These Bizarre Disappearances From History Will Definitely Keep You Up At Night

I was a huge fan of the TV series Unsolved Mysteries when I was a kid. These stories that defied all logic and reason were so intriguing to me that they actually kept me up at night. And to this day, tales of some of the most bizarre disappearances from history will stop me in my tracks and have me scratching my head — people vanishing into thin air, hardly any clues left behind, investigators and loved ones left with countless unanswered questions. How does someone disappear with barely a trace left in their tracks? It's so baffling to me, a total outsider, that I can't imagine how much of a struggle it is for anyone personally involved.

I often wonder if some of the most mysterious disappearances from the last several decades happened today, would we be likelier to solve them? Surely, more sophisticated technology and more highly trained professionals should mean more solved cases. Sadly, for the people of the past who disappeared, that's a question we'll likely never answer, as these are disappearing persons cases that leave us confused to this very day.

What happened to these lost victims? We may never know. But maybe in reading about them, you'll pick up a new clue.

Lieutenant Felix Moncla

It was 1953. Lieutenant Felix Moncla was stationed in Michigan at Kinross Air Force Base. On the radar, an unidentified flying object appeared; so Moncla boarded his aircraft and went to investigate. At around 500 miles per hour, he closed in on the object while flying over Lake Superior. On the radar, operators saw his aircraft merge with the UFO. And then they both disappeared.

A search and rescue team was sent out, but they found nothing — no debris or signs of a wreckage. Canadian authorities also confirmed there were no planes in the sky at the time. That was the last time Moncla and his aircraft were seen.

The Disappearing Hippies Of Stonehenge

In August 1971, a group of hippies pitched tents at Stonehenge — one of the Seven Wonders of the Medieval World — smoking weed and spending the night. Around 2:00 in the morning, a horrible thunderstorm came, accompanied by severe lightning. Two witnesses saw a bolt of lightning strike the Stonehenge stones, covering the entire area in a strange blue light that was so bright, they couldn't look at it. They could hear the hippie campers screaming. When it was all over, they ran over to help, assuming they'd find the hippies injured or burned. They found no one.

Amelia Earhart

This list wouldn't be complete without mentioning Amelia Earhart, the first female pilot to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean. In 1937, she and her navigator suddenly disappeared while they were flying over the Pacific Ocean. There were numerous theories surrounding her disappearance (perhaps she crashed into the sea), but nothing was ever confirmed.

Recently, however, the partial skeleton of a castaway found in the 1940s on Nikumaroro (a Pacific island) was determined to be strikingly similar to that of Earhart. While nothing has been proven, it strongly points to the possibility that Earhart ended up on the island and died a castaway. It's a remarkable discovery, to say the least.

Bela Kiss

This is yet another bizarre disappearance, albeit one where the person wanted to disappear. Bela Kiss was fighting in WWI when authorities searched his house because he'd claimed to have metal drums full of gasoline. But when they pried them open, they instead found the corpses of 24 women. They had puncture wounds in their necks and had lost a lot of blood.

In 1916, authorities tracked Kiss down in a Serbian hospital; but he escaped before they could capture him, putting a dead soldier's body in his own bed. Four years later, police once again came close to capturing him before he disappeared. Then, in 1932 in New York, rumors swirled that Kiss was working there as a janitor. Once again, he pulled the disappearing act before police could question him.

Frederick Valentich

Here's yet another odd UFO-related disappearance. It was October 1978, and Australian pilot Frederick Valentich was flying over Australia's Bass Strait. He got in touch with air traffic control and told them a mysterious object was tracking him, flying right above him. He stopped in mid-air, and vanished. His last recorded words were, "It's hovering, and it's not an aircraft." No traces of him or his plane were ever found.

Cynthia Anderson

On Aug. 4, 1981, 20-year-old Cynthia Anderson, a legal secretary, went to work in Toledo, Ohio. Her employers arrived later on, but she had disappeared. Her purse and car keys were gone, but her car remained outside. Oddly, a romance novel she was in the middle of reading was opened to a page describing the heroine being captured at knifepoint. A month later, police got an anonymous call that she was being held against her will in a basement somewhere.

There were several theories surrounding her disappearance. The romance novel clue led people to think she staged it. Another theory is that she overheard information she shouldn't have regarding one of the drug-dealing attorneys at her firm, and she was murdered. All these years later, however, the mystery remains unsolved.

Images: Diego Torres Silvestre, Lawrie Cate, Pacific Aviation Museum, Charlie/Flickr