The missing Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 passengers and crew has been on the news over the last few days. It is hard to believe that a huge commercial airplane — in this day and age, with our radars, satellites and modern technology — can just disappear without a trace.
In 1962, during clear weather and calm seas, a flight originating from a Northern California U.S. Air Force base and destined for Vietnam also went missing, while en route from Guam to the Philippines to refuel. The 5-year-old Lockheed L-1049 (Flying Tiger Line) plane carried 93 U.S. Army Rangers, 3 Vietnamese nationals, 11 civilians, and 3 military passengers.
The Lockheed plane crew did not issue distress signals after it left Guam, headed for Clark Air Base in Angeles City, Philippines. And despite a search by the U.S. military covering over 200,000 square miles (520,000 square km), it was never seen or heard from again, disappearing without a trace.
But that was over 50 years ago, and our technology makes the world a smaller place now. It does not seem possible that in 2014, a plane can simply disappear…
An international search effort to find the missing Malaysia Airlines plane is ongoing, including help from the U.S. Navy and countries neighboring Malaysia (Southeast Asia).