File this under nightmare come true. A brand new civilian plane carrying 50 people has disappeared in the Indonesian mountains and has yet to be found. The Russian-made aircraft was on a "Welcome Asia" tour, its parent company trying to attract buyers and media coverage. The plane was supposed to take a quick 50-minute jaunt to impress the journalists and the potential Indonesian investors, but after just 21 minutes, the plane dropped 3,000 feet, then disappeared into the mountainside. As of now, it hasn't been found. If this isn't the absolute worst thing that could happen to during a new plane's promotional tour, I don't know what is.
The aircraft was carrying mainly aviation experts and reporters, so my hope is that with all their minds combined, the plane landed safely somewhere and everyone's patiently waiting to be found. It's too difficult to think about the alternative, let alone the plot of Lost, or the fact that just yesterday analysis of a "UFO abducting a plane" was brought to light.
TV show and alien references aside, this story is beyond catastrophic, and what makes this whole thing even more bizarre is the fact that residents in the mountains didn't hear anything. There were some reports of people seeing the plane, but no one heard a crash, or an explosion, or anything, really, that would lead them to believe that a jet had just collided with the range. The Salak mountain is big, but one would assume that if a plane large enough to hold 100 people smashed into the earth, someone would hear it.
You may remember that AirFrance flight 447 that went missing on its way from Rio de Janeiro to Paris -- it crashed into the Atlantic in 2009, but wasn't found until 2011. Granted, an ocean and a mountain range are two very different things, but I hope for everyone's sake it doesn't take that long to locate the missing plane, and the missing people.
What do you think?
Photo of Mount Salak via a_rabin/Flickr