5 Unexplained Historical Mysteries That Has Not Been Solved - The Comprehensive Minds

5 Unexplained Historical Mysteries That Has Not Been Solved

Historical mysteries can be some of the most perplexing out there. There are so many unknowns and questions we will likely never get answers to. Many mysteries can be solved with a piece of evidence we would take for granted today, but for now, these unexplained historical mysteries remain unsolved. 

Number 5 

Historical Mysteries

In 1914, 28 men would set off on a trip that would eventually come to resemble the Greek epic the Odyssey, though with a few less sea monsters.  But while there were no multi-headed creatures that stood between the men and safety, there may have been one anomalous creature that joined them on part of their trip.  

This was the expedition of the Endurance, led by explorer Ernest Shackleton. The original aim of the trip was to travel across Antarctica during the southern summer. Their ship, the Endurance, became trapped in the ice at the edge of the continent in February 1915.   

This wasn’t too much of an issue and they expected to wait until the ice thawed and they could continue onwards, but as it did the movement of the ice crushed the ship. The 28 men, their dogs, and supplies were forced to abandon ship. They set up camp on a floating ice floe, but could not traverse it. Eventually, they were forced to abandon even that as the ice cracked underfoot. 

They piled into three lifeboats and set sail into the violent southern ocean. Next, they came to land on Elephant Island, a then unexplored island 600 miles away from South America and across from the violent Drake Passage.   

If they wanted to be rescued, they would have to make the 800 mile trip to South Georgia island,  where there was a whaling community that could help. It would be a safer trip than that to Argentina, but not by much. Six men set sail to South Georgia  Island and miraculously managed to land safely, though two were sick with scurvy.   

They were still on the opposite side of the island to the settlement though. Shackleton and two other men set off to cross the island on foot, something that hadn’t been done before and has rarely been done since. It was a life-threatening journey, with wind and low temperatures threatening their lives even more than starvation and dehydration.   

But as they walked, all three men felt as if there was a fourth with them. Only three sets of footsteps could be heard, but it always felt like a fourth person walked alongside them. Nobody said anything to their companions, not wanting to be thought of as mad. But when they eventually reached the whaling settlement, they confessed to one another what they had felt. This presence remains a mystery. 

While just one person thinking there was an additional member of the party could be ruled out as a bout of madness, it’s hard to believe all three independently suffered from the same delusions. Third man syndrome is something that describes the presence of an additional individual felt by people in extreme situations, such as natural disasters.   

Why exactly this occurs has not been explained, but mental and physical stress has an impact on the part of our brain that processes perceiving our own body could be an explanation. It’s something similar to an out-of-body experience, though you don’t recognize the other entity. But many have noted Shackleton and his companions only noticed the additional man during their trek across the island. 

Throughout the entire ordeal, there had never been anything similar, until they left for the final stretch of their journey. Given the harsh conditions mean very few people have crossed South Georgia island in the years since it’s possible there was something more tangible alongside them in the wilderness. 

Number 4 

nuclear submarines

The US Navy has only ever lost two nuclear submarines. One, the USS Thresher, sank due to a mechanical problem,   but the cause for the loss of the second sub remains unknown, even 50 years later.  

The USS Scorpion was a Skipjack class nuclear submarine with two nuclear torpedoes onboard.   It had been in service since 1960 and spent most of its time either training off the US coast or in European waters. In 1966, it’s believed she was deployed into Russian waters, where the crew secretly filmed a Soviet missile launch.  

Less than two years later, the sub would rest at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, along with all 99 of the men on board. The last message from the USS Scorpion was received on May 21st, 1968. The radioman gave a Greek communications station the message that the sub was homeward bound, 250 miles southwest of the Azores islands, and expected to arrive in its home port on May 27th.

On May 27th, the families of the 99 men on board gathered at Norfolk to greet them, but the sub would never arrive. It was declared missing and presumed lost. Five months later, the sub and the remains of the 99 servicemen were found not far from its last reported location.  

The sub was found in dozens of pieces, indicating it likely came to a somewhat violent end, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it came under attack. One of the theories does suggest it was attacked by a Soviet submarine in retaliation for the sinking of another Soviet sub some months earlier. But if this is the case, neither America nor Russia has ever admitted it.  

More mundane theories like a battery malfunction causing a blast or some other small issue causing a catastrophic failure have been suggested. The ship had been scheduled for an extensive overhaul the year before, but time was short and only repairs were conducted. It’s possible something was overlooked at this time. 

However, two men who had been aboard the sub shortly before it sank said there were no mechanical problems aboard the ship. Their testimony only compounded the mystery.  Another explanation could be that one of the non-nuclear torpedoes aboard the ship self-detonated, causing the sinking.  

The limited exploration of the submarine’s wreckage has produced no answers, only more and more theories. The Navy rejected recent calls for a new inquest, which has only meant conspiracy theories have taken the place of answers to this unsolved mystery

Number 3 

The Book of Soyga

The Book of Soyga remains one of the most mysterious manuscripts in history. Who wrote the original version of the book and why remains unknown, as does the meaning of many of its passages. It’s layers upon layers of mystery that have only just started to be unraveled.  

The book itself is believed to have originated during Renaissance Europe. At this time,  there was a little line between natural science and what we would today describe as magic. One of the most prominent scientists of the time, John Dee, was also obsessed with the occult. 

While he served in the court of Queen Elizabeth I of England, he also amassed the biggest collection of occult works in Europe at the time. Of the books, one of the most obsessed over was the Book of Soyga. The book itself is mostly written in Latin. This of course posed no problem to Dee.   

These were mostly descriptions of magical beliefs from the time, with everything from passages on astrology and demonology to genealogies of angels. But also included in the book was a series of codes that Dee could not decipher. He traveled around Europe looking for answers. He even attempted to contact angels, through a medium, to ask for an explanation.   

He allegedly contacted the angel Uriel, who is said to stand guard outside the Garden of Eden. Uriel said, through the medium, that the book was given to Adam when he entered paradise, and only the archangel Michael was able to interpret the final section.  Any human that interpreted the codes would lose their life within two and a half years.  

After Dee passed away from natural causes, records of the Book of Soyga were lost,   though it was referenced in other texts. Finally, in the 1990s, a researcher came across two copies of the manuscript in different British libraries. 

They differed slightly, and there was no way to determine if either one had ever belonged to Dee, but researchers determined one of the books was likely at the very least the same version of the manuscript that Dee had used.  

For a decade, even modern code breakers were unable to crack what the codes at the end of the book read. Finally, in 2006, the codes were deciphered, but the meaning of what the words themselves meant remains unknown. There are also sections of the book written in Latin that is mysterious, with some words written backward for unknown reasons. 

It seems we have all the pieces of the puzzle, but no idea how they fit together. The ongoing mystery surrounding the Book of Soyga can be seen as a warning for those trying to decipher texts like the Voynich Manuscript. Cracking the code, if there is one, doesn’t necessarily mean putting the mystery to bed. 

Number 2 

The Patomskiy crater

The Patomskiy crater is a mysterious structure found in the middle of the Russian wilderness that scientists are yet to explain. It was discovered by the outside world in 1949 when a man named Vadim Kolpakov was sent to do a geological map of the area.   

Locals already knew of the structure, which they called the Fire Eagles Nest, and warned Vadim that the forest was dangerous for humans. Vadim dismissed the local legends, of which there were countless, and ventured into the forest. There he found the massive structure.   

It was 70 meters high and, to Vadim, was the size of a 25-story building. He first thought it must be human-made, either from mining in the area or maybe a temple built in ancient times. But there were no work camps in the area and he dismissed the locals being able to create something so huge.  As he grew closer he realized this wasn’t man-made.   

That’s the last thing we learned for certain about the construction of the Patomskiy crater.  The crater was named after a river that ran nearby and attracted scientists from far and wide. Some suspected it may have been created by a piece of debris from the Tunguska event, but it was found the crater was 200 years older than that geological event.  

It superficially resembled a volcano, but volcanic activity hadn’t been seen in the region for millions of years, and the rocks from the site didn’t line up with that analysis. Examination of tree rings from the nearby area threw up more questions. There’s a period of about  40 years where the trees show accelerated growth before quickly returning to normal levels. 

The only reason the trees would have grown like this would be either a sudden felling of other trees,   leading to more light reaching the remainders, or a sudden influx of minerals into the soil. The only place scientists had seen something similar was at Chernobyl after the nuclear disaster.  

Of course, extraterrestrial explanations have also been put forward. The crater is pretty unique in that it also has a mound in its center. Some have suggested not one but two UFOs were responsible for this unique formation. 

No evidence of anything otherworldly has been found there, however.  A more down-to-earth answer could be a gas volcano, with an underground blast causing the strange formation. It would be the only one in the area, though, and it’s still only a hypothesis. 

Sources: https://www.amusingplanet.com/2015/08/the-mysterious-patomskiy-crater.html 


Number 1 

Alexander the Great

Alexander the Great would become known as one of the greatest generals in all of history. A prince of Macedonia, he joined his father on the campaign. Then, once he took the throne, he led conquest after conquest. His empire expanded through Greece, Persia, and all the way to modern-day Pakistan. 

Everywhere he went, he set up cities, 23 of which were named Alexandria.  After his army refused to go any further East, he returned to Babylon, where he rested and partied with close companions. In just a few short weeks, the great general had passed away. What happened to Alexander is possibly the greatest historical mystery. 

There have been countless theories put forward, but with the location of his tomb also being a mystery it’s unlikely the truth will ever be uncovered.  The illness began on May 29th, 323 BC. He was already feeling under the weather, but he was invited by one of his most trusted companions to continue drinking and partying, and he agreed.  

Over the next few days, he would do little more than rest, bathe, and perform the prescribed sacrifices. He already had a fever but didn’t seem to be too concerned about it. There was more conquering planned and he was still making instructions to his generals on how to prepare.  

But the illness progressed. A feeling of dread would overcome him, something which is today a strange symptom that can come before fatal illnesses. He also seemed to be suffering from some kind of paralysis that progressed its way up through his body.  

When, just over a week after he had planned to leave to continue his conquest, Alexander was confined to his chambers, much of the army feared he had already passed away. When soldiers forced their way in, they found him alive. He would only acknowledge them with a nod of the head and followed them with his eyes, but could not or would not speak.  

He seemed to be of sound mind during this time, but the illness ravished his body.  In early June, not long before his 33rd birthday, doctors declared he had passed away. For 12 days,   his body was left out in the open, and during that time it looked as if he were still alive.  

He was eventually buried and now his tomb is lost. What could have caused the illness remains a mystery. One popular theory is that Alexander was poisoned by someone close to him. His heir had not yet been born and the empire fell to his generals, so they had a lot to gain by doing this. 

Others have put forward more mundane illnesses. Considering the vast distances he traveled, it’s possible he did pick up some exotic disease. A theory recently put forward suggests something much darker. Alexander the Great was buried alive. 

A New Zealand academic suggested he may have been suffering from a disease known as GBS, caused by bacteria. The disease would have caused him to eventually become completely paralyzed. His breathing would then be extremely shallow, and difficult for a doctor to pick up. 

Given doctors used breathing rather than a pulse to determine whether a patient was still alive or not, having such shallow breaths would have led to an early death declaration. This would also explain why his body didn’t decompose. 

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