For Halloween, a collection of weird tales about airports and aircraft.
- By Rebecca Maksel
- AirSpaceMag.com, October 25, 2011
Ghost in the machine: In 2006, Flight Global reported that “A classic example of an aircraft haunting is that of an Avro Lincoln bomber at the UK’s Cosford Aerospace Museum. Investigations followed sightings of an apparition in and around the Lincoln, and perplexing sounds—some of which were apparently recorded during an overnight vigil inside the aircraft by a BBC reporter and a paranormal investigator.”
According to this video clip, the staff of the museum started the rumor in an effort to increase visitor numbers. In the late 1970s, staff learned that the Avro Lincoln was to be transferred to a museum in Manchester. “The star of the museum should always remain there,” says engineer Richard Carside in the video. “And when we found out [the aircraft] was going to be moved to Manchester, we were horrified.” The engineering team came up with a plan to prevent the transfer: They invented a ghost, “Pete the Poltergeist.” “The more people who actually came to see the aircraft at Cosford,” continues Carside, “the more chance the aircraft had of staying here.” By 1981 the engineering team’s efforts had paid off; the aircraft would stay at Cosford.
Even though the prank was over, things took a strange turn when paranormal investigator Ivan Spenceley claimed that sounds recorded inside the aircraft “were later identified by ex-Lincoln crews as typical of those that would be caused by flightcrews either going through pre-flight checks or during a flight.”