9 Fascinating Unsolved Historical Mysteries

Last updated on January 31st, 2023 at 06:55 pm

Mysteries are mind-boggling gaps in our history that remain timeless by our fascination with them. Let’s face it: we all love a good mystery, but what’s a good mystery without the final unveiling —the ‘Scooby-Doo’ effect?

From the days of a mysterious shining star dangling over a manger to the days of the infamous killer —Jack the Ripper— mysteries have continued to remain a part of our world, and their lack of answers has only allowed these mysteries to have a spellbinding effect on us. So what are the 9 best unsolved historical mysteries?

The Unknown Location of Hitler’s Stolen Wealth

Valued at a whopping $4 billion, Hitler’s wealth is supposedly the largest cache of loot ever recorded.

With unimaginable stacks of looted gold bars, these looted riches disappeared from the vaults of the German Reichsbank, away from the public eye.

Many years after the Second World War, separate troves of looted valuables stolen during the war were found across the breadth of Europe — from Sweden to Spain, Switzerland, and Portugal. But these treasures could hardly compare to Hitler’s alleged hoard of loot.

Cave full of gold found in Germany, 1945.

To this day, many are still hunting for the treasure, still haunted by one vital question —where is Hitler’s gold?

One thing, however, that remains certain is that the question has remained unsolved, shrouded in speculations, myths, and spectacular rumors.

One common belief is that Hitler himself buried his treasures in a secluded location in Deutschneudorf, Germany, while some other treasure hunters believe Hitler’s gold lies at the bottom of Lake Toplitz in Austria. Still, some believe the gold bars are stashed in various banks worldwide.

One fact remains triumphant in all of these speculations: the legend of Hitler’s gold is imprinted into the sands of time for all eternity.

The Strange Disappearance of the USS Cyclops:

The feared Bermuda Triangle —or the Devil’s Triangle— has been ‘held’ responsible for many disappearances and deaths in the North Atlantic Ocean for many decades.

This ocean has its own fable that transcends beyond its shorelines, with many notable disappearances attributed to the ‘strange’ phenomenon that occurs there.

Even though most of the occurrences have now been given logical and scientific explanations, some cases remain unsolved, such as the USS Cyclops — a Proteus-class collier owned by the US Navy.

USS Cyclops on the Hudson River, 1911.

During World War One, the USS Cyclops was ordered to fuel British ships in the South Atlantic. Returning from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the USS Cyclops made a quick stop at the island of Barbados before departing for Baltimore on the 4th of March, 1918. However, after it departed from the island, nothing was heard or seen about the Navy ship. Ever again.

Both the crew and passengers, amounting to 306, vanished from the face of the earth with no concrete trace of what transpired.

Its disappearance remains the largest non-combat loss of life in the history of the US Navy. Despite the US Navy’s many efforts to source a logical explanation, the disappearance of the USS Cyclops has defied any form of logic.

Locating the Remains of Christopher Columbus

The history and legendary deeds of Christopher Columbus have been well spread across the length and breadth of the world. Yet, in an ironical twist, Everything about the life and times of Christopher Columbus is known —except the burial site of one of the world’s greatest explorers.

Following his death in 1509, the remains of Columbus continued to travel, which is The main cause for the unknown location of his burial site. He was originally buried in Vigiadolid, one of the Spanish cities.

Later —and by his wishes—his remains were transferred to the Caribbean, on the island of Hispaniola. However, when Spain ceded power over to the French in 1759, Columbus’ remains were transferred to Cuba, where they stayed until the Spanish-American War. Eventually, in 1898, the remains were returned to Seville, Spain.

Christopher Columbus

On the inheritance hand, the official version of the Dominican Republic states that the remains of Christopher Columbus never left Hispaniola. Around 1877, a box was discovered in the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, with an inscription that claimed the remains within were those of Christopher Columbus.

A DNA test, on the other hand, that was conducted on the bones of the explorer in Seville and on Columbus’s brother, Diego, who had been buried in the same city as well, were perfect matches. This should have been the end of the tale of the traveling bones of Christopher Columbus.

Instead, the Dominican Republic openly refutes such findings and has requested a DNA analysis on the bones found on Hispaniola for many years. This has continued to leave a gap in the legend of Christopher Columbus’s remains.

The Final Resting Place of Genghis Khan:

Another famous personality whose final burial site remains in the contest is the famous leader of the Mongols —Genghis Khan.

Khan was the unified leader of the warring tribes in Mongolia, and in 1206, he became the leader of the Mongols. He created an empire that stretched from China to present-day Hungary. However, the location of Genghis Khan’s tomb after his death in 1227 has defied all odds at being unraveled, remaining cocooned in mystery, myth, and tales.

Genghis Khan

Legend has it that a group of loyalists buried Khan and then killed the witnesses. All soldiers and slaves who witnessed the funeral were killed, while the horses were destroyed.

It is even acclaimed that his loyal subject diverted a river to ensure that the river rolled over his grave.

A more logical explanation puts Khan in his birthplace, in the Khentii Aimag province of Mongolia. Attempts have been made over the years to locate the tomb, with such attempts hindered by authorities seeking to maintain the area’s respect and history.

A 2004 excavation led to the discovery of Khan’s palace, and since then, has led to speculations that the tomb lies nearby.

But that’s all there has been to it. Speculations.

The Mysterious Star of Bethlehem

The mystery surrounding the star of Bethlehem is one Christians prefer shrouded in its intrigue and mysticism, as it is a faith-based event. But for scientists and non-Christians, something had to give, and so far, it’s giving…nothing.

For more than 2000 years, the bright star that appeared over the night skies of Bethlehem has reminded a mystery unanswered.

Was it a miracle, as the Christian religion preaches? Was it a natural occurrence? Could it have even possibly been an alien spacecraft? Some religious scholars have even proposed that it was not a star but an unseen force that took its form.

Star of Bethlehem

The occurrence has been an object of intense research for several decades. Some have suggested it was an alien spacecraft because it never followed the course that other stars took. They also proposed that it was a spacecraft because it shone day and night, unlike stars.

Others have suggested it was a bright nova, while astronomers have opined that it was the conjunction of two planets forming a temporary ‘new star.’

Despite all these takes, no account has been able to adequately state the cause surrounding the mysterious star hovering over Bethlehem. I daresay it’s one mystery that does not boggle the Christians but rather intensifies their belief in the Christian religion.

The Identity of the Babushka Lady

In what could be tagged as one of the world’s infamous assassinations, the murder of the American President is one mystery that many have been unable to fathom.

The 1963 recordings of the incident depict a woman who was seen in the crowd standing near the Kennedy Limousine. She adorned a brown coat and a scarf on her head, from which the nickname “The Babushka Lady” stemmed from.

Detailed moments of the film show the woman holding a camera to her eyes, and even after the shooting takes place, she remains there while most people scamper away. Soon after, she disappears into the crowd.

What’s more strange is the fact that the FBI, via the press, asked the woman to produce the film, but she never did. However, a certain lady in 1970 —Beverly Oliver— claimed to be the Babushka Lady, but it turned out to be fake.

To date, nobody knows who the lady was and why she never delivered her recordings.

Who was Jack the Ripper?

One mystery that continues to defy curious historians and scholars is the identity of the infamous serial killer, Jack the Ripper.

Jack the Ripper, in 1888, murdered and subsequently mutilated at least five women in London. Several letters were supposedly sent from the Ripper, which taunted the officers’ efforts in arresting the serial killer.

Although, it should be stated that the letters are still debatable among scholars as to whether it was the Ripper that sent them. From these letters, “Jack the Ripper” was assigned to this serial killer.

Genghis Khan

Of course, the Ripper was never found, with mere speculations of who it could have been springing up over the decades. For instance, John Morris suggested in his book, “Jack The Ripper: The Hand of A Woman,” that the killer was a woman named Lizzie Williams.

Although, experts have cast doubts on it, and to this day, the identity of Jack the Ripper has never been uncovered.

Where is the Holy Grail?

Another exciting mystery that continues to churn the minds of many, the Holy Grail is another important artifact in the Christian religion. But its whereabouts have become a mystery no one seems to unravel.

The Damsel of the Sanct Grael.  Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1874)

The Holy Grail, the cup Jesus Christ drank from during his last supper, has never been found and may never be. Speaking matter-of-factly, it wasn’t until the arrival of the Middle Ages that interest in the Holy Grail soared after storytellers described the Holy Grail as one quest King Arthur undertook with his knights.

From a scholarly perspective, there have been no concerted efforts to find the Holy Grail. The search continues to be popular in fictional tales, such as Dan Brown’s popular novel, “The Da Vinci Code.”

The Mystery of the Somerton Man

Another historical mystery that has gone unsolved till this present day is the case of the Tamám Shud, or better still, the mystery of the Somerton Man.

On the 1st of December, 1948, an unidentified man was found on Somerton Park Beach in Australia. This man has never been identified, nor is the cause of his death known.

Burial of the Somerton Man

He suffered no obvious injuries, although he had blood in his stomach, which was a sign of poison in his system. Even at that, the autopsy reports revealed nothing.

A more creepy angle to this murder is the fact that a piece of paper was found in the man’s pockets. The paper read “Tamám Shud, ” Persian for “it is finished.” These words were culled from a 12th-century poetry book, “Rubaiyat” by Omar Khayyám.

Investigators found the book from which the paper was torn, with two phone numbers and a code that could not be decrypted.

This has led to many assumptions that the man was a spy that had uncovered too much information and, therefore, needed to be murdered. Others have suggested suicide due to a broken heart.

Even though the case was recently reopened, chances are slim that the mystery of the Somerton Man will be solved.

Some Mysteries Should Remain Mysteries

While many brilliant investigators and historians have solved some mysteries, some mysteries have defied all odds to remain what they

3 thoughts on “9 Fascinating Unsolved Historical Mysteries”

  1. Looks like Somerton Man has been identified as Adelaide University professor Derek Abbott. Waiting on verification per Wikipedia.

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