I don't know if this could be useful for you but here it goes: once I had to load a SWF (a video) and use the Loader class. i had a reference to that loader class and I called the unload method, however, the video was still playing though it disappeared from stage, what I had to do was "removing" all references to loader, for example, making that global variable (of type Loader) into a simple local variable in a method, that way, as the SWF had no references, I could solve the problem.
Hope that helps. Think of that part ... removing references ...
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Use the profiler to see what is holding onto the SWF.
Thanks for your experience. I also had that problem (unloaded the loader, but was still playing in the background).
I was able to solve in yet another way: unloadAndStop() - that seems to get rid of the whole thing.
This problem is a bit different in that I can't even seem to reference the loader at all. Another person recommended that I use the profiler, so I'll give that a try (providing I have a profiler).
I think I'm going to change the way I load this SWF - mainly by not using states. I was using states
because I was used to page-based applications, however, I think that Flex states are not good to use for loading and unloading external SWFs - at least not in my case. I'm probably going to go back to having just one state until I understand states better, or have a simpler application.