Claim: Photographs show a desert memorial constructed to honor the victims of UTA Flight 772.
Example: [Collected via e-mail, November 2013]
So I did some more research and discovered there’s an incredibly tragic and beautiful story behind it. Here it is, from start to finish.
UTA Flight 772 was a scheduled flight operating from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris CDG airport in France.
On Tuesday, September 19th, 1989 the aircraft exploded over Niger in the Tenere region of the Sahara Desert. French investigators determined a suitcase bomb planted by Libyan terrorists to be the cause. All
Due to the remoteness of the location, pieces of the wreckage could still be found at the site.
The memorial was built mostly by hand and uses dark stones to create a
The Tenere region is one of the most inaccessible places on the planet. The stones were trucked to the site from over
The memorial was built over the course of two months in May and June of 2007.
170 broken mirrors, representing each victim, were placed around the circumference of the memorial.
The memorial is anchored by the starboard wing of the aircraft which was trucked to the site from
A plaque commemorating each victim is affixed to the wing.
The memorial was partly funded by the
The memorial can be seen from Google Earth.
Origins: On 19 September 1989 a
An investigation by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) determined the deadly explosion had been caused by a bomb placed in a suitcase which was stored in the forward cargo hold. Six Libyans were eventually tried and convicted at the Paris Assize Court in absentia (because Libya declined to allow their extradition to France)
The Paris Assize Court awarded the families of the UTA bombing victims amounts ranging from about $4,000 to $40,000 each, and an association representing the victims' families, Les Familles de l'Attentat du DC10 d'UTA, negotiated a separate settlement with the Gaddafi International Foundation for Charity Associations in 2004 for
In 2007 Les Familles de l'Attentat du DC10 d'UTA, using compensation funds paid by the Libyan government, financed the construction of a memorial to the victims shown above, made of dark rocks which form the shape of a
The life-size silhouette of the aircraft lies inside a circle more than 200ft in diameter, created using dark stones set into the sand. Surrounding this circle are
Last updated: 4 September 2015