2 – David Booth Dreamed About a Commercial Aviation Disaster
May 25, 1979, was one of the worst days in American aviation history. It was the day when American Airlines Flight 191 crashed minutes after taking off from O’Hare Airport in Chicago. One of the engines came away from the wing which resulted in significant damage to the wiring and hydraulic systems of the plane. The pilot had no control of the plane, and it crashed into a nearby trailer park. 272 people died, and for one man, it was an especially harrowing scene because he had predicted an aviation disaster, he just wasn’t able to narrow it down.
David Booth was an office manager in Cincinnati, and for ten nights in a row in 1979, he had the same nightmare. On each occasion, he saw a plane veering off a runway before flipping over and bursting into flames. He decided to tell the FAA about these dreams but didn’t expect to be taken seriously. To his surprise, the FAA listened to what he had to say and concluded that it was either a DC-10 or a Boeing 727 plane. Booth had also told American Airlines, and while the company, and the FAA, took what he said on board, there was nothing else they could do because there was no exact date or other details in his dreams.
Booth had his last nightmare on the night of May 24, little did he know that the disaster was right around the corner. When news broke about the crash, Booth was in front of his television, unable to believe his eyes. Booth was investigated several times during the investigation. While he wasn’t a suspect, the authorities were intrigued as to how he could have known what was about to happen. American Airlines may have listened to him, but it didn’t stop the firm cutting corners. The investigation revealed that the company was guilty of a short-term fix that caused the disaster in a bid to save maintenance time.
It later transpired that Booth wasn’t the only person who had a premonition about the disaster. Actress Lindsay Wagner, best known for her portrayal of the Bionic Woman, was supposed to board Flight 191 on May 25. According to Wagner, she suddenly felt very ill while waiting for the plane and the closer it came to boarding time, the worse she felt. Rather than risk getting sick on the flight, she decided to go home. Wagner claims that she felt much better as soon as she left the airport.