The Hemingways’ Famous Double Accident at Murchison Falls National Park

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69 years ago, the famous plane crash that involved American journo and novelist, Ernest Hemingway and wife, Mary Welsh Hemingway in Murchison Falls National Park made headlines around the world. But the story was even crazier.

A tall and powerfully built individual with a moustache, Hemingway was both a man of action as well as an accomplished author of action stories. As a correspondent, he had covered the Spanish Civil War as well as the first and second world wars.

That fateful day of January 25, 1954 the chartered plane carrying the novelist and his wife on a sightseeing trip cracked up in the wilds near the Murchison Falls a couple of moments after failing to land in Masindi for a routine refueling.

The area where they crashed was one of the most inaccessible spots in Uganda dominated by crocodiles, elephants, buffaloes, lions and other big game but also one of the most beautiful at the time.

The news made headlines across the globe, as the famous scribe and his wife were feared dead. Obviously, no one imagined they’d have escaped the crash and if they had; the wilderness wouldn’t have spared them.

Long story short, the duo was fortunately found and rescued by a launch-trip taking tourists to the falls. They would later on be transferred to Butiaba, on the shores of present-day Lake Albert, where they boarded an evacuation plane destined for Nairobi, Kenya.

Shortly after take off, that plane caught fire and plunged to the ground as well. Quite shockingly, everyone on board escaped alive but it’s reported that Ernest sustained back injuries which he would live with for the rest of his life.

A police rescue party then transferred the Hemingways to Masindi Hotel, which if you didn’t know, is Uganda’s oldest hotel. And to this day, one is able to visit the room he stayed in, lightly conserved but more like it looked several years ago.

As a result of Hemingway’s life-cheating story, several foreign tourists flocked Uganda’s Murchison Falls National Park.

Although he’d proved immortal, Ernest Hemingway was found dead of a shotgun wound in the head at his home 7 years after the double-crash. His wife, Mary, said that he had killed himself accidentally while cleaning the weapon. What a life!

 

 

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