10 – The Disappearance of Lake Riesco
This photo shows what once was Lake Riesco in Chile. Admired by visitors for its pristine blue waters, the lake’s vast 1,400 hectare body completely vanished in a single night in May 2016, without leaving so much as a puddle.
The lake and its surroundings were environmentally stable. Less than a month prior to its disappearance, environmental surveys reported that nearby volcanoes were all inactive, and that the lake was receiving a healthy 3,000 mm of rainfall annually.
Since the lake’s disappearance, there has been no official explanation. Only local news outlets and fringe conspiracy websites have reported on its absence. Wikipedia does not even have an entry for the lake. In fact, its map of Chile omits its existence altogether. All the more eerie are online reviews from tourists who until recently delighted in its now forgotten shores.
9 – Tantallon Castle Ghost
This photograph claims to show a ghoulish spectre in period dress staring down from the heights of a Scottish castle.
Since its completion in the mid-fourteenth century, Tantallon Castle has been besieged and invaded multiple times. Nowadays, its ruin attracts many visitors.
In the spring of 2008, one such tourist, Christopher Aitchison, snapped this mysterious photo. Instantly perplexed by what it appeared to show, he contacted the castle’s staff to verify that there were no dummies in period costume or historical re-enactments going on that day. There weren’t.
Aitchison has even offered up the original file to prove that it has not been tampered with.
He has also stated that he ‘was not aware of anyone, or any thing being present’ at the time, only noticing the anomaly after examining the photograph at home.
Some have even speculated that the figure staring down at the photographer was James V of Scotland, who successfully besieged the castle in the 16th century.
8 – Lunar Pyramid
This grainy, over-exposed photo was taken by Apollo 17 in 1972, during the last of the Apollo missions to the moon.
Available in the public domain, the image is hesitantly labelled with a question mark in the NASA archives (entry ref: AS17-135-20680). However, once the contrast is adjusted, the photo reveals a clear silhouette of a triangular object. Many believe that this resembles a pyramid-like structure on the surface of the moon.
During the mission, the astronauts took a series of photographs from cameras mounted to the front of their space suits. As this mysterious photo was the last of its magazine, we do not know what the astronaut saw immediately afterwards. The previous photos in the series appear to show the astronaut panning across the lunar module to the surface of the moon.
NASA have not provided a statement.
7 – The Professor’s Fairies
In April 2014, university lecturer and Director, John Hyatt, photographed what he believes are fairies.
Captured in Rossendale Valley in the United Kingdom, these images supposedly depict a multitude of tiny, humanoid winged creature – not unlike descriptions of mythical fairies.
The photographs have not been found to be fraudulent. Professor. Hyatt, himself an expert in the field, stakes his reputation on them being genuine pictures.
Skeptics have argued that, whilst beautiful, they are merely pictures of insects. Yet, there are dissimilarities. Hyatt’s creatures do not have the characteristic long abdomen of flies or mosquitoes.
In search of an alternative explanation, Hyatt himself has described how he “went out afterwards and took pictures of flies and gnats”. They just did not look the same.
6 – Baltic Sea Anomaly
In 2011, the Swedish treasure hunting team ‘Ocean X’ discovered something strange in the Baltic Sea. 90 meters under the water, there lay a 60-metre-wide and eight-metre-tall circular object.
As soon as their sonar picked up the anomaly, the ship lost power. The crew have described how everything electrical, and even the satellite phone, ceased working. Once they had moved 200 meters away from the object, everything resumed functionality.
A sample from the object was recovered by divers. After analysis, geologist Steven Weiner stated that the materials which were recovered were ‘metals which nature could not reproduce itself.’
There are a multitude of theories which attempt to explain the object’s origin. Scientists have said that it is an exceptional geological formation, whilst others claim that it is man-made. Some even suggest that it is extraterrestrial. All that is certain is that nobody truly knows.
5 – A Soldier’s Hero
This photograph is as mysterious as it is heart-rendering.
It was taken by an ABC news reporter, and shows a beam of light shining on a dog named Hero. The reporter was filming an interview with the parents of Justin Rollin, a soldier who had died in 2007 in Iraq.1
Hero the dog had been saved by Justin in early 2007. She was trapped underneath a portable toilet alongside a litter of eight other puppies. After rescuing the newborns, Justin emailed home with a few pictures of himself and his new puppy.
The following day, Justin was killed in action.
The bereaved family ceaselessly lobbied to get one of the puppies that Justin had held in Iraq the night before he died. After three months of battling red tape and impossible odds, the family had Hero.
Sometimes when Justin’s mother would hug Hero, she would gently pet her face and whisper, “Justin, are you in there?”.
This was the dog who had given Justin the last bit of happiness before his death. She was the final life which he had saved.
A few years later, ABC was there to follow up on the story, when a beam of light shone down from the sky. The light wrapped itself around Hero, almost as if it were a message from Justin himself.
4 – Tulip Staircase Ghost
In 1966, retired clergyman Ralph Hardy was photographing the impressive Tulip Staircase in the Queen’s House section of the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. Upon development he was shocked to discover a ghastly apparition clutching onto the staircase with both hands. Some have even suggested that there are in fact two apparitions in shot: a darker figure higher up on the staircase, accounting for the third, ghostly hand on the rail.
At the time of the photo being taken, Hardy’s wife was present and attested that no one else was there with them. Furthermore, the staircase had been roped off at the time with a no admittance sign.
Analysis of the original negative has been conducted by Kodak and other photography experts, proving that it has not been tampered with in any way.
What makes this image all the more mystifying is that unexplained figures and ghostly footsteps are often reported by visitors in the vicinity of the staircase.
3 – Our Lady of Zeitoun
This picture is one of many which captured a phenomena that occurred for three years in the Zeitoun district of Cairo, Egypt.
It began on 2nd April, 1968, when a Muslim bus mechanic saw what he believed to be a woman preparing to jump from the top of the Church of St. Mary. A large crowd began to gather. However, this was no earthly being. For within a few minutes the figure vanished.
Exactly one week later, the female apparition reappeared in the same place. This would occur many times afterwards. Onlookers were convinced that she was the Virgin Mary. Those who saw the figure claimed she would appear and stay there for hours, bowing to the cross, blessing those in the streets, and even have doves of light appear around her. Others have suggested the occurrences were extraterrestrial.
The spirit was seen by many, including the then Egyptian President. The Coptic Orthodox Pope even ordered an extensive investigation, alongside a delegate from the Vatican, and concluded that the phenomena was a genuine Marian apparition. Reports by the police found no definitive explanation for how the spectre continuously materialised.
2 – Black Knight Satellite
This is alleged to be the first photograph taken of the enigmatic ‘Black Knight Satellite’. It was taken in 1998 by astronauts aboard the Endeavor space shuttle, as it made its maiden voyage to the International Space Station.
The Black Knight is said to be artificial, yet pre-dates the first man-made satellite launched from Earth.
The origin of the Black Knight legend dates back to 1899 and radio experiments conducted by Nikola Tesla. He is said to have picked up a peculiar repeating radio signal which he believed was coming from space.
In 1928, an amateur radio operator from Norway received a similar signal.
Since then, there have been many other purported encounters with the mysterious satellite and its transmissions.
In 1960, the US – on the hunt for enemy spy satellites – were alarmed to discover an unidentified object in orbit on their radar screens. It wasn’t theirs, and it wasn’t the Soviets’ either.
In July 2015, the Black Knight was supposedly captured passing in front of the moon.
There has been much speculation regarding the origins of the Black Knight. Some have even suggested that it may be an alien probe sent from a far-distant location in the universe. It is yet to be identified as a piece of man-made debris.
1 – Dyatlov Pass Incident
At first glance, this image may not strike one as mysterious.
It is only when the story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident is told that the full extent of this photo’s horrifying mysteries are revealed.
In February 1959, a trekking group of nine experienced ski hikers set up camp in the Ural Mountains. Weeks later, their tent was discovered, torn, and half-covered in snow. The tent had been torn open – viciously – from the inside. It was found empty, with all of the hikers’ possession left behind.
It took two more months for all of the bodies to be recovered.
The trekking group of eight men and two women was led by Igor Dyatlov, whose name would be given to the pass in which he perished. Prior to setting out, Dyatlov had informed a friend who was unable to go on the trip with them to expect a telegram sometime around the 12th of February. This was the day that the group expected to return to Vizhai. When the telegram failed to emerge, the alarm was raised.
The first of the bodies were discovered around a mile away from camp. The footprints which led to them indicated that they were only wearing socks, or were even barefooted. This was in spite of temperatures reaching as a low as minus 30 degrees Celsius.
The remaining bodies were found in a ravine, buried under four metres of snow.
Official investigations of the Dyatlov Pass bodies
Post-mortem investigations struggled to determine a cause of death. Four of the bodies were found to have such traumatic injuries that the investigation could only conclude that an ‘unknown compelling force’ had led to their deaths.
One of the female hikers’ bodies was discovered in a horrifying state. She was missing her tongue, eyes, parts of her lips, as well as facial tissue and a fragment of skullbone.
An attack by unknown assailants was ruled out as a possibility due to the lack of additional footprints at the site and no evidence of a hand-to-hand struggle. Furthermore, the injuries found on three of the bodies could not have been caused by another human being, because the force of the blows had been too strong and no soft tissue had been damaged.
Forensic tests have revealed that high doses of radioactive contamination were found on the hiker’s clothes.
After the incident, the pass was closed to the public for three years. The inquest files were also sent to a secret archive. Photocopies of the case only became available in the 1990s, although some parts – such as reports into the condition of the hiker’s internal organs – are still missing.
On the night of the incident, another group of hikers around 50 kilometres away, reported that they witnessed peculiar orange spheres in the night sky. Similar objects were observed continuously during the period from February to March of that year in adjacent areas.
A cryptozoological explanation has also been put forward, with many sightings of a large humanoid creature, resembling the legendary Yeti, being reported in the region.
Ultimately what happened to the hikers that night remains a true mystery.