I was watching the Sherlock episode A Scandal in Belgravia the other day. Everything seemed fine but I didn't get the flight of dead part and those people in the beginning who reported of missing persons (2 girls, one man with ashes, also, the man dead in the car).

If the government knows that there is going to be an attack and flies the plane with corpses (Coventry), then all those reportedly missing persons (in the starting of the show) should be safe and alive.

How did the person end up dying in a car accident?

Why did the girls say that they were not allowed to see their grandparents?

Why did that mysterious man say that the ashes of his aunt had been replaced?

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    The aunt wasn't cremated, they used her body and gave the man other ashes. The girls grandparents' bodies were being used, so they couldn't see them. I don't remember the car accident offhand right now, nor do I have time to re-watch the episode at the moment. The missing people, for the most part, were dead through various circumstances. The point is, these were stolen bodies and people started to notice. This is a comment for the sole reason I'm unable to verify all this with the episode right now. Still, hope it helps till someone posts much the same response as an answer. May 19, 2014 at 19:51
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    It wasn't so much that all those people complained about missing living persons, but about missing dead persons. The government used existing corpses (of people who died in natural or whatever unrelated events) to stuff the plane with. That's why people complained about not being able to see their dead granpa or wrong ashes.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 19, 2014 at 19:54
  • Thanks @NapoleonWilson but what about the man who ended up in the car accident?
    – Rippy
    May 19, 2014 at 19:56
  • @user3382203 I don't remember the context too well.
    – Napoleon Wilson
    May 19, 2014 at 20:02

3 Answers 3


The aunt wasn't cremated, they used her body and gave the man other ashes. (A theme via Sherlock's blog entry on 243 different types of tobacco ash.)

The girls grandparents' bodies were being used, so they weren't allowed to see them.

The missing people were dead through various circumstances. The point is, these were stolen bodies aboard the plane and people started to notice and come to Sherlock for help.

I've had a chance to watch the episode again and am not 100% sure what car accident you are referring to. There is a body in the boot of a car near the beginning which goes unsolved, but does set up the theme for the Coventry aspect and provides proof that Sherlock is human (according to John and his blogging of the cases that do not get solved). Then there is the solved accidental death which occurred about ten minutes into the episode when a car backfired. (The boomerang.) I assume you're talking about the body in the car that Mycroft also mentions at the end. Unfortunately, no explanation is given in the episode. I think we're supposed to assume it was the work of the terrorist cell who found out about the 007 (Coventry) flight.

  • Yes, I was talking about the unsolved car case. Anyway, thanks for your reply.
    – Rippy
    May 20, 2014 at 11:18

Body in the car was supposed to be on the Dusseldorf flight that was downed, "but that's the dead for you, always late" - Mycroft

Mycroft mentions a similar operation in Germany when he and Sherlock are talking aboard the 747 that was supposed to the "stunt double" for BA 007.

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    – John
    Jan 3, 2017 at 1:28

Remember the hiker who they found dead when the broken down car he was riding in backfired as the driver tried to restart it. The hiker fell dead straight away from a boomerang which he had thrown and was watching. When the car backfired, the hiker turned away to look where the bang came from. The boomerang killed him instantly & went into the river.

Then the mysterious man who died in the car crash was shown with Inspector Greg. The dead man must have already boarded his flight because he had a napkin and biscuit with the airline's logo on his person & I believe his passport had been stamped. However, he ended up dead in the trunk of his car very near the airport from which he was departing. It almost seemed they wanted you to think he fell from the sky.

"The Woman" Irene Adler, betrayed/tricked Sherlock by having him decode the top secret message she had obtained from a person that she "knew what he liked." Remember SHERLOCK decoded the message in a mere 8 seconds - after he heard Myecroft on the phone the day before stating that Bond Air was "a go" and it all clicked for him. It was Flight #007 (Bond Air) from Heathrow to Baltimore. Myecroft's two years of planning of the Coventry air flight of the dead was ultimately ruined by Sherlock's desire to impress "The Woman", who was feeding Moriarity critical information. As a result, Myecroft's flight of the dead never could take place. Sherlock saved Miss Adler from beheading in the Middle East and the way they did it was really slick & a great ending!!!

There were rumors there had been one previous flight of the dead that was successful during WWII. It is one of my favorite episodes. "The Woman" forever changed SHERLOCK.


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