In 1962, about 70 miles from the ski-Reggan Gao had found the wreckage of the crashed biplane. Under the wing of the plane overturned lying mummified corpse of the pilot. As it turned out, it was missing for nearly thirty years ago, air ace William Lancaster.
He became famous after 1927, together with the Australian aviatrix Kate "Chubby" Miller made a record flight from London to Australia. After six years of trying to fly alone from London to South Africa, Lancaster disappeared. His plane "Small Southern Cross" took off from Reggan morning, April 13, 1933, and Gao never arrived. Twenty-nine years he spent in the desert and was found quite by accident.
Such findings - are not uncommon in the vast expanses of the Sahara. Dozens of planes disappeared without a trace in the air over the great desert. But the story of the biplane crashed Lancaster - special. By mutilated wing aircraft it was tied wrapped in cloth logbook. The pilot almost to the last minute of his diary - a striking record of man, rolling from hope to despair, from despair to resignation.
April 13th, 1933. Thursday.
10 hours and 45 minutes.
It's hot as hell, even in the shade under the wing ... No !!! I'm staying at the plane. If I die, I hope it will happen soon.
The first day expires, as the whole year. I'm worried about my wounds. They have a lot of sand. How hard is it to fight against the desire to drink, but it is necessary. My life depends on a strict diet of water. I hope that does not go blind. Blood thickens around the eyes ... A strange idea when minutes seem hours ... Looking for a flight vulture, I envy him, and I want to catch it, to tame, to jump on his back and fly to the first puddle.
There was a small bird, a little more than a sparrow. She sat very close to me. I ask myself how far away oasis. I do not wanna die. Desperately I want to live!
14 hours 40 minutes.
I have prepared a few primitive torches made of linen strips, rolled and tied with wire to the bent steel braces. At night, I'll light them every twenty minutes. The sun beats down, but from time to time the wind brings coolness.
It was two degrees cooler. Perhaps it is a dream, but in the hands of my chocolate bar, which I gave my mother before leaving. Besides her, I do not have products. Condor flew away other birds - too ...
15 hours 30 minutes.
I support the hope that Chubby something takes. I do not know how and what it can do, but I imagine it can be proud of it ...
16 hours 45 minutes.
I begin to feel dizzy, there are times stupor. Therefore, it is necessary to write down everything I kept up as long as it would not be impossible in the last moments ...
Can stretch one more week ...
Oh, please, gentlemen aviators, the conclusions of your aircraft and go looking for me! ..
17 hours 30 minutes.
I can hardly believe my eyes, but I see a sparrow. This greatly supports me; maybe I'm close to the main road ...
Two sparrow ... Cars must be sent in 18 hours. I do not think they saw me at a distance. Perhaps they will see the light of my torch. Maybe so ... Day does not want to end. And this is only the first! If I stay alive ... I decided to stay. Chubby, how are you?
We will see! I stayed for another hour before the cars go on my quest. I believe that tonight London newspapers inform about my disappearance. Chubby do everything ... I can only say I hope that in London, in Paris, she set in motion ... From Reggan I separated only 250-300 kilometers ...
Oh, if I had the whole bath water, I would drink it if it was not even salt!
My liquid stocks: nine liters in the rear of the cabin, a thermos of coffee and the rest of the water in another thermos. Today, every half hour drinking a sip of coffee. The thermos still have water. According to my calculations, the end of the seventh day I stay without water. In the case of a fever I can not be limited to one bottle of water, but I pray to God to give me the strength to resist it. People who have not been in the desert, do not have a clue about what a thirst. This is hell! I have not experienced even a tenth of the horror that must move to survive. I ask you to come soon!
18 hours 30 minutes.
According to my calculations, the cars had Reggan on the road about 250 kilometers from here. I will kindle a fire at 22.30, and then I'll light your torches every half hour.
He lost a lot of blood. I can not resist the urge to take a little stiffening and a quarter liter of water. It was possible to swallow a small piece of chocolate.
What a strange and powerful thing faith! I believe that someone would come and find me.
April 14, Friday
My great torches burned. They gave a bright light for at least sixty seconds. They had not seen!
I drank half a liter of water during the night and therefore had to limit ourselves to 8.30 pm only one thermos. Obviously, I am much farther from the road than anticipated; otherwise the car would notice my signals that night.
Eyes again bother me. They have until swollen that you can not close them.
... Tank with water cooled during the night, and so I have, I have a day of ice drink. I drink one sip every half hour. When I offer a bottle to his mouth, I have to fight with my best not to drink more positions. As long as I have strength, I want to prepare the torches. I was left with eighteen matches. I need more calculating how to burn the remains of the plane. You will need to leave the canvas on the upper wing (ie the lower, because the plane is upside down), it can also attract the attention of rescuers. If the planes will fly from Reggan tomorrow - find me alive ...
What a disappointment - did not see the car headlights at night! Now it's a plane ... It takes a lot of aircraft ...
What a temptation to go for a bottle of water! What it contains the nectar for me! This is my only desire and the moment. Water! Water! Water! ..
... I saw a white butterfly and dragonfly (I do not see them in my sleep?). I'm near the oasis and very close to the road. Fly, airplanes!
I stop writing in the logbook when I feel myself becoming very weak. Then I'll tie him to the canvas wing, addressing his mother.
Almost emptied bottle. But other stocks did not want to touch before 6:00. I have a supply of water for five or six days ... They remain four or five days to find me alive.
April 15, Saturday
Now you need to save every bit of energy to stay alive for three or four days in the hope of salvation. If the plane flew my searches today, I believe in redemption ... My water will be enough for three or four days, if I do not go crazy and do not drink it before ...
Chubby, I hope that you will be able to interest everyone and organize my search. I ask you, dear mother, pushing people to act, and above all the French ...
I'm most afraid of hours from 11 to 16.30. The heat is awful. WATER!
April 16, Sunday
6 hours and 10 minutes.
Came the fourth day. The wind died down. Yesterday afternoon strong winds and sandstorms. All I could do was lie in the shelter under the wing. Every half hour I drank a sip of water. Yesterday, I drank two full thermos (half a liter) and had to fight fiercely with him not to go to the water tank.
... I think that will stretch even for three days.
This night was torture for me. It started to rain, falling ice drop. Alas! It lasted only a few short seconds, and I could not collect even a spoon of water.
A day with sunrise indescribable. The refuge under the wings stir crazy, I thought. Without a doubt, if I had not been injured, has not experienced such difficulties ... I will always drink water, drink it any food if I ever withdraw from here. I will no longer smoking, and cigarettes will not miss me ... Chubby, my dear, my mother, my best friend, my father, my friend, do not worry ...
10 hours and 15 minutes on the same day.
The sun rises in the sky, but the breeze is blowing, reinforcing me. I drink every half hour sip of water. I do not drive the thought that somewhere nearby there is water, because just to the east arrived a little bird seems to be a sparrow, and flew around me ... Chubby, I would have left tonight from the aircraft to the east, but I hold this Promise.
Maybe I can hold out for two days. Then will come a few hours of madness, and finally death will come! I ask if it is destined to happen, so she had to quickly ...
April 17, Monday, the fifth day
6 hours and 30 minutes in the morning.
After dusk, I saw signal rockets fired at a certain distance. Immediately I said torch, stay with me. Therefore, we can assume that I have seen! This all my hopes. Supply of water will be enough for today. Yesterday was the stifling heat. If today will be just as hot, I have to drink a bit more water. Between 10.30 and 16.00 of the day can not be tolerated ...
9 hours and 15 minutes.
Once again, I'm going crazy. I contend that this night saw the light and the person who lit it, was to see me. However, nothing is confirmed ... in the sky can not see the plane ... I tried to drink a second bottle of water that night. My chance to reduce by one day. Everything went bad for me ... If I actually saw the light of this night, I think that this morning, someone will see.
10 hours 30 minutes.
Not the slightest movement of air. If this is destined to be, I have to meekly submit to death. I think I can hold out until tomorrow, but no more.
The end of the fifth day.
Obviously, I did not save, except that only a miracle ... Chubby, remember, I kept his word, remaining at the plane ...
I want my blog was reasonable, and recalls that it should have Chubby original or an exact copy. Mom, to see Pat and Anna-Nina. / 1 / Hold them for me, and tell them everything ...
Not too sentimental I? I can provide it for the last time, because the sentimental nature ...
April 18, Tuesday
At night it was very cold. This is the sixth day. I start it, praying that today someone came. Almost inconceivable that I was saved. I think that I am much farther from the road than imagined. Perhaps some kind of pilot, more courageous than others dare to get here? I hope to support the blog until tomorrow morning ... Perhaps someone still come today. Bill Lancaster.
11 hours and 15 minutes.
Not the slightest movement of air ... Again, my poor head injuries ... I think I can hold out today, but for tomorrow - I doubt if anything will happen with injuries ...
April 19, 1933, Wednesday, the seventh day
The last day in the Sahara desert in a small airplane crashed and empty cans from under the water. Chubby, my dear, I did not give in, I remain near the aircraft. Today ended my water. Now it's a matter of hours, and I ask God to send me a quick end ...
Since this is the last line, I want to say a few words to all those who are dear to me ...
Chubby, stop flying (now out of this do not you take forth any good). I think always that your old Bill was an honest man. It's a shame that everything had to happen ...
Now, dear mother, I want you to go after Chubby and sincere conversation you finally would come to a consensus.
Here! The sun rises. I have to get under the wing and wait. I had a good wrap diary sheet to protect it. I remind you that it should be read to my dear mother and beloved Chubby separately or together. I prefer them to read it together. This is my last wish. Farewell. Bill.
I'm ready to get under the wing in anticipation of an hour of torment, waiting for me ... Of course, what's left of my car, it is difficult to discern from the upper layers of the atmosphere ... It's not like a plane ... I highly hold my head up to the last moment of hope ... binds blog ... Goodbye ... Bill.
The inscription on the canvas of an airplane wing:
My dear mother, to comfort my father, to see Mrs. KM I would like you to read it together and better understand me. I bequeath to £ 1000 my insurance for both of you. My father left himself £ 600 cost of the aircraft.
Tying blog to the wing of the aircraft, Lancaster continued to write in the pages of books to obtain fuel.
My dear mother and beloved Chubby. It is written on the seventh day of my departure from Reggan. I hope you get my diary and read it together for the love of me.
Farewell, my dear old father. Write to Jacques. / 2 / Goodbye, my dear. Bill.
Lancaster was still alive and on the eighth day, and went on to write:
... The eighth day. It was still fresh. I have no water. No wind. I patiently wait. Come, death, for God's sake, hurry. Bill ...
Until the last minute of his Lancaster hoped his search for that effort Chubby is armed search party and he was just unlucky. However, it is sorely mistaken.
There was even an attempt made to find the missing plane. The news of the disappearance of Lancaster spread rapidly in France and England. Keith Miller was going to get the necessary funds for the organization of the search through the newspapers. But, as is commonly believed, the pilot's father opposed it. Chubby agreed with aviator Charles Bernard, who had his own plane, but the French authorities asked to pay a considerable sum for permission to fly over the Sahara. This is explained by the fact that the money will be used to cover the costs if the second plane suffers an accident. After that disappeared last hope of finding alive Lancaster.
When in 1962 his diary was found, relatives of the pilot was no longer alive. Personal belongings were transferred to Lancaster Keith Miller, who at that time turned 59 years old. She was twenty-six years was happily married, and probably almost forgotten about the fascination of his youth - the ace of the First World War, Captain William Newton Lancaster, who left his family for her and was ready to do other, more desperate acts.
Soon will Chubby this merciless document was published and so impressed the public that fragments of it have been published in the journal "Technology-Youth", as an example of human courage and cold falsity of capitalist society, which bore to Lancaster on his hands, he concluded successfully a risky flight but turned away when the pilot needed help.
However, the wording "T M" hardly knew about the one piece of Lancaster's past Bill and Kate "pyshechki" / 3 / Miller. At the time, it caused such a scandal that even a page of very unusual, composed of two centuries of newspaper articles, books, famous criminologist Martin Fido.
Shooting in a love triangle aerial aces
Air ace William Lancaster and Australian aeronavtka "Pyshechka" Miller in 1927 made pobivshy records the flight from London to Australia. Then, scorning the conventions and their respected spouses, they became not only partners in the flight, but also lovers.
In the past year they have worked in air circuses in America, and then went to Lancaster to travel to Mexico. When he was away, "Pyshechka" fell in love with the writer Charles Hayden Lancaster and wrote a letter saying that she and Hayden intend to marry.
Lancaster returned to Miami / 4 / there was a violent scene, which was attended by all three, and then they went to separate bedrooms. At night, she woke Lancaster "pyshechki 'words:" Hayden was shot. "
In fact, she found the writer dead in bed with a bullet in the head, the gun lying nearby, and his typewriter was a farewell note. But officials did not believe that he did it on their own.
In August, Lancaster appeared in court on charges of murder and Hayden deserved acquittal due mainly dispassionate testimony "pyshechki" in his favor - she called it "one of the most beautiful people she knew." But the couple broke up after his return to England, and their "air" cooperation seems finished.
William Lancaster, testifying in the trial of Charles Hayden
Whether all is rosy in the relationship was the sentimental Bill and his fatal heart ladies Chubby Miller a year after the mysterious suicide of Hayden? Father Is Lancaster resisted the search party organizations through the newspaper? Was it just a convenient excuse for Chubby leave it at that? And really, dying of thirst and loss of blood in the hellish furnace of the Sahara Bill Lancaster never remembered the Charles Hayden? ..