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31/10/2009 – Halloween Haunting – The Haunting Of Flight 401!
As Halloween winds down, and ghost and ghouls come in from trick-or-treating to listen to ghost stories while chomping on their candy I’d like to bring this spooky holiday to a close with the story of a haunted flight…The Haunting of Eastern Air Lines Flight 401.
At 11:42:12pm (the same time I am posting this!) on December 29th 1972 Eastern Air Lines Flight 401, a Lockheed L-1011 (N310EA), crashed in the murky swamps of the Florida Everglades immediately killing 101 people, followed by two survivors dying shortly afterwards.
Following the crash investigation and the recovery of the destroyed aircraft, parts of the destroyed plane were refitted into another Eastern Air Lines L-1011 (N318EA)…then the haunting began!
Strange unexplainable events began occurring on flights operated by the Eastern L-1011 flying with parts from the Flight 401. The ghosts of Captain Bob Loft and Second Officer Don Repo began appearing…and appearing frequently.
These stories may seem like legend…but flight attendants, passengers and pilots have witnessed the ghosts of Captain Loft and Second Officer Don Repo.
Captain Loft would appear in the crew cabin or first class cabin on flights. During one well-documented incident a flight attendant had not noticed recognized a man sitting in first class and confronted him, receiving no reply, she then went to get the captain of the flight. The captain of the flight recognized Loft who immediately then immediately disappeared in front of more than a dozen witnesses.
Second Officer Repo was known to appear in the cockpit and galley, and appear generally concerned with the safety of the aircraft. Eastern Air Lines flight attendants reported the ghost of Repo repairing a faulty galley oven circuit as well as alerting the crew to a possibly fire hazard in one case and a hydraulic leak in another incident.
While Eastern Air Lines denied that the L-1011 flying with parts from Flight 401 was haunted, one of the company’s Vice Presidents found himself chatting with Captain Loft in the cockpit assuming he was the pilot in charge, until he recognized that he was speaking with the deceased Captain Loft. Upon addressing the ghost as Captain Loft, Loft vanished, with the incident being witnessed by not only the company executive, but the three flight deck crew members as well!
While Eastern Air Lines continued to deny any paranormal activity, suggesting its crews and employees seek psychiatric counseling…the company ordered that all the Flight 401 aircraft parts removed from the supposedly haunted L-1011. Once the parts from Flight 401 were removed, the ghosts were never seen again!
Below is a photo of the haunted Eastern Air Lines L-1011(N318EA)