A mystery plane baffled the military of several NATO nations in a flight that left officials with more questions than answers.
The early June flight took off from Lithuania, according to The Sun. From there, it flew into the airspace of fellow NATO member Poland. After that, it was on through Slovakia.
The plane, described as a Beechcraft two-seater, then landed at a small airport in Debrecen, Hungary.
By this time, Hungarian authorities were already involved in a chase because the plane did not respond to radio transmissions.
According to the RomaniaJounal, the refueling in Hungary – completed just a step ahead of the police — was done with canisters that were aboard the plane.
The Hungarian Air Force picked up the trail, followed by Romanian fighters accompanied by two U.S. F-16s.
According to The Drive, the plane flew so low that the jets were unable to intercept it, and merely shadowed it.
The plane then detoured southwest to fly through Serbia, the only non-NATO country visited during the flight.
From Serbia, the plane flew east to Bulgaria, where it landed at an abandoned airfield in Targovishte.
By the time Bulgarian authorities investigated, they found the plane with the engine still warm, but there was no trace of any pilot, crew or passengers.
🚨➡️The pilot of the mysterious Lithuanian plane that flew over Poland, Slovakia,Hungary, Romania, after which he landed in Bulgaria is untraceable: the Bulgarians have been looking for him for 24 hours, according to AFP pic.twitter.com/v6KyenFTEe
— Global Anti Terrorism🚨🆘🚨 (@RemusGlobal) June 9, 2022
Bulgarian Ministry of Defense official Dragomir Zakov said the plane entered Bulgarian airspace on June 8.
“At no time was the plane a threat to civilian or military infrastructure in Bulgaria,” he said, according to The Sun.
“It flew at low altitudes, which made difficult the interception for fighter jets, but it was monitored all the time. The Ministry of Defense is taking the appropriate actions to establish the circumstances,” he said.
Odd story: ”a mystery aircraft took off from Lithuania and illegally entered the airspace of several countries. The plane was later found in Bulgaria but without the crew.
“They were not Lithuanians. I cannot say which country they were from, maybe…” https://t.co/9hozAcUbzY
— Ann (@BannedAnn) June 11, 2022
Shortly before its mysterious flight, the plane was sold by Bronius Zaronskis, a Lithuanian pilot and director of Nida Air Park. He said a group of three men came to look at the aircraft.
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“They were not Lithuanians. I can’t say which country they were from, maybe Ukrainians, maybe Romanians or Bulgarians. I communicated with a man in Russian. I don’t know the names of those men. I wasn’t interested,” he said, adding that an organization bought the plane. He did not name the organization.
“I sold it and said goodbye to that plane. I’ve been trying to sell it for many years. I had nowhere to keep it, so I’m glad they bought it. I don’t remember which organization bought it. The documents were written in a foreign language,” Zaronskis said.