Authorities Cancel Flight After Passengers Receive Creepy Pics On Their Phones

Ashley Hunte
An airplane flying in a partially cloudy sky.
Unsplash | John McArthur

Despite it being one of the safest ways to travel, flying in an airplane is cause for stress and anxiety for a lot of travelers. Plane crashes don't happen often, which is why they're all the more tragic when they do.

They're also the last thing you want to be thinking about when you're in an airplane, whether your flight's already taken off, or it's about to.

This week, a flight was aborted after an unknown suspect shared disturbing images with other passengers.

The inside of an airplane full of passengers in their seats.
Unsplash | Suhyeon Choi

A Turkish flight scheduled to travel from Israel to Istanbul on Tuesday aborted plans after several passengers reported having frightening images shared to their phones, just as the plane was preparing to leave the tarmac.

They were shared via AirDrop.

Three iPhones on a desk.
Unsplash | Arnel Hasanovic

AirDrop is a service that allows iPhone users to send images to one another wirelessly. Upon getting a request, users can decide whether or not to accept, meaning that not every passenger was sent the images.

The images included different plane crashes.

Crash site of Turkish Airlines Flight 1951
Wikimedia Commons | Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

One image showed the wreckage of a 2009 Turkish flight that crashed into Amsterdam, killing nine passengers.

A second image showed wreckage of a 2013 flight that crashed in San Francisco, killing three passengers.

The images shocked and disturbed passengers.

The plane, which was scheduled to fly out of Israel's Ben Gurion Airport, had no less than 160 passengers on board. When the pilot was made aware of the situation, he decided to allow airport security to investigate.

One passenger who was interviewed by Israeli news outlets recounted the situation.

The view as seen over a person's shoulder as they scroll through their phone.
Unsplash | charlesdeluvio

"Most people received a request for a photo confirmation in AirDrop, some approved and some did not," they said.

"The plane stopped and the flight attendants asked who got the pictures."

Security also checked the bags of the passengers.

A lone suitcase in the middle of an airport.
Unsplash | Liu Revutska

"They took all our luggage out of the plane for a second check," the passenger continued.

Ultimately, the flight was delayed for five hours while authorities investigated, but did end up being cleared for takeoff later that day.

A separate passenger reported that there was mass panic on the plane.

plane cabin with attendants
Unsplash | ismail mohamed - SoviLe

Speaking to a local newspaper, the passenger stated that at least one passenger had a panic attack. Another passenger was allegedly hospitalized after falling during the panic to leave the plane.

As of now, it's unclear who sent the photos.

A phone open to a messenger apps folder.
Unsplash | Adem AY

Global News reports that a spokesperson from the airport's security ruled out the possibility of a cyber attack, believing that whoever sent the disturbing images was a passenger on the plane.

They do, however, currently have suspects in questioning.

A grounded airplane seen through an airport window.
Unsplash | Iwan Shimko

It had been reported that several young Israelis were identified as suspects and taken into questioning before the flight was cleared. Motives for sending the images to passengers is currently unknown.

If there's one thing for sure, it's that the pilot did the right thing.

An airplane flying onto a runway.
Unsplash | Pascal Meier

During the initial investigation, the airport security spokesperson said, "All steps taken are in cooperation and coordination with the flight captain who has shown great responsibility in the decision to return the aircraft to the terminal."

h/t: Global News

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