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Last seen: November 23, 1953
Air Force pilot First Lieutenant Felix Mocla disappeared over Lake Superior while pursuing an unidentified flying object on November 23, 1953. When ground control dispatched him (with Second Lieutenant Robert L. Wilson) to investigate a unidentified blip on radar, he took off from Kinross Air Force Base in a F-89C Scorpion jet. Ground control would later report that the Scorpion and the unidentified vessel were at one point indistinguishable on radar, and then both disappeared. Official Air Force reports state that the Moncla had been pursuing a Canadian C-47 Skytrain, but much controversy remains since neither Felix nor his plane were ever discovered. A similar case in 1978 involving the disappearance of Frederick Valentich over Bass Strait in Australia, sparked considerable interest as Valentich was able to radio to ground control that he had encountered a fast-moving flying craft that he could not identify as a plane.
Frank Morris, Clarence Anglin, John Anglin
Last seen: June 11, 1962
Widely sensationalized in the 1979 movie Escape from Alcatraz featuring Clint Eastwood, Frank Morris and the brothers John and Clarence Anglin (left to right) disappeared on the night of June 11, 1962 through vents and utility corridors they had carved into from the back of their cells. They had placed dummies in their beds to delay suspicion, but with all trails cold, authorities suspected they drowned in San Francisco Bay.
Dan “B” Cooper
Last seen: November 24, 1971
A man who identified himself only as Dan Cooper hijacked Northwest Orient flight 305 travelling from Portland, OR to Seattle, WA, and demanded $200,000 and parachutes when the airplane arrived in Seattle. After his demands were met, and after refueling in Reno, NV, he lowered the aft stairs of the Boeing 727 and stepped off, never to be seen again. Almost a decade later some $5,880 would be recovered on the banks of the Columbia River, leading investigators to think he may have died during/after his escape.
Last seen: August 17, 1980
9-week-old Azaria was reported captured by a dingo by her parents, Lindy and Michael Chamberlain, during a camping trip to Australia’s Ayers rock. When a bloodied jumpsuit was discovered a week later, ultraviolet photographs showed an incision wound and a small adult hand imprint, and the case turned into a murder indictment, whereupon Lindy was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. The ill-fated discovery brought about by the death of an English tourist, who had fallen near Azaria’s missing jacket, lead to Lindy’s acquittal and release in 1986. Azaria’s body was never found.
Last seen: November 25, 1992
Television footage with the words: “balloon man found”.
With his goal of reaching the Sand Mountain, NV with the help of 26 helium balloons and a gondola christened “Fantasy”, professional piano tuner Suzuki Yoshikazu departed from Lake Biwa in Japan during the afternoon of November 23, 1992. An SOS call via cellphone on the 25th was picked up by the Japanese coast guard but upon seeing him wave at them, they called off their attempted rescue. He was never seen again. A similar case involving a Brazilian priest by the name of Adelir Antonio de Carli,who took off with 100 helium ballons in April of 2008, resulted in his unfortunate death at sea.
The crew of the Kaz II
Last seen: April 15, 2007
The Kaz II spotted by a helicopter with a torn sail.
Kaz II, with its three-man crew of Derek Batten, Peter and James Tunstead, departed Airlie Beach in Queensland, Australia, for a journey to Townsville, some 300km away, on April 15, 2007. It was spotted by a helicopter 3 days later adrift near the Great Barrier Reef, but it wouldn’t be until the 20th when authorities would catch up to the vessel. They found everything inside in order, but no sign of the crew and no sign of foul play. A life raft was found to be missing. Queensland authorities concluded it was likely that they had fallen overboard and had tried to rescue each other.
I have omitted some famous ones (Madeleine McCann, Jim Gray) in order to publish some less recent and lesser known cases. By no means does it indicate that they are less important.