Niger memorial for UTA flight 772

Google Earth offers a convenient way to (virtually) visit a memorial to airplane crash victims at a remote desert site in Nguigmi, Niger (at WGS coordinates 16°51′53″N 11°57′13″E). The Google Earth placemark reads: “Location of a man-made memorial to the crash site of UTA Flight 772. The DC-10 crashed after a brief-case bomb placed by Libyan terrorists exploded in 1989. Read more.”

Google Earth blog includes more:

Flight 772 was scheduled to travel from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo to Paris back in 1989, but a Libyan bomb took out the plane and killed all aboard.  Eighteen years later, some of the families of the 170 people on board went out and created the memorial.

The memorial is more than 200 feet in diameter, with stone and mirrors that were trucked in from 70km away.  You can see it for yourself in Google Earth by loading this KMZ file.

Viralnova provides photographs of the construction, sponsored by families of the victims. It’s moving to see what they accomplished under the conditions in this area.

More also from Snopes:

In 2007 Les Familles de l’Attentat du DC10 d’UTA, using compensation funds paid by the Libyan government…[created the memorial] constructed by 100 people working largely by hand under the desert sun.
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 170 broken mirrors, representing those who died, and arrows marking the points of the compass. At the northern point, part of the right wing of the DC-10 has been erected as a monument, with a plaque commemorating the victims. This memorial has garnered additional visibility in recent years because it can be clearly seen in satellite imagery viewable through Google Earth and has been chronicled in web sites such as Google SightSeeing.

It reminds me of the (natural) Richat structure near Ouadane, Mauritania.

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  1. […] Niger memorial for UTA flight 772 […]

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