On Thursday, 17 July 2014, Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 Boeing 777 was shot down over Ukraine, near the Russian border. None of the 298 passengers on board survived.
The most well-known among the passengers in the week following the incident, though, is Cor Pan, a Dutch national travelling from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, posted a message on his social networking website along with a picture of the plane that said: ‘Mocht hij verdwijnen , zo ziet hij d’r uit’. Translated into English, it reads: In case it goes missing, this is what it looks like.
Four months ago, Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 had vanished over the Indian Ocean. Pan was likely making a reference to that. In the days following MH17’s crash, in the last week or so, Pan’s message and its tragic comments trail has made its way onto message boards, Reddit, Facebook, Twitter – you name it. According to his profile, Pan was self-employed and hailed from Volendam in North Holland.
It is considered bad form to invoke thoughts of death or negativity when about to set out on a journey. Though it’s probably nothing more than a silly superstition that thinking things will make them so, it turned out to be tragically true in Pan’s case. It has struck a chord with the vast majority of internet-users, who have been sharing Pan’s last status message and adding their own messages of condolence and sadness.
We hope, like the rest of the world, that the truth regarding the accident will be brought to light soon.

Sharath Komarraju

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