Martin Caidin,
Ghosts of the Air:
True Stories of Aerial Hauntings

(Galde, 1994)

This is a book that should appeal greatly to those interested in the paranormal as well as those captivated by aviation. The author writes in an engaging, personalized manner, and he bends over backward to defend the stories he relates as well as the integrity of his contributors. He does not try to explain the unexplainable; he merely presents each tale the way it happened, often using the very words of the person involved.

Throughout, the author's great love for flying and for the men and women involved in aviation is openly apparent. Martin Caidin's qualifications as a pilot and aviation expert are almost unequalled; he has flown countless aircraft of all sorts in his life, has written well over a hundred books on aviation and is well known in aviation circles. The fact that he himself cites a number of personal examples of impossible things that happened to him while in flight lends great authority to his role as compiler of the truths of others.

Some of the stories are truly fascinating: a plane disappears for 10 minutes on approach to Miami and everyone on board "loses" 10 minutes; military aircraft fly hundreds of miles back to base and actually land with a dead pilot or no crew whatsoever; three flight crews return to base and are debriefed from a mission in which, it is soon discovered, all planes and crew were lost; pilots encounter planes from an entirely different era that then disappear; ghostly apparitions and sounds are encountered on military bases and airfields, etc.

Every tale is fascinating; more importantly, each tale is verifed to the extent possible. Caidin tells us that the vast majority of the stories he collected were rejected; only the stories he could research intensively and authoritatively prove as having happened in the ways they were described to him made the final cut. He stands by these unexplainable stories and the brave men and women who had the courage to reveal truths many had never revealed before to another soul. As the author often points out, the events and experiences detailed here could not possibly have happened, yet they did.

- Rambles
written by Daniel Jolley
published 4 June 2005

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