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‘This Is Us’ Fans’ Latest Post-Finale Theory Connects Jack’s Death to Real-Life 1990s Tragedy

Mayday. This is Us’ season 1 finale came and went without any real clues about the cause of Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death, but that hasn’t stopped fans from continuing to concoct new theories about how their favorite TV father may have perished. And this new hunch is to linked to a real-life tragedy.

Mandy Moore as Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia as Jack in This Is Us
Mandy Moore as Rebecca and Milo Ventimiglia as Jack in This Is Us Ron Batzdorff/NBC

The NBC drama revealed early in the season that Jack is dead in the present-day scenes, and some fans were quick to speculate that he may have been the victim of a plane crash. There are certainly clues to point viewers in this direction: Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Kevin (Justin Hartley) are terrified of flying. Kevin destroyed all of the model airplanes he made with his dad after he died. Kevin also said during the first episode that the explosion of the Challenger shuttle when he was little stuck with him throughout his life.

An early theory suggested that perhaps Jack died tragically in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. However, the show has more recently revealed that Jack’s kids — who are now in their 30s — were teenagers when their dad died, which would mean that he passed away before 2001. This has led some fans to suggest that perhaps the character will be revealed to have been in a different real-life plane crash, namely USAir Flight 427, which was traveling from Chicago to Pittsburgh, a.k.a. the Pearsons’ hometown. The plane tragically went down in September 1994 while attempting to land at Pittsburgh International Airport, and there were no survivors.

The notion of Jack dying at all is tough for fans to fathom, but it perhaps seems more reasonable that the show might opt to have him die in an actual event from history, as opposed to his death coming from one of the more outlandish methods that have been the subjects of other fan theories, like Jack committing suicide or Miguel murdering him.

Related: 10 Most Devastating TV Deaths of 2016

Related: Milo Ventimiglia’s Hotness Evolution

This Is Us‘ cast members took part in a PaleyFest panel earlier this month, where they weighed in on a few of the popular theories about Jack’s death. When Sterling K. Brown (Randall) was asked whether Jack could have died on 9/11, the actor replied, “No. He was in Pittsburgh.”

Related: Top ‘Gilmore Girls’ Revival Fan Theories

Tell Us: Do you think Jack died in a plane crash?

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