5 planes that have mysteriously vanished into thin air

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    Crews continued combing the Indian Ocean on Wednesday for any signs of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, which disappeared more than four days ago.

    The jetliner carrying 239 people was en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

    While it seems incredible that a commercial airplane could simply vanish, this isn’t the first time it’s happened. Far from it.

    Here are five of the strangest aviation-related crashes and disappearances the world has known:

    SEE ALSO: List of famous singers who died in plane crashes

    1. Amelia Earhart

    A mysterious plane crash was Amelia Earhart.

    Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, is seen in this undated photo. (AP Photo)

    The first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart disappeared during an attempt to fly around the world in 1937.

    She and navigator Fred Noonan were last heard from near Howland Island in the central Pacific Ocean.

    In her last known transmission at 8:43 a.m. on July 2, Earhart broadcast “We are on the line 157 337. We will repeat this message. We will repeat this on 6210 kilocycles. Wait.”

    But nothing more was heard from the American aviation pioneer.

    No definitive wreckage has ever been found.

    2. Flight 19

    Flight 19 adds on to plane crash mysteries.

    U.S. Navy aircraft Flight 19 disappeared after departing from Fort Lauderdale, Fla. (Wikimedia Commons)

    On Dec. 5, 1945, five U.S. Navy aircraft disappeared during a training flight in what would spark the legend of the Bermuda Triangle.

    The 14 airmen, led by experienced instructor Charles Taylor, took off from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in sunny conditions.

    But an hour and a half into their flight, they reported they had become disorientated and couldn’t recognize the landmarks below them. Taylor told the Naval Air Station via radio that his compasses had stopped working.

    The weather deteriorated, and it’s presumed the pilots made forced landings in the water. No trace of the aircraft was found.

    What’s even weirder is that one of the planes sent to look for them also disappeared.

    3. Glenn Miller

    Glenn Miller disappeared while traveling on a plane; still remains a mystery.

    Nobody knows what happened to Glenn Miller’s plane; he is still considered “missing in action.” (Wikimedia Commons)

    Glenn Miller, a legendary big-band leader, was on his way to entertain U.S. troops in France when his airplane disappeared over the English Channel in 1944.

    The single-engine UC-64 Norseman departed from a Royal Air Force base north of Bedford, England, on Dec. 15 and was never heard from again.

    No trace of the crew, passengers or aircraft has ever been found.

    Miller left behind his wife and two adopted children. His status remains “missing in action,” as seen in the photo above.

    4. EgyptAir Flight 990

    Another plane crash mystery is EgyptAir Flight 990,

    The flight data recorder from EgyptAir Flight 990 is seen Wednesday, Nov. 10, 1999, during a news conference at the National Transportation Safety Board in Washington. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)

    Heading to Cairo via New York, EgyptAir Flight 990 crashed into the Atlantic Ocean south of Massachusetts in 1999, killing all 217 people onboard.

    There are two very different theories as to why it crashed.

    The National Transportation Safety Board found co-pilot Gamil el-Batouty at fault, alleging he had committed suicide for unknown reasons by nosediving the plane into the water below.

    But the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority blamed the crash on the mechanical failure of the plane’s elevator control system.

    Even stranger are the cockpit voice recordings recovered from the wreckage, in which el-Batouty is heard softly saying “I rely on God” after the captain had left to use the bathroom.

    He repeated the phrase at least seven more times, switching off the engines before the plane pitched downward.

    5. Air France Flight 447

    Air France flight 447 is known as the deadliest crash in Air France's history.

    Brazilian Air Force personnel carry a body recovered during search operations of the missing Air France flight 447, in Fernando de Noronha island, off the northeast coast of Brazil, Thursday, June 11, 2009. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)

    This Airbus A330 disappeared over the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 while carrying 228 passengers and crew from Rio de Janeiro to Paris.

    The final crash report suggested ice crystals had obstructed tubes in the aircraft, causing the autopilot to disconnect.

    Crew members tried to recover control, but the aircraft plunged into the waters below. The official report suggested human error was a contributing factor.

    It took five days for crews to even find the wreckage and another three years to determine the crash’s cause. Most of the bodies were recovered in the months that followed, but 74 passengers were never found.

    It became known as the deadliest crash in Air France’s history.

    SEE ALSO: The 28 deportees who died in an airplane crash in 1948

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