Weird History
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Lesser-Known Mysteries That Have Finally Been Solved

Updated October 8, 2021 180k views11 items

Over the years, many historical mysteries have been left unsolved. Most of us are aware of major mysteries that have shocked, devastated, and inspired curiosity, but there are perhaps more little-known mysteries waiting to be unearthed and solved.

Additionally, not every hazy enigma revolves around murders, kidnappings, and ancient civilizations. You may be surprised at just how many interesting mysteries have been solved thanks to modern intervention. If you’re curious to learn a few of the more obscure but solved mysteries, take a look at this list. 

  • Photo: Waitress / Fox Searchlight Pictures

    An Entertainer's Strange Apparent Suicide Was Revealed To Be A Murder

    In 2006, writer, actor, and director Adrienne Shelly was found dead in her apartment of an apparent suicide. Shelly had given no indication or clue that she had ever been at risk of suicide. Authorities were baffled by how they had found her, as there was an unknown shoe print near her body.

    Authorities discovered construction worker Diego Pillco was the culprit after they managed to match his boot print to the one found near Shelly’s body. Allegedly, he and Shelly got into an argument over a noise complaint, which led to her slapping him. In a fit of rage, he punched Shelly so hard she fell unconscious. Reportedly, he feared he would be deported, so he staged her body to look like a suicide, leading to her unfortunate demise. 

  • The French Author Of 'The Little Prince' Disappeared During WWII; Clues Surfaced 60 Years Later

    For years, the world had no answer about what happened to French aviator and world-renowned author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry after he left for a covert reconnaissance flight for Allied forces in Southern France in 1943 during WWII.

    Three theories prevailed surrounding his disappearance. Some believed the French pilot was shot down as he was flying over hostile areas. Others believed he lost control of his aircraft, as there was evidence of him being involved in several major crashes before undertaking the reconnaissance mission. A small portion of people even believed that he took his life.

    In 1998 a fisherman found a silver ID bracelet with Saint-Exupéry’s name on it, although this was not incontrovertible proof that Saint-Exupéry had perished at sea. However, in 2002, his plane was recovered by a group of scuba divers and was confirmed to belong to the French pilot based on a serial number. These discoveries prompted a German man named Horst Rippert to come forward and state that he had shot the plane down. Although investigators could not find holes in the wreckage, it is now established that Saint-Exupéry did perish at sea.

  • Dan Rather Was Famously Assaulted In 1986 And Identified His Attacker In 1997

    Renowned journalist and winner of 33 Emmy awards for news and documentaries, Dan Rather was famously assaulted in 1986, but it wasn’t until 1997 that he was able to identify his assailant. On October 4, 1986, Rather was accosted while walking down Park Avenue in New York. Oddly, the man repeatedly asked him, “Kenneth, what is the frequency?” which would later inspire the title of an R.E.M. song.

    Almost 10 years later in 1997, Rather discovered who his attacker was when a psychiatrist reached out and told him of William Tager. The psychiatrist was in charge of evaluating Tager after he took the life of a man named Campbell Montgomery. Tager had an unhealthy obsession with finding out if the media was indeed sending hostile messages to his brain, which led to him killing Montgomery and assaulting Rather. When the newsman saw Tager, he immediately identified him as the mystery man.

  • The 30-Year Mystery Of Garfield Phones Washing Onto French Beaches Was Finally Solved

    At the height of Garfield's popularity, many novelty items were produced, including Garfield-shaped phones. However, for more than 30 years, it was a mystery why these feline phones were washing up on a stretch of coastline in Brittany, France.

    In 2019, the mystery was laid to rest when a farmer contacted a local environmental group. For years, the group had been involved in efforts to clean the coastline of the phones that continuously appeared. Although group members suspected it was because of a lost shipping container, they had no evidence until the local farmer approached them.

    Rene Morvan told the group he knew where the phones were coming from and decided to contact them after seeing the publication they had distributed as part of their Pollution Alert campaign. He took group members to the location of the lost shipping container, which was in a cave with little to no accessibility. Even though the world now knows where the phones come from, they cannot do anything to retrieve the inaccessible shipping container.