Humans have been baffled since a long time whether it is a matter of people disappearing or a matter of unidentifiable persons. This list is a collection of people of this variety who have been known for this enigmatic quality or character.
10. V-J Day Kisser
V-J Day Photograph by Eisenstaedt on August 14, 1945 from Victory over Japan Day is perhaps one of the most famous photographs in the history. This was originally published in Life magazine, since Eisenstaedt was photographing rapidly changing events during the V-J celebrations he didn’t get a chance to get names and details. The photograph does not clearly show the faces of either kisser and several people have laid claim to being the subjects. The photo was shot just south of 45th Street looking north from a location where Broadway and Seventh Avenue converge.
In its August 1980 issue, the editors of LIFE Magazine asked that the kissing sailor come forward. In the October 1980 issue, the editors reported that eleven men and three women had come forward to claim to be the kissers.This made this photograph one of the most famous in history and V-J Day kisser, the most famous sailor. The nurse, who claimed to be the lady in this picture has died just yesterday at the age of 91.
8. Zodiac Killer
The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. The Zodiac killer’;s identity remains unknown. The Zodiac killer coined the name “;Zodiac”; in a series of taunting letters sent to the local Bay area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved. The Zodiac murdered victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women, between the ages of 16 and 29, were targeted. Numerous suspects have been named by law enforcement and amateur investigators, but no conclusive evidence has surfaced.
In April 2004, the San Francisco Police Department marked the case “;inactive”;, yet re-opened the case at some point prior to March 2007.The case also remains open in the city of Vallejo as well as in Napa Counties and Solano Counties. The California Department of Justice has maintained an open case file on the Zodiac murders since 1969.
7. Comte de Saint Germain
The Count of St. Germain (fl. 1710-1784) has been variously described as a courtier, adventurer, charlatan, inventor, alchemist, pianist, violinist and a mysterious man, best known as a recurring figure in the stories of several strands of occultism. He was known as one of the Masters of the Ancient Wisdom, is credited with near god-like powers and longevity. Some sources write that his name is not familial, but was invented by him as a French version of the Latin Sanctus Germanus, meaning “;Holy Brother.”;
He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace. The scarcity of contemporary biographical detail about St. Germain (alongside his own apparent self-mythologising) has supported the construction of many versions of his origins and ancestry.With his strange disappearance, some authorities had even referred of him as “;second coming of Christ”; and some as true heir to the Throne of England, born to Queen Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley. Another round of people have referred of him as the illegitimate son of Maria Anna, the widow of Charles II of Spain, while still other know him as the son of the king of Portugal (presumably John V). The truth remains a mystery.
6. Dan Cooper
D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$ 200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as “;D. B. Cooper”;. Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has ever surfaced regarding Cooper’;s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered.
Between 1967 and 1972 there were 147 attempted skyjacks in the U.S. One of those skyjacks was “pulled off” by Dan Cooper. Dan Cooper paid $ 20 for a one-way flight from Portland to Seattle aboard Northwest Orient Flight 305 on Thanksgiving Eve in 1971. Once in flight, Cooper handed the flight attendant a note that read, “;I have a bomb in my briefcase. I will use it if necessary. I want you to sit next to me. You are being hijacked.”; When the plane landed his demands for $ 200,000 and four parachutes were met, the passengers were released and the plane took off again. Flying at 10,000 feet, wings flapped at 15 degrees and in virtual landing mode, the plane was low enough for an easy jump. It’s believed that at around 8:11 p.m. Cooper jumped and was never heard from or seen again. Some of the mysteries that cause people trouble are why he did not ask to fly a precise route, request warm clothing or at least a helmet. In the end, Cooper pulled off an anti-establishment act during the Vietnam era and he remains, according to some, the one man who beat the established order by slipping past the feds and managing not to physically hurt anyone; however, some claim that he ultimately hurt himself. Whether or not he survived is one of the most endearing unsolved.
5. Babushka Lady
In the context of the 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Babushka Lady is a nickname for an unknown woman who might have photographed the events that occurred in Dallas’; Dealey Plaza at the time Kennedy was shot. Her nickname arose from the headscarf she wore similar to scarves worn by elderly Russian women or grandmothers (бабушка – babushka – means “;grandmother”; or “;old woman”; in Russian). Babushka Lady was seen to be holding a camera by eyewitnesses and was also seen in film accounts of the assassination (such as this Muchmore frame and Zapruder Frame 285). She was observed standing on the grass between Elm and Main streets and she can be seen in the Zapruder film as well as in the films of Orville Nix, Marie Muchmore, and Mark Bell (44 seconds and 49 seconds into the Bell film: even though the shooting had already taken place and most of her surrounding witnesses took cover, she can be seen still standing with the camera at her face). After the shootings, she crossed Elm Street and joined the crowd that went up the grassy knoll in search of a gunman. She is last seen in photographs walking east on Elm Street and neither she nor the film she may have taken have been positively identified.
The Babushka Lady never came forward. The police and the FBI did not find her, and the film shot from her position never turned up, despite a request by the FBI to local photo processors that they would be interested in any pictures or films of the assassination. Jack Harrison, a Kodak technician in Dallas, claimed to have developed on November 22, 1963, the day of the assassination, an out-of-focus color slide for a brunette in her late 30s that showed a view similar to the Babushka Lady’;s position.
4. Donnie Decker
A boy named Donnie Decker, lived with his grandfather in Philadelphia, who sexually abused him. After the old man died, Donnie was finally free of the abuse he was put through. A family called the Keefers took Donnie in, as he had no home. He was a bit of a trouble maker. One police officer named Jack Rundle was called one day, by the Keefers, who he knew well. The Keefers were reporting strange liquid coming from seemligly no where.
Immediately after, the ceiling began to drip water and a mist filled the room. Every day, between 3 and 5 o’;clock in the evening, something strange would happen to Donnie, or to his surrounding. Jack Rundle noticed this pattern, and was concerned. A year or two later. Donnie was arrested for a petty crime. In the cell, he would always make it rain the oily substance.
One cop, who was always nice to the prisonor, asked Donnie, “;How do you do it?”; “;I control it,”; the boy responded. “;Prove it. Make it rain on David in the other room.”; Donnie smiled. “;Okay, it rained on Dave.”; Eventually, he was released from jail and found a job as a cook at a local restaurant. His present whereabouts is unknown –; some say her might have disappeared mysteriously making this lad as one of the most mysterious people on earth.
3. Captain Charles Johnson
Captain Charles Johnson is the British author of the 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates, though his identity remains a mystery. No record of a captain by this name exists. Some scholars have suggested that “;Charles Johnson”; was actually Daniel Defoe writing under a pen name, but this is disputed. His work was influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, and is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates.
While Johnson’;s identity is unknown, he demonstrates a knowledge of the sailor’;s speech and life, suggesting he could have been an actual sea captain. He could also have been a professional writer, well versed in the sea, using a pseudonym. If this is true, the name was perhaps chosen to reflect the playwright Charles Johnson, who had an unsuccessful play with The Successful Pyrate in 1712, which glamorized the career of Henry Avery and had been something of a scandal for seeming to praise a criminal.Following it, however, many authors would rush forward with biographies and catalogs of criminals, including catalogs of highwaymen and prostitutes. By this theory, the pseudonymous “;Charles Johnson”; of the pirate catalog was merely taking part in a burgeoning industry in criminal biography.
2. Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the late 19th century. The name is taken from a letter sent to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer.
The victims were women allegedly earning income as prostitutes. The murders were perpetrated in public or semi-public places at night or towards the early morning. The victim’s throat was cut, after which (in some cases) the body was mutilated. Theories suggest the victims were first strangled in order to silence them and to explain the lack of reported blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from three of the victims led some officials at the time of the murders to propose that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge.
Newspapers, whose circulation had been growing during this era, bestowed widespread and enduring notoriety on the killer owing to the savagery of the attacks and the failure of the police in their attempts to capture the murderer, sometimes missing him at the crime scenes by mere minutes.
Due to the lack of a confirmed identity for the killer, the legends surrounding the murders have become a combination of genuine historical research, folklore and exploitation. Over the years, many authors, historians, and amateur detectives have proposed theories regarding the identity (or identities) of the killer and his victims.
1. Man in the Iron Mask
The Man in the Iron Mask (died 19 November 1703) was a prisoner who was held in a number of jails, including the Bastille and the Fortress of Pignerol (today Pinerolo), during the reign of Louis XIV of France. The identity of this man has been thoroughly discussed and been the subject of many books, mainly because no one ever saw his face, which was hidden by a mask. Most say he was King’;s twin brother, while others say he was King’;s illegitimate brother and not twin while some also have the opinion that he was a Marshal of France who might be a traitor.
In the late 1840s, the writer Alexandre Dumas elaborated on the theme in the final installment of his Three Musketeers saga: here the prisoner is forced to wear an iron mask and is Louis XIV’;s twin brother and the prisoner himself didn’;t know that he was the King’;s twin brother being separated at the birth by the earlier King to prevent the possible crack in throne that would be created with twin heirs. Later King Louis XVI knowing the secret imprisoned his brother with a mask on his face so no-one would ever know his true identity. The movie “;The man in the Iron Mask”; also portrays of the prisoner as King’;s twin brother but later with the help of Three Musketeers, he was exchanged with the king himself secretly as a punishment to the King’;s deeds. But his true identity remains the by far the biggest mystery of its kind.
Kaspar Hauser (30 April 1812 (?) – 17 December 1833) was a German youth who claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser’;s claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy.
On May 26, 1828 a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. He carried a letter with him which was addressed to a captain of 6th cavalry regiment. The anonymous author said that the boy was given into his custody, as an infant, on the 7th October 1812, and that he had never let him “take a single step out of my house”. Now the boy would like to be a cavalryman, thus the captain should take him in or hang him. Hauser claimed that he had, for as long as he could think back, spent his life always totally alone in a darkened 2×1×1.5 metre cell (little more than the size of a one-person bed in area) with only a straw bed to sleep on and a horse carved out of wood for a toy. Hauser claimed that the first human being he ever had had contact with had been a mysterious man who had visited him not long before his release, always taking great care not to reveal his face to him. According to contemporary rumors – probably current as early as 1829 – Kaspar Hauser was the hereditary prince of Baden that was born on September 29, 1812 and had died within a month. It was claimed that this prince had been switched with a dying baby, and had indeed appeared 16 years later as “Kaspar Hauser” in Nuremberg. Hauser died after receiving a stab wound to the chest which was possible self-inflicted. He claimed he had been stabbed by the man who had kept him as an infant.
In 2002, the University of Münster analyzed hair and body cells from locks of hair and items of clothing that were alleged to belong to Kaspar Hauser. The DNA samples were compared to a DNA segment of Astrid von Medinger, a descendant in the female line of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, who would have been Kaspar Hauser’s mother if indeed he had been the hereditary prince of Baden. The sequences were not identical but the deviation observed is not large enough to exclude a relationship, as it could be caused by a mutation.
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