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Flight 19
C-54
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Bermuda Triangle Database       Flight 19        U.S.S. Cyclops

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As vast as it may seem, the Bermuda Triangle Database is only a fraction of Into The Bermuda Triangle, They Flew into Oblivion, A Passage to Oblivion and Distant Horizons.

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Missing Aircraft

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 Introduction

Maps

Missing Aircraft

Missing Ships

What is the
Bermuda Triangle?

MSQ
Flying Boxcar
B-25 N92877
Sting 27 1971

Cessna N8040L
Bob Corner
Saba Bank

   Two Year Crisis

   Introduction

1978
Fighting Tiger 524
Queen Air
Arrow III N47910
|Arrow N74801
Cherokee Six
Aero Comm.
Aztec N13986
Beech N4442
N407D 
Ted Smith N55BU

1979
Cessna 150 N60936
Cessna 172 N1GH
Piper N1435P
Musketeer
Aero Comm
Twin Bonanza

1980
Kallia III
s.s. Poet
N3808H
Baron 58 N9027Q

1982
Queen Air 65-B80
Navajo N777AA
Bonanza N5999

1983
Cessna 210
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1984
Cessna 402 N44NC

1985
Cessna 337D
Cherokee

1986
Navajo
Twin Otter

1987
Cessna 402C NZ652B

1990
Piper Flight Liner

1991
Cougar

1993
Cessna 152 N93261

1994
Aztec N6844Y
Cherokee

1996
Aero Comm.
 

1998
Archer N25626

1999
Aero Comm.
 

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Into the Blue: The Disappearance of NC16002

DC-3

The drone of the DC-3 liner is heard everyday in Florida, the Bahamas and the whole of the Caribbean. These classic beauties find a happy home in the geography of the southern Triangle, where many times commuter distances between islands are too short for big jumbo jets and on routes where the small island runways aren’t big enough. Island hopping is their duty. All over Florida’s tarmacs they can be seen, either awaiting charter tours, in pest control service, ready for skydiving, or impounded by the sheriffs for drug smuggling. Convairs, Martin 4-0-4s, DC-4s on up through DC-7s, and perhaps an old C-97 (the old Boeing 377 Stratocruiser) join their numbers in cargo service.

   The Douglas Dakota, or DC-3, is considered the most reliable aircraft ever built. More than 10,000 were built and hundreds remain in service today. During W.W.II and Korea, the C-47 (the same as the DC-3) was the main cargo transport and parachute plane. These same aircraft that dodged ack-ack, flew over Normandy, or supplied Berlin during the cold-war airlift, now show off the company logos of dozens of local charter airline companies and cargo lines. But their numbers are dwindling as smaller jets take over their duties.

     Disaster, of course, has struck, with all its ninefold— dead bodies, wreckage, floating momentos and schools of sharks swimming about. But it is not the spectacular wreckage and morbid scenes that attract my attention. It is the mystery of those that vanish and leave no trace whatsoever.

   Three of these airliners are known to have vanished in the Bermuda Triangle. All of them within 50 miles of the same location, near the Florida Keys.

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Specs

Length: 64 feet 5 inches

Wingspan: 95 feet

Capacity: 21-32 passengers

Max. Speed 237

Cruising Speed: 150

Range: 1,025 miles

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   The first, and most famous, was NC16002. This was an airliner for Airborne Transport of Miami. With a full compliment of passengers, and crew (31 persons aboard) it was only 20 minutes from its destination of Miami. It was a crisp, clear winter tropic night on December 28, 1948. The pilot, Bob Linquist, radioed he was 50 miles south and just beginning his approach. However, nothing was ever heard from him again. It was still dark on that early morning. There was plenty of opportunity for anybody in the Keys to both see or hear an explosion in the sky— the most logical excuse for sudden destruction. The shallow waters around the Keys easily aid in identifying an aircraft silhouette below. But an intensive search did not find a thing.

     The following is what is known about the flight before it vanished. It is based on the Civil Aeronautic Board Report: Airborne Transport, December 28, 1948, Miami, Florida.

     NC16002 (the registration of this DC-3) landed at San Juan International Airport, Puerto, Rico, at 7:40 p.m. the night of the 27th en route from Miami. Stewardess Mary Burkes deplaned the passengers while copilot, Ernest Hill, went over the routine checks.

     Robert Linquist informed the local repair crew that the landing light did not come on to indicate the landing gear was locked. The repair crew discovered the batteries to be low on water and refilled them. However, they said it would take several hours to recharge the batteries to optimum level. Linquist didn’t want to wait that long, so he said he would recharge them in flight.

     Everything seemed OK now. Linquist declared the plane in good working order at 8:30 p.m. and filed a Flight Plan back to Miami. However, more battery trouble ensued. While this was being checked into, Mary Burkes boarded the 28 passengers for the return trip. Everything else checked out all right, so Linquist taxied to the end of runway 27. The lack of two way radio contact quickly held him at the end of the tarmac. There was another annoying wait until the head of Puerto Rican Transport drove to the plane. Linquist told him they were receiving properly, but that the transmitter, due to the low batteries, was not sending. Linquist agreed to stay close to San Juan until the batteries were recharged and he could make two-way contact.

   At 10:03 p.m. NC16002 was finally airborne. After 11 minutes of circling the city, CAA at San Juan was able to receive a message from Linquist. He was now departing San Juan for Miami. The airliner broke its circling pattern and headed out over the ocean. As they droned out to sea, the string of lights of San Juan’s streets, those of the industrial center and those floodlights illuminating the historic castle of El Morro, quickly faded behind them.

     The weather was perfect, a balmy tropic night.

     After this the aircraft passed in and out of what seemed like radio voids. CAA tried to contact Linquist again, but could not get a response. Only an hour or so after takeoff, at 11:23 p.m., Overseas Foreign Air Route Traffic Control Center at Miami heard a routine transmission, in which Linquist stated they were at 8,300 feet and gave his ETA at 4:03. a.m. His message placed the flight about 700 miles away from Miami.

     As with many other disappearances in the Triangle, this is one example of where a distant point of reception— in this case, Miami— overheard the messages, but a much closer station like San Juan could not reach the plane. This cannot be blamed on the transmitter or batteries.

     Subsequent transmissions were heard sporadically. All seemed to be routine. Linquist next reported himself 50 miles south of Miami. The same strange radio quirks replayed themselves here. Linquist was not heard by Miami, but was overheard by New Orleans 600 miles away, who in turn informed Miami.

     The weather around Miami was perfect: clear with a slight headwind, a warm tropic Yule time. There seems no explanation for the disappearance of this aircraft and all those on board. There was only about 20 minutes left in the flight. So whatever it was it struck quickly and was completely destructive.

   In trying to explain the mystery some have opted for the conventional, blaming Linquist’s transmitter problems. They believe he may not have received the wind direction change that was broadcast from Miami at 12:15 a.m. This change was from the northwest to northeast. Without this information, over the allotted time of their flight, Linquist and Hill would have been blown 40 to 50 miles south of their course. Therefore they could have been far off course and subsequently got lost, ran out of fuel, and ditched with nobody surviving.

     This is an easy theory. However, one must remember that Linquist stated he had trouble transmitting, not receiving. Nevertheless, since he stated he was 50 miles south of Miami, he probably had not received the weather update. Yet, apparently, he knew where he was since the location he broadcast tallies with the approximate distance he should have been blown off his course. This can be explained by an astral fix. The weather was perfect; there was no difficulty in Linquist obtaining an astral fix on his own to determine position. Linquist most probably was where he said he was.

   Then there is the fuel factor. He really must have been running short of fuel by this time. There wasn’t much time or space in which he could get lost. The only explanation for the disappearance was that NC16002 vanished extremely quickly from causes unknown, just as we have seen in so many others.

     What could have done this? This is just another example of a plane that, seemingly, was disintegrated close to land. No trace could be found in the shallow water. No wreckage, bodies. No mayday was picked up by anybody. No crash was seen in the Everglades, and to this day 65 years later no trace has ever come of an unknown DC-3 in the Glades, around the Ten Thousand Islands, or in the Bahamas (and I personally have enough local contacts who are aware of what one looks like).    

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Videos: The first one shows a badly disintegrated wreck in the Bahamas; the other shows a fairly intact ditched C-47 (wartime Army DC-3) off Turkey.

The first book in 25 years. The primer for a new generation.

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         500 Leagues of Sea

500 Leagues of Sea
Bermuda
Miami
The Bahamas
Andros & The Tongue
Exumas
Eleuthera & More!
San Juan
The Sargasso Sea
Sea of Expanding Shapes
Somewhere Between
Through the Electronic Fog
Fantastic Journey
The Eye

The “Lost Squadron”

Disappearance of Flight 19
The Real Flight of Flight 19
The PBM Mariner
Views of the Okefenokee

Flights of Fancy

Bad Navigation?
Flight DUI
A 6th Avenger?
Through the Hoaxing Glass

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Bermuda Triangle Database
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Swiftly to follow:

C-54
Star Tiger
Samkey
DC-3 NC16002
Star Ariel

The Classics

Navy Super Constellation
Southern Districts
Martin Marlin
C-133 Cargomaster
Marine Sulphur Queen
2 KC-135 Stratotankers
C-119 Flying Boxcar

Distant Horizons

The USS Cyclops
Ellen Austin
Carroll A. Derring
Gloria Colita

Minor Classics

3 in a Week
Great Isaac’s
Carolyn Coscio
Saba Bank

1970s Triangle Fever

Ray Smithers and the Voice
The Philadelphia Experiment

The “Eyewitness”
The Scientist
The Promoters

Debunking Debunkery

 

Rebirth

My Research
Missing Aircraft
List
Missing Vessels
List

Out of the Past
Oddities & Enigmas
The Enigma of Specter
First Reactions

 

 

 

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