What happened to Flight 828 in Manifest? The fate of the plane still bothers fans

kayleighbarker June 11, 2021
Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images via Getty Images


What happened to Flight 828? As fan curiosity continues to build in the last stretch of season 3, many are wondering what happened and how the passengers reappeared after five years of being presumed dead? Let’s look at some theories…

The mystery of Flight 828

After a flight disappeared for five years and all passengers on board have been presumed dead, you don’t expect to see them walk through the door unscathed. Well, that’s exactly what happened on Manifest. But what really happened to Flight 828?

To add some context, during the time of Flight 828’s disappearance, 191 passengers were on board travelling from Jamaica to New York. So, between those two locations, something unusual must have occurred.

What’s more, the passengers themselves believed they’d just experienced a few minutes of air turbulence – not a five-year disappearance. But due to these strange details – including a lack of physical and mental ageing – countless fan theories have appeared about the mysterious flight. 

Some believe, for example, the flight may have encountered a time vortex, dark lightning, a wormhole or supernatural presence. Let’s explore some of the theories out there.

What happened to Flight 828? The clues behind the disappearance

In season 3 of Manifest, Flight 828 passenger Ben Stone added more confusion to the case when he explained he believes all the flight’s passengers had been resurrected – but by what, he doesn’t know. He said the plane debris previously found in the ocean proves the plane exploded and they had all died.

The plot continues to get stranger when another passenger, Saannvi Bahl, reveals the passengers’ DNA signatures are related to sapphire – a gemstone some religions believe has ties to the divine.

This fits in with the other religious themes being explored throughout the series. So far we’ve seen the passengers attempt to escape their death date and find ancient wood fragments linked to Noah’s Ark and a volcano tarot card foretelling doom.


Is Flight 828 based on a true story?

Jeff Rake, series creator, said in a SyFy interview that, while the show isn’t based on truth, the idea for it came together after the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 in March 2014.

With a total of 227 passengers and 12 crew members, the flight disappeared en-route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Search teams never recovered bodies and the cause of the crash has yet to be determined.

Prior to the Malaysia Airlines crash, Rake revealed he’d pitched the show’s idea years ago and people were only interested in it after the aircraft tragedy. He said: “I pitched [Manifest] around [a decade ago], nobody wanted it.”

Rake added: “Then, seven years later, Malaysian Airlines happened and suddenly my crazy idea felt a little more real, a little more relatable, in the context of Malaysian Air, suddenly people were interested.”

So, although the show may not be based on reality, we can definitely see similarities.

What have fans been saying?

Reddit users have been voicing their conspiracies, read below to find out their theories on what happened to Flight 828.

Kayleigh is an intern writer at The Focus, currently studying Journalism at Goldsmiths University, London. She loves photography, travel and writing. In recent months, Kayleigh has taken on the role of editor at her student newspaper, EastLondonLines.