They already defy the laws of physics and logic. They fly high amongst the clouds and catapult through the air at speeds so fast, some of them break the sound barrier as they pass, drowning out even the loudest of sounds on the ground. They’re beautiful in their mysterious way and at the same time they frighten us to our very core. They take us to far off destinations and they thrill us when they take off. They experience turbulence and can even make us sick to our very core. But our love affair with the aeroplane is unlikely to end, no matter how many disasters we’ve lived through and how many we’ve lost at the hands of the mighty beast. They’ve become a necessity for business, life in general and that week long getaway to somewhere nice.
Over the years, we’ve seen and heard many unfortunate events befall aeroplanes from all over the world and the people who’ve ridden in them. But do we ever wonder what comes of the wreckages, or the planes that once they land, were doomed to never take off again?
As it turns out, far more aeroplanes are abandoned and left to rot wherever they were forced to land or even crash, and there are loads of photographs that depict them rotting away in some of the most unimaginable places here on earth. The result of these photographs is a feeling of disquiet that comes over us, an ominous feeling, creeping us to our very core. The planes seem to breathe and haunt the fields and locations on which they’ve come to rest. In this article, we’ve got 20 such photos.
This too is a sad and surprising sight. I think what disappointing us and shocks us so much about these pictures, is that these planes are meant to represent power and durability. They're designed to keep us safe, but so many times, when we put our lives in their hands, we as humans are left disappointed.
These pictures represent that mechanical failure, and that disappointment in something we have created and have come to depend on so intensely.
Yet those of us who admire machinery such as these planes will never abandon all hope and we will come to depend on them time and time again, because faith in them represents the faith we have in ourselves, in humanity in general.
To say that most aircraft are in fact giant pieces of machinery would be quite the understatement indeed. They're pretty massive, actually and there's no buts about it. I can remember chilling with a buddy on a hot summer day. We were drinking from a pitcher of iced tea and a plane passed by in the sky miles above. My friend looked at me and said: "Man, I tell you, I will never understand how something that big can fly that high and stay up there." I nodded along and looked up at the plane and the flight path it took. I watched as it veered to the right and wondered myself what it took to control that bad boy all the way up there. Planes are indeed marvellous to watch, but no matter how much sense they make physiologically, they are still quite the mystery to most.
Talk about ominous. This photograph definitely tells a sad and terrible tale. Again we are left to hope that the pilot was able to escape the same fate that befell the aircraft, hopefully having parachuted safely somewhere nearby.
The plane however, seems to have landed in some lagoon somewhere in the wilderness.
The ghost image that this photographer picked up is definitely a haunting sight, to say the least. As it lays there submerged, we can only wonder how many miles it flew, how many pilots had taken it around the unfriendly skies. And if on its maiden voyage, did it ever wonder how it would end up?
Fallen to the depths of the dark and silent sea, this plane has laid to the barren waste of the darkest of sea levels for over 70 years. So many planes fell into the ocean during the world's second world war, and the pilots sadly lost at sea. Much like images of the Titanic at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean, this plane gives off a signal; its only signal, a quiet drone of time. The slow tick of time at the bottom of that tumultuous sea, and as the years passed on, and life moved on around it, there it lay to wait until discovered. Sorry to get so ominous folks, but look at the poor thing amidst all that water! What could I have written about it?
It's only natural that there are in fact many fighter planes resting in some spot in the middle of nowhere in our vast world. There have indeed, and unfortunately, been many conflicts over the years, and the Air Force of many a nation has been called to photograph, patrol, and fight the good fight for their respective nations.
Not all these planes went down in battle, however.
Many of them could have been out on routine expeditions. If we look at the body of this old boy, there aren't any signs of flak, therefore we're left to assume that this plane was put down and never took off again. What came of the pilot? Who knows.
Now here is a passenger plane that was also put down somewhere in the middle of nowhere. Here too, there are no signs of a crash or any foul play. It seems as though the plane was simply put down on an abandoned runway and left to, well, rot. The landing gear looks intact and undisturbed. What came of the passengers and pilot? Here to, we are left to assume, but we can fairly say that everyone must have been alright, as the plane still looks rather solid, despite all the time it's been left out there. This is a very odd sight, though, as a flag is fairly obvious on the side of the plane... wouldn't the plane have been recovered? The possibilities are endless, and we are left to wonder if maybe the aircraft was lost.
But it is no doubt that when planes such as these have come to stay in the same spot for years on end, they are definitely at the mercy of mother nature and the rest of the elements that surround it. Imagine the amount of storms, wind and wildlife that have come by to investigate the wreckage or the planes that have come to sleep in their back yard! Yes, these monstrous pieces of machinery are well-built and made to withstand the most difficult of elements when in flight, but the planes that are abandoned like so many of these that we have seen today are left to whither away with the wind, as they are not maintained, nor taken care of, so they too are at the mercy of time and decay.
Talk about creepy and ominous! If you were on a nature hike in the forest, and suddenly came upon a plane such as this one, looking as foreboding as the one in the image does, would you be willing to venture forth and into that plane?
Just look at that doorway, look at how dark the interior of it seems.
Who knows what dwells within. There's no way of finding out other than taking the plunge, taking that first step and mounting into it. Do you dare, or do you admire the plane from afar and leave what dwells inside up to your imagination? But if you choose this, when you're safely at home and snug in your bed, will it bother you that you didn't go in to see? The choice is yours.
This poor plane definitely did not have an easy time of it; that is quite obvious. Again, we hope that the pilot and any passengers were in fact safe before the crash. If we look closely at this one, there are quite a number of holes in the front end of the aircraft. Now, the question that remains: did the holes happen after it crashed, or were they the reason of the crash, if it crashed at all. Remember, the plane could have been worn out like this by the elements of nature, as we've seen thus far. But those holes speak a whole different truth, don't they?
There's just something about a fighter plane, isn't there. The shape and mechanics and who can forget about the power behind these bad boys. Look how regal it looks, even after a few years out there.
The allure of these planes doesn't go unnoticed, as it shouldn't.
Just look at the popularity of such films as Top Gun! The planes are just as much a character as Maverick is, and boy do they play their part! Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer are both returning to a second instalment of the film all these years later, and the buzz and excitement on the internet couldn't be more palpable.
Now here is a different Air Force aircraft than we're used to seeing these days. In fact, this photograph makes me think of an old Mel Gibson and Robert Downey Jr. Film: Air America. The film was indeed fantastic and it was about a team of pilots that were still in Vietnam when the general public was unaware of their presence. They would deliver goods to the people of Vietnam, all the while the public unaware of their presence to that effect. Well, our band of pilots got into trouble when a few of them figured out that they can probably benefit from all of that secrecy and make a profit on Uncle Sam's dime. Airplanes like this were showcased in that film, and by the way, the flight scenes in that movie were exceptional and quite ahead of their time.
The inside of a cockpit is usually a marvellous sight. Kids want to see it, and if they're granted the chance, they ooh and ahh as they look at all the gizmos and gadgets lit up like a Christmas tree. The first time I ever took a plane, I was six years old, and back in those days (the 80s), the cockpit door would remain open at times on international flights. Well, the stewardess asked me if I wanted to go up and see the pilots and I jumped at the chance. I'll never forget being up there, the pilots smiling and pointing out this and that. I just stood there, the stewardess holding my hand and looking down at me, her pretty face smiling as I marvelled at the clouds rolling by. It was a magical moment for me, and to think of that, as I see this cockpit in the shape it's in is just horrible and rather disquieting.
This plane must have washed up on shore. It seems rather damaged to have recently fallen there, and it couldn't have fallen there years ago, as the tide would have definitely pulled it into the ocean.
Many people aren't aware at just how powerful the tide of the sea can be, and no matter how heavy and big an aircraft can be, it too would be at the mercy of the powerful tide.
This is what makes me lean towards the fact that it was washed ashore instead. That seems much more possible. Who knows how long it must have been at sea, and imagine how powerful the tide that moved it from the ocean floor to that spot on that beach must have been.
This picture made me smile as well, and not for the reason that the plane was abandoned. That fact always makes me sad, as it does to see any vehicle once abandoned be left to rot. But the reason I smile when I look at this picture is that despite the fact that it has been left to fend on its own, and it seems to have been left abandoned for quite a number of years, it still seems like it would look quite at home on the tarmac, awaiting passengers to board--maybe off on their way to Cuba of the Florida Keys. You have to look way beyond the wear and tear.
This plane seems to have landed on the moon, or some other alien planet altogether. What a flight that must have been. Now this plane sadly was the victim of some terrible crash and evident explosion or fire. The destruction shows in the image of what's left of the body--the paint is even gone from the sheets of metal that surround its body. The glass that was at the windows is gone, and the field itself looks quite barren--the damage must have spread from the plane and effected the field itself. The devastation must have been horrible, and the result is an image that haunts us way after the incident must have occurred.
That's the thing about photography. The photographer looks for the very precise moment that exudes perfection. Sadly, it can be at the worst moment-some disaster, some terrible moment in history or the news, but the photographer must be ready to snap a shot at any moment to capture the essence of that moment and convey a feeling of that moment to the viewer.
This photographer has done just that.
The photograph of his discovery is perfect and as perfect as a photograph of an occurrence so sad can possibly be.
So if the photographs of these planes can be considered art, then there's another art form that has become rather eminent and prevalent in the field of abandoned planes and vehicles. Graffiti art has come along way from being considered a crime of vandalism. Now in the biggest of cities, there are in fact murals sanctioned by the government themselves and these murals give colour to neighbourhoods, and many of the murals represent the city's history and heritage. In this photograph, some artist(s) have taken to this abandoned plane, adding a little colour to its unfortunate end, almost reviving it in its eternal rest.
And here is another example of a great photographer at his/her best. Look at the contrast of colours, the precise moment at which the picture was taken, the clouds rolling by, the storm brewing in the distance. The sun shining off the metal of the plane and even the damage done to the aircraft is somehow beautiful in this still frame. This moment in history forever captured in time. If it sounds like you're standing in the middle of some art gallery, in a way you are. These pictures speak volumes about where these planes have been, and how even in their destruction, beauty can indeed be found.
As we write our articles here at HotCars, we comb through a lot of research and a lot of photographs to bring you the best images, and this time was no different. I combed through many, as does the editorial staff, and when I came across this boy here, I couldn't help but smile.
What amazed most about this one was how pristine it looked atop that mountain of dirt.
There seems to be quite a bit of flotsam and jetsam around the ground surrounding the small hill, but the plane actually looks okay. How did it come to rest atop that hill like that and with so little damage? was it set down? And if so, what a place to finally rest!
Again, what's called to mind here are those old action movies of the eighties and nineties. When the hero of the film finds his way into the cockpit of a small plane like the one pictured here and while trying to escape the villains on his trail, ends up crashing his plane and somehow ends up either in a tree, or at the edge of a cliff like this--of course the plane stopping just in time before plummeting to the ground below. It was also in those films that the moment of terror the audience felt as the unfolding scene posed: Will our hero escape the plane before it totters over?! Well, as it turns out, it wasn't all make believe, as it actually happened to some poor pilot out there. Let's hope he made it out in time.
Sources: AviationHistory.com, Travelblog.com, Vice.com