On November the 23rd, 1944, a British Royal Air Force antiaircraft unit were going about their daily chores at a base near Belgium when one of the men noticed an approaching aircraft.
The army workers stopped and watched as this huge aircraft started to descend towards them…and release it’s landing gear…
There May be Trouble Ahead…
The men below automatically assumed that the crew on board this flying army fortress must be in some sort of trouble. The landing gear was showing and they were descending at a rapid rate.
It looked very much like this plane needed to make some sort of emergency landing.
But the soldiers were very worried – there were no reports of a inbound ally plane for that day so what exactly was approaching them?
They setup for the emergency landing but also made sure they were fully equipped with their weapons – they had no idea where this plane was coming from?
The plane eventually managed to land but it was not what you’d call a ‘stylish landing’ – the plane danced and bounced off the ground but managed to eventually pull up in one piece.
The soldiers stood at the ready – weapons in hand, waiting for the pilots to get out of the plane…but no one did.
After about 15 minutes of standing around scratching their heads, the men decided to board the plane to find out what shape the crew were in.
They half expected to find the crew critically injured over even dead…but not a soul was on board the large aircraft.
All over the plane, there were signs that a crew had been on board, but had left in a bit of a hurry. Army kit was left all over the place along with half eaten chocolate bars and various beverages.
When they got to the fuselage they were shocked to find a dozen parachutes neatly wrapped and ready for clipping on.
They then located the log book for the plane and took note that the last words written down were ‘bad flak’.
An official army investigation was launched straight away – whatever happened to the crew of this phantom flight?
The investigation looked into the aircraft’s serial number and discovered that the plane was part of the 91st Bombardment Group. This group had been scheduled to bomb oil refineries in Germany.
Eventually all of the crew members that had been on board the plane were accounted for – they were all alive.
The crew stated that when they were on their refinery mission the plane began to malfunction in an unexplained way. They were left with no choice other than to split from the rest of the group.
Without warning, they were suddenly hit by an extreme hail of enemy gunfire, which also managed to strike their bomb bay.
There was a huge flash as if one of the plane’s bombs went off – the men knew that the plane was now in serious trouble.
They changed their course and directed the plane towards Brussels, Belgium – there was no way this injured flying machine was going to make it back to Britain.
When both the plane’s engines failed the crew knew the game was up – they abandoned the lifeless aircraft.
But when the plane eventually landed in Belgium the engines were in perfect working order, and there was no sign of any damage from enemy fire.
All the crew’s parachutes and jackets were still on the B-17 – how did they manage to abandon the plane?
How did this plane manage to heal itself in mid-flight and land?
What was behind the phantom enemy fire and explosions?
How did the plane eventually manage to land at it’s exact destination…with nobody on board to guide it?
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