Growing up, all of us heard the same advice from our parents and teachers: “be careful what you wish for.” As a kid, that advice can be pretty difficult to process. After all, who doesn’t want to get what they’ve been seeking?
However, that recently happened to a man named Philip Smith. A researcher by trade, he devoted countless hours of time and energy to learning all that he could about an urban legend. Sure, he got some of the answers he was seeking, but he also very nearly got himself and his friends killed.
Just what was this urban legend? What did Philip discover, and how did it nearly cost him and his buddies their lives? Keep reading to find out!
An urban legend made real
The world is full of urban legends, and most of them are just designed to scare young children. However, as a researcher with a special interest in World War II, Philip Smith knew of one legend that he believed to be quite real.
The legend focused on a mysterious plane that was meant to travel from America to Japan at the height of the war. Nothing is really known about the plane, including its intended cargo or crew. The only thing anyone ever claimed to know is that the plane was marked with the number 66 and that it mysteriously disappeared from radar as soon as it took off.
There weren’t a lot of details to go on. However, Philip had good reasons to suddenly embark on his quest to find the plane.
A strangely personal journey to the plane
The urban legend might have remained nothing more than an idle fancy for Philip Smith. However, shortly before a work trip took him to Anchorage, Alaska, he received a letter at his Chicago home.
Whoever wrote the letter knew that Philip was a researcher bound for Alaska and mentioned the urban legend by name. Then, it mentioned that if Philip wanted to discover whether the urban legend was real or not, he would have to speak to a man named Stormy Gathers at the Old Cowboys cafe in Anchorage.
At first, Philip was tempted to ignore the strange letter, but eventually, his curiosity and sense of adventure got the better of him. He already had to head to Alaska for his job. What was the harm in talking to one of the locals about this wild urban legend while he was there?
Discovering the hard way that he needed help
Philip still thought the letter was some kind of prank until he landed in Alaska and eventually made his way to the Old Horse cafe. He mentioned Stormy Gathers by name to a worker, and they immediately pointed him toward an old man reading in the corner. It was Stormy Gathers in the flesh, and while he was surprised to hear about the letter, he was eager to tell Philip about some coordinates some travelers passing through had been discussing.
The coordinates hadn’t done those travelers any good, but Stormy passed them to Philip anyway. Philip dutifully traveled to those coordinates, and on his approach, he saw a shadow jutting out from the mountain. It took him longer to get there on foot than he had imagined, and he was forced to set up a tent and sleep overnight. When he woke up with a frozen beard and hands he could barely feel, he realized he would need help.
Difficult entry into the plane
Two of Philip’s colleagues had come on the same trip, and Philip reluctantly called them for help. They arrived as soon as they could with extra supplies, and Philip filled them on in everything from the urban legend to the coordinates and possible plane sighting. Together, they traveled the rest of the way and found the plane exactly where Philip thought it would be.
Most of the plane was covered by snow at the time, and neither Philip nor his friends could find an easy way inside. Eventually, one of the friends who brought some extra equipment suggested drilling the plane door so they could get inside. Philip was hesitant to damage the plane, but overcome by curiosity, he agreed to drill it open.
The plan worked well, and they soon entered the plane. Unfortunately, they found more questions than answers.
Left with plenty of questions
According to the urban legend, nobody knew who or what was on this plane. Now, it seemed the first part of that was going to remain a mystery: Philip couldn’t find anybody inside, including dead bodies. It was as if everyone vanished all at once.
After looking around, he eventually found the black box which should have recorded what happened to the plane. However, it looked damaged beyond repair, and it wasn’t clear whether this somehow happened during the crash or if it had been damaged after the fact.
The only real thing of substance Philip found was the plane’s cargo, secured in several crates. Those contents might have made everyone there a rich man, but their dreams were soon dashed by the arrival of the police.
A police confrontation and a bittersweet ending
It turns out Stormy Gathers had shared those coordinates with plenty of people, including local Anchorage police. Officers arrived on the scene, partially to keep these intruders from damaging the plane and partially to make sure Philip and his friends hadn’t gotten themselves killed.
Pretty soon, Philip was interrogated down at the station. Fortunately for him, the cops believed that he wasn’t up to no good and just wanted answers. It helped that Philip was able to turn over the contents of the crates: dozens of pure, gold bars.
After that, Philip actually got a commendation from the police in the form of a medal he could take home to Chicago. Unfortunately, he flew home with more questions: what happened to that black box? Where was the crew of the plane? Most importantly, who sent him that letter in the first place?
He may never know. But to this day, he is hoping for another strange letter that calls him to adventure once more.
The events of this story are completely fictional. Images are only meant for illustration purposes only. Any resemblance to actual events, places, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.