There are some mysteries that have persisted throughout the years, tales that gain momentum each time they are told until they pass into the realm of legend. These legends are passed down and retold without our ever having any real chance of learning the actual facts; others, more recent mysteries, even today, are actively mined for the truth with hopes of being solved once and for all.
Many old mysteries are still the focus for amateur investigators and cold case detectives, hoping they will be the ones to find that one piece of elusive evidence. Some are just oddities that make us ponder just what really happened or is happening in this great big world around us.
Do we have the answers to everything? A truthful scientist might say no, not by a long shot. Are the answers to many of the world’s greatest unexplained mysteries even something we can understand? Would the real answers disturb us even more so than the mystery itself? It is possible, because to be truthful, some mysteries are just down right creepy, bordering on the uncanny.
What follows are some of the most persistent mysteries from around the globe that, despite many investigations past and present, defy solving. In fact, in spite of tireless efforts, these mysteries may never be definitively solved. They are ranked in terms of age of the mystery and the declining probability that they might be solved any time soon.
10 Superman of Macclesfield
When you’re piloting a large aircraft through the skies you expect to see a few sites, but you’d never expect to see a man whiz past you at an altitude of 3,500 feet. That is just what pilots of an Airbus 320 claim they saw in June 2014, as they were passing over Macclesfield enroute to Manchester Airport in England.
The pilots claim the “flying man” flew within 100 meters of their aircraft and left them stunned. They were baffled as to how he was moving through the air as they could see no parachute canopy. The pilots reported the sighting to air traffic control but radar checks reported no signs of any parachutists or paragliders in the area at the time. The mystery aviator has been dubbed the Superman of Macclesfield.
9 The Baltic Sea Anomaly
In June 2011, divers from the Ocean X Team, a Swedish-based salvage group, were searching the Baltic Sea when they came upon a fascinating formation which has since been dubbed The Baltic Anomaly.
This anomaly is a 197 ft. (60 meters) diameter circular rock-like formation on the ocean floor, at a depth of 275 ft. (85 meters). It rests on a tall pillar and has a structure similar to a staircase, leading to a dark hole. The anomaly rests at the end of what resembles a 980 ft. (300 meters) skid mark, or “runway.”
Some speculate it is a vintage World War II structure, a sunken relic, or even a downed flying saucer. We can only wait for a more in-depth investigation.
8 Mariana Trench Mystery Shark
In 1989, during a simple research experiment in Suruga Bay, at a depth of almost a mile (1.5 kilometers), not far from the Mariana Trench, Japanese scientists witnessed something incredible… and they got it on video.
Scientists were researching deep marine life and had placed a container with bait on the sea floor. A camera was attached to see what kind of aquatic life would investigate. Numerous deep-water sharks and fish came around but unexpectedly a very large shark entered the frame.
The shark was so huge that the other sharks, attempting to scatter, couldn’t avoid running into it and being deflected off. The massive shark is unidentified and hard to measure with estimates placing it at 30-50 ft. (9-15 meters) in length. An accurate measurement is difficult as the size of the bait trap is unknown.
UVB-76 is the name used to refer to a mysterious shortwave radio station that has been broadcasting continuously since 1982. Using the frequency 4625 kHz, the station broadcasts short, monotonous buzz sounds at a rate of approximately 25 tones per minute, 24 hours a day. Occasionally, the buzzing stops and a voice is heard, speaking in Russian, briefly before the steady buzzing resumes once more.
Some of the transmissions have revealed other names that could be call signs or some sort of station identification. UVB-76 was the common reference until 2010, when the station began to refer to itself as MDZhB. Though there are several theories about the nature and reasons for the broadcasts, the actual purpose has never been confirmed and remains a mystery and constant source of speculation.
6 The 52-Hertz Whale
For over twenty-five years, marine biologists have monitored a song from a whale in the North Pacific. Most whales sing at a frequency of 10-20 hertz (Hz), this particular whale sings at a higher pitch of 52 hertz (Hz). As a result, researchers have never had a return response, leaving the creature to be known as the “world’s loneliest whale.”
Since whales typically sing at a much lower frequency, The 52 Hertz (Hz) Whale would seem to be speaking a different language to other whales, if they can hear him at all. The sounds have deepened slightly since 1992, indicative of the whale having matured or grown.
Researchers have so far been unable to identify the whale's species, but they speculate that he could be deformed, or a hybrid of different species. Though his movements can be tracked by his sounds, he has never been seen and is so far the only one of its kind detected.
5 The Flatwoods Monster
The creature was first sighted in Flatwoods, in Braxton County, West Virginia, in September 1952. Witnesses describe it as being 7 feet tall (2.1 m), with a dark body and a glowing face. Its head is horizontally elongated with a large, circular cowl appearing behind it, with some sort of exoskeleton and long arms with claw-like fingers.
The first of numerous sightings involved a group of boys who were investigating a bright red object that shot across the night sky. They found a large pulsing red orb within a pungent foggy mist that made their eyes and noses burn. The light of their flashlight revealed an unidentified creature close to a nearby tree. It let out a piercing hissing sound before gliding up towards them. The fear-stricken group immediately fled the area. No adequate explanation has ever been given.
4 The Bloop
The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency and exceedingly strong underwater sound detected several times by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in 1997.
The source was roughly triangulated to coordinates: 50°S 100°W, in the south Pacific Ocean west of the southern tip of South America. The sound's audio profile contains a rapid variation in frequency, closely resembling that of a living creature, such as a whale, though several times louder than that of the loudest recorded species, the blue whale.
This leads many to speculate on the possibility that some creature larger than the largest known whale is lurking deep in the ocean depths.
3 SS Ourang Medan
This is a classic ghost ship tale. The story first appeared in a series of articles in a Dutch-Indonesian newspaper in 1948. The story goes that in 1947, two American ships traversing the Strait of Malacca picked up a distress call from the Dutch merchant ship, Ourang Medan. The message was in morse code and reported that the captain and all officers were dead. A few moments later, two more words came through, “I die.” Then silence.
When one of the ships located and boarded the Ourang Medan, the ship was reportedly found littered with corpses with their mouths gaping open, eyes staring, no visible signs of trauma, and no survivors. Soon a fire broke out in a cargo hold, making the boarding party quickly evacuate. The ship then erupted in an explosion and sunk to the depths. The mysterious deaths were never explained.
2 The Tamam Shud Case
The Tamam Shud Case is an unsolved mystery involving the corpse of an unidentified man that was found in December 1948, in South Australia. The case is so-called for the phrase, tamám shud, meaning “ended” or “finished” in Persian, which was printed on a scrap of paper found in a hidden pocket of the deceased man’s pants.
The body was found on the Somerton beach, lying in the sand with his head resting on the seawall, his legs extended and his feet crossed. He had a half-smoked cigarette resting on the right collar of his coat, held in position by his cheek. The mystery has been the subject of intense speculation and amateur investigation regarding the identity of the unidentified man, the events leading up to his death, as well as the cause of death.
1 The Hinterkaifeck Massacre
Hinterkaifeck is a small farm hidden in the Bavarian woods of Germany. It is the site of one of the most perplexing unsolved crimes in German history. On Friday, March 31, 1922, the six residents of the farm were brutally murdered with a pickaxe-like tool called a mattock. The victims were an elderly married couple, their daughter and her two children, as well as the maid.
It is believed that the family was lured out to the barn one by one, where their heads were split apart by a single swift blow. The bodies were found the following Monday, all meticulously stacked and covered. Evidence points to the killer staying on the farm over the weekend after committing the murders, as fresh food was eaten in the kitchen, the cattle were fed daily, and smoke from the fireplace was seen by neighbors, however no valuables were taken.