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  • Writer's pictureMatt

Mass disappearances – supernatural, time travel or alien abduction?

Updated: Apr 25, 2023


Over 180,000 people are reported missing in the UK every year. Individual cases, although distressing, are not uncommon and rarely linked to paranormal events but when it happens on mass, as in the case of the entire village of Hoer Verde in 1923, explanations are hard to come by.


600 people from the Brazilian village seemed to vanish overnight, leaving no clues to their whereabouts or reason for sudden departure. Meals, possessions, and valuables were left untouched in their homes and when investigators explored the settlement, only an odd message scribbled in Chalk was found “There is no salvation”.


What adds to this strange account is the environment described by the investigation team – The entire village was silent …no birds singing, no bugs buzzing, no wind blowing…


But this isn’t an isolated incident.


Mass disappearances have been happening throughout history, so let’s explore 6 more strange and unsolved mysteries:


4000 men lost during the Spanish war of Succession

During the Spanish war of succession (1701-1714) 4000 well trained and fully equipped Spanish soldiers marched into the Pyrenees mountains and were never seen or heard from again?


If they were engaged in battle, routed, or captured, why didn’t their rivals document or report this?


If they froze to death or succumbed to illness, where are their bodies?

Were 4000 of them buried under an avalanche?



650 Legionnaires disappear moments after leaving their camp


Mass Disappearances

In 1858, 650 French troops disappeared while on a march to Saigon in French Cochin-China.


The French sent 500 well-disciplined Legionnaires supported by 150 first class Spahis to restore order in Saigon, yet none of them reached the city, returned to base, or were seen/heard from again?



What’s even more amazing, is that nobody saw the troops on route – they equipped themselves with weapons and supplies for the road, marched out of the gates and vanished.




250 men lost on their way to battle


In 1915, the British 5th Norfolk Battalion disappeared during a mission in Gallipoli to capture Istanbul. 250 men under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Sir Horace Proctor-Beauchamp walked into a strange fog and were never seen again.


The tale of this event came from former New Zealand sapper, Frederick Reichardt and his three comrades when they recounted the strange story during a 1965 interview.


Reichardt claimed that a cloud visibly moved down onto the men’s position from the sky?



Did the Bermuda Triangle claim the USS Cyclops and its 309 passengers?


At 550 feet long, the USS Cyclops was the biggest vessel in the US Navy when it disappeared in 1918.


The USS Cyclops

A key transport ship during the 1st World War, the Cyclops was on a mission to transport 10,800 long tons of manganese ore for steel making, picked up in Brazil and destined for Baltimore.



Making a resupply stop in Barbados, the crew reported that the starboard engine had a cracked cylinder and was inoperative, but despite the issue and it’s slower than usual pace, it was ordered to continue to Baltimore where it could undergo repairs upon arrival.

Some suggest that the vessel was a victim of a German U-boat or became stranded and capsized due to the heavy cargo, yet the captain never sent a distress signal and there were many allied vessels in the vicinity if it needed assistance. The Germans never recorded a confrontation with the Cyclops, and it was highly unlikely that an enemy ship would have been in the area to engage it.


Was the Cyclops a victim of the Bermuda Triangle as it made its slow journey back to Baltimore?


Whatever the case, the Cyclops and its 309 crew members disappeared during this voyage without any distress signals or communication. No wreckage has ever been found.


The official US statement about the Cyclops notes, “The disappearance of this ship has been one of the most baffling mysteries in the annals of the Navy, all attempts to locate her having proved unsuccessful.”



3000 Chinese soldiers disappear into thin air


In 1937, 3000 Chinese soldiers set up defence in the Nanjing hills during the Second Sino-Japanese War. Their aim was to defend a bridge on the Yangtze River against an impending attack from the Japanese and troops were stationed over a 3.2-kilometre area, including a contingent stationed at the bridge itself. The battalion commander checked in with his troops on the day of the disappearance and reported all was well.


However, the following morning the defensive line failed to respond to any calls prompting an immediate investigation.


When the commander arrived, everything was in place and as he left it, including supplies, ammunition and the heavy guns which were positioned and ready to fire…but no soldiers were in sight.


The contingent stationed at the bridge remained, yet they knew nothing about the abandoned camp and didn’t see or hear any movement from the other troops.

What happened that night?


If the Japanese attacked and killed them, where were the signs of battle? The camp was untouched, and no weapons had been fired.


And how did the Japanese get over the river without drawing attention from the troops stationed at the bridge?


Did 3000 officers and soldiers simply abandon their position and desert the army?

If they did desert, to this day all 3000 of them managed to remain under the radar, stay clear of their families and avoid raising attention from the Chinese military.



Malaysian Airlines Flight 370


Over 200 people on board Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 appeared to vanish mid-air on March 8, 2014.


The Beijing-bound Boeing 777 departed as scheduled from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, carrying 12 crew members and 227 passengers. The aircraft took off at 12:41am and was equipped with ACARS (Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System) which continued to send and receive regular updates between the plane and ground stations, but at 01:07am this connection was lost.


Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

The last voice communication was at 01:19am as the veteran Captain (Zaharie Ahmad Shahthey), acknowledged the sign off from Kuala Lumpur as they entered Vietnamese airspace. The crew were expected to check in with Ho Chi Minh City’s air traffic control for the next leg of their journey, but this never happened…




Not responding to the Vietnamese attempts to contact them, air traffic control asked a nearby aircraft to attempt on their behalf using the International Air Distress Frequency (IAD). The aircraft managed to make brief contact at around 01:30am but the response was indiscernible, a mixture of static and faint mumbling.


Disappearing from the commercial flight radar where it was last seen following it’s standard course, military radar picked it up making a strange turn off course, where it then fluctuated between 31,000 and 33,000 ft in altitude until disappearing completely at around 02:22.


What happened to this flight?


There was no indication of flight difficulties leading up to its final communication and no weather issues at the time.


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