1955 1st Lt. Inalakdere Disappearance
Sources: RCAF Search and Rescue Files, National Archives, Ottawa, Ontario
On August 23, 1955, 1st Lt. Inalkadere of the Turkish Air Force was flying F-86 Sabre aircraft 23286 on a mission with three other aircraft from RCAF Station Chatham, when his aircraft experienced a "flameout" (loss of turbine power) while in a turn at approximately 1255Z. The four planes were flying in a delta formation, Inalakdere's jet occupying the number four position. The pilot reported his problem and was instructed by the Delta leader to switch from "F" channel to "D" (VHF distress). The pilot acknowledged but no further transmission was received. The Delta leader tried to follow the descending craft but lost sight of the gliding aircraft when it entered clouds at about 22,000 feet. The Delta leader's aircraft stalled and lost about 1000 feet altitude before recovering. The leader then descended below the clouds and conducted a visual check but was unable to locate the disabled F-86.
The RCAF Rescue Coordination Centre based at Halifax was assigned responsibility for the Search and Rescue. RCAF Chatham dispatched seven T33s and seven F86 Sabres to carry out sweeps of the area where the missing jet was last seen. The search was suspended on September 6, 1955 with no trace of the missing jet or pilot. Additional searching was conducted between September 13 and 29, 1955, with no positive findings.
All police agencies were notified and the public was informed of the missing aircraft by radio stations in Newcastle and Bathurst, Nova Scotia, who provided descriptions of the missing aircraft. Several tips were received by searchers, including reports of black smoke puffs and explosions. A driver of a car reported seeing an aircraft gliding very low parallel to a road on a SW heading on the south side of the Miramichi River at approximately 1300Z. The driver switched off his vehicle to watch and reported no motor sound from the aircraft. The report was investigated with no results. Another witness reported a low flying aircraft with "a missing motor" flying SE at approximately 1315Z.
Another report was received from a 9 year old girl who reported she had seen a very low and fast flying aircraft with yellow on it and black letters. She reported it had passed over on a SE heading when it turned and rolled sharply as if in trouble. A boy corroborated her sighting but 30 other families picking berries nearby stated they did not see or hear any aircraft during the time in question. The girl initially reported the time as 1130Z to 1200Z but later changed the time to 1230Z to 1245Z. The location of the alleged crash site was 3 miles south of Lower Caraquet.
What is interesting about the sightings is that none of them seemed to provide any useful guidance in locating the aircraft which had presumably crashed after losing power. Were these all hoaxes? Or is it possible that the witnesses all saw something, perhaps an artificial hologram or a psychically perceived image of the aircraft in distress?