VC10 bomb hoax

Any VC10 related discussions.....
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Joined: Sat Apr 30, 2016 9:22 pm

VC10 bomb hoax

Post by matt70 »

I am wondering if anyone has ever heard of the following incident, or knows whether information about it might be available anywhere (I can't find any):

On 28th Septmeber 1970, I was a small boy of eight when my parents and my young sister and I boarded a BOAC Super VC10 at Heathrow to fly to Australia (we were emigrating). Our scheduled route was London-Zurich-Tehran-Calcutta-Hong Kong-Darwin-Sydney.

On the Hong Kong-Darwin sector, we were diverted back to Hong Kong after a threat was received of a bomb on board. We had a night in Hong Kong at a hotel while the plane was searched. Nothing was discovered and we continued our journey to Australia.

The thing to note about this is that it was barely three weeks after the Dawson's Field hijackings. I assume the bomb threat would have been received on 29th September. By that date the hostages from the hijackings had all been freed, excepting the last six who as far as I understand were released around that date. The arrested PFLP hijackers and other Arab prisoners were not released in exchange until 30th September and 1st October, so the affair was not quite over when our flight was in progress.

I presume that our hoaxer was merely an attention-seeker, but given the timing he must have been inspired by the current events.

The BOAC website mentions the very similar bomb hoax incident of Flight 600, a 747 scheduled to fly from Montreal to London on 3rd August 1971 and diverted to Denver. Yet the case of my own flight gets no mention, despite the fact that it occurred at such a sensitive and significant time.

Has anyone ever heard of it? Maybe someone else was even on the flight who remembers it?

I wish I could be sure of the flight number. I have an old menu for the Hong Kong-Darwin-Sydney legs which bears the number "801" - that might be the flight number. I am not sure if it was the number it had when it departed London - I have an idea the number sometimes changed at Hong Kong.

Greetings to everyone - I am very glad to have discovered this fascinating website and forum!

Matthew McKenna
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