9 strange unsolved historical mysteries | History Extra

Who was Jack the Ripper, what happened to the Mary Celeste, and did Richard III really murder the princes in the Tower? These are some of the biggest historical mysteries of all time. Here, after scouring 1,000 years of public records at the National Archives in search of answers, Dr David Clarke, the author of Britain’s X-traordinary Files, charts nine of the greatest unsolved puzzles of modern times

1) The Mary Celeste

What became of the crew and passengers of this British-American brigantine remains one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of the sea. The name has since become synonymous worldwide with derelict ‘ghost ships’.

The Mary Celeste was found drifting 400 miles east of the Azores by the crew of another cargo-carrying vessel, the Dei Gratia, on 5 December 1872. The leader of the boarding party told a British board of inquiry at Gibraltar he found the ship was “a thoroughly wet mess”, with possessions left behind and the lifeboat missing.

No trace of Captain Benjamin Spooner Briggs, his wife and their young daughter or the seven experienced crew members has ever been found. Many ingenious theories have been put forward by writers such as Arthur Conan Doyle to explain what happened to them. My favourite comes from a 1965 episode of the BBC series Dr Who, where the frightened crew jump overboard when the Daleks materialise on the ship while chasing the occupants of the TARDIS.

2) Jack the Ripper

The true identity of this Victorian serial killer continues to elude us 126 years after the gruesome killing spree in London’s East End in 1888. In the latest development…

Continue reading: 9 strange unsolved historical mysteries | History Extra.

One thought on “9 strange unsolved historical mysteries | History Extra

  1. A good introduction to some well-known ‘mysteries’. There is enough there to prompt the reader into discovering more about the subjects that interest them. We all might have our own pet theories concerning these events, and what keeps them interesting is the certain knowledge that there are no definitive solutions.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.