In this big, wide world, people often disappear sans any trace. Maybe they pull their own magic trick. Maybe there are some deep reasons that are never unearthed. Whatever is the case, their vanishing act fuels conspiracy theories, and the mystery is never solved. Here are some of the most mysterious disappearances that happened in the recent past.
1. Charles Kingsford Smith
Image Source: The Daily Telegraph
Popularly known as “Smithy”, Charles Kingsford Smith was a charismatic pilot in the early days of aviation. He had several firsts to his credit, like flying from Sydney to London, and crossing mainland Australia. In November 1935, on his way back from Australia from London, his plane crashed on Andaman Sea near Myanmar. While the wreckage of the plane was discovered, Smithy’s body was never recovered.
2. Harold Holt
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The 17th Prime Minister of Australia, Harold Holt is almost a forgotten name today because he served only about two years in office. He was sworn in on 26 January 1966 and remained the Australian premier until he disappeared sans any trace on the morning of 17 December 1967 from Cheviot Beach, Victoria. Holt was never seen again. It’s largely believed that he drowned in the sea. Many people, however, have rejected the theory because Holt was an extremely proficient swimmer and a lifesaver. Possibility of a shark attack has also not been ruled out. The incident has since been acknowledged as one of the most mysterious disappearances ever.
3. Tara Grinstead
Image Source: news.com.au
A resident of Ocilla, Ohio, Tara Grinstead was a high school history teacher who vanished under mysterious circumstances on 22 October 2005. A video of a self-proclaimed serial killer appeared on the internet in February 2009. The man dubbed himself as “Catch Me Killer” and claimed to have murdered 16 women. One of the women, according to investigators, resembled Grinstead. The video was later dismissed as a hoax by the authorities. Neither the police nor FBI could nab any suspect over Grinstead’s disappearance.
4. Richey Edwards
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Fans of rock music would be familiar with Richey Edwards, the rhythm guitarist of Manic Street Preachers, an alternative Welsh band. The band was extremely popular in the 1990s. Edwards had received treatment for anorexia nervosa and alcoholism. He had a history of self-injury and was battling depression in the days leading up to his disappearance. He disappeared on 1 February 1995, the day he was supposed to fly to the US for a promotional tour. His car was later found abandoned at an infamous suicide spot. The media dubbed it among the most mysterious disappearances of the 1990s.
5. Jim Gray
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This one is perhaps the most mysterious disappearances in recent times. Jim Gray was a Microsoft research scientist and a database pioneer. Gray left San Francisco Bay in a boat on 28 January 2007 to scatter his mother’s ashes on Farallon Islands. He never returned. There was no mayday call and the distress radio beacon on his yacht wasn’t activated. Despite one of the most ambitious search missions ever, neither Gray nor his boat was recovered. He was officially declared dead in 2012.