Mystery of more than half a century solved: a UFO theory and the plane that swallowed the mountain range

The mysterious disappearance of the Star Dust generated several conspiracy theories about UFOs. Photo: Infobae

The Star Dust disappeared from radar on August 2, 1947 amid various conspiracy theories. Almost 50 years later her remains were found on the Tupungato volcano in Chile.

On July 30, 1947, an Avro model 691 Lancastrian or Star Dust aircraft left London for Santiago de Chile. The flight had taken off with two passengers: Paul Simon, a British treasury agent, and Martha Limpert from Germany. In addition, the aircraft’s crew consisted of four people: the captain and war veteran, Reginald James Cook, the first officer, Donald Checklin, the co-pilot Norman Hilton, and the flight attendant, Iris Adams.

After more than 30 hours of flight over the sea, the plane landed at Morón Airport, in Buenos Aires, to refuel and continue its journey to the Chilean capital. Close to his destination, the captain contacted the Los Cerrillos aerodrome control tower to announce that he would land in four minutes, leaving a mysterious final word: “Stendec.” However, the plane never arrived.

To get to Santiago de Chile from Morón, the aircraft had to cross the Andes mountain range. Approaching the first mountains, the commander decided to climb from 3,000 meters above sea level to 7,000 to avoid a storm that had originated where the plane had to cross.

His mysterious disappearance and the uncertainty generated by the last word spoken by the captain generated a series of theories that involved UFOs, and that even some fans of the subject took as a clear sign of extraterrestrial contact.

Other hypotheses pointed to a terrorist attack or a political plot, because one of the crew members was a British official and at that time, the United Kingdom and Argentina did not have good diplomatic relations.

Finally, in 1998, a mountain guide named Pedro Reguera climbed the side of the Tupungato glacier where he found an object with a bright flash. Later excursions helped find the remains of the plane: a wheel, part of an engine and three bodies of the crew.

Montañitas who participated in the search for plane 691 Lancastrian in Chile. Photo: Infobae

Apparently, everything would have been generated by human error. In 1947 there was still little knowledge of the Jetstream, which are strong currents of air that can reach great speeds. Being at an altitude of 7,000 thousand meters, the captain flew believing that he was in the right direction and reported his arrival when he thought he had already passed the mountain range.

However, when descending, and without clear visibility, it crashed into the Tupungato volcano, which over the years revealed the remains of the fatal accident.