Monday, May 20, 2013

Jose Matada: Falls dead from sky over London after hiding in airplane landing gear on flight from Angola; died on his 26th birthday with just one pound sterling in his pocket

This is like one of those dramatic, attention-grabbing opening sequences on CSI that are designed to make you sit up and say, “What?!?” Except it’s grimly real, and we’re spared having to look at David Caruso and his infernal sunglasses.

The body of a man fell from the sky onto a suburban street in a community outside of London, England, in September. Now, investigators have concluded that he was a stowaway who had hidden in the landing gear of an airplane flying from Angola to London. He fell to earth when the landing gear was readied on approach to Heathrow, where it landed three minutes later.

There were few clues about the identity of the stowaway, who was either unconscious or already dead from hypothermia and oxygen deprivation when he fell from the plane. According to The Guardian, authorities traced the activity on the SIM card in his pocket and spoke to a woman with whom the victim had exchanged several text messages. She was able to identify him based on a distinctive tattoo on his left arm.

Jose Matada, who went by the name Youssoup, died on his 26th birthday, with a single British pound and a bit of Botswanan currency in his pocket. Although the flight he stowed away on originated in the capital of Angola, it is believed that Matada may have been from Mozambique, but officials have been unable to confirm this or locate any of his relatives.

In several messages to a former employer who now resides in Switzerland, Matada had spoken of intending to start a new life in Europe, but revealed nothing about his desperate plans to reach his final destination by stowing away on an intercontinental aircraft.