Robert Douglas Sparks
Missing since November 19, 1972 from McAllen, Hidalgo County, Texas
Classification: Endangered Missing
Circumstances of Disappearance
Sparks was last seen in McAllen, Texas on November 19, 1972.
He was a retired Air Force Officer and private pilot at the time of his disappearance.
On November 19, 1972, Sparks departed McAllen, Texas in a 1970 Piper Cherokee 235, ID # N8529N - Wine and white with gold trim. He had been hired by a man named Lonnie Shaw to fly him around the lower Rio Grande Valley. Shaw was carrying two small pieces of luggage and a camera with him. The plane was rented from Upper Valley Aviation in McAllen. Sparks had an appointment to give flight instructions set for 15:30, the day he disappeared. It is believed he would have cancelled the class if he was able.
At 13:50 that day, Sparks cancelled his flight plan with the FAA and advised he was en route to Tampico, Mexico. Radio communication halted. Sparks had no papers to enter Mexico and would not have mentioned he was flying to Tampico unless he was under duress. Pilot again reiterated message about 8 minutes later and has not been heard from since. The plane had fuel for a 500 mile flight.
Bob Sparks or Lonnie Shaw was never heard from again.
Lon D. Shaw
If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
FBI - San Antonio Field Office
Agency Case Number: 7-772
The Family of Robert Douglas Sparks