April 24, 2017 2:24 pm
By

Screaming ghosts have been seen running from the tarmac onto the grass as if they were still trying to escape the burning plane all these years later…

The Tenerife airport disaster took place on March 27, 1977 in the Canaries, a Spanish-held archipelago off the coast of Morocco. It is the deadliest aviation disaster in history, claiming 583 lives (9/11 has a higher death-toll but was a result of deliberate sabotage and has hence never been classed an “accident”).

Reports of haunting at Los Rodeos are rife, and it is unsurprising as this catastrophe was an almost unfathomably horrific event for the victims and the survivors.

In the first of a bizarre series of ironies that characterise this disaster, history’s worst aircraft accident happened on the ground, not in the air…and at an airport neither plane was supposed to be at in the first place. Both were getting ready to depart after an unscheduled layover at Los Rodeos airport when the disaster occurred. The planes had been diverted from Las Palmas, where they were originally scheduled to touch down, due to a terrorist attack on Las Palmas airport by Canary island separatists.

Here are pictures of the planes waiting to leave Los Rodeos airport just hours before the catastrophe… eerie, right?


The KLM Boeing 747 loaded with 234 passengers took off without clearance and smashed into Pan Am during take-off…

(If you want to know why, get author OJ Modjeska’s new book on the topic…link at the bottom of this page…)

In the moments immediately leading up to the accident, a thick fog descended onto the runway. KLM could not see that Pan Am was still on the runway, nor could Pan Am see the KLM jet. The airport had no ground radar and the controllers similarly could not verify the position of the two jets on the ground.

Having reached V1 speed, that is the speed at which it is too late to abort a take-off, KLM finally saw Pan Am slewing across the runway through the fog. Captain Jacob Van Zanten tried to leap frog over Pan Am but he didn’t quite make it…

Some simulations of the lead up and the moment of impact (nobody actually witnessed it, due to the fog…)

Artist’s recreation of the moment of impact…

All aboard KLM were killed instantly. There were seventy survivors on the Pan Am jet. They escaped by jumping off the port-wing of the plane, because the starboard side of the fuselage was quickly consumed by fire…

Passengers crawling away from the burning wreckage of the Pan Am jet…

The KLM jet was briefly airborne after hitting the Pan Am, but the impact had severed its hydraulic lines. It immediately stalled and collapsed on the tarmac. The KLM was carrying a full tank of fuel and on impact with the ground it was instantly consumed by fire. Anyone who had lived was instantly incinerated. Barely anything recognisable remained of the KLM jet after the crash…

The captain of the KLM was the airline’s star pilot and his face featured in KLM’s brochures and advertising materials. This is a picture of the brochure that was available on board the ill-fated KLM jumbo…

Eve Meyer, an almost unfeasibly buxom pin-up girl popular in the forties, was on board the Pan Am and was killed. She was at that time 48 years old.

Why did the accident happen? Get the book to find out the full story…

But in short, the catastrophe was the result of an almost inconceivable chain of bad luck…

In the years since, aviation enthusiasts and the general public alike have been fascinated and haunted by the astonishingly unlikely coincidences that needed to line up for this tragic accident to occur. This accident spawned the “Swiss Cheese Model” of disaster causation theory, which proposes that the worst disasters often occur when several independent and seemingly unrelated risk factors occur concurrently in space/time… in an unfortunate alignment of the “holes in the cheese”…

Author OJ Modjeska writes…

“There’s bad luck and misfortune in life… but then, there’s what happened that afternoon. Unsurprisingly, enthusiasts of conspiracy and the paranormal are amongst those who have attempted to develop their own explanations for this crash, the freakish details of which on so many levels seem to fly in the face of logical interpretation. They wonder, as we all do, just how it was that such an extremely unfortunate chain of incidents could come together in one place and time, with such a devastating outcome…”

Reports of haunting and sightings of ghosts at Los Rodeos airport are rife…

A website entitled “Paranormal activity at Los Rodeos” cites testimony of several airport workers who have reported seeing screaming ghosts trying to jump from actual, working planes on the runway. They have also described seeing passenger’s ghosts running from the tarmac around the accident site onto the grass, as if they were still trying to escape the burning Pan Am jet years and years later.

A former pilot has this tale to tell: “one guy I regularly flew with (until quite recently) spent considerable time flying in and out of Tenerife…[he] was adamant that the spirits of the long departed would discriminately appear in large numbers on the Tenerife tarmac. He claims that he’s delayed two takeoffs because of what he thought were figures on the runway waving their hands as if to warn departing aircraft of impending danger.

Want to know more? The book Gone: Catastrophe in Paradise is now available on Amazon for 99c

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING…

“An amazing story, extraordinarily told…”

“I couldn’t put it down…”

“Modjeska’s skill as a writer kept the pages turning…”

“Wow, is this a story…”

“An amazing experience and well worth the read…”

About the author: OJ Modjeska is a criminologist, historian, blogger and author. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a PhD in Modern American History in 2004, and received her Graduate Diploma in Criminology from Sydney Law School in 2015. In 2015 she was awarded the JH McClemens Memorial Prize by Sydney Law School for her scholarship in criminology. Before pursuing a writing career she worked for many years as a legal writer and editor. OJ runs a blog about narcissism, psychopathy, politics and culture. She writes books of narrative non-fiction true crime and disaster analysis. Her books are suspenseful narratives which draw on her insights and expertise into history, criminal behaviour and psychology. British crime author Pat McDonald writes: “fascinating reading and exceptional writing”.

Facebook: facebook.com/ojmodjeska

Blog: ojmodjeska.blogspot.com.au

hmb-authors-logo

Do YOU want to write for HMB?

Get started today by signing-up and submitting an article HERE

BECOME AN AUTHOR

Categorised in:

This post was written by OJ Modjeska