There are thousands of UFO, Big Foot or other cryptozoological sightings recorded around the world every year, and most of them can easily be proven as fakes or the ramblings of some mad-man. Yet, among these absurdities there are some rare events which simply have no explanation, and leave even skeptics puzzled. Here are six of the most peculiar mysteries that no one can find a good explanation for.
1. Valentich disappearance
Frederick Valentich was an experienced pilot, with over 150 hours of air time. He was flying a Cessna 182L light aircraft on a perfectly clear day with no wind, perfect visibility and no technical problems, when suddenly he disappeared without a trace.
The case sounds like an urban legend about the Bermuda Triangle; however this is a well documented disappearance that left authorities puzzled. A search and rescue mission was sent out only minutes after the plane disappeared from radar, however there was no trace of the plane. All Cessena aircrafts are meant to stay afloat for up to an hour after crashing in water, but in this case the plane was simply nowhere to be found. Valentich did have a life vest inside the cockpit, so why he didn’t attempt the highly complex technique known as “getting out of the plane” is unknown. Further, why the radio beacon that he had on board didn’t activate is another mystery.
Perhaps the strangest detail of the disappearance is that only minutes before he crashed, Valentich reported that he was staring down an UFO. His last, vaguely unsettling message was: “It’s not an aircraft.” This strange detail has lead to two conclusions. Some figure Valentich suffered some sort of non-hilarious stroke and started seeing things, in which case we still don’t know why his plane couldn’t be found. Other’s lean towards the possibility that Valentich was indeed kidnapped by little green men.
2. Bimini Road
This road, sometimes also called the Bimini Wall, is an underwater structure that stretches for half a mile near Bimini Island in the Bahamas. The whole structure is formed of rectangular limestone blocks which look very much like an ancient road or a wall. The official explanation for the strange structure is that it was caused over the years by concentrations of shells and sand. In other words, the whole thing could potentially be created over millions of years by a natural occurring phenomenon of hard shells gathering in straight angles. However, this doesn’t explain why the formation is completely unique to one specific spot in the entire whole world. It also doesn’t explain why it seems like it has multiple layers.
Furthermore, several anthropologists and oceanographers believe that the road might have been created by an ancient civilization, some going as far as suggesting this might be the fabled Atlantis. Probably a stretch, but we still have to wonder how these underwater roads were created.
3. Mary Celeste
The Mary Celeste was launched in 1860 out of Nova Scotia and was approximately 103 feet from bow to stern (sailor talk!). What is interesting about the ship is that it seems to have been cursed right out of the shipyard. It had several accidents during construction and on board, and was sold dozens of times within the first ten years.
Eventually, the ship, which was originally named “Amazon” ended up under an American captain who renamed it as “Mary Celeste.” The ship departed New York on November 7th, 1872 with a crew of seven as well as the captain’s family. None of the people on board were ever seen again.
A shipwreck was hardly a strange turn of events. But when we say “nobody was seen again”, that doesn’t include the ship. It’s considered one of the most mysterious maritime disappearances of all time because all the crew and the family members simply vanished. Nothing on board was missing, all the cargo and valuables were accounted for, and there was no sign of a struggle. The ship had month’s worth of food and water, and nothing seemed out of place, except for the fact that there were no people on board.
Explanations range from underwater earthquakes to alcohol induced hallucinations (the ship was carrying a load of whiskey). Presumably something scared all the sailors into the ships lifeboat; however why they didn’t take any food with them or what they could have seen that terrified seasoned sailors into abandoning their ship is a mystery.
4. Marfa lights
These unexplainable lights, also known as ghost lights, are usually seen near U.S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas. The lights usually appear at night with no particular pattern behind them; sightings can occur days apart at times, years apart at others. Since the 1800’s, eyewitnesses report seeing mysterious orbs of light hovering in the air approximately about ten times a year. The lights almost always appear in groups or pairs, merge, separate and dance around each other, before they disappear as mysteriously as they appear like a Baldwin brother fresh out of rehab.
Since the lights usually appear over the desert, it’s hard to reach them before they disappear and there are only a few accounts of people who have reached the lights. According to these eyewitnesses the lights are created by something similar to fireworks, but lacking smoke and sound. So, not at all like fireworks.
Explanations range from alien visitors to a jerk stunt pulled by the city in order to increase tourism. Either way, no one really has a good explanation as to why the lights appear when they do or what could cause them. To add to the mystery, similar ghost lights have been seen all over the world, usually in swamps and deserts and other places people usually avoid.
5. D. B. Cooper
One of the most famous disappearance acts in all of history doesn’t belong to Houdini, but to a man known as D.B. Cooper. Cooper and his massive stones hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in November of 1971 and demanded $200,000 in ransom. After receiving the money, Cooper ordered the plane to take off and midway through the flight, parachuted himself and his ill gotten gains into the night, disappearing forever.
This is the only unsolved case of aircraft hijacking to date and even the money has not been traced back. Even more puzzling, no one has ever found the parachute or the body of the hijacker, despite very careful investigations of the area where he would have landed. The authorities did find about $5000 of what they believe was the random money down the river from where Cooper could have landed, but only after years of fruitless searching.
The case was re-opened in 2007 when the FBI released new sketches of the hijacker, based on DNA samples and new eyewitness testimonials. Previous eyewitnesses were classified as “time-wasting jerks”. So far, not even the latest technology could reveal who D.B. Cooper really was.
6. Shag Harbour UFO Incident
Even most people who don’t believe in UFO’s, are confused by the case of the mysterious Shag Harbor incident. In October of 1967, an unidentified object crashed into the Nova Scotia harbor, which is officially the most mysterious harbor in the world. The object destroyed several boats and upset the local tide patterns. Despite a several month long investigation by various government agencies, no one has any idea as to what the object might have been.
This case is remarkable because it’s one of the few times that government officials formally admitted that an unidentified flying object was involved. The Canadian government stated this after all other possibilities were exhausted: the object that crashed was not a plane or a meteorite of any sort and since no wreck was ever discovered we can’t know more details about it. Canadians are, of course, known for “telling it like it is”, albeit as politely as possible.
Several of the witnesses to the crash included military personnel who declared that the object was an alien spacecraft like nothing they have seen before. A driver involved in an attempted recovery went as far as identifying the U.S. military as being responsible for the whole rescue mission, because they were interested in learning about alien life. Officially the case was only investigated by the Canadian government with the help of the U.S. Condon Committee UFO study, who didn’t offer any explanation aside from the official statement. Americans are, of course, known for “telling you to mind your own f***ing business”. [www.weirdworm.com]