In this article:
- We are still scratching our heads about these unexplained mysteries decades, sometimes centuries, after they first became known.
- While most of these mysteries are true crime related, one stands out for being the big mystery of the crypto world: the true identity of Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto.
- The identity of the original Night Stalker, a serial killer and rapist with over 50 victims, was finally discovered after four long decades.
Our strange world is filled with unexplained mysteries that range from the eerie to the grotesque. Every time there’s a mystery on the news, you can’t help but wonder whether the people involved in it are still alive.
More than 600,000 people disappear without a trace and around 4,400 unidentified bodies are discovered by authorities each year. That’s just in the United States. With how hard it is to find out exactly how many people vanish each year, there’s no telling how many mysteries go unnoticed every day.
The ones that we do know about, though? Those are the most disturbing and here are some of them.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
If you’re reading this in 2022, you’ll likely remember the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 took off from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia at 00:42 UTC, March 8, 2014. After reaching an altitude of 35,000 feet about an hour later, the plane sent a transmission to air traffic control just as it was entering Vietnam.
That was the last time the plane would establish contact.
Malaysian authorities were able to see the plane make a turn to fly over the Malay Peninsula before losing track of MH370 as it flew above the Andaman Sea. Within the next 24 hours, Inmarsat, a British satellite communications company, announced that they’d lost contact with MH370.
Search efforts formally began on March 18 and continued for the next eight years. To this day, despite having spent an eye-watering $200 million on looking for any trace of the plane, MH370 has not been found.
When you think of how many people looked for this plane and how large it is (the MH370 was a Boeing 777-200ER), it’s bizarre that the aircraft didn’t leave more debris or some other obvious sign of its presence.
The strangeness of the events surrounding its disappearance has led to several theories about what happened to MH370 including faked satellite data, a terrorist hijacking, and a North Korean attack.
Eilean Mor’s Missing Lighthouse Keepers
The usual story goes like this: a ship is on its way to a lighthouse and is just within sight when it suddenly vanishes, much to the bafflement of the lighthouse keepers that saw it.
The exact opposite happened on December 26, 1990, when a small ship sailing towards the Flannan Islands, Scotland, docked on Eilean Mor only to find no lighthouse keeper waiting for them.
Joseph Moore, the replacement lighthouse keeper who was riding the ship, noticed that the door to the lighthouse wasn’t locked and the coats usually left hanging at the entrance hall were missing. Add to that the food on the table and a chair lying across the floor and everything in the lighthouse told him that something made the keepers leave in a hurry.
Okay, so maybe they left to respond to an emergency? Except, regulations stated that they couldn’t all leave the lighthouse at the same time. The men weren’t newbies who would forget this rule either. They had all been working at the lighthouse for quite some time.
Checking the log entries only raised more questions. Apparently, the group observed a severe storm on the island that raged from the 12th to 13th of December despite there being no weather reports of a storm on those dates. What was even stranger was a cryptic log entry made on December 15th that said “Storm ended, sea calm. God is over all.”
The Yuba County Five
Who hasn’t heard of the Dyatlov Pass incident? The bizarre disappearance of nine Russian hikers in the Ural Mountains still receives a ton of speculation 63 years after it occurred.
What you rarely hear about is the disappearance of the Yuba County Five, an incident that has been nicknamed the “American Dyatlov Pass.” The incident involved Gary Mathias, Bill Sterling, Jack Huett, Ted Weiher, and Jack Madruga.
Here’s what’s troubling about the Yuba County Five incident: none of the five young men who went missing were in a completely stable mental state. Nearly all of them had some kind of mental disorder or intellectual disability that could have (and likely did) impair their ability to make decisions in an emergency.
After watching UC Davis’ away match against Chico State, the boys took a detour to a local convenience store to buy snacks before turning onto the Oroville-Quincey Highway. They continued driving down that road until they reached Plumas National Forest, only stopping after Jack’s car became stuck in the snow.
The group continued on foot and came across Joseph Schons who had begun to suffer a heart attack in his car. Upon hearing Schons, the group turned off their flashlights, seemingly ignoring him. The boys’ parents found the testimony odd since both Ted Weiher and Bill Sterling had a history of going out of their way to help strangers during medical emergencies.
The boys were finally found in June, 1978. Ted Weiher was found in a trailer 19.4 miles from the group’s car, seemingly having starved to death despite the abundance of food in the trailer. Jack and Bill were found to have died of hypothermia.
Gary Mathias was never found.
Satoshi Nakamoto’s True Identity
Bitcoin has made fortunes for everybody from broke college students to forward-thinking tech experts. Some of the best-known Bitcoin elites include the Winklevoss twins, former Olympic rowers who got in a row with Zuckerberg about Facebook, and Erik Finman, who bought Bitcoin in 2011 when he was only 12 years old.
Between sensationalist news articles and Reddit threads about Bitcoin, though, one question always pops up: who exactly is Satoshi Nakamoto?
The name was first mentioned in the Bitcoin whitepaper written by the cryptocurrency’s creator. In it, he claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto. While you would think that the inventor of cryptocurrency would come forward to claim his fame, Satoshi hasn’t.
If anything, the man seems determined to hide who he is, leading theorists to speculate that Satoshi may not even be Japanese and/or may not be one single person.
People alleged to be Satoshi Nakamoto include Hal Finney, a developer who was active in early Bitcoin forums, and Adam Back, the CEO of Blockstream. Back was pulled into the mystery after the release of a video by a YouTuber who goes by “Barely Sociable.” The San Diego-based creator is known online for his investigative work on mysteries.
Barely Sociable claims that Adam Back is Satoshi for three key reasons.
- Back started writing about blockchain technology in 1998.
- Back made strangely accurate predictions about Bitcoin’s price several times.
- There’s evidence to suggest that Back’s Hashcash system was made on the same PC that Bitcoin was coded on.
So is Adam Back really Satoshi? The jury’s still out on that one.
Houska Castle’s Strange Architecture
There’s something off about the way Houska Castle was built, but it has nothing to do with its structural integrity.
Before we go deeper, think of what castles were originally for before we started to think of them in Disney terms. Castles evolved as a form of fortification, a way to keep enemies out and allies safely tucked inside while volleys of arrows rained death on invading forces.
Allies inside. Enemies outside. Those are the basics of making a castle.
That’s why it’s bizarre that Houska Castle’s defensive features were built in reverse, as if the enemies are inside the castle.
Houska Castle’s windows are mostly fake and the castle itself seems to serve no strategic purpose. It isn’t built on a hill or near a river or trading route.
The peculiarities of Houska Castle’s construction have locals believing it was built to keep an unspeakable evil inside its walls. The castle’s chapel has a seemingly bottomless pit inside of it. Visitors unlucky enough to still be at the castle by sundown claim that they’ve heard scratching noises and even screams from under the floors.
The Missing Crew of the Mary Celeste
MH370, but make it the 1800s. That’s the story of the Mary Celeste in a nutshell.
The ship was found drifting 400 miles east of the Azores, Portugal, by Captain David Morehouse and his crew aboard the Dei Gratia. The crew boarded the Mary Celeste to find that none of the crew were on board.
The only sign that anyone had left was one missing lifeboat. Other than that, the Mary Celeste still had six months’ worth of supplies, all of the crew’s belongings, and 1,701 barrels of industrial alcohol.
At the time, ships that found empty ships at sea were given a reward proportionate to the value of goods on the ship. In the case of the Mary Celeste, that was $46,000. The crew only received a sixth of that amount as authorities suspected foul play, but couldn’t establish that the crew of the Dei Gratia were behind it.
Researchers from the University of College London claim to have solved the mystery of the Mary Celeste’s crew’s disappearance. Dr. Andrea Sella chalked it up to a pressure-wave type explosion triggered by an alcohol leak that would have scared the crew enough to leave but would have been too weak to destroy the ship.
However, that still doesn’t answer why the crew was never found.
What Happened to u/Flippnflopp?
Five years ago, a Reddit account by the name of u/Flippnflopp posted a question to r/Drugs’ subreddit. The post read: “Finally got my hands on some Datura, how much should I take?”
If you’ve never heard of Datura, here’s a quick brief.
Datura, sometimes called sacred datura, thornapple, or moonflower, is a genus of flowers known for its round, thorny fruit, and its psychoactive effects. Datura can be consumed by eating the plant, smoking it, or brewing it into a drink.
Like many herbal hallucinogens, datura is praised in some cultures for its ability to bring on “prophetic visions” and “spiritual experiences.”
The problem with Datura is that the dosage you need to take to feel its effects is dangerously close to the dosage you need to die from a toxic overdose. Because of this, many adventurous psychonauts have ended up dead. Even if you manage to survive datura poisoning, you’re still likely to end up with brain damage as overdosing on the plant causes fevers high enough to kill brain cells.
The Reddit crowd, in its ever-surprising wisdom, told u/Flippnflopp to take absolutely zero Datura seeds. Other commenters remarked that they would wait until the user stopped tripping to hear how bad the experience was. The last comment that counted marked 21 days of no updates.
U/Flippnflopp’s last activity was a comment on a video posted to r/gaming of two woolly mammoths fighting.
He was never heard from again.
The Night Stalker’s Identity — An Unexplained Mystery That Took 40 Years to Solve
It’s not every day an unexplained mystery gets solved, but when it does, it’s forty years old.
Joseph James DeAngelo, the original Night Stalker, was finally charged with 13 counts of murder and kidnapping in 2018. Due to California’s statute of limitations, DeAngelo, who was a police officer from 1973 to 1979, was not convicted for the rapes he committed during his spree.