On July 4, 1928, the third richest man in the world boarded his private plane. By that time, Alfred Loewenstein had achieved everything a man could dream of. However, in the middle of the flight the multimillionaire left his seat for a few minutes. Since then nobody has ever seen him. For a long time historians have been unsuccessfully trying to unravel the mystery of Loewenstein's disappearance at an altitude of several kilometers.
Loewenstein was the image of the Golden Age. The visionary investor never got involved with dubious deals and managed not to make enemies even in business, which is easy to do. In the early 1900s the tycoon invested in several companies all over Europe, each of which brought him good revenue.
Loewenstein was not modest, and did not need to be. As a successful entrepreneur he lived in luxury. He owned mansions, expensive cars, gave parties with hundreds of guests and, of course, had a private plane. On a small comfortable Fokker F.VIIa/3m trimotor the millionaire liked to fly to different countries just on weekends.
On July 4, 1928, at 6:30 p.m., Loewenstein boarded the plane. The tycoon was returning to Brussels after a successful business trip to London. The weather was beautiful. Loewenstein's two secretaries, his valet Fred Baxter, the pilot, and co-pilot were also on the plane.
As one of the secretaries told later the police, Loewenstein got up from his seat and went to the lavatory just over the English Channel. An hour later, the tycoon's staff began to worry. Baxter went to check and, to his dismay, realized that Loewenstein was no longer on the plane.
The captain of the plane made an emergency landing right on Dunkirk beach. Local authorities arrived at the scene and organized a careful search. Sixteen days later, a man in similar clothing was found in the water not far from the shore. He was recognized as Loewenstein.
According to the official version, the tycoon opened the wrong door at high altitude and ended up in the water. However, the door opened outward, which made it almost impossible to open it under pressure. In addition, the passengers of a small plane would surely have felt the pressure drop in the cockpit due to the open door. Here is the plan of Loewenstein's plane:
Modern researchers speculate that Loewenstein staged the whole thing. Shortly before the flight, the tycoon actually converted a significant portion of his assets into cash. Neither the large sum of money nor Loewenstein were ever found.
Historians have been unsuccessfully trying to solve Loewenstein’s mystery for nearly 90 years. After all, the man could not have really vanished into thin air.
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