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In 753 BC, two twins, Romulus and Remus, founded the city of Rome, and Romulus became the ruler of the city and reigned for 39 years. The identity of the two brothers has both historical and legendary character. According to legend, the two were sons of Mars, the god of war, and they were breastfed and brought up by a she-wolf. History says that, at that time, many men were looked upon as "sons of Mars" and instead of the romantic background, Romulus and Remus had likely been raised by a prostitute. Prostitutes were nicknamed “Lupae” (she-wolves) in ancient Rome.
Sculpture of the Capitolene Wolf suckling Romulus and Remus. Musei Capitolini, Rome, Italy ()
The Disappearance of Romulus
But one of the brothers disappeared mysteriously from the pages of history. On July 7, 714 BCE, while he was in the temple of Vulcan to give some instructions to his senators, Romulus disappeared without a trace.
In his work, “ A History of Rome from Its Origins Up to the Year 9 BC ”, the historian Livy mentions:
“One day, when he was inspecting the troops on the Field of Mars, near to the Goat Marsh, a storm erupted with deafening thunders. Romulus was surrounded by a cloud so thick that it hid him from the eyes of all those present and from that moment on he was never spotted again anywhere in the world ”.
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Other reports describe the mysterious disappearance of Romulus.
Some accounts place the event on the May 26 when a solar eclipse took place. In the case of many supernatural vanishings, these disappearances were believed to have been predicted or accompanied by extreme weather phenomena. This was the belief of Plutarch, as he describes as follows:
“In that circumstance, the air suddenly got thicker and changed miraculously, sunlight diminished and all were engulfed by a surprising darkness, accompanied by terrifying thunder and storm. Then the crowd dispersed and run away, but the nobility gathered forming a separate group. When the storm was over and light was restored, the people returned to their seats and inquired, full of fear, where the king was, but he could no longer be found ”.
Romulus, Victor over Acron, hauls the rich booty to the temple of Jupiter.
Assassinated by Senators?
At the time there were rumors and speculations started by those who believed that Romulus had been killed by the senators. They argued that the senators, tired of his leadership, had killed him and cut the body into small enough pieces so that they could be hidden under their clothing and dumped somewhere where the evidence would never be found. But, he vanished so quickly that the short period of time did not permit a murder and dismemberment, and the large amount of spilled blood from such an act would have been impossible to hide.
Romulus as the god Quirinus
Julius Proculus was the one who ended the string of speculations and rumors. Under oath, he declared that he had met by chance with Romulus who had reappeared in a different form. He was said to have been more distinguished and noble than ever before, and was wearing an armor that shined so bright it almost hurt the eyes.
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The senator said that Romulus had addressed him by confirming his divine status: "My good Proculus, it was the will of the Gods to be here among men for a time, and, after founding a city that is to become the strongest and most glorious in the world, to go back to heaven, from whence we have come. Go now and tell the Romans that through temperance and spiritual strength they will reach the highest summit of human greatness, and I, the god Quirinus, will always be benevolent towards them”.
Romulus was never seen again, and the Romans worshiped him in the form of the god Quirinus for a thousand years.
Featured image: Unusual celestial or weather phenomena heralded supernatural disappearances in the classical world. What became of the Roman leader Romulus? Deriv; Solar Eclipse (Flickr/ CC BY 2.0 ), and Roman Statue (Flickr/ CC BY 2.0 )
By Valda Roric
The American merchant ship Mary Celeste was found drifting at sea on Dec. 5, 1872, about 400 miles (640 kilometers) east of Portugal&rsquos Azores Islands, in the eastern Atlantic. The ship, under partial sail when it was intercepted by a Canadian vessel, was carrying a nearly full cargo of casks of industrial alcohol, as well as enough food and water to last for many months. But one of the lifeboats on the merchant ship was missing, and there was no sign of the crew, although their belongings were found still in their bunks.
The Mary Celeste had sailed from New York, almost a month before it was sighted, bound for Genoa in Italy with 10 people aboard: seven crewmen and the ship&rsquos captain, the captain's wife and the couple's two-year-old daughter. But no sign of them was ever found.
In 1884, a few years before the first Sherlock Holmes mysteries appeared in print, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published a fictional first-person account by a survivor of a ship called the "Marie Celeste." In Doyle's story, the crew was murdered by a vengeful serial killer among the crewmen. The story became more famous than the original case, and was even presented as a true account in some newspapers, including the Boston Herald, according to a report in a 1913 report edition of The Strand magazine. Several researchers have speculated that the real Mary Celeste was abandoned because the crew feared an explosion from alcohol fumes leaking from the casks in the hold. Others speculate that the ship was attacked by Moroccan pirates, who carried away the people onboard but left the cargo.
In 2007, documentary filmmaker Anne MacGregor suggested the ship may have been abandoned after it took on water in bad weather and the captain saw an opportunity to make for land in a lifeboat. But the occupants of the lifeboat appeared to have been lost at sea, while the abandoned Mary Celeste was able to ride out the storm.
9 Supernatural Unsolved Mysteries that Cannot be Rationally Explained
These strange and supernatural cases were so horrifying and perplexing they mystified experts, and indeed the world ever since.
A view of the tent as the rescuers found it on February 26, 1959.
T here are only a handful of mysteries in this world that simply cannot be explained. Most people like to believe that even the most impossible of puzzles can be solved given time, but that’s not always the case. Take these nine mysteries, for example. They have remained unsolved for decades (if not longer), mystifying experts and baffling all who encounter them. This is certainly the case for our first supernatural unsolved mystery. The Dyatlov Pass Incident is known to be the most bizarre, not to mention terrifying mysteries of the modern age.
The unfathomable deaths of nine Russian mountaineers whose cross-country skiing trip ended in a tragedy so horrifying and perplexing that it has mystified experts, and indeed the world ever since.
1. Dyatlov Pass Incident
One of the last photos of the mountaineers, developed from the discarded roll of film found at the abandoned campsite
On January 25, 1959, nine Russian students embarked on a journey across the Otorten Mountain range, which is nestled in the northern Urals, for a strenuous cross-country skiing trip. Eight days after they were due to arrive at their end destination a search party set out to find the missing mountaineers. On February 26, the search party came upon the flapping remains of a tent pitched on ski poles on an uppermost slope of Kholat Syakhl, or ‘Mountain of the Dead’ in the native language of northern Siberia.
The tent had been ripped apart, torn to shreds from the inside, suggesting that they had fled in panic. Footprints found around the outside of the tent indicated that those who fled into sub-zero temperatures did so in just their socks or barefoot, and in one case a single shoe. Two sets of prints led down a slope toward a densely forested area which would lead the searchers to the first bodies.
Besides the remains of a long burnt out fire, beneath a looming, ancient pine tree was the frozen bodies of two hikers. The searchers noted with bewilderment that both men were naked and shoeless, save for their underwear. They also noted that the branches of the pine tree had been snapped off up to a height of almost 15-feet, indicating that the pair had frantically attempted to climb the tree for safety.
Around 350 yards away lay the body of 23-year-old engineering student Igor Dyatlov. His name would later be given to the area where the tragedy took place. Nearby, the remains of three more bodies were discovered under four inches of snow. The bodies were found in a line, 200 yards apart, suggesting they had been trying to crawl behind each other back up to the shelter of the tent.
Rustem Slobodin’s body discovered buried in the snow, face down.
Two months after the initial search the remaining bodies of the group were found. Buried under 15ft of snow in a den they had desperately hollowed out for themselves before succumbing to the cold. Some had broken bones and terrible internal injuries but, strangely, no external wounds. Not even a scratch could be found upon their skin. Stranger still, odd bits of their clothing contained higher than normal levels of radiation.
The post-mortem examinations of the nine bodies also threw up a string of bewildering anomalies. What could cause nine experienced mountaineers to flee in terror into sub-zero temperatures? Why were some fully clothed, but others nearly naked? Most disconcerting of all was the body of Lyudmilla Dubinina, which was missing its tongue and eyes.
There are various theories concerning what happened in those dark and dreadful hours on the Mountain of the Dead. Possible explanations such as an avalanche or the Russian Military and secret experimental weapons testing have been blamed, even Yeti’s and alien abduction (the latter being the belief of Soviet investigators at the time) are also popular theories. However, the simple fact is no theory holds up to scrutiny, and so endures the legend of Dyatlov Pass one of the greatest unexplained mysteries of our time.
Related: Dyatlov Pass Incident: The Greatest Mystery of the Modern Age
2. Bella in the Wych Elm
(Image source) After the gruesome discovery, graffiti appeared across the region, asking “Who put Bella down the wych-elm?”
On April 18, 1943, four boys went poaching in Hagley Wood, England and came upon a wych-elm tree. Thinking it would serve as a good place to hunt for bird nests 15-year-old Bob Farmer climbed up to check but instead uncovered a grizzly mystery. Inside the hollow opening in the tree trunk, wedged tightly inside was a woman’s skeleton, entirely complete except for one missing hand.
Terrified, the boys swore a pact of silence and fled – but the youngest was so traumatized that he told his father. The police were dispatched to investigate and the body was found exactly as it had been described. Hair hung off the remaining flesh on the skull, and two crooked teeth gaped out of the mouth. The woman’s severed hand and items of clothing were later found buried near the tree. This gave rise to wild speculation that she had suffered a black magic execution and that a witches coven and Satanists were operating in the local area. After police analysis, the bones were determined to belong to a woman aged 35-40, who had been placed “while still warm” into the trees hollow where she had remained hidden for at least 18 months.
Adding to the already baffling mystery, local’s named the unidentified woman Bella after graffiti began appearing across the region asking “Who put Bella down the wych-elm?” No-one came forward with information and Bella’s true identity and her death remain unsolved.
3. The Pollock Twins
[Image credit: Unexplained Podcast] The Pollock Twins
Original Daily Mirror article from May 6th 1957.
In 1957, two sisters Joanna (11), Jacqueline Pollock (6) and their friend Anthony were tragically killed in a car accident as they walked to their local church in Northumberland, England. Their parents were left grief-stricken, John and Florence hoped and prayed their daughters would come back, and it seems their prayers were answered. One year later twin girls Jennifer and Gillian were born.
The Pollock’s were surprised to find that Jennifer, the younger twin, had birthmarks on her body and face in exactly the same place as Jacqueline had. With that, began a series of uncanny similarities between the twins and their dead sisters. At the age of two, the twins started to ask for toys which had once been owned by Jacqueline and Joanna. The girls, their parents claimed had never seen or heard about the toys before. At four, they began to recognize places they had never seen or been to before. One time they pointed to a school they claimed to be their school and that they remembered playing in the playground behind it. The school was the one Jacqueline and Joanna had attended.
A well-respected psychologist at the time, Dr. Ian Stevenson studied the case and concluded that the twins were indeed the sisters reincarnated. Then just as suddenly as it started, when the girls turned five years old their memories vanished and they both went on to live happy, ordinary lives.
4. Dutch SS Ourang Medan
According to widely circulated reports, in June of 1947 multiple ships sailing the trade routes of the straits of Malacca, which is located between Sumatra and Malaysia, claimed to have picked up a series of SOS distress signals. The unidentified ship’s message was as simple as it was terrifying “All officers including captain are dead, lying in chartroom and bridge. Possibly whole crew dead.” This was followed by a burst of indecipherable Morse code, then a final message “I die.” This cryptic proclamation was trailed by an eerie silence.
The distress call was picked up by two American ships as well as British and Dutch listening posts who managed to triangulate the source of the broadcasts and deduced that they emanating from a Dutch freighter known as the SS Ourang Medan. The American merchant ship Silver Star was first to arrive on the scene. Boarding the ship the recuse party discovered a horrifying sight awaited them.
The decks of the vessel were littered with the corpses of the Dutch crew. All of the bodies lay with their eye’s wide open, with terrified expressions on their faces and arms stretching out in front of them as if to shield themselves from something monstrous. As the Silver Star tried to tow the ghost ship back to port, the crew noticed ominous billows of smoke pouring up from the lower decks. The boarding party scarcely had a chance to cut the towline and make it back to the Silver Star before the Ourang Medan exploded. The doomed ship slowly sank beneath the ocean waves, leaving in its wake the most chilling of maritime mysteries.
Related: Lost At Sea: 6 Unsolved Maritime Mysteries
5. The Wow! Signal
(Image source) Jerry Ehman famously wrote the words “Wow!” on the original printout of the signal
Two Cornell physicists, Philip Morrison and Giuseppe Cocconi, famously tried to imagine how an intelligent alien civilization might try to signal Earth. We should look, they said, for a radio transmission. 18 years later their prediction came true.
Jerry Ehman was a volunteer researcher for Ohio State University’s now-defunct “Big Ear” radio observatory for SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). He was tasked with scanning radio waves from deep space, in hopes of finding a signal that bore hallmarks of being sent by an intelligent lifeform. On August 15, 1977, Ehman saw his measurements spike.
The signal lasted for 72 seconds. It was loud and appeared to have been transmitted from the constellation Sagittarius near a star called Tau Sagittarii, 120 light-years away. Ehman wrote the words “Wow!” on the original printout of the signal, thus its title as the “Wow! Signal”. All attempts to locate the signal again have failed, leading to much speculation and mystery about its origins.
6. Frederick Valentich
On October 21, 1978, Frederick Valentich left Melbourne, Australia to begin a 125-mile training flight to King’s Island. He was flying a single engine Cessna. At a just after 7:06 pm Valentich made radio contact with air traffic controllers to inquire if there were any other aircraft known to be flying in the area. The answer from Melbourne was no, an answer that was confirmed again during the odd communication that followed. Seven minutes later all radio contact was lost and Valentich was never heard from again.
During the puzzling exchange with air traffic control, Valentich claimed he saw something flying near him. When asked if he could confirm that it was an aircraft, he said that he could not, a statement that he repeated several times. He described the object as having at least four lights and one green light he also said it was an elongated cigar-shaped craft which was “all shiny on the outside.”
Interestingly, there were numerous UFO and/or strange light sightings in the King’s Island and the Bass Strait area on the night that Frederick Valentich disappeared. The last words that air traffic controllers officially heard Frederick Valentich speak were “It is not an aircraft.” Extensive searches for the pilot were conducted but no sign of Frederick or the Cessna was ever found.
7. The Man Who Vanished into Thin Air
(Image source) Ambrose Bierce
Author and war hero Ambrose Bierce is probably more famous for his disappearance than his writing. In 1913, Bierce wrote to friends that he was traveling to Mexico “with a pretty definite purpose which is not at present disclosable” then vanished off the face of the earth. The logical explanation is that he ran afoul of soldiers in the Mexican Revolution. However, prior to this trip, Bierce had been researching strange and bizarre disappearances. One such case was that of Charles Ashmore.
The story goes that in 1878, Ashmore left the family farmhouse near Quincy, Illinois, to go fetch fresh water from the spring a short distance away. When he did not return his family went in search of the boy. A new snow had just fallen and Charles’ footprints were plainly visible as they went out the back door and started across the yard. His father followed his trail for a short distance but after going about 75 yards, he saw that the trail abruptly ended. Beyond the last footprint was nothing other than smooth, unbroken snow – the boy’s tracks simply came to an end, vanishing without a trace.
Bierce theorized that people could fall into dimensional holes and be trapped forever, suspended between life and death. Is this what happened to Bierce? Did he prophesize his own fate? Nobody knows, and to this day his disappearance remains a puzzling mystery.
8. San Francisco Satanic Beheading
(Image source) View of the Golden Gate Bridge
On February 8, 1981, transient Leroy Carter Jr. was sleeping rough in the Golden Gate Park, San Francisco when he was brutally attacked. After police arrived at the grisly scene the next day they noted that Carter’s head had been cut off. And that it was missing. One of the only clues left behind at the scene was a headless chicken, part of which had been stuffed into Carter’s body at the neck.
Quickly realizing that this gruesome case needed a specialist, the San Francisco Police department brought in an Officer Sandi Gallant who specialized in the occult and satanic murders. According to Gallant, the murder was likely to be part of a dark ritual involving “Palo Mayombe”, a black magic offshoot of the religion Santeria. Gallant believed whoever had committed the crime did so to make a ritual brew from Carter’s brains and perhaps the ears and the nose. She also predicted that the head would be returned to the crime scene after 42 days to complete the ritual.
True enough, right on schedule, the head was returned 42 days later. However, despite having been called in, the occult detective was not taken seriously, and no one was watching the crime scene to make the arrest. The murderer escaped justice and the case remains unsolved.
Related: 5 Unsolved Murders with Links to Satanic Rituals and the Occult
9. The Baffling Case of Little Pauline Picard
[Image credit: ] When missing Pauline Picard was returned to her family they were overjoyed—but was it really her?
Little Pauline Picard, aged two, disappeared from her family’s farm in Brittany, France in April 1922. After an exhaustive search failed to find her, several days later police received news that a little girl who matched Pauline’s description had been found wandering in the town of Cherbourg, roughly 300 kilometers away from the Picard farm. Her mother identified her via a photograph and the police officer who found her was satisfied it was the same girl. The mystery of how a toddler could find herself several hundred miles away from home was brushed aside in the wake of relief of her safe return.
About a month later, a neighboring farmer walking near the Picard farm stumbled upon something horrifying: the mutilated and decomposing body of a young girl next to her neatly folded clothes. He alerted the authorities, who arrived at the gruesome scene along with the town’s inhabitants, among them Pauline’s parents. Although the young girl’s face could not be identified, the Picard’s made an unsettling realization: the folded clothes were exactly what Pauline had been wearing on the day she disappeared.
The area where the remains were found had been searched thoroughly when Pauline first disappeared, which suggests that someone had placed the body there fairly recently. The case became even more perplexing when the skull of an adult male was discovered next to Pauline’s body, adding a second potential victim to the case.
The police were baffled. If the body in the woods was Pauline, as the evidence suggested, then what had happened to her? How was the unidentified skull related to Pauline’s murder? And who was the little girl from Cherbourg who had been living with the Picards? The answers to these questions were never discovered, the mysterious doppelgänger was returned to Cherbourg (what happened to her next is lost to history) and the strange case of little Pauline Picard remains one of France’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Curses, Vanishings, and Strange Paranormal Mysteries at Yosemite National Park
I have always been rather fascinated by the fact that strange tales, ominous curses, and inexplicable deaths or vanishings can revolve around some of the more gorgeous of locales. There seems to be some disconnect between the awe-inspiring beauty to be found here and the often very dark legends and unsolved mysteries that pervade them. It is strange to think that coursing under the veneer of such natural splendor there is a dark current of the unexplained and perhaps even evil. Such places can be at once achingly saturated with beauty yet also imbued with a sense of inexplicable dread and an unsettling quality of doom. One such place is the world famous Yosemite National Park of California, in the United States. It is a hauntingly beautiful expanse which simultaneously seems to be actually haunted, and ground zero for a slew of strange vanishings as well.
Sprawled out across 747,956 acres (1,168.681 sq. mi) of wilderness in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Northern California, in the United States, is the majestic Yosemite National Park. Known throughout the world for its amazing vistas of pristine mountainous wilderness, glaciers, towering giant sequoia trees, looming granite cliffs, unique geologic formations, breathtaking waterfalls, wildlife, and incredibly clear lakes and streams, Yosemite has been registered as a World Heritage Site and draws in around 4 to 5 million visitors every year from every corner of the globe. It would seem at first glance that such natural splendor would be one of the last places where one would expect to find dark mysteries and the supernatural, but the park has a surprising amount of such phenomena, including curses, hauntings, and bizarre unsolved vanishings.
One of the most persistent locations of strange legends and mysterious occurrences within Yosemite National Park is a place called Tenaya Canyon, which runs from Tenaya lake to meander through the landscape in a series of picturesque deep pools, waterfalls and flowing cascades to its final destination of a stark drop into another deep canyon at the granite mountain called Cloud’s Rest, situated right next to the iconic and spectacular Half Dome. A stunningly beautiful yet treacherous spot, Tenaya Canyon has been shrouded in myth and strangeness since just about as long as humans have been in the area, and it is also steeped in a rather dark and violent history that has given rise to rumors of a sinister curse hanging over the area.
When white settlers arrived in Yosemite Valley they encountered a tribe of Native Americans called the Ahwahnee, who were a peaceful people but also prone to occasionally poaching livestock from their new neighbors. In the 1850s, the whites decided that they had had enough of sharing the land with the troublesome natives, and sought to relocate the Ahwahnee to a reservation off in Fresno, California. The normally peaceful Ahwahnee, led by a Chief Tenaya, did not go perhaps as compliantly as was expected, actively and vocally defying the order to get out. Eventually, the white settlers sent in a contingent of armed men led by a Captain John Boling to forcibly remove the tribe, and things went just about as well as you would expect.
Instead of fleeing in fear, as was expected of the usually apparently docile natives, the Ahwahnee instead opted to stubbornly stand their ground and fight. During the ensuing violence, Chief Tenaya’s son was among the dead, which sent him into a profound rage in which he invoked a curse on the valley against the white man. The chief supposedly blared out this curse as he was confronted by an armed captain during the battle, saying:
Kill me, sir captain! Yes kill me, as you killed my son as you would kill my people if they were to come to you! You would kill all my race if you had the power. You have made me sorrowful, my life dark you killed the child of my heart, why not kill the father? You may kill me sir captain, but you shall not live in peace, I will follow in your footsteps, I will not leave my home but be with the spirits among the rocks, the waterfalls, in the rivers and in the wind wheresoever you go I will be with you. You will not see me, but you will fear the spirit of the old chief, and grow cold.
Chief Tenaya of the Ahwahnee
Since then, the chief has allegedly been true to his words, and in the years since that fateful day Tenaya Canyon, and by some accounts the whole Yosemite Valley, has been said to be plagued by all manners of freak accidents, strange deaths, mishaps, and unexplained phenomena such as unexplained noises and shadowy apparitions. There are supposedly far more incidents of rock climbing and hiking accidents and fatalities in the Tenaya area than other places in the park, and so many people have gone missing here that it has garnered itself the ominous nickname of “The Bermuda Triangle of Yosemite.” Even the legendary naturalist and extremely experienced mountaineer John Muir was not immune to this supposed curse, when he met with a near-fatal accident while exploring the canyon in 1873, which he later wrote of in his 1918 book Steep Trails, saying:
I was ascending a precipitous rock front, smoothed by glacial action, when I suddenly fell—for the first time since I touched foot to Sierra rocks. After several somersaults, I became insensible from the shock, and when consciousness returned I found myself wedged among short, stiff bushes… I could not remember what made me fall, or where I had fallen from but I saw that if I had rolled a little further, my mountain climbing would have been finished, for just beyond the bushes the canyon wall steepened and I might have fallen to the bottom.
Of course, considering that the terrain here is notorious for being some of the most hostile and forbidding in the entire park it may not be surprising that there should be so many disappearances, deaths, and accidents at Tenaya Canyon. Here there are numerous sharp drops, sheer rock walls, uneven, often slippery footing, and precarious climbs daunting to even the most experienced of hikers. It is a place of natural danger, and indeed the 10-mile trail along its length harbors numerous warning signs proclaiming the perils of continuing, and the official park trail guide map marks the hike in stark red with a disclaimer reading, “Hiking in Tenaya Canyon is dangerous and strongly discouraged.”
Whether the canyon is truly cursed or not, there are certainly a lot of supposedly haunted places around Yosemite Park as well. One of the most notorious of these is the former Ahwahnee Hotel, spookily named after the previously mentioned doomed tribe. Opened in 1927 just a short distance from Half Dome, the Ahwahnee Hotel at the time was a big deal in that it was a large, luxurious hotel in an area known for mostly camping and small lodges, and its elegant yet rustic, organic feel and the majestic grandeur of its scenic surroundings quickly made it a popular destination for the many tourists who pour into the area every year. It has also become well-known for being rather intensely haunted.
There are numerous ghosts said to inhabit the hotel, such as that of a woman named Mary Curry Tressider, who had been part of the hotel’s design and opening and who lived and died in her private apartment here in 1970. Her spirit supposedly lingers on the 6th floor, where her room was located, and sightings of her ghost are frequently reported by staff and guests alike. The entity is said to be prankish more than frightening, and is known for tucking in visitors as they sleep, folding clothes, and misplacing items around rooms, as well as calling out to guests.
Another spirit said to inhabit the Ahwahnee Hotel is connected to a rocking chair kept in the room that former U.S. president John F. Kennedy stayed in during a visit in 1962. At the time the chair had been put in the room at the president’s request, as he had claimed that he had been having back pain, and he reportedly spent a lot of time sitting there calmly rocking away. The chair was removed from the room when he left, but oddly enough since his death a spectral rocking chair has often been reported moving on its own in rooms and halls throughout the hotel’s 3rd floor, which is where Kennedy’s room had been, and especially in the actual room itself. Although these are the two most well-known of the hotel’s phantoms, the entire premises have provided their fair share of accounts of anomalous noises, disembodied footsteps, and apparitions, and the Awahnee hotel helped to inspire the look and design of the Overlook Hotel from Stanley Kubrick’s classic horror film The Shining.
Another haunted hotel in Yosemite National Park is the Sierra Sky Ranch, and considering its historical pedigree it is perhaps no surprise at all that ghosts should call this place home. Originally built in 1877, the Sierra Sky Ranch started its life as a sanitarium for housing and quarantining victims of tuberculosis, who lived mostly in squalor forgotten by society and many of whom died here, including children. In later years the premises became a home for veterans of World War I, after which it went on to become the modest, 29-room hotel it is today, where guests constantly report a range of weird paranormal activity.
One of the most common types of ghostly occurrence at the Sierra Sky Ranch is that of phantom children, who are said to run up and down stairs and halls, and who can be heard giggling, whispering, or talking when no one is around or in the very walls themselves. These spectral children are reportedly most often sighted in the media room and the main living room area of the hotel, and are blamed for some of the anomalous poltergeist activity reported from here, such as lights, faucets, or appliances turning on or off by themselves, doors opening or slamming shut when no one is around, and guests’ clothes being tugged by unseen hands. Other ghosts said to inhabit the Sierra Sky Ranch are a woman who supposedly lurks about the main house and library and who smells of perfume, a ghostly bar patron who kisses bar visitors and bartenders on the cheek, and the more sinister entity of a scowling, angry looking man who paces about on the hotel veranda and is known to violently knock over furniture.
Besides hotels, some natural landmarks of Yosemite are also said to be haunted. One of the most famous ghosts of the park is said to lurk in Grouse Lake, and was first officially reported in 1857 by Galen Clark, who was to later become Yosemite’s very first park ranger in 1867. Clark had his strange experience as he was out on a hike to the small alpine lake, and he claimed that as he walked along its shores that he had heard a chilling, unearthly wail seeming to come from the water itself and sounding like “a puppy when lost.” The unsettled Clark would later ask some Native Americans of the area what kind of animal it was that he had heard or if they had a dog that could have made the noise, and they proceeded to tell him that it was no animal or dog, but rather the spirit of a tribal boy who had tragically drowned there years ago and who did not take kindly to visitors. It was even claimed that he would attack anyone who set foot in the water. Clark would write of this:
They replied that it was not a dog—that a long time ago an Indian boy had been drowned in the lake, and that every time anyone passed there he always cried after them, and no one dared go into the lake, for (the boy) would catch them by the legs and pull them down and they would be drowned. I then concluded that it must have been some unseen waterfowl that made that cry, and at that time I thought that the Indians were trying to impose on my credulity, but I am now convinced they fully believed the story they told me.
There is also the haunting of perhaps Yosemite’s most famous waterfalls, Bridalveil Fall, which cascades 617 feet down a sheer granite cliff. The Ahwahnee tribe believed that the fall was the haunt of an evil spirit called Pohono, who was known to try and lure unsuspecting victims over the precipice to their deaths. The method by which the spirit was said to do this varied, in some cases using hypnotic rainbows in the mist to draw people closer and in other cases calling out to use curiosity against victims or even appearing as an apparition to beckon people closer, after which a strong gust of wind would fling them over the fall. Indeed, there have been a few recorded deaths of people being blown over the fall or slipping and falling to the rocks far below, and the winds are said to be very unpredictable at the top. Campers in the area have also reported hearing strange voices or sounds coming from the direction of the fall at night. Whether this is the doing of an evil spirit or not, in present day there are many railings in place to keep people from getting too close.
A strange case I found of a possible ghost roaming the wilderness of Yosemite concerns a 26-year-old Christopher Thompson, who claims that during one camping trip to the park he came across something very strange indeed. He says that as he went out to get some firewood he spied an old Native American man standing by his tent, who wore some sort of bell around his neck that rang out every time he moved. The mysterious man then allegedly asked Thompson for a ride out to the main road because he had gotten lost. Thompson decided to drive him all the way to the ranger’s office as it was getting dark outside, and when they reached his truck the witness claims that the old man insisted on sitting in the back seat.
So far, so weird, but it would get stranger still. Thompson claims that as he got into the truck he caught a glimpse of the old Native man in the side mirror, and that he was swaying and muttering some sort of chant in some alien language. After this, Thompson panicked and drove off on his own to the ranger’s office, where he reported the whole creepy encounter. He would later find that the mysterious figure had left something rather odd behind in the form of an animal skin pouch that was found to contain strange stones and herbs, which locals informed him were cursed. Thompson would say, “I’m still haunted by dreams where I’m paralyzed and I can still hear him muttering that chant.” It is an odd tale to be sure, and one wonders just who or what he encountered out there in those woods.
Besides curses and hauntings, Yosemite has been the location of a fair number of inexplicable disappearances as well. By far the most oft-discussed and hotly debated mysterious vanishings to have occurred at Yosemite National Park is the disappearance of 14-year-old Stacy Ann Arras in 1981. On the afternoon on July 17, 1981, Arras was on a camping trip with her father and 6 others at the Sunrise Sierra Camp, a small cluster of cabins for people passing through on hikes along the popular “mountain chalet” loop. Arras had arrived on horseback with her group, and she soon expressed interest in taking some photos of a nearby lake. Since it was not far her father did not deem it necessary to go with her, but another member of the group, a 72-year-old man, decided to go with her.
As they approached the lake, the man reportedly sat down to take a rest as Arras went on ahead. In the meantime, other members of the group looked down on the whole thing from a ridge, and watched as Arras disappeared into some trees. When she did not return within a reasonable length of time the group went off looking for her but would find only the lens of her camera and no other trace of the girl whatsoever. An extensive official search of the area using helicopters and tracker dogs would have no further luck, and eventually it was called off with no evidence at all of what had happened to Stacy Arras or where she had gone. Park superintendent Robert Binnewies would say at the time, “She just seems to have disappeared.”
The strange disappearance of Stacy Ann Arras gained a fair amount of publicity and gained a cult following among researchers of the paranormal and unexplained, and the case has gained quite a lot of notoriety through the work of David Paulides, a famous author on mysterious vanishings who has written numerous books on the matter, in particular on those which have occurred within U.S. national parks. Paulides added some sinister intrigue when he claimed that from the beginning of his investigation of the Arras case park officials were evasive and reticent to release any information on it when faced with a request under the Freedom of Information Act, even going as far as to allegedly deliberately withhold, obfuscate, and flat-out hide facts relating to it. Indeed, Paulides has repeatedly accused national park officials as being corrupt and suspiciously secretive on such mysterious disappearances. Is there something sinister going on behind this case? It is hard to say, and the Arras disappearance has gone on to become widely discussed and picked apart all over the Internet with no solution in sight.
More recent disappearances include the 2005 vanishing of 51-year-old Michael Allen Ficery, who was an avid, experienced hiker and backpacker. On June 15, 2005, Ficery headed out on a hike along the north end of the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, but at some point changed his mind and went up to the Pacific Crest Trail. This would be the last time anyone would see him. When he did not return after his wilderness permit expired a search was carried out, but all that could be found was a backpack containing a topographical map, a camera and a bottle of water. A massive search involving personnel from five counties utilizing aircraft and tracker dogs were unable to find any trace of the missing hiker, and his case remains utterly unsolved.
In June of 2011 there was the case of 30-year-old George Penca, who was out hiking at the Upper Yosemite Falls with his church group. During the hike, Penca fell behind the group and proceeded to completely vanish off the face of the earth. Despite extensive searches of the area, no sign of him was found. Strangely, Yosemite National Park unceremoniously and discreetly took down his missing persons page in the coming weeks. Perhaps even stranger still is the disappearance of 35-year-old Allen Martin, of Modesto, California in February of 2016. On the evening of February 9, 2016, Martin visited the Chicken Ranch Casino and left the premises at approximately 4:08 PM. Security footage captured him walking across the parking lot and he then apparently walked right off the face of the earth. Martin has not been seen since.
Yosemite National Park is a place of great beauty, but it is also one of great mystery. From ancient Native curses, to ghosts, to mysterious disappearances, it is fascinating to see how a locale of such natural splendor can also harbor such dark secrets. Do some areas hold close to them some force or presence that creates this aura of sinister energy? Is there some unique quality to these locations that invites the weird and the paranormal? Or are these just the product of over-active imaginations and the perilous terrain inherit to such places? Whatever the answer may be, Yosemite National Park continues to be one of the most beloved national parks in the United States, and also one of the most mysterious.
10 Mysterious Disappearances With Bizarre Clues
It&rsquos always frustrating when a person mysteriously disappears and no one ever finds out what happened to them. It&rsquos even more frustrating when the investigation of these disappearances winds up uncovering clues that only raise more questions than they answer. Here are some unsolved disappearances which are much more unusual than your typical missing persons case and feature some very baffling twists and turns. In each of these creepy cases, bizarre clues have been discovered which add a lot of confusion to the mystery and are sure to leave sleuths scratching their heads.
On September 28, 1988, a 19-year old girl named Tara Calico left her home in Belen, New Mexico to go bike riding on Highway 47. Neither Tara nor her bicycle were seen again. Her case went cold until June 15, 1989 when a woman found a Polaroid in a parking spot outside a convenience store in Port St. Joe, Florida. A white van had previously been parked in the spot, and the photo featured a teenage girl and young boy were both bound and gagged in the back of a van.
It was speculated that the girl in the photo might be Tara and that the boy was Michael Henley, a nine-year old who vanished on a New Mexico camping trip the previous year. However, Michael&rsquos remains were soon found in the same area he originally went missing. Two other photographs featuring a gagged girl resembling Tara surfaced over the next few months, though they have never been released to the public. Years later, a Valencia County sheriff publicly stated his belief that Tara was killed the day she disappeared when two local residents accidentally hit her with their truck and disposed of her body, but he had insufficient evidence to make an arrest. But if this theory is true, then what&rsquos the story behind the two kids in the photograph?
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On the morning of January 25, 2006, the husband of 35-year old Teresa Butler returned to his home in Risco, Missouri after working the night shift and discovered that his wife was missing and their two young sons were home alone. Her Jeep was still at the house and there were no signs of struggle or forced entry, but her kids could not shed any light on what happened to her. Teresa&rsquos purse and cellular phone were missing, as were a lot of other valuable items from the house, such as a Playstation, video camera and car stereo. However, her wedding rings and jacket were left behind.
Things got even more bizarre when authorities discovered that two calls had been made from Teresa&rsquos cell phone shortly after she disappeared to numbers at two different towns in Missouri. The person at the first number never answered the phone, while the second did answer and claimed they heard nothing on the line. Neither of these people had ever heard of Teresa Butler and don&rsquot have any information about her disappearance. Seven years later, there are still no answers in this baffling case and no trace of Teresa has ever been found.
In March of 1998, Amy Bradley, a 23-year old girl from Virginia, went on vacation with her parents and brother on the Royal Caribbean cruise ship, Rhapsody of the Seas. While they were in the vicinity of Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles, Amy mysteriously vanished from the ship. Amy&rsquos family last saw her on their suite&rsquos balcony in the wee hours of the morning of March 24, and eyewitnesses reported seeing her in an elevator with a member of the ship&rsquos band sometime afterward. The ship docked in Curacao shortly after Amy&rsquos parents reported her missing, but it was not locked down while the crew searched for her. Seven years later, Amy&rsquos parents were E-mailed a photograph from an adult escort website featuring a woman who resembled her.
It is speculated that Amy may have been smuggled off the ship in Curacao and sold into sexual slavery. There have been numerous eyewitness sightings of her over the years. One of them came from an American sailor who visited a brothel in Curacao and claimed that a woman who said her name was &ldquoAmy Bradley&rdquo asked him for help before she was escorted away. While Amy&rsquos family have launched an extensive investigation to find her, her ultimate fate is still unknown.
On November 21, 1987, Korrina Lynne Sagers Malinoski, a 26-year old woman from Mount Holly, South Carolina, mysteriously disappeared when she did not show up for work and her car was found parked in front of the Mount Holly Plantation. But that&rsquos not even the most bizarre aspect of this story. On October 4, 1988, Korrina&rsquos 8-year old daughter, Annette Sagers, was on her way to school and went to the bus stop in front of the Mount Holly Plantation&hellip and she mysteriously vanished as well!
To make things even stranger, a note was found at the bus stop which read: &ldquoDad, momma come back. Give the boys a hug&rdquo. While it looked like it may have been written under duress, handwriting experts determined that Annette likely wrote the note. It&rsquos been speculated that Annette&rsquos mother may have returned to reclaim her daughter so they could disappear together, but she also left two sons behind and no one in their family has heard from either of them in 25 years. In 2000, an anonymous caller claimed that Annette&rsquos body was buried in Sumter County, but that lead never panned out. Overall, this is a truly baffling mystery with no discernible solution.
On the morning of August 4, 1981, a 20-year old woman named Cynthia Anderson went to her job as a legal secretary at a law firm in Toledo, Ohio. When her employers arrived at work later on, Cynthia had vanished. Her purse and car keys were missing, but her vehicle was still parked outside. Eerily, a romance novel she had been reading was at her desk and it was open to the one scene in the story where the heroine is abducted at knifepoint. This clue could be read as a sign that she staged her own disappearance, but there has been no trace of her in over 30 years.
There have been many other theories about what happened to Cynthia. A month after her disappearance, police received an anonymous phone call that Cynthia was being held against her will in the basement of a white house, but this lead never went anywhere. One of the attorneys at Cynthia&rsquos firm was involved in drug dealing and later went to prison, drumming up speculation that she may have overheard incriminating information which led to her murder. However, there is no concrete evidence to support any of these theories and Cynthia Anderson remains missing.
On the morning of February 14, 2000, the parents of 9-year old girl Asha Degree went to wake her up and discovered she was not in her bed. Even though Asha shared a room with her brother, he had no idea what happened to her. Witnesses later reported seeing a girl matching Asha&rsquos description walking down the highway at around 4:00 a.m., so it seems she may have sneaked out on her own. Asha was currently studying a fantasy book in school about children who go on adventures after running away, which could have inspired her actions. Things got even more bizarre once Asha&rsquos belongings started turning up.
Three days after she disappeared, Asha&rsquos pencil, marker and hair bow were found in the doorway of a tool shed approximately one mile from her home. A year-and-a-half later, Asha&rsquos book bag was found 26 miles away. It contained more of her belongings and had been double-wrapped in plastic trash bags. This has led authorities to suspect foul play, but there are still no answers about why Asha would leave her home in the middle of the night, who she might have crossed paths with, or what ultimately happened to her.
Laureen Rahn, a 14-year old girl from Manchester, New Hampshire, was last seen on the evening of April 26, 1980 during a get-together at her apartment with two friends. Laureen&rsquos mother, Judith, came home that night and was baffled to discover that the apartment building&rsquos hallway was dark because all the light bulbs had been unscrewed. Judith assumed Laureen was sleeping in her bed, but in the morning, she discovered that it was actually Laureen&rsquos friend, who had no idea where Laureen was.
The police initially suspected Laureen was a runaway, but things got weird in October of that year when Judith discovered three calls to California on her phone bill which she had never made. Two of the calls were made to motels while the other was made to a teen sexual assistance hotline. The wife of the physician who ran this hotline was known for housing runaways, and at least one of these motels was often used by a notorious child pornographer known as &ldquoDr. Z&rdquo. However, authorities could find no evidence to tie Laureen to any of these leads. For the next several years, Judith would also get mysterious phone calls from a caller who never said anything, but in the end, the ultimate fate of Laureen Rahn remains a mystery.
Read about more chilling unsolved disappearances with Unsolved Disappearances in the Great Smoky Mountains at Amazon.com!
In March of 2000, 23-year old college student Leah Roberts left on a road trip from her home in Raleigh, North Carolina. She took most of her belongings and her cat with her, but did not tell anyone where she was going. On March 18, her jeep was discovered abandoned on a logging road in Whatcom County, Washington. The vehicle had crashed over an embankment and while it&rsquos likely the driver would have been injured in an accident like that, there was no sign of any blood. All of Leah&rsquos belongings (including a pair of pants containing $2500) were scattered throughout the scene, there was no trace of Leah or her cat.
To make things even stranger, blankets had been placed over the vehicle&rsquos windows, indicating that someone had used it as a shelter. One week later, police received a call from a man claiming he saw a woman matching Leah&rsquos description at a gas station many miles away from the crash scene. The caller said she looked disoriented, but he inexplicably hung up before giving any more details. This has been the only known sighting of Leah Roberts since her disappearance, but there&rsquos no other indication about what may have happened to her.
On April 10, 1988, 40-year old Diane Augat left her residence in Odessa, Florida and mysteriously disappeared. Three days later, Diane&rsquos mother received a message on her answering machine from a woman who sounded just like her daughter. She was saying &ldquoHelp, help, let me out&rdquo and &ldquoHey, gimme that&rdquo as the sounds of someone trying to grab the phone away could be heard in the background. The caller ID read &ldquoStarlight&rdquo, but there was no answer when Diane&rsquos mother called the number back.
Things got really morbid on April 15 when the severed tip of Diane&rsquos right middle finger was found in the area where she was last seen. Two weeks later, a bag containing her neatly folded clothing was discovered in a convenience store&rsquos freezer. Two-and-a-half years after Diane went missing, a local paper published a story about her disappearance. The very next day, Diane&rsquos brother&rsquos girlfriend happened to discover a plastic bag in another convenience store. It had the name &ldquoDiane&rdquo written on it and contained items which may have belonged to her. In spite of these bizarre clues, no other trace of Diane Augat has ever been found.
Mary Shotwell Little, a 25-year old newlywed secretary at a bank in Atlanta, Georgia, mysteriously vanished after having dinner with a friend on the night of October 14, 1965. The next day, her car was found in the same lot where she had parked the night before, but there were indications that it had been driven away from this location and returned. Her undergarments were neatly folded inside and there were traces of blood throughout the vehicle. The car also had a license plate which was not registered to Mary and had been stolen from another vehicle in Charlotte, North Carolina.
The day after she disappeared, Mary&rsquos gasoline credit card wound up being used at two separate stations in Charlotte and Raleigh. The signatures for them read &ldquoMrs. Roy H. Little Jr.&rdquo and appeared to be in Mary&rsquos handwriting. Both places reported seeing a disheveled woman matching Mary&rsquos description who seemed to have a minor head injury and was in the company of two domineering men. There have been many theories about her disappearance, ranging from an obsessive secret admirer to a sex scandal at her workplace, but none of them have ever been proven and Mary Little&rsquos fate remains an unsolved mystery.
The Mysterious Disappearance Of Emanuela Orlandi In The Vatican
Pietro Orlandi A young Emanuela Orlandi, before she became one of the most famous missing persons cases in the world.
On a sweltering summer evening in June 1983, 15-year-old Emanuela Orlandi disappeared from Vatican City in central Rome after attending a routine music lesson.
The daughter of a prominent Vatican employee, Orlandi enjoyed the religious center’s idyllic gardens and often ran into Pope John Paul II. Her brother Pietro recalled their city being more of a village, inhabited by a close-knit group of around six families.
But Orlandi’s disappearance on June 22 of that year launched decades of kaleidoscopic conspiracy theories that include the Italian Mafia, Vatican Satanists, sex trafficking, and sacrifice.
Listen above to the History Uncovered podcast, episode 1: The Disappearance of Emanuela Orlandi, also available on iTunes and Spotify.
On the last day anyone saw her, Orlandi called her sister after her music class to tell her that a representative from Avon Cosmetics had offered her a job. When Orlandi failed to return home the following day, her parents called the teacher from her class and the police. Her mysterious disappearance was declared a missing person case that day.
A witness initially reported seeing a girl matching Orlandi’s description entering a green BMW near the music school on the night of her disappearance, but that bit of information would lead nowhere.
Shortly after this maddening detail surfaced, the Orlandis received an ominous phone call promising to return the girl if the Vatican released Mehmet Ali Agca, a Turkish national who was languishing in prison for having attempted to assassinate the pope two years earlier. Unfortunately, that development proved fruitless as well.
It has since been suggested that the Rome-based crime syndicate Banda della Magliana kidnapped Orlandi to force the Vatican to pay them back for an outstanding loan. The girlfriend of the leader of that criminal organization, Enrico De Pedis, later claimed that De Pedis told her that Orlandi was indeed kidnapped and killed.
Pietro Orlandi Orlandi’s family was very close with Pope John Paul II.
The most hair-raising theories, however, claim that the Vatican, local police, and high-profile lawmakers kidnapped Orlandi and forced her into sexual servitude. At least, this is what the Vatican’s chief exorcist Father Gabriele Amorth believes. Amorth was appointed by Pope John Paul II himself.
“This was a crime with a sexual motive,” Amorth insisted. “Parties were organized, with a Vatican gendarme acting as the ‘recruiter’ of the girls. The network involved diplomatic personnel from a foreign embassy to the Holy See. I believe Emanuela ended up as a victim of this circle.”
In 2019, a promising tip suggested that Orlandi had been buried in a Vatican tomb. Tragically, this tip too yielded no results. Her family has organized demonstrations in recent years, hoping to spur a renewed investigation into her unsolved disappearance, but to no avail.
Ancient Vanishings: The mysterious and supernatural disappearance of Romulus - History
Cathal McNaughton, PA Images/Getty Images When it was reported that McCann was in Morocco, a local search party was launched — but no answers were found.
The mysterious disappearance of Madeleine McCann in 2007 continues to baffle investigators to this day. The British three-year-old vanished while on vacation with her family in Portugal, and is now considered “the most heavily reported missing person case in modern history” — and for good reason.
The story of McCann’s mysterious disappearance began on the night of May 3, 2007, at a resort in Praia da Luz (“Beach Of Light”) in Portugal. Kate and Gerry McCann left Madeleine and her two twin siblings asleep in their rental apartment at the resort, which was on the ground floor, and went to have dinner with friends at a nearby tapas restaurant. The adults returned two hours later at 10 p.m. to find their eldest child gone.
Later, the McCanns remembered how their daughter had asked them over breakfast the morning of her mysterious disappearance: “Why didn’t you come when [my brother] and I cried last night?” The devastated parents were then led to believe that someone uninvited may have been in their apartment — and maybe even more than once.
MAURIX/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Images Kate and Gerry McCann attended Pope Benedict XVI’s weekly audience at the Vatican, where the pope blessed a photo of Madeleine for them.
One of the first promising suspects in McCann’s missing person case was 33-year-old Robert Murat. The British-Portuguese real estate consultant not only lived nearby, but a man matching his description was seen around 9:15 p.m. on the night of McCann’s disappearance walking toward his home carrying a child. But the Portuguese police cleared him when they found no evidence of his involvement with the children.
Next, the McCanns themselves were added to the list of suspects. Some investigators posited that Madeleine McCann actually died in the Praia da Luz apartment and that her parents fabricated this narrative of child abduction in order to cover it up. This theory seemed to hold some water, considering the fact that dogs that were brought on the scene seemed curiously alert inside the apartment and around the McCann family car. Alas, no body was ever found.
The grieving parents were officially removed as suspects in 2008, and the missing person case grew to become an unprecedented media phenomenon in the United Kingdom.
Ever since a 2009 report found that the region of Portugal in which McCann went missing was “awash with pedophiles,” many have posited that the toddler was abducted by local sex traffickers. “There are 38 known sex offenders in the Algarve,” the report went on, “the area is a magnet for pedophiles.”
In an ominous turn of events, former M.P. Sir Clement Freud, who had a home nearby and knew the McCanns, was later outed as a pedophile.
From later claims that Hillary Clinton’s campaign adviser John Podesta and his brother snatched the girl from her home to theories she simply walked off, McCann’s mysterious disappearance has never been solved. Whether by accidental death, sex trafficking, or abduction, McCann’s remains one of the strangest missing persons cases in modern history.
5. Frieda Langer (1950)
Lastly, the fifth and final person to go missing in the area was Freida Langer. On October 28, roughly two weeks after Paul Jephson vanished, 53-year-old Frieda went out on a hike with her cousin, Herbert Elsner. Early on that day, the two left their family campsite near the Somerset Reservoir for the hike. At one point during the trek, after Langer slipped and fell into a stream, she asked Elsner if he’d wait there while she went back and returned to the campsite to change clothes before coming right back. However, when Langer failed to return shortly afterward, Elsner himself went back to the campsite, only to discover that his cousin never made it back. Worryingly, no one else had seen her since the two left earlier that day.
During the five searches conducted over the following two weeks, and despite the involvement of aircraft, helicopters, and hundreds of searchers, no trace of her was found. Then, on May 12, 1951, Langer’s body was finally discovered near Somerset Reservoir, in a particular area that had been searched extensively seven months earlier. Unfortunately, due to the conditions in which her remains were found, no cause of death could be ascertained.
Of the five disappearances mentioned, Langer was both the last individual to vanish, as well as the only whose body was eventually recovered. Aside from the general geographic area and time period in which these disappearances took place, no definitive connections have been identified to tie them together.
To this day, Langer’s cause of death remains undetermined, and the fates and whereabouts of the remaining four unknown. Whatever happened to all of them, it seems like something that the supposed “triangle” is keen on keeping to itself.
Thank you for reading. For more mystery or intrigue, here are my three of my previous stories for your leisure:
3 Scary Stories of Unexplained and Mysterious People Disappearances
1. The 4 Missing Germans
This story isn’t scary, but rather an unsolved/ mysterious vanishing case of 4 Germans during their vacation in the U.S. in 1996. It still baffles me. It’s 3 pages long, but well worth the read, especially because of the things they left behind. I don’t want to spoil it for you, so please click the link for the full story and photos.
Alien abduction? Transfered to another dimension? Murdered? Perhaps they ”disappeared” to start a new life? I’d love to hear your theories on this case:
In the morning of October 21, 1996, Death Valley National Park (DVNP) Ranger Dave Brenner was aboard a military helicopter somewhere in the skies over the southerly part of Death Valley. He was part of a routine aerial surveillance looking for clandestine drug manufacturing labs in the backcountry. Around 11 AM, he saw something unexpected: A vehicle in the wash of Anvil Canyon, approximately 2.4 miles downstream from Willow Spring, the head of Anvil Canyon.
Upon landing nearby, Brenner inspected the vehicle. It was a green, 1996 Plymouth Voyager van with California license plates. It was covered with considerable dust, as if it had been out there for some time. The van was clearly stuck in the wash, sunk up to its axles in the sand, with its two rear tires flattened and its left front tire also flat. Tracks left in the sand by the van suggested it had been driven at least 200’ with flat rear tires. The van was locked, with no sign of the owner. Brenner noted the license number and reported it back to the DVNP headquarters.
The vehicle, owned by Dollar Rent a Car, had been rented to a group of four German tourists in Los Angeles on July 8, 1996. The vehicle had been due back to the rental agency in Los Angeles on July 26, but had never been returned. It was the rental agency’s policy to wait at least 30 days past when a vehicle was due to report it stolen. Checking the names of the renters turned up an August 14th INTERPOL alert on them. They were Egbert Rimkus, 34, his son Georg Weber, 11, Egbert’s girlfriend Cornelia Meyer, 28, and her son Max Meyer, 4. Further investigation showed the group left Frankfurt and arrived in the United States at Seattle on July 8, then immediately flew to Los Angeles where they picked up their rental van. Because Egbert could not produce his driver’s license, Cornelia was recorded as the driver. The van was due back on July 26th and the group had tickets on TWA to return to Germany on July 27th. They were not on that flight, nor was there evidence of them leaving the USA.
2. The Dorothy Forstein Case
Philadelphian Dorothy Cooper Forstein appeared to be happily married, comfortably well-to-do, a loving mother, and well-liked. She was, in short, one of the last people anyone would imagine as a victim of one of the creepiest disappearances in American history.
In 1944, Dorothy had been married for two years to city magistrate Jules Forstein. The couple had three young children: Myrna and Marcy, his offspring from a previous marriage (Jules’ first wife, Molly, died sometime around 1940,) and their new baby, Edward. One evening in that year, Mrs. Forstein dropped her children off at a neighbor’s house so she could do some shopping. By the time she returned home, it was nearly dark. As she entered her house, someone suddenly sprang up and attacked her, beating the helpless woman into unconsciousness. Her fall knocked over the telephone, and when the operator heard strange noises coming from the instrument, she alerted the police.
Mrs. Forstein was found with her nose and jaw broken, and a shoulder fractured. She was also suffering from a concussion. After she regained consciousness, all she could say was, “someone jumped out at me.”
This was just the beginning. Read the rest of the story to find out what happened 5 years later and how she disappeared.
According to her daughter who was a witness Mrs. Forstein was unconscious before the mysterious man arrived to take her. I wonder what happened.
3. The Cowden Family
An entire family once disappeared from the Rogue River National Forest Campground in Oregon. On September 5, 1974, Richard Cowden and his wife Belinda, along with their two small children, David and Melissa, went camping for the Labor Day weekend. On Sunday morning, Richard was seen in nearby Copper, Oregon buying some milk. That was the last anyone ever saw of the Cowden family. When the family didn’t show up for a scheduled Sunday dinner at Richard Cowden’s mother’s place, local authorities conducted a search. The camp scene was like something out of The Twilight Zone. Trooper Lee Rickson stated: “That camp sure was spooky. Even the milk was still on the table”. Investigators found cooking utensils resting on a tree stump, fishing rods leaning against a tree and the family car was still parked above the campsite. Richard’s wallet and his wife’s purse were also discovered, with nothing apparently missing from them. There were no indications of a struggle.
If you’ve read any unexplained disapearances please feel free to share them.
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