List of people who have mysteriously disappeared


hey, Waldo is not on the list!


The Roanoke Colony has always been a mystery that enthralled me. How a whole group of people can just disappear. I remember reading a ghost story about Virginia Dare (one of the children) and that had me hooked. Maybe we will know someday…

That’s actually probably one of the least mysterious to me. From the evidence, it’s pretty clear that most of them died and the survivors joined up with a local Native American tribe.


April 19, 1953. Ron Tammen, a student at Miami University in Oxford Ohio, vanished and was never seen again. He was seen early in the evening exchanging some bed sheets from dorm manager, his roomate later found his textbook half open and all lights on in his room, never seen again. Appeared to be well adjusted student with no problems…still a mystery.

After reading more complete accounts, I’m not really sure why my school textbooks played up the Roanoke Colony as a mystery. We don’t know exactly what happened because nobody bothered to fully investigate until long, long after, but what we do know is pretty clear: the colony, already hungry and deprived of resupply, had packed up in a cautious and orderly fashion with no sign of duress or violence and left the name of a nearby friendly native group carved in a post. Many years later, new settlers reported Native Americans with blond hair, blue eyes, some English words in their language, and family names matching the Roanoke roster. It’s not hard to guess from there.


Ambrose Bierce’s disappearance doesn’t exactly intrigue me, because I don’t think there’s that much of a mystery. He was headed to Mexico during the Pancho Villa revolution, and was also seventy-one at the time. But I love his sense of humor, and he was just as sharp as ever in one of his last letters:

Good-bye — if you hear of my being stood up against a Mexican stone wall and shot to rags please know that I think that a pretty good way to depart this life. It beats old age, disease, or falling down the cellar stairs. To be a Gringo in Mexico–ah, that is euthanasia!


i had hoped that Reno’s famous missing person, Roy Frisch, was on the list, but alas, he’s not:

I still am amazed by the disappearance of Harold Holt, former Prime Minister of Australia. I mean, other countries have leaders that get assassinated, but just disappearing?


Australia: A country so dangerous, they lost a Prime Minister to the Sea.


Damn. I dig this one.

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Supposedly  Arthur Conan Doyle sent letters to five close friends reading simply “We are discovered. Flee now.” to see what would happen. One of the friends disappeared and never came back. I wonder if they are one of them?


Oh, it gets better. Guess what the first and most famous memorial constructed in Harold Holt’s honor was?

The Harold Holt Memorial Swimming Pool.


Yes, that was the theory when I lived in NC in the mid-1980s. I just want to know for sure. :slight_smile: It’s always fascinated me and they really play it up when you visit the area. Perhaps it had to do with the fact that at the time, I was of a similar age to Virginia Dare.

I guess its true. If all the background info is correct, its a great
mystery. Miami U was a very conservative stable community in the 50’s.
His disappearance makes no sense whatsoever…

Ambrose Bierce’s disappearance in 1914 was followed by the disappearance of Canadian businessman Ambrose Small in 1919. Paranormal researcher Charles Fort later wondered “Was somebody collecting Ambroses?”


They have saltwater crocs, box jellyfish and great white sharks. Sometimes I find it surprising that so many people come back from swimming off the Australian coast.


Maggie – if this is your obsession, surely you must find that the list contains some which are rather more explicable than others. In scanning the list, I am hardly mystified by planes and ocean-going vessels never heard from again, by people intent on disappearing, by prison breaks, and by those who almost undoubtedly met with foul play. How about your selection of those which, after excluding the more-or-less obvious, remain intriguingly mysterious?

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I don’t get how so people disappearing off of boats or planes over water are considered a mystery, seems pretty obvious what happened unless there were some really bizarre circumstances surrounding the situation.

Also there are several famous organized crime figures on here, like they disappeared because they were disappeared, again doesn’t really seem like a mystery.

I’d be way more interested in seeing a wiki page on people that had disappeared only to be found some time later.

It’s a convenient list of people to pick up in my TARDIS/Phone Booth (thanks, Rufus!) or Delorean.