The lost village at Lake Angikuni
When researching this story I usually found the name of lake spelled Anjikuni. The reason for this is because most writers have been copying a story from a 1959 book called Stranger than Science by Frank Edwards, in which he misspelled the name. Some spreading this story are also claiming that the missing village consisted of two thousand people or more. This is also wrong. They were apparently twenty five.
The story does not originate with Edwards, it goes back at least to 1930 and an article by Emmett E. Kelleher.
As far as I can tell, based on the earliest account of the story I have found here, this is what happened:
Trapper Joe Labelle arrived in the Inuit village in Nunavut, Canada by canoe, finding the settlement empty. According to the original story there were only six tents in the village. two starving dogs crawled toward Labelle as he entered the village. The bodies of seven more were lying around.
Labelle began searching the tents. He felt creeped out, jumpy. It was obvious no one was around. Still, he found no bodies in the tents, only personal items, fish and deer bones, even an old rusty rifle underneath a parka. He found no trace of any of the 25 villagers.
By the lake shore Labelle found that the stone cairns covering the graves were moved and the graves were empty.
He stayed in the village for a few hours, caught some fish in the lake and gave it to the starving dogs and then left well before nightfall.
Later investigations by the Northwest Mounted Police failed to come up with an explanation for what happened at Lake Angikuni. When questioning other Inuit villages they blamed the evil spirit Tornrark. (“Tornrark” probably meant Tuurngaq, an Inuit mythology killing spirit.)
My thoughts: This one is very difficult to assess. It took place probably in the 1920’s, it happened in a very remote area. Judging only by the story Joe Labelle told the authorities there are question marks, such as two starving dogs plus seven dead ones does not compute. Unless the dogs were restrained and couldn’t reach each other the starving dogs would have eaten the dead ones.
If however events played out exactly as what has been reported, then we might be looking at a proper mysterious mass disappearance here. Still, I’m not convinced. I simply don’t have enough verified facts to make an informed decision.
Also, why did “it” take the corpses but not the dogs? For some reason this seems important but I don’t know why yet.
Mysterious Universe has a great article, albeit with the name of the lake misspelled, on the Lake Angikuni mysterious disappearance here.
The Dyatlov Pass Incident
Not exactly a mass disappearance since they were found, but they did disappear and when they were found it didn’t resolve the mystery in any way. If anything it added to it.
A group of nine students went missing under peculiar circumstances in the Ural Mountains in 1959.
I’ve written extensively about this before. You can read about it here:
The Dyatlov Pass incident, part 1
The Dyatlov Pass incident, part 2
In Brazil there was a village of 600 people that apparently fell off the face of the earth on February 5, 1923.
The story goes that there was a village in the Amazon jungle, along the river. A river boat would make regular stops by the village. One day, all the villagers went missing. The police thoroughly searched the village but found no evidence of foul play, violence, looting, bodies or anything else that would have explained the arisen situation.
In the school house however they found a gun, that had been fired on the previous day, and a peculiar message scribbled on the blackboard:
“There is no salvation”
None of the villagers were ever seen again.
My thoughts: Oh this one is annoying. I’ve searched the internet like crazy for days and I just can’t find any form of confirmation of this story.
The name is the first thing that confuses me. Hoer. Why would a Brazilian Amazon village have a partly dutch name? Well, I guess it’s not impossible but… I’ve also seen the name of the village called Joya Verde, which makes more sense, linguistically speaking, but I can still not find one reliable source that this village ever existed or whether these events actually happened. The only places I find this story mentioned are other places that write about mass disappearances, but with less scrutiny, just repeating what they find elsewhere. I want to get to the truth, not just spread unsubstantiated stories.
If this happened, then it’s horrible, yet I can’t find a single piece of evidence that it did. If you were able to, please contact me.
Most of these stories seem unsubstantiated, to say the least, but since they are so frequently brought up elsewhere I need to give them a mention.
9th Roman Legion
This one is commonly mentioned in mass disappearance stories though it seems unlikely that it belongs there.
First of all, the name is confusing. It was really called Legio IX Hispana, meaning 9th Spanish legion. Rome was big in those days as you know.
The story goes that the legion of 5000 of the best trained, best equipped Roman army men were wiped from the annals of history somewhere in Caledonia/ Scotland in the late second century CE.
According to archaeological evidence the Ninth was no longer in existence after 197.
Were they swallowed up by the ground? Were this legion of practically super soldiers really defeated by the, by comparison, primitive Picts of Scotland?
My thoughts: So many things could explain what happened to the Ninth without resorting to the paranormal.
Yes, they could have been defeated by Picts. They had a reputation for being immensely fierce and were part of, if not the whole, reason why Hadrian’s wall was built.
The Ninth could also simply have disbanded, or they could have been transferred elsewhere where archaeological proof is yet to be discovered.
So, many things could explain what happened without resorting to the paranormal, but that doesn’t mean that’s what actually happened.
We will most likely never know what the true answer is.
5th Norfolk Regiment
This is known as the regiment that vanished into thin air though it may not actually be quite as dramatic as you’ll see. I really didn’t want this one either on my list, but since every other site brings it up without research it I feel I must address it at least.
During World War I, on August 12, 1915, two hundred and fifty men and sixteen officers from the Royal Norfolk Regiment were ordered to carry out an attack on a hillside near Suvla Bay in the Ottoman Empire, modern day Turkey. They were witnesses ascending the hill by soldiers from the New Zealand Field Company, who were part of a coalition between British, Australian and New Zealand troops. The witnesses describe seeing the regiment ascend the hill and entering one of a group of six to eight low lying loaf-shaped clouds. Said cloud later lifted but there was no trace of the regiment to be found.
When the war ended Britain was expecting the lost regiment to be returned as POW’s, which did not happen. The Turks denied any knowledge of the lost regiment, claiming they had never even made contact with them.
My thoughts: So what happened? Were they spirited away in a cloud? Did the Turks lie? Did they in fact encounter the regiment and crush it so completely that no trace of it was ever found?
Quite possibly the latter. The Turks did not like taking prisoners. The likeliest explanation is that the Turks annihilated the regiment and possibly buried or burned the remains. Either way, as with most other cases, the real truth will probably never be known.
The missing Chinese army
The year was 1937, the location was just south of the Chinese city of Nanking.
It was during the second Sino-Japanese war. Japan was about to execute its “Rape of Nanking” operation, a most horrid and appalling act of unspeakable brutality.
South of the city a colonel was preparing his army for an immense final defense maneuver. His soldiers, some three thousand men, were placed along a line about three km long to defend a bridge, a crucially important crossing place of the Yangtze river. Their equipment and artillery was heavy and they were prepared to fight to the death.
After installing some courage and patriotism in his men with some encouraging words, the colonel retreated to the relative safety of the headquarters to await the inevitable Japanese attack.
At dawn the colonel was awakened by an aide bringing news that the army did not respond when contact attempts were made.
Arriving at the defensive line they were met by a baffling sight. Every position was abandoned. All men were missing from their posts, but their heavy guns still stood in position to be fired. Whatever had happened along the river it had happened in an orderly fashion. There was no sign of struggle.
Closer to the bridge the sentries remain. When questioned the claimed that no one had crossed the bridge, and most certainly not three thousand men.
The missing men were never found. When the war ended none were returned as POW’s. The Japanese records showed no clue of what had happened.
My thought: Ninjas.
The Bermuda Triangle
I didn’t really want to, but it’s not really possible to write about mass disappearances and not at least touch on this subject.
This fiercely debated area is said to have been the ruin of many planes and ships. The proponents of the mysterious properties of the area claim some sort of supernatural forces are at work here, be it alien, sea monster or whatnot. The opponents claim the reports of the many missing ships and aircrafts over the years have been greatly embellished and in some cases even fabricated.
The truth probably lies, as is its habit, in between.
There have been mysterious disappearances of ships and airplanes in the area, but whether more of these disappearances have happened here than anywhere else remains unclear.
The Bermuda Triangle is not an absolute area, but loosely it can be described as a triangular area between southern Florida, Puerto Rico and Bermuda.
The area is known for severe weather. Tropical cyclones are common.
Downdrafts of cold air is another weather phenomenon in the area. A specialist from National Hurricane Center has stated that:
“during very unstable weather conditions the downburst of cold air from aloft can hit the surface like a bomb, exploding outward like a giant squall line of wind and water”
This can apparently take down large ships.
Still, regardless if the explanation is mundane or more colorful, there have still been a quite large number of ships and aircrafts that have gone missing in the area. Some of them under seemingly mysterious circumstances.
One of these instances was the 23-foot cabin cruiser Witchcraft, that on December 22, 1967 left the Miami yacht marina to enjoy the Miami Christmas lights from the sea.
The ship had gone to the area of buoy #7, less than a mile from the shore, when it contacted the Coast Guard.
The ship had hit something under the water, but there was no emergency, it just needed a tow back to shore.
When the Coast Guard arrived, only nineteen minutes after the call was made, however, the ship was nowhere to be found. Even after increasing their search radius by 1200 square miles that night, as well as requesting that all private vessels as far out as Bimini be on the lookout, no trace of the Witchcraft was ever found.
Whatever happened to the cruiser it happened quickly and cleanly. The fact that no trace of the ship has even been found is baffling since it had built in floatations, meaning that some part of the hull should remain above water even if the rest of the ship sank.
My thoughts: None really. Whatever happened must have happened fast enough that sending out a distress call was impossible.
There are many other cases of mass disappearances but facts remain difficult to ascertain.
Do we need to worry? No. Whatever happened it didn’t happen with any regularity or under any specific circumstances. Worrying about it makes no sense. We can’t protect ourselves from it anyway.
The only thing we can do is to remember the people who disappeared and honor them.
May they rest in peace.