Mass Vanishings – Bizarre Cases That Give Chills! Part I

by Sankalan Baidya
Mass vanishings

When you hear these two words – Mass Vanishings – what is the picture that comes to your mind? If you are wondering that certain things vanish, you are wrong. However, we do know that our readers are intelligent and they immediately know that mass vanishings refer to sudden and unexplained disappearances of a group of people without any trace. Isn’t that really weird?

Imagine what would you feel when you visit a place that you have long known to be populated with people and you find that the place has turned into a ghost town with no trace of a single person. The scene will become even creepier when you come to know that those people just vanished without leaving a single trace of any struggle.

In history, there are many such cases that are yet to be explained. People have just vanished and no one knows where they went and why they went. No one knows how the disappeared when there’s absolutely no trace of any struggle that forced they to disappear overnight. In this article, we will go through some of the most famous cases of mass vanishings that, to this day, remain a mystery. Hundreds and thousands of people simply vanished in thin air! They simply blinked out of existence and there’s not even a single soul on this planet that saw them leave. So, without further ado, let us take a look at some of the most famous mass disappearances that occurred in history.

Mass Vanishings of Inuit People of Northern Canada

If we talk of modern times, this is perhaps THE MOST famous case of mass vanishings in history. The event happened in 1930. Northern Canada is known for its harsh environment. That’s the place where you will be greeted by eternal cold. The environment is so harsh that no one will expect to see the place teeming with life. However, this wasn’t the case at the shores of Lake Anjikuni. The stony shore of the lake was home to Inuit people, who not only lived there against the odds like biting chilly winds and icy surroundings but also, they prospered as a village of fishermen.

Some 1,200 to 2,500 villagers lived there. This village used to get a visitor by the name Joe Labelle. Labelle was a fur trapper and used to visit the village at times for business. In November 1930 Joe once again visited the village. It was customary for the Inuit people of the village to greet Labelle and offer him warm shelter and a filling platter of food. Unfortunately, this time in November 1930, this did not happen.

Surprised, he looked around only to find that the place was absolutely abandoned. There was not a single soul around and all activities had ceased. The only sounds were that of the rustling wind which only compounded the bone-chilling silence that was spread across the length and breadth of the once booming village.

Unable to understand what was happening, Labelle decided to go into the village and take a close look. Upon entering the village, he was greeted with the sight of a few sled dogs – frozen solid and partially buried in snow. The dogs were emaciated, suggesting that they starved for long! That wasn’t the best of the sights he expected and hence, decided to take a look into some of the shacks in which the villagers lived. The sight was pretty surprising for Labelle. He noticed that none of the personal items were removed from anywhere. Even rifles and other tools were in the exact same place where they were supposed to be. Not just that Labelle even found meals organized on tables and some pots with food in it were left over fires. Contents of some of the pots were charred and cold while some were still slightly warm because of the smoldering amber of the fireplaces. That was absolutely weird for Labelle and he felt that as if someone would just return home but that didn’t happen. For as long as he scanned through the place, he found that there were no signs of struggle. The people of the village had just vanished.

Confused, Labelle decided to return to civilized Canada and when he reached, he narrated the whole story to Royal Canadian Mounted Police. An immediate investigation was launched and whatever Labelle told was found to be true by RCMP. The police also found something more interesting with a wee bit of deeper investigation. They looked at the graves and to their utter surprise, the bodies from the graves were also missing. There were no footprints, no track marks – everyone – living and dead – had just vanished. The news came up in Toronto Daily Star’s November 30 edition of 1930. When the news went public, people from nearby areas started to add the creepy spice to the story stating that they saw strange lights appearing in sky before the mass vanishings happened. You know what it meant, don’t you? Yes! Alien abduction!

Mass Vanishings of Roanoke Island’s Colony

History buffs may know about this particular incident but if you are not one of them, here is your chance to learn about the fascinating story, which is actually true. The story begins in 1587 when the English people managed to create a permanent settlement in New World. The first English colony was established on Roanoke Island, which was only 3 miles wide and 12 miles wide. This was one of the several islands in the chain of islands that is known by the name Outer Banks off North Carolina’s coast.

A total of 120 people settled there which included women, children and men. The group leader was John White. The whole group travelled across the sea to finally settle there. The first English child to be born there was Virginia Dare – John White’s granddaughter.

They were the first English people there and it was not surprising that the natives of New World weren’t very friendly. This hostility was a result of confrontations between the English people and the natives back in 1584 when the English previously tried to settle down in North America. Adding to the problems were harsh weather conditions that the English people were not accustomed to. Making things even worse, the survival supplies were running low.

So, since the colony wasn’t really doing great, it became necessary to acquire new supplies. Local hunt wasn’t an option because of the hostile conditions. This forced John White to return all the way back to England to get fresh supplies. He planned on a 3-month trip up and down. That was a decent estimate but what White didn’t know was that England reached a critical point in war with Spain as Spanish armada was engaged in relentless attacks. Because of these attacks, England was forced to halt all shipping for unknown time. When John White reached England and requested shipping of supplies, he was denied and not just that, his very own ship was taken from him to aid in war.

That was a bummer! The anticipated 3 months passed and then the whole year and then nearly another two years. It was only in August 1590 that John White was able to return to New World. But, little did he know that an unexpected surprise was waiting for him at Roanoke Island. When he reached there, there was no sign of the colony he left behind. There was absolutely no human soul waiting for greeting White on his arrival. Well, what was even disturbing that he and his men didn’t find any houses either. Every single house in the village was completely disassembled and totally removed! There was no sign whatsoever of the entire settlement. It was one of the classic cases of mass vanishings. White and men combed through the island and found a tree where the word ‘Croatoan’ was carved. They also found another tree where the letters ‘CRO’ were carved. Apart from those two clues, there was nothing else.

White thought for a while and remembered that to the south of Roanoke was another island known as Hatteras. The island was inhabited by a native tribe known as Croatoan. Three years earlier, before leaving for England, John White gave clear instructions to his people that in his absence if the hostiles force them to leave the island, they should carve the name of the place where they would be moving to. In addition, White also instructed that if there was any difficulty, for example, a natural disaster or an attack from the hostile natives, the settlers should leave the mark of Maltese cross along with the destination name. Unfortunately, no such marking was found anywhere across the length and breadth of the island.

Finding no traces of his family and the other settlers, White thought of sailing to Hatteras. Unfortunately, his crew did not agree and almost started a mutiny. With no options left, White had to return back to England never to hear from his family and fellow settlers ever again.

Centuries passed by and the mass vanishings of Roanoke Island settlers passed on to the annals of history as an unsolved and intriguing mystery. Over time several theories came to existence though but none of them gave a proper resolution to the mass vanishings of Roanoke Island. In history, this particular episode is known as the Lost Colony.

One of the many theories that tried explaining the mass vanishings of English settlers is that the hostile natives came up with violent attacks and wiped out the colony. No graves were found and there were no remains of the settlers as well to validate this theory. Another theory was that a mysterious disease killed those people. That too is unlikely because of the absence of mass graves. Another theory said that a violent hurricane wiped out the settlement. Yet another said that Spanish forces came along and killed every single settler. Some others proposed that those people tried to sail back to England but instead of reaching their country, they got buried in the watery grave of the sea. We don’t know what really happened there and we will never know.

Hundreds of people just disappearing into thin air in a blink of an eye – is there some kind of supernatural phenomenon or is it the work of aliens? These cases are definitely eerie and we have no answer to these incidents of mass vanishings.

Sources: 1 , 2

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