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1940s / Glenn Miller Disappearance
Renowned band leader Glenn Miller's disappearance in 1944 has led to some interesting speculation. On December 15, 1944, Miller, a major in the U.S. Army, and two other military personnel departed from an RAF base in England in a small aircraft bound for Paris. Miller was scheduled to meet with his band and begin a concert tour for U.S troops in recently liberated areas of France. Miller's airplane never arrived. No wreckage nor any bodies were ever found. The prevailing wisdom is that bad weather over the English Channel caused the plane to crash into the sea killing all aboard. Two other possibilities have emerged: That same day a squadron of bombers destined for Germany had their mission aborted because of the inclement weather. Unable to return with their payload of explosives, the squadron was ordered to jettison their bombs into the English Channel. Years later one aviator claimed some of the discarded bombs accidentally caused a small aircraft flying below the squadron--which could have been Miller's--to crash into the sea. A more lurid tale claims Miller landed safely in France but died of a heart attack in a Parisian brothel. According to this yarn, Miller's seedy death was covered up by the military for propaganda reasons. This latter rumor circulated during the war and was given new life when the German tabloid Bild reprinted the brothel tale in 1997. Miller biographers consider that story to be sheer nonsense. They rightly ask, 'What became of Flight Officer John Morgan and Lt. Col. Norman F. Baessell (the other two men aboard Miller's plane) who also vanished?'