I’ve always been fascinated by unsolved mysteries from the past.
Ancient times, the current era, it doesn’t matter. The stories have a unique way of creeping me (and other people) out and I could honestly read about this kind of stuff for hours on end.
These stories have it all: intrigue, uncertainty, and a definite sense of real-life terror. I love it!
What are some very strange unsolved mysteries?
Here’s what AskReddit users had to say.
1. Dig sites.
“Literally any dig site in archaeology. Even the ones that are just garbage and potsherds are fascinating if you try to really picture the people behind them, what they thought and felt. Actually, garbage probably tells you more about a people than anything else, really.
But my favorite is Chauvet cave. (If you have a chance, watch Werner Herzog’s documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I think it’s still on Netflix.) It has some of the most stunning cave art in the world, which almost certainly had some kind of profound significance, and we don’t – and will likely never – know what it is.
Moreover, there’s evidence that the cave was abandoned for thousands of years and later returned to, only for the returnees to continue to make paintings in the exact same style and, possibly, for the exact same reasons.
There is so much to be seen in these figures. There’s a portrait of an animal tossing its head that looks like one of the world’s earliest explorations of stop motion or sequential art. When I look at it I can feel the will of the painter, who wanted so much to convey this sort of motion…
There are also the footprints of a boy, who arrived much later to the cave than its original users, whose marks appear to be contemporary with the pawprints of a wolf. It’s hard to say now, according to Cave of Forgotten Dreams, whether they walked together, whether they walked 20 years apart, whether they were friends or whether the wolf was stalking the boy.
But I read a blog post by a professional hunter and tracker, who looked at the footage of the prints from the film and said that they likely walked together. I wonder what they were thinking.
If the boy had some knowledge of what he would find there, or if he was simply exploring a cave and found some of the greatest art in human history.
In Chauvet there is also the solution to a mystery. Until the discovery of Chauvet cave paleontologists were unsure as to whether cave lions had manes. On the cave walls there is an illustration of a cave lion with visible testicles and no mane, settling that debate.”
‘Who was Perseus?
From 1943 to 1946, the Soviet Union had a high level spy in the Manhattan Project. Codenamed Perseus, this spy was a scientist at the White Sands missile testing site in NM, and the main research facilities in Los Alamos. Perseus saw pretty much the entire Project start to finish, giving the Russians everything they needed to get to work on their own bomb.
The fact that they were able to do so within 4 years of the end of WWII when their nations was still devastated is proof positive that Perseus helped a great deal.
And to top it all off, Perseus was never caught or positively identified.”
3. Super creepy.
“The Sodder children; their house burned down in the middle of the night. Several of the kids were presumed dead, but their bodies were never found in the debris and it never burned hot enough to cremate them.
It started to look extremely suspicious and the parents until their deaths believed that they had been taken for some reason. Many years down the line they did receive a photo and cryptic note from someone claiming to be their son but it was never authenticated.”
4. A big one.
“The West Memphis Three case.
All of the Satanic Panic mess obscured so much that will probably go unanswered now. A bloody man covered in mud stumbled into a Bojangles the night those little boys went missing.
Cops barely investigated that incident and lost the blood evidence they did collect regarding it.
WHAT was going on with John Mark Byers and Terry Hobbs, two dads of two of those kids, both turning up with evidence and acting at different points like they may have been involved?”
5. Lost planes.
“Flight 19 of December 5, 1945.
Five bomber craft on a routine training run became lost while heading back and eventually disappeared entirely. Audio has them saying that they thought they had ended up over the Florida Keys, but wind could not have allowed that.
Even more interesting is the fact the rescue craft dispatched to locate them also disappeared.”
6. The Australian family.
“An Australian family who owned a Berry farm.
Somehow Mr and Mrs Tromp and their three grown kids developed the belief that they weren’t safe and they needed to flee their farm without cell phones or anything traceable (credit cards, etc).
It sounds like the oldest son wasn’t sold on whatever it was that led them to flee. He brought his phone, but eventually it got tossed from the car. He ended up bailing first and taking a train home. From there the rest of the family slowly separated and suffered various degrees of emotional breaks.
The two girls stole a car. Somehow they got separated and one made it home, but the other was found on the floor in the backseat of some guys car in a catatonic state. (he spotted her after he started down the road). Eventually the parents were found wandering around aimlessly.
Fortunately they were all ok physically but wtf happened? Was someone actually after them? Were they delusional? As far as I know the family hasn’t released any updates.”
7. D.B. Cooper.
“The identity of and what happened to D.B Cooper.
A man on a plane called himself D.B Cooper and claimed to have a bomb in use suitcase. He took the flight crew hostage and when he got the money he asked for he had the flight crew start flying again.
Eventually he jumped out of the plane with a couple of parachutes and the money. No one knows where he went or if he even survived.”
8. So creepy…
“The Circelville Letters.
In 1976, residents of the small city south of Columbus, Ohio began receiving handwritten sinister and graphic letters. Each letter included secret and dark details about their personal lives.
One resident received a ton of letters, accusing her of various unsavory acts. The author warned the resident that he had been keeping an eye on her home, as well as her comings and goings. The resident was horrified and tried to keep the letters a secret until her husband began receiving them.
The attacks on the family continued, with large posters appearing around town spreading rumors about their 12 year old child. One day in 1977, the husband left the house after receiving a call from who he thought was writing the letters. A few minutes later, the husband was found dead at the end of the street dead behind the wheel.
The sheriff had ruled it a homicide when he realized that a single shot had been fired before the accident, but there was no evidence that the husband was shot at the site. The sheriff found the husband was twice the legal limit and ruled it a drunk driving accident.
The letters began once again, this time accusing the sheriff of covering up the true nature of the death. The letters also accused the sheriff of mishandling an investigation into the county coroner who had been accused of other grotesque acts.
The harrassment continued, this time with signs along the road and in 1983, the original resident who had been accused of having an affair pulled over to remove a sign. During the effort to remove the sign, she discovered a box was attached and inside of it was a small pistol. The gun was part of a booby trap designed to fire when the sign was removed.
Paul Freshour was arrested and given 25 years…but one small problem. The letter writing continued even after Freshour was put in jail.
In a new batch of letters, the author had promised to dig up the grave of a deceased baby and mail the bones to the police in the case of another potential affair turned murder.
Hundreds of residents continued to receive personal letters until 1994 when everything stopped.”
9. True crime.
“Ken McElroy’s murder.
This man terrorized an entire town until the town decided that they had enough and then somebody shot him in broad daylight in front of a bunch of witnesses.
To be fair, he probably deserved it. But what makes it interesting is that everyone claims to have had their eyes closed or be tying their shoe at the time or something so “oh boy, I wish I could help officer but I didn’t see anything.””
10. A classic.
“The identity of Jack the Ripper.
There are so many questions and theories surrounding this one. It would be neat to know once and for all who it was.”
11. Who was responsible?
“The Tylenol murders from the 1980’s where like 5 or 6 people from Chicago consumed Tylenol laced with cyanide and died.
They had one suspect but he want nail for it but still went to prison because the tried to extort Johnson and Johnson, the company that makes Tylenol.”
12. Never seen again.
“Lars Mittank. A German tourist on vacation in Bulgaria, he got into a fight and the medical complications kept him from going home on a flight with his friends.
Staying behind, it looks like his mental state unraveled completely over the course of a few days, increasing paranoia eventually culminating in his complete disappearance into a field of sunflowers.”
13. Suddenly gone.
“The disappearance and reappearance of Lawrence Joseph Bader: he was a cookware salesman from Akron, Ohio who went missing in 1957. He went fishing, a storm hit, and his boat was found the next day with some damage. He was in debt and in trouble with the IRS and his wife was about to have their third child.
Four days later, John “Fritz” Johnson appeared in a bar in Omaha, Nebraska (spoiler: it’s Larry Bader). “Fritz” was known for his wild personality, he attracted local attention for sitting atop a flag pole for 30 days to raise money for polio, he became a radio announcer and a TV sports director.
He drove around in a hearse with a bar and became a minor celebrity in Omaha… by no means was avoiding attention. In 1964, a cancerous tumor was found behind his left eye and it had to be removed.
In 1965, Fritz was in Chicago for a tournament and an acquaintance from Akron recognized him (despite the eyepatch) and confronted him, and then brought Bader’s niece to take a look. She agreed it was her uncle and confronted him about it as well.
Fritz denied it but found it humorous. Fritz’s fingerprints were then matched to Larry Bader’s military records and it was confirmed.
Fritz Johnson always maintained he had no memory of his former life as Larry Bader. Psychiatrists examined him and believed he was telling the truth even though he had financial reasons to assume a new identity and the concept of someone forgetting their past and entirely constructing a different one with false memories is hard to fathom.
It is also considered a possibility that the eye tumor had something to do with it. He ultimately died in 1966 from the eye tumor and it was never determined conclusively whether he was lying or not.
I am fascinated by this case especially because he had an entire change in personality, an entire life backstory as Fritz, and he made no effort to live a low profile to avoid discovery….
I found this case while looking through the Wikipedia category of people who have faked their own deaths (though it’s debatable if this guy should even be on there…), all of which are great stories”
Now it’s your turn.
In the comments, share some weird and creepy mysteries that are still unsolved with us.
We can’t wait to hear from you!