry Unsworth was a lorry driver in 1958 who reported that he gave a lift to a Hitchhiker. He dropped the man off and then he re-appeared again without explanation some miles down the road… This was reported more than once in the 50’s.

Coulds Hill near Wareham in Dorset has worried some drivers, hearing the sound of a powerful engine (more exactly it suggests a 1920’s Brough Superior Motorcycle) that sped around followed by sounds of screeching tyres and then an eerie silence. Nobody has seen the rider but it’s been theorised it was World War One hero Lawrence of Arabia who was killed in a spot nearby in a similar accident.

The “Phantom Lorry of Cheshire” has been reported stalks the Hyde to Mottram  road. As far back as February 1930 the shadowy truck has been blamed for causing drivers to crash when they serve to avoid a suddenly appearing vehicle coming out of a side road that is not there upon inspection.

Between Blanford and Salisbury (Wiltshire) motorists are often shocked by a phantom wreckage by the side of the road with screams and groans of the crash victims. Other have said they have seen a ghostly-face of a man, felt the icy touch of a hand and even to have seen a severed bloody hand on the floor!

Elsewhere!

E8 Expressway, or the Karak Expressway in Kuala Lumpur suffers the report of being one of the most haunted roads in Malaysia. Many people report seeing strange creatures and Pontianak on the road.

“Uniondale Phantom Hitchhiker” is on the N9 Road in South Africa on the road between Uniondale and Willowmore, in the semi-desert of Karoo. A girl named Marie Charlotte Roux died in a road accident on that stretch of the N9, April 12th, 1968 (Good Friday)

Stockstill: We did something to the altitude.
Loft: What?
Stockstill: We’re still at 2,000 feet, right?
Loft: Hey — what’s happening here?

Eastern Air Lines, Flight 401 is famous due to the tragic accident that occurred, 29th December 1972. The crew did not see the deactivation of the autopilot during a troubleshoot with a malfunction on the landing gear indicator system, as a result 101 people lost their lives. 77 survived but of those 2 died shortly afterwards. It was the first crash of a wide-bodied aircraft and the deadliest in the USA, as it crashed into the Florida Everglades.

Bob Loft had been with the airline for over 30 years, the flight carried 163 passengers and 13 crew. Upon reaching Miami International Airport and all looked fine until first officer Stockstill noticed the green light for the landing gear was not showing and as it was possible the gear was not all the way down so they tried again to try but aborted it when no light arrived.  They flew out around the Everglades to try and resolve the problem, so the autopilot was put on and for 80 seconds they carried on with a level flight.

When it was noticed that they had already descended below, the initial message above is the one recovered from the flight recorder later on. The plane was travelling at 227 miles an hour when it hit the ground and broke up as it slid along the swamp ground.

A hero of the crash is Rob Marquis (Bud) who was in the swamp when the plane hit. He rushed to the scene and assisted with the rescue. His efforts gave him the Humanitarian Award and the Alumitec Airboat Hero Award. In 2007 he was awarded a plaque, but sadly the injuries that he had suffered also contributed to his death in 2008 (Rest in peace hero).

The swamp that they landed in helped to save the lives of some crash survivors as it lessened the impact on the plane, and blocked up some wounds.  Eight passengers were however infected with gas gangrene and hyperbaric chambers had to be found for them to ensure they could recover.

Of the survivors 60 received serious injuries, 17 had minor injuries and did not have to be hospitalised. The most common injuries included fractures and 14 of the survivors had varied degrees of burns.

I am going to leave the crash causes etc and move on to the reason I picked this for a post. Ghosts…

The plane had some salvageable parts and Flight 401’s parts were re-used amongst Eastern’s planes.  Reports had been made on planes amongst the fleet about sightings of the crew and passengers of the flight being aboard. Sightings of Don Repo and Bob Loft were so becoming a worrying problem, the company warned staff of dismissal if they were caught spreading the ghost stories.

It is worth noting that the sightings were only on planes with the salvaged parts too. Whilst the rumours were washed away by the company it is reported that all the parts were then removed and replaced. An original floorboard remains in the archives at History Miami in South Florida. Reports have since petered out.

the crash and a mention of the ghost story is mentioned in Series 5, Episode 9 of Air Crash Investigations.