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The New York Air Disaster (1960) Options
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 12:00:00 AM
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Joined: 3/7/2009
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The New York Air Disaster (1960)

On a snowy day in 1960, two airliners destined for different airports collided over Staten Island, New York. Trans World Airlines Flight 266 crashed into Staten Island and United Airlines Flight 826 crashed into a Brooklyn neighborhood. The crash killed all 128 passengers aboard both planes, as well as six people on the ground in Brooklyn. An 11-year-old United passenger named Stephen Baltz initially survived the crash, but he later died from his injuries. How did he survive the landing? More...
Posted: Wednesday, December 16, 2015 2:26:45 PM

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Joined: 2/4/2014
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The Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky
(excerpt from The Ghost of Brooklyn: Thrilling Accounts of Souls, Spirits and Ghosts).

The 78th Police Precinct, located at 65 6th Avenue, is the site of a peculiar haunting. This police station, as is not uncommon given the nature of world, is a place where people have died, prisoners have attempted suicide and distraught spirits linger. There are, in other words, a good number of instances of paranormal activity.

It is thought that these ghosts have now become more active. Some psychics believe the construction of the Nets arena a block away has animated them. They have grown curious about the changes in the neighborhood. It is, psychics suggest, the reason these spectral beings have become more visible.

It is not any of the ghosts inside the 79th Police Precinct that concerns this haunting, but rather it is the Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky. The Ghost makes his way to the police station to report his luggage is lost. He doesn’t know where to find it.

He is believed to be the ghost of the one surviving passenger — a young boy — who fell from the sky when United Airlines flight 826 and Trans World Airlines flight 266 collided over Staten Island on December 16, 1960.

One passenger survived the initial impact. Stephen L. Baltz, an 11-year-old boy from Wilmette, Illinois, was thrown from the tail section of the United Airlines jetliner and landed on a snow bank. Residents rolled him in the snow to extinguish the flames that engulfed his clothes. He was conscious, and Dorothy M. Fletcher, who lived at 143 Berkeley Place, rushed to help. The photograph of her holding an umbrella to protect the child from the falling snow made headlines around the country.

In 2004, at the age of 91, she was interviewed by Nathaniel Altman of the Park Slope Reader. This is how she recalled that day:

"There were two men walking by, and I called out to them, “Do you have a car?” Because there were so many people around there, and so many automobiles that ambulances couldn’t get through. And they said, “Yes, we have a car.” It was on Lincoln Place. … We lay Stephen on the back seat and I knelt down beside him. All the way up to the hospital he talked to me. What broke my heart was when he asked me if he was going to die. I said, “Not if we can help it. We’re taking you to Methodist Hospital.” And he said, “That’s good, because I am a Methodist.” He also told us that his daddy was still in Illinois, in Chicago, and his mother and sister were waiting for him at the airport. They were going to spend Christmas with his uncle up in Yonkers. It’s almost as though he were talking to me now. I can hear him … Up to three years ago, Mrs. Baltz and I sent each other Christmas cards and would report what was going on with our families. And then it stopped like that, and I just surmised that she had passed away."

The boy died from his injuries the following day, peacefully, with his mother and father by his side.

In the intervening decades, there have been reports of the Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky making his way from the intersection of Sterling Place and 7th Avenue to the 78th Precinct at 65 6th Avenue to report his lost luggage.

Is the Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky none other than Stephen L. Baltz, the 11-year-old Boy Scout from Illinois, who was flying to New York to spend Christmas with family in Yonkers?

There is a consensus that the ghost is indeed that of Stephen L. Baltz. He is seen wandering the streets. He is holding his boarding pass for United Airlines flight 826 and a luggage claim ticket. He says he is confused, and doesn’t know where the airport baggage claim is located. He is sure his mother is waiting for him at the end of the jet way, but he doesn’t remember how he got here.

The Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky has communicated with psychics to let them know that he’s a Boy Scout and knows First Aid. He says he can help the injured. The Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky further claims that when he arrives at the 78th Precinct, the police officers ignore him.

Is it because he’s a minor and his parents aren’t with him? Is it because they don’t believe him when he explains that his airplane crashed a few blocks away? Is it because they don’t have time for him?

The Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky claims he becomes exasperated at being ignored. He leaves the station and just sits on the steps. He wonders what Yummy Tacos are. He is curious — but a bit scared — to go into Hungry Ghost. He only has 65 cents, so he can’t even buy a can of soda at the corner store.

The police officers at the 78th Police Precinct may not see or believe the Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky, but do you?

Do you see him as he approaches the 78th Police Precinct? Do you see him when he’s sitting on the steps? Do you see him as he walks the streets, holding his boarding pass, baggage claim ticket and 65 cents?

Do you believe the Ghost of the Boy Who Fell from the Sky when he claims to have fallen from the sky over Park Slope?

In your life, when was the last time you fell and depended on the kindness of strangers?
Fredric Frank Myers
Posted: Thursday, December 17, 2015 7:59:06 PM

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Joined: 1/31/2015
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Location: Apache Junction, Arizona, United States
Sad day in our history...
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