International Mysteries We Really Want Solved

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Vote up the cases you most want to see cracked.

Science and technology enhance humanity's collective knowledge, but the world is still full of unsolved mysteries. Some of them involve discoveries from prehistoric or medieval civilizations that elude the scope of what modern scholars and society understand.

Other mysteries involve more recent murder cases that might never get resolved, while still others involve parts of the planet that seem to possess inexplicable properties that induce bizarre physiological and psychological effects. Some people point to alien intervention or the supernatural, while others believe the explanation must be grounded in science.

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    498 VOTES

    The Isdal Woman Was Found In 1970 Norway, Her Body Burned And The Labels On Her Clothing Missing

    The Isdal Woman Was Found In 1970 Norway, Her Body Burned And The Labels On Her Clothing Missing
    Video: YouTube

    On November 29, 1970, a man and his two daughters were hiking in a remote valley in Isdalen, Norway, when they stumbled upon a human corpse. Almost the entire front of her body was burned, and jewelry, bottles, a watch, and an umbrella were lying next to her. According to forensic investigator Tormod Bønes, the placement of these items was strange, as if some sort of ceremony had taken place. The autopsy revealed that the woman died from a combination of sleeping pills and carbon monoxide poisoning, which might have come from the campfire beside her.

    The Isdal woman's identity has eluded investigators for over 50 years. After hikers discovered her body, police traced her fingerprints back to luggage checked into the Bergen railway station. They discovered a notepad with handwritten number/letter combinations. Once cracked, these codes revealed names of hotels where the woman had stayed and the dates she was at each one. Further investigation informed police that she used a different alias to check into each hotel. Theoretically, she would have needed a number of fake passports to accomplish this, but none of those passports were ever found.

    While some officers were reluctant to let the case go, the police closed the case just a few weeks after the woman's body was discovered. Some people suspect the authorities know more than they're sharing and the woman might have been a spy or a member of a local or foreign intelligence agency. Many were dissatisfied with the decision to close the case, but the Isdal woman’s remains were placed in a zinc coffin in case any of her relatives came to claim the body.

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    361 VOTES

    In 1980s Belgium, The Brabant Killers Claimed 28 Lives, But Their Identities - And Motivations - Are Still Unknown

    In 1980s Belgium, The Brabant Killers Claimed 28 Lives, But Their Identities - And Motivations - Are Still Unknown
    Video: YouTube

    During the early 1980s, Belgians were fearful of a gang called the “Brabant Killers.” Three men, known as “the Giant,” “the Killer,” and “the Old Man” murdered 28 people - including children - between 1982 and 1985. They were usually armed with shotguns and held up small businesses like supermarkets, hostels, and stores. They were known to open fire without provocation and didn’t care whom they shot. They murdered eight people during their final robbery in Alost, then ceased their killing sprees and vanished for no apparent reason.

    Part of the mystery revolves around their motivation. Though the Brabant Killers stole modest amounts of money and cheap consumer goods, money didn’t seem to be their motive. They had professional knowledge of weapons, leading some to believe they were part of an anti-government organization.

    Police haven’t been able to track down any of the killers, and time is running out - according to Belgian law, a statute of limitations prevents anyone from being convicted and punished for a crime that took place more than 15 years ago unless the charge is renewed. This case was given a special extension until 2025, but if police cannot identify the killers before then, there is a good chance the Brabant Killers will never see justice.

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    394 VOTES

    Russia's Anomalous 'M-Zone' Can Reportedly Cause Dizziness, Nosebleeds, And Other Ailments

    Russia’s Anomalous M-zone - also referred to as the Triangle Molebsky or the Perm Anomalous Zone - brings together tales of intergalactic visitors, magnetic anomalies, and strange healing properties. The M-zone lies 600 miles east of Moscow in a dense forest near the village of Molyobka. This area was heralded as the home of the gods by the native Mansi people, and it attracted many curious visitors.

    Electrical equipment (including smartphones) either dies or stops working in this area, and some people have seen the hands on their watches spin backwards. Visitors also often notice a strange effect on their bodies: Those entering this zone often experience dizziness, nose bleeds, and sometimes hallucinations. Despite these unpleasant effects, the zone can seemingly heal those who stay longer. Some people's ailments have supposedly been cured, and many people report feeling “enhanced,” stating they left with more vigor and intellect than when they entered.

    While the M-zone's precarious effects might be the result of a magnetic anomaly, there have also been countless UFO sightings in the area, something that doesn’t seem to shock or phase locals. In 1983, an expedition said they saw a purple ball rise from the forest. They also claimed they were chased by orbs of light that burnt them with “some sort of rays.”

    The American TV show Sightings visited the zone, despite the Russian government warning them it was dangerous to stay in the M-zone more than 24 hours. Inexplicably, orbs of light surrounded the crew’s campsite.

    Nobody has been able to fully explain the M-zone thus far, and it remains a popular place for tourists hoping to encounter UFOs and the supernatural.

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    379 VOTES

    The Voynich Manuscript Is A Piece Of Italian History With No Definitive Explanation

    The Voynich Manuscript Is A Piece Of Italian History With No Definitive Explanation
    Photo: Unknown author / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In 1912, a Polish rare book dealer named Wilfred Voynich received a 240-page medieval text written in the 15th century. The manuscript contained vivid images of plants, dragons, naked women, and astrological symbols. Based on the pictures alone, scholars deduced it was divided into six sections - herbal, astronomy, biology, cosmology, pharmaceutical, and recipes - but they still aren't positive.

    The language used in the text has yet to be deciphered, even with countless efforts undertaken since the book's discovery. Voynich tried to hire translators in the early 20th century, but nobody could decipher the language. Even modern code breakers such as William and Elizabeth Friedman, who cracked codes in both world wars, were unable to parse the text's meaning. The book's legacy has attracted everyone from medieval scholars to linguists specializing in arcane Middle-Age languages.

    Technology might have the best chance of cracking the manuscript's secret meaning, though. Researchers fed the first 10 pages of the manuscript to an AI that specializes in translating anagrams to modern text. It computed that 80% of the text was written in Middle-Age Hebrew, but the remaining 20% could be a combination of other languages, some of them esoteric and undecipherable to modern scholars.

    The Voynich Manuscript may or may not be cracked, but it will continue to attract the attention of scholars and people interested in esoteric - and potentially supernatural - history and literature.