Every day, people go missing, but some are more well-known than others. Some even became more well-known after they went missing. Some may have been robbed, some may have been in an accident, and some may have left on their own. Even though people try to find these missing people, some of them are never found, leaving their last days and disappearance a mystery.
Some disappearances have led to huge search parties, sensationalist stories in the media, wild speculation, dead ends, wrong turns, false accusations, and even TV shows or miniseries. Here is a list of 20 people who went missing for no clear reason.
If you’ve seen the comedy movie “Without a Paddle” or a number of other movies, TV shows, songs, and books that were based on the story of this man, then you know what I’m talking about. On the night before Thanksgiving in 1971, DB bought a ticket under the name Dan Cooper.
He then took over Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, which was headed to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Cooper told a flight attendant that he had explosives right after the flight took off. He demanded $200,000, four parachutes, and a refueling truck for when they landed at the airport they were supposed to go to.
Amelia Earhart is likely the most well-known person who has gone missing in history. As both a pilot and a passenger, she did a lot of exciting things in the air that made her very famous. She was well-known for her flying, but she was also a teacher, an author, a fashion designer, a magazine editor, and a spokesperson for cigarettes.
In 1937, Earhart and her pilot, Fred Noonan, decided to fly around the world. But on July 2, Earhart sent out a radio message asking for help, saying that they were dangerously low on fuel over the Pacific Ocean. The Itasca, a ship from the US Coast Guard, was sent to help, but it couldn’t find the plane. The cutter then sent up smoke signals, hoping that the two people would see the smoke.
No one ever found the plane or the two people on it. Her husband paid for a private search, but it didn’t turn up anything. In 1939, Earhart was ruled dead even though she wasn’t there.
Harold Holt was the seventeenth leader of Australia as prime minister. After holding a number of cabinet positions, he became the leader of the Liberal Party. In 1966, he became the prime minister. Holt went swimming at one of his favorite spots after being prime minister for less than two years. He never came back, which was sad. Big efforts were made to find him, but he was never found. Also, there was never a formal investigation into why he went missing.
Jimmy Hoffa was the leader of the Teamsters union for more than ten years. He was dishonest and involved in organized crime. In 1967, he went to prison, but he still led the Teamsters. But in 1971, he quit his job in order to get out of jail and get a pardon from President Nixon.
Hoffa was last seen outside of a restaurant in Detroit, where he was said to have met with two bosses of organized crime. He went missing, and in 1982, he was finally said to be dead. The circumstances of his disappearance and apparent death are still a mystery to this day.
Henry Hudson was a well-known English explorer. Towns, bridges, rivers, bays, straits, and other places are named after him, even though he probably wasn’t a very nice boss. During his exploration, his crew, which was hungry, cold, and homesick, became so restless that they rebelled because they didn’t want to keep looking after being stuck in the ice for several months.
Hudson, his teenage son, and seven other loyal crew members were put in a small boat and set adrift. After the ship left them behind, they were never seen again.
Azaria Chamberlain’s case may be the most well-known case of a missing person in Australian history. You’ve probably heard the famous phrase “a dingo ate my baby,” which comes from this case. In 1980, Azaria Chamberlain went missing while her parents were camping in the outback. She was only nine weeks old at the time.
Linda Chamberlain, the mother, was actually tried and found guilty of killing her baby daughter. She was then sentenced to life in prison. But after three years in prison, a piece of the baby’s clothing was found by chance in a dingo’s den. The lair was close to where baby Azaria went missing from the campsite.
Errol Flynn and actress Lili Damita had a son named Sean Flynn. Before settling on being a photojournalist, Flynn tried out many different jobs, like being a musician and an actor. Flynn seemed to have found his calling as a photojournalist. Flynn often went on trips with special forces units and people who didn’t belong to the military but worked in remote areas.
He was known for going to great lengths, even those that were dangerous. In April 1970, during the Vietnam War, Flynn and another photojournalist, Dana Stone, were sent to Cambodia to do a job. Stone was known for going the extra mile in dangerous places, just like Flynn.
Oscar Zeta Acosta
Oscar Zeta Acosta was a writer and activist who caused a lot of trouble. He is best known for being friends with controversial writer Hunter S. Thompson. Both men served in the US Air Force. Acosta was well-known for his books from the early 1970s and for his role as Dr. Gonzo in Thompson’s book “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas.”
Theodosia Burr Alston
Theodosia Burr Alston was the oldest child of former US Vice President Aaron Burr. She was shamed when she was officially accused of treason. She was also married to Joseph Alston, who was the Governor of South Carolina at the time. She lost her son five years after her father fell. She was in such a deep state of grief that it hurt her health. The only good thing for her was that her father would be able to go back to the United States after being sent to Europe.
People think that Soloman Northup was born in New York in the early 1800s. Even though he was black, both of his parents were not slaves. His father, however, had been a slave. In the late 1820s, Northup married a woman named Anne Hampton.
Together, they had three children. Years later, in 1841, Northup thought that he had been given temporary work as a fiddler in Washington, DC. But it turned out to be a trick, and he was taken and forced to work as a slave.
People think that Heinrich Muller is one of, if not the most shameful person of the 20th century, then at least of all time. In 1933, he joined the Gestapo, which was Nazi Germany’s state police. He quickly became a chief, and in 1939, he joined the Nazi Party for real. As part of his actions, Muller helped spread false information that was used to justify the invasion of Poland. He also helped carry out the Holocaust.
From the late 1930s to the early 1940s, Glenn Miller was the best-selling recording artist, making him one of the most famous big band leaders ever. Miller wanted to join the US Navy when World War II started, but he was turned down.
He then tried to join the army but was turned away. Finally, he joined the Air Force. Miller and two other people were going to fly to Paris, France, in December 1944 to make plans for his band to play concerts for American troops.
Dorothy Arnold was an heiress from Manhattan and a socialite. In December 1910, she went missing in New York City. At the time, she was 25 years old. Arnold told her mother early in the morning of December 12 that she was going shopping for a dress to wear to her sister’s party.
Arnold’s mother asked her to go with her, but Arnold said she would call if she found a dress that would work. Around eleven that morning, she left her family’s house.
Jean Spangler was an American model, dancer, and actress who had small parts in early TV shows and Hollywood films. Her career began in 1948, but she went missing the next year. No one knows what happened. In fact, her case hasn’t been solved to this day.
In the twenty-nine years that Alcatraz was a federal prison, thirty-six prisoners tried to escape. Five of them are still missing, but it is thought that they drowned because their bodies were never found. Of the rest, 23 were caught, 6 were shot and killed, and 2 drowned. Frank Morris is one of the most well-known of the five people who went missing.
In the 1950s and 1960s, Jim Thompson was an American businessman who helped Thailand’s silk industry get back on its feet. On Sunday, March 26, 1967, he went missing while walking along the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia.
He went for a walk that day after church and never came back. After a long search, it was decided that Thompson was lost. More than 500 people helped with the search, which was supposed to last eleven days. Still, he was never found, and there were no hints as to where he went.
Richey Edwards was a Welsh musician who played in a band called Manic Street Preachers. He was the rhythm guitarist and wrote the lyrics for the band. Many people said that he was the best lyricist of his time. Edwards went missing on February 1, 1995, which was the same day that he and another band member were supposed to fly to the US for a tour.
Philip Taylor Kramer
Philip Taylor Kramer was an American who played bass guitar for the rock band Iron Butterfly. He went on to become an inventor and an executive in computer engineering. Kramer was supposed to pick up a business partner and his wife at the LA airport, but he called them instead and told them to go straight to their hotel.
He told them he’d see them again later. But it looks like he was at the airport for almost an hour, and nobody knows why. He called his wife on the way home from the airport and told her he was going to kill himself. No one saw or heard from him again.
Bison Dele was an American professional basketball player who played center for teams like the Detroit Pistons, Chicago Bulls, LA Clippers, Denver Nuggets, and Orlando Magic. In 1997, Dele helped the Bulls win the NBA title. People think that his older brother killed him while they were at sea in 2002.
On July 6, 2002, Dele, his girlfriend, a skipper, and his brother set sail from Tahiti on Dele’s catamaran. Dele’s brother, Miles Dabord was the only one who was seen or heard from after July 8. On July 20, Dabord brought the boat back to Tahiti, but he was the only person left on board.
Natalee Holloway was an American teenager who went missing while on a trip to Aruba with her graduating class on May 30, 2005. Her disappearance made headlines all over the world. The news all over the US went crazy when she went missing, but the case has never been solved. Hollaway was supposed to fly home from the Caribbean on May 30, but she never showed up for her flight.
The night before, she was last seen in a car with three locals, including Joran van der Sloot, outside of a restaurant. When asked, the three men said they had dropped her off at the hotel and didn’t know what happened to her after that.
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