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Category:Articles about Hitchcock's disappearance in December 1955

As part of the international publicity tour for The Trouble with Harry (1955), the Hitchcocks had been scheduled to fly from India to Singapore with Dutch airline KLM, where they were be the guests of Singaporean businessman Loke Wan Tho, before then travelling on to Hong Kong.

The couple were due to arrive on Saturday 3rd December 1955 and Wan Tho had organised an evening cocktail party to welcome them to Singapore. However, the flight failed to arrive and the cocktail party took place without the guests of honour. Concerns mounted when the Hitchcocks failed to arrive the following day and the formal dinner Wan Tho had planned for Sunday evening was cancelled. Speaking to the press, he said, "I am completely baffled."

It seems initial inquiries to Calcutta Airport confirmed the plane had departed and fears grew that it might have crashed into the Bay of Bengal whilst en-route to Thailand. Reporters contacted Hitchcock's daughter, Patricia, who told them that she had not heard from her parents.

On Monday 5th, the mystery was eventually resolved, although many local newspapers went to press that day still reporting that the director was missing. The take-off had been delayed at Calcutta due to technical problems and the pilot was then forced to turn back over the Bay of Bengal when more problems with the engines were reported.

Landing back at Calcutta, the airline chose not to disembark the passengers whilst further repairs took place — according to press reports, the convoluted immigration procedures at the airport would have introduced an even lengthier delay. Unable to disembark, Hitchcock couldn't telegram ahead to report the delays.

The flight eventually landed around 20 hours late in Bangkok, Thailand — where apparently the aircraft was delayed by a further 15 hours whilst more repairs took place — before carrying on to Singapore.[1] Whilst waiting in Bangkok, the Hitchcocks apparently decided that it wasn't worthwhile carrying on to Singapore and they telegrammed ahead to let Paramount staff that they would be catching the next flight to Hong Kong.

Speaking to the press about the delays, Hitchcock quipped, "Let's put it this way — it's the strangest flight I have ever been on."[2]

When the couple eventually returned to America in late December, the director held a press conference at Paramount Studios in which he said, "I knew we were overdue in Singapore but I had no way to send a message. Finally, we were so late we had to cancel the Singapore stop."[3]


  1. From the press reports, it's uncertain if the landing in Bangkok was a scheduled stop-over or if it was necessitated by the engine problems.
  2. The Modesto Bee (05/Dec/1955) - Hitchcock Lands in Bangkok After 'Strange Flight'
  3. Los Angeles Times (29/Dec/1955) - Hitchcock Gets Chuckle Out of Disappearance