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The Ghost of Flight 401: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: The Ghost of Flight 401

Author: John G Fuller

Publisher: Corgi Books

Format: ebook, print

Genre: Horror, nonfiction

Publication Date: 1979

Star Rating: 5/5

I don’t often stray into nonfiction within the horror genre, but The Ghost of Flight 401 by John G Fuller made me think that perhaps I should.

Flight 401 went down in the Everglades of Florida back in December 1972. Due to the cushioning effect of the water-soaked land, a surprising number of the passengers and cabin crew survived. However, all the flight crew died.

The usual lessons were learnt from the crash, which was attributed to a mixture of pilot error and design issues that were addressed afterwards.

Everyone could agree that the particular type of plane was safe to continue flying. Passengers and flight crew loved flying on these big jumbo jets for their comfort and quiet environment.

Not long after the Flight 401 crash, cabin crew and sometimes even flight crew and passengers saw ghostly figures later identified as the captain Bob Loft and the second officer Don Repo on other Eastern Airline flights.

The plane itself had been destroyed by the crash, but some parts had been salvaged and reused. These were non-structural parts such as electronics, which after being carefully tested were found to be fit for use and were installed on other Eastern Airlines planes.

It seemed as if the ghosts of Bob Loft and Don Repo were going with the reused parts onto their new homes on other planes. Some of the flight crew and cabin crew were very unnerved by these apparitions.

Reports emerged of crews leaving the planes concerned and refusing to go back onboard. However, there was also a feeling that the ghosts were good ghosts who just wanted to keep people safe.

John G Fuller’s starting point for The Ghost of Flight 401 was one of extreme scepticism about the supernatural. One of the things I liked most about this book was that the author’s negativity towards the existence of ghosts is severely tested by the writing process.

There were lengthy descriptions of the crash, the rescue operation and the analysis of what went wrong. These were all fascinating, but The Ghost of Flight 401 really came into its own when John G Fuller began to investigate the ghostly sightings.

Flight and cabin crew alike were understandably reluctant to speak to a journalist, although it was apparent that they shared no such reticence when discussing it between themselves. In fact, John G Fuller originally heard of the story while flying on an SAS flight in Scandinavia.

The author was a determined character with years of experience in researching stories that no one wanted to be told. One of his earlier books, We Almost Lost Detroit, was about safety in nuclear power stations. Gradually, his wiles and charm worked around some of those involved and he begins to establish exactly what had happened.

The Ghost of Flight 401 was fascinating. It was rigorous in its tone and research style. It connected with the tragic loss experienced by the relatives of the injured and the dead. It was full of compassion for the flight crew and for those members of the cabin crew who were killed or seriously injured.

I hope you've enjoyed my review of The Ghost of Flight 401 by John G Fuller.

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John C Adams Reviews The Ghost of Flight 401

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