Eastern Airlines Flight 401 (Crash; UL; Ghost Of Flight 401 Book; Movie)

Lord Lucan

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Feb 17, 2017
Messages
4,087
This is a great case, a great story too as aircraft don't have quite the superstitious or spooky goings on that ships do. Never had anything paranormal happen to me on a flight however, which I suppose IS a good thing.
On a slightly different aside, flying into Helsinki, Finland, we were greeted by this sign:
welcometohel.jpg


A few days later flying to Singapore we found ourselves flying from HEL to SIN. We did survive despite our plane ( a new Airbus A350 ) being struck by lightning on it's inbound flight from Seoul to Helsinki.

helsin.jpg
 

escargot

Disciple of Marduk
Joined
Aug 24, 2001
Messages
38,631
Location
HM The Tower of London
This is a great case, a great story too as aircraft don't have quite the superstitious or spooky goings on that ships do. Never had anything paranormal happen to me on a flight however, which I suppose IS a good thing.
On a slightly different aside, flying into Helsinki, Finland, we were greeted by this sign:

A few days later flying to Singapore we found ourselves flying from HEL to SIN. We did survive despite our plane ( a new Airbus A350 ) being struck by lightning on it's inbound flight from Seoul to Helsinki.

Wasn't there a tongue in cheek 'superstition flight' a few years ago, where a Flight 13 took off on Friday 13th at 13:13 for or from HEL?
Or maybe it was a real flight and the numbers just stood out, or I've imagined it.
 

RaM

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Mar 12, 2015
Messages
2,835
Location
NW UK
I'd love to know a bit more about this casual aside...

It's a good few years back but we got the tanks from a aircraft beaker on top of a dam great hill near Buxton
or there about, they were 250 gall tanks bolted a frame between the two and added a deck ending up with
a handy little dive boat, the tanks have a mechanical contents gauge in the nose so as long as you get a pair
you can check if you have a leak at a glance it went well even with a small outboard, all good fun as they say.
The beaker was run by one guy or at least I only ever saw one, but he had about 20 fax machines buzzing
away, he had things like radios for Dakotas and cylinder heads, piles of Canberra stuff, 2 complete Wessex
helicopters had just arrived, a interesting place but I bet it's long gone now.
 

Coal

The Ultimate Skepticus
Joined
Jun 27, 2015
Messages
9,072
It's a good few years back but we got the tanks from a aircraft beaker on top of a dam great hill near Buxton
or there about, they were 250 gall tanks bolted a frame between the two and added a deck ending up with
a handy little dive boat, the tanks have a mechanical contents gauge in the nose so as long as you get a pair
you can check if you have a leak at a glance it went well even with a small outboard, all good fun as they say.
The beaker was run by one guy or at least I only ever saw one, but he had about 20 fax machines buzzing
away, he had things like radios for Dakotas and cylinder heads, piles of Canberra stuff, 2 complete Wessex
helicopters had just arrived, a interesting place but I bet it's long gone now.
Great stuff, thank you!
 

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
2,626
Location
Earth
A most famous ghost story from 1972 which I am sure today no one would know about was the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 into the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972.

This story was made into books, TV shows, and a movie.

It turns out a bad switch told the crew the landing gears were not down which was not true.

The crew accidentally turned off the autopilot searching the problem and flew into the Everglades and crashed.

Eastern used the crashed parts on other L-1011 planes, and then all the ghosts started to appear on these planes.

The ghosts only stopped when these salvaged parts were removed.

This was the first wide body plane crash and it stayed in the news for a long time.
 

Eponastill

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Aug 2, 2002
Messages
1,055
Location
generally on the fringes
They removed parts from a crashed plane and put them into other planes?? Looking at photos of that plane it wouldn't be the obvious thing to try... there don't seem to be many bits to salvage?! Well it sounds intriguing, thank you CharlieBrown. Something else to distract me from lockdown fever.
 

charliebrown

Justified & Ancient
Joined
Nov 2, 2020
Messages
2,626
Location
Earth
The soft swamp allowed 75 people to survive out of 173, and the swamp allowed some of the plane’s structures to remain intact.

After these parts were reused, passengers on the planes with reused parts found themselves sitting next to the dead

pilot and dead co-pilot.

Stewardess found ghosts In food galleries that had the recycled parts from the crashed plane, and ghost passengers from flight 401 and were walking down the length of the plane.

After an outcry, Eastern Airline removed the recycled parts

This was a good one to study Eponastill.
 

Naughty_Felid

kneesy earsy nosey
Joined
Mar 11, 2008
Messages
8,897
A most famous ghost story from 1972 which I am sure today no one would know about was the crash of Eastern Airlines Flight 401 into the Florida Everglades on December 29, 1972.

This story was made into books, TV shows, and a movie.

It turns out a bad switch told the crew the landing gears were not down which was not true.

The crew accidentally turned off the autopilot searching the problem and flew into the Everglades and crashed.

Eastern used the crashed parts on other L-1011 planes, and then all the ghosts started to appear on these planes.

The ghosts only stopped when these salvaged parts were removed.

This was the first wide body plane crash and it stayed in the news for a long time.
They removed parts from a crashed plane and put them into other planes?? Looking at photos of that plane it wouldn't be the obvious thing to try... there don't seem to be many bits to salvage?! Well it sounds intriguing, thank you CharlieBrown. Something else to distract me from lockdown fever.

It's been debunked. I read Fuller's book and a little while later thought "wait a minute..." Then had a hunt.

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4563
 

MrRING

Android Futureman
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,559
It's been debunked. I read Fuller's book and a little while later thought "wait a minute..." Then had a hunt.

https://skeptoid.com/episodes/4563
I'm not entirely convinced by this piece of (to my mind) pedestrian skepticism. Just as incidents could be slanted in one direction for Fuller's interpretation, it seems this article slants in the other direction of skepticism.

Part of the "debunk" evidence is that Fuller sulied his credibility by writing about UFO's, includng the Betty & Barney Hill case. I guess for a skeptic that marks one as unstable, but to me it shows that somebody is a writer. For the skeptic writing this article, just participating in this Forteana Forum might be enough to be thrown into the "crazy crank" category.

Another part of the debunk is Serling's book on the history of Eastern Airlines, written by somebody who is making a real-world account of what happened there. The fact that somebody interested in such a history, talking to various spokesmen for the company, would angle their investigation to connect dots of various pieces into a one-off joke that became a UL seems like exactly the conclusion that such a writer would bring to such a book.

Evidence of wreckage site photos is used as evidence that there was nothing to salvage. But as pointed out earlier in this thread, that doesn't show everything that was there, nor does it prove that parts weren't used in other planes. My understanding of airplane crash investigations is that often the plane parts are carted to a building large enough to assemble the remains in rough order. The salvageable parts could have been identified at that time. It may not have been the whole oven, but just a portion of it. The same for any of the other parts taken. To actually prove or disprove parts from Eastern 401 were used, we'd need to access the maintenance manuals and inventories of the airplanes, if they exist, not look at the crash photos and say "yeah, they couldn't use any of that mess". The Pull-A-Part of wrecked cars that I pass every day going to and from work is a testament to the fact that wrecked machinery is most definitely used. I would be interested to read exactly how the book says they know that no parts were used, not just the skeptical summary, which tries to imply that they had written proof that no parts were used, but all they really do is talk about the 'self-evident truth' that no parts were reusable from the photos.

I think there could be much more research done on this still intriguing to me case.

The full TV movie from back in the day:
 
Last edited:

MrRING

Android Futureman
Joined
Aug 7, 2002
Messages
5,559
This write-up at a Florida newspaper covers both the initial tale and the skeptical angle, but adds a little bit at the end:
https://www.floridatoday.com/story/news/2020/10/21/ghost-flight-401/3715665001/
Jay Repo believed. Repo, one of four siblings, was a teenager when his father’s plane dropped into the Everglades. He told me in 1997 there were too many coincidences.

Jay Repo said his father came to him even on his own wedding night. As he and his new bride entered their sparkling-clean room at a Miami hotel, one they hadn’t told anyone they’d chosen, they opened the empty closet. On the floor was a pair of plastic Eastern Airlines wings.
This write-up has some interesting points too:
https://confessionsofatrolleydolly.com/2012/10/31/the-ghosts-of-flight-401/

Specifically this:
So far the majority of the reports of spooky goings on and ghostly sightings had been swiftly swept under the carpet by Eastern. What airline would want passengers thinking that their aircraft were haunted by dead flight crew who perished on the pride of their fleet? Although the airline had point blankly refused to believe the spooky stories, the sightings were all reported to the independent Flight Safety Foundation, who later commented “The reports were given by experienced and trustworthy pilots and crew. We consider them significant”. Eastern went on to warn employees that they could face dismissal if they were caught spreading the ghost stories.
If this is true, then wouldn't the Flight Safety Foundation have records of the reported sightings? They do still exist:
https://flightsafety.org/
A quick glance didn't reveal anything, but it could be that it is old enough that such reports only exist as print materials and would need to be researched. But it is another place of inquiry that could back up either that something happened (if the reports of sightings were made at the time) or more evidence of writing a ripping yarn (no reports were actually ever filed with the Flight Safety Foundation).
 
Top