People Share Their Favorite Unsolved Mystery

When I was a little kid, my grandfather bought me a book on unsolved mysteries. It was impossibly heavy, was well-above what people assumed I could read, and the subject matter wasn't exactly my mother's idea of appropriate.

I've had that book for 30 years now and I still pour over it obsessively. So obviously when I saw this thread I was all in:

Reddit user LordVader1995 asked:

What is your favorite unsolved mystery?

There are some mysteries mentioned here that were even in my book - but a far larger amount are newer. Considering the incredible technological leaps we have made, it seems crazy that things can just stay unsolved - but they do. Every single day more and more mysteries (large and small) just get added to the list of things that may never be figured out.

Here are some examples.

Malaysia Flight 370


This case seriously haunts me, I am dying to know whether it was an accident or intentional on the part of the pilot.

My personal theory is that they were hijacked by a lunatic intent on flying the plane into a building or something horrific. The pilot may have realized this and intentionally flew off-course into the ocean. When flying at night, there's nothing to see out the window, it's just blackness, so arguably the hijacker wouldn't have a clue until it's too late.

There was a case where a hijacker demanded the plane be flown to some ridiculous distance when it was only fueled for a short trip. The pilots did their best to explain that they didn't have the range, but the hijackers simply wouldn't listen. Plane ran out of fuel and crashed in the ocean. So sometimes hijackers can be total idiots too.

On the other hand, if the plane was hijacked, then the hijackers were savvy enough to pull the transponders to make the plane harder to trace (it's a fact that this happened, and could only have been a deliberate act). If they were savvy enough to do this it's unlikely they'd be dumb enough to not notice the pilots' plan to fly over the ocean rather than into a populated city, though...

MH370 is the ultimate Rorschach inkblot test. There are so few actual facts to work with, that everyone's imagination just takes over to fill in the blanks and we have millions of crazy theories. I wonder if we'll ever know.

- nrtlbwlitw

The Noise Upstairs

Last summer I was babysitting for my neighbor - a young couple that lived in a small townhouse with their newborn. They were in the process of moving back to Kentucky, where their families are from, to raise their baby with family. They leave for dinner around 5pm, and say they'll be home before 12am. Now, this little home is empty save for their beds, a couch, and a TV. Around 7pm, the baby is getting fussy so I rock her to sleep and lay her down for bed/until she wakes up to be fed. I go downstairs and call my girlfriend to ask about her day, when I hear heavy footsteps coming from upstairs. I go up the stairs to the baby's room, thinking maybe there's a cat, and there's nothing that could have been making that noise. I check the parent's room, nothing. Bathroom, nothing. Everything is empty. I picked up the baby and went downstairs to the living room, keeping her with me the whole night. The footsteps keep happening, and I decide to call the police because there's clearly an intruder. It's about 9:15pm at this point, and I first heard noises around 7:30pm.

I call the parents first, though, to tell them that I was thinking to take the baby to my place while waiting for the police checked the house. It turns out that the parents were on the street already, and I decide to wait for them. A minute later, the footsteps turn into thuds and grunts, like two men are fighting directly above me and the baby. I can't wait anymore, and I run outside to find the parents. The parents are there, getting out of the car, and clearly upset. The police are with them. They take a statement from me as they check the house, and ask if I was drinking that night (no). The police check the house top to bottom, and found nothing. The parents moved out a week later. I still wonder what happened.

- [deleted]

Yuba 5

The 1978 Yuba County disappearances of 5 young men- around 50 miles away from where they were supposed to be, on a road they never had been down.

They abandoned a perfectly fine car and walked 10+ miles through the forest in deep snow to ultimately die. Four of the five men were found dead in a ranger trailer and in the surrounding area. The trailer had been full of food and a heater- and it was all untouched.

The only witness? A man in the car behind them, who pulled over and saw them briefly before having a heart attack.

The last man, Gary Mathias, has still never been found. There are so many thought and theories about this case, and I hope someday it will be solved. Until then, it will be the most intriguing mystery I have ever come across.

- mcsuicide


Asha Degree.

A little girl who walked out of her house in the middle of the night, during a storm, the night before her parents anniversary, only to be seen walking down the road by motorists and then never being seen again. I personally think she was groomed by someone close.

- TommyChongUn

This particular case is so heartbreaking to me, I heard the case being explained on the Crime Junkie Podcast. There were hardly any leads but I agree with you on the fact that she was most likely groomed by someone but it's insane how this little girl that's afraid of the dark just slipped out of her house at 3am, in the middle of a storm, to meet someone on the side of a highway. The power that person must have over her is terrifying.

- Halstump

I looked it up. They found her book bag 26 miles away in 2001. This is such a sad case. They also found candy wrappers near her bag. Something about that alone, makes me sad.

- CybReader

I heard an interesting theory about carbon monoxide poisoning - it would explain the way Asha just seemed to methodically pack her bag and walk out. The way she did this was apparently the same way she usually would for school, which can be linked to the disorientating effects of CO poisoning. The way she ran off into the forest when a car approached her can also be linked, as it may have brought her out of her daze, which would've frightened her.

This still doesn't explain the fact that her school bag was found wrapped in a plastic bag - that bit gives me the creeps.

- notbueno

Fenn's Gold

Forrest Fenn's Treasure has got to be my favorite. Fenn is a 87 year old art collector who resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In 2010, after being diagnosed with cancer and told he was most likely going to die, he asked himself what he could do to be remembered. He decided to go out into nature and hide a chest containing an estimated 2 million dollars of treasure. Despite the odds, he actually beat cancer and is still alive to this day. The treasure is somewhere in the rocky mountains within one of the following states: New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming or Montana. Fenn wrote a poem as a guide to finding the treasure. Here it is...

As I have gone alone in there
And with my treasures bold,
I can keep my secret where,
And hint of riches new and old.
Begin it where warm waters halt
And take it in the canyon down,
Not far, but too far to walk.
Put in below the home of Brown.
From there it's no place for the meek,
The end is ever drawing nigh;
There'll be no paddle up your creek,
Just heavy loads and water high.
If you've been wise and found the blaze,
Look quickly down, your quest to cease,
But tarry scant with marvel gaze,
Just take the chest and go in peace.
So why is it that I must go
And leave my trove for all to seek?
The answers I already know,
I've done it tired, and now I'm weak.
So hear me all and listen good,
Your effort will be worth the cold.
If you are brave and in the wood
I give you title to the gold.

The treasure has yet to be found.

- 1FinalChance

Green Children

Back in the day in England, I'm talking like somewhere between 1500's-1700's, this brother and sister wandered into a village. They were complete strangers to everyone there, and they were FREAKING GREEN. They were GREEN children. They didn't speak the language and wouldn't eat for days until they were offered raw Lima beans which they ate in excess and exclusively. The brother eventually died, but they sister lived long enough to lose her green pigment and learn english. She said they were from Saint Martin's Land, and had wandered from home and went over a river or something and found themselves in this village and had no idea how to get home. The world she described is something no one has been able to figure out, but it wasn't England.

- Karallys36

This supposedly happened in the 12th century, not the 16th. Yes they ate raw beans, but not Lima beans. Pretty sure you can't even grow Lima beans in England. The boy got sick and died after being baptized. They claimed to come from an underground land where the sun never shone. They wandered into a cave from their land while herding cattle and suddenly found themselves in a different place after hearing a loud noise. Villagers then found them and brought them to the village where the girl survived and lived a relatively normal life.

- Life_isnt_true

More realistic theories have been put forward to explain this. Regarding their green colouring, one proposal is that the children were suffering from Hypochromic Anemia, originally known as Chlorosis (coming from the Greek word 'Chloris', meaning greenish-yellow). The condition is caused by a very poor diet that affects the color of the red blood cells and results in a noticeably green shade of the skin. In support of this theory is the fact that the girl is described as returning to a normal color after adopting a healthy diet.

With regards to the description of the strange land, Paul Harris suggested in Fortean Studies 4 (1998) that the children were Flemish orphans, possibly from a nearby place known as Fornham St. Martin, which was separated from Woolpit by the River Lark. A lot of Flemish immigrants had arrived during the 12th century but were persecuted under the reign of King Henry II. In 1173, many were killed near Bury St Edmunds. If they had fled into Thetford Forest, it may have seemed like permanent twilight to the frightened children. They may also have entered one of the many underground mine passages in the area, which finally led them to Woolpit.

Dressed in strange Flemish clothes and speaking another language, the children would have presented a very strange spectacle to the Woolpit villagers.

- glockblocker

Where's Brandon?

The Brandon Lawson case, guy runs out of gas on a highway, calls his brother to help him get gas, then makes a 911 call telling them to send the police (recordings available on youtube), then disappears. When his brother and the police arrived his truck was still sitting there.

- HiFiiiiiiiiii

A weird detail I saw somewhere was that he actually had an active warrant for his arrest. (I don't remember what it was for, but I don't think it was a violent offense.) He was aware of the warrant, so everyone (especially the brother he had called previously) thought it was extremely odd that he would call the police. If I recall correctly, he specifically requested police, not emergency services which one might do if they needed help but didn't want to deal with police.

- kobayashi___maru

Somerton Man

The 70 yeah old case of the Somerton Man - no identity for the victim, no cause of death, mysterious codes, possible spy connections, lots of unanswered questions. I think we're currently waiting on DNA tests to come back to try and figure out who he is.

- ChickGalentine

I live not far from Somerton, and have seen his grave at the West Terrace cemetery that states 'unknown man'. This case fascinates me, some of the minor facts of the case are just bizarre. I read a book called The Unknown Man by Gerry Feltus that i recommend for anyone interested. Professor Derek Abbot who is heading the DNA testing is very passionate about the case and optimistic about solving the mystery!

- fosernator

The Prime Minister


As an Australian, it 100% has to be the Harold Holt mystery.

Prime Minister of Australia Harold Holt, loved the beach, fishing and swimming etc. Apparently was an elite swimmer. Members of his cabinet and friends had all approached him about the dangers of swimming an fishing alone, to which he famously replied: "What are the odds of a prime minister being drowned or taken by a shark?"

On December 17, 1967, just after midday, Holt and a friend stopped for a swim at a beach they'd been to many times before. There was a large rip reported, and the friend stayed close to shore, but Holt swam as normal, and got pulled out to sea. he was never seen or heard from again.

We literally lost our Prime Minister.

- gunner_down_under

Dylatlov Pass

The Dyatlov Pass incident.

In 1956, 9 very experienced Russian hikers were found dead on Mt. Otorten. 6 of them died of hypothermia, while the other 3 were found brutally killed. One hiker had his skull crushed, another had a crushed rib cage and his eyes were missing, and the last victim also had a crushed rib cage but had not only both eyes missing, but also her tongue was missing.

Their camp showed signs of a huge struggle and displayed a scene of chaos. The tent was cut open from the inside and belongings like jackets and shoes were left behind, suggesting they were in a hurry.

About 500 meters from the campsite are where the first two bodies were found next to a small campfire and only in their underwear (hypothermia). Three more hikers were found (also passing of hypothermia) in positions that suggested they were trying to return to the camp. These bodies also lacked clothes and shoes and were only found in their underwear.

The 4 other hikers weren't found until 2 months later in a snow ravine 75 meters from the small makeshift campsite. They were found better dressed than the rest of the hikers but their clothes were torn and some of them, even burned. Also note:

•that high levels of radiation was found on only one victims clothing item
•fatal injuries (crushed skull and ribs) couldn't have been cause by human because "the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged"
•Russian authorities are currently re-investigating this incident but are only allowing three possibilities: avalanche, a "snow slab" avalanche, or a hurricane. And the possibility of a crime is being completely discounted.

- Yasmar4434

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