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29 Apr, 2009 06:07

Hollywood could hold key to finding Russian pilots lost in Africa

The Hollywood film ‘Lord of War’ starring Nicolas Cage as an alleged Russian arms dealer Victor Bout is now in the center of another scandal involving the disappearance of several cargo crews in Africa in the nineties.

The blockbuster ‘Lord of War’ showed Nicolas Cage’s hero as a dangerously handsome arms dealer who never loses his cynical sense of humour. As Cage’s hero put it:

“There are 550 million firearms in the worldwide circulation. That’s one firearm per every 12 people on the planet. The only question is: how do we arm the other 11?”

It is claimed that this role was inspired by Russian businessman Victor Bout, who, for over a year now, has been held in custody in Bangkok.

Now a new scandal could surface concerning the movie. The very AN-12 plane that was used by Nicolas Cage in the movie is allegedly one of those that disappeared in Angola together with its crew in the nineties.

While there has been no response from the movie makers, Sergey Kudryashov from the Returning Pilots Home Foundation, is positive that this fresh clue could help find their boys.

“Surely there can be mistakes. But if you worked with the plane you'll definitely recognize it. Little dents, extra antennae and so on. It's just like spotting your own car among similar ones,” Kudryashov said.

Back in the nineties many crews from the former USSR took off for the warm skies of Africa in the quest for big bucks for air cargo services. However, not all of them were lucky enough to find their way back.

To this day there are over 20 people missing. The last plane vanished just two years ago. While no-one knows what happened to them, or even if they're still alive, relatives still cling to the hope that one day they'll see their loved ones again.

“I believe that our boys are still alive. They are probably enslaved, but alive,” said a relative of a missing Russian pilot Valentina Kozlova.

“Some time ago we were shown a crash site, but then the officials admitted that they were mistaken as the human remains were non Slavic. None of us believed in their death then and no-one believes it now.”

With the planes starting to disappear back in the nineties, some of the families have not seen their loved ones for over a decade now. Relatives have tried almost everything and keep in close contact with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Yet so far all has been in vain, but every new clue still keeps their faith afloat.