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“I am just going outside and may be some time,” were the last words of British explorer Lawrence Oates as he walked out into a blizzard during an Antarctica expedition. He did this because he was sick and slowing the others down. He made a sacrifice and was never seen again. We can, however, infer that Mr. Oates didn’t survive very long and perhaps the remains of his body are still out there entombed in ice. But there are some people who bid friends adieu and just seemed to disappear off the face of the planet. This even happened to an entire plane-full of people not too recently.
10. Richey Edwards
We’ll start with a rock star, and no, this list won’t include Elvis despite some people not believing he is six feet under. Richey Edwards, a member of the iconic rock group “The Manic Street Preachers”, did actually disappear, and his body has never been found. The enigmatic, political poet became a member of the “27 club” when it’s believed he may have committed suicide. It’s not that simple, though, as Edwards had given a book to a friend just before he went missing about a vanishing. While missing, he was also apparently seen at a passport office by a fan. His car was later found abandoned, close to a bridge known as a suicide spot. He had always said he was too strong for suicide, in spite of self-harming. To add to the mystery, people have said they have spotted him as far as Goa, India, and also on some Spanish islands. To this day, some people think he’d had enough of fame and wanted complete anonymity, rather than he threw himself off a bridge in Wales.
9. Benjamin Bathurst
And now for someone completely different, a British diplomat called Benjamin Bathurst. Like the person at number 10, Bathurst’s disappearance has also been the focus of widespread speculation. On 25 November, 1809, he was staying at an inn in Germany while on government business. He was getting ready and told his travel companion he’d be down in a second and would join him in the horse and buggy. He was never seen again. Search parties were sent to look for him, even though he’d only gone missing walking out of an inn to a parked carriage. His story became a thing of science fiction, with people writing about him entering a parallel universe, or an inescapable maze in another dimension, or that he was taken into the future. Others believe he was simply murdered by someone very skilled at hiding dead bodies.
8. Jim Thompson
American Jim Thompson was known as the “Silk King” and he made a fortune in the 50s and 60s when he almost single-handedly reinvigorated the Thai silk industry. Still today his stores bear his name in bold letters. But at 61-years old in the year of 1967 Jim went missing on a walk in the Malaysian highlands, and since then his vanishing has become the subject of many conspiracy theories. There is even a book about his vanishing called, “Jim Thompson: The Unsolved Mystery.” No one knows what happened, although that didn’t stop clairvoyants from chiming in with theories. Was he murdered, killed by a tiger, inexorably lost, or was he kidnapped? He was certainly rich, but no one has ever asked for a ransom. The most recent theory put forward in the film “Who Killed Jim Thompson,” was that he was killed by rebels from the Communist Party of Malaya.
7. D B Cooper
This isn’t his real name, because no one knows what this man’s real name is. This brave criminal hijacked a Boeing 727 in 1971 while it was in the sky flying to Seattle. During the flight he handed a message to the flight attendant that read, “Miss, you’d better look at that note. I have a bomb.” He then laid out some demands, which included refueling when they landed, him getting $200,000 (over a million in today’s money) and a bunch of parachutes. On landing in Seattle, he released most of the passengers, but then took off again after getting what he had requested. During the flight, Cooper jumped from the aircraft at a dangerous height. He was never seen again, but the FBI have kept the case open believing he may have gotten away with it and gone into hiding.
6. The crew of the MV Joyita
You’ve all heard of ghost ships, right? Well, this is one of the strangest stories of ships being found with the entire crew missing. Sailing in the South Pacific in 1955, the ship was found, but the 25 people that should have been aboard were nowhere to be seen. Ok, so the ship wasn’t in great condition, but still no one can figure out why the entire crew would have abandoned her when she was certainly not going to sink. The crew were never found.
5. Mary Celeste
The ghost ship story that started them all was the tale of the Mary Celeste, an American merchant ship that was found eerily floating without any crew in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in 1872. When she was found, it had been 10 days since anyone had written in the log book, and the ship was in fair condition. Just the 10 men weren’t there, and they were never seen again. All the food and water were there and a huge amount of alcohol that was worth a good sum of money was still in the cargo hold. Numerous stories have been put forth, such as insurance fraud, phenomenal disaster, and most of all, lots of paranormal tales have been written and discussed. Informal investigations continue even today.
4. The Sodder Children
This is a sad case of five missing children, Maurice, 14; Martha 12; Louis, 9; Jennie, 8; Betty, 5, whose faces could be seen on billboards in West Virginia many years after they apparently vanished. On the night before Christmas in 1945, a fire broke out at their household while they were sleeping, along with 4 of their other siblings as well as their parents. At first it was thought the five that remained died, but their bodies were never discovered. It was believed the fire was not strong enough to totally cremate the bodies. So, what happened to them? The parents later told the press about a lot of strange things happening prior to the fire, including a mysterious man watching their kids. A woman came forward during the search saying she had served them breakfast sometime after the fire, while many other sightings were reported. That’s why a reward poster with the children’s faces on it could be seen in the area for many years to come. It remains an unsolved mystery.
3. Connie Converse
This American singer-songwriter active in the 1950s apparently had been burned out at the end of her career, something that often happens to those who acquire a certain amount of fame. In August of 1974, she wrote a series of letters to friends and family, explaining that it was time to start a new life, to head to greener pastures. She wrote in one letter, “Human society fascinates me and awes me and fills me with grief and joy; I just can’t find my place to plug into it.” It sounds ominous, but in another letter she asked someone to make sure her health insurance was fully paid. She packed her clothes and drove away in her Volkswagen Beetle and was never seen again. Did she find those pastures, or did she take her own life? No one knows.
2. The Missing Village
Yes, this is the case of an entire village going missing. It happened in the early to mid-20th century and involves around 30 Inuit people who lived at a site around Anjikuni Lake in a fairly remote part of Canada’s Northern Territories. One night a tired trapper by the name of Joe Labelle, who’d been to the bustling village before, decided he would take rest there. Only on this visit everyone was gone. He did find a burning fire, and on inspection of the houses found clothes, valuables, weapons, and equipment that would have most definitely been needed had the people just decided to move on. The food stores were all full, too. So, what happened? The Canadian Mounted police were called and they too were stumped. They searched for months and never found the people. Outlandish theories were since put forward, including alien abduction, although skeptics believe the whole story may have been a case of fake news even back when it was first reported. The story is still being talked about in the media now, so we don’t know what to believe.
1. Frederick Valentich
We’ll finish up with an equally outlandish case, and that is the disappearance of Frederick Valentich. His disappearance is certainly not fake news, but you might be skeptical as to the theories relating to his sudden vanishing. The Australian pilot had been on a training flight in his Cessna 182L light aircraft on 21 October 1978. His last transmissions to radio control described that he was not alone in the sky, and that a large object was above him. “It’s not an aircraft,” were his exact words. He described this thing as orbiting above him, and said it was shiny and metallic and even had a green light on top of it. Ground control then said they heard “metallic, scraping sounds” and then poof, he was gone. A huge search ensued covering over 1,000 square miles, and neither the pilot nor the wreckage has ever been found. There are rational theories for this strange case, such as he was flying upside down and what he saw were reflections in the water. It was also known that Valentich was a UFO enthusiast. Ufologists believe he was either killed by aliens or abducted. Others later came forward saying they’d seen strange things in the sky that evening, but that was after the story hit the media. We can be skeptical, but even so, this is one interesting case.
If you are a fan of mysteries, we want to recommend listening to an audiobook called The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian. The novel comes from the New York Times best-selling author of The Guest Room and is a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and has no idea what happened. It’s the kind of story that will keep you up late into the night wanting to know what happens next.
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