17. The crew of the Lady be Good vanished in the Libyan desert
For fifteen years, the American B-24 Liberator bomber named Lady be Good by its crew was believed to have been lost over the Mediterranean Sea while flying its first combat mission in 1943. The bomber had been part of a raid on Naples, after which it failed to return to its base in Libya. Its crew of nine officers and men had been assigned to the squadron only the week before the mission, and were inexperienced flying over the desert, where landmarks which could be used to correct navigational errors were scarce. The bomber took off as a sandstorm was developing, and in the low visibility the pilot was unable to join the formation of planes which had launched earlier, so it continued on its mission without escort. On its return leg, the automatic direction finder failed.
The crew failed to spot its airfield, and continued to fly south over the Libyan desert in the low visibility caused by the sandstorm. It eventually ran out of fuel in the desert, and belly landed in the sand. The wreck of the aircraft was partially covered by shifting sands, and remained undisturbed until 1958, when a crew of surveyors for British Petroleum discovered the aircraft. There was no indication of what happened to the crew, other than that the absence of parachutes indicated that the crew bailed out before the aircraft landed in the desert, with only one engine still running. In 1960 a comprehensive search by the United States Air Force and British Petroleum discovered the remains of eight of the nine men who flew in Lady be Good, ending a seventeen year mystery over their fate.