Nowadays, it’s relatively difficult to get lost without a trace, especially when you have all the means to be found and with CCTVs practically at every street corner. However, this is not the case before and even in the most recent past, as history contains a lot of instances of individuals and groups that seemingly vanished into thin air. Many of these stories continue to puzzle historians. Although they managed to discover bits and pieces of information regarding these disappearances, the cases remain unsolved. These stories have become interesting topics in sci-fi and paranormal discussions.
|Grieving loved ones of the Malaysian Airlines Flight 370 victims / Photo by: Jason Lee and Reuters via Time|
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 vanished mid-air. This incident is considered as the most baffling and tragic aviation mystery of all time. Time, an American weekly news magazine and news website, reported that the plane had more than 200 passengers when it disappeared. For three years, the Malaysian government conducted an “unprecedented” search by air and sea that involved multiple countries. However, up until now, the passengers were nowhere to be found and the cause of their plane’s disappearance is yet to be determined.
|Amelia Earhart / Photo by: Purdue University via Live Science|
Amelia Earhart, an American aviator, was one of the most famous women in the world, being the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, as well as set many other records. In 1937, she set out to become the first woman to fly around the world. Together with her navigator Fred Noonan, Earhart was flying toward Howland Island from Lae, Papua New Guinea when she lost contact with the US Coast Guard ship that was tracking her flight. Earhart's last radio messages indicated that they didn’t know where they were. A search was immediately organized but she and Noonan were never found, nor the remains of her supposed to have crashed airplane. Up until now, historical researchers are still trying to find Earhart.
|D.B. Cooper sketch / Photo by: FBI via Live Science|
On November 24, 1971, an unidentified man who went by the name of D.B. Cooper hijacked a Boeing 727 flying from Portland to Seattle. Live Science, a science news website that features groundbreaking developments in science, space, technology, health, the environment, our culture, and history, reported that the man showed an air steward that he was carrying a bomb. D.B. Cooper collected a ransom of $200,000 and a parachute when they temporarily landed at Seattle-Tacoma Airport. He ordered the plane to take off again and once airborne he parachuted from the plane with the ransom money. The hijacker was never seen again despite an extensive manhunt by the FBI. He was also never truly identified.
|Jimmy Hoffa / Photo by: Keystone and Getty Images via Mental Floss|
Hoffa was best known for leading the Teamsters Union. He spent 13 years in prison before receiving clemency from US President Richard Nixon. However, after only about four years, Hoffa vanished from a Michigan restaurant when he reportedly went to meet Mafia leaders. He was never found. Hoffa’s disappearance triggered one of the FBI’s longest-running organized crime cases in Detroit. It was believed that the powerful union boss was murdered due to his criminal record. In 1982, Hoffa was officially declared dead but the FBI stated that the case is still an “open investigation.”
|Flight 19 planes / Photo by: US Navy via Live Science|
In December 1945, a group of five US Navy Grumman TBF Avenger warplanes collectively known as Flight 19 disappeared while they were on a daytime training flight. They carried 14 airmen and 13 crew members. Their wreckage or bodies have never been found. The disappearance of Flight 19 gave rise to the legend of the Bermuda Triangle. It is often linked to stories of UFOs or the supernatural.
|The MI6 / Photo by: Ewan Munro via Flickr|
John Bingham, also known as Lord Lucan, was popular for his taste for luxury, fast cars, gambling, and right-wing politics. He was married to Veronica Duncan, a daughter of an army officer, but they separated in 1973. Since then, he fought a custody battle over their children. However, Lucan suddenly disappeared after being accused of killing Veronica’s nanny. According to Veronica, Lucan was planning to kill her but she managed to escape. His disappearance filled hundreds of tabloid column inches in Britain during that time. A lot of people claimed that they have seen him changing in a locker room in Vancouver, partying in Goa, playing cards in Botswana, hiking in Mount Etna, and many more, but nothing was ever confirmed.
|Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt (center left) / Photo by: National Library of Australia via Flickr|
On Dec. 17, 1967, Holt, the then Prime Minister of Australia, went for a swim on Cheviot Beach. He was never seen again. According to an article by Mental Floss, an online site that delivers smart, fun and shareable content in an upbeat and witty environment, the 59-year-old Holt was having health troubles during that time. Nonetheless, he was outdoorsy, strong, and fit. Although the authorities conducted one of the largest search-and-rescue operations the country had ever seen, Holt was never found.