The internet loves certain things without question: dogs, yodeling kids and memes. But perhaps the most cherished internet fodder are unsolved mysteries. Long after police and private investigators shelve cold cases, real-life murder cases live online for decades. Though supernatural causes or conspiracy theories are more fun to think about, mysteries often end up with surprisingly banal explanations. However, there are cases which remain unsolved, perhaps forever, and they are often the most intriguing. We have collected 10 such creepy unsolved mysteries which will make you hair stand on end.
10. The Strange Death of Zigmund Adamski
Zigmund Adamski was a Polish-born miner at the Lofthouse Colliery in West Yorkshire, England. On June 6th, 1980 he mysteriously disappeared from his Tingley home after leaving to go and buy some potatoes. His body was found five days later on June 11th, lying face up on top of a large stack of anthracite coal in Todmorden, a town with which he had no connection. His clothes were in good condition although the shirt was removed.
He had not attended any hospitals in the missing five days and had only been on the anthracite a few hours before he was found. It appeared that neither had he slept rough in the intervening days, he had been eating healthily and that no struggle had taken place. It was also noticed that only one day’s worth of beard growth had taken place, despite the length of his being missing, suggesting he had been able to shave.
His post-mortem found that Adamski’s death took place between 11:00am and 1:00pm that day. The burn on his neck had been there two days before his death and had had a peculiar green colored ointment applied that forensic scientists could not identify. The 15 foot coal pile he was found on was undisturbed, along with no coal residue on his body and postmortem found he had died “of natural causes that was determined to be from a heart attack” with a “a look of sheer terror.”
09. Disappearance of Lars Mittank
Lars Mittank is a German who disappeared on the 8th of July 2014 near Varna Airport in Varna, Bulgaria. Mittank was on vacation in a beach resort town names Golden Sands with a group of his friends. Two days before his disappearance, Mittank got into an argument with four other men over a disagreement about football. Mittank, being a fan of German football team Werder Bremen was in an argument with four Bayern Munich fans. The argument resulted in Mittank having a ruptured ear drum. After, a doctor advised Lars not to fly and prescribed 500mg of an antibiotic known as Cefuroxime before admitting him to a hospital. Lars’ friends wanted to stay with him but he insisted they fly home without him.
Mittank stayed in Bulgaria without his friends and checked into a cheap hotel. A day after his friends left, Mittank was reported to have odd behavior which was also captured on the hotel’s CCTV cameras. He spent only one night in the hotel but was paranoid and nervous. He texted his mother stating that he was not safe and told her to cancel his credit card and that he was hiding from four men who were supposedly following him and asked him where some pills were. Mittank was last seen in Varna airport. He was captured by airport security cameras running away. Once outside the airport he was seen climbing a fence, running into a meadow and into the woods. He has not been seen since.
08. Kali River Goonch Attacks
The Kali River goonch attacks were a series of fatal attacks on humans in three villages on the banks of the Kali River in India and Nepal, between 1998 and 2007. British biologist Jeremy Wade volunteered to capture the perpetrator. Though originally skeptical of the truth behind the attacks, he later became intrigued because the attacks only occurred in a specific area spanning 4–5 miles. He was told by the villagers that the creature likely developed a taste for human flesh and had grown large after eating half burnt human remains discarded from funeral pyres on the river banks.
Crocs and sharks were ruled out. The best guess he could come up with was that catfish had started eating the corpses pushed in the river from funeral pyres and had grown huge. They even found a 6 footer in there, but nothing was ever proven.
07. The Case of Sarah and Jacob Hoggle
On Sept. 7, 2014, 45-year-old Troy Turner, left his kids and their mother, 31-year-old Catherine Hoggle, at Catherine’s mother’s home in Gaithersburg, Maryland, before going to work around 2:30 p.m. He did not leave her unsupervised with their children because she has Schizophrenia and could not be trusted to be safe with them. According to police investigating the case, Catherine left her mother’s home that day in 2014 around 4 p.m., saying she was taking Jacob out to get pizza. Three hours later — without either Jacob or pizza — she returned to say she had dropped him off at a playmate’s house for a sleepover. She then took Sarah and the couple’s older son back to her own home.
Troy came home and went to bed without checking on the children as usual because he was tired. He then awoke the next morning to discover Jacob, Sarah and their mother all gone. When Catherine eventually returned, she claimed she’d dropped the two kids at a new child care center. After hours of being cagey about where the new daycare is, Troy headed towards the police station with Catherine to get help. Catherine asked him to stop at a fast-food restaurant and after texting her mother that the missing kids were fine, she disappeared herself, not to re-emerge for several days when she was found wandering the streets and taken into custody.
The children have not been found, and although Catherine claims they are fine, the children have been declared dead by investigators. The family still searches for them, but both Troy and his mother-in-law believe they are probably dead. For a long time, they hoped Catherine had given them to someone for safekeeping, but too much time has passed for that theory to be realistic.
Catherine has been declared unfit for trial due to her Paranoid Scizophrenia, but family members who know Catherine believe she is playing the system and knows more than she’s letting on. Catherine has attempted to escape the hospital psych ward, where she’s being kept, several times and flat-out refuses to tell anyone what happened to the children.
06. Beale Ciphers
The Beale ciphers (or Beale Papers) are a set of three ciphertexts, one of which allegedly states the location of a buried treasure of gold, silver and jewels estimated to be worth over US$43 million and as of March 2019 the ciphers haven’t been cracked and the treasure not yet been discovered.
The story of the three ciphertexts originates from an 1885 pamphlet detailing treasure being buried by a man named Thomas J. Beale, who was the leader of a group of 30 gentlemen adventurers from Virginia who stumbled upon the rich mine of gold and silver while hunting buffalo. According to it, they spent 18 months mining thousands of pounds of precious metals, which they then charged Beale with transporting to Virginia and burying in a secure location. After Beale made multiple trips to stock the hiding place, he then encrypted three messages: the location, a description of the treasure, and the names of its owners and their relatives. The treasure location is traditionally linked to Montvale in Bedford County, Virginia.
Beale placed the ciphertexts and some other papers in an iron box. In 1822 he entrusted the box to an innkeeper for safekeeping and never returned. 10 years later that innkeeper opened the box to find the three ciphers and he handed it to a friend. Using an edition of the United States Declaration of Independence as the key for a modified book cipher, his friend successfully deciphered the second ciphertext, which gave a description of the buried treasure. Unable to solve the other two ciphertexts, he ultimately made the letters and ciphertexts public, in a pamphlet entitled The Beale Papers, published by another friend, James B. Ward, in 1885.
05. Murder of John Lang
John Lang was a local activity from Fresno, California who began tackling police harassment; specifically a license plate scam done in low income neighborhoods by posting them online. After Lang’s posts began making headlines, he posted that the police department was plotting against him. People thought he was crazy until he set up a camera that recorded cops parking across the street from his house staring at him in the middle of the night and a van pulling up with a large camera that people theorized took thermal pictures through walls to see if anyone was inside.
As Lang began to become more paranoid, he posted a cryptic Facebook post where he, more or less, predicted his death. A few days after, his house was burned and he was dead. The coroner reported that he was stabbed repeatedly in the back and died of asphyxiation. He then recanted saying it was supposedly a suicide.
04. Paulette Gebara Farah
On the evening of March 21, 2010, 4-year old Paulette Gebara Farah returned to her apartment in Huixquilucan, Mexico, after a weekend trip with her father, Mauricio Gebara, and 7-year old sister. Paulette suffered from numerous developmental disabilities due to being born prematurely. After Paulette arrived home from her trip, her mother put her to bed, but by the next morning, Paulette was gone.
She was missing from her room. The police were eventually notified and they discovered no signs of forced entry or struggle. Paulette’s bedroom was located on the second floor and the only point of entry was a window, which was not broken or tampered with. Detective investigated the room as well as police dogs were brought in, but they found nothing. Nine days later, investigators noticed a foul odor in Paulette’s bedroom and soon discovered her decomposing body wrapped in blankets underneath the foot of the bed, wedged in between the mattress and the wooden foot board. An autopsy determined that the cause of death was “asphyxiation that obstructed her respiratory airways and compressed her abdominal thorax”. She is said to have rolled down to the end of her bed and suffocated between the bed frame, comforter, and mattress. This begs the questions, how did two nannies, her own family, loads of detectives and the dogs miss her body?
03. Green Children of Woolpit
Sometime during the 12th century, two children appeared in the village of Woolpit in Suffolk, England, seemingly out of nowhere. These were no ordinary orphans: The boy and girl spoke in an unknown tongue, sported strange clothing, and only ate raw beans. Their skin was also green and they had emerged from one of the wolf-trapping pits for which the town is named. The pits—designed were to lure and ensnare dangerous wolves.
The townsfolk gave them a home and in time, they lost their green color and diversified their diets, but the boy became increasingly depressed and sickly before succumbing to illness and dying. When the girl learned to speak English, she relayed the story of their underground homeland—St. Martin’s Land—where everything was green and it was always twilight. According to the girl, the boy was her brother. In one version of the story, she said that they both had been herding their father’s cattle when they heard a loud noise and suddenly found themselves at the bottom of a wolf pit.
02. Shelly Miscavige’s Disappearance
Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife has not been seen publicly in 13 years — and some fear she will never be seen again. Shelly Miscavige, dubbed the “Queen of Scientology,” was last seen at her father’s funeral in 2007. Her husband’s father, Ron Miscavige, who left the church in 2012, fears Shelly will “never be free.”
The church insists that she’s just too busy to make public appearances, but former member Leah Remini has filed a missing person report for her in 2013 with the Los Angeles Police Department. There was also another missing person report filed. LAPD closed both of her missing cases reports without releasing any further information about her, only confirming that she is not missing and not dead. Many believe that she’s alive and potentially being held against her will in a legally precarious situation, i.e, she refuses help due to brainwashing or fear of retaliation, not because she is actually safe and happy.
01. Disappearance of Gary Mathias
Five men between the ages of 24-32 were very close friends. They went to see a basketball game 50 miles away. After the game, they drove to a convenience store to grab some snacks and drinks, and then were never seen alive again. Their car was found on a mountain, around the snow line, 70 miles away from the basketball game, nowhere near the route back home. The car was abandoned, but it still drove fine and had gas.
On the same night they went missing, a man was driving up the same road and got stuck. When he tried pushing his car out, he had a heart attack. He saw another car pull up behind him with a group of people around it, including a woman with a baby. When he called for help, they stopped talking and turned their lights off. Later on, he saw people walking around with flashlights; when he called for help, they again turned their lights off.
This all happened in February. In June, the first of the bodies were found. One man, Weiher, was found in a ranger’s trailer 20 miles from the car. He had lost almost 100 pounds, and the growth of his beard suggested he’d been alive in the trailer for up to 13 weeks before he starved to death. The trailer had matches and things for burning. It had heavy clothing to wear. It had enough food for all five men to survive on for a year. It had heating that was never turned on.
Bones of three of the other men were eventually found around the trail leading from the car to the trailer. They are believed to have died of hypothermia. Though Gary Mathias’s shoes were in the trailer with Weiher, suggesting he was there at some point (and Weiher had been tucked into bed, so someone else was with him) his remains were never found.
Nobody knows why they were even on that road to begin with, let alone why they would abandon their car instead of just driving back down the road, or why, once they got to the trailer, they didn’t use any of the supplies to stay alive.