During our researches into, and eventual solving of, the mystery behind the missing Malaysian Flight MH370 (detailed elsewhere on this site) we have located a recently-published chart showing the last-known locations of ‘large aircraft’ that have disappeared since 1948 (we intend to publish this chart on the site in the near future). Prompted by the information it contains, we decided to take a look at trying to locate the whereabouts of some of these missing planes and to post reports of our progress on the Merlindown site.
The purpose of this is twofold. First, and most importantly, it will show any friends and relatives of those who died on any of these flights that they have not been forgotten, regardless of how long ago their loved ones vanished. Secondly, it will introduce to you, the visitors to the Merlindown site, the methods we use to carry out searches of this type.
It will be appreciated that these searches are by no means guaranteed to be successful. That goes without saying. However, we will try as best we can to achieve our goals, keeping you informed of our progress along the way. Basically, this is an experiment to show you how Merlindown conducts a research project and how it progresses.
To commence our efforts to locate some of the lost historic flights, Merlindown is going to undertake a search for two RAF Avro Shackleton aircraft from the maritime patrol service, namely WL743 and WG531, which are thought to have collided and crashed into the southern Irish Sea on the 11th January 1955. The aircraft in question is broadly similar to the Avro Shackleton shown above. The reason we chose these aircraft is that they feature on the chart alluded to above depicting the last-known locations of ‘large aircraft’.
It may be that, in this case, we are unable to locate the wreckage, but on the other hand we may be successful. Much of this depends on the condition of the wreckage, this playing a key role in how difficult it would be to locate and actually identify parts of the aircraft. For example, if the aircraft impacted the sea from a great height, they would probably have broken up far more than if they had fallen from lower altitude.
However the search plays out, we will take you with us as we go and at each crucial stage you will be able to see what Merlindown can do and perhaps glimpse the sea floor in a way you’ve never seen it before.
The first thing we needed to do was to expand on the information given on the chart which showed only the last-known locations of the flights in question. We then needed to obtain contemporary evidence relating to the event, part of that evidence being a couple of newspaper articles, which are reproduced here to set the scene. These reports carried a great deal of useful information that may prove crucial.