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Five Mysteries That Will Never be Solved

Updated on April 18, 2017

1. The Disappearance of Louis Le Prince

When we think about the first film ever shot Thomas Edison comes to mind, but he wasn’t actually the first. A French inventor named Louis Le Prince holds that distinction. We know little about Le Prince because Edison took credit for his work. How was it that Edison could have stolen someone’s work in its entirety though? Le Prince disappeared shortly, and mysteriously, after having shot the scenes: Leeds Bridge and Roundhay Garden.

Louis Le Prince worked in not only France but also America and the United Kingdom. He was a genius mind of his time and was a kind and considerate gentleman. A Chemistry and Physics Major Le Prince was one of the several inventors attempting to master the art of moving photographs. By all accounts and purposes, he won that race, shooting the first ever moving film, ‘Roundhay Garden Scene,' in which a few people move around in a small sequence.

The mystery of Le Prince comes in 1890 when he was to show his first projection in America. After boarding and settling on a train taking him to visit his brother before the demonstration, he vanished.

Men rarely vanish off of moving trains, but that is exactly what happened to the father of Cinematography. Le Prince and all his belongings were on the train when it began, but gone when it stopped. No concrete evidence will ever show what truly happened to him.

The closest explanation was that there was a body found somewhat close to where and when Le Prince disappeared. However, the information wasn’t discovered until a half a century later, leaving no proof of it being him. No-one will ever know for sure what happened to Louis Le Prince on that train or where he and his luggage vanished to, but his legacy will live on.

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2. The Disappearance of Lieutenant Ernest Cody and Ensign Charles Adams

In August 1942 Lt. Ernest Cody and Ensign Charles Adams took to the skies in search of enemy submarines. Their ride was the Blimp L-8. Their trip was routine, nothing out of the ordinary in any way.

A little way into their trip they spotted what they believed to be an oil slick and called it in as a possible sighting. Oil on the water could indicate a sub underneath. That would be the first and only transmission ground control received. Several hours later the blimp would hit a house and crash down. Both the Lieutenant and Ensign were not aboard.

Theories abounded but never with any proof. Some people surmise they were taken captive by the Japanese Submarine crew if there was one there, but then why did they not radio in for help? They might have fallen off somehow. Perhaps one of them lost their balance, and the other meant to grab him and they both went over. Or were they taken by aliens? This is one mystery that will never have an official conclusion.

3. The Flannan Island Lighthouse Mystery

On December 26th, 1900 three lighthouse keepers, James Ducat, William McArthur, and Thomas Marshall, vanished from their assigned post at Eilean Mor on the Flannan Islands in Scotland. The Island housed the 74 foot (22.6 meters) lighthouse they cooperatively kept together.

The job was a lonely one as the island was uninhabited aside from the keepers. The men worked in shifts of 3 on duty, staying for a time and then being relieved by other keepers.

The new keeper's ship came in but he was surprised at not being greeted in the typical fashion. Travelers to the island, which mostly composed of keepers beginning their shifts, got taken in by a current keeper. No-one welcomed the ship on this night; this at once put the crew on nervous alert.

Eerily enough when the relief keeper found the lighthouse unlocked and empty he also found that all the clocks had stopped at the same time. Their log book was filled out for a few days, but the beds had not been slept in and there was no fire in the fireplace. These were all odd circumstances. Later lighthouse keepers even told of voices traveling in the wind saying the names of the three missing men.

Many rumors already attached to the island got thrown into the confusion. Tales of ghosts, gnomes, and huge birds filled the minds of those that went to help search for the missing men. Plenty of supernatural occurrences plagued the search party leaving them refusing to stay the night on the Island.

Every imaginable theory was tested to justify the disappearance, including alien abductions, pirates, and a huge storm they all got caught in. Whatever the reason is that caused them to vanish is something we will never know. The mystery lives on in Scotland as one of their biggest to date.

4. The Sodder Children

George and Jennie Sodder were Italian-born Americans that lived in West Virginia. Together they had 10 children. Through the night of Christmas Eve/early morning hours of Christmas day, they lost 5 of them.

A fire broke out in the home and only George, Jennie and four of their children made it out of the house. The remaining son was off in the Army at the time.

The fire chief quickly stated that the children had been completely incinerated in the fire and closed the case without much of a search, leaving them to believe 5 of their children had perished. Several odd pieces of a much larger puzzle fell into place afterward, however. A pathologist came and performed a thorough search, and when no bodies or traces of bodies turned up, they wondered if something was amiss. The owner of a crematorium stated that there was no way those bodies could have burned to ash in 45 minutes, whether they used an accelerant or not.

Many theories waved around about what happened, but the most popular is that the children were kidnapped before the fire ever started. George had made bold statements about Italy’s dictator, Benito Mussolini that had ruffled some feathers. Perhaps the children went missing as punishment.

The Sodder’s ladder was missing, both of George’s working coal trucks wouldn’t start and the 911 operator didn’t respond when they called for help.

The Sodder’s received a photo of a boy that looked very much like their son, Louis, somewhere in his twenties that stated on the back the name "Louis". The Sodders never found out what really happened to their children before they passed away.

5. The Missing Crew of the Sara Jo

In 1979 five experienced, Hawaiian, fishermen took a 17ft boat and headed out into the ocean for a calm and relaxing day. The day did not stay nice, though, as a storm considered the worst in Hawaii battered the islands and roiled the sea.

After no sign of the fishermen turned up during a thorough search of the area and up to 73,000 square miles away, the Coast Guard deduced that the men had perished. Family and friends performed their own searches but also turned up nothing.

Nine years later, a biologist came across the missing Sara Jo and the grave of one of the crew members, Scott Moorman, on an uninhabited island. The fate of the other four men, Patrick Woesner, Benjamin Kalama, Peter Hanchett, and Ralph Malaiakini has never been determined.

Many factors made this case mysterious. That island had been surveyed six years prior and neither the boat nor Moorman was there. Moorman turned up over 3,000 miles from where they began their fishing trip. The island had a small lagoon entrance that was difficult to navigate, though the boat made it with no damage.

Where was the Sara Jo for nine years? How did only Scott Moorman end up on the island? What happened to the other four men? These are questions that will never have an answer.

Louis Le Prince disappears
September 16th, 1890
Last Seen on Train
Ernest Cody and Charles Adams disappear
August 16, 1942
Last Seen on Blimp
Lighthouse Keepers Vanish
December 26th, 1900
Last Seen on Flannan Island
5 Sodder Children Vanish
December 24, 1945
Last Seen at Home
The Sara Jo vanishes
February 11, 1979
Last Seen Heading into Ocean

Know of any Mysteries that will Never be Solved?

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