Unresolved Mysteries That Make Us A Little Uncomfortable

List Rules
Vote up the mysteries that leave you a tad unsettled.

For every mystery solved, another one remains stubbornly baffling. UFO and Bigfoot sightings, and theories about what the heck Area 52 is, are always puzzling, but you can probably live comfortably without closure on these enigmas.    

Other mysteries, however, are more unsettling, such as slayings with no suspects, mysterious deaths that just don't add up, and individuals who vanish without a trace. These stories are unbelievable, fascinating, and intriguing - and will definitely make you feel more than a little uncomfortable. If you're looking for happy endings, you'll want to go elsewhere. 


  • 1
    3,291 VOTES

    Security Cameras Caught A Missing Man Walking Into A Bar But Never Leaving

    In 2006, Brian Shaffer was a 27-year-old medical student at Ohio State University. In the early morning hours of Saturday, April 1, he walked into the Ugly Tuna Saloona with his roommate, Clint Florence, to celebrate the beginning of spring break. He was scheduled to take a trip to Miami with his girlfriend, Alexis Waggoner, the following Monday. 

    Around 2 a.m. on April 1, closed-circuit TV footage showed Shaffer talking to two young women just outside the bar, then reentering. When the establishment closed, Florence tried calling Shaffer, with no luck, so he headed home without him. Shaffer wasn't seen or heard from all weekend. When he missed his flight to Miami, a missing person's report was filed. 

    An investigation found that the cameras did not capture Shaffer leaving. Florence refused to take a lie detector test, and the two women Shaffer was seen talking to were never asked to take one. Shaffer's girlfriend tried calling his phone every day, but it went straight to voicemail. One day, it rang three times and then hung up, which could have been a glitch, according to the phone company, or possibly a clue. The phone pinged at a location 14 miles outside Columbus, but the exact location could not be tracked.

    Authorities, friends, and family are stumped by the disappearance. No foul play was indicated, and Shaffer didn't seem to be running away from anything. His phone and credit cards have not been used.

    There was some false hope in 2020 that a homeless American living in Mexico might be Shaffer, but the FBI ruled that out. Shaffer's younger brother - his only surviving family - still hopes for a break in the case of his disappearance. 

    3,291 votes
  • 2
    3,025 VOTES

    An Unsolved Case In Australia Involves An Unidentified Man, No Known Weapon, And An Unknown Cause Of Death

    In December 1948, a body was found on a beach in the city of Adelaide, South Australia. There was no apparent cause, and no clues about the person's identity. Australia became obsessed with what became known as the Somerton Beach Mystery, or the enigma of the Unknown Man. 

    Beachgoers had seen a smartly dressed man on Somerton Beach on the evening of November 30. He seemed to be resting with his legs outstretched, ankles crossed, and head against the seawall. Most assumed he was drunk. The next morning, he was still there, no longer alive. 

    No wallet or ID was found, and even the tags on his clothing had been removed. An autopsy failed to provide any more clues. Although many of his organs were distended and full of blood, which indicated poisoning, no toxic substance was found in his stomach or bloodstream.

    Investigators brought in loved ones and friends of missing people, hoping this John Doe might be the person they were looking for. No luck. His fingerprints were circulated to other authorities. No matches.

    Investigators expanded their search, looking in hotels, train stations, and even dry cleaners for reports of lost or left luggage. Finally, a lead. At the Adelaide railway station, a brown briefcase had been left in the cloakroom on the same day the mystery man was originally spotted. Inside was orange thread - the same orange thread that had been used to repair a spot on the man's trousers - but little else. Any identifying marks had been removed. 

    Stumped, authorities brought in an expert pathologist to reexamine the body and evidence. He found a "secret pocket" on the man's trousers with a single piece of paper inside that read "Tamam Shud," a Persian phrase meaning "It is ended." The paper was torn out of a book, which took investigators down another path - to yet another false end. Investigators even wondered if the man had taken his own life.

    They exhumed the body recently in hopes of using modern DNA technology, but the case is still stone cold.

    3,025 votes
  • At the end of September 1849, Edgar Allan Poe left Richmond, VA, to travel to Philadelphia, where he was scheduled to help a client edit her collection of poems. But he never made it to Philadelphia. After Poe had not been seen or heard from for five days, Joseph Walker, who worked for The Baltimore Sun, found the writer in a disorderly state in a street gutter in Baltimore.

    Walker sent for help and noticed some unusual things about Poe. His clothes did not appear to be his own, and he was overcome with hallucinations, slipping in and out of consciousness, starting October 3 when he was found. As a doctor stood by his side until he perished on October 7, the only coherent word he muttered was "Reynolds."

    The official cause of death was swelling of the brain - but why was Poe lying in the street in soiled clothes that didn't belong to him? What sent him into a state of delirium?

    One hypothesis is that he was beaten, perhaps running into the wrong crowd after drinking. Another theory suggests a practice called "cooping," in which someone is assaulted, then forced to vote, usually several times under various names, for a particular candidate. Because Poe was found on an election day near a polling place, this proposal has gained legitimacy over the years, especially because cooped people were often rewarded with alcohol, which could explain Poe's state of delirium.

    Other theories have included alcohol, carbon monoxide, or heavy metal poisoning (such as mercury); an undiagnosed brain tumor; or rabies. 

    1,670 votes
  • Five Men Went Fishing And Disappeared - Then 10 Years And 2,000 Miles Later, Their Boat Was Found
    Photo: The Sarah Joe: Hana Remembers Her Sons / Holoholo Films / Jazz Alley TV
    2,485 VOTES

    Five Men Went Fishing And Disappeared - Then 10 Years And 2,000 Miles Later, Their Boat Was Found

    On February 11, 1979, five young men planned a daylong fishing trip on the Sarah Joe, a 17-foot motorboat, out of Hana Bay in Maui. Ralph Malaiakini borrowed the boat from his twin brother, Robert, and took off with four co-workers - Scott Moorman, Benjamin Kalama, Patrick Woessner, and Peter Hanchett. The boat, only a few years old, was named after the Malaiakini brothers' parents.

    By afternoon, a storm rolled in, and the Coast Guard was notified of a small boat with five men that had yet to return. Locals went searching for the men later that night, some getting caught in 40-foot waves. The Coast Guard ended the search after five days of no results, but locals continued their efforts for weeks.

    Almost a decade later, the Sarah Joe was discovered - about 2,200 miles away from Hawaii. John Naughton, a National Marine Fisheries Service researcher who had been working near Maui at the time of the initial search, was conducting research on the Marshall Islands when he came across an abandoned boat with Hawaii registration. It turned out to be the missing vessel, the Sarah Joe

    Moorman's body was found in a shallow grave with a makeshift cross marking the spot. On top of his body were loose pieces of paper and aluminum foil. No clues or hints as to the whereabouts of the remaining men were found.

    And who handled Moorman's body? One hypothesis is that Chinese fishermen stumbled upon Moorman's body, and following Chinese custom, buried him with the small pieces of paper separated by foil to bring good fortune in the next life.

    2,485 votes
  • 5
    1,352 VOTES

    Tainted Tylenol Bottles Resulted In A Strange, Terrifying String Of Deaths In Chicago

    In September 1982 in the Chicago suburbs, Adam Janus, 27, took an Extra-Strength Tylenol capsule, then perished shortly thereafter. His brother and sister-in-law consumed Tylenol from the same bottle at his house, and both perished within two days. Also in Chicago, on the same day Janus passed, 12-year-old Mary Kellerman's parents gave her an Extra-Strength Tylenol capsule for a sore throat. She perished a few hours later. That scene repeated itself throughout the Chicago area, claiming at least seven lives

    As authorities investigated the incident, they realized the connection to Tylenol, and found that the capsules had been laced with potassium cyanide. They believe the bottles were tampered with on store shelves, well after they'd left the factory.

    Johnson & Johnson, the medicine's maker, immediately halted all sales. Soon after, the company began receiving letters from a man named James William Lewis, who claimed he had tampered with their product. He would stop if the company paid him $1 million. Police thought they had their man. But after a cursory investigation, they realized Lewis had no connection to Chicago and had not recently been there. He was not the man they were looking for, but they did nab and convict him for extortion. 

    To this day, nobody has been detained in the incident, and authorities have no leads. The case did, however, spark major changes in the way medicine is sealed, stored, and sold. 

    1,352 votes
  • 6
    2,107 VOTES

    The Wife Of The Leader Of The Church Of Scientology Has Not Been Seen In Public Since 2007

    In 2007, the Great Recession began, the first iPhone was announced, and the final Harry Potter book was published. It was also the last year Shelly Miscavige was seen in public. 

    Shelly is married to David Miscavige, leader of the Church of Scientology. The last time she was seen in public was August 2007, at her father's funeral. According to former Scientology members, such as actress Leah Remini, David is purposefully keeping his wife out of the public eye. Remini covered the disappearance on her documentary show Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

    According to one former church official, Shelly said David was "losing it" shortly before she disappeared from public view. In 2013, Remini filed a missing persons report, but the Los Angeles Police Department dismissed it. The Church of Scientology disputed all allegations that Shelly was being held against her will and did not provide any information about her whereabouts. 

    2,107 votes