30 Times People Straight Up Disappeared That No One Has Figured Out Yet
Everyone enjoys a good spooky story. Tales of supernatural experiences, alien abductions and unexplained disappearances are designed to provoke fear and make great campfire stories. But did you know there are real-life, impossible-to-explain stories of people going missing or encountering strange phenomena? Even the most determined skeptics have a hard time ignoring the spooky shivers inspired by these stories.
These 30 disappearances from around the world range from ghost stories and murders to alien abductions and prison escapes. Read on to see if you can come up with your own theories for what happened in each case.
Lincoln Tunnel Abduction
Going through dark car tunnels might have a slightly eerie feeling to it, but usually there's nothing to worry about. However, that wasn’t the case for Martha and Jackson Wright. In 1975, the married couple was driving through the Lincoln Tunnel and pulled over to wipe off some condensation that had gathered on their car.
A Different Sort of Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle is one of the world's most well-known mysteries. A less known but equally mysterious triangle exists in Vermont. Known as the Bennington Triangle, it spans an area near Glastenbury Mountain and is notorious for a series of strange disappearances that were never solved.
Escape from a Deserted Island
Most stories of escape from solitary islands are happy ones. Robinson Crusoe was certainly excited to leave his lonely home and return to civilization. This story, however, has a rather Napoleonic twist. In Utah during the late 1800s, a man named Jean Baptiste was convicted of grave-robbing.
No Diplomatic Immunity Here
Being a diplomat comes with a lot of privileges, but those protections apparently have limits when you’re up against something mysterious. In 1809, a British diplomat named Benjamin Bathurst probably assumed his trip across Germany would be simple and hassle-free due to his diplomatic status. Unfortunately, he was wrong.
Unidentified Flying Object
Humans have been obsessed with the idea of UFOs for a very long time. Sometimes, however, innate curiosity gets people in a bit of trouble. Lieutenant Felix Moncla was a victim of his own curiosity. Stationed at Kinross Air Force Base in Michigan in 1953, he responded to a report of a UFO and took off in a plane to investigate.
Never Join a Cult
Randy Leach attended a high school house party in 1988 and never made it home. He disappeared, and no one knows what happened. What makes the story even creepier is that in the days leading up to the party, there were rumors of satanic cult activity in the area.
The tale of the mysterious American colony is well known in historical circles, but it continues to puzzle scholars to this day. In 1587, more settlers arrived in the North Carolina colony, only to find it empty. Clothes and supplies were left intact in houses, and there were no signs of a battle, famine or disease. Even food was well stocked.
Disappearance stories usually involve people (and sometimes pets), but ghosts and monsters can disappear too. This story is about just such a case, although whether the disappearance involved a human or a monster is hard to say.
Even World War veterans can disappear, and this particular disappearance is bizarre for a variety of reasons. Jim Thompson served his country as an OSS agent during World War II and retired to Thailand after his time in the military. That may seem like a relaxing and scenic place to spend your days, but the end of his story is murkier than expected.
When you hear "ghost ship," you probably think of pirate ships, but not all ghost ships belong to that historical era. One particular ghost ship existed a mere 64 years ago. The MV Joyita set sail in 1955 with 25 people on board, a combination of crew and passengers.
"Moving pictures" are a part of daily life now, from movies to videos on Facebook and GIFs in text messages. The inventor of the very first technical moving picture, however, Louis Le Prince, doesn't get the credit he deserves, probably due to his untimely — and bizarre — disappearance.
Although everyone is familiar with Amber Alerts, most people probably don’t know the story of the girl whose unfortunate fate led to the creation of the national system. Amber Hagerman was a 9-year-old Girl Scout in 1996 when she went for a ride on her bike and was kidnapped.
Disappearance and a Murder
One tragedy is more than enough, but two tragedies in two days would be almost unbearable. That’s exactly what happened in South Dakota in 1994. Tina Marcotte got a flat tire on her way to work and called a friend to say her coworker, a man named Tom Kueter, was going to help her.
A Sneaky Getaway
You would like to assume that once authorities have a criminal in custody, the criminal will stay in custody. That's not always the case, however. In 1993, Adam Emery was convicted of murder and was out on bail while awaiting formal sentencing. (What?!)
You might picture a "ghost town" in the middle of the Wild West, full of tumbleweeds and phantom cowboys, but dry desert wastelands aren’t the only kind of ghost town in the real world. One ghost town, in particular, exists in the opposite type of landscape.
An Unfortunate Family Outing
When one person disappears, it's a tragedy. What does that make it when a whole family disappears? One family in Oklahoma disappeared in 2014 after driving out to look at a piece of land they were interested in buying. The Jamisons' truck was found a few days later with their dog still inside, along with their wallets, IDs and more than $30,000 in cash.
Strange disappearances don't just affect normal, everyday people. High-profile people are also at risk, and their position doesn't necessarily lead to better outcomes for the investigation. In 2005, a district attorney from Pennsylvania named Ray Gricar called his girlfriend to tell her he was going for a drive.
Many alien abduction stories take place in a forest or in the countryside, where no one is around to witness the event. This potential abduction story is a little different, however. An Australian Air Force pilot named Frederich Valentich was on a routine flight in the fall of 1978, when he reported seeing an unidentified object in the sky above him.
Hearing the words "missing child" conjures a nightmare for parents everywhere. Even non-parents flinch away from the phrase. You hope to never hear the phrase related to your own loved ones, but one mother, in particular, was not so lucky.
An unsolved disappearance typically means someone has gone missing and is never found. Sometimes, however, a body is found, but the disappearance still goes unsolved because no one can identify it. That’s what happened in a small town in North Dakota in 1915.
One Last Pack
If you were to imagine the last thing you would buy before disappearing off the face of the earth, would cigarettes make the cut? For 15-year-old Rachel Garden, a pack of cigarettes was the last thing she bought before disappearing forever — although she surely didn’t know it at the time.
Alcatraz prison is widely known for being escape-proof, but that doesn't mean people haven't tried. In fact, many prisoners have attempted to break out — and many have died in the process. In the history of Alcatraz, only three prisoners’ fates remain unknown.
Gone Around a Bend
For most people, walking around a corner doesn't mean you could disappear off the face of the planet. If someone follows you around that corner, they would just expect to see you walking along on your merry way, right? This particular case proves there are exceptions to the rule.
A Man Most Unwanted
With all the press around the FBI's "Most Wanted" list and all the technology available, it’s hard to believe criminals can still run away from the law. Even when their information is publicized to the public and to the authorities, it still happens. Robert Fisher, for example, has seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth.
An Investment in Death
This story might sound like something out of a movie, but it remains one of Alaska's biggest unsolved mysteries. In 1982, a large fishing boat called The Investor was seen in flames near the coast. When help arrived, the bodies of the owners, their daughters and their crew were found in the water.
Unhappily Ever After
Many people would like to believe that good things come to good people, and once someone has "made it," they are free and safe for life. Unfortunately, life has a way of reminding everyone this isn’t true.
No Safety in Numbers
You might think that being with your friends would provide some relative safety — or at least provide witnesses if something happens to you. Unfortunately for three friends in Missouri in the summer of 1992, that was not the case.
Disappearing in a Crowd
Despite what you might think when you’re in public, most people aren't paying that much attention to you — good news in some cases. Still, you would think people around you would notice if you got off a moving bus.
Conspiring to Abduct
Most conspiracy theories sound pretty outlandish, and the people propagating them seem a little off key. Every once in a while, however, a theory pops up that seems a little more believable than the rest. It certainly helps when there's some solid proof to corroborate the story, of course, and that's what happened in New York in 1826.
Trial By Fire
You might think finding a burned body is a fairly open and shut case of someone dying in a fire. Usually, that's correct, but not for one woman in Florida in 1957. Mary Reeser's body — or at least what remained of it — was discovered in her apartment, burned almost completely to ashes. Only pieces of her spine and lower leg remained.