This episode is frightening, unnerving even. It’s one of the worst aviation disasters in history, above Lake Michigan, in a lightning storm in the skies when a jetliner entered the fray, and minutes later, abruptly disappeared from radar. The radio contact just ended. Naturally, there was a significant alarm, and, everywhere the jet might have flown off course, lost in the storm, airline personnel searched for radio contact. Nobody knows what happened. It was just gone.
Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 2501 was a propliner operating a daily transcontinental service between New York, and Seattle, when it disappeared from radar on the night of June 23, 1950.
There was a virtual quest for the missing airplane, at first apparently down in the tempest over Lake Michigan. What was weird was that the debris proved just absent. It just wasn’t in the lake. The things that turned up were frightful – odd pieces of the airplane, and peculiar clothing and things, logical from the missing plane. What’s super mysterious is that there just was no significant wreckage, just the rain of horrible debris from the aircraft. The plane completely vanished. I would think, if lightning struck the plane, the whole thing would have gone down, and people searched and searched for it. If it somehow detonated in flight, why would little bits of the plane and its passengers have landed? If the plane somehow got vaporized, everything should have been destroyed. It is a terrible secret, and for a long time, trackers have looked and looked for more proof of what occurred and never tracked down it. There is not a really obvious reason.
A rock marker, given by Filbrandt Family Funeral Home, was set in Riverview Cemetery with 58 names of flight 2501 survivors and the expression “Gone yet Never Forgotten” in 2008.
Discovery Channel’s Expedition Unknown (season 8, episode 2) featured the crash, which aired on February 12, 2020.