ascending to 36,000 feet and 35,500 feet respectively. At 12:20 the B-47’s lost visual contact with them after entering a cirrus deck (cloud level), to continue on their course.
However, at 1:57 p.m. Oceanic Air Control informed Homestead that the planes were overdue for contact. This began a massive search for the planes, which finally ended at 29o 19 N 69o 41 W, on the 29th when debris items were definitely identified as belonging to a KC-135 tanker.
Both planes had gone down, in excellent weather, without uttering any word over the radio, no matter how terse, to alert anyone. It seems inconceivable under normal circumstances that the airplanes could have collided after maintaining an initial 500 foot formation separation. We have seen several times in Bermuda Triangle incidents where planes suddenly slow for no reason, where they drop or rise precipitously for no reason as well. If this was the case with these 2 Stratotankers, then both a slowing of the lead plane and a drop in its altitude would be required for the second plane, at a lower altitude, to hit it, presupposing the second plane was unaffected by the same slowing in speed and drop in altitude so it would impact into the lead plane.
The selectivity of such a scenario seems beyond any known turbulence, whether CATs or turbulence from some other provenance. CAT can strike around the jet stream, can precede storms, and can manifest in various conditions which meteorology can predict or at least warn of their possible eventuation on certain flight tracks. None of them are selective enough, however, to hit only one plane in a formation. Regular turbulence would have shaken both aircraft, without necessarily slamming them into each other.