TOP 7 UNSOLVED MYSTERIES
1. THE BABUSHKA LADY
After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, film footage that had been provided by a witness was carefully checked for clues to the killer’s identity. Unexpectedly, the film also showed a woman standing on a grassy knoll wearing a brown overcoat and scarf. Because she looked like a Russian grandmother (babushka) she was labeled “The Babushka Lady.” She appeared to be filming the scene and she continued to do so even as the majority of the crowd fled after the shooting. She eventually walked away to the east up Elm Street where she disappeared from history forever. The FBI requested that the woman come forward but she never did. Her true identity and perhaps her involvement in the crime are unknown to this day.
2. THE ZODIAC KILLER
The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who was active in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He is believed to have killed at least five people and injured two. After one of the killings, the police received a phone call from a man claiming to be the killer—he admitted to two previous killings. The man eventually sent a series of letters to the press that included ciphers that he claimed would lead to his identity. While the majority of the codes were broken, eighteen letters remain unsolved. The ciphers did not help the police and the identity of the killer has never been determined. The prime suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen, was never convicted despite an enormous amount of circumstantial evidence against him.
3. THE VOYNICH MANUSCRIPT
The Voynich Manuscript is a book written in the Middle Ages in an unknown language using an unknown alphabet system. Attempts have been made to interpret the document for over one hundred years but there has not been a single breakthrough. The book includes illustrations of plants (some unknown to modern botanists) and astronomical information. It is possible that the book was the work of an alchemist who used codes to keep his discoveries private but, until the book is decoded, no one really knows for sure.
4. COMTE DE SAINT-GERMAIN
The Count of St. Germain was a mysterious man from the eighteenth century who was skilled in music, art, and alchemy. His origin was unknown and he eventually disappeared without a trace. There were rumors that he had discovered an elixir of youth and several people in recent years have claimed to be him. Some people also believe that he appeared throughout history as various historical figures such as St. Joseph, Plato, and Roger Bacon (under whose guise some claim he wrote the complete works of Shakespeare).
5. THE TAOS HUM
The Taos Hum is a low-pitched sound that can be heard in various parts of the world, but especially in the United States and Europe. It is described as sounding like a distant engine and it is undetectable by microphones and other electronic monitoring equipment. It is most famous for its occurrence in Taos, New Mexico —the town from which it takes its name. In 1997, the United States Congress asked scientists and observers to find the source of the sound—they were unable to do so.
6. THE MARY CELESTE
Mary Celeste was a 280-ton ship launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. When the ship was ten years old, she was purchased from a salvage yard for three thousand dollars and put to use carrying alcohol from the United States to Genoa, Italy. The ship was eventually discovered floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar with no one onboard and no sign of struggle. All documents except the captain’s log (which gave no clue to the mystery) were missing. In 1973 two lifeboats containing six bodies and an American flag were found on the coast of Spain—the bodies were never identified but there is some speculation that they may have been the members of Mary Celeste’s crew.
7. THE SHROUD OF TURIN
The Shroud of Turin is allegedly the burial shroud of Jesus Christ mentioned in John 20:6-7, which bears the image of a crucified man. Despite many scientific investigations, no explanation exists for how the image could have been imprinted on the cloth. No attempts to replicate the image have been successful. Radiocarbon tests date it to the Middle Ages, but its existence has been known since at least the fourth century, and pollen and weave testing put it at the time of Jesus. Interestingly, both the shroud and another cloth (the Sudarium of Oviedo) appear to have been placed on the same man and contain traces of the same blood type (AB)—rare in Europeans in the Middle Ages but common in Middle Eastern people.