At the time of this publishing, only 70 out of the 162 people on board AirAsia’s Flight QZ8501 have been recovered. It’s still a mystery as to how the flight went down when it disappeared on the Sunday morning of December 28th, 2014. Java Sea Indonesia Search and Rescue are still working to find more bodies, but hopes are fading rapidly. There’s been a lot of unsolved and other mysterious aviation disasters throughout history; such as multiple disappearances in the Bermuda Triangle and Amelia Earhart. Let’s take a look at the top 15 most mysterious aviation disasters in our history.
On March 24th, 1968, all 61 passengers and crew died while flying from Cork to London. An investigation into the crash eventually led to belief that an experimental British missile caused the devastation. However, after two years, there never was a true cause linked to the disaster.
Immediately after the crash, rescue efforts couldn’t find any wreckage; however wreckage was found the following day. The plane was scattered across six nautical miles. 14 bodies were rescued but there were no survivors. The majority of passengers were Irish, but there were a few Americans on board. The unique aspect of this crash is that, unlike most airlines that would discontinue the use of a flight number, Aer Lingus still uses Flight 712 today.
All 230 passengers and crew died in the third-deadliest aviation accident in US territory back on July 17th, 1996. Air traffic control in the New York and Long Island area received reports that the plane exploded into a ball of fire and dropped into the Atlantic Ocean near East Moriches, New York. Two separate investigations took place by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Investigations were triggered by the suspicion that there was criminal activity on the flight.
The FBI closed their investigation within 16 months citing not enough evidence, but it took the NTSB much longer to reach the conclusion that the highest probability of cause was a short circuit that triggered an explosion in the fuel tank. Investigators determined that there were no preflight faults such as mechanical damage and that a missile did not hit Flight 800.