The Lost Aviator
WATCH ONLINE DOCUMENTARY ! The Lost Aviator is the story of my great uncle, Captain Bill Lancaster, who’s adventure, romance and mystery have intrigued me for years. Amongst my family, Bill has always been revered as a fearless British hero, a pioneering aviator during the late 1920’s and 30’s. What really captivated me about this story though, was the murder trial that my family didn’t like to talk about. With my generational distance, I began questioning my family about Bill.
In Miami 1932, when fate traps Bill and Chubbie in a love triangle with American writer, Haden Clarke, things start to get messy. Haden is found with a bullet in his head and Bill claims it’s suicide… even after admitting he forged the suicide notes!
A scandalous 18 day murder trial ensues with Bill facing the electric chair. But given the mounting circumstantial evidence and dubious forensics, I can’t help but question the jury outcome; especially after going to the house in Miami and scene of the crime.
One year exactly to the day the bullet was fired, Bill mysteriously disappears, only to be found 29 years later beside a small plane, his body mummified in the Sahara desert. His tragic and lonely death is recounted in an emotional diary describing the last 8 days of his life, waiting to be rescued.
Bill Lancaster’s story remains one of great interest and intrigue, and to many, an obsession. Sure, Bill had an unquenchable thirst for flying, and he was a truly epic British adventurer - but who was Bill Lancaster really? Was he a hero or a murderer?