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Modern Mysteries

The case of the 1942 'ghost blimp' L-8 still remains a mystery 80 years on

By T.K. Randall
November 20, 2022 · Comment icon 17 comments

A photo taken of L-8 after its crew had disappeared. Image Credit: US National Archives
In August 1942, an airship disappeared, then reappeared again a few hours later with all of its crew missing.
The blimp, designated L-8, was a United States Navy L-class airship which took off from Treasure Island, San Francisco, California and promptly disappeared over the ocean near Fort Funston.

When it reappeared again a few hours later, however, something was wrong - the airship was acting as though nobody was in control and a short time afterward it came down south of San Francisco.

Upon investigating the crash site, investigators discovered to their surprise that there was no trace whatsoever of the two crew members who had been on-board when the blimp had taken off.

Even stranger still was the fact that the parachutes and emergency raft were all accounted for and the airship's radio systems were all functioning, meaning that if there had been a problem, neither of the crew members had made any attempt to signal for assistance.
What's more, there was no evidence of any damage or mishap that might have befallen the airship.

It seemed as though the crew had jumped out over the ocean for no apparent reason.

An extensive search and investigation into the incident ultimately yielded no explanation and no trace of the two crewmen was ever found.

Even today, 80 years on, what happened to them remains a total mystery.

Source: MSN / Grudge | Comments (17)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #8 Posted by Earl.Of.Trumps 1 year ago
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.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 1 year ago
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:  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 1 year ago
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.
Comment icon #11 Posted by MGB 1 year ago
That report sounds the best, but the yellow life jackets never found is puzzling.
Comment icon #12 Posted by Grim Reaper 6 1 year ago
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.
Comment icon #13 Posted by the13bats 1 year ago
Perhaps they bailed off thinking the airship would explode for whatever reason and that would include wearing the lifejacs
Comment icon #14 Posted by Rlyeh 1 year ago
Based on what evidence?
Comment icon #15 Posted by ThereWeAreThen 1 year ago
Based on this.
Comment icon #16 Posted by TripGun 1 year ago
Precursor to the Philadelphia Experiment
Comment icon #17 Posted by Leveller 1 year ago
From the Naval investigation report: "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. Their bodies, hurtling from a height of some 300 feet, would have sunk at once, so badly broken that they would never have returned to the surface." I am no expert but I struggle with thi... [More]

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