The wreckage of a PBY-5A airplane that went missing during the Cold War has been discovered in the Taiwan Strait. The plane disappeared carrying 11 passengers in October 1958, and it remains unclear what caused the plane to go down.
A propeller that may belong to the missing PBY-5A airplane was found by local fishermen in the Taiwan Strait, the Independent reported, citing a China Times story. According to the report, the aircraft was commissioned by the U.S. to transport soldiers stationed on the Matsu Islands to Taipei. The airplane was carrying U.S. Army Major Robert C. Bloom, Captain Wayne F. Pitcher, Claude L. Baird, Dwight H. Turner, members of the Military Assistance Advisory Group Matsu Defense Command, and three Republic of China (Taiwan) Army officers and four Taiwanese crew members, the Cold War Museum reported.
According the Cold War Museum, the missing airplane, nicknamed the Blue Goose or Blue Swan, was in contact with the military base on Masu and climbed to an altitude of 1,000 feet to avoid Chinese radar. After the plane entered the Taiwan Straight's "no radar zone," the base lost contact with the crew.
The plane went missing during the Second Taiwan Strait Crisis, which began in 1958 after China fired shells at the Quemoy and Matsu islands, which triggered a second round of hostilities between China and Taiwan after the First Taiwan Strait Crisis, which lasted from 1954 to 1955, with U.S. intervening to support Taiwan. The Second Taiwan Strait Crisis ended shortly after the Blue Goose's disappearance. Despite an exhaustive search of the area, the plane was never recovered. Weather was ruled out as a factor in the disappearance of the plane, and why the plane went down remains a mystery.