A decommissioned jumbo jet which stopped traffic when it was transported by road is rumoured to have become part of a £10 million secret SAS training bunker.
The Boeing 747 was believed to be heading for a university to help design students when it left an airfield in Gloucestershire earlier this month.
But the plane never arrived and villagers reported seeing the 137ft long fuselage being driven into the SAS training base in Herefordshire.
It comes after an insider revealed last year plans for a futuristic underground training base for Britain’s most elite fighting force.
It has been speculated the giant jumbo jet fuselages – which weigh around 60 tonnes – will be used in the state-of-the-art complex to help train soldiers for hostage situations.
Helen Keighley, director of quality and business at the National Design Academy in Nottingham, where the plane was said to be heading, said it wasn’t their plane.
She added: “I am not sure where the rumour started.
“We are getting a plane and we will be using it for design practice, but it is not going to happen for a couple of months as we are still finalising the site.”
The plane was cut in two and loaded on to specialised transporters at Kemble Airport in Gloucestershire and down the A419 dual carriageway between Cirencester and Swindon, on February 14.
It was expected to head up the M4 and M5 towards the Midlands, but large low loaders containing 747 parts were spotted parked overnight on the A40 at Whitchurch, near Ross-on-Wye.
The following day a Boeing 747 aircraft was seen being transported through Hereford city centre and entering the remote Pontrilas Army Training Area.
Villagers also said the hedges and trees on the roads leading to the site were clipped back in the week before a plane arrived at the base.
Speaking about the top secret underground training base last April, an SAS source said: “Once finished, the complex will be crammed with gadgets. Everything inside will be state-of-the-art.
“Being below ground will make the ranges more secure and we won’t be visible to the naked eye and satellite surveillance will be rendered ineffective.”
The remote Pontrilas site was revealed as an SAS training ground during the 2007 inquest of Royal Marine commando Lance Corporal Gordon Campbell who fell 100ft from a helicopter during a night attack exercise involving him climbing down a rope onto a rooftop.
The arrival of a plane in Herefordshire has prompted speculation that the top secret underground project is nearing completion.
It was rumoured the bunker would contain custom-made ‘killing rooms’ – designed to mimic buildings solider might one day fight in – and firing ranges up to 200 yards long dug hundreds of feet into a densely wooded hillside.