Agatha Christie and the missing airplane

Agatha ChristieJust because I haven’t blogged about the missing airplane doesn’t mean I haven’t been thinking about it.  As it is, with no data, I have nothing to say, except….

Okay, this is a pretty random observation, but as the story unfolded and it appeared that the plane might have been spirited away, I kept thinking to myself, “This sounds like something I’ve read before.”  I finally figured out last night why it was familiar.

Back in 1954 (the same year in which she sat for the portrait, above), Agatha Christie first published Destination Unknown.  The premise was that important scientists from all over the world had been vanishing.  When the wife of one of those vanished scientists died in an accident, a young woman who resembled that dead wife was substituted in her place, in the hope that she would help British and American law enforcement solve the mystery.  I’m not giving too much away when I say that the first phase in a group’s “vanishing” was a faked airplane crash.

In the case of the book, those in the faked crash lived.  Here, if the plane was indeed hijacked by evil forces, I suspect that almost three hundred people were summarily executed in cold blood, which is somehow a thought even more appalling than thinking about them dying in an actual plane crash.

Again, though, I’m avoiding any substantive writing about the missing plane because there seems so little to say (although it does strike me as strange that, in a world monitored constantly by satellites, something can vanish so completely).  Today’s evidence could just as easily point to alien abduction as to terrorist hijacking or mechanical failures and abnormalities.  If I had to bet, though, I’d say hijacking and, if I were forced to bet more, I’d say Islamist-related hijacking, with some terrible denouement still to unfold.