The 15 Most Mysterious Disappearances Of All Time
For thousands of years, man has been intrigued by the unknown. Enigmas and mysteries have turned our heads for so long for many reasons. But perhaps it’s the idea that it allows us the opportunity to play detective. We can don a metaphorical deerstalker, get out our metaphorical (or real) magnifying glass and solve something. And there’s plenty of mysteries out there. Some of the biggest? Disappearances. People who just seemingly cease to exist. They vanish from the very face of the earth. Or at least seem to. But there’s always more to it. Let’s look into fifteen of the most mysterious disappearances ever recorded…
Amelia Earhart – Famously the first female to ever fly solo across the Atlantic and only the sixth to ever be awarded a pilot’s licence. It was on a typically adventurous trip – circumnavigating the globe at the equator back in 1937 – that she seemingly disappeared without a trace. Many theories exist that attempt to explain her sudden vanishing, but none have ever been confirmed. She was declared legally dead two years later.
Glenn Miller – Big band leader Glenn Miller was one of the music world’s biggest names during the Second World War. He went missing during a visit to play for troops in the United Kingdom in December 1944. After the gig, he left on a flight to do the same for other soldiers in Paris. He never arrived, though. His plane was thought to have been downed somehow and sunk in The English Channel. Was he shot down by Germans? Was it pilot error? Friendly fire…?
Lord Lucan – John Bingham, The 7th Earl of Lucan went missing after being suspected of the murder of Sandra Rivett. A debonair and sophisticated aristocrat who would race powerboats and was even considered for the role of James Bond at one point, Lucan wasn’t one to panic. He felt he had a strong defense against the charge. Many people suggested that he killed himself, but no body was ever recovered. And as a rich and connected man, he had the ability to make himself disappear and set himself up in another life…
DB Cooper – Thanksgiving, 1971. A man calling himself ‘Dan Cooper’ got on a flight in the North West of the USA. He shows the crew on board a bomb he has on him. He forces the pilot to land the plane in Seattle, demands $200,000 and then, once up in the air again, parachutes out of the plane north of Portland. In the forest. He’s never seen or heard from again. But neither is the money. Did he survive? Who knows? It’s one of US crime’s biggest ever mysteries.
Agatha Christie – Famed author Agatha Christie had her own very mysterious episode in December of 1926. The enormously successful writer got in her car one day, after a fight with her husband and vanished. Thousands of police and volunteers looked for her and her plight even made the front page of The New York Times. Ten days later she returned, refusing to comment on what had happened. Many suggest she pulled out of a dastardly plan to frame her estranged spouse for her murder.
Richey Edwards – Welsh indie rock group Manic Street Preachers went missing back in 1995. And although he was officially declared dead in 2008, no one knows what happened to the much-loved musician. Famed for his self-harming, many – naturally – assumed Richey had committed suicide. But the sheer volume of public sightings of him have cast a long shadow over whether or not he had taken his own life. Is he still alive? No one knows.
Louis Aimé Augustin Le Prince – Louie Le Prince, ‘The Father of Cinematography’ disappeared in suspicious circumstances too. A Frenchman living in Yorkshire, England, Le Prince simply ceased to exist, it seems. Was it the perfect suicide? An assassination over a patent dispute? Or a hit ordered by his family? Rumours involving the man’s sexuality lead many to believe his family took drastic action out of shame.
Rebecca Coriam – March 2011. Off the coast of Mexico, the cruise ship Disney Wonder lost a crew member. Rebecca Coriam didn’t report for duty and couldn’t be found. Investigations unearthed very little and her disappearance remains unsolved. Coriam’s friends, family and some journalists have since suggested that Disney has covered up vital information pertaining to her going missing so as to avoid potential embarrassment to the company.
Solomon Northup – The story of Solomon Northup has been made famous recently by the hugely successful Oscar-winning film 12 Years a Slave, based on his book of the same name. But while Northup escaped the shackles of bondage towards the later part of his life, he found himself missing without trace some years later. Some speculated that he’d been been sold back into slave labor. But at his age? It seems unlikely. Was it revenge for his having written 12 Years…?
Jean Spangler – At the tender age of just 26, actress, dancer and model Jean Spangler vanished in Hollywood. Now, Tinseltown’s had its fair share of starlets to fall off the map, but this one? Many say her disappearance can be attributed to beloved Hollywood royalty and Spartacus himself, Kirk Douglas. If rumors about him are to be believed, he did something pretty nasty to Natalie Wood too. Those poor women.
MV Joyita – A vessel ship which disappeared in the Pacific Ocean in 1955, no one has been able to explain just what happened on the day it fell off the map, taking 25 lives with it. These vessels were built to have ‘extreme buoyancy’ and as such, be ‘unsinkable’. So what happened? It’s also very strange that no calls from help were made from the crew’s fully working radio equipment.
Rachel Arnold Trlica, Renee Wilson & Julie Ann Moseley – On December 23rd 1974 these three girls went to a Fort Worth, Texas mall to do a little last minute Christmas shopping. None returned. None were ever found or seen again. There’s been absolutely zero trace of any of the trio since that fateful day. Some people have pointed fingers at some specific family members, but no one’s ever proved anything.
Suzy Lamplugh – The 25 year-old Londoner went missing in 1986 and never materialized again. Police tested the DNA of almost a thousand remains and came up with nothing. A huge manhunt turns up nothing. A clue in Lamplugh’s diary says she was meeting ‘Mr. Kipper’ on the day she disappeared. Some theories have Suzy’s murderer as notorius British serial killer Fred West. Others point to disgraced former TV presenter Jimmy Savile.
Madeline McCann – Praeia de Luz, Portugal. 3rd May 2007. Three year-old Madeline McCann goes missing. A huge scale search turns up nothing. Lots of people back in Madeline’s home country of Britain start to become suspicious of the little girl’s parents, Kate and Gerry. But the mystery remains one of the greatest in recent UK history, with everyone having their own personal theory.
Jim ‘Sweet Jimmy’ Robinson – The former boxer was a skilled pugilist in his time. In fact, his career saw him taking on the world’s greatest ever boxer, Muhammed Ali (or Cassius Clay, as he was known back then). But his career nosedived after that bout and he disappeared. Boxing historians have no idea where he is, though. There are no papers or trails. He seemingly just upped and left. Another missing figure.