The Blimp L-8: What Happened To Its Crew?

The World War II era was marked by numerous atrocities, including mass deaths and cruel experiments. Along with these well-documented events, there were also a number of strange and unexplained occurrences, such as the US Navy Blimp L-8 incident. This event remains a source of intrigue and mystery to this day.

In response to a Japanese attack on a US oil refinery in Santa Barbara, California in February 1942, the US Navy dispatched several large blimps to patrol the coastline for further enemy activity. This was done as a precautionary measure to protect the western coast from further attacks.

On August 16, 1942, a Navy Blimp named L-8, also referred to as "Flight 101," set out on a submarine-spotting mission from Treasure Island in the Bay Area with a crew of two pilots.

The crew of the L-8 consisted of 27-year-old Lt. Ernest Cody and 32-year-old Ensign Charles Adams. Both pilots were experienced, but this was the first time Adams had flown in a small blimp such as the L-8.

At 7:38 am, an hour and a half after taking off, Lt. Cody radioed squadron headquarters at Moffett Field. He reported that he was located three miles east of the Farallon Islands. Four minutes later, Cody transmitted another message, stating that he was investigating a suspicious oil slick. However, communications were lost after this transmission.

After three hours of no radio communication, the blimp unexpectedly returned and crash-landed on a street in Daly City. Although the blimp appeared to be in good condition, with no indication that emergency gear had been deployed, the pilots were nowhere to be found and were never seen again.

The blimp was spotted by several witnesses in the area as it drifted for several minutes before crashing. One resident's house was nearly hit, with the blimp scraping across the roof before coming to rest in a nearby street. Fortunately, there were no injuries to anyone on the ground.

When officials arrived on the scene in Daly City, they found the blimp's helium bag leaking, the two men on board missing, and the door of the gondola open, which is unusual during flight. The safety bar was missing and the microphone was outside. The ignition and radio were still on and the pilots' hat and a briefcase with secret documents were still in place but two life jackets were missing without any witness of them falling. Due to the mysterious disappearance of the pilots, the blimp was named the "Ghost Blimp."

An investigation by the navy revealed that the blimp had been spotted by several ships and planes between 7 and 11 am on the day of the incident, and some reported that they were close enough to see the pilots inside, who appeared to be normal. On August 17, 1943, both men were officially declared dead.