The wreckage of a plane missing for 56 years has been found by fishermen in the Taiwan Strait, close to where the plane was to believed to have crashed, the China Times reports.
The plane, an amphibious PBY-5A nicknamed the “Blue Goose,” was carrying 11 U.S. servicemen and four Taiwanese civilian crew members when it crashed and mysteriously disappeared in October 1958. The plane lost contact in the Taiwan Strait’s 15-mile wide “no radar zone” while maintaining an altitude of 1,000 feet in order to avoid Chinese radar and was never heard from again.
The aircraft had been chartered by the U.S. military to ferry four U.S. servicemen and three Taiwanese commanders from the Matsu Islands to Taipei. At the time, the U.S. had been assisting the Taiwanese military in its conflict with China after the Chinese military bombed several islands surrounding Taiwan and threatened to invade.
After the disappearance of the “Blue Goose,” the conflict simmered down and the U.S. pulled out of the conflict. The U.S. initially joined the fight as part of its Cold War campaign to stop the spread of communism.
Rumors have swirled around the plane’s crash and disappearance, with many fearing that the soldiers had been forced to land the plane in China and had been taken prisoners. Some believed that it had been shot down or hijacked by the Chinese military. No evidence was found to support any of these rumors.
Although the discovery of the plane’s propeller ends the debate as to what happened to the plane and its crew, it doesn’t tell us why the plane went down or what occurred in the plane’s final moments.
The military investigation into the plane’s disappearance did not conclude as to what it was that brought the plane down, something we will never know.
Since 1948, close to 90 planes have disappeared, never to be heard from again.