To date, no wreckage of Missoni’s plane has been located since it took off from Los Roques for Caracas. A hotel owner on the islands said he last saw the plane – a twin-engine BN-2 Islander built in 1968 – entering a bank of clouds. Meanwhile, the Missoni family said it was not ruling out the possibility that the plane had been hijacked by local drug smugglers. Venezuela’s civil aviation authority said the aircraft’s last recorded position was 18km south of the Los Roques.

Since the mid-90s, there have been at least 15 reported incidents in which small aircraft have either crashed, disappeared or declared emergencies while travelling through the area. In 2008, 14 people were killed when a plane making the same journey as Missoni’s crashed into the sea. No wreckage was ever found and only one body was recovered.

Speculation about possible explanations for the “curse” has ranged from basic pilot error through to the release of methane hydrates from the sea floor. The lack of evidence only fuels speculation.