ABC News

Passengers Take Us Inside The Great 1971 Qantas Bomb Hoax

It might be a crime that is easily overlooked given it occurred over 50 years ago, but it was a crime that would shake the nation and rock the Australian aviation industry for decades to come. 

We are talking, of course, about the Great Qantas Hoax of 1971. 

It was supposed to be a regular long-haul flight on Qantas flight 755 from Sydney to Hong Kong with no stopovers. There were 116 passengers onboard, who unbeknownst to them, were about to become the victims of a terrifying bomb threat. 

The Great Qantas Hoax: Part 1 – Doomsday Flight

A man who introduced himself to Qantas staff as “Mr Brown”, revealed he had placed a bomb on flight 755 which would detonate if the plane descended below 20,000 feet – unless he was to receive a payment of $500,000. 

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At first, the threats were unsubstantiated until police were led to a second bomb which had been left in a locker at Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith International Airport. 

Adam Shand takes us beyond the hoax in this episode of Crime Insiders: In Focus, speaking with passengers onboard the ill-fated Qantas flight who reveal how it impacted their lives going forward and what actually happened inside the plane in the hours before the plane touched down safely in Sydney. 

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