Stranger and even more compelling than his best-selling Ghost of Flight 401, journalist John G. Fuller turns his talents to the historic crash of the great British dirigible R 101, the luxury lighter-than-air behemoth that was to revolutionize travel in the 1930's. Two days after the crash, through a séance, the dead commander of the airship recounted in horrible detail the anguished end of the R 101 and its crew. According to Charles H. Gibbs-Smith formerly Lindbergh Professor of Aerospace History, National Air and Space Museum (Smithsonian Institution) "This book had to be written...It will become a prime source for evidence of human survival after death."
The complex and absolutely spell-binding tale begins in 1928 when a monoplane carrying famed World War I ace Captain Raymond Hinchliffe and his copilot, the flamboyant heiress-actress Elsie Mackay, vanishes without a trace over the stormy Atlantic. As news of the disappearance makes front-page headlines around the world, British workers race to complete the largest and most advanced airship yet designed, the monumental R 101. Neither medium Eileen Garrett's terrifying pre-vision of a dirigible tragedy, nor an even more fearful warning from the dead Captain Hinchliffe to another mystic, Mrs. Earl, are held as grounds for delaying the much-publicized takeoff of the R 101 for India. Finally, in a séance that includes both women and the world-famous author Conan Doyle (creator of Sherlock Holmes), Hinchliffe warns the navigator of the R 101 of its various structural problems.
Despite these warnings, the 777-foot R 101 takes off on schedule -- and plunges to the ground on the French side of the Channel, killing all but six of the fifty-four aboard. But the disaster does not mark the end of his mind-boggling tale. Bristling with suspense and astonishing evidence concerning the validity of psychic phenomena, THE AIRMEN WHO WOULD NOT DIE is a riveting account of a human tragedy and the superhuman events surrounding it.