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The 80-Year Mystery of the U.S. Navy’s ‘Ghost Blimp’


Still Waters
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Posted (IP: Staff) ·

It began as a routine surveillance mission in the early months of World War II and ended in a mystery that remains unsolved after eight decades.

At about 6 a.m. on August 16, 1942, the United States Navy blimp L-8 took off from a small airfield on Treasure Island, an artificial island built in San Francisco Bay for a recent world’s fair. On board were two men: Lieutenant Ernest DeWitt Cody and Ensign Charles Ellis Adams.

Five hours later, the L-8 crashed on a suburban street in nearby Daly City, California, scraping rooftops and dislodging power lines along the way. Local fire crews left a blaze in the nearby hills to rush to the site, put out any flames and try to rescue the blimp’s crew. But they quickly discovered there was no one to save. Both pilots had somehow vanished from their ship.

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/the-80-year-mystery-of-the-us-navys-ghost-blimp-180980531/

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Ive been intrigued since the 70s on this case I guess this one will always be unexplained and no i do not believe aliens or paranormal was involved.

There wasnt much BS or embellishment to peel away its a very straight forward mystery. These type cases are more intriguing the more people who are involved as its harder to explain each additional persons disappearance.

My guess and its speculative is the ine guy fell in the brink checking out the oil slick and the other guy feel in trying to help in perhaps in a panic, then they succumbed to the sea quickly i doubt they were captured by enemies.

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This is such a great story. Plenty of witnesses. Not out of sight of many people. Yet, a mystery.

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  • 2 months later...
Guest chiron613

This is one of those mysteries I like to find, where there are many witnesses to what happened.  It wasn't just the appearance of the blimp somewhere; many people saw its progress throughout its route.  Someone would have noticed if anyone fell out.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

In 1942, the abandoned U.S. Navy blimp, L-8, drifted into Daly City, Calif., where it crashed to a halt. The ensuing investigation found no crew members on board. Aside from the damage done by the accidental crash, the nonrigid dirigible was deemed in perfect condition (via Smithsonian Magazine). Although many witnesses saw the blimp's journey, nobody saw what happened to the crew and their parachutes were found still on board. Just five hours earlier, around 5:30 a.m., the craft took off from Treasure Island, located near San Francisco, with two crewmen on board (via SFGate). At around 7:38 a.m., one of the crewmen radioed to report a strange oil spill not far from Golden Gate Bridge. Witnesses spotted L-8 dropping flares to mark the oil spill before it sailed away.

When the ghostly dirigible was found, it was missing an anti-submarine depth charge and two life jackets. Witnesses later confirmed that the drifting balloon collided with a hill and lost one of its explosives by accident. Neither of the pilots -- LTJG Ernest DeWitt Cody and ENS Charles Ellis Adams (per U.S. Naval Institute (USNI)) -- were ever found. To this day, the mystery of L-8 has never fully been solved

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/why-the-ghost-blimp-of-1942-still-remains-a-mystery/ar-AA14iCvP?ocid=EMMX&cvid=62199b2f9dd940958f4273ff66c55ba6

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I wonder if the engines quit, the dirigible drifted close to the water, the crew jump out, and the lesser weight caused it to drift away and crash later.

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''Perhaps the most plausible explanation came from Watson. Besides being in command at the time, he had had years of experience with L-type aircraft.

Since the last message received from Cody was “am investigating oil slick,” the usual procedure would have been for co-pilot Adams to drop a smoke tracer to mark the spot. The L-8’s windows were small, and he might have gone back and opened the door.

Kneeling in the aperture, leaning out to make his throw accurate, he could have slipped, grabbed the side of the blimp, and shouted to Cody. The latter, hearing his mate’s cry, probably would have left the controls and rushed to offer assistance. Then, as Cody was trying to pull Adams aboard, he might have lost his balance at a moment when no one happened to be looking''.

https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1970/march/mystery-l-8

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On 11/20/2022 at 1:24 AM, Grim Reaper 6 said:

 

When the ghostly dirigible was found, it was missing an anti-submarine depth charge and two life jackets


Very interesting.

Life jackets taken,,,? It certainly looks like the two prepared to jump ship. Maybe the craft lost power and they two crewmen jumped out,
and with less weight, the ship went back up. Maybe. I don't think it's anything inexplicable, though.

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1 hour ago, Earl.Of.Trumps said:


Very interesting.

Life jackets taken,,,? It certainly looks like the two prepared to jump ship. Maybe the craft lost power and they two crewmen jumped out,
and with less weight, the ship went back up. Maybe. I don't think it's anything inexplicable, thoI also don’t think there is anything supernatural or Alien about this event, however it makes for a great mystery.

I don’t believe it has anything to do with Alien Abduction or the Supernatural. Here  is the US Navy investigation into the event.

 

The Mystery of the L-8: https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1970/march/mystery-l-8

On 8/17/2022 at 1:49 PM, the13bats said:

Ive been intrigued since the 70s on this case I guess this one will always be unexplained and no i do not believe aliens or paranormal was involved.

There wasnt much BS or embellishment to peel away its a very straight forward mystery. These type cases are more intriguing the more people who are involved as its harder to explain each additional persons disappearance.

My guess and its speculative is the ine guy fell in the brink checking out the oil slick and the other guy feel in trying to help in perhaps in a panic, then they succumbed to the sea quickly i doubt they were captured by enemies.

 

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On 11/20/2022 at 4:27 PM, MGB said:

I wonder if the engines quit, the dirigible drifted close to the water, the crew jump out, and the lesser weight caused it to drift away and crash later.

That’s a interesting idea, and basically it’s as good as any idea as any other, yet it doesn’t explain why the crew was never found. I think the crew saw a submarine, I also think they used their onboard depth charge to try and destroy it. But, for whatever reason they decided to jump  off and then they were Captured and taken aboard the Submarine.

‘Here is the Government report from the US Archive. https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1970/march/mystery-l-8

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2 hours ago, Grim Reaper 6 said:

That’s a interesting idea, and basically it’s as good as any idea as any other, yet it doesn’t explain why the crew was never found. I think the crew saw a submarine, I also think they used their onboard depth charge to try and destroy it. But, for whatever reason they decided to jump  off and then they were Captured and taken aboard the Submarine.

‘Here is the Government report from the US Archive. https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1970/march/mystery-l-8

That report sounds the best, but the yellow life jackets never found is puzzling.

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51 minutes ago, MGB said:

That report sounds the best, but the yellow life jackets never found is puzzling.

Yea I thought the information in the Government Report was also very good, but like you said it is strange that Yellow Life Jackets would just disappear.

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4 hours ago, Grim Reaper 6 said:

That’s a interesting idea, and basically it’s as good as any idea as any other, yet it doesn’t explain why the crew was never found. I think the crew saw a submarine, I also think they used their onboard depth charge to try and destroy it. But, for whatever reason they decided to jump  off and then they were Captured and taken aboard the Submarine.

‘Here is the Government report from the US Archive. https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/1970/march/mystery-l-8

Perhaps they bailed off thinking the airship would explode for whatever reason and that would include wearing the lifejacs

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On 11/21/2022 at 7:05 AM, DreadLordAvatar said:

100% alien abduction case.  

Based on what evidence?

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/22/2022 at 7:01 PM, Rlyeh said:

Based on what evidence?

Based on this.

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