I don’t know about you, but I don’t understand people who don’t enjoy learning about history. There are as good of stories in the history books as in any novel, to be honest, and that goes for mysteries as well.
If you’re skeptical, just check out these 16 real-life mysteries that have never been solved…and likely won’t ever be, either.
16. I think yes.
Whether Frank Morris, John Anglin, and his brother Clarence Anglin survived their escape from Alcatraz Federal Prison.
Some dutch scientists tried it with a day similar go that of the escape, weather, water patterns etc. Same style of raft and so on. They got very close, but said “if we had an adrenaline rush of escaping prison and becoming free, then we’d probably would’ve gotten to the coast.”
15. Missing people give me the chills.
For me, my ancient one is where Alexander the Great is buried, I’ve been interested in classics for years now and that’s always been a question that I’ve asked, both where it is and if we’ll ever find it.
As for the more recent one, this is more difficult, there’s plenty for me. I’d have to say a mystery from where I’m from, New Zealand. It’s the disappearance of Kirsa Jensen, a 14-year old who went missing in 1983 while out riding her horse. It’s quite significant within a New Zealand context because unsolved disappearances like this simply aren’t that common. Basically as I said, she was out riding her horse on the night of September 1st 1983, her horse was later found alive but she hasn’t been seen since. All signs point to foul play, that she was abducted and murdered that night, that’s what I believe, too. Unfortunately we will most likely never know.
It’s worth noting about that case, that a man named John Russell (who already had a rape conviction) was seen as a suspect by police at the time, his house and truck was searched albeit with no evidence that Kirsa had been there being located, and he even confessed to the killing in 1985 but retracted it later and police never had enough evidence to prosecute him. Ultimately police said that there was more suggesting he wasn’t involved than that he was, but he committed suicide in 1992 and left no suicide note, no last confession or anything. Perhaps he could no longer live with what he did, if he indeed did do it. Again, it’s unlikely we will ever know, he took what he may or may not have known with him to the grave.
14. Maybe he just said please.
What Pope Leo said to Attila the Hun. Attila was taking over the world and made it to Rome and the Vatican. Leo rode out alone and spoke to Attila and convinced Attila to not destroy Rome and the Vatican.
What was said, only the archives of the Vatican has any idea.
13. Definitely makes you wonder.
The Great Unconformity.
1.5 billion years of the geological record just sorta “gone.”
12. The sheer audacity.
What happened to the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum paintings
The sheer audacity of those two men who pulled off that heist is impressive. The museum still offers a $10 million reward for info leading to finding the pieces and the culprits.
11. A missing burial ground.
The exact burial site of Genghis Khan.
I watched a documentary about this on curiosity stream a little while back. There’s a good plaupossibility that Genghis Khan and a handful of his descendants were buried under a mound at the top of his favourite mountain, Burkhan Khaldun. He sheltered on that mountain after he had to run away as a child, and he declared it sacred.
To this day you need special permission by the government to even get close to it. It was very interesting!
10. Lucky timing.
I want it to be solved but it’s seemingly more and more unlikely each day: DB Cooper.
Something people don’t realize either is that DB Cooper landed in the area where Mt. St. Helen’s erupted.
If there was any physical evidence, including his remains, they could very well have been destroyed 9 years after the hijacking.
9. We’ll definitely never know.
The missing minutes of the Watergate tapes. What happened during that time?!
Because given that plenty of incredibly d**ning stuff DID come out, it either has to be an innocent mistake or something really bad.
8. The Doctor Who Hijack.
The guy in a Max Headroom mask that hijacked a Doctor Who broadcast in I believe Chicago in the 80s, to this day no on knows who it is.
There was a great thread a few years back from a guy who thought he knew the people who did it. He eventually got in touch with them, and they claimed they didn’t, but you do have to wonder.
Also the Dr Who hijack was their second attempt. They initially hacked into the signal during the evening news but there was no sound and station technicians blocked them out after a few seconds. Late at night – when there were no technicians on duty – they tried again more successfully.
7. I mean probably he drowned?
One of Australia’s prime ministers just disappeared when he went for a swim in the ocean, so probably that.
6. Only theories.
Where the Sumerians came from. It’s fascinating how the first people to invent writing and settle in great cities (Eridu, Uruk…) speak a language totally unrelated to the languages of the people around them (who spoke Semitic Languages).
A theory says they emerged out of the Ubaid Culture and were indigenous to Mesopotamia, while another goes so far as to claim they came from the area of the Persian Gulf before it was flooded at the end of the last Ice Age. Some others believe they are related to the Indus Valley Civilization (which they supposedly called Meluhha).
5. Everyone wants to know where this guy ended up.
My neighbor killed his whole family, buried them in his house, then went for a trip.
Nobody knows if he’s dead or hiding somewhere and if so, where?
The police kind of screwed up the start of the investigation, so he had a good head start on them.
His name is (or maybe was?) Xavier Dupont de Ligonnès and he was since then featured in multiple TV shows and books.
4. Go ahead and dive in.
The missing men of Bermagui, NSW, Australia. Five men disappeared in the 19th century, completely vanished off the face of the planet, with some very confusing things left behind.
I’m tempted to do a Youtube video on it sometime, because so few people know this story, yet it’s such a baffling one.
From what I remember…
On the beach now called Mystery Bay (due to this mystery), there was a doused campfire with a meal for one not quite finished
There was a boat nearby, which had been deliberately scuttled from the inside, rather than from the outside
Inside the boat were some papers belonging to one of the missing men, who was supposed to be taking a boat trip with a local policeman instead
Also inside the boat was at least one bullet cartridge and, IIRC, some vomit, as though someone had maybe been seasick
The bay was right below the hilltop where two of the men had been camping, and the other three men who disappeared were boatmen.
There’s a monument at the bay, but I’ve never been to that part of New South Wales. Would love to go, though.
3. Definitely a spy, right?
I’ve made this post before, but I’ll make it again – identity of Somerton man:
Tamam Shud, or Somerton man. Just really bizarre and creepy, it’s got an x-files vibe to it.
TLDR; Well dressed, athletic guy is found dead leaning against a seawall on an Australian beach. No cause of death is discovered despite autopsy. No ID, no labels on any of his clothes, nothing to identify him, but a scrap of printed paper saying “Taman Shud” found in his pocket.
No one is reported missing.
Later a briefcase is found in a locker at a train station attributed to him, with a few clothes marked T. Keane – no one named that is found missing. When the info about the note is released, one of the locals finds an odd book in the backseat of his car in the area that the man died in. The piece of paper matches the torn out bit in the book. In the book there is a very odd Cipher that no one has been able decode since and a phone number.
Blood pooling in the body suggest he didn’t die with his head propped against the wall as he was found. Half smoked cigarette found fallen out of his mouth, but if he died in a different position, would be a little odd. Body was embalmed and put on display for 6 months, and received a lot of attention, but no one can remember having seen him.
No family or anyone knowing him have ever been found. Tamam Shud roughly means “the end times”
2. No sign of a struggle.
The disappearance of the Lake Fayum nomadic people that predated the pharaohs. They had no writing, no records of any form, and lived solely near the banks of the Nile and an ancient lake. They had a community for a long time that included bakeries, agriculture, weaving, and some precursor to religious or artistic elements.
One day, the people vanished. They left their fish in the cooking pots, dry food stored under the floorboards of their houses, and pottery still on the wheel. It was like they were picked up and carried away or the people suddenly left in a hurry and left everything behind.
Then shortly after, the material culture of early Pre-Pharaonic Egyptian kingdoms arose. Some believe the fayum peolle migrated north to become the early Egyptians because of unusually arid conditions, others say they were killed or captured, but there were no signs of struggle, they possessed and left no weapons, and that doesn’t explain why the people left their entire culture intact.
1. This one is on my list, too.
Whatever happened to the Sodder children.
There are too many unsolved cases involving children.
The Beaumont children are the main ones in Australia, though a few years later two young girls were kidnapped from Adelaide Oval, possibly by the same person, though we’ll never know for sure.
The most likely suspect is dead.
Yeah, I could read lists of these all day, then spend another week deep-diving into internet black holes. You?
What’s your favorite unsolved historical mystery? If it’s not on this list, drop it in the comments!