The Missing P40 Airplane
// December 27th, 2012 // Lost Objects
On December 8, 1942, over a year after the attack on Pearl Harbor, radar in the United States picked up an unusual reading. What appeared to be an airplane was heading for American soil from the direction of Japan. Radar operators knew this bore none of the usual markings of some sort of aerial attack. The sky was overcast, it was late evening, and no prior attack had occurred in these types of conditions.
Two American pilots were sent to intercept the mysterious plane. As they approached the plane they radioed back to the ground to report that the aircraft was a P-40 and bore markings that had not been used since the attack on Pearl Harbor. When they pulled up alongside the craft they were shocked to find a bullet-riddled plane with landing gear blown away. Puzzled as to how a plane in this condition could even fly, they noticed the pilot was slumped in the cockpit, his flight suit stained with fresh blood. As they peered into the window the pilot raised slightly, turned in their direction, and smiled offering a meek wave towards his two allies. Moments later the mysterious craft plummeted from the sky smashing into the ground with a deafening roar.
Evidence at the Crash Site
American troops swarmed the crash site but found no trace of the pilot or evidence of who he may have been. Neither did they find identifiable markings from the plane. But, they did find a document which was assumed to be the remains of some sort of diary. From this diary, researchers were able to deduce that the plane must have originated from the island of Mindanao, located about 1,300 miles away. The rest of the story is a mystery.
Some speculated that the craft may have been downed over a year earlier and the pilot managed to survive on his own in the wild. He could have possible scavenged parts from other downed aircraft, repaired his airplane, and managed to somehow navigate his way back to his homeland over 1000 miles of hostile territory. What they could not explain, is how the heavy P-40 aircraft could have ever taken off without the aid of any sort of landing gear.
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