A little mystery from time to time certainly keeps things interesting!

All throughout history, people have disappeared due to unsolved reasons. Let’s review the 15 most well-known yet unexplainable disappearances in history.

#1 Harold Holt

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Image Credit: Wikimedia

Harold Holt was one of the most televised disappearances in history since he held the seat of Prime Minister in Australia. He held strong support of the US’ role in the Vietnam War until his strange disappearance.

Holt disappeared while swimming in Cheviot Beach near Port sea, Victoria in December 1967. His body was never recovered although a report submitted by Victoria Police states the disappearance of the Prime Minister was most likely an accident due to no evidence of foul play. Before his disappearance, Holt was said to be following his usual routine with his usual demeanour.

According to the report, there are three possible reasons why the body of the former Prime Minister has never been found:

  1. He was carried out to sea by the tide
  2. He was attacked by marine life
  3. He was wedged in rock crevices

Despite official reports, many believed that his disappearance may be due to sabotage or something related to politics. Conspiracy theorists even believe he may still be alive, faked his death and ran off with his mistress or he was kidnapped for interrogation.

#2 Jimmy Hoffa

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Image Credit: ABC News

Jimmy Hoffa was a labour leader. The president of America’s largest union – International Brotherhood of Teamsters – he was imprisoned for the crimes he committed during his term. He disappeared on the 30th of July in 1975. Before his disappearance it was discovered that hundreds of millions of dollars were missing from the union’s largest pension fund.

The search for him led to many investigations including that of interrogating possible suspects like Mafia bosses. In 2006, the case investigators again opened the case for new clues at a horse farm in Michigan. All efforts yielded nothing. Hoffa’s body was never found.

Several leads and tips said that his body was fed through a wood chipper, buried in cement in General Motors HQ,or buried in a suburban Detroit field.

#3 Amelia Earhart

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Earhart is the famous lady pilot, the first female to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. But due to some unknown circumstances, she failed to show up at the end of her journey. Now she’s been the topic of many conspiracy theories. Several organisations are still on the hunt for the remains of her plane.

Theories to explain her disappearance are numerous. Here are a few:

  1. Earhart and her Lockheed Electra ran out of fuel and plunged into the Pacific ocean after going off course before she was able to reach her fuel stop at Howland Island.
  2. She landed on an island in the Pacific but died before being rescued. This titillated many since pieces of possible evidence were found in the island. TIGHAR lead continuous expeditions to search for more clues on and around the island.
  3. Earhart landed on another island in the Pacific, Saipan, but was executed by the Japanese.
  4. She survived and assumed another identity.

#4 Bela Kiss

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Bela Kiss’ disappearance from the face of the earth was good but haunting news to all during his time. Kiss was a known serial killer who killed between 1900-1914 with 24 plus victims. He murdered young women after draining their blood and pickling them in metal drums. Before authorities were able to discover him, he fled his home. From time to time since his disappearance, several alleged sightings have been reported. His story was the inspiration of a 2013 movie, Bela Kiss: Prologue .

#5 Bison Dele

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Image Credit: Solo Basket

Bison Dele played in NBA for eight seasons jumping from one team to another. He was even reported to have dated Madonna. He travelled after his retirement from basketball and learned how to sail. He disappeared in July 2000 while sailing.

It has been said that his brother killed him. From his brother’s account, they were fighting when they hit Dele’s girlfriend and she accidentally died. The skipper wanted to report the incident so Dele killed him. In self-defence, Dele was killed by his brother. This story did not receive any more confirmation since Dele’s brother, Dabord, overdosed on insulin and died.

So what happened to Dele? Where they forced to walk off the boat into the depths of the ocean? Or was he killed by his brother in an attempt to survive?

#6 Louis Le Prince

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

Louis Le Princefather of motion picture, vanished on September 16, 1890. His train to Paris arrived without him on board. His baggage was also never found. Theories about his disappearance circle around the idea of suicide, assassinated due to patent wars (he had patent wars against Edison during this time though no evidence turned up to back this theory), he moved out of public eye to hide that he was homosexual (again, no evidence to it) or he was killed by his brother.

In 2003, a picture of a drowning victim was unearthed in the Paris police archives. The victim greatly resembles Le Prince. All of these theories have no confirmation.

#7 Rebecca Coriam

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Image Credit: Rebecca-Coriam

Rebecca Coriam worked on the Disney Wonder (cruise ship owned by Walt Disney Company). Rebecca was last seen talking on a phone in 2011 (recorded on the security camera).

After her disappearance (many believed she fell overboard) several strange things were uncovered. Her credit card company recorded strange activity and her Facebook passwords had been changed. These things haven’t seemed to amount to anything, yet.

#8 Solomon Northup

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

The movie 12 Years a Slave received nominations and awards at the Oscars, Golden Globes and Australian Film Institute among others.

But did you know that the book the movie is based on is a memoir and a true story? It was based on the story of a free-born African-American man named Solomon Northup, son of a freed slave and free woman of colour. Back in his time, he owned land and was a great violinist. But during one of his travels, he was kidnapped and sold as a slave in Washington and later on shipped to New Orleans. His tragic ordeal lasted 12 years.

He was eventually freed and tried to fight for his case (although justice was never served), published his memoir and gave speeches about his 12 years of slavery.

Years later, Northup seemed to be undocumented. All at once, he disappeared. Up to this day, despite several theories, it still remains unexplained. Here are the most popular theories:

  1. He lived as a destitute, resulting to drinking and just simply gave up before he died.
  2. He was kidnapped a second time and was again sold into slavery.
  3. His kidnappers took revenge against him due to the case.
  4. He went away and lived with his daughter.
  5. He took another identity and lived as a different man.

Given his character and strength (based on the book and the movie portrayal), he might have gone on to a life of adventure.

#9 Malaysian Airline Flight 370

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Image Credit: Wikipedia

A disappearance of a plane as huge as MH-370 is one of the most recent and most unfathomable mysteries ever seen.

Departing from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing on March 8, 2014, MH-370 vanished somewhere in the Indian Ocean. Some debris has been recovered but nothing is certain. Now, more than two years later, authorities are still confused.

Several theories arose during the search including: it ran out of power, it was hijacked, the pilot committed suicide, it was steered to land somewhere in Russia or Kazakhstan, it was hijacked by North Korea, it was shot down, it was subject to a cyber attack. The possibilities are endless. The entire crew and passengers (239 people) are presumed dead

#10 Sodder Children

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Image Credit: Smithsonian

In December 24, 1945, a fire destroyed the Sodder family home. The two oldest sons and youngest daughter survived, but five of their siblings were nowhere to be seen. The case is still unsolved today.

The children were said to be victims of kidnapping with the fire started to mask the abduction. George and Jennie Sodder went to detectives to investigate but no concrete findings were ever announced. In 1968, 23 years after the event, a photo of an adult male was mailed to the family with the message “Louis Sodder, I love brother Frankie. Ilil boys A90132 or 35″. The private detective who was hired to investigate the photo and the message disappeared as well.

Theories and speculation surrounded the event, even connecting it to the Mafia (the family were of Italian descent and the number in the photo corresponds to a postal code for Palermo, Sicily).

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Who knows what will happen in the future? Some of these strange disappearances could be solved!

About Author

Roelen researches, creates, tailors content for outreach and content promotion campaigns as well as social presence management. She likes poetry, blues, The Walking Dead and crime books.