When the plane Italian fashion mogul Vittorio Missoni was flying in went missing off the coast of Venezuela in January, his family doubted Missoni was killed in a crash. Now, more than a month after the disappearance, the possibility has been raised that Missoni and his party were the victims of a Bermuda Triangle-like mystery.
Missoni and five others boarded their plane, a twin-engine BN-2 Islander, in Venezuela on Jan. 4. They had only flown 11 miles before the aircraft vanished into thin air, reminiscent of the notorious Bermuda Triangle, where, for decades, air and sea vessels dropped out of sight without any explanation.
Flying off Venezuela, the plane in question was outside of the Triangle – which encompasses the area between Bermuda, Florida and Puerto Rico – but very few signs of the group or their plane have turned up in more than a month since they went missing.
Two bags were found on Feb. 10 on the island of Bonaire in the Netherland Antilles, according to Vogue. The luggage was empty and “very damaged inside, with their many zips entirely unzipped,” the family said, adding “the case is not closed.”
Ottavio Missoni, the designer’s eldest son, told the Italian newspaper Corriere Della Sera in January, "A plane cannot vanish in this way, on a short route, without leaving any trace. I remain convinced that the least plausible situation is that they crashed into the water.”
According to ABC, the younger Missoni heard from passenger Guido Forsti’s son that he had received a text message from his father’s cell phone more than 48 hours after they vanished. “Call now. We are reachable,” was all it said.
Adding to the mystery is a report from The Guardian speculating that the Los Roques islands, where Missoni’s plane was flying, could be the new Bermuda Triangle. In 2008 another plane flying the same route went down with officials able to account for only one body in what should have been a mass of wreckage.
"There's always some explanation for these things – even if it takes many years to uncover the answer,” said Nick Wall, editor of Pilot magazine. “Pilots prefer to concentrate on the things that genuinely will help them live longer, such as fuel gauges, weather reports and engine inspections. They are increasingly aware of previously unknown meteorological phenomena such as coastal wind shearing and mountain waves, which can cause sudden turbulence. But it is too early to know for sure what caused this latest incident."