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Unexplained Phenomena Articles

Top 5 Unexplained Disappearances

Top 5 Unexplained Disappearances

Every year, approximately 250,000 people are reported missing. What makes disappearances so unsettling is the lack of answers and closure for friends and family. Below are the most puzzling cases of disappearances throughout history.

The Colony of Roanoke

One of America's oldest disappearance cold cases involves not only one individual but rather an entire colony! In August of 1587, 115 English settlers arrived on American soil at Roanoke Island off the coast of modern-day North Carolina. After a three year journey, the governor of the colony returned to the island after difficulties retrieving more supplies and found no trace of the Roanoke inhabitants he left behind.

The only clue was the single word—"Croatoan"—carved into a tree trunk near the coast of the island. "Croatoan" was the name of a nearby Native American tribe. Theorists believe the colony may have been murdered by the Croatoans or could have escaped by the sea on their own after their governor hadn't returned hastily with supplies. With no belongings left behind, other theories suggest something more sinister and paranormal at fault.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Around the world, over 100,000 airline flights are completed routinely every single day. The mysterious case of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 is one of the most baffling disappearances to date due to the lack of any substantial evidence in the investigation. Along with the aircraft, all 239 passengers aboard are still deemed missing after the plane vanished above the Indian Ocean in March of 2014.

The flight took off on schedule and disappeared after a handover between air traffic control systems. Instead of flying its charted course, the plane flew back over the Indonesian Peninsula toward the Indian Ocean instead. Efforts to track the craft were in vain, and experts later found that all communication systems were turned off manually by someone(s) on the plane.

After several months' worth of extensive air and water searches, no aircraft or bodies of the passengers on board were ever found. The case remains unsolved.

D.B. Cooper

After nearly 50 years, the D.B. Cooper case remains one of the most infamous crimes in American history. In 1971, a passenger aboard a flight toward Seattle under the alias D.B. Cooper handed a flight attendant a note detailing he had a bomb. He demanded a cash sum of $200,000 and two parachutes.

The flight landed shortly after so all other passengers could exit the plane to safety. After the money arrived, D.B. Cooper, a few flight attendants, and both pilots boarded the plane again and this time headed toward Mexico City. Shortly after takeoff, Cooper jumped out of the back of the plane at 10,000 feet with the money and parachutes he requested.

His body, the money, and parachutes were never recovered. Since so much time has passed, Cooper is undoubtedly dead, and no one will ever know if he safety landed or met his fate falling 10,000 feet toward heavily forested land.

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart is known to have set many of the world's flying records as a pioneering American pilot. Despite this, perhaps she is best known for her mysterious, unsolved disappearance. Earhart and her co-pilot Fred Noonan took off on a record-breaking, around-the-world flight in 1937, and completed two-thirds of the journey. Radio transmissions recorded the pair being dangerously low on fuel and battling high winds, which caused the plane to drain precious fuel reserves even faster. Eventually, all radio communications between Earhart's plane and air traffic control systems stopped abruptly somewhere over the Pacific Ocean.

Exhaustive searches for the plane, Earhart, and Noonan lasted two weeks and turned up nothing. Some people came forward with stories of eerie radio transmissions with voices claiming to be Earhart frantically asking for help. These leads never resulted in any substantial evidence of Earhart and Noonan's fate.

Do you have any new theories for these mysterious, unsolved disappearances?

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