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Old 06-18-2003, 11:06 AM   #1
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In Angola, A Jetliner's Vanishing Act

In Angola, A Jetliner's Vanishing Act

The Boeing 727 had not budged from its parking place at the airport in Angola's capital city for 14 months, so when the jetliner started taxiing down the runway, the men in the control tower radioed the pilot for an explanation. There was no reply from the cockpit, even after the plane rumbled to a takeoff into the African skies.

The plane has been missing since it took off from the Luanda airport around dinnertime on May 25, setting off a continent-wide search for its whereabouts that includes the CIA, the State Department and a number of African nations. Their fear is that terrorists could stage a replay of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, using the plane in a suicide attack somewhere in Africa.

U.S. authorities say it is likely the airplane was filched as part of a business dispute or financial scam. But even so, they say, there is a danger that unscrupulous people in control of a plane that size could make it available to arms or gem smugglers, guerrilla movements or terrorists.

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Old 07-23-2003, 11:00 PM   #2
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Subject: Missing Boeing 727 Plane from Angola on May 25 2003.

I am Joseph B. Padilla, SR.
I live in Pensacola, Florida - U.S.A.
I am the Brother of Ben Charles Padilla Jr.
He is suspected to be the Pilot of the Missing Boeing 727 Plane that left the Airport in Angola on May 25 2003.
I am tring to reach news organizations to help me locate anyone that has seen or heard anything about this missing plane or my brother.
I appeared on ABC's , Good Morning Amercia alone with my Sister Benita Padilla-Kirkland on June 19 2003 in hopes to get the story out and to Locate my brother.
We both also appeared on CNN's Morning show, American Morning on June 24 2003.
Can you please help me by broadcasting a story or by your website news or newspaper?
I have alot of information about the dissapearance of the plane and my brother.
You can contact me at : 850-944-9688 or either by e-mail -
I hope that you will give me your help in hopes that someone seeing the story will either know something about the dissappearance of the plane and my brother or know someone that does.
Here is what I have so far about the story.

As in the begining as I told ABC News on The Good Morning America Show that I appeared on in New York, I thought that the Boeing 727 Plane had been sitting there in Angola for 14 months unattended to and not maintained.
Now, I have found out that My Brother, Ben Charles Padilla, Jr. had been in Angola for 2 months overseeing a crew of aircraft mechanics re-working the plane from one end to the other.
A B-Check was done and it was found to be fine.
I talked to the owner of the plane, Mr. Maury Joseph, which is also the owner of Aerospace Sales And Leasing in South Florida.
I too live in florida, Pensacola, Fl. and my brother too was born and raised here.
Maury Joseph told me that he was there in Angola two weeks before the disappearance to see how things were going with the re-build of the 727 and also talked to my brother 2 days before the plane became missing and he had sent my brother $43,000.00 for him to pay the fees to the airport there in Angola. My brother paid the airport and faxed Maury Joseph the reciept, This is what Maury Joseph told me this past friday night during our two and a half hour phone conversation.
My brother was also incharge of the hiring of a pilot and co-pilot. He was to be the Flight Engineer for the flight out of Angola for the repossession of the Boeing 727 plane.
My brother is not licensed to fly a 727 and never has flown an aircraft this large.
He is a Licensed Aircraft Mechanic, Flight Engineer, and Pilot of smaller airplanes.
I was told that he had took the plane out to the end of the runway and ran the engines up to check to see how they performed.
I feel that when my brother was checking the engines, someone was on the plane and hijacked him.
My brother isn't a criminal nor has never done any wrong doings.
Maury Joseph told me that he trusts my brother and doesn't believe the reports of my brother stealing the plane.
Maury Joseph also told me that he had talked to the Airport there in Angola and had found out that the control tower had radioed the 727 and told them as they were headed out to the runway to take off, that they didn't have clearance nor permission to take off and the tower never recieved a response from the 727.
I talked to my brother Ben Padilla, Jr. back in either Jan. or Feb. and we talked about the Sept. 11 2001 ordeal and he himself told me that if this sort of thing ever happend to him, that he would down the plane in a New York Second.
So, with that said I really believe my brother was hijacked and taken prisonier and held against his will and possibly was killed.
My mother had a heart attack on Mothers day and my brother was e-mailed about this and he responded to the e-mail he recieved from another brother of ours and told him that he would contact us as soon as he could and we haven't heard anything from him. So, that tells me that something isn't right since he would of contacted the family about our mother.
I have talked to the FBI and State Department in Washington, D.C. and all they are willing to tell me is that they have not found my brother nor the plane. So, I am tring to search for any information that I can get thru news organizations.
I find alot of stories on the internet and try to get any of the news organizations to run this story.
I also include a couple of pictures of my brother so incase anyone knows anything or has seen him before, to please contact me.
I am including in this e-mail 2 pictures of him incase you run this story inwhich I hope you do.
I would like to include my e-mail address and phone number incase some one reads or sees this that they can contact me.
My phone number is, 850-944-9688 and my e-mail address is,
Our family has already lost 2 siblings and can not bear to lose another one.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
If you need any additional information, Please don't hesitate to contact me.
Thank you so much for your time.
Joseph B. Padilla, SR.

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Old 07-24-2003, 08:17 PM   #3
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Bad pilot luck

Among Dinger's many streaks of bad luck on his road to becomming an ATP... the first time he tried to get his PPL he couldn't because they'd closed the airport after someone stole a 172. Of course this was pre-9/11, but still... pretty crappy luck.
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Old 07-28-2003, 10:10 AM   #4
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FBI's most wanted list


On May 25, 2003, at approximately 6 p.m. local time, an airplane took off from DeFevereiro International Airport in Luanda, Angola, with neither clearance nor a flight plan, and has not been seen since. The plane is described as a 200 series advanced 727 jet with a tail number of N844AA, and a serial number of 20985. It is unpainted silver in color with a stripe of blue, white, and blue. The plane was formerly in the air fleet of a major airline, but all of the passenger seats have been removed. It is outfitted to carry diesel fuel.

Law enforcement officials believe that Ben Charles Padilla may have been on board the plane at the time it disappeared. The FBI is interested in locating Padilla, as he may have information as to the whereabouts of the plane.
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Old 08-23-2003, 12:22 AM   #5
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Case of Missing Jetliner Unsolved

Case of Missing Jetliner Unsolved

Joseph Padilla of Pensacola, Fla., the missing man's brother, described the family as extremely close. He said: "[I]f he was alive and knew all this mess was going on, he would contact us." Another brother had e-mailed Ben Padilla in Africa days before the disappearance to inform him that their mother had suffered a massive heart attack, and Ben had replied that he would call her soon -- but the call never came.

"If he's still alive, the only way he wouldn't have contacted us is that he's being held captive someplace," Joseph Padilla said. "But if you were a terrorist, why go to the trouble of keeping someone captive for 24 hours a day? I hope I'm wrong, but I've got to face the reality that my brother likely is deceased."
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