The 7 Most Mysterious Disappearances of the 1900s

Where'd they go?

When people, or entire aircrafts go missing, the craziest theories can pop up as to what happened to them. Here are seven famous disappearances from the 1900s that raise all sorts of questions.

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The Colonel and the Lost City – May, 1925

Fawcett Gave Fame to Serra do Roncador in Mato Grosso. Edevilson/Wikimedia Commons

British explorer, Colonel Percy Fawcett led his son and a friend on an expedition deep into the Mato Grosso in search of a lost city. If such a thing did indeed exist, they got lost along with it.

"After Fawcett disappeared, the search for the lost city became the search for Percy Fawcett—at least 100 people died looking for Fawcett's party." – K. Kris Hirst, Archaeology Expert

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The Vanishing Aviator – July 2, 1937

Underwood Archives/Contributor/Getty Images

Amelia Earhart has become a name synonymous with aviation pioneering, and a whole lot of mystery. She was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic and the first woman to fly nonstop across the US. But when she tried to be the first to circumnavigate the globe at the equator, her luck ran out. Earhart, along with her lesser known navigator Fred Noonan, never made it. They vanished without a trace, despite many efforts to find them. Was it the Bermuda Triangle? Did they live as castaways on ? No one will ever know.

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The Bennington Triangle – 1946-1950

Wikimedia Commons

"Between 1920 and 1950, Bennington, Vermont was the site of several completely unexplained disappearances." – Stephen Wagner, Paranormal Phenomena Expert

These are three of the most unusual disappearing acts:

  • 18-year-old student, Paula Welden, disappears while taking a walk on December 1, 1946
  • Mr. Tetford vanishes from a crowded bus on December 1, 1949
  • 8-year old Paul Jepson disappears from a farm in mid-October, 1950
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The Mystery in the Mon – January 31, 1956

The Monongahela River. Tim Kiser/Wikimedia Commons

When the Mitchell B-25 bomber crashed on January 31 in the Monongahela River (locally known as the "Mon"), the crew of six luckily survived the crash. A search for the plane was conducted over the next two weeks, but no trace of the B-25 was ever found. Yet another flight mystery unsolved.

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The Disappearing Businessman – March 26, 1967

A Section of the Cameron Highlands. Ania Blazejewska/Getty Images

American businessman, Jim Thompson, came to the Cameron Highlands in Malaysia on holiday on March 24, 1967. When he went for a walk at 1:30 p.m. on Easter Sunday, he never returned. His final words as he left? "Goodnight, sweethearts."

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The Prime Minister Gets Carried Out to Sea – December 17, 1967

Harold Holt's Last Known Movements. Evening Standard/Stringer/Getty Images

Australia's 17th Prime Minister Harold Holt, disappeared at the age of 59. Holt went with a few friends to Cheviot Beach, but when he went for a swim he never returned. The rough waters carried him out to sea, and he was unable to make it back to shore. Despite a monumental search and rescue attempt, his body was never found, and he was presumed dead two days later.

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The Pilot and the UFO – October 21, 1978

A Map of Valentich's Disappearance. Wikimedia Commons

According to UFOs/Aliens Expert, Billy Booth, Frederick Valentich "was on a 125 mile training flight in his single engine Cessna 182 along the coast of Bass Strait when he related to air traffic controllers in Melbourne that he was being buzzed by a UFO with 4 bright lights about 1000 feet above him." The pilot's haunting communication of the approaching UFO was the last anyone heard of him. Despite searches by both boat and aircraft, no trace of the pilot, or his plane could be found.

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