9 Passenger Planes That Have Gone Missing Without Explanation
9 Passenger Planes That Have Gone Missing Without Explanation

The search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 (MH370), which went missing somewhere between Malaysia and Vietnam on March 8 at 2:40 a.m., local time, continues.

If the search for the Boeing 777-200ER aircraft yields no further results, it won’t be the first time in history a passenger plane has vanished from existence with little or no trace.

Here are nine missing passenger planes whose whereabouts to this day remain a mystery.


1. Hawaii Clipper (Pan Am), July 28, 1938

Martin M-130 similar to the ‘Hawaii Clipper’. (Wikimedia Commons)

Plane type: Martin M-130 (NC14714)

Passengers: 6

Crew: 9

Hawaii Clipper, a Martin flying boat, was due to cross the Pacific Ocean from Guam to the Philippines.

The plane left Guam at 6:00 p.m. CST, and last contact was made at 10:03 p.m. CST.

The pilot reported over the radio that he was 565 miles from the Philippine coast, and was flying through “layers of clouds and moderately rough air.”

Eerily similar to the current Malaysian Airline case, a “thick oil area” was found on the ocean surface where the plane was suppose to have gone missing.

The search proved fruitless, and it was called off on Aug. 5, 1938.

The Hawaii Clipper‘s disappearance was the worst Pacific Ocean airline accident at that time.

There is a website devoted to the missing plane.


2. Hannibal (Imperial Airways), March 1, 1940

Handley Page HP.42E similar to the ‘Hannibal’. (Wikimedia Commons)

Plane Type: Handley Page HP.42E (G-AAGX)

Passengers: 4

Crew: 4

Hannibal departed from Jiwani Airport, Pakistan, and was due for Sharjah Airport, United Arab Emirates.

The plane vanished without a trace over the Gulf of Oman.

The last radio message, sent when the plane was 40 miles out to sea, was “… OS….” Oddly, given what the message seems to suggest, it was not taken to be a distress signal.

It was reported on March 21, 1940 that the search was abandoned.

There is a cloak of mystery surrounding the Hannibal’s disappearance. The plane was carrying high ranking government and military personal, and vanished when World War II was unfolding, making it a prime target for war-time conspiracy theories.

There is also a website devoted to the plane’s disappearance.


3. G-AGLX (British Overseas Airways Corporation), March 23, 1946

Avro 691 Lancastrian 1 similar to the one the disappeared. (Wikimedia Commons)

Plane type: Avro 691 Lancastrian 1

Passengers: 5

Crew: 5

The G-AGLX, which was operated by Qantas, departed from Colombo, Sri Lanka, and was headed for Cocos Islands Airport, Cocos (Keeling) Islands.

The plane vanished while en-route to Australia.


  • Richard M

    And TWA 800. A bullship explanation is no explanation!

    • HessenBalkan

      Which one was that? Sounds familiar.

      • rg9rts

        The one that blew up on takeoff from JFK

        • HessenBalkan

          Hmm yes I remember that one, went right down in the water. What came out of that investigation? I don’t remember.

          • Richard M

            The investigation was a coverup. The ridiculous conclusion of the “investigation” was that sparks from frayed wiring flew into the planes fuel tank causing it to explode.

            Hundreds of eyewitnesses saw a missile impact the plane.

          • HessenBalkan

            I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a cover up. Often after many years suddenly the truth comes out…maybe through a whistleblower or something like that.
            For a while I’ve dug into incidences in Germany and Austria, labeled as terrorist attacks or just accidents. Viewing/reading all about it, listening to eye witnesses that the police had no interest in, it makes you often wonder if our own governments maybe had some interests to let these incidences happen.
            It’s hard for me to explain here in writing exactly what I mean…ones the language issue and then the complexity of some of the events.
            Anyway I must admit I don’t trust any government very much.

          • Richard M

            Another airliner shotdown and covered up was the Itavia 870 shootdown in 1980.

          • HessenBalkan

            I just read up on that one too, yes I agree, sounds like it was shot down and then for whatever reasons covered up.

× close