Many who disappear are eventually declared dead in absentia, but the circumstances and dates of their deaths remain a mystery. Some of these people were possibly subjected to forced disappearance, but in some cases information on their subsequent fates is insufficient.
Here, in this list, are some of the creepiest disappearances that are beyond all explanations:
1 | Who (And Where) Is DB Cooper?
On November 24th of 1971, DB Cooper (Dan Cooper) hijacked a Boeing 727 and successfully extorted $200,000 in ransom money – worth $1 million today – from the US Government. He drank a whisky, smoked a fag and parachuted from the plane with the negotiated money. He was never seen or heard from again and the ransom money was never used.
In 1980, a young boy on vacation with his family in Oregon found several packets of the ransom money (identifiable by serial number), leading to an intense search of the area for Cooper or his remains. Nothing was ever found. Later in 2017, a parachute strap was found at one of Cooper’s possible landing sites.
2 | The Case Of Bobby Dunbar
In 1912, a four-year-old boy named Bobby Dunbar went missing on a family trip, 8 months later he was found and reunited with his family. Nearly 100 years later, his descendants’ DNA proved that the child reunited with the Dunbar family was not Bobby but rather a boy named Charles (Bruce) Anderson who resembled Bobby. Then what happened to the real Bobby Dunbar?
3 | Yuki Onishi Just Vanished Into The Thin Air
On April 29, 2005, Yuki Onishi, a five-year-old Japanese girl, was digging up bamboo shoots to celebrate Greenery Day. After finding her first shoot and showing it to her mother, she ran off to find more. About 20 minutes later, her mother realized she was not with the other diggers and a search began. A police dog was brought in to track the scent; it reached a spot in the nearby forest and then stopped. Four other dogs were brought in, and all led the search party to the same exact spot. No trace of Yuki has ever been found, it’s as if she just disappeared into the thin air!
4 | Louis Le Prince
Louis Le Prince was the inventor of the motion picture, though Thomas Edison would take credit for this invention after Le Prince disappeared. Was a patent-greedy Edison responsible? Probably not.
Le Prince mysteriously disappeared in September 1890. Le Prince had been visiting his brother in Dijon, France, and boarded a train to go back to Paris. When the train arrived in Paris, Le Prince did not get off the train, so a conductor went to his compartment to fetch him. When the conductor opened the door, he found that Le Prince and his luggage were gone.
The train made no stops between Dijon and Paris, and Le Prince could not have jumped out the window of his compartment since the windows were locked from the inside. The police searched the countryside between Dijon and Paris anyway, but never found any trace of the missing man. It seems he just vanished.
There is a possibility (which the police never considered) that Le Prince never boarded the train in the first place. Le Prince’s brother, Albert, was the one who took Louis to the train station. It is feasible that Albert could have been lying, and he actually killed his own brother for his inheritance money. But at this point, we’ll likely never know.
5 | The Disappearance Of Anjikuni Village
In 1932, a Canadian fur trapper went to a village near Anjikuni Lake in Canada. He knew this establishment very well as he would often go there to trade his fur and spend his leisure time.
On this trip, when he arrived at the village he sensed something was wrong there. He found the place to be completely empty and silent even though there were signs that there were people in the village a while ago.
He then found that a fire was left burning, with stew still cooking on it. He saw the doors were open and foods out waiting to be prepared, it seemed that hundreds of Anjikuni villagers had simply vanished into the thin air. To this day, there’s no proper explanation for this mass disappearance of the Anjikuni village.
6 | James Edward Tedford
James E. Tedford mysteriously vanished in November 1949. Tedford boarded a bus in St. Albans, Vermont, United States, where he had been visiting family. He was taking the bus to Bennington, Vermont, where he lived in a retirement home.
Fourteen passengers saw Tedford on the bus, sleeping in his seat, after the last stop before Bennington. What doesn’t make sense is that when the bus arrived in Bennington, Tedford was nowhere to be seen. All his belongings were still on the luggage rack.
What is even stranger about this case is that Tedford’s wife also disappeared some years earlier. Tedford was a WWII veteran and when he returned from the war he found his wife had vanished and their property had been abandoned. Did Tedford’s wife find a way to bring her husband into the next dimension with her?
In 1942, a Navy blimp called the L-8 took off
from Treasure Island in the Bay Area on a
submarine-spotting mission. It flew with a two-man crew. A few hours later, it came back to land and collided into a house in Daly City. Everything on board was in its proper place; no emergency gear had been used. But the crew?? The crew was gone! They were never found!
8 | Prabhdeep Srawn’s Case
Prabhdeep Srawn is a Canadian military reservist who disappeared on a hiking trip in Australia in May 2013. Srawn parked his rented camper and set off on the Main Range Walk in Kosciuszko National Park. A staff member called the police when he noticed that the vehicle hadn’t moved for almost a week, though it only had a 24-hour parking pass on it.
The bizarre part of this case is that two park rangers heard a voice which sounded like a cry for help coming from the area Srawn disappeared from. Despite this information, searchers couldn’t locate Srawn, and the origin of the voice remains unknown.
9 | Elizabeth O’Pray
Elizabeth O’Pray is a 77-year-old woman who lives in the Blue Mountains area of Australia and went missing in March 2016.
O’Pray was walking on one of the trails in the Blue Mountains when she got lost. One day after her family reported her missing, rescuers were actually able to get a hold of her on her mobile phone, at which time she said she was okay but had no idea where she was. A few days later, both residents in the area and police heard screams for help, but still the searchers were unable to locate her.
To this day, Elizabeth O’Pray has not been found. At the time she disappeared, she was apparently taking stroke medication, which can cause confusion and may explain why she got lost. But that doesn’t explain how searchers were unable to locate her after speaking to her on the phone and hearing her cries for help.
10 | Damian McKenzie
In his book, Missing 411, author David Paulides describes the mysterious case of Damian McKenzie. McKenzie was a 10-year-old boy who disappeared on the 4th September, 1974 while on a camping trip at Victoria Falls with a total of 40 students. The group was on a hike to the top of the falls when they noticed that Damian was gone.
According to one of the other kids who were on the same camping trip, searchers tracked Damian’s footprints all the way up one side of the falls, but the footprints mysteriously stopped, as if something had snatched Damian up. No one saw any suspicious people in the area, and canine tracking dogs were unable to pick up a scent trail. The boy was never found. It’s as if Damian was suddenly “beamed up,” leaving an unfinished trail of footprints.
11 | Disappearance Of David Lang
On 23rd September of 1880, David Lang, a farmer, disappeared in front of his family and friends. He was walking across a field towards them waving ‘hello’. Suddenly, he was gone! The area was searched for months but nothing was found. The family was very frightened. Though it was a great tragedy for the family, Mrs. Lang refused to move her family away until her husband was found.
Seven months later, while their daughter was playing she heard her father crying for help. She found nothing but a circle of dead grass in the place where he was seen for the last time. She screamed for her mother and Mrs. Lang ran to her daughter. She could still see the circle of dead grass, but she now couldn’t hear her husband. This event really frightened her, and she finally decided to move her family to another town.
12 | The Disappearance Of Jim Sullivan
With an affinity for the open road, 35-year-old musician Jim Sullivan set out on a road trip alone in 1975. Leaving behind his wife and son in Los Angeles, he was en route to Nashville in his Volkswagen Beetle. It’s reported that he checked into La Mesa Hotel in Santa Rosa, New Mexico, but he didn’t sleep there.
Then the next day, he was spotted nearly 30 miles away from the motel at a ranch, but was seen walking away from his car that contained his guitar, money, and all his worldly possessions. Sullivan vanished without a trace. Sullivan had previously released his first album titled U.F.O. in 1969, and conspiracy theorists all jumped at the idea that he got abducted by aliens.
13 | Sodder Children Evaporated
On Christmas Eve of 1945, the house belonging to George and Jennie Sodder burnt to the ground. After the fire, five of their children were missing and presumed dead. However, no remains were ever found and the fire had produced no smell of burning flesh. The fire was ruled an accident; faulty wiring on Christmas tree lights. However, the electricity in the house still worked when the fire started.
In 1968, they received a bizarre note and photo, supposedly from their son Louis. The envelope was postmarked from Kentucky with no return address. The Sodders sent a private investigator to look into the matter. He disappeared, and never contacted the Sodders again.
14 | The Disappearance Of Brandon Swanson
Shortly after midnight on May 14, 2008, 19-year-old Brandon Swanson of Marshall, Minnesota, United States, drove his car into a ditch on his way home from celebrating the end of the spring semester with fellow students from Minnesota West Community and Technical College’s Canby campus.
Uninjured, he got out and called his parents on his cellphone. Unsure of his exact location, he told them he believed he was near Lynd, a city in Lyon County, and they drove out to pick him up. However, they were unable to locate him. Swanson remained on the phone with them until he abruptly ended the call 45 minutes later after exclaiming “Oh, shit!”
His car was later found abandoned in the ditch as he had described, but no city could have been in the area where he was walking. He has not been seen or heard from since, and the case remains unsolved.
15 | The Strange Disappearance Of Owen Parfitt
This mysterious disappearance hinges on the fact that Mr. Owen Parfitt, who went missing in the 1760s, was unable to walk or get around on his own. He lived with his sister, who cared for him ― a job that included moving him around the house, to the toilet, outside for fresh air, etc. One day, she came to retrieve him from his usual chair on the front porch to find only his coat. No one in town saw any to moving Mr. Parfitt, and he just disappeared without any trace.
16 | The Unexplained Disappearance Of Brian Shaffer
Brian Shaffer was an Ohio State University medical student out for an evening with his friends. They lost track of him at the bar during the evening, and assumed that he’d simply decided to go home (or had picked up a girl and left without telling them). When he never showed up or called, they alerted authorities.
They found no sign of foul play, and the security cameras showed Brian entering the bar that night, but not leaving! Some believe he may have been killed by the supposed “Smiley Face Killer”.
The Man from Taured
In 1954, a suspicious man landed at the Tokyo International Airport. When security was checking his documents and asked him to point out his country on the map, he pointed to Andorra. He said that his country’s name is Taured, which is in the existence from 1,000 years, and he had never heard about Andorra before.
On the other side, security had never heard about Taured. His passport, driving license and chequebook backed his story. Confused officers sent him to a nearby hotel and left two official outside to keep eyes on him. The next morning, the man vanished mysteriously without leaving any trace behind him and he was never found again.
The Lost Stranger Jophar Vorin
An “April 5th, 1851 issue of the British Journal Athenaeum” mentions a peculiar time travel story of a lost stranger calling himself “Jophar Vorin” (aka “Joseph Vorin”), who was found wandering disorientated in a small village near Frankfurt, Germany. He had no idea of where he was and how he arrived there. Along with his broken German, the traveller was speaking and writing in two different unknown languages he called Laxarian and Abramian.
According to Jophar Vorin, he was from a country called Laxaria, situated in a very well known portion of the world called Sakria that was separated from Europe by a vast ocean. He claimed the purpose for his travelling to Europe was to seek a long-lost brother, but he suffered shipwreck on the voyage – exactly where he didn’t know – nor could he trace his route on the shore on any global map.
Jophar further said that his religion was Christian in form and doctrine, and that it is called Ispatian. He showed a considerable share of geographical knowledge that he inherited from his race. The five great sections of the earth he called Sakria, Aflar, Astar, Auslar, and Euplar. Whether the man was a common impostor who tricked the villagers in the name of Jophar Vorin or he was really a lost time traveller who had come from such a strange place that remains a big mystery to date.