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Top 10 Notable People Who Disappeared

astraya . . . Comments

The qualification for this list is that the people were notable in their own right, and not simply because they disappeared, so no Madeleine McCann and the crew of the Mary Celeste. Some were simply accidental. Some have attracted conspiracy theories. One was definitely foul play. In chronological order:


Steve Fossett

 Fossettsteve 1258

Steve Fossett, American businessman, aviator and sailor. Disappeared on 3 September 2007 while flying over the Nevada desert. Fossett was the first man to fly solo around the world non-stop in an airballoon. No trace found yet.


Richey Edwards


Richey Edwards, member of the Welsh rock band the Manic Street Preachers. Disappeared on 1 February 1995, the day that he and fellow MSP James Dean Bradfield were due to fly to the USA on a promotional tour. His car was found abandoned near the the Severn Bridge (a renowned suicide location), but there was evidence that the car had been lived in, and there have been unconfirmed sightings.


Jimmy Hoffa

Jimmy Hoffa 320X240

Jimmy Hoffa, US trade union leader. Disappeared on 30 July 1975 while on his way to meet two Mafia leaders. Many conspiracies abound about his disappearance and final resting place, with the most popular claiming that he is buried beneath the Giants stadium. No confirmed trace ever found.


Harold Holt

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Harold Holt, Australian Prime Minister. Disappeared on 17 December 1967 while swimming at a surf beach near Portsea, Victoria. Holt was controversial for expanding Australia’s role in the Vietnam War. No trace ever found.


Glenn Miller


Glenn Miller, American jazz musician and bandleader. Disappeared on 15 December 1944 over the English Channel while en route from England to France to play for troops in recently liberated Paris. No trace ever found.


Antoine de Saint Exupéry


Antoine de Saint Exupéry, French aviator and author. Disappeared on the evening of 31 July 1944 over the Mediterranean Sea, while on a reconnaissance flight. An unidentifiable body wearing French colors was found soon after. In 1998 his identity bracelet was found. In 2000 the remains of the aeroplane were found. In March 2008 a former Luftwaffe pilot told a Marseille newspaper that he had engaged and downed a plane in the area where Saint Exupéry\’s plane was found. His story is unverifiable, and has met with criticism from some German and French investigators.


Amelia Earhart

Earhart Plane

Amelia Earhart, American aviator and author. Disappeared on 2 July 1937 (along with her navigator) in the South Pacific, while attempting to circumnavigate the earth. No trace ever found.


Roald Amundsen


Roald Amundsen, Norwegian explorer. Disappeared on 18 June 1928 with 5 others in a plane crash in the Barents Sea while searching for the team of a fellow-explorer Umberto Nobile. A pontoon improvised into a life raft was found, suggesting that at least some of the group had survived the crash.


Ambrose Bierce

Bierce Paper

Ambrose Bierce, American journalist and author. Disappeared in Mexico some time after 26 December 1913 while travelling with rebel troops to gain a first-hand perspective of the Mexican Revolution. No trace ever found.


Joshua Slocum


Joshua Slocum, Canadian/American sailor and author. Disappeared in the West Indies some time after 14 November 1909 aboard his boat Spray. No trace ever found.

Contributor: astraya

  • My favorite type of list. Great one, can’t wait to read the comments :D

  • stevezio

    If Clinton gets VP you may be adding Obama to this list.

  • alf

    Check your date on Glenn Miller’s dissappearance. I think its off by 50 yrs.

  • kittym

    Intriguing list. I’d heard about some of these, and did a project on Amelia Earhart in grade school. Also I remember the news about Fossett last year. Very sad that they haven’t found a trace yet.

    Oh, and just some nitpicking, but in Glenn Miller’s description, it says he disappeared in 1994, not 1944. Kind of funny, because I was wondering at first why Paris needed liberating in the 90’s.

  • Kate

    Lesson of the day: If you’re famous, don’t fly your own airplane.

  • Wow, being as I live in Norway and Roald is one of the Norwegian national heroes I should have known of his disappearance.

    I wish you had written a bit more about the people on the list, good idea though.

  • Mom424


    Great list but I’m pretty sure you’ve mixed up the double consonants. Disappeared not dissapeared.

  • Froze

    Paris liberated in 1994? ;) And how old was Glenn Miller then? :D

  • stevenh

    astraya: Interesting list.

    Thank You.

  • Mom424

    psst; in #8, either many conspiracies abound about his disappearing and final resting place – or – there are many conspiracies around his disappearing and final resting place.
    sorry for being a pain.

  • Phoenix

    What about the Blair Witch crew…

  • Mom424

    stevezio; Do you really think Clinton as VP would be bad. I dislike/don’t trust the woman but I think she is a good choice for running-mate. She is ruthless enough to get the job done. And Obama would be telling her what job.

    by the way

    Randall, SlickWilly; Congratulations! Your guy got the ticket.

  • 116880

    Glenn Miller dissapeared in 1944, not 1994

  • longball

    D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as “D. B. Cooper”. Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. The FBI believes he did not survive the jump. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump.

    Source: WIKIPEDIA

  • Ok list, though would have been a lot better if the entries about each person were expanded, it’s not a very deep list.

  • longball

    mom- clinton is a terrible choice. not because she is a woman, but because she is a woman on a power trip. lol. but like i always says. black people and white women are only good for pornos. vote for McCain!!!

  • Wryan

    Mom424, I think he meant that Clinton would have Obama assassinated to become the president.

  • Kreachure

    Yeah, it’s disappeared, not dissapeared.

    Also, why are the items numbered from 10 to 1? If it’s in chronological order, then they should be numbered 1 to 10 so that it doesn’t look like a ‘real’ top 10 (1 being “the best”). You know what I mean! :P

  • MzFly

    Interesting subject for a list. But, I wish there was a bit more background information about these folks.

  • mom424 ~ Clinton as anything is bad. How do you dislike and distrust someone and still think she’s a good pick? And as far as “getting the job done,” the jobs they want to get done will bankrupt America!

  • Wooty45

    I like the counting down from 10 to 1 myself =/

  • EricB

    Interesting list, but I think it would have been a bit better if you added maybe some theories on their disappearance or something

  • I agree. Such a great list that it left me wanting more info. :)

  • CleverMel

    oh my stevezio! :D

    I like this list but I agree that it could have been expanded just a bit more. I would love to know more about Richey Edwards… off to the Wiki for me.

  • astraya

    Thanks for the comments. I thought about adding more to each entry, but decided to keep my first submission short and simple. I submit, I learn. I spend long periods of my day sitting in the staff room of a Korean high school, which can get pretty mind-numbing.
    I didn’t mean this to be “top”. I numbered them in chronological order forward, and they got posted in reverse order.
    Aeroplanes feature a lot. When I researched this list I was struck by how experienced most of these people were.
    Jamie – I love the photos you added.

  • Wally

    Great list Astraya. Learned about quite a few. I imagine you are Australian by your name, you left off Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Every true Australian knows who he is. Australian troops would question Japanese spies posing as Australians during WW2 who he was. Wrong answer and they would know you were Japanese. That and the sandals.

  • Malaprops

    Good list but what about Judge Crater?

    Wikipedia: Joseph Force Crater (1889-01-05 – date of death unknown) was a judge in New York City who suddenly disappeared on the night of 1930-08-06. He was last seen leaving a restaurant and entering a taxi. He had stated earlier that he was planning to attend a Broadway show. His disappearance became one of the most famous in American history and pop culture, and earned him the title of “The Missingest Man in New York”.

  • astraya

    Crater: I’m Australian. I’d never heard of Judge Crater. I was working mainly from personal knowledge, but also checked Crater is on that, but his name meant nothing to me.
    Kingsford-Smith: I’m Australian, and I certainly know who Kingsford-Smith is, but I didn’t know that he’d disappeared in that manner. I would certainly have included him. He’s not on the wikipedia list, but then neither is Saint Exupery. As I said: I submit, I learn.

  • green

    Great list! I’ve always been interested in Amelia Earhart.

    I’ve never heard of Crater either! Weird.

  • Mom424

    Rushfan; Because I am not naive about how things work in government, either in the US or in Canada. You must be stubborn, manipulative, and cut-throat in order to accomplish anything. Unfortunate but true; Hillary’s qualities would be an asset. Also as a bonus, it is better to keep her close so you can keep an eye on her.

  • kiwiboi

    Sir Charles Kingsford Smith. Every true Australian knows who he is. Australian troops would question Japanese spies posing as Australians during WW2 who he was. Wrong answer and they would know you were Japanese.

    Wally – LOL…Japanese “posing” as Australians.

    And what a stunning tactic on the part of Australian military intelligence.

    The kiwis, of course, had a somewhat less underhanded method of unmasking Japanese “spies” – they singled out the little Asian guys who spoke a strange language and who said things like “banzai” and “hai”, and bowed a lot; turns out most of these crafty little tinkers were not Australians, but Japanese ;)

    And all of this accomplished without resorting to the dreaded Kingsford-Smith interrogation technique :)

  • Mom ~ Wow, and I thought I was cynical. I have higher expectations of my elected officials than that. And to the point, Hillary hasn’t actaully accomplished anything that I’m aware of, so what have the attributes you’ve attributed to her accomplished? Also, “keep you enemies closer” doesn’t apply to positions of power where they could actually destroy the country.

  • kiwiboi

    astraya – nice list! Well done.

  • kiwiboi

    Wow, and I thought I was cynical. I have higher expectations of my elected officials than that.

    rushfan – speaking as a non-American and an interested observer…I do admire the persistence with which you maintain these “higher expectations”. In living memory you have Nixon, Clinton, and GWB; each of whom has left their own unique mark on American society.

  • In Narnia or wherever you live do you just keep low expectations so you’re never disappointed? :;

  • T

    Come on, Amelia Earhart should have been #1.

  • Joss

    I knew a few of these, but I had no idea that Glenn Miller went missing. Nice list!

  • Mark

    Cool. Glenn Miller should read 1944, not 1994.

  • QDV

    Interestingly, Jimmy Hoffa and clergyman, James Pike, were both born on the same day, 2/14/1913, and both disappeared, although Pike’s body was eventually recovered.

    Bison Dele (né Brian Williams), former National Basketball Association regular, disappeared from a yacht in the South Pacific back in ’02, presumably with foul play involved. John Brisker, another basketball player (NBA and ABA), went to Uganda in ’78 and disappeared again.

  • green

    just how does a list about missing people turn into a political debate? Isn’t anyone else sick of this never-ending campaign?

  • sorry, yer right. i’ve also got one going on the “who should be the next president” list. meet me over there to continue this discussion. :)

  • Sky

    Wasn’t Emelia’s plane eventually found?
    Her navigator died in the crash (found in the plane) and Emilia lived for a couple of weeks on the island they crashed on, radioing Russians and Americans, none of whom were believed…?
    Am I way off?

  • wasn’t that an episode of Gilligan’s Island? :)

  • green

    sky- i’ve never heard that before, but could be?

    Rushfan- thanks! you are kind

  • NestorV

    I am suprise that D B Cooper wasn’t on this list.

  • kiwiboi

    In Narnia or wherever you live do you just keep low expectations so you’re never disappointed?

    rushfan – I’m a NZ’er, but I live in London. And I have high expectations because I don’t have too many reasons to lower mine ;)

    (BTW…I wasn’t meaning to sound anti-American in my earlier comment, if that’s what you thought)

  • nah, i was trying to add a winky smiley face at the end to show levity but it didn’t work :;

  • why isn’t it working? ;/

    • Butch cassadi

      AHahahahaha, fail lol! xD

  • NN

    Way creepy.

  • green


    How could you leave NZ for London? NZ is the most beautiful place! My best friend moved there a few years back. I can’t wait to visit again

  • Sky, there is a bunch of theories about her disappearance but none of them proven.
    Go to Disappearance Theories from this Wik link
    By the way astray, I enjoyed reading this list

  • Kreachure

    Wooty45: Well sure, I love countdowns like everyone else, but not when they’re meaningless, like it is in this case.

  • Cedestra

    Jamie! Change Glenn Miller’s disappearance year before the list explodes!!!
    Very nice list, astraya. (Coincidentally, my “Spanish name” in high school Spanish class was estrella :).)
    How…HOW? did we turn a list about missing people into another political debate? Maybe I should just monkey wrench it with “Hey! You forgot Jesus Christ!” Shame on you people…/sigh

  • Quiana

    Rushfan comment #31 well said. Great List Steve Fosset seems like a great guy. I love reading anything about him.

  • Kreachure

    In other words, not all Listverse lists need to be countdowns, especially when items are not meant to be ‘better’ than others, and most especially when items already have a defined order, like this one (so for the latter type, a 1 to 10 numbering should be the norm).

  • Kreachure ~ wow, anal much?

  • oh, and Jesus Christmas!

  • kiwiboi

    How could you leave NZ for London? NZ is the most beautiful place! My best friend moved there a few years back. I can’t wait to visit again

    green – you’re not wrong about NZ. For my work, though, NZ’s a little small. I sure miss the place though.

  • sorry, Cedestra Estrella, I’m not up for a jesus debate just now…

    Kreachure, I can just see you sitting in a darkened room rocking back and forth brushing your doll’s hair muttering “lists that already have a defined order…not all lists need to be countdowns…”

  • Cyn

    clear cache. refresh/reload page to view corrections. :)

  • Kreachure

    rushfan: Anal about the huge numbers on this page that define the very nature of a list, on a website exclusively about lists? Yup, that would be me.

    Also, I wish Paris Hilton belonged to this list *sigh*

  • MPW

    great list but you should have mentioned the name of Earhart’s navigator. it was Fred Noonan. perhaps it was his fault they disappeared, bad navigating maybe.

    i agree with Kreachure, not all lists should be a countdown especially this type. that would be like saying anyone of these missing persons life was more important than the next. and that just aint fair.

    and what is up with the political talk, there are specific threads for that….. c’mon!!!

  • Emeraldi

    There have been about four different members/former members of La Cosa Nostra that have said that Jimmy Hoffa was strangled, then shot, then put into a 50g steel barrel, the barrel put into the trunk of a car and the car was taken to a compactor then a steel mill. When asked where he most likely is one remarked “he’s probably someone’s fender right about now.” But you never know with those guys.

  • Kreachure, I’m just bustin yer balls.

    Also, the political stuff is over, so catch up. :)

  • MPW

    rushfan: i just got here so its new to me.

    BTW you overuse the smileys.

    are you using them to mask your anger. and werent you the person who posted yesterday that there were 4 types of commenters on this site “retired professors,special class kids,people you comment to rain on other eoples parades etc.

    your raining on my parade pal

  • Sloopo

    Nice stuff :)

  • MPW

    rushfan: you use the smileys too much

    i just got to the site

    stop raining on my parade pal

  • sorry :(

    My name is Linda and i have a smiley addiction. Hi Linda.

  • MPW

    WTF….67 and 65

  • Ro

    Well of course most of these people had died suddenly and science failed to find any trace(perhaps because it wasn’t and still isn’t good enough).

    But Amelia Earhart’s case is different.I do believe there is a conspiracy theory somewhere in that story.I think her plane went into Japanese territory and was shot down. The FBI and CIA covered it up as it would cause widespread protests and America
    wanted to avoid any international confrontations to avoid any wars which were looking likely in the future.

  • MPW

    Linda/rushfan: the first step is admitting you have an addiction.

    good job

  • yeah me! i rabidly seek your approval. please like me. as far as my labeling listversers, i defy any label. except smiley abuser, of course. (now wouldn’t a smiley have been appropriate after my sarcastic “please like me?” no?)

  • Randall

    Good list. I agree Judge Crater could have been included. So could that Rockefeller kid who vanished in New Guinea in the early 70s I think it was.

    One point—It’s been pretty well established now that Glenn Miller’s plane was downed by accidental “friendly fire.” A bomber group in distress reported jettisoning their bombs over the English Channel on that same, foggy night. Recently one of the bombardiers in the group said that he remembered seeing a small plane below them, matching the description of Miller’s. The theory is that when the bombs were jettisoned, one of them struck Miller’s plane–which was also lost in the fog–and either destroyed it immediately, or crippled it so that it rapidly plunged into the Channel. Given the weather and the propensity of the English Channel for rough seas, it was then not at all surprising that no trace was ever found of the plane.

    The airman’s story and logs for that night match up. They were, apparently, directly over the last known position of Miller’s plane. Seems pretty decisive (at least as far as the evidence allows) that this is what happened to Glenn Miller.

  • Randall


    First of all, the CIA did not exist when Earhart disappeared.

    Second of all, Occam’s Razor applies here. It’s far more likely (and believable) that she simply got lost and ran out of fuel, crashing into the ocean (or ditching, and then she drowned). It’s been well-established that her radio signals before she vanished were getting weaker, indicating that she was flying *away* from the area where she was supposed to be (and thought she was). There’s nothing weird or impossible about this; Earhart was a great figure, and a good pilot (and, in my humble opinion, more than a bit of a hottie) but a lot of her fame grew out of hype–she was far from the best female pilot around, and she’d made her mistakes from time to time. It’s quite possible that over the vast expanse of the Pacific ocean, she simply got disoriented and became lost. A miss of just a few degrees–or even just a couple miles–is like being lost on another planet when you’re out over the open ocean. We know that she had equipment problems and that her partner, Fred Noonan, was far from reliable–though there’s no reason to suppose he had any blame in this. What’s most likely is that Earhart simply got in over her head and tragically it cost her and Noonan their lives.

    Thirdly, come on. The US government didn’t need an amateur private citizen like Earhart to do their spying for them in the Pacific. That part of the theory is just silly. Sure, she may have been asked to report anything she saw, just as a courtesy to her government, as a US citizen (I would), but to say she was an actual spy, and that her round-the-world stunt was just a cover–puh-leeze. That’s something straight out of a bad novel.

    Moreover, there’d be no reason for a cover-up. Certainly it could never be proven that this was her mission, if the theory were true–and so the Japanese would have nothing to hold against the US. And at any rate–sending a private pilot out of the Pacific to take a peek at what the Japanese were doing during peacetime is hardly grounds for war.

  • green

    maybe it’s just me, wouldn’t a note explaining whether the list is in any particular order be a good idea? That way, it is clear if there is a top spot or if they are all considered equal in the eyes of the list maker

  • MPW

    Randall, wasnt the rockefeller kid eaten by cannibals

  • rushfan

    again, Gilligan’s Island episode.

  • MPW

    green, its just you:)

  • MPW

    nobody was eaten by cannibals on gilligans island….little buddy

  • rushfan

    that’s what makes it funny, capn.

  • MPW

    green, the title is misleading though…huh?

    it should probably be ten notable people who disappeared

  • MPW

    its skipper not capn

    i wish i had a coconut radio

  • green

    dont worry, used to being the only one with my opinion:)

    Top Ten Notable People who Disappeared (in no particular order) would have been a great title

  • rushfan

    MPW…I have a coconut radio, one leg, and I farted. Jealous?

  • I’m glad to see listverse comments take a turn for the better :)

  • Green: Or simply 10 people who disappeared.

  • Randall


    Oh, I hope so… he deserved it, acting all cocky, thinking he could swim all the way back to shore and traverse the jungle, looking for “help.” Guy like that deserves to be someone’s tea-snack.

    But of course I jest.

    At any rate, no—no evidence was ever found of what happened to the poor schmuck.

  • JwJwBean

    Green: This is the opening paragraph. Read teh very last part.

    The qualification for this list is that the people were notable in their own right, and not simply because they disappeared, so no Madeleine McCann and the crew of the Mary Celeste. Some were simply accidental. Some have attracted conspiracy theories. One was definitely foul play. In chronological order:

    I agree it should not have TOP in the title tho.

  • Spocker

    Michael Clark Rockefeller (born 1938 – presumed dead November 17, 1961), was the youngest son of New York Governor (later Vice President) Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller and Mary Todhunter Rockefeller and a fourth generation member of the Rockefeller family. He disappeared during an expedition in the Asmat region of southwestern New Guinea.

    On November 17, 1961, Rockefeller and Dutch anthropologist René Wassing were in a 40-foot dugout canoe about three miles from shore when their double pontoon boat was swamped and overturned. Their two local guides swam for help, but it was slow in coming. After drifting for some time, Rockefeller said to Wassing “I think I can make it” and swam for shore. Wassing was rescued the next day, while Rockefeller was never seen again, despite an intensive and lengthy search effort. At the time, Rockefeller’s disappearance was a major world news item. No body was found, and he was finally declared dead in 1964.

    Source: Wiki

  • MPW

    not about the one leg part but i wish i farted…or not

  • JayArr

    D.B. Cooper cannot be on the list because he was not a NOTABLE person in his own right… he simply became notable after the highjacking.

  • MPW

    JayArr, good point plus he wanted to be “missing”

  • rushfan

    MPW, do you not watch SNL? That was my Amy Poehler impression.

  • MPW

    i’ve seen like five episodes tops. i usually watch Mad tv instead.

    i like amy poehler though, she is beautiful

  • rushfan

    i am very disappointed in you’re lack of judgement. you really need to watch SNL. you’re gonna miss out on the many snl-related references i’ll be making in the future. :0

  • JwJwBean

    Is it me or does Steve Fosset look like Anthony Hopkins? Maybe they will have Anthony Hopkins play him in the movie of his life if there is ever one made.

  • rushfan

    like Anthony Hopkins and Dick Van Patten had a baby


    QDV: that’s the first time i’ve heard of that!! Thats somme crazy shit right there. i was just not too long ago wondering what had happened to Brian Williams..last time i remember watching him play, i remember thinking how odd it was he had changed his name…..also that Jimmy Hoffa thing is mind blowing!! not even a clue what happened to that dude…the mythbusters recently proved he’s NOT buried under the field at Giant stadium…They’ll never find him!!

  • Csimmons

    I love these kinds of lists, thought Hoffa should have been #1 though, but awesome list!

  • Mirai

    And Ettore Majorana? The Romanov Family? There’re many left!

  • ****
    #83. green – June 5th, 2008 at 10:59 am
    Top Ten Notable People who Disappeared (in no particular order)…
    I just had the funniest mental picture of a person disappearing in random order; first a leg, then a head, an arm, a torso, a butt…THAT would be (in no particular order).

  • JwJwBean

    Csimmons are you saying that Hoffa disappeared earlier than Joshua Slocum? They are in chronological order.

  • green

    segue- hahaha nice image… all that would be left finally would be a finger, then !

    Mirai- The Romanov’s deserve a list to themselves!

    Rush-references to SNL I get, but impressions of SNL castmembers? Don’t you need voice tone, inflection, and movements?

  • rushfan

    green ~ yer kidding right? I was just letting him know I was quoting Amy Poehler’s one-legged chic character? Do you know the one? She’s hilarious!

  • ToKiLoKi12




    sorry i had to get that off my chest. interesting list though i’ve never heard of 6 of those people.

    on another note, i think MC HAMMER should be added to the list. Man that guy just disappeared.

  • green

    sorry, yes just kidding about the technical appropriateness of the word “impression”

    no I haven’t seen one-legged chic, but as a HUGE Amy Poehler fan I’ll have to check it out

  • Wow, I didn’t know Glenn Miller disappeared … once again proving that you learn something new everyday … especially if you frequent Listverse ^_~

  • scarlettangel

    What about the lost colony of Roanoke? It still remains one of the greatest mysteries in American history.

  • Csimmons

    Oh sory, didn’t see the “chronological” thing, if it weren’t in that order then Hoffa should be #1

  • Csimmons

    oh and the Roanoke Island thing should be here, or are we just going with a single person?

  • I have corrected a few more errors – thanks for pointing them out.

    CSimmons: This is a list of people that were already notable – the Roanoke islanders were MADE notable by their disappearance.

  • The Romanov’s didn’t really disappear – we knew what happened to them – just not where they were buried (until now as all bodies are accounted for).

  • astraya

    Thanks to the political commentators for going elsewhere.
    My conception was “10 notable people”, and my original order was chronological. Numbering chronologically (or reverse chronologically) doesn’t necessarily imply that “1” is “top”.
    I said in the introduction “The qualification for this list is that the people were notable in their own right”, so no DB Cooper (in fact his recent featured article in wikipedia got me thinking about this). Judge Crater was an associate justice of a state court – hardly “notable in his own right”. The Roanoake settlement might possibly have been on this list if I was American. Michael Rockefeller wasn’t “notable in his own right”.
    Anastasia and Alexei Romanov would have made interesting entries. If they were known to have disappeared I might have added them. A lot about their disappearance is speculative.
    Thanks to everyone for comments semi-critical and supportive.
    As I said earlier, I submit, I learn.
    My wife says I spend too long on the computer, so I’ve got to go.

  • stevenh

    Just a few more:
    Raul Wallenberg – the Swedish diplomat who was probably taken captive by the Russians.
    Hans Kammler – The #3 person in the Nazi hierarchy
    Wallice Fard – founder of the (USA) Nation of Islam – either murdered by police or Elijah Muhammad or perhaps went to Mecca.

    The two sons of King Edward IV (UK) – Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury. Imprisoned by uncle Richard III. read story here… )

  • that would suck to disappear =(

  • bwmyers18

    Anyone who watches “Prison Break” know what happened to D.B. Cooper :)

  • MPW

    who ares about D.B. Cooper, fuck him

    he was nothing but a filthy criminal with a hell of a lot of balls.

    he is dead anyway. he died in the woods and animals ate his remains including his bones and clothes

    or he was made up by the people on the plane and they split the cash but threw some out of the plane to give the illusion that he was real

  • Anderi

    It’s sad but on this other website I frequent, a whacko came out with the theory that Steve Fossett was sucked into a dimensional portal and found his way to a more advanced civilization and a better life…

    The even sadder thing is that this loser supposedly received, through Fossetts’ wife, an after disappearance message from Fossett saying that he was happy and in a wonderous place.

    And the worst thing is it was the most cliched tripe I had ever read: “He appeared to (his wife) wearing all white and saying the beings he encountered in the other dimension were friendly and peaceful with very advanced technology. And that he would bring them a great revelation soon”.

    Of course, nothing has been mentioned since and the fact that the whacko used the death of a famous person to try become some prophet is despicable.

  • Nick

    my moms brother was working at the diner the night he disappeared

  • rushfan

    MWP, where are you?

  • MPW

    its MPW pal:)

    where am i, im right behind you


  • rushfan

    Would any of us know your mom’s brother, Nick? What diner was it? Do they have good meat loaf? Did you ever find your mom’s brother? I must know.

  • rushfan

    There you are! :) That’s hilarious, I kept clicking on your comment under “recent comments” but it just takes you wherever…

  • rushfan

    There’s also a recent comment that says from “everyone: f**k off, Randall.” I’d love to find out where that is ;)

  • rushfan

    HEY, my winky worked!! hoo ray!

  • MPW

    seriously, what do you mean?

    i cant be here all the time you know

  • rushfan

    Sorry, Nick. I didn’t realize you were responding to the post prior to yours. To me it sounded like frickin Slingblade wandered into the room and wanted in on the conversation…”my mom’s brother worked in a diner, mmmm hmmm. I like french fried pertaters. mmmm hmmm.”

  • “or he was made up by the people on the plane and they split the cash but threw some out of the plane to give the illusion that he was real”

    I have to admit MPW that is one I have not heard.

    Did you just think that up now or have you heard this theory before?

  • MPW

    i was at school earlier, then i went to the store and came home and ate some pretzels and watched tv, now i am here

  • MPW

    honestly was only going to talk about him being dead and suddenly it hit me “what if he never existed”

    all original:)

    i love french fried pertaters mmm hhhmmmm

  • rushfan

    Maybe Bobcat Goldthwait should be on this list? Seriously, what ever happened to that poor guy? Did y’all ever see Shakes the Clown? Tragic.

  • MPW

    i am curious how did they know db coopers name

    did he tell them

    “im DB Cooper gimme gimme gimme”

  • MPW

    bobcat is dead because “i shot him” (in a charles broson voice)

    who cares im glad he is gone, i cant stand that jerk

  • rushfan

    monogrammed underwear

  • MPW


  • rushfan

    Chuck Norris killed Charles Bronson.

  • JwJwBean

    Rushfan and MPW: Did you 2 know there are Listverse forums with PM’s and a listverse IRC chat? I know MPW does because he posts in the forums.

  • MPW

    i got carried away and rushfan is a character

  • Hey – I have no objections to people chatting on the comments :) When we can afford a complete redesign of the site it will be much easier to communicate with other users.

  • MPW

    how do you get those faces into the comments anyway?

  • Kreachure

    Ohohoh I got one!

    David Copperfield!

    You know, cause he… and then he… nevermind.

  • MPW

    there is only one man who has chuck norris’s number…. me!!

  • rushfan


  • rushfan

    M(r)P(otato)W(eenie) ~ I still can’t get over the fact that you don’t watch SNL. You’re missing out on Laser Cats, MaGruber!, the target lady, two a-holes doing various things, et al

  • MPW

    i dont watch much tv. mostly sports,simpsons,discovery channel and such

  • Diogenes thunked

    I saw Chuck Norris in jeans once.
    quite a prodigious lump
    In fact, they have a bronze monument in Yellowstone.
    but I digress.

    astraya: it all as a collective 10, makes me aware of connections to deep sea explorers and treasure hunters and conspiratorial(sp? or is it even a word?) minds… Makes me think of investigative indulgences(sp?). makes me think of the “died by drowning” list.
    of The world swallowing
    of leveling off degrees of disapperance (sp?)

  • JwJwBean

    I was trying to get more into the forums and IRC. It was too quiet in there and I was really bored. :(

  • Ro

    yo Randall,

    I never said that it was for spying purposes, her or the US government’s intentions were nothing of that sort.
    I said she might have gotten lost as you pointed out and possibly got into Japanese territory. The Japs without thinking twice shot her plane down.

    This doesn’t change much,the story still remains that she got lost but think about it, it does sent chills down your spine to think that she had been actually killed by the Japs.

    When did I ever mention it was a spy mission?
    But the US would cover it up to avoid any bellicose situations.It didn’t matter to them that much and opening their mouths would lead to complications.

    Sorry for the CIA gaffe, I didn’t know.

  • Face

    Interesting … Antoine de Saint Exupéry was the author of “Le Petit Prince” oui?

  • Lini-Oh??

    TokiLoki12: MC Hammer??? Don’t you mean 2Pac?? Why isn’t he on the list?? Doesn’t anyon else think it’s weird that he’s still releasing music long after he “Died”…

  • Drogo

    Gee! For some reason, I’m thinking of a Metallica song. (Hmm) What’s the name of that tune?

  • rushfan

    Jw…I just tried to log into the forums, but it wouldn’t accept my user name and password…I’ll have to try again later

  • beanshide

    Great list..didn’t people started to think that going alone on a plane or a baloon would be a bad idea?

    And there is another famous person, but I guess you wouldn’t know it. The portuguese King Sebastian disappeared in North Africa while fighting there, somewhere around 1600 (too lazy to check the exact date at wikipedia). His body was never found, and no one ever knew if he was captured, killed or simply just run away. He was young and had no children, which means it originated a mess with the sucession to the throne. We have a popular legend that says that in a cloudy, misty day he will return, appearing from the fog. I think it is a cool legend, people like it, althought of course everyone knows if he didn’t died at the battle he is surely dead now.

  • Randall


    Uh… I’d argue that both Judge Crater AND Michael Rockefeller were “notable in their own right” prior to their disappearances. The problem is you’re not an American, so you aren’t really hip to who these people were.

    Crater’s debatable, I suppose, but I’d argue that he was certainly “notable” and well-known in *New York* before he became a missing person statistic.

    Michael Rockefeller, on the other hand, was a *Rockefeller.* This alone made him automatically “notable” and well-known. Even before his disappearance, he was known as a successor to the Rockefeller throne of wealth and power. Hardly a dude who’s anonymous.

  • JwJwBean

    Rushfan: You need to create another username and pw for the forums. It can be the same username, but you have to reregister. Can’t wait to see you posting in there. :)

  • rushfan

    cool, thanks :)

  • rushfan

    it’s telling me my email is already being used :(

  • JwJwBean

    That is odd. We will get you in there. There was a java link to IRC in the Site Update:May 2008 list.
    Will have to find out about the email thing when JFrater is up later.

  • joe

    What about an entire town full of people seemingly vanished off the face of the earth? Roanoke Colony ring any bells?

  • kahlan

    joe~see #113~”The Roanoake settlement might possibly have been on this list if I was American.”

  • G Note

    Unfortunately there seems to be a pretty logical and straight forward reason for every disapearance on this list.

  • astraya

    Thanks again for all of these comments.
    Any list containing 10 items compiled with a degree of subjectivity (how do you measure “notable”?) is going to miss many, sometimes very important, items. (see the new list on influential metal rock bands)
    I don’t disagree with any of your suggestions. Some were on my short list of 15, then got trimmed.

    MPW 62 – I did want to name Fred Noonan, Earheart’s navigator, but I couldn’t find his name. The wikipedia article doesn’t give his name in the opening paragraph. It does later on, but I’d gone into brain freeze by then. I also wanted to name Amundsen’s companions, but that would have taken too much space.

    Randall 154 – I’d challenge you to name any current associate justices of your state court, but I’ve gleaned enough about you in the last six months to know that you could probably do it! Even if Judge Crater was notable in New York before his disappearance, he’s not up with the world’s firsts and bests that form the bulk of the list. Same for Michael Rockefeller.

    G Note 161 – the title is “notable people” not “mysterious disappearances”.

    Thanks, everyone, it’s been a privilege.

  • ****
    Author: astraya
    Comment:(I deleted a lot of good stuff, just for the sake of space)
    I did want to name Fred Noonan, Earheart’s navigator, but I couldn’t find his name. The wikipedia article doesn’t give his name in the opening paragraph.
    exactly why I have a policy of NEVER, EVER using Wiki! It’s written and compiled by non-professionals, anybody, absolutely anybody, can write up an article or edit an existing article.
    So you have people who don’t really know their subject matter, writing articles for people who want real, solid information on just that subject.
    Not exactly the Encyclopedia Britannica. A set I have actually read.

  • Ro

    Yes, exactly. Wiki’s important however to gather the facts quickly.But as a whole it’s superficial.

  • MPW

    Astraya: no prob.

  • ****
    #164. Ro – June 6th, 2008 at 8:51 pm
    Yes, exactly. Wiki’s important however to gather the facts quickly.But as a whole it’s superficial.
    Thanks. I was starting to think I was the only one with an anti-wiki bias.
    146. Diogenes thunked – June 5th, 2008 at 8:14 pm
    I saw Chuck Norris in jeans once.
    This is one of my favorite kinds of sentences, the dangling participle! What you have said is that you saw Chuck Norris while YOU were wearing jeans, but when I read the rest of the post (very funny, btw), it was Chuck who was wearing jeans.
    Thanks for the laugh. I needed it!
    #148. Ro – June 5th, 2008 at 11:08 pm
    yo Randall,
    Sorry for the CIA gaffe, I didn’t know.
    Ro, what Randall failed to mention was that the CIA was preceeded by the OSS, same deal, different name. Oh, they made a few changes re: what they could/couldn’t do, would/wouldn’t release, but the changes were cosmetic, really, unless you want to count the ultra-secret sub-sets (and NO RANDALL, I DIDN’T get this info from either X-Files or Wiki).
    So, Ro, your only gaffe is a matter of nomenclature, not one of fact.
    From this moment forward, Randall does not occupy my world.

  • astraya

    I don’t use wikipedia as an infallible or even reliable source. I use it as a convenient source.

  • jussanuddername

    Roberto Clemente

  • Ray Bees

    I wish Russell Brand was on this list.

  • Ray Bees: hahah

  • MPW

    Roberto Clemente didn’t disappear it is well known he is dead

  • Spart

    George Mallory was a famous disappearance, although technically he doesn’t count, as his body was found a few years ago atop Mt Everest.

    Lord Lucan was also, although conspiracy theorists beleive he is alive and well in Australia somewhere


    On another note, the quality of the comments on the site has been in decline for several weeks. A lot of sniping and rubbish is appearing. Randall – pull your head in, your comments are usually smarter, as are others. Not everyone is American, we dont know the ins and outs of American judges, ect, however, 83% of Americans cant find my country on a map………………………………….

  • Spart, what is your country? Your nic makes me think of Sparta, so Greece, then you mention Australia…but only a 1 year could miss Australia.

  • TranquilHegemony

    Spart, I find it sad and ironic that you hold Randall in such high regard as he is one of the meanies who “snipes” and “talks rubbish” as you put it. Granted, I am new here, but it became painfully clear right away what a name-calling troll he can be. Can you find Idaho on a map? ;}

  • Canuck

    Maybe I’m being stupid and you know and are allowing this, but did you notice that this list is over here at (I got the link off of ebaumsworld)?

  • R

    God, man look at that mole on Richie Edwards O_o
    I dont remember, but wasnt there like a book on what REALLY happened to Hoffa?

  • Ro

    Oh, I wanted to say this much earlier but didn’t want to hurt the author’s feelings but I have to now, for the sake of listverse.

    Chronological order is rubbish because you want and expect to see the most sensational piece at the number 1 spot. A time frame spoils the list in my opinion. Numbering the lists should be the most exciting prospect after all, as you combine your own knowledge, research and countless of other factors to give others the pleasure of having everything done for them. Then they can enjoy and relish to the fullest their countdown of the top 10 where they know that it gets better and better as they scroll down.

    That’s precisely what’s so mouth watery about top 10 lists
    and this is listverse, the home of top 10 lists.

  • Spart

    I’m from Australia, and you bet, I can find Idaho. Worked next door in BC and looked pretty seriously at a job in Seattle onetime.

    Trust me, I dont hold much regard for Randall, but ocaisionally he contributes a little that isn’t just rubbish.

  • tranquilhegemony

    spart, i actually agree. the more i see his comments, it’s aparent he’s a smart guy, but he has “smart guy syndrome” where he can’t just be smart, he has to be the smartest guy in the room at the expense of anyone and everyone else

    i would love love love to live in seattle. i wish it would rain every day!

  • Randall


    The OSS was the *WWII* predecessor of the CIA (and yes, there WERE some hefty differences) and did NOT exist when Amelia Earhart disappeared. Okay, so you didn’t get your info from Wikipedia… but you didn’t look hard enough, all the same.

    Which seems typical of the way you toss your opinions around on this site…

  • Randall


    “Smart guy syndrome?” Hardly. The fact of the matter is, you (and a couple others here) came on another thread, mouthing a lot of tired old right-wing platitudes and propagandistic nonsense, and you got called out on it. And you didn’t like it. Don’t lay your discount psychological analyses on ME, therefore–turn them on yourself.


    I’m not here to win the regard of total strangers in the ether, I’m here to provide needed information (and have been for quite some time now, along with a few other contributors to this site) when necessary, and to occasionally enjoin in diverting and fun debates and arguments which hopefully keep life interesting for me. My purpose is to inform and entertain, therefore. And partly this is to keep ME interested as well as other people–otherwise I’d find posting info and fact-type stuff on the ‘net to be a colossal bore, as I’ve been doing it for over ten years, and it gets old after a while.

    “God”: I’m a “notorious ass,” eh? Well, if I’m notorious, then it just satisfies my sense that I’m entertaining people around here, even if I’m “the villain.” But I won’t comment on the irony of someone who has the poor taste to use the moniker “God” as their tag for posting here, and then turns around and calls someone else an “ass.”

  • honkster

    Oscar Zeta Acosta , As your attorney i advise you to include him . thnx

  • Neil

    how about Heinrich Himmler?

  • Sarah

    I was surprised to see that Lord Lucan wasn’t on the list.

    Great site!

  • astraya

    I put the list in chronological order because I wanted my first list to be as objective as possible, having seen some of the comments some list submitters cop because of their subjective ranking.

    Lord Lucan was on my short list. Basically I cut him because he wasn’t famous in his own right before he disappeared. (Maybe well-known in his own set (the British aristocracy) but not famous in the same way as all these people.)

    If this list appears on any other site, then they stole it from here. (Perhaps I should be flattered by that!) I submitted this list to this site and to nowhere else.

    So far as I have just checked, Himmler committed suicide after being captured by the Allies. The location of his grave is unknown.

  • Sarah

    I think, in Britain, if you asked someone to name a person who disappeared, they say Lucan for sure.

    I could see why the rest of the world wouldn’t know who he is and, with that in mind, can see why he’s not on the list.

    Love this site.


  • bass3443

    I was hoping to see Bobby Fischer on this list. Keep up the good work and still a great list. :)

  • diogenes

    Bobby Fischer never disappeared–unless you mean dead, which he most recently is–or if you meant recluse, which he was–or if you meant blacklisted, which also he was.

  • diogenes

    p.s. he seems to have been in the same boat as Gould.

  • diogenes

    p.p.s. and maybe Miles Davis, but I digress.

  • diogenes

    p.p.p.s. ok, disregard all previous statements be my nom-de-plume.

    what are we to do when we have extrordanary individuals who later show their true colors(seemingly), that the majority has difficulty with?

  • astraya

    Update: The wreckage of Steve Fossett’s plane has been discovered in the Sierra Nevada of California.

  • Artemis

    Hey, Fosset has been found, or at least remains that are probably his.

  • Ouroboros

    You want irony? They named a swimming pool after Harold Holt before he disappeared-when ever i drive pass it cracks me up-in an ironic morbid way of course.

  • astraya

    Ouroboros: My grandparents lived in Glen Iris, and whenever we visited them in summer we’d go to the pool.
    The wikipedia article says the pool was being built when he died. Either way, it’s bordering on twisted. They may name a “Steve Fossett Memorial Airfield” one of these days.

  • Mullrock

    They just declared Richey Edwards (#9) dead last week.

  • ASB

    Emilia Erhardt had tons of conspiracy theorists still debating her diappearance upto now…

    Some said the simplest explanation is the best, that she lost fuel or engine trouble happened and she went down…

    Another said she’s been commissioned by the government to do s pying mission on the japanese in the marshall islands before the war…

    Others say her personal documents were recovered in Saipan, when US captured a japanese base…


  • Amelia Earhart was an iffy pilot at best (if you go back through the records), her fame came about because she was a beautiful woman who flew, and a brave one. She was not, however, a good one.
    I have no trouble believing she simply got lost, ran out of fuel, and ditched at sea.
    There will always be conspiracy theories because people love conspiracy theories. People love mysteries, puzzles. A conspiracy theory is nothing more than a puzzle.
    And it’s almost always a lie.

  • shamzahm

    I know where Hoffa is, he’s burried in a horse farm just down the road.

  • Seanette

    Steve Fossett’s remains have been found and identified. See


    What about Amelia Earhart?

  • totalstranger

    Richey is on this list!!! Manic Street Preachers are my all time fav band!

  • natapillar

    @Seanette (200): i thought i was going mad when i saw steve fossett on this list,as i was sure i had seen in the news that his remains had been found! thanks for the link to confirm my sanity is indeed intact!

  • Juancho

    Other disappearances: US poet Hart Crane (presumably jumped overboard from a ship); French author and criminal François Villon (this guy was interesting); Joseph Kennedy jr., aircraft disappeared over English Channel during WWII); Gestapo head Alois Brunner, the top Nazi to have gotten away clean (Bormann’s remains were found in Berlin, Mengele was identified though never punished); Old West outlaw Black Bart, who after his release from prison disappeared from history; medieval philosopher William of Ockham, presumably died in the Black Death; Pontius Pilate, about whom very little is known.

  • ash m w

    Hi on 9 you said the severn bridge is a suicide hotspot,that is incorrect.I live in cardiff,South wales and live close to the severn bridge.To be honest its very secure around the bridge and on with cctv cameras ect.I guess you got your info off wikipedia,which tells alot.

  • mrsmarvel

    @MPW [132]: He was listed on the passenger list as Dan Cooper. DB Cooper was a mistake by the newspaper and it stuck.

  • Andie

    Might have included hockey star Bill Barilko, who disappeared in the summer of 1951 while on a fishing trip near North Bay, Ontario. This was the same year he won the winning goal in the Stanley Cup finals for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
    The next time the Leafs won a Stanley cup was 1962. Later that year, Barilko’s body was discovered in the Northern Ontario bush.

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  • #10: "No trace found yet."
    Fossett was found — you might want to update your entry.

  • lh1986

    Jeff Buckley ! RIP

  • biwwy

    What about Amelia?

  • brit

    Four years after Amelia Earhart dissapeared they found her body on some beach…

  • Lockers1234

    I think Ettore Majorana,the scientist who disappeared is good for this topic.

  • jon

    If you liked this list (a good one btw) you should look up the story of Col. Percy Fawcett. There is an excellent book about it call "The Lost City of Z".

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  • Kirk

    DB Cooper?

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  • Brian

    I can’t honestly remember where I heard it, but I heard that Jimmy Hoffa was ground up and spread over the sea, and if he’s honestly anywhere its either the ocean or one of the great lakes, since he’s from Michigan.

    Also, there has been a reported crash site and two bodies found near their flight path and what not on the Amelia Earhart’s crash

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