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This is a list of notable, historically testified people who mysteriously disappeared, and whose current whereabouts are unknown or whose deaths are not substantiated.

Before 1800

1800 to 1899

1900s

1910s

1920s

  • 1920 - Victor Grayson (39), British socialist politician, received a phone call and told his friends that he had to go to the Queen's Hotel in Leicester Square and would be back shortly. He was last seen entering a house owned by Maundy Gregory.
  • 1921 - The captain and crew of the Carroll A. Deering, which was found beached near Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.
  • 1925 - Percy Fawcett (58), British archaeologist and explorer, together with his eldest son, Jack, and friend Raleigh Rimmell, was last seen travelling into the jungle of Mato Grosso in Brazil to search for a hidden "city of gold". Several unconfirmed sightings and many conflicting reports and theories explaining their disappearance followed, but despite the loss of over 100 lives in more than a dozen follow-up expeditions, and the recovery of some of Fawcett's belongings, their fate remains a mystery.[19]
  • 1925 - Frederick McDonald, Australian politician, set off from Martin Place, Sydney, for a meeting with Jack Lang two blocks away but failed to arrive. He was possibly murdered by his political rival Thomas John Ley. In 1947, Ley was convicted at the Old Bailey of "the chalkpit murder" of a barman in England and sentenced to hang but was then declared insane and sent to Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital, where he died of a cerebral hemorrhage two months later.[20]
  • 1927 - Charles Nungesser (45), French aviator, and his navigator, François Coli (45), disappeared while attempting a flight from Paris to New York. They are presumed to have crashed into the Atlantic, or possibly in Newfoundland or Maine, but no wreckage that could be confirmed to be from their biplane, The White Bird, was ever found.
  • 1928 - Walter Collins (10) disappeared from his Los Angeles home.[21]
  • 1928 - Glen and Bessie Hyde (29 & 22), American newlyweds, disappeared while attempting to raft the Colorado River rapids of the Grand Canyon.

1930s

1940s

  • 1944 - Glenn Miller (40), the popular American jazz musician and bandleader, was en route from England to France to play for troops in recently liberated Paris when the single-engine aircraft in which he was a passenger disappeared over the English Channel some 10 days before Christmas. The plane and those on board have never been located. As a U.S. military officer who vanished in wartime, Miller continues to be listed officially as missing in action.
  • 1945 - Heinrich Müller (45), Nazi Gestapo chief, last confirmed sighting in the Führerbunker on the evening of May 1, the day after Hitler's suicide. The NARA review of his CIA file and related documents states that while the record is "...inconclusive on Müller's ultimate fate ... [he] most likely died in Berlin in early May 1945."[32]
  • 1945 - Raoul Wallenberg (32), Swedish diplomat credited with saving the lives of at least 20,000 Hungarian Jews during the Holocaust, was arrested on espionage charges in Budapest following the arrival of the Soviet army. His subsequent fate remains a mystery despite hundreds of purported sightings, some as recent as the 1980s. In 2001, after 10 years of research, a Swedish-Russian panel concluded that Wallenberg probably died (most likely was executed) in Soviet custody in 1947, but to date no hard evidence has been found to confirm this.[33]
  • 1945 - Subhas Chandra Bose (48), one of the most prominent leaders of the Indian Independence Movement, disappeared after a plane crash in Taiwan. His body was never recovered and his death has long been the subject of dispute.
  • 1946 - Paula Jean Welden (18), Bennington College sophomore, disappeared while walking on the Long Trail near Glastenbury Mountain, Vermont, USA.[34][35]
  • 1948 - Sir Arthur Coningham (53), retired RAF Air Marshal, disappeared when Avro Tudor IV G-AHNP Star Tiger went missing over the western Atlantic.[36] He was one of 25 passengers, together with 6 crew, who were lost when the flight from Santa Maria Airport in the Azores failed to reach its destination of Kindley Field, Bermuda.[37] Star Tiger's sister aircraft G-AGRE Star Ariel also disappeared over the western Atlantic, with the loss of all 7 crew and 13 passengers, while flying from Bermuda to Kingston Airport, Jamaica, the following year.[38]

1950s

1960s

1970s

1980s

  • 1980 - Azaria Chamberlain, nine-week-old Australian baby girl, presumed taken by a dingo near Uluru. Some clothing items were later recovered, but her remains have never been found. Azaria's disappearance and the subsequent police investigation were the basis for the 1988 motion picture A Cry in the Dark.[61]
  • 1980 - Louise and Charmian Faulkner, mother (43) and daughter (2), disappeared from outside their home in St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia.
  • 1982 - Johnny Gosch (12) was reported missing to West Des Moines Police Department[62] by his parents after he disappeared while delivering newspapers. At that time, there was a customary three-day waiting period before police responded to missing persons reports. Gosch was never heard from again, but his case prompted new laws for Iowa and other states, resulting in missing persons reports involving children being given immediate attention.[63]
  • 1983 - Emanuela Orlandi (15), citizen of Vatican City.
  • 1983 - Kirsa Jensen (14) disappeared while riding her horse to a beach near Napier, New Zealand.
  • 1984 - Kevin Andrew Collins (10) disappeared while returning home alone from basketball practice at his school in the Haight district of San Francisco. His was one of the first of the "Have you seen me?" milk carton photos.
  • 1985 - Boris Weisfeiler (43), U.S. mathematician, disappeared in the Biobío Region of Chile during a solo hiking trip.[64] Chilean authorities originally concluded that he drowned, but documents released by the United States Department of State in 2000 included a 1986 memo suggesting he may be a captive "somewhere in Chile (probably Colonia Dignidad)", and a 1987 account by a CIA source claiming that Weisfeiler had been interrogated and fatally beaten by a Chilean army patrol.[65]
  • 1985 - Vladimir Alexandrov, Russian physicist, disappeared while attending a nuclear winter conference in Madrid.[66]
  • 1986 - Suzy Lamplugh (25), British estate agent, disappeared from Fulham, West London. In 1994 she was declared dead, presumed murdered. Despite further police investigations in 1998 and 2000, no trace of her has ever been found.
  • 1989 - Jacob Wetterling (11) was abducted by a masked gunman while cycling home in the dark with his brother Trevor (10) and friend Aaron (11) after going to rent a video from a convenience store a 10-minute ride away from his home in St. Joseph, Minnesota.[67]

1990s

1991

  • Sarah MacDiarmid (23) disappeared from Kananook railway station, Melbourne, Australia.
  • Ben Needham, a 21-month-old boy, disappeared from the island of Kos in Greece on July 24. He has never been found. It was believed Ben was abducted, and several suspects in Kos and Veria were suggested as being responsible, but no one was ever charged with abduction.
  • Michael Dunahee (4) disappeared from a school playground in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. His parents were nearby, but no witnesses to his presumed abduction have ever been identified, and there have been no subsequent confirmed sightings of him.[68]

1992

1994

1995

1996

1997

1998

2000s

2000

  • Bruno Manser (45), Swiss-born activist who fervently campaigned for the preservation of rainforests in Sarawak, was last seen in May 2000 in the isolated village of Bareo in the Malaysian state of Sarawak, close to the border with Indonesia. He was declared legally dead in March 2005.
  • Trevor Deely (22) was last seen when filmed by a CCTV camera near the Baggot Street bridge in Dublin city centre as he walked home to his apartment in Serpentine Avenue, Sandymount, on a stormy night during a taxi strike. Despite an extensive poster campaign and police searches from the air, with dogs, with divers, and by dredging, his fate remains unknown.[81]

2001

  • Peter Falconio (28), British tourist, disappeared in the Australian outback while traveling with girlfriend Joanne Lees. Although Falconio's body has never been found, Bradley John Murdoch was convicted of his murder in 2005.
  • Jason Jolkowski (19), resident of Omaha, Nebraska, disappeared on June 13. His parents subsequently founded Project Jason, a nonprofit organization that assists families of missing persons.

2002

2003

2004

2005

2006

2007

  • Kara Kopetsky (20), disappeared at age 17 on May 4. Still not found.
  • Jim Gray (63), database pioneer, Microsoft Research scientist, and Turing Award winner, left San Francisco Bay in his 12 m (39 ft) sailboat Tenacious to scatter his mother's ashes at the Farallon Islands, a wildlife refuge 43 km (27 mi) away, and was reported missing when he failed to return later the same day. No Mayday call was heard, his distress radiobeacon was not activated, and, despite one of the most ambitious search and rescue missions of all time, no trace of Gray or his yacht has ever been found.[92]
  • Kaz II, a 9.8 m (32 ft) catamaran, was found adrift with its three-man crew, owner Derek Batten (56) and brothers Peter Tunstead (69) and James Tunstead (63), missing. The yacht's sails were up and its engine running, and the global positioning system showed the yacht had been drifting since around the time of their last known radio contact, about 11 hours after they departed Shute Harbour for Townsville, Queensland, five days earlier.[93]
  • Madeleine McCann (3) disappeared after being left unsupervised in the unlocked ground-floor bedroom of her family's rented holiday apartment in the Algarve (Portugal) while her parents dined with friends at a local restaurant; there have been no confirmed sightings of her since then.[94]

2008

  • Leonid Rozhetskin (41), Russian-born British media magnate, disappeared from his house in Jūrmala, Latvia, in what Latvian police described as "extremely worrying circumstances"; he may have been the victim of a political murder plot.[95]

2009

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