Special Report

The 25 Most Mysterious Disappearances in America

11. Three Alcatraz inmates
> Year: 1962
> Location: Alcatraz prison in California

With strong currents surrounding Alcatraz prison about a mile off the coast of San Francisco, escape from the correctional facility was believed to be impossible. Even so, some prisoners tried, though authorities are convinced that nobody ever succeeded. It’s possible that John and Clarence Anglin and Frank Morris made it, however. On June 12, 1962, the three got off “The Rock” by using sharpened spoons to bore through the prison walls, left papier-mâché dummies in their beds, and pushed off on a raft from 50 raincoats.

Their story was told in “Escape from Alcatraz,” a 1963 book by J. Campbell Bruce, which was made into a movie of the same name starring Clint Eastwood in 1979 – the same year that the investigation into their escape was officially ended. The story took a curious turn in January 2018, when CBS San Francisco published an extract from a letter addressed to the FBI allegedly written by John Anglin, claiming that the three had escaped.

Source: ehrlif / iStock via Getty Images

12. Patty Blough, Renee Bruhl, and Ann Miller
> Year: 1966
> Location:Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana

On Saturday, July 2, 1966, three young women in bathing suits were seen boarding a small motorboat on the Lake Michigan shoreline at Indiana Dunes State Park, Indiana. They never returned from their voyage, and their belongings on the beach went unclaimed. Missing persons’ reports were filed over the weekend by their families. Park rangers began investigating the park and located Miller’s Buick in the parking lot. They found her car keys and some women’s clothing and other personal effects. Other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Coast Guard, were contacted. A search for the missing women began on July 5 but no trace of the three was found.

Source: Public Domain / Wikimedia Commons

13. D.B. Cooper
> Year: 1971
> Location: Northwest Oriental Airlines flight to Seattle from Portland

An airline passenger who went by the name of “D.B. Cooper” became the stuff of legend in 1971 by skyjacking a jetliner and parachuting into a rainstorm with $200,000 in cash, never to be seen again.

Cooper boarded a Northwest Oriental Airlines flight to Seattle from Portland on Nov. 24,1971. He handed a note to a flight attendant saying he had a bomb. He had her write another note to the captain demanding $200,000 and four parachutes. The flight landed in Seattle and he allowed all but several crew members to deplane in exchange for the money and the parachutes. The plane took off on a course for Mexico City, but Cooper bailed out between Seattle and Reno with $200,000 in tow.

Cooper became an American legend, with bars and drinks named after him, and movies and documentaries chronicling his feat.

14. Hale Boggs
> Year: 1972
> Location: Alaska

On Oct. 16, 1972, a twin-engine Cessna carrying House Majority Leader Hale Boggs of Louisiana, Alaska congressman Nicholas Begich, and a Begich aide vanished between Anchorage and Juneau during a campaign trip. The disappearance initiated the largest search and rescue operation to that point in American history, involving 40 military aircraft, 50 civilian planes, a search grid of 325,000 square miles, and more than 3,600 hours of search time. The search was called off after 39 days, with no sign of wreckage or survivors.

Source: peeterv / iStock Unreleased via Getty Images

15. Jim Robinson
> Year: Unknown
> Location: Miami, Florida

Known as “Sweet Jimmy,” Jim Robinson was a boxer who fought and lost to Muhammad Ali (then called Cassius Clay) in 1961, before Ali became the heavyweight world champion. Robinson reportedly had gambling debts and bet against himself, and threw the fight. He continued fighting, without much success, and was last seen in 1979. Robinson’s fate came into question in 2003 when an autograph collector sought autographs of all 50 of Ali’s opponents. The only one he failed to obtain was Robinson’s. It is not known if Robinson is homeless today or has passed away.

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