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Varig PP-VLU (B707 Cargo) Still Missing Since 1979  
User currently offlineVarigB707 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 16 hours ago) and read 18541 times:

Ok, this was a cargo from NRT to GIG. It disappeared over the Pacific, some 30 minutes after take-off.
This flight had aproximately 153 paintings. All worth 1.24 Mill.
Does anybody have any info? I know, it's pretty old but, maybe someone out there would know something...
Sorry if this is has been posted before.

38 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 1, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18247 times:

There are many, but many interesting stories about this issue and some of them are strange, not to say bizarre.
The most noticed on that and it is still around some airport corridors till now is related to a big international "complô".

Some sources say that this aircraft had in command Captain Gilberto, who was the same RG captain was on board the B707 that crashed near ORY. I am not sure but I think it was PP-VLZ.
The story says that RG was contracted by US/Japan Government do operate a charter flight between Japan and US to bring some important military equipment and RG was chosen not to call attention of international spy, specially KGB at the time.
The shipment was declared as famous art paintings estimated in a big amount of money.
But the plans were discovered by KGB and KGB made an offer ( really big $$$) to captain Gilberto, to divert the flight in the middle of the Pacific, bringing the aircraft down to a certain altitude where radars could lot locate the aircraft. These plans also included cap. Gilberto to kill the rest of the flight crew during the flight before his actions.
The aircraft landed somewhere (island) in the Pacific, the cargo picked up by the Russians, the aircraft totally destroyed. Cap. Gilberto had a big plastic surgery and disappeared without trace with all his money. He left behind all his family, friends, etc...and would be monitored by intl. spy not to enter in contact with any known people, otherwise he was going to be killed.

This is what I heard about this issue. Don´t ask me if this is true or not but in this world we live I don´t doubt. Specially if you start to thing that this story, the most fantastic it could be, it really would be possible to happen.


User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 2, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18234 times:

WOW!! I never heard anything about this. If any of you could post some links to websites with more information that would be greatly appreciated.
Obrigado:
LPLAspotter



Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
User currently offlineJj From Algeria, joined Jun 2001, 1227 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18214 times:

I second LPLAspotter's request! Please! if anyone can provide further info I'd apreciate it... never heard of this story!

User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8958 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18196 times:

I don't know anything else about the flight, but out of curiosity, the aircraft was being flown by the same captain of flight 820 that crash landed off ORY in 1973, 5km before the runway after attempting to return for an emergency landing.

Cheers



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineMauriceB From Netherlands, joined Aug 2004, 2490 posts, RR: 25
Reply 5, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18178 times:

If there were really paintings on board, i guess it isn't 1,24 milion worth anymore  Wink

User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 6, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 18150 times:

Can assure that here in Brazil, many airline people know this story (specially those who are in the industry for a long time).

Quoting LPLAspotter (Reply 2):
WOW!! I never heard anything about this. If any of you could post some links to websites with more information that would be greatly appreciated.
Obrigado:

There is book in many Brazilian book stores about this flight. The book if fictitious but who is the industry know it is the same flight we are talking about. It is in Portuguese and it won´t be difficult for you to read it.

Try to look at www.saraiva.com.br or www.livrariacultura.com.br and you can buy it if you find there.


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 7, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18083 times:

Quoting JJMNGR (Reply 1):
The aircraft landed somewhere (island) in the Pacific, the cargo picked up by the Russians, the aircraft totally destroyed

It's an interesting story, but this part doesn't work. There is no Pacific island with a runway capable of handling a loaded B707 where it could land unobserved. Besides, if there was any truth to the Russian involvement, why not just fly to Russia? The island is a romantic twist, but an unlikely complication to any espionage effort.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineLVTMB From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 391 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18046 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
after attempting to return for an emergency landing

I believe ORY was its destination. It had departed GIG. It was not returning.

MB


User currently offlinePPVRA From Brazil, joined Nov 2004, 8958 posts, RR: 40
Reply 9, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 18022 times:

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
I don't know anything else about the flight, but out of curiosity, the aircraft was being flown by the same captain of flight 820 that crash landed off ORY in 1973, 5km before the runway after attempting to return for an emergency landing.

Cheers

Oops I had to quickly post this and leave... didn't see the other posts when I first read the topic. My bad.

Quoting LVTMB (Reply 8):
Quoting PPVRA (Reply 4):
after attempting to return for an emergency landing

I believe ORY was its destination. It had departed GIG. It was not returning.

For some reason I always think they were returning. . . probably because they had a fire on board and most of the incidents like that the flight returns.

Cheers



"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
User currently offlineJJMNGR From Brazil, joined May 2004, 1018 posts, RR: 15
Reply 10, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 17876 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 7):
It's an interesting story, but this part doesn't work. There is no Pacific island with a runway capable of handling a loaded B707 where it could land unobserved. Besides, if there was any truth to the Russian involvement, why not just fly to Russia? The island is a romantic twist, but an unlikely complication to any espionage effort.

As I said it is a story and I can´t tell you if it is true or not. Ok, there is no island...but if the aircraft landed on water? It won´t deep to fast and who knows time enough to get what they wanted...just suppositions. And if you start to exercise your mind you will be able to have many suppositions you want.

What is intriguing is that this aircraft was searched by US Navi and Air Force in such a manner that I never heard about on a pax flight. Following the path the flight did, no sign of nothing. Really nothing was over the water. Parts or fuel.


User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days ago) and read 17812 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 7):
It's an interesting story, but this part doesn't work. There is no Pacific island with a runway capable of handling a loaded B707 where it could land unobserved.

How about Hao. But then the French would be involved which would complicate things even further.

LPLAspotter



Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 12, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 17721 times:

Quoting LPLAspotter (Reply 11):
How about Hao

You stumped me...I don't know what/where Hao is.

Love your signature, BTW.  laughing 



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 13, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 17707 times:

Quoting JJMNGR (Reply 10):
Ok, there is no island

Occurs to me that Sakhalin Island (Russia) is actually in the Pacific...just in the other direction. It's a super-security area (remember KAL 007). You never know, given that no wreckage was found, there just might be some truth to the story.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineDc863 From Denmark, joined Jun 1999, 1558 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 17559 times:

Wouldn't the flight path be a northerly track if it was going from NRT-GIG? I assume it would stop in California for fuel. So perhaps NRT-LAX-GIG?

User currently offlineLPLAspotter From Portugal, joined Jan 2005, 682 posts, RR: 1
Reply 15, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 17512 times:

Quoting TeamAmerica (Reply 12):
You stumped me...I don't know what/where Hao is.

Hao is the site where all the French nuclear testing is coordinated. It is located in the society islands south east of Tahiti. It is also an alternate for the US Space Shuttle because of the length of the runway. Like I said, I doubt it now since the French would be involved if it landed there.

LPLAspottter
Thanks for the signature comment- It came from a bumper sticker



Nuke the Gay Wales for Christ
User currently offlineEHHO From Bulgaria, joined Dec 2005, 815 posts, RR: 7
Reply 16, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 17372 times:

Quoting JJMNGR (Reply 10):
What is intriguing is that this aircraft was searched by US Navi and Air Force in such a manner that I never heard about on a pax flight. Following the path the flight did, no sign of nothing. Really nothing was over the water. Parts or fuel.

Theoretically, this only supports the crashed-into-sea version. If the crago really was of a sensitive value, the US authorities obviously did good by not making any find of the wreckage at sea public. If that is the case, it obviously still is a gross injustice to the families of the crew, and to RG as a whole.



"Get your facts first. Then you may distort them as much as you please" -- Mark Twain
User currently offlineJrosa From Brazil, joined Jun 2005, 367 posts, RR: 11
Reply 17, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 17272 times:

What my father told me several times (at the time of the crash he was a pilot with Rio Sul, Varig's regional airline) is that that this cargo flight was with a MIG fighter inside that the American government managed to put its hands on, it was a charter flight hired by the US Government to bring to the US the Russian fighter. However, the Russians discovered that their missing MIG would be transported to the US on such Varig flight and sent some fighters to shot Varig's 707 down, remember that NRT-LAX route gets in the outskirts of the Russian airspace.

Capt. Gilberto was indeed the same captain that was in charge of Varig's flight that crash landed near Orly back in 1973, due to a fire on board caused by a passenger who was smoking in the back lavatory and disposed he's lighted up cigarette in the trash can.

Capt. Gilberto's brother, who was also a captain at Varig at the time never gave up in his efforts to find his brother's plane, some years ago he was on TV talking about it.


User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 17219 times:

Has anyone thought of hiring Clive Cussler to find it?

User currently offlineBlueShamu330s From UK - England, joined Sep 2001, 2904 posts, RR: 25
Reply 19, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 17219 times:

You know, the more I think about this 007-esque theory, the more I think it could have been pulled off.

All you would need is a russian military detail out in international territory of say 5 or 6 aircraft.

Captain Gilberto does away with his F/O and engineer.

Whilst the 707 declares (or doesn't even bother with) an emergency on HF (no radar either in the pacific), he descends low-ish level to avoid leaving tell-tale contrails for other aircraft and witnesses in the vicinity, and assumes a pre-arranged course to intercept the formation.

Meanwhile, one of the formation descends low level before it gets back into radar cover and returns to base, unseen.

The 707, non squawking (only formation leader would be squawking anyway), climbs to join the formation (thus only marginally denting the range the loaded fuel would have allowed to get to its US or elsewhere destination), and they happily set course back to Russian airspace.

The only way the plan would have been foiled would have been for a physical intercept, but by the time the alarm would have been raised, they would all have probably been on terra firma anyway.

The only part I find unrealistic is the future of Captain Gilberto. Rather than go to the extreme of plastic surgery and spy protection, I rather suspect that on arrival he would have met a similar fate to that of his flight crew colleagues.

Oh the intrigue !!

Shamu



So I drive a 4x4. So what?! Tax the a$$ off me for it...oh, you already have... :-(
User currently offlineLijnden From Philippines, joined Apr 2003, 564 posts, RR: 1
Reply 20, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17167 times:
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Maybe the Soviets diverted the plane to lower altitudes and forced it to fly to the Soviet Union. That's why no wreckage has been found at sea. The plane would be forced to land and the crew received Soviet hospitality in Siberia. One thing that makes me wonder about the 'secret' cargo is why the Americans would hire a Brazilian civil plane instead of the many military possibilities available in those days? It was the cold war at it's peak and I am sure that a militairy transport would be less of a problem.
Most logical explaination: Old 707 got some in-flight issues and strayed off the route and crashed in an area nobody searched.



Be kind to animals!
User currently offline777jaah From Colombia, joined Jan 2006, 1403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17126 times:

I know this is a little bit off-topic, but I just reembered watching a tv program (Maybe NatGeo or Discovery channel.......), where the CIA actually hired Howard Hughes to build a ship capable of pulling out of the bottom of the Pacific Ocean a sunken russian nuclear sub, that exploded near the hawaian islands, iirc. Mr Hughes biuld a ship with some kind of an oil exploration tower on deck, with at the bottom of it, some kind of "hands" were to grab it an bring it into the ship. They did managed to get their hands on a big piece of it, and even they found bodies of some russian sailors. Big spy story, russians never realized what that ship boat was and the americans managed to get a few looks on their technology. Maybe with Capt Gilberto there's also a weird russian story nobody have ever heard of.

Cheers


JAAH



Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
User currently offlineUSADreamliner From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 22, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 17110 times:

So, who's going to play the part of the Captain? Pierce Brosnan? Tom cruise?

Oh...that's a "real" rumour? wow, it sound like a cheap movie script from the 70's!


usadreamliner


User currently offlineTeamAmerica From United States of America, joined Sep 2006, 1761 posts, RR: 23
Reply 23, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 16984 times:

Quoting EHHO (Reply 16):
Theoretically, this only supports the crashed-into-sea version. If the crago really was of a sensitive value, the US authorities obviously did good by not making any find of the wreckage at sea public. If that is the case, it obviously still is a gross injustice to the families of the crew, and to RG as a whole.

 talktothehand  We're talking about a Brazilian-flagged aircraft on a flight plan from Narita (Japan) to Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), presumably lost in international waters. You take an admirable humanitarian action by US forces and suggest "gross injustice". No justification for that.

Quoting Lijnden (Reply 20):
One thing that makes me wonder about the 'secret' cargo is why the Americans would hire a Brazilian civil plane instead of the many military possibilities available in those days? It was the cold war at it's peak and I am sure that a militairy transport would be less of a problem.

Agreed. No shortage of USAF C-141's and C-5's transporting materials from any of the several US bases in Japan. They simply had no need to use a Brazilian charter. The story doesn't hold up.

Quoting Lijnden (Reply 20):
Most logical explaination: Old 707 got some in-flight issues and strayed off the route and crashed in an area nobody searched.

 checkmark  Exactly so. It is a tragic consequence that when the body of a loved one goes unrecovered, we tend to cling to fanciful ideas and wishful thinking that somehow they may yet be alive.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 21):
Maybe with Capt Gilberto there's also a weird russian story nobody have ever heard of.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Russia released a great deal of previously secret information about their actions in the Cold War. Nothing about this Varig B707. It's impossible to prove a negative, but if anything like this story had actually occurred, by now we would've heard about it from the Russians themselves. I regret entertaining the idea in my earlier comment.



Failure is not an option; it's an outcome.
User currently offlineAfay1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1293 posts, RR: 2
Reply 24, posted (7 years 11 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 16963 times:

The spy ship built by Howard Hughes was the Glomar Explorer, and is still in use today as a regular ship after its cover was blown. Look it up on Wikipedia for more info...as for the 707, sounds like an inflight mishap rather than some crazy intrigue that there was no need for...

25 AR385 : Among many reasons why I think this scenario, at least as posted here is impossible, I'll mention two: It's not easy for anyone, specially for civili
26 Post contains links and images A388 : WOW, I didnt know about this accident but okay I was 4 years old back than and didn't know what a 707 was by the time Even so, this is an interesting
27 Bio : Hello JJ, what is the name of this book? BTW, I`m also a part of TAM`s family... but I work for TAM Marilia. Best regards, Bio
28 LVTMB : Never heard of this one. Know of a Korean 707 shot down by Soviets in December 1977 over Soviet airspace very near the border with Finland. But never
29 A388 : Actually just to clear it up it was a Korean 747 that was shot down over Russian airspace, not a 707. While flying from Anchorage to Seoul, the aircr
30 AR385 : In the late 80's a Korean Air, 707 was boarded by two North-Korean agents with a bomb. A man and a woman. They sat in first class in the front of the
31 A388 : Hi AR385, are you sure about this crash? I'm having a hard time finding information about this 707 incident. Your story sounds a bit strange. How can
32 Post contains links AR385 : Yes, I'm positive. There's the link. Enjoy. http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19780420-1
33 A388 : Thanks for the correction. I couldn't find the info. A388
34 Post contains links DeC : http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=19790130-0 Photo of the missing plane: http://aviation-safety.net/photos/di...to.php?id=19790130-0&v
35 Post contains links BuyantUkhaa : Korean Air Flight 858 was a flight that flew from Abu Dhabi International Airport in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates to Gimpo Airport near Seoul, Sou
36 Falstaff : An airliner with valuable art, flying under radar, landing on an island. Sounds like the plot to Airport '77 In the film they didn't land on an islan
37 AR385 : Well, that is why it is an emergengy landing, and the alternative was to remain aloft, like a sitting duck, for the Sukhois to find them. I guess you
38 Post contains links and images AMSSFO : Here's a site with some pics: http://heninen.net/flight-902/english.htm
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