The most beautiful experience that we will have is the mysterious. It’s a fundamental emotion that stands at the cradle of true art and true science. – Einstein

Our world is unfolding and revealing itself, every moment and it’s the wonders of the world that fascinate us, hidden either in deep rocks or within old buildings or in the flow of time, some can be comprehended and others just remain unexplained. The unexplained ones are given the name of a mystery whether be it fictional or a thriller; but what if it is a scientific one? We cannot imagine science without logic and that’s why scientific mysteries mostly fascinate us. And what if the mystery is about time?

In our childhood, Japanese cartoons used to make our days and most famous of it was ‘Doraemon’ and that I was a lover of this show especially for the time machine. I used to wonder, “Is time-travel really possible?” This made me curious and I went through a few old books and news which presented me with a shocking mystery of time travel. 

What was that mystery of time travel?

  • It was July 2, 1955Pan American Flight 914 made its way from New York to Miami, Florida. It was a fine sunny day, and 4 crew members and 57 passengers on board the plane were looking forward to see the nice and cozy beaches and palm trees of Florida.
  •  The plane took off without trouble, but 3 hours later, when it should have already at the destination airport, it was nowhere to be seen. 
  • When air traffic control connected with the New York tower, they got a perplexing reply: Flight 914 just disappeared from the radars in mid-air.
  • Also, air traffic control could not get through to the pilots with the radio and everything indicated that the plane was lost.
  • Although the case was never solved, there was an official statement that the plane crashed, taking the lives of everyone on board.

After 37 years…..

  • It was September 9, 1992, and passengers on board were in Caracas, Venezuela. It was a perfectly normal day for Juan de la Corte, an air traffic controller at the Caracas airport.
  • Seemingly out of nowhere, a new dot appeared on radar. It seemed as if an aircraft had just popped up from nothingness or as if it had been hiding from the radar and now decided to appear.
  • In less than 10 minutes, the flight showed up in the field of vision. At first, it looked to the air traffic control as an ordinary airplane, but as it got closer, they found it to be very old a DC-4 McDonnell Douglas passenger aircraft.
  • The actual confusion started when the pilot of the mysterious aircraft contacted the tower and asked in English, “Where are we?”
  • According to the pilot, his flight was scheduled to land at the Miami airport at 9.55 am on July 2, 1955, and it was time for the tower to fall into silence.
  • Ground units were immediately called in order to assist the plane and the passengers, and it landed without trouble. Having relaxed a bit, Juan finally decided to ask something that bothered him. “Do you know today is May 21, 1992?”
  • Juan heard the flight captain’s panic voice saying, “No! Stay away! We are leaving now!” And indeed he started the engines again and, without waiting for take-off clearance, taxied the plane to the runaway.
  • The plane was seen in the air for some time after which it disappeared forever!!

By this time, the readers must have been shaken for sure.

The validity of the incident

It was not until 1985 (7 years before the plane returned), the news of the lost plane was first published in a newspaper and also there were some more copies that were published with some modifications. Moreover, after 37 years when the plane returned, it was claimed that the published photo of Juan de la Corte did not match with the original one. Due to these controversies, some claim that the news is not true but others believe in it; but such news of lost passengers cannot come out without anything happening. Also, after doing some research on this news, I came to know that there was some evidence as proof to support the news and they are going to make you dumbstruck-

  • The voice recording of the pilot of the missing plane and the air traffic controller Juan de la Corte.
  • The calendar of the year 1955 was found from the spot by the ground unit members and it was assumed to have fallen from someone inside the plane.

There was also a great deal of confusion regarding the calendar and also some exaggerations were made even to the extent that after the plane landed on Caracas airport, the passengers were looking with wonder outside the window and there was no sign of aging on their face.

Keeping aside all exaggerations, I believe in the original news otherwise fake news cannot reach to such extents. I think it was considered fake by some because science could not explain it.

Questions that were never answered which made the incident a mystery

Now, a hell lot of questions are hammering the minds of the readers and it is very obvious. I too had many questions when I learned of the news and the questions haunted me for nights for seeking answers-

  • Let us suppose that the news of returning after 37 years is a fake one for some who did not believe. So, when the plane disappeared from the signals, it means something happened to it maybe it got crashed. Whatever be the reason but there must have been some traces after that like broken parts of the plane or dead bodies, but to our surprise, there was neither any trace of the plane nor of the passengers and in the pace of time the case was closed when nothing was found during the investigation. So, where did the plane suddenly disappeared?
  • We could have consolidated ourselves by thinking that it could be the fault of the investigation team in gathering useful information but it is not that easy to shake it off. What about the returning of the plane after 37 years (and we cannot really consider it fake one when we have the evidence in hand)?
  • Where was the plane with all its passengers for 37 years?
  • If the plane did not land for 37 years then how can the plane fly in the air for 37 years with the limited fuel and without being noticed?
  • If they were remaining in a hidden place then how did they survive without food and water?
  • Why the pilot made such suspicious statements when the ground unit members were approaching him?
  • The final and the biggest question, “Where did the plane finally go in a hurry from Caracas airport without knowledge of it till date?”

Is there any explanation for this incident of time-travel?

Actually, the readers have become puzzled up by now and madness will reach its height if we think of it any more but it is our human nature to seek answers. I will not leave this mystery open-ended for the readers to gather explanation but I will rather make it easy for the readers to comprehend.

I have a personal understanding and comprehension of this incident.

  • According to Einstein’s ‘general theory of relativity’, time is not at the same rate in all frames rather it varies with mass. In simple words, time goes slowly in space because of the influence of heavy masses of celestial objects (like the sun or other planets) than the time on Earth. According to Hindu mythological references, one moment (‘Ek muhurta’) in ‘Brahma Lok’ (the place of God Brahma) can be equivalent to years on Earth; which is indeed explaining Einstein’s Theory. 
  • Now, in order to experience time-travel, we need to go in the future, i.e., we need to travel a long time in a short-time-interval. Now let us suppose two points A and B where A is our present place and B is our future destination. In order to travel from A to B, it takes 2 hours by walking and 30 minutes by car. That means, we are reaching future destination faster if we travel by a vehicle, i.e., 90 minutes prior. So, it is not just impossible to travel in the future but we just need to widen our views in order to understand the fact and it is possible if we consider a small time-span rather than considering years.
  • But, till now we do not have such high-speed vehicles that can travel faster than Earth’s rotation rate and there are many difficulties in such construction according to Einstein’s mass-energy equivalence but without going into such complications it is just that till now traveling into future (in order of years) is not possible.
  • That’s why some considered it fake and others considered it to be a conspiracy.

To conclude, it is not possible for us to know what actually happened to that plane but something odd or paranormal might have had happened to it otherwise there would have been some traces. Maybe that it got stuck in time-loop or something which has no explanation till now. Whatever be the reason we all are curious to know it but the truth is such unsolved mysteries fascinate us till they remain ‘a mystery’!

By Sohini Biswas, Kolkata

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