Many of us work our whole lives to accomplish something great and become rich and famous from it. Or, something super terrible and become infamous. Then, there’s some people who do something historic and are never identified. This Quora community lists the most famous unidentified people in history.
Comments have been edited for clarity. The source can be found the end of the article.
D. B. Cooper is a media epithet popularly used to refer to the hijacker of a Boeing 272 aircraft in Washington, on November 24, 1971. Utilizing knowledge that was virtually unique to the CIA, he escaped by parachute with over a million dollars at current values. A massive search involving a thousand troops, a submarine, and high tech photo-recon spy planes failed to find any trace. After decades of fruitless inquiries, the lead investigators began to publicly suggest Cooper had been killed and all physical evidence lost in the wilderness, although the FBI nonetheless continued the hunt for Cooper until 2016, when he would have been 90 years old.
The lady in the Scarf was present at the JFK assassination, was seen calming filming the event, but has never been identified.
Her location during the assassination is not insignificant: she was in the perfect location to film the infamous grassy knoll -from where most of the witnesses testified to hearing gunfire (many of them ran to that location in the moments after). Yet strangely, she has never been identified.
Another oddity is her reaction to the shooting. Whilst everybody was filmed hitting the deck (the natural thing to do when somebody starts shooting), she never stops filming -standing upright, seemingly oblivious to danger.
Many theories about her identity have been banded about, ranging from time-traveler to alien. Others believe she was part of the conspiracy – perhaps assigned to record what could be seen of the shooter on the knoll.
In 1970 (7 years after that fateful day) an erotic dancer named Beverly Oliver came forward claiming to be her, but she has since been widely discredited. Aside from never being able to prove that she was in Dallas on that day, the Super-8 camera she claimed to have used wasnt made commercially available until 7 years after the event. Upon being told of this she changed her story, the camera was an experimental one given to her by a friend.
So who is she? nobody knows. It is perhaps a mystery which will never be solved…
The person or group of persons who created Bitcoin.
Till date no person has been identified who created this crypto currency. The wiki profile just says:
“Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency and a digital payment system invented by an unknown programmer, or a group of programmers, under the name Satoshi Nakamoto. It was released as open-source software in 2009.”
Who is Satoshi Nakamoto?
Nicknamed Tank Man and The Unknown Protester, the man stood his ground in the wake of the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, when Chinese troops slaughtered pro-democracy demonstrators. The tanks tried to go around the man, but he stepped back into their path, unwavering in his defiance. The tanks held their fire and eventually the man was whisked away, but not before being immortalized as a symbol of resistance, reform, and democracy.
To this day, no one knows the identity of that forever immortalized global hero.
Amelia Earhart was the undisputed darling of the press during the 1930s for her long-distance flying records, but she was nearly eclipsed by another female pilot named Amy Johnson. Earharts British contemporary and rival set a number of long-distance flying records as well, including becoming the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia a journey of over 11,000 miles in 1930. She was setting records before Earhart really got started, and might well have beaten her across the Atlantic and the Pacific, if not for the fact that Earhart received far more financial backing and public support thanks to her marriage to publishing tycoon George Putnam.
When Earhart disappeared over the Pacific in 1937, female aviators largely fell out of the public eye, and Johnson ended up in relative obscurity. In a footnote as tragic as Earharts, she also lost her life while flying, this time as ferry pilot for the RAF in World War II. Lost in the fog while ferrying a plane to its base, her aircraft ran out of fuel, forcing her to parachute. Landing in the frigid Thames River, she apparently succumbed to hypothermia and was presumably washed out to sea. Like Earhart, her body was never recovered.
The Man in the Iron Mask
A famous prisoner who was kept in jail in France for 34 years from 1669 until his death in 1703. No one knows who he was, what his name was, even for what crime he was sentenced. For some reason, the prisoners face was hidden under a mask. For the whole period of his imprisonment, the Iron Mask was attended by the same gaoler, Monsieur Bnigne Dauvergne de Saint-Mars.
Was the mysterious captive a famous nobleman or a popular figure whose imprisonment had to be kept secret for fear of vengeance or popular uprising? Was he of royal blood? Was he severely disfigured? Or was that just a cruel torture for some severe transgression, a kind of identity destruction or Damnatio memoriae? There is no answer.
Alexandre Dumas, a famous French novelist, speculated that the masked man was an identical twin of king Louis XIV. The court decided to conceal the poor prince from the public as an unwanted contender to his luckier sibling and a threat to a peaceful succession and public order. Who knows, maybe there is a slightest grain of truth in that conjecture.
The world-famous and yet unidentified British graffiti artist is our contemporary and barely needs an introduction.
The mystery person elevated street drawings to a level of true art, often with a deep cultural or political message (that also sells quite well).
Their story is still unfolding, though, and, who knows, maybe the legend will reveal their face one day.
He was an English mathematician born on June 23, 1912, in London.
At a young age, he displayed signs of high intelligence, which some of his teachers recognized, but did not necessarily respect. When he attended the well-known independent Sherborne School at the age of 13, he became particularly interested in math and science. After Sherborne, he enrolled at King’s College(University of Cambridge) in Cambridge, England.
He was a pure gem.
He remained unsung until a movie based on his life came out in 2014.
He is Alan Turing.
The Zodiac Killer was a serial killer who operated in the 1960s and 1970s around Northern California. Claiming 37 murders in his letters to newspapers, investigators dispute this number, stating that there were only 7 confirmed victims, of which two actually survived. Additionally, there is a third suspected to be an escaped victim of the Zodiac Killer.
He often sent letters to the police and to the newspapers, goading them into finding him, or informing them of a possible victim.
Lao Tzu the founder of Daoism. More so than some other cryptic religious figures, such as Jesus, Lao Tzu is really a complete mystery. A much better case exists for his complete non-existence than with Jesus or much less compelling, Mohammed.
Probably today the historical consensus is that Lao Tzu was not a real person, though obviously still subject to much debate. The most famous stories about him, that he left his seminal work the Daodejing with a nightwatchman in the city of Chengzhou and then wandered off into the wilderness, never to be seen again.
The character was known as Mr. Schwump on The Andy Griffith Show. He appeared in several episodes, even the later ones in color, but has absolutely no screen credits. You will not find him on IMDB, and there are no records of pay or employment. But you will see him in several episodes. The cast, if they knew him at all, never identified him.
Mr. Schwump is perhaps the biggest mystery in Hollywood. After all, even someone called third officer in some police episode gets a screen credit now. We may never know who this man was, when (if) he died.
And there was one more on the same show: Hazel, who played the piano in at least three Mayberry Choir-related episodes, was never identified either.
He was the man who saved the world by single-handedly averting World War Three five decades ago, yet he died humiliated, outcast and an unknown. Only now has his story has come to light.For 13 days during the Cuban Missile Crisis in October 1962, the world held its breath as the U.S.S.R. and the U.S. stood on the brink of nuclear war.
At the height of the Cold War, when paranoia on both sides meant the slightest provocation could spark nuclear war, four submarines secretly set sail from Russia to communist Cuba.
Vasili Arkhipov was a Soviet Navy officer credited with casting the single vote that prevented a Soviet nuclear strike during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
If he had acted otherwise,nobody would have lived to ask and answer questions today!
Jasneet Singh Malhi
How about the person of Jesus Christ? Most serious historians believe he lived and taught in 1st Century Palestine, even by the accounts of the Bible he was born in obscurity and died in ignominy but something occurred that made him the centre of a huge religion that has changed the face of the world whichever way you look at it. Believers will say it was the resurrection, non-believers something else but it is clear something extraordinary happened to found the faith.
In terms of historical record, (and I stand to be corrected and would consider myself a Christian before anyone starts to berate me), there is little/nothing contemporaneous and almost nothing outside the Gospels. These may have been written significantly after his death, (although possibly in living memory) but have been translated and paraphrased down the centuries to the forms we now read.
How about the author of Arts of War? yes, He called Sun Tzu but actually a title and not a name. Several people also described or claimed to be Sun Tzu but no one can confirm it.
The man falling from the Twin Towers is a classic image of the 9/11 horrors that occurred in New York City, a date that will forever be remembered in the United States. The terrorist attack resulted in the deaths of nearly 3,000 people.
Many people inside the Twin Towers were trapped inside the building and there was only two ways to escape- either by finding a way to get to the lobby of the tower via stairs or elevator, or jumping from 80 or so floors up. Sadly not everyone could choose the first option, and a result they had to either be trapped in the towers, which contained fire and toxic fumes, or jump to their death. In this case the man shown in the picture decided to jump to his death.
No one has been able to identify who the man in the photo is, but the picture will forever remain an icon of the worst terrorist attack to appear on U.S soil.
The Unknown Soldier.
Many nations have one, including the USA and France, as well as the UK.
The British one was chosen thus. Four dead British soldiers who had died in World War One were dug up, taken to a room in coffins with Union Flags draped over them and one was picked by an officer wearing a blindfold. The other three were buried and the chosen one was guarded overnight by French soldiers, all of whom had won the Legion DHonneur. In the morning he was put in a coffin made from oak with a medieval crusader’s sword hand chosen by the King. It was then taken to the docks, where it was saluted by Marshal Foch himself and taken aboard the destroyer HMS Verdun while the pipers piped the Admiral’s call (the tune they would normally play to welcome an Admiral aboard).
As it arrived in Britain it received a 19 gun field marshal’s salute. It was then taken by railroad back to London, where, on the 11th November 1920, it was put on a gun carriage and went through London in front of huge and silent crowds. The King unveiled the Cenotaph and then followed the funeral cortege to Westminster Abbey, the place where Kings and national heroes are traditionally buried, where the Unknown Soldier was buried flanked by an honour guard of 100 recipients of the Victoria Cross. There were about a hundred women there, all of whom had lost their husband and all their sons in the war.
A year later the Unknown Soldier was Awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest medal for bravery from the USA, and the American Unknown Soldier was awarded a Victoria Cross.
The ceremony served as a form of catharsis for the nation. Everyone could at least half believe that it was their dead relative in Westminster Abbey. It also allowed Britain to honour all of its war dead by honouring one of them.
Otzi a.k.a. The Iceman is the oldest known mummy of an European man. He is not technically identified as we gave him his name and we can only assume how he looked and how he lived. His corpse was found by two German tourists, 5000 years after his death in relatively good state.
Jack the Ripper. He was by no way the most deadly serial killer in history. He has 5 known victims but because the deaths had an extraordinarily brutal nature, and because of media treatment of the events, the legend grew.