Out of thin air: the mystery of the man who fell from the sky

Out of thin air: the mystery of the man who fell from the sky

The Guardian

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In 2019, the body of a man fell from a passenger plane into a garden in south London. Who was he?

It was Sunday 30 June 2019, a balmy summer’s afternoon, and Wil, a 31-year-old software engineer, was lounging on an inflatable airbed outside his house in Clapham, south-west London. He wore pyjamas and drank Polish beer. As he chatted to his housemate in the sunshine, planes on their way to Heathrow airport made their final approach overhead. On his phone, Wil showed his housemate an app that tells users the route and model of any passing plane. He tested the app on one plane, and then held his phone up again, shielding his eyes from the sun and squinting into the sky.

Then he saw something falling. “At first I thought it was a bag,” he said. “But after a few seconds it turned into quite a large object, and it was falling fast.” Maybe a piece of machinery had fallen from the landing gear, he thought, or a suitcase from the cargo hold. But then he half-remembered an article he had read years before, about people stowing away on planes. He didn’t want to believe it, but as the object got nearer and nearer, it became impossible to deny. “In the last second or two of it falling, I saw limbs,” said Wil. “I was convinced that it was a human body.”

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