On a bitter Icelandic night in 1974, teenager Erla Bolladottir was having a nightmare. Voices, whispering outside her room. Who were they? What were they saying? It seemed so real. Terrified, she wet the bed. The dream would continue to haunt her for years to come.
The 1998 hit "The Way" by Fastball was based on the real-life disappearance of an elderly couple in Texas: The song’s lyrics -- about an elderly couple who disappears from their home, finding immortality on the road -- seem sweet. That is, until "shadows" on the highway are referenced. The promises that the unnamed couple will never go home, grow old, or be hungry again seem a great deal less reassuring. Perhaps, the listener thinks, the "immortality" they found on the open road is purely allegorical.
How long can your digital life keep up the appearance of your actual life? A Michigan woman quit her job in 2008 and told her neighbors she was going abroad. Her bills were paid automatically and her neighbors mowed the lawn until her money ran out in 2013, when the bank foreclosed on her house. A mummified body believed to be hers was discovered in the garage, but authorities are struggling to definitively identify it. There's a Facebook page set up by her family dedicated to finding out what happened to Pia Farrenkopf.
In August 1989, 23-year-old professional ice-hockey player Duncan MacPherson travelled from New York to Europe, to enjoy a holiday before starting a new job in Scotland. He hired snowboarding gear and took a lesson on the Stubai Glacier. Then, according to the Austrian authorities and the owners of the ski resort, he simply disappeared. In Cold a Long Time: An Alpine Mystery, John Leake details the coverup and corruption that started then and continued for years after MacPherson's body melted out of the ice in 2003. Warning: the website contains close-up pictures of MacPherson's damaged body. [more inside]
On April 15, 2005, Centre County Pennsylvania District Attorney Ray Gricar disappeared under mysterious circumstances. A little over six years later, he was declared legally dead. In early July, 2011, a mysterious man was arrested in Provo City, Utah and refused to give his name, baffling police. One day after he was declared dead, people are asking could Utah's John Doe prisoner be Ray Gricar?
On October 21, 1978, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich climbed into his Cessna 182L airplane and took off from Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne. He was never seen again. [more inside]
Margie Profet was the "It Girl" of the 1990s, being awarded a McArthur Grant for her work in evolutionary biology in 1993 despite a lack of formal scientific training. Her papers on motherhood and the evolutionary influences on menstruation and morning sickness were hailed as revolutionary by some, but also dismissed as unscientific and criticized for numerous flaws in logic by others. As pressure mounted, she became more involved in her work, and less connected with her family and friends. [more inside]
By the time he was twenty years old, artist, writer, and adventurer Everett Ruess was paling around with Dorothea Lange and Ansel Adams and had spent several years trekking around the southwest United States. In November 1934, Ruess left Escalante, Utah and disappeared - never to be seen again. Seventy-five years later, Ruess has been found. (previously on MeFi)
American businessman Steve Fossett, who went missing last year after taking flight from Barron Hilton's Flying M Ranch (previously and previously), and was declared dead last February, had left many questions unanswered, including the possibility that he faked his own death. However, remains of his plane have just been found.
Main Course or Colonel Kurtz? Michael was a Harvard graduate, but otherwise refused to follow in his father's footsteps. After graduating cum laude and serving a hitch in the army, he went to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition. As he explained it, "I have the desire to do something romantic and adventurous at a time when frontiers in the real sense of the word are disappearing." In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, fortunate son of the first order, disappeared while studying the Asmat people of New Guinea. Questions remain, however. Was he, indeed, eaten by the Asmat, who had a rumored history of cannibalism, or did he decide to go native? At least one documentary has explored this.
The mystery of Stefan Mart and the 'Tales of the Nations'. "The Tales of Nations" was not an ordinary book that you could buy in a book store, and it's mysterious narrator/illustrator disappeared into the darkness of Hitler's Germany, seemingly without a trace. Learn the background, read the stories, and view all 150 fabulous colour illustrations — "small in size, but strong in expression, each a microcosm packed with action, each a feast for the eyes like a beautifully set jewel".
Does this story about the US govt making someone disappear for no admitted reason scare you as much as it scares me?
Condit says he broke off close friendship with Levy 2 days before she disappeared; says she became distraught and obsessive.
Condit says he broke off close friendship with Levy 2 days before she disappeared; says she became distraught and obsessive. Sorry to revisit the Chandra issue, but it seems that Congressman Condit is becoming guiltier by the day. (Of stupidity, at the very least -- if not something more sinister.)