Avro Lincoln RF398 in RAF Museum Cosford
The spectral landscape of Britain is littered with an abundance of haunted houses, castles and inns. But the RAF Museum Cosford, where hundreds of aircraft are on show, must surely possess one of the countries most unusual paranormal locations - a haunted Lincoln Bomber, RF398.
The Lincoln Bomber, designated RF398, was built by the A.V. Roe Aircraft Co. and was intended to be the successor to the Lancaster Bomber Introduced in 1945, it was too late to see active service in World War II, and the coming of the jet engine soon after rendered piston engines obsolete and its usefulness proved relatively short-lived.
Stories of strange occurrences experienced around Avro Lincoln RF398 have been circulating since the early 1980s. The bomber was moved to RAF Museum Cosford in 1977 and was in a sorry state of repair. RAF volunteers, together with retired servicemen, devoted a great deal of their spare time to renovate it. One night shortly after the work began, a member of the museum staff switched off the lights in the hangar and was locking the doors when he caught a glimpse of someone moving inside the plane. Switching the lights back on, he went to investigate but, after searching every corner of the bomber, he found no one. Not long afterwards, a volunteer was working alone inside the plane when he heard the rear door open and footsteps walking along the fuselage towards him. Thinking it was one of his workmates, he asked for a spanner, and one was duly handed to him. When he turned to thank the person, he was astonished to find that he was alone.
The secretary to the museum was once preparing an information board about the bomber when she heard a voice calling her name. Thinking it was a colleague, she turned to see what they wanted but no one else was there. Such was the effect of the ordeal that she point-blank refused to enter the hangar alone again.
One of the strangest stories is that of an electrician who was working on the plane 4.6m (l 5ft) above the ground when he suddenly slipped and fell. Bracing himself for What he Was convinced would be a fatal impact, he suddenly floated to a stop and hovered above the floor. He later recalled it was as though an invisible force had saved his life.
Nobody knows whose ghost haunts the plane, although one contender is a Major Hiller, the pilot who flew the plane on its last flight on 30 April 1963. He is said to have been very fond of the plane and reputedly promised that he would "haunt his baby". Shortly after that last flight, he was killed in a plane crash near Cosford.