The 25 Most Mysterious Disappearances in America

Source: kenlund / Flickr

1. The Roanoke Colony
> Year: 1587-1590
> Location: Dare County, North Carolina

After England established its first North American colony in what is now North Carolina, Governor John White sailed back to the mother country in 1587 to get supplies. White, however, was delayed on his return by the Anglo-Spanish War (which included the Spanish Armada), and wouldn’t make it back to Roanoke until almost three years later. When he returned, White found no trace of the colony or its inhabitants. There were few clues as to the fate of the settlers, apart from the word “Croatoan” carved into a wooden post.

Source: / Flickr

2. Theodosia Burr Alston
> Year: 1812
> Location: Atlantic Ocean

Theodosia Burr Alston was the daughter of disgraced former vice-president Aaron Burr, who had fled the country after he was tried and acquitted for treason and was living in Europe. Theodosia boarded the schooner the Patriot in South Carolina on Dec. 31, 1812, hoping to reunite with her father in New York. The boat disappeared en route, perhaps taken by pirates or lost in a storm.

Source: archer10 / Flickr

3. The Mary Celeste
> Year: 1872
> Location: Left New York City on Nov. 5, 1872

The Mary Celeste was a cargo ship that left New York City for Genoa, Italy, on Nov. 5, 1872, with a load of industrial ethanol. Onboard were a seven-man crew, Captain Benjamin Briggs, his wife, and their 2-year-old daughter. The captain’s last entry in his log was Nov. 24.

In early December, the ship was found by a Canadian vessel drifting about 400 miles west of the Azores with nobody aboard. There were a few tears in her sails, but there was no sign of a struggle. The boat had plenty of drinkable water on board and enough food for six months. The lifeboat was missing, as well some of the captain’s papers, and two of the ship’s pumps had been dismantled.

Source: library_of_congress / Flickr

4. Dorothy Arnold
> Year: 1910
> Location: New York City

Dorothy Arnold was a 25-year-old New York socialite and aspiring writer who after a day of shopping on Dec. 12, 1910, stopped to chat with a friend at a bookstore in Manhattan. She left her friend saying she had to meet her mother for lunch. This was around 2 p.m. No one ever saw her again after that.

Her family did not tell the police immediately fearing media attention and sent detectives to find her. They failed to turn up anything. Finally the family went to the police and offered a reward. The police abandoned the search after 75 days.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

5. Bennington “Triangle” disappearances
> Year: 1920-1950
> Location: Bennington, Vermont

Between 1920 and 1950, at least 10 people disappeared in a section of woods around Glastenbury Mountain in Vermont that’s been dubbed the “Bennington Triangle.” The name was coined by author Joseph Citro, whose specialty is occult and paranormal occurrences in New England.

According to a website dedicated to the Triangle, disappearances included tour guide Middie Rivers in 1945, college student Paula Welden the following year, and Frieda Langer and 8-year-old Paul Jepsen, both in 1950. The highly changeable weather, cougars, a wild man, or a hairy monster are the most-discussed theories behind the disappearances.

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