Diana Aviatrix Lost

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Diana Aviatrix Lost
Diana Aviatrix Lost.jpg
Start date: December 16th, 1940
End date: July 12th, 1941
# of strips: 180 (30 weeks)
Writer: Lee Falk
Artist: Ray Moore
Original colorist: N/A
Preceded by: "The Game of Alvar"
Followed by: "The Phantom's Treasure"

"Diana Aviatrix Lost" is the 14th Phantom daily story. The story was written by Lee Falk and drawn by Ray Moore.

Plot synopsis

The Phantom prepares to leave for a visit to Diana Palmer when he reads in the newspaper that she has been involved in a plane crash over Central America and the search for her has been given up. He immediately leaves for the area to conduct his own investigation; However, Diana and her pilot, Pete, had managed to land the plane successfully, and upon encountering wild men they take refuge in a nearby temple, which the wild men refuse to approach. Exploring the temple further, the two enter a mysterious staircase before being trapped inside. Meanwhile, the Phantom arrives in the area and encounters the same wild men, whom he impresses by defeating hand-to-hand; He is then able to convince the men to take him to where they last saw Diana and discovers the temple. Exploring the same staircase, he too is trapped inside and finds a unit of civilized men led by a man named Big, who has taken Diana captive. Big explains they are here to build secret bases in preparation for when his country inevitably invades, and the Phantom is put to work building the base alongside Pete. The Phantom, after refusing the allow guards to torture an old man, overpowers the guards and escapes, eventually being captured again by Big, who decides to seal the Ghost Who Walks in an underground room with no air. As he begins to run out of oxygen, the old man he saved earlier opens a secret entrance to the room and the two escape to the same tribe of wild men encountered previously. The Phantom learns the old man is a member of the tribe and, with his help, rallies the wild men to attack the temple, radioing Colonial Services for reinforcements. The wild men and Colonial Services manage to take the secret base, but a pile of dynamite is accidentally ignited, causing the base to explode before, the Phantom believes, Diana was able to escape; Momentarily believing his love is dead, Devil leads the Phantom to a handkerchief discarded nearby, indicating Diana must have escaped, still captive by Big.

The Phantom trails Big and Diana thanks to Diana wildly igniting Big's campfire, which creates a signal to follow but also blazes into a wild fire. Diana is separated from the Phantom and Big and eventually believes the two men to have been engulfed by the flames and died; She is then recovered by Pete and taken back to civilization. The Phantom however, had managed to capture Big and escape the wildfire and, upon returning to town and finding Pete, learns that Diana has already left the hospital, too distraught by the Phantom's death. Before leaving to find her, the Phantom helps Colonial Services interrogate Big into giving up the other secret bases.

The Phantom returns to the Palmer estate and, after another number of missed connections, he and Diana Palmer are once again reunited, though briefly as, at the same moment, a tribesman named Mowgi arrives from the Bandar to inform the Phantom that his ancestral treasure has been stolen.


Recurring characters

One-time characters

  • Big (Villain)
  • Pete (Pilot)


  • Central America
    • Panama canal

Behind the scenes

Title panel.
  • This story has often been reprinted with the title "Diana Aviatrix Lost". However, the actual title "Diana" appears in the last daily strip of the preceding story.


This story has been published in the following publications:

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