The world can be a dark place. Sometimes, events are so odd that no one can figure out exactly what happened. Missing people, murders, secret societies, and even potential paranormal events have confused people for years.
Here are some of the facts we do know about these unsolved mysteries.
43. Elisa Lam
On January 31, 2013, 21-year old Canadian Elisa Lam was on vacation at the Hotel Cecil in Los Angeles. Security cameras captured her on the elevator. In the video, she looked scared of someone–or something. She left the elevator, acting very strange…and disappeared. Weeks later, her body was found in the water tower on the top of the hotel. The Los Angeles Police department claimed her death was “accidental drowning”, but internet sleuths think that something more may be going on.
42. Cicada 3301
A strange image appeared on the website 4Chan in 2012. The anonymous poster claimed that they were from a secret group called Cicada 3301, and they are looking for intelligent people to join their organization. There was a secret message hidden in an image. This clue lead to dozens of other puzzles, which eventually showed that the group exists all over the world. No one is sure who or what Cicada 3301 actually is, but new puzzles appear in January of every year.
41. The Mary Celeste
In 1867, a beautiful ship named the Mary Celeste left the coast of New York. The captain was a man named Benjamin Briggs, and he brought his family and crew to transport 1,700 barrels of alcohol to Italy. They never made it to their destination. The boat was found floating safely in the Atlantic Ocean, off the Azores Islands, on December 5, 1872. This did not look like a pirate attack, because nothing was stolen, and all of the paper documents were still on board. The only thing missing was the people.
40. James McGrogan
In 2014, a doctor named James McGrogan went on a winter hiking trip using split snowboards on the snowy trails of Vail, Colorado. He brought his fully charged cell phone, a GPS, and survival gear–not to mention two friends to hike with. James was athletic, so he got farther ahead on the trail. His friends could not find him. Despite the fact that there was snow on the ground, no one could find any sign of James’ tracks. A week later, James’ body was found… but he would have had to climb several mountains and many miles to get there. When the rescue team found his body, they discovered that his phone still worked and he should have been able to call for help.
39. The Taos Hum
In a small town of Taos, New Mexico, there is no such thing as silence for some people. When townspeople quiet down, many citizens report they can hear a humming noise, similar to a diesel engine. In 1997, Congress decided to investigate the hum, and yet they could not come up with a rational explanation. The sound is undetectable by audio equipement.
38. The Zodiac Killer
A serial killer nicknamed “The Zodiac” killed at least 5 people in California during the 1960’s.
All of the victims were shot, and the police would have never connected the dots, if he had not called them, admitting his crimes. He explained that he enjoyed “hunting” people. He has still never been caught.
37. Dennis Martin
The Martin Family was having a picnic at the Smoky Mountains National Park. Dennis Martin, who was only 6 years old, ran into the woods during a game and never came back. A search party of thousands of people looked for him for a week. No trace of him has ever been found.
36. The Frost Family Poltergeist
In 1921, the Frost family bought some coal for their fire in Hornsey, England. Shockingly, the coal began to explode, and fly across the room. Other objects like knives began flying through the air. They called the police, who investigated, and believed there may have been some tampering with the coal, citing the possibility of adding explosive elements. However, further investigation confirmed it was just normal coal. The family began to think that it was a ghost, so they called in a priest, who also witnessed the strange occurrences. The events were so scary that the five year old daughter was literally “scared to death,” and their son had a nervous breakdown.
35. Skinwalker Ranch
The Sherman Ranch, AKA “Skinwalker Ranch” in Ballard, Utah is apparently a hotspot for paranormal activity. The owners of the ranch claimed that their cattle was being attacked by bullet-proof wolves, their bulls were crammed into storage containers, and a newborn calf was mysteriously mutilated within minutes. A wealthy millionaire named Robert Bigelow decided to buy the ranch to study it with his organization called the National Institute of Discovery Science. The events of Skinwalker Ranch are unexplained, but many people blame it on aliens or other paranormal activity.
34. Ricky McCormick
In 1999, 41-year old Ricky McCormick was found dead in the middle of a field in Missouri. Inside of his pockets were two pieces of paper with strange writing that may actually be a secret code. The letters were in Ricky’s crude handwriting, but his family was confused because Ricky could not read. No one has found the killer, or figured out what his messages meant.
33. Margaret Foos
In the 1960’s, a young woman named Margaret Foos began showing a skill called “blind reading,” where she could touch books and read them without ever opening them. She claimed that this was due to her psychic powers. Scientists began to study her, blindfolding her and asking her to touch random books. Her case was also studied by the FBI, who could not find any proof that she was tricking them.
32. The Max Headroom Hijack
During the 1980’s, there was a popular artificial intelligence (AI) character was named Max Headroom. In 1987, a hacker dressed in a Max Headroom mask interrupted the cable station and appeared on the screen. He began screaming and saying strange, confusing things. No one knows who hacked the airwaves, or why they did it.
31. Jonbenet Ramsey
Six year old beauty pageant princess Jonbenet Ramsey was murdered in her home of Boulder, Colorado in 1996. Even to this day, no one knows who actually killed her. There are a total of 8 possible suspects, including her parents and brother.
30. The Green Children of Woolpit
According to historic records from the 12th Century, two children- a brother and sister with green skin appeared in a village called Woolpit in Suffolk, England. They wore strange clothes, and spoke a language that no one could understand. They only ate beans and refused to eat anything else for several months. The boy became sick and died. Once the girl grew up, her skin stopped being green, and she learned to speak English. She explained that they came from a place with other green-skinned people called St. Martin’s Land, which was an underground place where the sky was always twilight. There was a river, and a “luminous land” shining across the water. The siblings said they climbed into a mysterious cave, and on the other side, there was blinding sunlight, and they were somehow in England. Modern-day historians believe that these children were actually Flemish immigrants, while others believe they may have been aliens from another planet, or beings from another dimension.
29. Maurice Dametz
At 80 years old, Maurice Dametz had difficulty walking. He drove into the woods of Colorado with a younger friend who helped him hunt for topaz gemstones. Maurice’s friend left him alone for only 15 minutes, and walked a mere 150 yards away. When he came back, the old man was gone. No one has been able to find him since.
28. The Atlas Vampire
A female sex worker was found dead in Stockholm in 1932. Her body had been drained of blood, and there was evidence that her killer was drinking it. The murderer was never found, and became known as “The Atlas Vampire”.
27. Genghis Khan’s Tomb
Just before he died, the terrifying ruler, Genghis Khan, ordered his soldiers to make sure no one could find where he was buried. It is said that anyone who helped build his tomb was killed and a river was diverted to flow over the burial site. Over 10,000 volunteers tried to look through digital maps to try to find his burial site in Mongolia. Researchers still cannot seem to find where this ancient leader was buried.
26. The Voynich Manuscript
A beautiful book was discovered from the 1400’s. It has illustrations of plants that do not exist, and it is written in an unknown language. Some people believe that the Voynich Manuscript is in code, but no one has been able to figure it out. Theories surrounding the book point to witchcraft, but no one really knows who wrote it, or why.
25. The Count of St. Germain
Throughout the 1700’s, a man who is only known as the Count of St. Germain was traveling throughout Europe. He was spotted many places, and yet he always seemed to appear to be the same age. No one knew where he came from, but he could speak multiple languages, and was talented in just about everything. He was also an alchemist–one of the people who was studying the secret to immortality. On paper, he died in 1785. However, there are records of him being alive afterwards–still looking just as young as he was years before. Some believe he actually figured out how to live forever.
24. The Black Dahlia
In 1947, Elizabeth Short’s body was found in a parking lot in Los Angeles. She had been cut into two pieces, and her face was mutilated. This inspired the look given to The Joker in the 2008 Batman movie The Dark Knight. The murderer was never found.
23. The Men in Black
Many people who study UFO’s claim that they were approached and questioned by “men in black”, and that encounters have been documented throughout history. While this may seem far-fetched, security camera footage actually captured The Men in Black in Maryland in 2008. They had identical faces, as if they were twins- including the fact that they didn’t have eyebrows. Hotel staff described them as having abnormally huge blue eyes, and that they never blinked. They also wore identical suits and trench coats with old fedora hats. The men were asking for Shane Sovar, the hotel manager who had recently reported seeing a UFO. Thankfully, Shane wasn’t working that day, and the two men questioned the staff and left.
22. Jack The Ripper
In Victorian England, dozens of prostitutes were being murdered. A man wrote a letter to the local newspaper in London, admitting that he was the killer. He gained the nickname “Jack the Ripper,” and the police were never able to find him.
21. The Babushka Woman
When President John F. Kennedy was assassinated, many people began to run away from the scene, except for one woman, who was wearing a scarf around her head. She was filming the entire time. Since this was during The Cold War, the woman was given the nickname “Babushka Woman,” since the scarf was similar to what Russian grandmothers would wear. The FBI searched for this woman because they wanted to question her and get the footage from her camera. One woman came forward to say she was the Babushka Woman, but she could not keep her story straight. Authorities believe she lied for the attention. The true Babushka Woman has yet to be found.
20. Hae Min Lee
It was 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland, and a teenage girl named Hae Mi Lee was murdered. Her death was blamed on her boyfriend, Adnan Syed, and he was sent to jail. However, there is a significant amount of proof that he did not commit the crime. The events of Hae’s death are so complicated, that it inspired a podcast called Serial, which walks the audience through all of the facts of the case. Fans of the podcast have come up with multiple theories on who the murderer actually is, but the mystery is still unsolved.
19. The Yogurt Shop Murders
Four young girls were working in an Austin, Texas yogurt shop in 1991. When the shop burst into flames, firefighters rushed to the scene. When the fire was out, they found the bodies of the four girls tied up inside of the building. Police have not been able to prove who committed this crime.
18. The NJ Ghost Sniper
In the 1920’s, cars and homes were being shot at. No one could see where the shots were coming from, but they heard crazy laughter somewhere in the distance. The strangest part about this was that no one could find any bullets. The “ghost sniper” traveled all over South Jersey and Philadelphia, and after years of terrorizing people, he disappeared as quickly as he came.
17. The Dyatlov Pass
It was 1959, and 9 people in their 20’s decided to go on a skiing trip through the Ural Mountains in Russia. They never returned. It took three months for the rescue team to find all of their bodies. All of them appear to have died at different times, from different causes. In their diary, one of them had written, “From now on, we know that snowmen exist.” One of the men in particular rushed out of his tent without any snow gear, but was holding his camera, urgently trying to photograph something. He died of a head injury. The damage found on the other bodies was so bad, it was said that their bodies looked like they were in a car crash. They were killed by some force that a human would not be powerful enough to do. To top off an already strange story, their clothing had high levels of radiation.
16. Travis Walton
A man named Travis Walton was a logger in Arizona in 1975. Travis was at work cutting logs in the woods with chainsaws with 6 other men in his crew. All of them claim to have seen a UFO, and Travis suddenly disappeared. The men called the police to report him as a missing person. Five days later, Travis reappeared on his own. He claims that he was abducted by aliens who attempted to study him, but that he managed to escape.
15. Jeanette DePalma
In 1972, a dog walked into Springfield, New Jersey holding the arm of a dead girl in its mouth. It belonged to teenager Jeanette DePalma, whose body was found on the top of a mountain. Rumor has it that she was sacrificed for some kind of cult.
Book inspired from the case
14. Isidor Fink
In 1929, a man named Isidor Fink returned home to his New York apartment. Moments later, screaming was heard coming from inside. However, the doors were locked from the inside, and the windows were nailed shut. After prying the boards off of the windows, the police actually needed to send a small child to unlock the front door, because the window was too small for an adult. When the police went inside, they saw that Isidor was dead, with three bullet holes in his chest. They could not find a gun. Nothing was stolen. There were no fingerprints, and there should not have been a way for a murderer to escape the apartment.
The apartment in NYC
13. The Panchen Lama
In Tibetan Buddhism, there is a belief that the leaders of the religion are reincarnated. In 1995, the Dalai Lama discovered a 5-year old boy named Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, who he claimed was the reincarnation of Choekyi Gyaltsen, the previous Panchen Lama. He was destined to become the new leader once the Dalai Lama dies. Only three days after the announcement of the new Panchen Lama, Chinese authorities kidnapped the little boy. They chose their own Panchen Lama- a boy named Gyaltsen Norbu, who is the son of Chinese government officials. The government claims that they are still holding Gedhun captive in China, and that he is safe. However, no one knows where he is, and there is a possibility that he has died.
12. The Kecksburg Incident
The sleepy town of Kecksburg, Pennsylvania was shaken up one night in 1965. People in the town noticed a ball of fire falling from the sky. It landed in the woods, and witnesses described it as being a huge “acorn shaped” UFO. Once it was reported to the police, NASA showed up and took the object away. They never explained to the public what the object actually was. In 2002, a journalist filed information on the Kecksburg Incident through the Freedom of Information Act, and eventually had to take NASA to court to release the documents. When she won the case, NASA handed over documents, but it was clear that pages were missing. To this day, there is still no answer about what the object actually was.
Model built after the incident
11. The Colonial Parkway Murderer
In the 1980’s, couples were being ripped out of their cars and murdered from the Lover’s Lane near the Colonial Parkway in Virginia. At least 8 people died under similar circumstances, meaning that there was a serial killer that has never been found.
10. Alexander Grant
In 2011, a 19-year old college student named Alexander Grant was at a party. He disappeared into a back room. When police broke up the party, Alex’s friends could not find him. Security camera footage spotted Alex at a local train station. Later, cameras found him breaking into the basement of a building in town. He was missing pieces of clothing, even though it was winter. He seemed to be scared, trying to run from something. After hiding for about thirty minutes, he leaves the building and begins to run. The next day, his body was found frozen under a sheet of ice in the river. At first, the police claim that he was just drunk, and it was an accident. However, after learning more strange facts about the case, the police have reopened the investigation as an unsolved mystery.
After the body was discovered
9. The Forrest Fenn Treasure
An elderly man named Forrest Fenn claims to have hidden a $2 million treasure in New Mexico. He wrote clues on how to find it in a poem. So far, two people have died trying to find the treasure. Fenn refuses to take any responsibility for these deaths, saying that the treasure is actually simple to find, and that no one should die from their search.
8. Seed Showers
In 1979, a man named Ronald Moody noticed that seeds were falling from the sky. The seeds were covered in a jelly-type substance. There were no trees or birds up above that would explain the phenomenon. Soon enough, his neighbors began bringing up similar reports. There were so many seeds, that Ronald was able to fill up 8 buckets. He decided to plant the seeds in his garden. The next year, they grew into corn, beans, cress, and mustard.
7. The Tunguska Blast
Siberia, Russia, is so cold, that it is one of the least populated places in the world. In 1908, there was an explosion so powerful, that trees were bent over flat for 800 square miles. Thankfully, no one was killed, except for some unlucky reindeer. It shook the ground so much, it was felt all the way in England, and the sky lit up all over the world. NASA says that this blast was caused by a meteoroid. However, there was no hole in the ground where it should have fallen, and and no evidence of a meteor was ever found. Many people have theories that something else may have been going on.
6. The Connecticut Jabber
In 1928, someone was stabbing women in their breasts and buttocks in public places all over Bridgeport, Connecticut. A total of 26 women reported being attacked, but since it was done in crowded places, no one ever saw who did it.
5. Angelique Cottin
In 1845, a fourteen year old French girl named Angelique Cottin began to show signs that she had super powers. She could make objects move by holding out her hand towards them. When people came near her, they would get electric shocks. Scientists studied her, explaining that she had a special ability that they had never seen before. Her parents wanted to make money from their daughter’s powers, so they began to put her on exhibit in front of an audience. A few months later, Angelique claimed that her powers went away, and she went back to living a normal life.
4. Richard Colvin Cox
West Point is one of the top military academies in the United States. In 1950, Richard Cox was only 21 years old as a cadet at West Point. He told his roommates that he was going to have a dinner meeting with a man named George. Richard left in full uniform that night, and he was never seen again. The FBI opened an investigation, and while there are many theories, no one knows the true story of what happened to Richard.
3. The Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine
In the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, there is a legend of a gold mine that can make anyone rich, if they find it. However, the people who go looking for the goldmine usually end up missing, or dead.
2. Rashawn Brazell
In 2005, 19-year old Rashawn Brazell was murdered. His body parts were scattered in different parts of the New York Subway system. Every year, on his birthday, Rashawn’s family receives messages with clues about his death. However, the killer has never been caught.
1. DB Cooper
In 1971, a man called DB Cooper hijacked a Northwest Airlines flight by claiming that he had a bomb in his briefcase. He forced the plane to land in Seattle, and kept the passengers hostage. He demanded $200,000 and parachutes. Once he got what he wanted, he told the pilot to fly towards Mexico. They were being followed by police airplanes, but DB Cooper still somehow managed to jump out of the back door with a parachute over Arizona. No one saw him jump, and he was never seen again. The FBI opened an investigation on him, and still found nothing.
Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your time!
Want to get paid to write articles for us? We also have a Loyal Contributor Program, where our beloved users can create content for Factinate in a Word Document format. If we publish your articles on www.factinate.com, we will happily pay you for your time and effort. Our Loyal Contributor program is a vehicle for infusing our readers’ passion into our content. Please reach out to us for more details, style guidelines, and compensation information at email@example.com. Thanks for your interest!
Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your help!
The Factinate team