Cor Pan, an apparent passenger on the ill-fated Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, was only making a light-headed, somewhat tasteless joke when he posted a photo of the Boeing 777 he was about to board on Facebook. However, all joking aside, the young Dutchman would prove eerily prescient with his joke about a disappearing plane when the jet was truly disappear from the skies, shot down above the Ukraine-Russia border on its way to Malaysia.
Agence France-Presse reported (via Yahoo News) July 17 that Cor Pan, who had previously posted photos of beaches in anticipation of a holiday trip to Malaysia, had taken a little time while in line to board the Boeing 777 to take a photo and post it with the caption: "If it should disappear, this is what it looks like."
Of course, Pan was making reference to the Malaysia Airlines jet, Flight MH370, that disappeared back in March. That plane is believed to have gone down somewhere in the Indian Ocean, a conclusion reached by investigatory work involving satellite data and radar tracking after all other communications with Flight MH370 were lost. To date, there has been no trace of the massive Boeing 777 or the 239 passengers and crewmen that were aboard.
Flight MH17 from Amsterdam, Holland, to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, disappeared as well from radar screens when it was reported shot down by a surface-to-air missile. All 297 passengers and crew are believed dead.
The Malaysia Airlines jet was flying at cruising altitude, according to media reports, when it was struck by a missile. Although there was much finger-pointing at the time, there is now reason to believe that the airplane was shot down by pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine.
Confirmation that Cor Pan was actually on board Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 is as yet nonexistent. The Facebook photo, though, indicates that the Dutch student was "near Schipol, Netherlands." Surroundings suggest that the photo was taken from the gate as passengers waited to get on the plane.
However, subsequent posts by friends on his Facebook page would seem to offer at least some corroboration that Pan was aboard MH17.