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10 Famous People Who Disappeared

#10: Henry Hudson

Henry Hudson was a 17th-century adventurer who dedicated his life to discovering the Northwest Passage to Asia, which he and his crew did in 1610 when they discovered Hudson Bay. Hudson's crew mutinied as he tried to press on after several unsuccessful attempts to locate the passage, and this expedition ended up being his last. His crew finally kicked the explorer off the ship and left him and eight others in a small boat in the middle of Hudson Bay, wanting to give up and return home. The Hudson was never seen again, and the fate of that ship is still uncertain.

#9: Sean Flynn

Sean Flynn, the son of Errol Flynn and Lili Damita, tried his hand at acting but ended up in photojournalism, where he became known for his coverage of the Vietnam War. He survived parachuting into war zones and injuries from exploded grenades throughout his brief career... but on April 6, 1970, his luck ran out. He and fellow journalist Dana Stone set out on motorcycles after a press conference to photograph Viet Cong at a highway checkpoint, and they were never seen again. The most widely held belief is that he was captured and executed by the Khmer Rouge, but his remains have never been discovered.

#8: Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, a French writer and aviator best known for his children's novella "The Little Prince," has vanished on many occasions. He crashed into the Libyan desert in 1935, setting in motion the events of his beloved novella. He survived to fly another day, but while on a reconnaissance mission during World War II, he went missing for the second time. On July 31, 1944, he was last seen leaving Corsica in an unarmed Lockheed P-38, which he would often pilot while reading and writing. A fisherman discovered his bracelet over fifty years later, along with the wreckage of his plane on the seabed, confirming that he had crashed into the Mediterranean.

#7: Bison Dele

Bison Dele, a basketball player who left the NBA at the height of his career to tour the world, was regarded as an eccentric. On his yacht, the Hakuna Matata, he went sailing in 2002 with his girlfriend, brother, and a skipper. Miles Dabord, Dele's partner, returned to Tahiti on his own and later used Dele's signature to buy $152,000 in gold. Dele's girlfriend was inadvertently killed during a scuffle between the brothers, according to Dabord, so Dele killed the skipper and Dabord shot Dele. Dele was most likely killed, but Dabord overdosed on insulin before being questioned further.

#6: Richey Edwards

Richey Edwards, the mysterious but hugely admired lyricist and rhythm guitarist of the punkish alt rock band Manic Street Preachers, was a strange dude. Edwards went missing on February 1, 1995, but was reportedly seen in Newport by fans and a taxi driver who were unaware that he was missing. His parked Vauxhall Cavalier was later discovered abandoned near the Severn Bridge, a famous suicide spot, leading many to believe he'd committed suicide. People close to Edwards, on the other hand, scoffed at the idea, claiming that he wasn't the sort, and there have been multiple reported sightings of the musician since. He was formally declared dead in 2008, despite the optimism.

#5: Lord Lucan

Richard Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, a British nobleman, was almost James Bond - both on screen and in his extravagant, risky lifestyle. He sailed power boats, drove an Aston Martin, and was a professional gambler. Despite this, he declined the part of James Bond in the 1960s. He became obsessed with regaining custody of his three children after his marriage fell apart in 1972. Lucan was identified as the assailant by his wife after their nanny was found bludgeoned to death. He was last seen driving away in a borrowed car from a friend's house on November 8, 1974. Some believe he fled the country, while others believe he committed suicide, but we'll never know for sure.

#4: Harold Holt

Political waters are said to be treacherous. But the literal waters of Victoria's Cheviot Beach in Portsea were the real concern for Australian Prime Minister Harold Holt. Holt and a friend went for a swim on December 17, 1967. However, the sea was rough that day, and an undertow quickly dragged Holt out to sea. “What are the chances of a prime minister being drowned or taken by a shark?” Holt had once asked his press secretary, in a curious coincidence. They seem to be the same for everyone else; despite British journalist Anthony Grey's speculation that Holt had defected to China and been whisked away in a submarine, he was never seen again. 

#3: Glenn Miller

Glenn Miller, a big band trombonist and bandleader during the swing era, had 59 top ten hits. To put it in perspective, that's about twice the Beatles' average career earnings. Miller was supposed to travel from the UK to Paris to entertain the troops on December 15, 1944, but his UC-64 Norseman vanished over the English Channel without a trace. Experts later speculated that the plane's carburetor froze in the bad weather, preventing fuel from reaching the engine, resulting in the plane's presumed crash.

#2: Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa is without a doubt one of the most popular unsolved disappearances. Hoffa, a prominent union leader who led the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from 1957 to 1971, was instrumental in bringing the concept of labor unions into the mainstream. He was, however, tied to organized crime and spent several years in prison. After tensions between Hoffa and two Mafia leaders emerged following his release, Hoffa agreed to meet with them at a restaurant, but never showed up. The next morning, his unlocked car was discovered in the parking lot. Though the case is still open, many people believe Hoffa was murdered by the mob.

#1: Amelia Earhart

Did she crash? Are you about to be kidnapped by the Japanese? Or should she just change her name and relocate to New Jersey? The fate of the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic is still up for discussion after all these years. In 1937, Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan went missing over the Pacific, somewhere around Howland Island, on their second attempt to circumnavigate the globe. Some believe she crashed and drowned, while others believe she survived only to be stranded on a deserted island, captured by hostile forces, or forced to live in secrecy for the rest of her life. The mystery continues to elude us, and it will most likely do so indefinitely.

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