16 of the Strangest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time

Get ready to have the hair on the back of your neck stand on end because these unsolved mysteries are among the most chilling we’ve ever heard.

The Incident at Dyatlov Pass

LAURAMPRIESTLEY/SHUTTERSTOCKOn the first night of February 1959, nine ski-hikers died mysteriously in the mountains of what is now Russia. The night of the incident, the group had set up camp on a slope, enjoyed dinner, and prepared for sleep — but something went catastrophically wrong because the group never returned.

On February 26, searchers found the hikers’ abandoned tent, which had been rippedopenfromthe inside. Surrounding the area were footprints left by the group, some wearing socks, some wearing a single shoe, some barefoot, all of which continued to the edge of a nearby wood. That’s where the first two bodies were found, shoeless and wearing only underwear. The scene bore marks of death by hypothermia, but as medical examiners inventoried the bodies, as well as the other seven that were discovered over the months that followed, hypothermia no longer made sense. In fact, the evidence made no sense at all. One body had evidence of a blunt force trauma consistent with a brutal assault; another had third-degree burns; one had been vomiting blood; one was missing a tongue, and some of their clothing was found to be radioactive.

Theories floated include KGB-interference, drug overdose, UFO, gravity anomalies, and the Russian version of the Yeti. Recently, a documentary filmmaker presented a theory involving a terrifying but real phenomenon called “infrasound,” in which the wind interacts with the topography to create a barely audible hum that can nevertheless induce powerful feelings of nausea, panic, dread, chills, nervousness, raised heartbeat rate, and breathing difficulties. The only consensus remains that whatever happened involved an overwhelming and possibly “inhuman force.”

If you love these unsolved mysteries, here are some seriously spooky ghost stories that are guaranteed to give you the shivers.

Ghost Ship: The Mary Celeste

DINO OSMIC/SHUTTERSTOCKOn December 4, 1872, a British-American ship called “the Mary Celeste” was found empty and adrift in the Atlantic. It was found to be seaworthy and with its cargo fully intact, except for a lifeboat, which it appeared had been boarded in an orderly fashion. But why? We may never know because no one on board was ever heard from again.

In November 1872, the Mary Celeste set sail from New York bound for Genoa, Italy. She was manned by Captain Benjamin Briggs and seven crew members, including Briggs’ wife and their 2-year-old daughter. Supplies on board were ample enough for six months, and luxurious — including a sewing machine and an upright piano. Commentators generally agree that to precipitate the abandonment of a seaworthy ship, some extraordinary and alarming circumstance must have arisen. However, the last entry on the ship’s daily log reveals nothing unusual, and inside the ship, all appeared to be in order.

Theories over the years have included mutiny, pirate attack, and an assault by a giant octopus or sea monster. In recent years, scientists have posed the theory that fumes from alcohol on board caused an explosion that, as a result of a scientific anomaly, did not leave behind signs of burning — but was terrifying enough that Briggs ordered everyone into the lifeboat.

The Mary Celeste mystery ranks up there with the disappearance of Amelia Earhart in terms of captivating the imagination of generations that followed, but this never before seen photo may contain clues behind Earheart’s disappearance

Who (and where) is DB Cooper?

CSP/SHUTTERSTOCKThe next unsolved mystery November 24, 1971, Dan Cooper was a passenger on Northwest Airlines Flight 305, from Portland to Seattle — a 30-minute flight. He was described by passengers and flight attendants as a man in his mid-40s, wearing a dark suit, black tie with a mother-of-pearl tie-clip, and a neatly-pressed white collared shirt. He took his seat, lit a cigarette, and politely ordered a bourbon and soda, for which he paid cash. Shortly after takeoff, he handed a note to a 23-year old flight attendant, who ignored it, assuming it was just the man’s phone number.

“Miss, you’d better look at that note,” Dan Cooper told her, “I have a bomb.”

The note’s exact wording is part of the mystery, since Cooper reclaimed it after the flight attendant read it, but his demands were for $200,000 in “negotiable American currency” (worth $1 million dollars today), four parachutes, and a fuel truck standing by in Seattle to refuel the plane on arrival. The flight attendant brought the demands to the captain. The airline’s president authorized full cooperation. The other passengers had no idea what was happening, having been told that landing was delayed due to mechanical difficulties.

At 5:39 p.m., the plane landed, an airline employee delivered a cash-filled knapsack and parachutes, and Cooper allowed all passengers and two flight attendants to leave the plane. During refueling, Cooper outlined his plan to the crew: a southeasterly course toward Mexico with one further refueling stop in Nevada. Two hours later, the plane took off. When it landed in Reno, Cooper’s absence was noted. Cooper (whom the media mistakenly referred to as “DB Cooper”) was never seen or heard from again. No parachute was found, and the ransom money was never used.

In 1980, a young boy on vacation with his family in Oregon found several packets of the ransom money (identifiable by serial number), leading to an intense search of the area for Cooper or his remains. Nothing was ever found. For a time, it was speculated that Mad Men’s (fictional) Don Draper was the man who would become Cooper. In the real world, a parachute strap was recently found at one of Cooper’s possible landing sites. Stay tuned.