Most of us love good mysteries, be it thrilling reads or nail-biting watches. In the fictional world, there are few mysteries left unsolved. By the end of a gripping book or movie, the bad guy usually faces the consequences of their actions.
But the real world is darker, and there are plenty of unsolved mysteries. It’s one thing to read about them and empathize, but it’s another to live through one. However, there can be light at the end of the tunnel for people living through unsolved mysteries and crimes. Because authorities keep working on cold cases, there have been times when people have found closure.
But these mysteries remain unsolved - and are all the more disturbing because of it.
- Video: YouTube15,207 VOTES
The Boys Of Yuba County Never Came Home
In 1978, five California men with varying intellectual and mental disabilities went to watch a basketball game and never came home. They all lived with their families. Their mental state was such that they were often called “boys” rather than men, although they were in their 20s and 30s.
Inexplicably, the men drove 70 miles east from the basketball game. Instead of going home, they drove to a mountainous, snow-covered road. There, they abandoned their car and disappeared into the night. Later, a snowstorm caused authorities to call off the search.
In the thaw, authorities found the bodies of Bill Sterling, 29; Jackie Huett, 24; Ted Weiher, 32; and Jack Madruga, 30. The fifth man, Gary Mathias, 25, was still missing. Strangely, Weiher had starved to death in a trailer full of food and with an unlit propane tank heater. The other three bodies were outside. Two of their families were only able to recover bones.
No one knows what happened to the boys of Yuba County and why they perished in the snow. Mathias remains missing.
- 22,707 VOTES
The First Person To Record Motion Images On Film Vanished
The world credits Thomas A. Edison as the inventor of motion film. In reality, Louis Le Prince was the first person to record motion images on film.
Le Prince recorded a series of moving images from the Leeds Bridge in Leeds, England, in October 1888. He also held patents on a 16-lens and a single-lens device long before Edison or the Lumière brothers. On September 16, 1890, Le Prince boarded a train at the Dijon platform. He promised to rejoin his friends in Paris for a return journey to England. He never made it and was never heard from again.
Extensive investigations by the French police and Scotland Yard yielded nothing. His body was never found.
- 32,763 VOTES
The Lake Bodom Murders Remain Unsolved Half A Century Later
The Lake Bodom murders, to date, remain Finland’s most notorious mystery. On June 4, 1960, 15-year-olds Maila Irmeli Björklund and Anja Tuulikki Mäki went camping at Lake Bodom. With them were their 18-year-old boyfriends, Nils Wilhelm Gustafsson and Seppo Antero Boisman.
The next morning, hikers discovered three of them, stabbed and bludgeoned to death. The sole survivor was Gustafsson, who had a concussion and several broken facial bones.
A nearby camping store owner was a suspect, as was an alleged ex-KGB spy. Shoddy investigating ensued, and there was no DNA to match. Neither suspect was ever arrested.
In 2004, Gustafsson went on trial for the murders, but there was no evidence to prove his guilt. He was exonerated the next year. To date, no one knows who murdered the three young teens that fateful June day.
- 42,185 VOTES
The Mystery Behind Étienne Bottineau And The Arrival Of Ships
Today, it's easy enough to map a ship and learn its exact course and time of arrival. Not so much in the 18th century. Yet, in French-colonized Mauritius, a Frenchman named Étienne Bottineau could. He predicted the arrival of ships as far as 350-700 miles from the island.
He called it the science of nauscopie, and won many a tavern bet. He could predict the arrival of fleets, down to the time and number of ships. He called nauscopie “the art of discovering ships and land at a great distance.”
No one knows how he did it. By the time Bottineau tried to go to France and try his talent there, the French Revolution was underway. No government official lent him an ear. Later, he perished of unknown causes in Pondicherry, India. To date, no one knows how he did it and what nauscopie truly is.
- 52,435 VOTES
A 10-Year-Old Teen Murder Remains Unsolved
Seventeen-year-old Blake Chappell went to the East Coweta High School homecoming dance in Sharpsburg, GA, on October 15, 2011. He was supposed to spend the night at a friend’s house, but he left to visit his girlfriend. The Georgian teen was later seen walking back to his friend’s house, but he never made it.
His mother recalls the last conversation they had. He said, “Mom, I had so much fun, it was the best day of my life, I got to hang out with my friends and dance.” When Blake went missing, his mother reported it to the authorities and, for two months, the search continued.
During the months Chappell was missing, his mother Melissa received a strange phone call, in which she heard only the sound of a television set for several minutes. She stated that she called out her son's name several times, but received no reply.
Finally, in December 2011, authorities discovered his body. Blake Chappell had been shot.
Police investigated and ultimately cleared a suspect who had assaulted Chappell only months prior to his disappearance. The man in question was the stepfather of Chappell's former girlfriend, who had ran away from home to visit Chappell. This individual had reportedly also threatened to kill Chappell over his relationship with the girl, but authorities found no evidence tying him to the boy's disappearance and murder.
The police haven't released any further details. The case remains open, if cold.
- 61,825 VOTES
The USS 'Cyclops' Has Been Missing For A Century
The USS Cyclops was a 550-foot-long naval ship that debuted in 1910. It moved coal around the seas and provided aid to refugees. During WWI, the ship became a naval transporter.
In 1918, the Cyclops held a crew of 306 people and 11,000 tons of manganese and sailed from Brazil. The ship made a stop in Barbados and then sailed on to Baltimore when it disappeared. There was not even an SOS made; it was as if the ocean had swallowed the ship up.
The theory is that the Cyclops may have gone down in the Puerto Rico Trench. The waters there run very deep. But then again, there’s always the Bermuda Triangle to blame.
What does the US Navy say? “The disappearance of this ship has been one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of the Navy. All attempts to locate her have proved unsuccessful.”