"By the time you receive this letter we shall be in Paris, barring of course a nose-dive into the channel."
Glenn Miller wrote the preceding words to his wife on December 4, 1944. That was the last words he wrote her before he died in a plane crash just as he predicted.
On December 14, 1944, Glenn Miller was seen boarding a plane from England to France, and never again.
The official report into the disappearance stated that a crash would likely have been caused either by engine trouble or by the build-up of ice on the wings, the latter affecting the plane's aerodynamics and causing it to stall. The lack of a search for the missing aircraft can be explained by the delay in raising the alarm: three days had elapsed between the plane taking off and it being reported missing, greatly reducing the chances of finding anyone alive. Nobody had any idea where the aircraft might have come down, so a search, even if it had begun, would have had to cover an enormous area. Another factor was the progress of the war at the time; on December 16, the Germans had mounted a huge offensive in the Ardennes region, known now as the Battle of the Bulge, and it is perhaps understandable that resources were not diverted away from the fighting in order to search for three people who, in all probability, were already dead.
Thirty years later, in 1985, it emerged that crew members of a British Lancaster bomber, returning from an aborted mission over Germany, had seen a plane crash into the English Channel on the same day as Glenn Miller went missing. The Lancaster was jettisoning its bombs over a designated area of the Channel because it was too dangerous to land with the bombs still on board. The navigator, who was watching the bombs fall, spotted a small plane, which he identified as a Norseman (the same plane as Miller was in) spinning out of control and crashing into the water.
Almost as soon as Miller was posted as missing, rumors began to circulate about what had happened to him. They were all based on the assumptions that he did not die in a plane crash over the Channel, but had died after arriving in Paris, with the incident covered up by the American military. The most ludicrous of these rumors is that Miller had been ordered by General Eisenhower, the overall commander of Allied forces in Europe, to conduct secret talks with German officers concerning a surrender. Why Eisenhower would pick a big band leader with no military experience of any description to go on such a sensitive mission is, unsurprisingly, not fully explained in this theory.
Another rumor, and one of the most persistent, is that, rather than dying in a plane crash, Miller was killed during a fight in a Parisian brothel and the incident was kept quiet because of fears over the effect it would have on morale. Like all the other stories along these lines, this one doesn't stand up to examination because it does not account for what happened to the other people who went missing on the plane.
The exact circumstances of the disappearance may never be known for certain, but the most likely explanation is that, either as the result of mechanical failure or friendly fire, Miller's plane went down in the Channel and sank without leaving a trace; just as he had joked to his wife in his December 4th letter.
The power of suggestion is definitely a powerful thing. Watch what you say, the universe is probably listening.
Other examples of this power of suggestion:
In 1909, Twain joked that the next time Halley's Comet passed close to Earth, he would "go out" with it. He didn't mean romantically: The comet had last been visible from Earth in the year Twain was born, 1835, so he claimed it would be the "greatest disappointment of my life" if it didn't also pass at the time of his death.
As you might know, Halley's Comet visits us once every 76 years and is only visible from Earth for a couple of months at a time. This means that at the moment of Twain's humorous prediction, the comet was due again in the following year; and what do you know, it showed up on April 20, 1910. The next day, Twain died of a heart attack.
"Pistol" Pete Maravich
In 1974, Maravich was 26 and had been playing in the NBA for four years. He was at the height of his career, but didn't feel like basketball was all there was to life. In an interview with the Beaver County Times, Maravich said, "I don't want to play 10 years [in the NBA] and then die of a heart attack at the age of 40."
On January 5th, 1988, Pistol Pete did just that.
If you like baseball, you might know Frank Pastore as a Major League pitcher for the Cincinnati Reds and Minnesota Twins in the 1970s and '80s; if you're into Christian radio, you probably know him from the most listened to Christian talk show in the United States, The Frank Pastore Show; and if you're into freaky coincidences, then you know him from the following story.
On his November 19, 2012 broadcast, Pastore and his listeners were discussing some of his favorite subjects, namely the immortality of the soul and riding bitchin' bikes. Pastore remarked:
"You guys know I ride a motorcycle, right? At any moment, especially with the idiot people who cross the diamond lane into my lane, without any blinkers -- not that I'm angry about it -- at any minute, I could be spread all over the 210."
On the way home from his radio show, a 56-year-old woman driving a Hyundai Sonata drifted into his lane and collided with his bike. Pastore suffered a massive head injuries and died a month later after being in a coma.
On this day in 1503, the famous French prophet and astrologer Michel de Nostradamus was born in Saint Remy de Provence. He experienced many psychic visions during his childhood, and he later studied the Holy Qabalah, astrology, astronomy, medicine, and mathematics. The first collection of his uncannily accurate visions, written in the form of rhymed quatrains, was published in the year 1555. Three years later, a second and larger collection of his prophecies -- reaching into the year 3797 -- was published. Nostradamus died on July 1, 1566.