What are the 9 Greatest Unsolved Mysteries in American history?

Everyone enjoys a good mystery, and unsolved mysteries are much more so. With that in mind, here are the top 9 unsolved mysteries in the United States that may never be solved.

9. The Boston heist paintings

The Boston heist paintings
pic credit: Insider

Nearly 30 years ago, the world's largest unsolved art heist occurred. We're still no closer to discovering what happened to all of that expensive art. Two burglars dressed as police officers duped security guards at Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum on the night of March 18th, 1990. 

They tricked the security guards into letting them in late at night, shackled the guards, and took 13 iconic paintings with them. Among their haul were works by artists such as Rembrandt, who is known for his painting Christ in the Storm on the Sea of Galilee. 

Vermeer's countryside with an obelisk and concert by Flink. The pair are thought to have made off with nearly $500 million worth of art in all.

Since then, there have been many wild theories as to who was behind this unsolved mystery. from mobsters to a screenwriter from California There have been no good leads, ranging from the Irish Republican Army to South Boston mobster James Whitey Bulger. 

The museum, on the other hand, hasn't given up hope of locating the lost painting. They extended their ten-million-dollar reward indefinitely in January. This applies to everyone who assists in the recovery of the stolen masterpieces. Until then, it remains one of the greatest unresolved mysteries in the art world.

8. Kryptos

pic credit: Wikipedia

Standing outside the CIA's Langley headquarters in Virginia, you might notice a strange statue. The figure, which stands roughly 12 feet tall and is constructed of curving copper, was initially unveiled in 1990. Kryptos is an ancient Greek word that means "secret" or "hidden." It consists of four encrypted messages totaling 1,800 characters. 

Three of the messages have already been deciphered, but one of them remains one of the most enigmatic mysteries of our time. In 2014, the sculptor who made it, Jim Sanborn, offered another clue. He mentioned a clock and something about Berlin. 

We don't get it either, but thousands of expert and amateur cryptographers are still trying to crack this ultimate unresolved puzzle, which is unfortunately only 97 letters long.

7. Beale ciphers

Beale ciphers
pic credit: Roanoke Times

Well, this one seems like one of those old Western legends that you should treat with caution. According to myth, a Virginian called Thomas J Beale unearthed wealth in the 1800s. While hunting for Buffalo, the story has is that he came discovered a large amount of gold and silver. New Mexico, approximately north of Santa Fe. 

He then returned to Virginia with the treasure and buried it near Bedford County. He wrote three encrypted letters as a makeshift treasure map, each of which offered secrets to obtaining his vast inheritance worth an estimated more than 50 million dollars in 2021.

He left the letters with a friend, and when Bill died, he took the secrets with him. The letters were eventually released as the Beale papers in 1885. The hunt has been on since then, but only one of the ciphertexts has been cracked, revealing the contents of Bill's riches but not where to look for it. 

Of course, there is a slew of hypotheses flying about, one of which is that the whole thing was a hoax perpetrated by Edgar Allan Poe.

6. The Phoenix lights

The Phoenix lights
pic credit: Wikipedia

Was it a secret military spaceship, a natural occurrence, or alien visitors from another galaxy that many saw above the skies of Phoenix on March 13th, 1997? Thousands of Arizonians spotted strange lights in the sky that appeared to be a gigantic upside-down V that moved slowly overhead without making any noise and occasionally stopped to hover over one location. 

It was even the length of many football fields, or a mile wide depending on who you ask. Even Kurt Russell, who had escaped from New York, noticed the bizarre light show when landing his private plane in Phoenix.

Whatever it was that all those people saw (the official explanation is that it was just millet she flares), it made such an impact that many of the individuals who observed it gather every year in the foothills of the McDowell Mountains outside of Phoenix to speak about it and try to figure out what happened.

5. DB Cooper

DB Cooper
pic credit: fbi.gov

On November 24, 1971, a man identified only as DB Cooper boarded Northwest Airlines flight 305 from Portland to Seattle for a short flight. He then took over the plane with a briefcase he said held a bomb. 

In Seattle, he released all 36 passengers and demanded $200,000 in cash and many parachutes from the authorities. The pilots were then told to fly to Mexico, slow down, and fly low to the ground with the back doors unlocked. 

That was the last time anyone saw him. Did he successfully jump off the plane and flee with tens of thousands of dollars?

In 1980, a little boy in Portland discovered bundles of cash worth roughly $5,000 in a sandpit, which matched the serial numbers of the missing cash. 

The FBI claims Cooper could not have survived the jump, yet in 2017 they released a fresh composite of what he may look like today, which doesn't seem like something you'd do if a suspect is presumed dead.

4. The Zodiac killer

The Zodiac killer
pic credit: Wired

Since the 1960s, San Francisco police have investigated 2,500 suspects, but they are still no closer to apprehending the so-called Zodiac killer. He terrorized the San Francisco Bay Area for decades, murdering at least seven people while claiming to have killed at least 37. 

He taunted the authorities and the media with encrypted texts promising clues to his identity as well as horrific words about his victims, stating they were slaughtered like lambs. He also addressed his own mental health, claiming that he is not unwell but rather crazy. 

There have been no major leads in the 44 years since the killer last made contact. In 2014, a man claimed that his deceased father was the killer, but the case remains unresolved, making it one of the world's most horrific unsolved mysteries.

3. Area 51

Area 51
pic credit:istock  photo

You could argue Area 51 is the apex of unanswered mysteries. If you ask someone what they think it is, they'll most likely claim it's where the government keeps all its space aliens. In the heart of the Nevada desert, this distant Air Force Base is located. 

It's around 150 miles from Las Vegas and has been the source of numerous strange rumors throughout the years. Of course, there's the alien conspiracy, which dates back to 1947, when an extraterrestrial craft allegedly crashed at Roswell, New Mexico, and the ship and alien bodies were allegedly returned to the base to be researched. But that's only the beginning of Area 51's mysteries.

There are also odd tales floating around, such as the government surreptitiously controlling our weather from here and even the development of time travel equipment. Peter Merlin is a writer and historian who has spent over three decades researching Area 51. He believes that the secretive nature of Area 51 is what makes people curious about what's within.

2. The Ghost Road 

Strange floating lights have been reported all across the country, but the mystery light floating along the railroad tracks in Girdwood, Arkansas, is unique. For one thing, it isn't elusive; it isn't a local story because some kids saw it once and everyone has to believe them. 

Hundreds of individuals have witnessed the gird on light, and some townspeople have seen it so many times that it has become a part of their daily lives. There is no reasonable explanation for the light, but stories abound, one of which claims that a railroad worker was decapitated by a train and that the light comes from a lantern as his ghost searches the rails for his disembodied head.

perhaps it could be the spirit of a railroad Foreman who was slain with a railroad spike or a hammer by one of his men. The light began to shine soon after the incident, which is why the narrative has remained famous. In any case, the golden light remains one of the world's most lasting unanswered mysteries.

1. Birds deaths in Arkansas on New Year's Eve

Birds deaths in Arkansas on New Year's Eve
pic credit: The Guardian

In the little town of Beebe, Arkansas, in 2010, 5,000 blackbirds freaked out and flew into buildings, telephone poles, and trees, killing them all instantaneously. When it happened, it was unsettling, but there are plausible answers. 

According to Arkansas officials, celebratory fireworks startled the birds, forcing them to fly all over the area. It was a once-in-a-lifetime event that would never occur again. Except it happened the next year, on New Year's Eve 2011, despite a ban on fireworks in Beebe to prevent any such catastrophic bird deaths.

Even though only 200 birds died this time, it was nonetheless strange. As is customary with unsolved mysteries, thinkers came up with insane theories, including the possibility that the birds' deaths were an alarming omen regarding the Mayan calendar indicating the end of the world. which, of course, proved out not to be true, but there were no answers that made sense. 

If fireworks spooked out the birds, why weren't New Year's Eve bird deaths more common, and how can you explain birds falling from the sky for the second year in a row? Although it hasn't happened since the mystery of what killed all those birds remains unsolved.

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