Growing up, we were always told to stick together so we don’t get lost in shopping malls or in carnivals. At some point, we might have even dreamed about being lost so we can experience all the fun things we could not do. Though the idea was quite exciting, the thought of disappearing entirely is scary. And now to further prove my point, here is a list of 10 people who disappeared mysteriously and were never found again. Sounds daunting, right? Read on to know more!
1. Frederick Valentich
Frederick Valentich, an Australian pilot, disappeared nearly 40 years ago after reporting a UFO and has never been found.
A 20-year-old Australian pilot, Frederick Valentich, had about 150 hours of flying time and a class-four instrument rating which allowed him to fly at night but under “visual meteorological conditions.”
During one of his training flights on Saturday, 21 October 1978 at 7:06 p.m., he reported to the Melbourne Air Traffic Control that there was an unidentified aircraft following him at 4,500 feet. He was told that there were no aircraft present at that level. Valentich continued to describe the appearance of the aircraft, saying it was large and was illuminated by four landing lights, but he could not determine its type.
He said it had passed about 1,000 feet overhead and was moving at a high speed. Valentich then reported that the unidentified aircraft had a shiny metal surface with a green light on it and that it was orbiting above him. He believed that the other pilot must be purposely toying with him.
He soon reported experiencing issues with the engine and was heard saying “It’s not an aircraft” before the connection was interrupted by an unidentified noise, and all contacts were lost. Though there were many theories regarding this incident, none were proven and his disappearance remains a mystery. (source)
2. Sneha Anne Philip
Sneha Anne Philip, a physician, was declared the 2,571st victim of the 9/11 attacks because it was believed that she may have died trying to help the victims of the terrorist attacks. However, nobody ever reported seeing her there, and her body wasn’t found anywhere. She went missing on 9/10.
Sneha Anne Philip, an American physician, was believed to be staying the night at a friend’s place, as she often did. But when she hadn’t returned home the next day, on September 11, 2001, suspicions arose.
Ron Lieberman, her husband, tried to investigate and found that she was last seen at a department store. It was confirmed by the security camera in the store and her credit card records. Since the World Trade Center and her medical training center were nearby, the family believed that Philip could have died during the 9/11 attacks while trying to help other victims.
Her family petitioned for Philip to be declared as a victim of the attacks, but since her remains were never found and there was no physical evidence of her being there, the petition was denied.
During a further investigation into her disappearance, it was discovered that she had a double life. It was revealed that she had marital problems, her job at the medical training center was in jeopardy, she was found having affairs with women from lesbian bars she visited and was known for alcohol and drug abuse.
The investigators believed that she could have been murdered by one of the women she went out with, or she might have used the terrorist attacks to start a new life.
3. John David Gosch
John David Gosch, a 12-year-old paperboy, went missing during the early hours of September 5, 1982, without a trace. He was believed to have been kidnapped, but there were no ransom calls. He has been missing for the last 38 years.
John David Gosch was a 12-year-old paperboy in the town of West Des Moines, Iowa who went missing on the morning of September 5th, 1982, without a trace. When the townspeople didn’t receive their paper that morning, they began wondering what happened to him.
His bicycle was found a little away from his house with all that day’s paper stacked upon it. Two witnesses stated that the boy was talking to a man with a blue-toned Ford Fairmont with Nebraska plates. The police were informed about the missing case, but according to the policy at the time, the case could not be classified as a missing person’s case until 72 hours had passed.
The boy’s mother believed that her boy was lost forever because of this policy and the lethargy of the police. Noreen Gosch, the mother, began lobbying for the “Johnny Gosch Bill” which mandated that there should be immediate police response to reports of missing children.
Fifteen years after the boy’s disappearance, the mother said that the boy visited her one night with an unidentified man. She said that he seemed to be under the orders of that man and wouldn’t disclose any information about his whereabouts.
But because of the lack of evidence and a question of the mother’s mental stability, this incident was disputed. Even after 38 years, the boy is still reported missing and no information of his whereabouts was ever found. (source)
4. The Sodder Children
In 1945, when the Sodder’s home burned down, the parents and the four-out-of-nine children who escaped believed that the other five children were caught in the fire and died because of it, but they never found the five children’s remains in the ashes.
The Sodders were a family living in Fayetteville, West Virginia. The Sodders’ home was occupied by George Sodder, his wife, Jeannie Sodder, and nine of their ten children. On Christmas Eve of 1945, Jeannie Sodder woke up multiple times during the night, once when there was a random phone call, and again when she heard a thud upstairs, and finally when she smelled smoke in the house.
Realizing that a fire had broken out in the house, George and Jennie, along with four of their nine children, escaped. Believing that the other five children were stuck upstairs because the stairs were aflame, George tried to reach them through their window.
The ladder that was usually propped up against their house was missing, and both his trucks were suddenly not working.
By the time the fire department reached their house, it was nothing but a pile of ash. George and Jeannie assumed that they lost their five children to the fire, only to find that there was no trace of their remains.
The chief suggested that the fire might have been hot enough to cremate the bodies, but the Sodders began to wonder if their children were still alive. Even if they did make it out of the house alive, there was no information on their whereabouts and they were never seen again.
5. Lars Mittank
In 2014, Lars Mittank, a 28-year-old tourist, was seen dropping his luggage, running across an airport terminal, and jumping over a barbed-wire fence despite no one chasing him. The incident was caught on the airport’s CCTV camera, and it was the last time he was ever seen.
On June 30, 2014, 28-year-old Lars Mittank traveled with a group of friends to the seaside resort of Golden Sands, Bulgaria on a vacation. During his stay there, he got involved in a fight with four other men because of a disagreement over football. The fight resulted in a ruptured eardrum, so the doctor advised Mittank to not fly with the injury and prescribed him antibiotics.
Mittank stayed back in Bulgaria after his friends left and checked into a hotel. A day after his friends left, he began acting strange and paranoid. He called his mother and told her that there were four men coming to kill him and that she should cancel his credit cards. Mittank was last seen at the Varna airport, where he abruptly left his luggage and fled the building.
The airport’s CCTV camera recorded him running outside the airport, jumping over a fence, and disappearing into a field. He was never seen again. Since then, multiple theories have been proposed regarding his disappearance. (1, 2)