Google Maps seemingly captured a downed plane in an Australian rainforest — or did it?

An eagle-eyed user noticed what appeared to be a fully intact airplane lying in a clearing in the Cardwell Range, located approximately 155 miles south of Port Douglas on the Queensland coast.

The image also could have captured the plane, which the Daily Mail said appears to be a standard Airbus A320 or Boeing 737, flying at a very low altitude, giving off an impression that it is on the ground.

A close up of the plane.
The plane appears to be fully intact.
Google Maps

But Australian safety officials said it’s likely just a glitch in Google’s satellite software.

“There appears to be a phenomenon called ghost images and that could be what this is,” Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority told the Cairns Post.

The Australian Transport Safety Bureau added that it wasn’t unaware of any missing passenger jets. 

In 2016 — after a downed plane that never actually crashed was seen at the bottom of a Minneapolis lake was seen on Google Maps — a Google spokesperson said that satellite images appearing on the website are complications of several images.

“Fast-moving objects like planes often show up in only one of the many images we use for a given area. When this happens, faint remnants of the fast-moving object can sometimes be seen,” Susan Cadrecha said.

Google has yet to confirm that this is the case in Queensland.

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