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5 Mysterious Disappearances of People

Updated on February 15, 2013

These people have made history because they mysteriously disappeared from the phase of the Earth and no one still knows how.

Amelia Earhart (1897–1937)

She was the first woman pilot to cross the Atlantic ocean alone (1932). In 1934, she flew from Hawaii to California, and from Los Angeles to Mexico City. It was in 1937 when she boarded the plane that would take her to her last flight. During that year, Earhart planned her greatest feat yet: fly around the world. In June 29, she arrived to New Guinea. She had traveled 22,000 miles, and she only had 7,000 more ahead.

On July 2nd, Earhart and her flight partner, Frederick Noonan, took off from Lae, New Guinea to continue their trip around the world. Their destination was Howland Island. However, their transmissions stopped soon after that. It is believed that they crashed close to their destination, but their remains were never found.

D.B. Cooper (1971)

On November 24, 1971, a man under the alias of Dan Cooper, hijacked flight 305 with destination to Portland, Oregon. During the flight, he informed the pilot that he had a bomb which he would detonate if he was not given $200,000 and 4 parachutes. His demands were met when the airplane landed in Seattle. Cooper allowed the passengers to leave the plane, but kept the pilot, co-pilot, flight engineer, and flight attendant as hostages. He demanded to be flown to Reno, Nevada, and in mid-air jumped out of the airplane a distance of approximately 9,800 feet. Although some bills paid as ransom were found, his body is still missing. Some say he is still alive.

Etan Patz (1972-?)

On May 25, 1979, Etan asked permission to go to the school bus stop. That’s the last fact known about this child. His disappearance caused great commotion in the United States, causing the day of his disappearance to be pronounced National Missing Children’s day. One of the prime suspects was Jose Antonio Ramos, ex-boyfriend of Etan’s babysitter, who had been previously charged with child sexual abuse. Although he is currently in prison for other crimes, Etan’s homicide is not one them, since the child’s remains have not been found.

Every year, on the anniversary of Etan’s birthday and disappearance, Stan Patz, Etan’s father, sends Ramos a copy of his son’s missing child poster, with the same message on the back: “What did you do to my little boy?”

Michael Rockefeller (1838-1961)

Michael was Nelson Rockefeller’s youngest son. He was an adventurer who participated in various anthropological expeditions to study the culture of the Asmat tribe located in New Guinea. On November 17, 1961, he and Dutch anthropologist, Rene Wassing, were canoeing in a river in New Guinea, when the canoe was swamped and overturned. Rockefeller tried to swim 12 miles to shore to look for help. It is unknown whether he made it to shore. Wassing was rescued next day, but Rockefeller was never seen again. Some speculations of his disappearance are that he drowned or was attacked by sharks or crocodiles. Others say that he could have been killed by aborigines, or eaten by cannibals. He was declared legally dead in 1964.

Frank Morris, John and Clarence Anglin (1962)

Morris started devising an escape plan within a year of arriving to Alcatraz. John and Clarence Anglin were to join him in his escape. On the night of June 11, 1962, they escaped the Alcatraz through the vents at the back of their cells and into the utility corridor. They proceeded to the roof and arrived to the bay, where they boarded their raft and left. The local police and the FBI conducted an exhaustive search in different points of the area, but the three bodies were never found. The speculation is that they drowned, but since no bodies have been found, there is no concrete answer as to what really happened.

The TV show Mythbusters tried an escape in a similar manner as Morris, and arrived to the conclusion that it is “plausible” that the prisoners survived the escape.

These mysterious disappearances still continue to puzzle many people today.


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    • Silver Q profile image

      Silver Q 3 years ago

      Hi grand old lady:

      The ocean is a scary, beautiful place. So full of mysteries!! Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • grand old lady profile image

      Mona Sabalones Gonzalez 3 years ago from Philippines

      Interesting. The ocean is so vast, it's easy to go missing. But you still wonder, more so in light of the mysteries of the deep.

    • StevenRobaina profile image

      StevenRobaina 6 years ago from Miami, FL

      Interesting! pretty cool hub. Voted up! Hope to see more like this.