This article will be taking a look at the Great Mull Air Mystery from Christmas Eve 1975 – what really happened to Cessna pilot Peter Gibbs after he took off from an airfield opposite the Glen Forsa Hotel?
Let’s take a closer look…
So, Peter Gibbs took off from the Isle of Mull on Christmas Eve 1975, and his red and white Cessna F150H managed to vanish just minutes later. Gibbs was a 55 year old businessman who loved flying in his spare time.
He was on the Isle of Mull for work reasons, and when he concluded the deal that night, he told his business partners that he fancied a quick flight.
The hotel staff tried to talk some sense into Gibbs, and told him that the area was not really that safe for night flying. But, Gibbs was well known for not listening to anyone else’s views – and he took the flight on anyway!
Gibbs’s girlfriend, Felicity Granger, and a handful of locals, witnessed him take off into the night with no visible problems.
Felicity then waited for approximately half an hour before returning inside and telling hotel staff that Gibbs had not returned to land.
The weather had taken a turn for the worst at this point so the hotel workers decided to contact the local police. When they arrived they inspected the airstrip area and found nothing out of place, so they decided to call off a search for the night.
Christmas morning arrived, and still there was no sign of Gibbs and his plane – the authorities then decided to launch a full-scale investigation.
Local volunteers scoured the land whilst RAF and Navy Air Service helicopters covered the water areas with their sonar devices. They could find no sign of the businessman.
A full four months later, local shepherd Donald McKinnon found the fully clothed body of Peter Gibbs on a hill about a mile from the Glen Forsa. This hill had been covered many times in the search effort…and Gibbs’s body was in full view of anyone who walked up the hill.
It was near enough impossible that Gibbs’s body could have been on that hill for four months, as it was used by shepherds and the public every day!
Peter Gibbs had died of exposure, medical examiners only found one small cut on his leg.
The problem with this whole ‘picture’ was that Gibbs would have had to have swam the rough seas, get up on the beach, climb a cliff face, cross a road…then head a quarter of a mile uphill only to lie down and suffer the effects of exposure.
No parachute was ever found…and where was the plane?
Eleven years after the mystery began, a pair of clam fishing brothers, Richard and John Grieve, insisted that they had discovered a small red and white plane in September 1986. They claimed that it lay 100 feet down on a seabed about a kilometer off the coast of Oban.
The brothers described the plane as having the the registration number G-AVTN, and being heavily damaged from some sort of crash. Both wings had been snapped off and one of the wheels had been ripped from its housing. There was also a large hole in the cockpit’s windshield.
The plane was still locked from the inside, so the only way out was through the large hole in the windshield.
When salvage teams learned of this discovery, they set out to bring the plane back home…but unfortunately they could not locate the brother’s discovery.
The Great Mull Air Mystery
A very strange case indeed, but what are your thoughts on this subject?
How did Peter Gibbs die and how did his body end up on the side of that hill?
Please leave your opinions in the comment section below.