Transcribed from Eugene Register-Guard, Eugene, OR, March 19, 1962, p. 4:

Ship Reports Bright Flash

 

Manila (AP) — A report of a mysterious flash of light in the sky increased suspicion Monday that the American chartered military transport plan [sic] which vanished five night [sic] ago blew up and was possibly sabotaged.

U.S. officials said a “bright light strong enough to light” a ship’s decks was sighted by a Liberian tanker in the western Pacific along the scheduled route of the missing Flying Tiger Super Constellation bound for South Viet Nam with 107 persons aboard.

A spokesman at rescue headquarters in Guam said, “With the search in its fourth day, more credence is given to the possibility that the tanker may have seen the missing aircraft explode in flight.”

An official of the Flying Tiger line, which operated the plane, said if investigation reveals the plane blew up, it would strengthen previous suspicions of sabotage.

Sighted by Tanker

Frank B. Lynoff, executive vice president in charge of operations, said experts consider it impossible for a violent explosion to occur about its Super Constellations under normal conditions.

The tanker T. L. Linzen said it sighted the bright lights in the sky early Friday morning — about 90 minutes after the plane made its last report.

The Super Constellation was last heard from about 10:30 p.m. Thursday, 270 miles west of Guam, and gave no hint of anything amiss.

The missing four-engined plane, whose passengers included 93 U.S. Rangers en route to South Viet Nam to help in the fight against Communist Viet Cong guerillas [sic], was en route from Guam to the Philippines.

Mattress Picked Up

A search ship was reported Monday to have picked up an air mattress in the general area of the Pacific where the airliner last radioed its position.

Reports from Guam said the minesweeper Gallant found the mattress while patrolling the ocean as part of the vast air-sea hunt for the constellation, missing since Thursday.

The Join Rescue Co-ordination Center at Guam said the mattress was 42 miles southeast of a position where the Liberian freighter reported sighting falling red lights.

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