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The Disappearance Of Flight 19 | Atlas Of Cursed Places

This is actually the
lead ship of Flight 19. Wow! The exact same plane
as this is Flight 19. Yes. The final word to
the men on Flight 19 have been studied
and pored over. Every sentence and word
analyzed, in depth, by the Navy’s after action report. And then of course, re-analyzed
by armchair historians and hacky curse TV shows. Walk me through it. What happened to Flight 19? What’s the deal? TERRY RUSH: It was a training
flight for navigation training, believe it or not. So we just got back from
the Sapona, which we dove on. That was their target. So we know they dropped
their bombs on the Sapona. TERRY RUSH: Correct. What was their
path after that? TERRY RUSH: Due east. Due east. For another 60, 70 miles. OK. Then make a turn to
the north, northwest. What happened? It’s a big
mystery to this day. Right. Nobody knows exactly
what happened to them. Nobody knows, but
there are theories. Colleen Sterling is the LeBron
James of aviation probability analysis. You maybe didn’t know there
was a LeBron James of that. After two years of searching
for Air France Flight 447, Colleen was brought in
as part of a small team to reanalyze the data. They found the wreckage
in less than five days. COLLEEN STERLING:
The first thing we did is looked at the 500
page Navy report that came out. The communications, all the
radar hits that they had, and we wrote a chronology. The key transmissions,
everything is map based, right? Right. COLLEEN STERLING: So I’ll put
like where they launched from and the time. And then I’ll draw the line
where they were supposed to go. And then I can calculate with
the wind and their heading, how long it should
have taken them to get to their first turn point.
– Uh-huh. COLLEEN STERLING: I thought
about that first turn point and then I said,
well, where could they have gone from there? They were trying to go
back to the northwest, but the wind was blowing
them and they may have not made the turn sharp enough and
might have got significantly blown to a different heading. Powers. What is your compass
reading, Powers? I don’t know where we are. Must have gotten lost
after that last turn. NT-28, this is FT-74,
what is your trouble? Oh, both my compasses are
out and I’m trying to find Fort Lauderdale, Florida. So this is the compass here. TERRY RUSH: That’s
the magnetic compass. That’s the magnetic compass. So he would be looking at this.
What else would he look at? TERRY RUSH: He would look
at that and then he’d– down on his instrument panel,
you have what’s called the gyrocompass here. That you set this with this
knob to agree with this. To agree with– to that. TERRY RUSH: This bounces around. Sure. TERRY RUSH: That
one is very stable. COLLEEN STERLING: Taylor,
who’s the flight lead, was talking about the
compass didn’t look right. He started to get confused. Don’t they know
they have to get back? COLLEEN STERLING: Taylor
thought that they needed to fly to the northeast
because he thought they were over the Florida Keys. How did you think– COLLEEN STERLING: It’s
very hard to imagine him getting that lost. He didn’t seem to have his
wits about him on this flight. Then you hear them
arguing on the radio. It’s really sad. But– We’ve just passed
over a small island and we have no
other land in sight. Turn on your
emergency IFF gear. Or do you have it on? IFF gear was off. I’m turning it on now. What’s IFF gear? TERRY RUSH: IFF, that’s an
acronym for Identification, Friend or Foe. OK. TERRY RUSH: Right here, for
example, see this says 1,200. And then IFF, they would have
given him a code to squawk. To put as friend. TERRY RUSH: Put in
there and it would be picked up on their radar. He didn’t have it on. He didn’t have it on. Should he have had it on? Especially if I want help
in finding out where I am. Right. FT-28 to [inaudible] [inaudible] 3, one of the planes in the flight
thinks if we went 270 degrees, we could hit land. TERRY RUSH: 270,
that’s due west. Somebody with a decent compass
or somebody else is like, hey we just go 270. We’re going to hit
land eventually. TERRY RUSH: To get to
their bombing target, they flew due east.
– Right. TERRY RUSH: Well just fly due
west and it’d take you back– [interposing voices] TERRY RUSH: –where
you came from. Yeah, right. We’ll hit land some point. TERRY RUSH: Yeah. FT-28 all planes
in flight, change course to 0 90 for 1 minute. So now they’re going– TERRY RUSH: Back east again.
– Powers. Back east again. And if we just fly
west, we would get home. Hold it. Head west. [inaudible] COLLEEN STERLING: Powers, who is
the ranking guy on the flight, he kept saying we
need to go west. Right. COLLEEN STERLING:
And then it gets corroborated with a radar track
that came from the Solomons aircraft carrier. And where did that see them? COLLEEN STERLING:
The radar track showed aircraft going south. Huh. COLLEEN STERLING: Over land. There’s a good
chance that it could be somewhere in this
mid-peninsula, east coast of Florida region. So that wouldn’t
surprise you at all. COLLEEN STERLING: No. The model supports that. Wow. We are now flying 270 degrees. We will fly 270 degrees
until we hit the beach or run out of gas. [dramatic music] And now they know they’re
in trouble because it’s like– TERRY RUSH: They’re out of time. They’re going
to run out of gas. TERRY RUSH: Yeah. And they just don’t have
a clue where they are. When the first plane
drops below 10 gallons, we all go down together. Everyone understand that? [dramatic music]
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