Welcome to the companion Web site to "Vanished!," originally broadcast on
January 30, 2001. The program investigates the mysterious disappearance—and,
half a century later, reappearance—of Stardust, a civilian aircraft
that crashed in the Andes in 1947. Here's what you'll find online:
Plus Resources and a Teacher's Guide.
- Solve the Mystery of STENDEC
Minutes or perhaps even moments before Stardust slammed into Mount Tupangato, its radio operator sent a final, enigmatic message in Morse code: "STENDEC." For over 50 years, no one has been able to satisfactorily explain its meaning. Can you?
- Mysterious Plane Crashes
Questions as to what really happened have attended aircraft accidents ever since Orville Wright crashed a plane in Fort Meyer, Virginia in 1908, killing his copilot. This timeline reviews a number of accidents—from Wright's to that of Egypt Air 990—around which questions still linger like a dank mist.
- Reading the Wreckage
How do air-crash experts go about interpreting a wreck site? What should they do differently with a plane crash that took place over 50 years in the past? In this interview, Dave King, a Principal Inspector at England's Air Accidents Investigation Branch, offers insights.
- Inside the Jet Stream (Hot Science)
When flying high, the jet stream either works for you or, as Stardust's ill-fated crew discovered too late, against you. This interactive feature shows you why.
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