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Morse key
Solve the Mystery of STENDEC

As the NOVA program "Vanished!" makes clear, modern science has answered most of the questions surrounding the 1947 crash of the civilian aircraft Stardust in the Andes east of Santiago, Chile. Yet one mystery remains: STENDEC, the final enigmatic Morse-code message sent by Stardust's radio operator just before the plane went down. For more than half a century, experienced radio operators, Morse code enthusiasts, relatives of the 11 passengers and crew members who perished in the crash, and others have tried to find a meaning for STENDEC. But to date, no theory has emerged as the unequivocal explanation.

Below we offer a summary of STENDEC theories, a primer on Morse code, the official 1947 accident report, and the theories of readers who responded in the week following the initial broadcast on January 30, 2001. Use these to take a stab at solving STENDEC yourself.

        STENDEC Theories
        Tapping into Morse Code
        1947 Official Accident Report
        Readers' Theories

Solve the Mystery of STENDEC | Mysterious Plane Crashes
Reading the Wreckage | Inside the Jet Stream | Resources
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