Famous people who simply vanished - Oddetorium

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Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Famous people who simply vanished

Famous people who simply vanished

On November 24, 1971, a man in a suit and tie and carrying a briefcase handed a note to a stewardess aboard a Northwest Orient 727 jet liner, bound from Portland to Seattle. The note claimed that inside the case was a bomb, and demanded that $200,000 in unmarked bills and two parachutes be waiting for him in Seattle. Upon receiving everything he asked for, he let the all the passengers go, then instructed the pilot to fly towards Reno, Nevada. As the plane passed over southeastern Washington at around 10,000 feet, he parachuted from the rear exit, disappearing from sight -- and flying into America's imagination as the ingenious "D.B. Cooper" a name derived from that printed on his boarding ticket "Dan Cooper". Three years later, an 8-year-old discovered $5,580 in twenties on the banks of the Northwest's mighty Columbia River -- money traced to the original ransom demand. But that was the only hint of Cooper ever to turn up, and over the years the name and the man entered into something like folk legend. For every person who believes Cooper died in the jump from that plane, and that his remains are out there somewhere in the Washington forest, there are two or three or four more who swear (or hope) that he's sitting pretty in Mexico, sipping Margaritas, laughing at the FBI.  Source


 No disappearance is more storied than that of the famous aviator Amelia Earhart. The first woman to fly across both the Atlantic and the Pacific, Earthart was attempting to circumnavigate the globe in her Lockheed Electra when she and her navigator, Fred Noonan, left Lae island in the South Pacific on July 2nd, 1937. Their destination: tiny Howard Island, more than 2,500 miles away. Earhart's final radio transmission later that day indicated they were off course and low on fuel. Despite an extensive search by the U.S. Navy, no trace of Earhart's plane has ever been found. Various theories have her ditching in the ocean, marooned on an desert island, and even being shot down and held prisoner by the Japanese. Adventurers and history buffs continue to search for her plane - and for her and Noonan's remains. Source

A king of the Big Band era, trombonist Glenn Miller and his orchestra charmed the world in the 1930s and 1940s with hits like "Moonlight Serenade" and "Chattanooga Choo-Choo". After war broke out, Miller enlisted in the Army as an officer at age 38 and boosted morale with his Army Air Force band. On December 15, 1944, Major Miller took off from southeast England in a single-engine UC-64 Norseman to entertain allied troops in Paris. Some say Miller, who spoke fluent German, made it to Paris, where he was captured and killed in a brothel during a top-secret mission to convince German officers to surrender. The most widely accepted story, however, is that his plane -- perhaps struck by friendly fire or destroyed by incendiary bombs released by a squadron of Lancaster bombers -- crashed into the English Channel. Miller (and everyone else aboard the flight) is listed as Missing in Action to this day. Source

With an oil baron for a grandfather and a New York governor for a dad, Michael Rockefeller could have slipped easily into a life of riches and leisure. But the heir was a hard-worker with a passion for exploration. After graduating from Harvard, he struck out for remote New Guinea to document native cultures and collect art for his father's museum. On November 18, 1961, his riverboat -- overloaded with supplies -- capsized off the southern coast. He and colleague Rene Wassink spent the night clinging to the hull, then Michael decided to swim for the distant shore for help. "I think I can make it" were his last words to Wassink, who was rescued nine hours later. Despite extensive searches funded by his family, not a trace of Michael Rockefeller was ever found. Source


In April of 1956, Soviet premier Nikolai Bulganin and future premier Nikita Khrushchev chugged into England's Portsmouth Harbor aboard the cruiser Ordzhonikidze. They were visiting on a diplomatic mission, but MI-6, Britain's intelligence agency, had a mission of its own: They wanted to inspect the ship's unique propeller, so they recruited Lionel "Buster" Crabb, one of the UK's most decorated WWII frogmen, to dive in and check out the prop. Crab descended into Portsmouth's murky waters and was never seen again. Almost 14 months later, a body in a British frogman suit washed up at Pilsey Island, but it was missing its head and both hands, making identification impossible. Speculation was rampant that the Soviets had captured and imprisoned Crabb, planting a fake body. An ensuing cover-up by MI-6 (which was out of its jurisdiction, acting on national soil) led to the resignation of then-director General John Alexander Sinclair. Crabb's case file is scheduled to remain classified until 2057. Source

The federal prison on Alcatraz Island had long been known as America's most secure lockup when Frank Morris began serving time there in 1960 after attempting to escape other facilities. The Rock was also falling apart, a fact that Morris -- who reportedly had a 130-plus IQ -- noticed when he began peeling away the concrete surrounding an air vent in his cell. In an ingenious gambit, Morris, along with brothers John and Clarence Anglin, peeled away the vents entirely, replacing them with fakes made of plaster of Paris, which they also used to craft dummy heads to make it appear they were sleeping in their bunks. On the night of June 11, 1962, they slipped out the vents, crept between the walls, and snuck off the island, using homemade inflatable rafts made of raincoats to carry themselves across cold, choppy San Francisco Bay. Pieces of a homemade life vest and some letters wrapped in rubber were later found in the bay, leading many believe the trio succumbed to currents and frigid water. None of the bodies, however, were ever recovered -- leading some to believe that Morris and perhaps the Anglins might be the only men to ever successfully escape from Alcatraz. Source
It was arguably the most suspicious disappearance in American history: On July 30, 1975, James "Jimmy" Hoffa, former head of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters union and one of the most powerful and well-known men in America, vanished so quickly and so thoroughly that his vanishing would eventually become something of a punch line. Hoffa was last seen in the back of a maroon Mercury leaving the Machus Red Fox, a Detroit restaurant where he was reportedly to meet mafiosos Anthony Giacolone and Anthony Provenzano. The FBI could never prove who killed Hoffa, but the presumption is that the mob hit him because he was trying to regain control of the union. In 2001, a DNA test would confirm that a hair found in the back of a car belonging to Giacolone's son indeed belonged to Hoffa. Since many of the men suspected of conspiring to kill him are now dead themselves, that strand of hair may well be the closest anyone ever gets to finding his body. Source

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