Viewing some of the most remote areas in the world is easier than ever with Google Earth. Though there may not be a lot to see in these desolate areas, occasionally you may come across something extraordinary. The UTA Flight 772 Memorial is one such find.
The coordinates 16°51’53″N, 11°57’13″E on Google Earth are far more than meets the eye. At first glance, the area appears to be nothing more than a barren desert with a black airplane overlay. However, this beautiful display is not an overlay, it is a handmade memorial site for Flight 772 victims.
Click on the photos at the coordinates to see ground-level shots of this gorgeous tribute. According to The Weather Channel, Flight 772 was en route to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris when it exploded midair over Niger in the Tenere region of the Sahara Desert.The 1989 crash was the result of a bomb that had been planted in the plane’s luggage by Libyan terrorists.
The crash claimed the lives of 170 victims. The plane crashed over such a remote area of the Sahara Desert that much of the flight’s debris is still scattered there untouched. Members ofLes Familles de l’Attentat du DC-10 d’UTA, an association of the victims’ families, wanted to honor their lost loved ones and decided a tribute in the remote location of the crash would be most powerful.
The tribute was created in 2007, 18 years after the flight crashed, by hand and took over a month for over 150 people to construct. The memorial is the actual size and shape of the flight’s DC-10 aircraft. The designs features the aircraft is inside of a compass that points the intended direction of the flight.
Uniquely, the memorial incorporated pieces of the wreckage. The salvaged starboard wing serves a compass point and over 170 broken mirrors circling the memorial are meant to reflect the victims of the crash. See photos below for an up-close look at the memorial.
This beautiful memorial to Flight 772 victims would remain mostly unseen if it wasn’t for the technology of Google Earth. Now, people from across the globe can view the memorial from their homes in great detail.
The Flight 772 Memorial isn’t the only interesting find on Google Earth involving aircraft. At coordinates 32 08’59.96″ N, 110 50’09.03″W Google Earth viewers can see the Davis Monthan Air Force Base that is closed to the public. The base is known as the location that “military planes go to die”. As you can see in the image below, aircraft liter the ground all across the site.
Have you found anything interesting on Google Earth?