All over the world, thousands of people go missing every single year. Most of these cases have perfectly logical explanations, such as foul play, freak accidents, or people just starting a new life after realizing they’ll never be able to pay back their student loans. But there are a few of these cases that result in some creepy unsolved disappearances. The kind that leave more questions than answers. We will be covering these cases of creepy unsolved disappearances.
#5. D. B. Cooper
Case Background: This case is intriguing because there are a series of mysteries surrounding this guy. It all started on November 24, 1971. A well-dressed and handsome lad named Don Draper, he called himself “Dan Cooper,” boarded a midsized Boeing 727 at Portland International Airport (PDX). Cooper was on this aircraft for a thirty-minute layover to Seattle. It seemed like any other flight. Cooper had ordered a soda and bourbon and lit a cigarette (this was okay back then). After the aircraft was midflight, Cooper handed the stewardess a note. The note claimed the Cooper had a bomb on the plane and he demanded $200,000 cash and 4 parachutes to be delivered. In exchange Cooper promised the passengers safety when they reached their destination in Seattle. The FBI actually met Cooper’s list of demands and all of the passengers and some of the staff were released. Then Cooper forced the pilot to take off again. While in the air, Cooper told the remaining crew to stay in the cockpit with the captain. Later that night, Cooper opened the door to the plane and jumped out with his $200,000 and parachutes. It remains one of the most mysterious and creepy unsolved disappearances in American history. We still don’t know the true identity of D. B. Cooper.
Conclusion: There is a huge debate on the real identity of D. B. Cooper. Lots of books and articles were written about this Cooper guy and very few agree on his identity. As of today, we still don’t have any man that is linked with the FBI’s fingerprints and DNA of Cooper. It’s completely possible that Cooper died as soon as he jumped off the plane. Cooper may have died from other possibilities, such as a parachute malfunction or drowning in a river. Although not epic deaths, humans are very frail beings. One interesting thing to note is that an eight-year old Colombian boy happened to find a few bundles of USD in the Colombian river in 1980. If Cooper did die that day, then there is likely a missing person’s report out there somewhere. However, I tend to believe that Cooper managed to land somewhere and live a peaceful and enjoyable life. It’s entirely possible that he’s reading this right now. Hi, D. B. Cooper! Leave a comment down below and let us know about your new life.
#4. Ray Gricar
Case Background: It was a relatively cool day on April 15, 2005 when District Attorney of Centre, Pennsylvania Ray Gricar seemed to go missing. Ray didn’t show up to work that Friday and instead was probably enjoying his day driving through the beautiful, rural state of Pennsylvania. However, Gricar never returned that evening. Worried, his girlfriend reported him missing. The police found his red Mini Cooper parked in an antique shop in Lewisburg, near the Susquehanna river. No one would hear from Gricar again. Mysteriously, a few months later a fisherman found Gricar’s laptop from the Susquehanna river. The hard drive was removed from the laptop but it was later discovered by the shore. The hard drive was so damaged that no one could recover any of the data. After searching through Gricar’s personal desktop in Pennsylvania, investigator’s found internet searches for “how to wreck a hard drive” and “water damage to a notebook computer”.
Conclusion: The first possibility is that Gricar was murdered to avoid him leaking a sex scandal. Gricar’s office was investigating Jerry Sandusky, a Penn State football coach. Several kids came forward and claimed that Jerry Sandusky had sexually abused them. In 1998, Gricar did not press charges against the Penn State football coach. Many believe that Gricar was going to make the allegations public because he was going to retire in 2005 but whoever he met at that parking lot killed him. Another possibility is that Gricar had staged his disappearance and then changed his identity so that he could live the rest of his life peacefully. We may never know the truth in this creepy unsolved disappearance but I hope that the second possibility is the reality.
#3. Madeleine McCann
Case Background: The case of Madeleine McCann is perhaps the most publicized unsolved missing persons case of the last ten years. Despite all of this press coverage, the mysterious case of Madeleine McCann remains unsolved. Madeleine was raised in Leicester, United Kingdom. In May, 2007, Madeleine went on a vacation retreat with her family at Praia da Luz, a small district in southern Portugal. Madeleine’s parents went out for dinner at a nearby restaurant. During the dinner, the McCanns had members of their group regularly checking in on Madeleine, while she was sleeping in a bedroom with her siblings. The McCanns left the patio door unlocked so that they could also easily check in on them. Madeleine’s mother was horrified when she found out that her daughter was missing. This had happened around 10 PM. The bedroom window was left open and Madeleine was gone just a week before her fourth birthday.
Conclusion: It’s seems likely that something bad happened to Madeleine but what exactly happened? How could a four year old girl just vanish? Was she kidnapped or was she accidentally killed and her body hidden or is she still alive? At first, the blame fell on the McCanns but it would have been hard for them to do anything, especially while they were surrounded with so many friends. The police have taken over 1,000 statements and looked at over 50 persons of interest. There even been over 8,000 reported sightings of Madeleine from all over the world, she even has her own Wikipedia page with some of her sightings. Kate McCann, Madeleine’s mother, still believes that Madeleine is alive.
#2. Tara Calico
Case Background: Tara Calico was a 19-year-old women who went missing after she had borrowed her mother’s bicycle and went for a ride in the small city of Belen, New Mexico on the morning of September 20, 1988. Tara would usually listen to her Walkman as she rode around Highway 47, which is her usual route. Usually Tara would return home by noon but she never returned that day. Interestingly, someone had spotted Tara around 11:45 AM just 2 miles from her home. When Tara didn’t arrive, her mother went looking for her but she could not find Tara. After contacting police, it was discovered that parts of Tara’s Walkman were found near a campground about 19 miles away. Tara was never found.
Conclusion: As with most creepy unsolved disappearances, there are usually two scenarios that could have happened. The first scenario is the obvious, Tara was abducted. The second scenario is that Tara was accidentally killed, so it was covered up. In this case, it seems more likely that Tara was abducted because there was a disturbing Polaroid photograph that was taken in the Port St. Joe parking lot in Florida. It’s a photo of a woman that closely resembles Tara but in the photo the women is being bound and gagged in the back of a van next to a young boy. Tara’s mother is certain that this polaroid shows Tara because she noticed a scar on the woman’s leg, which closely resembles an injury that Tara had during a car accident. However, Rene Rivera, Valencia County Sheriff, believes that Tara was struck by a vehicle and killed and that whoever hit her covered up her death by disposing of Tara’s body and destroying her bike.
#1. Brian Shaffer
Case Background: Brian Shaffer was a handsome, up-and-coming medical student at Ohio State University. On Friday, March 31, 2006, after a typical Friday night for a college student, Brian went missing. Brian and his friend William met up at the Ugly Tuna Saloona about 9 PM and went bar hopping for several hours until 2 AM when they returned back to the Ugly Tuna. The bar’s security footage shows Brian walking into the bar but never leaving. Brian’s friends thought that Brian had just gone back to his dorm and he wasn’t considered missing until Monday where he missed his flight to Miami. Brian has plans to spend Spring Break with his girlfriend in Florida.
Conclusion: Here’s what we know. Not long after Brian went missing, Brian’s mother had died. Friends of Brian said that he took his mother’s death very hard. This traumatic experience, along with the pressures of med school, lead many to believe that Brian had committed suicide. This theory is very hard to prove because Brian’s body would have likely been found by now. Instead of suicide, Brian may have tried to leave his old life behind. Still, others suspect foul play. Brian’s friend William refused to take a lie detector test. Two NY detectives believe that Brian fell victim to the Smiley Face killer, a serial killer who would draw smiley faces near the locations of bodies he’s dumped in rivers. But how did Brian leave the bar without being seen by security footage?