|On June 29, 1968, Jerrold Potter and his wife Carrie climbed on board a DC-3 plane flying from Kankakee, Illinois to Dallas, Texas, to attend a Lion's Club convention. Potter was a 54-year-old insurance executive whose home background was secure and happy. The plane was north of Rolla, Missouri, when Potter stood up to go to the lavatory. On the way there he stopped to chat to James Schive, president of the Ottowa, Illinois, Lion's Club.|
A few minutes after Potter had vanished into the lavatory, the plane shuddered slightly as if going through an air pocket but there were no more bumps. But Schive, sitting towards the back of the plane, noticed that when the plane quivered there was a rush of air.
After ten minutes or so, Mrs Potter began to wonder where her husband was and asked a stewardess to check the lavatory. The lavatory was empty but the rear door of the plane proved to be slightly ajar. And a piece of safety chain, which held it closed, was on the ground. The pilot had also noticed a warning light that a door was open and sent his co-pilot to check. He met the stewardess who had just found the door ajar.
Jerrold Potter had undoubtedly vanished from the plane by way of the rear door. Yet the event was still a total mystery. To begin with, the exit door had a warning in large white letters on a red background, 'Do not open in flight.' The door was secured with a heavy handle that had to be turned a full circle to release two huge bolts. In fact, the door was too heavy for the stewardesses to open and members of the crew always had to help. Yet Potter was a happy family man who had no reason to commit suicide. Why did he do it? For it must undoubtedly have been Potter himself who opened the door.
The plane had been flying over the Ozark Mountains when Potter disappeared and the body was never found.
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