When someone goes missing, it affects everyone. Whether a family member, a friend or just a next-door neighbor, a missing person changes how we think about the world. How can someone get lost so easily? Did they get abducted or commit suicide? How do we prevent this? A thousand questions are thrust into a missing person case and more often than not, very few answers can result. For those closest to the person, it’s endlessly frustrating. To those watching from afar, it can be fascinating and mysterious. Here are 25 Unsolved Human Disappearances Yet To Be Explained.
Rebecca Coriam was a Disney Wonder cruise crewmember who disappeared on March 11th, 2011. She was last seen talking on the phone, distraught. Her family believes Disney knew more than they were letting on and tried to cover up information. Some theories include that she fell overboard, while others think she could have been a victim of a crime.
A District Attorney of Centre County, Pennsylvania, Ray Gricar mysteriously disappeared on April 15, 2005. After he didn’t return home from a road trip, he was reported missing. Authorities found his car on the side of the road with his cell phone and laptop still inside. He was legally declared dead in 2011.
One day Dorthy Forstein’s husband came home and found his two children terrified and holding each other. They said they found their mother, Dorthy Forstein, lying face down on a rug and a man standing next to her. The man told them everything was fine and to go back to bed. He picked her up, and they never saw her again.
Amy Lynn Bradley
In 1998, Amy Lynn Bradley went missing on the Royal Caribbean International Cruise ship Rhapsody of the Seas. There was no evidence she committed suicide or fell overboard; her family said it was unlike her to disappear. Many sightings have appeared over time, but nothing has been conclusive. There is a $250,000 reward for information leading to her return.
A sports editor of Newsweek, John Lake disappeared mysteriously in 1967. He was last seen in Manhattan, walking to the subway to go home. Many years later a photo was shown to his son of a corpse that looked similar to Lake, but it couldn’t be positively identified.
Known as the matriarch of system administration, Evi Nemeth took a trip starting in the Bahamas and ending in New Zealand. She and a crew of people were lost at sea after a heavy storm hit.
In 1968, Ted Conrad went to his job at a bank vault took $215,000, then he disappeared without a trace. He admitted to stealing the money in two letters he sent to his girlfriend. The authorities have been hunting him ever since but with little luck. He would be 68 today, and some have said they sighted him in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Robyn Gardner told her boyfriend she was going to Aruba on a family trip. Except she lied about the family trip part. She went to Aruba with a man named Gary Giordano. Giordano is a fifty-year-old businessman with a sketchy past. Gardner and Giordano went on a snorkeling trip but Gardner never returned. Things became more suspicious when it was discovered Giordano had a travel insurance policy out on Gardner and also had disturbing images on his camera. An investigation is on-going.
The Beaumont Siblings
In 1966, three children, Jane, Arna, and Grant Beaumont went missing in Adelaide, South Australia. Their case resulted in a massive police investigation and a media frenzy. It changed the way parents watched after their kids in the area. While there have been some sightings, mostly the case went cold.
On February 14th, 2000, Asha Degree, a 9-year-old girl, got out of bed at 4 am, packed her bags, left her house in North Carolina, and walked down the road during a raging storm. Many cars saw her and one man claimed to have turned to go see why such a little girl was out that late during a storm. When he approached in his car, she ran into the nearby woods. That’s the last anyone saw her. Three days later, some of Asha’s things were found in a shed a mile from her home. A year later, her backpack was found wrapped in plastic trash bags.
Ben Padilla and the Boeing 727
On May 25, 2003 in Angola, American pilot Ben Padilla and John Mutantu boarded a Boeing 727 in the early morning hours of the day. Without clearance, they pulled the plane onto the runway and flew away. With the tracking responder turned off, neither the airplane nor the two men have been seen since. Since those planes require three men to fly them, some believe they ended up crashing into the ocean.
A resident of Batavia, New York, William Morgan was a staunch anti-mason and threatened to publish a book about their secrets. After being arrested on baseless charges, he disappeared soon after. Of course, many believe the masons were behind it, but no evidence had ever been found. The masons firmly denied it, saying they paid him $500 to leave the country.
In 1995, Mistie Murray had her bags packed and was ready to spend a weekend with her biological mother. But, before she could take any of her things, she disappeared. Over the years, many have linked sightings of her with prostitution and hanging out with street kids but none of this was confirmed. Authorities disregarded the runaway theory and believed her adopted father Steven murdered her. He stood trial, but with the heavy evidence in his favor, he was acquitted of all charges. No one knows what happened to her, but both her adoptive parents and biological mother believe she’s dead.
The Ghost Blimp
It’s not too often you hear about a ghost blimp. But, in 1942, a U.S. Navy blimp came floating down toward city of Daly, California. Police went to rescue the crew inside but there wasn’t any crew to rescue. All the parachutes and effects in the blimp were intact. And there was no seemingly good explanation of what could have happened to the crew. None of them were seen again.
Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
Despite an extensive multi-country search, after three years, there has still been no sign or trace of the Malaysian Airlines plane that disappeared in 2014. It carried 227 passengers from sixteen nations. While many theories have been proposed, nothing conclusive has stuck.
In 2007, Madeleine McCann and her brother and sister were on vacation in Portugal with their parents. Their parents put them to bed and went down to dine 180 feet (55 m) away. The parents checked on them throughout the evening, but the mother discovered Madeleine was missing. Portuguese Police suspected an accident happened and the parents tried to cover it up. However, those allegations were dropped. A huge investigation went underway but nothing conclusive came of it.
In 1961, police investigated a house in Lincoln, Massachusetts with blood running from the house down the driveway. It was Joan Risch’s house, and her daughter had come home from a playdate to find her gone. Her blood was found in the kitchen, and it was believed she was abducted until they found library books checked out about murders and disappearances. Many theories exist on her disappearance including a fatal accident, a mental breakdown, or a planned escape.
A union leader, author, and president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, Jimmy Hoffa was also heavily involved in the mafia and disappeared July 30, 1975. Before he vanished, he told others he was going to meet with two mafia leaders. He has been legally declared dead.
The story of D.B. Cooper is essentially American legend at this point, but it bears repeating. A man wearing a black suit and tie with black glasses told a stewardess he had a bomb. He showed her the bomb and gave her a note indicating what he wanted her to do: Grab four parachutes and $200,000 in twenty-dollar bills. The plane landed, and he ordered the pilots to head for Mexico City. Somewhere in-between Seattle and Reno, Cooper put on a parachute and jumped out of the plane in heavy winds and cold rain. He has never been seen again. Some of his things were found, including rolled up money and a tie. Scientists believe he may have been an engineer or pilot, working closely with the airline.
Elizabeth Campbell left her part-time job at a 7-11 to go to a group study at her boyfriend’s place. After getting into an argument with her boyfriend, she wanted to go home but he refused to take her. So, she left and walked on her own. Sighted by a 7-11 clerk, she asked to use the phone but then decided to call her brother long-distance on the payphone outside. She was never seen again.
Brian Shaffer was a medical student going out to celebrate with his friends on Spring Break. He was last seen on a surveillance video camera outside a bar talking to two women. He re-entered the bar and was never seen again. Theories range from being murdered by a friend, the Smiley Face Killer, or that he is alive and well and living somewhere else.
A clothing salesman and recovering alcoholic, AJ Breaux was nine years sober when he disappeared without a trace. He was heavily involved in the Easy Does It Club, an alcohol support group. On August 1991, he was last seen getting milk from a grocery store before disappearing. Later, they found his car with items inside abandoned on a street across from the grocery store.
Gordon Collins and his friends were out on vacation in Mexico when they rented a boat. A fisherman warned them about a growing storm, but they didn’t listen. Sure enough, a heavy storm hit, and the next day two bodies were found on the shore. The bodies turned out to be two of Collins’s friends. Collins and his wife were never found again. Many sightings appeared afterward, including a beggar on a street that resembled Collins. But nothing was conclusive.
Maura Murray was a nursing student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and told her professors she was going to be gone due to a death in the family. However, no family member could confirm there was any death in the family. When Murray disappeared, authorities treated her case as a missing person investigation because she had packed her own bags and there was no evidence of foul play. Others, however, believe she was abducted.
On January 2, 2000, Zebb Quinn was an 18-year-old working at a Walmart. He ended his shift at 9 pm and met with friend Robert Owens in the parking lot. Quinn wanted to look into purchasing a new car that day. They left Walmart separately and went to a gas station. Quinn said he received a page and needed to take the call. He went to a payphone and afterward, Owens described Quinn as frantic. He said he had to cancel looking into getting the car and drove off. Two days later, Owens called Walmart claiming to be Quinn, saying he was ill. Owens said he was doing Quinn a favor to call in sick for him. Though Owens denies being involved in Quinn’s disappearance, he’s an active suspect in the case.
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