As the world continues to wonder, “Where is Malaysian Airlines Flight 370?” history continues to hold secrets of similar disappearances.
As disconcerting as the vanishing 777 is, it’s nothing new. Large groups of people have completely disappeared from earth without a trace before. Read on to learn more.
1. 1956 B-47 Disappearance
In 1956, a Boeing B-47 took off from MacDill Air Force Base in Florida, with a destination of Ben Guerir Air Base in Morocco. Its itinerary had two stops on the trans-Atlantic flight to refuel on tankers.
It completed the first refueling without incident.
During its second scheduled refueling, the B-47 failed to reach its tanker and was never heard from again.
The B-47 was unarmed and was carrying two capsules of nuclear weapons. No detonation from a crash was recorded and was thus ruled out. The whereabouts of the men and nuclear weapons remain a mystery to this day.
2. The Kaz II
The Kaz II, aka “the ghost yacht,” was 32-foot long catamaran that was found drifting off the northern Australian coast on April 18, 2007. The whereabouts of her three-man crew are still unknown, and the circumstances surrounding their disappearance are equally mysterious.
The boat was owned by Derek Batten and was crewed by his neighbors, brothers Peter and James Tunstead. According to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, the trio headed out from Airlie Beach, on the eastern shore near Australia’s horn, with the intention of making it all the way around the horn to Western Australia. They never made it and their boat was found deserted and drifting in the Great Barrier Reef.
On April 20, 2007, the boat was brought into a nearby port for forensic examination. Other than a badly shredded sail and a missing lifeboat, the catamaran seemed to be in great shape. It was also unknown if there had ever even been a lifeboat attached to the catamaran. A video recording from a camcorder was also found on board.
In the end video, Batten was at helm, Peter was fishing, the engine was not running, and all three men were not wearing life jackets.
Following the investigation, the conclusion was that the men had been caught in a storm or struck by a freak wave and swept to sea.
It is worth nothing that when the Kaz II was found, it was found with its fenders, or “bumpers”, out. A fender is used to deflect damage from another ship when docking. Some of the lost men’s family members think they may have been taken to another vessel unwillingly.
3. The Flannan Isles Mystery
The Flannan Isles, also known known as Seven Hunters, are a group of small islands on the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.
In 1900, three lighthouse keepers were stationed there and seemingly vanished from their duty stations, leaving the light out of operation.
When investigators came to check out why the three men were not doing their jobs, they found unmade beds and stopped clocks. The only thing amiss was turned over kitchen chair.
It is assumed that the three men somehow drowned in a freak wave incident while tending to their duties, but fringe speculation argues that maybe an extraterrestrial incident occurred. The islands have since become known as being haunted.
Read more history’s unexplained disappearances by clicking “next page!”
4. Mary Celeste
The Mary Celeste was built in Canada in 1861 and soon became known as “cursed.”
Built in Nova Scotia under the name Amazon, the ship’s first captain contracted pneumonia nine days after taking command and died on her maiden voyage while aboard. Her second captain struck a fishing boat and had to take her back to port for repairs. While she was being repaired, a fire broke out in the middle ship. After this repair, she was sent out for her first trans-Atlantic crossing and struck another ship. All together, three captains died while aboard her. She was then sold to Americans in New York harbor and renamed Mary Celeste in 1868.
In 1872 Mary Celeste was loaded up with a cargo of 1,700 barrels of raw alcohol in New York’s East River, intended for winemakers in Italy.
The Mary Celeste was found adrift in the Atlantic, deserted and with all her papers missing except the captain’s logbook, which provided no answers. The compass had been destroyed and her lifeboat was missing. All provisions on board, including drinking water, were left.
Because all provisions and cargo were left untouched, piracy was ruled out. None of her crew was ever found.
The ghost ship mystery remains unsolved to this day.
5. The Valentich Disappearance
On October 21, 1978, 20-year-old Frederick Valentich was on a training flight in a Cessna 182L light aircraft over Bass Strait in Australia when he radioed to Melbourne air traffic control that he was being tailed by an unknown aircraft.
What Valentich described has since been attributed to a flying saucer. He also told air traffic control that his engines were in rough shape.
Air traffic informed him that there was no known aircraft at the level he described.
Air traffic control then heard a metallic, scraping sound over the radio and Valentich was never heard from again.
Despite the bizarreness of his disappearance, there is some suggestion that Valentich staged his own disappearance. He was a noted UFO enthusiast, and there is some evidence that he may have landed his plane elsewhere.
Still, after October 21, 1978, he was never heard from again.