40 Eerie Mysteries: Unexplained and Unsettling Disappearances

31Disappearance of Austin Tice

Disappearance of Austin Tice

Austin Tice was a freelance journalist and U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was abducted on August 14, 2012, while reporting on the civil war in Syria. He had arrived at the wrong time, amid a crackdown on civilians and potential opposition members in Darayya. 500 people were found executed, many lined in open-air mass graves after other journalists arrived in the town in late August. His body however was not found among those in the mass graves in Darayya, and no rebel or Islamist groups had claimed credit for his kidnapping.

A few months later, an anonymous video was uploaded to YouTube by a cryptic account named 'khalidfree75'. The video showed unidentified men slowly leading Austin who was blindfolded up a hill. Austin is then seen on his knees, resting his head on the arm of one of his assailants. He chants a prayer in Arabic, begging for respite, before switching to English and gasping. "Oh, Jesus. Oh Jesus." The video then abruptly ends. Austin Tice has not been seen since. No further videos have been uploaded to that Youtube account. No group has claimed credit for his disappearance and his whereabouts are still unknown.

32Disappearance of Masanobu Tsuji

Disappearance of Masanobu Tsuji

Masanobu Tsuji was an enigmatic Japanese officer during World War 2 and he was the real mastermind behind the Sook Ching massacre and Bataan Death March. He was adept at manipulating the Japanese high command, including attempting to order Japanese officers to massacre POWs under their watch in the Philippines. After the war, however, he evaded prosecution for war crimes by disguising himself as a Buddhist monk and hiding in Thailand. He returned to Japan in 1949 and was elected as an advocate of renewed militarism. In 1961, however, he again disappeared on a trip to Laos. He may have been killed in the Laotian Civil War, but there were also rumors that he became an adviser to the North Vietnamese government.

33Disappearance of David Louis Sneddon

Disappearance of David Louis Sneddon

In 2004, an American college student named David Louis Sneddon went missing during a hiking trip to China. After he failed to arrive in Seoul to meet his brother, his family contacted the Chinese police. They completed a quick sweep of the Tiger Leaping Gorge where he was last seen and concluded that he had died during his hike of the gorge.

In May 2012, a Japanese government delegation during their trip to Washington came with an explosive report that said an American man in his early 20s was arrested in August 2004 for helping an illegal North Korean alien. He was released by the Chinese in September, but then picked up by five North Korean state security officers. The following month, the Sneddon family received another lead from a South Korean man with close ties to the North Korean defector community. He said that an American in his early 30s who matched David’s description had been spotted teaching English outside Pyongyang in North Korea.

David knew the Korean language, so he could have been a coveted asset in training North Korean agents. By midsummer 2004, North Korea had lost one of its few remaining American English teachers, Charles Jenkins, who was released on July 9, one month before David had disappeared.

34Disappearance of Theresa Ann Bier

Disappearance of Theresa Ann Bier

In 1987, a 16-year-old girl named Theresa Ann Bier went missing on a camping trip. She was last seen with 43-year-old Russell Welch in the Sierra Nevada mountain range. They were reportedly searching for the legendary creature known as Sasquatch or Bigfoot. Welch considered himself to be a "student" of the legend. Authorities questioned Welch when he returned days later. He initially claimed that Theresa ran away from him on June 1, but then changed his story stating that Theresa had been forcibly taken by Bigfoot. He managed to avoid trial due to the lack of a body.

35Disappearance of Richard Colvin Cox

Disappearance of Richard Colvin Cox

Richard Colvin Cox volunteered for service in the United States Army and two years later he was assigned to the West Point Military Academy in New York, arriving in January 1948. Two years later he signed out to have dinner with an acquaintance on January 14, 1950 and was never seen again. He remains the only West Point Cadet to have disappeared without a trace. Police, FBI, and CID got involved in the search efforts and used both air and ground searches to check the reservoir, river, and pond. After two months of an extensive manhunt, no body was ever found.

36Disappearance of William Morgan

Disappearance of William Morgan

A man named William Morgan was rejected by the Freemasons in the 1800s. In retaliation, he planned to publish a book revealing their secrets. He disappeared and was never seen or heard from again. Around the mid-1800s America was seized by a hysterical fear that the Freemasons were out to overthrow the Republic. The unresolved disappearance of William Morgan convinced many that the Freemasons were a murderous bunch responsible for much of the unsolved murders in the country. Dozens of Freemasons were dragged to court on unsubstantiated charges, and any judge or jury which did not convict was accused of being a Freemason. Anti-Freemason exhibits toured the country, showcasing reported Freemason abuses against innocents, and more than 20 anti-Freemason conventions took place in the United States during this time.

37Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

Disappearance of Brian Shaffer

In 2006, a medical student named Brian Shaffer walked into a bar near The Ohio State University and never walked out. The bar had only one entrance that the patrons and staff used to enter and exit and one emergency exit and both those exits had surveillance cameras. There was a dark construction site underneath the bar that led to the aforementioned emergency exit behind the building. Bloodhounds couldn't place him anywhere and he was also not seen on any CCTV footage around Columbus or Ohio State University. He was supposed to go on vacation with his significant other days after he had disappeared.

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38Disappearance of Nicolas Barclay

Disappearance of Nicolas Barclay

In 1994, 13-year-old Nicolas Barclay disappeared from his home in San Antonio, Texas. About 3 years later, Nicolas was found huddled next to a phone booth halfway across the world in Spain. Authorities picked him up and reunited him with his family. Certain things however didn’t add up. He had little memory of what happened to him or how he ended up in Spain. His English was terrible, and he spoke it with a heavy accent. Another thing no one could explain was his eye color. It was different than when he originally disappeared. Nicolas tried to resume a normal life, enrolling back into his old school and moving back in with his family.

Four months after reuniting with his family, a private investigator discovered that the kid they found wasn’t Nicolas Barclay, but a con artist named Frederic Bourdin. Bourdin was wanted by Interpol for stealing the identity of missing youths. Bourdin was arrested, but this brought about even more disturbing questions about Nicolas’s disappearance.

It came to light that Nicolas was a very unruly and problematic child. He regularly got into trouble at school, and there were police reports about domestic disturbances and arguments at his house that worsened in the months before he went missing. Nicolas’ mom moved her brother into their house shortly before he disappeared to help give Nicolas some structure. It was rumored that he couldn’t handle Nicolas and instead killed him. This would explain why the family was so willing to accept someone who wasn’t their son. Shortly after Bourdin was arrested and police reopened the case of Nicolas’ disappearance, his uncle promptly killed himself.

39Disappearance of Terrance Williams & Felipe Santos

Disappearance of Terrance Williams & Felipe Santos

Terrance Williams and Felipe Santos went missing in 2004 and 2003, respectively, under similar circumstances in Naples, Florida. Both men were last seen being arrested by former Collier County Sheriff's deputy Corporal Steve Calkins for driving without a license. Steve claims he changed his mind about both arrests and last saw the men after he dropped them off at Circle K convenience stores. Actor Tyler Perry offered a $100,000 reward for any information leading to the location of the men or leading to an arrest in the case. Al Sharpton, of the National Action Network, and Ben Jealous, president and CEO of the NAACP, also joined Perry in raising awareness of the cause.

40Campden Wonder

Campden Wonder

In 1660, a 70-year-old Englishman named William Harrison was walking a few miles to the next village when he disappeared. Later, they found his clothes covered in blood, including his hat which looked like it had been slashed open. Harrison's servant, John Perry plead guilty to his murder and was executed along with his brother and their mother. Two years later, William Harrison returned to his village alive, having found his way back to England on a ship from Portugal. He claimed to have been sold into slavery in Turkey. To this day, nobody has any idea why the servant confessed to the murder he didn't commit, or what really happened to Harrison.

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