Pictures can be a powerful thing. They're a capture of a moment frozen in time forever, and serve as a keepsake. While most pictures look normal, there's no way of telling what lies beyond the surface. A picture is truly worth a thousand words, but just how many of those words reveal a sinister truth? These photos here show there might be something dark lurking beneath the surface.
December 8, 1980, seemed like a normal day. No one knew it would be John Lennon's last. In this photo, Lennon is pictured with Mark David Chapman outside of Lennon's apartment in Manhattan. Taken before Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, left to record a song, this photo seems like a regular celebrity meet and greet.
The world never could have guessed the sinister events that were to come, as Chapman returned to Lennon's apartment later that night. Within mere seconds, Chapman fired the bullet that ended Lennon's life and forever changed the music world.
An ordinary training mission for the crewman of Flight 19 turned out to be anything but that on December 5, 1945. As they began practicing bombing runs in an exercise known as "Navigation Problem Number One," everything started out normally. The disastrous began around 2:30 pm, as the flight leader Lieutenant Charles C. Taylor radioed to the base, saying he didn't know where was and his compass wasn't working.
Believing he was hundreds of miles away from the base in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Taylor ignored the pilot's rule of flying west, and instead lead the planes east. This would provide to be a fatal error, as the planes proceeded to go down after 6 pm.
Navy recovery teams were sent to find the planes but came up empty-handed, as Navy Lieutenant David White recalled, "They just vanished. We had hundreds of planes out looking, and we searched over land and water for days, and nobody ever found the bodies or any debris."
The world was stunned when the iconic blonde bombshell, Marilyn Monroe, was found dead of an overdose in her bathroom on August 5, 1962. None more so than pianist Buddy Greco, who spent her final weekend with her.
Monore met up with Greco and famed singer Frank Sinatra at a popular resort known as Cal-Neva in California. Greco recalls how she drank throughout the day, trying to hide a broken heart as she had just been dumped by Robert Kennedy.
Drinking and emotions don't usually mix well, and the day ended with Monroe and Sinatra getting into a huge fight. The next morning, Monore left the resort, which was the last time anyone would see her alive.
The Titanic made headlines back on April 10, 1912, when it set sail to New York City from South Hampton, England with 2,200 passengers and crew. Before making the infamous trek across the Atlantic Ocean, the ship stopped in Cherbourg, France, and then again in Queenstown Ireland to pick up more crew members. Then, the ship began making its way to New York City. Unfortunately, the Titanic never arrived.
The location of this beautiful yet haunting image is unknown, although some speculate it was taken early on in the trip. Who could've guessed this magnificent ship would soon meet a watery grave?
At first glance, this picture seems like a sweet moment between two brothers. But the truth behind the photo is much sinister- the reason for their seemly whacky hairstyles was because electrons were changing around the boys, Michael and Sean McQuilken.
The pair were hiking Moro Rock in California when they posed for the photo. Moments later, a bolt of lightning struck them. Thankfully, both survived the strike.
Michael recalled the hazy experience years later, telling NBC, "At the time, we thought this was humorous. I took a photo of Mary [his sister] and Mary took a photo of Sean and me. I raised my right hand into the air and the ring I had on began to buzz so loudly that everyone could hear it. [Then] I found myself on the ground with the others. Sean was collapsed and huddled on his knees. Smoke was pouring from his back."
There's no denying Jimi Hendrix was one of the influential musicians of all time. His music is iconic, and will forever be. Unfortunately, the world lost this iconic legend on September 18, 1970. This photo here shows Hendrix on his last day on Earth.
Hendrix was vacationing with his girlfriend, Monika Dannemann. The couple were talking a walk through Kensington Market, where they stopped and enjoyed a cup of tea together. Dannemann took this photo herself, which shows Hendrix sitting with one of his Fender Stratocasters among the beautiful greenery in the garden.
Not even 24 hours after this photo was taken would Hendrix's body be discovered face-down in a pool of his own vomit.
Halley's Comet only comes around once every 90 years, and so does a brilliant soul like Mark Twain. A lover of the arts and sciences, Twain noticed he was born two weeks after Halley's Comet flew by in 1835.
He soon realized he would likely pass as the comet came by again in 1910. Twain even said it would "the greatest disappointment of [his] life" if he missed it.
Thankfully, Twain got his wish. Halley's Comet made its closest approach to Earth on April 20, 1910, and Twain died the following day of a heart attack.
It was just an ordinary day for First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy on November 22, 1963, as she rode beside her husband and U.S. President, John F. Kennedy, in a re-election campaign. As the car passed the Texas School Book Depository at Dealey Plaza, her life and the country would change forever.
Seconds after this photo was taken, shots rang out, and JFK was fatally struck in the head and the neck.
Back in August 1943, over 5,000 spectators gathered at an airshow in St. Louis to watch a test run of the new Waco CG-4A combat glider. These crafts would later a role in the invasion of Normandy, France, on D-Day in World War II, yet one accident nearly canceled the use of these.
Made up of a group of men from the community and the city's mayor, the glider demonstrated it's impressive flying as it flew over the crowd. This would soon come to an end, as one of the wings broke off at 2,000 feet due to a lose bullet.
The aircraft pummeled to the ground, crashing in front of the bandstand and killing everyone inside.
Sharon Tate was on top of the world; she had a few years of acting under her belt, a happy marriage to director Roman Polanski, a beautiful house, and a baby on the way.
August 6th, 1969 was a day like any other for Tate. This photo, taken by Terry O'Neil, shows her enjoying a day in the sun, weeks away from becoming a mother.
Everything would change within a matter of hours, as Tate, coffee heiress Abigail Folger, and celebrity hairstylist Jay Sebring were brutally murdered by cult leader Charles Manson and several of his followers in her home.
Martin Luther King Jr. spent much of his life to desegregate the south, and with that came threats of death and violence towards him and his family. He never let those get to him, as he knew he was working towards a better and brighter future.
One of those ways he did so was through the power of speeches. The last one he gave was in Memphis, Tennessee, called "I've Been To The Mountaintop." In this speech, King mentions he would like to live a long life but doesn't let those thoughts bog him down.
Martin was forced to confront his own mortality the next day, as he was shot and killed while standing on the balcony of his motel.
Princess Diana was one of the most beloved and iconic members of the royal family. Married to Prince Charles of Whales, the couple had two sons, Prince William and Prince Henry. Princess Diana devoted much of her time and resources to charity, such as the abolishment of land-mines and AIDS.
As amazing as she was, this did not protect her from the ruthlessness of the paparazzi. On this fateful night, Princess Diana was leaving a restaurant in Paris when several paparazzi began chasing her limo, leading to a fatal car crash.
The Doors singer Jim Morrison was enjoying his vacation with girlfriend Pamela Courson in Saint-Leu-d'Esserent, completely unaware his death was right around the corner.
Taken by Alain Ronay back on June 28, 1971, this photo didn't surface until 1991 when Ronay wrote about that day for a French magazine named Paris Match.
Days later, on July 3, Courson would find Morrison dead in the bathtub of their Paris apartment.
Climbing to the top of Mount Everest is on many people's buck lists, and George Mallory and Andrew "Sandy" Irvine were no different. It's definitely no easy task, as the frostbite, high altitude pulmonary edema, and the chances of falling off the mountain can make the climb unbearable.
That didn't stop Mallory and Irvine from trying to scale the mountain, but unfortunately, they never made it. The two were last seen by team member Noel Odell a couple hundred feet below the summit.
A group of climbers discovered Mallory's perfectly preserved frozen body in 1999, but Irvine's body has yet to be found.
It was a day like any other for wealthy socialite Dorothy Arnold when she went shopping in New York City on December 12, 1910. Last seen outside of Brentano's Bookshop, her family grew concerned when her friend, Elise Henry, called to see if she made it safely home.
Upon realizing she was missing, the Arnold's contacted a family friend and lawyer, John S. Keith to go through her things to find any clues. Upon finding nothing, the family then contacted the Pinkerton Detective Agency and the New York Police Department.
Despite their best efforts, Arnold's fate was never discovered. Rumors swirled for decades about what happened to the young woman, but no answer was ever found.
Once a popular lion species, Barbary lions (also known as Panthera leo leo) spanned from the North African coastal regions all the way to the Atlas Mountains to Epypt. These lions slowly began disappearing, as hunting became popular with the widespread use of loaded weapons.
Taken during a flight on the Cacablanca-Dakar air route in 1925, this photo supposedly shows the last sighting of a Barbary lion.
The species was theorized to have lived until 1965 in the wilds of Algeria and Morocoo, although there is no evidence to support that claim.
If there was one thing President McKinley liked to do, it was giving speeches. On September 6, 1901, McKinley was walking to give his final speech at the Buffalo Expo in New York.
Suddenly, 28-year-old Leon Czolgosz stepped in front of him, pulled out a. loaded weapon, and fired two shots into him.
McKinley was rushed to the hospital, where it seemed like he would make a quick recovery. However, his health began to diminish as a result of gangrene, and he passed away at 2:15 a.m. on September 14, 1901.
A lot of people have a fear of heights, yet that was never an issue for Karl Wallenda. Founder of an acrobatic circus group named the Great Wallendas, they were known for their iconic three-man pyramid while on the wire.
Tragedy struck the group in 1962, when the pyramid collapsed, killing two d members and leaving a third paralyzed.
This incident didn't deter Wallenda, who continued to ascend to more dangerous heights. Sadly, one of the highest heights would also prove to be last. Taken on March 22, 1978, this photo shows Wandella walking on a tightrope between two hotels in San Juan moments before he fell.
Image Source: Stuff No Body Cares About
Although Babe Ruth was well-known for his baseball skills, he was also a very charitable man. In this photo, Ruth is receiving a check the Ruth Foundation for Underprivileged Children from Steve Broidy of Allied Artists. Taken on July 29th, 1948, Ruth is almost unrecognizable as he was in the midst of a battle against throat cancer.
Unfortunately, Ruth would lose the fight to his cancer weeks later, on August 16, 1984.
When the people of Pennsylvania tuned in to watch a press conference by acting state Treasurer Budd Dwyer on January 22, 1987, they assumed the conference would proceed like any other conference.
Instead of addressing his charges of receiving government kickbacks, Dwyer began by asking people with a "weak stomach or mind, [to please leave], since [he] didn't want to cause mental or physical stress."
Dwyer then reached under his podium and pulled out a loaded weapon, put the barrel in his mouth, and pulled the trigger on live T.V.
Amelia Earhart was making waves in the 1930s as one of the most popular and successful female pilots. So, no one was surprised when Earhart set her sights on flying around the entire globe, a 29,000-mile trip.
Her trip was set to end on July 2, 1937, on an island in the Pacific Ocean named Howard Island. But Earhart never arrived, and no word was ever heard from her again.
Sailors on the USCGC Itasca were the last to hear from Earhart, before she met her unknown fate.
It was only 12 minutes into a routine trip for Japan Airlines Flight 123 when something went amiss. The plane's vertical stabilizer was destroyed, along with part of the tail on the flight from Tokyo to Osaka.
The crew lost control of the plane's hydraulics before crashing into Mount Takamagahara. Only four female passengers survived the deadliest crash in aircraft history out of the 505 riders and 15 crew members.
The photographer of this photo is unknown, but one thing that's for sure is it gives an unsettling look into the final moments of the aircraft.
Although this photo was taken fifteen years before his death, Howard Hughes spent his last years alive locked away. A known addict to prescription medication, Hughes' health began declining soon after this picture was taken in 1961.
It's not quite clear was Hughes dolled himself up for the photo, although some speculate it was due to an event for the creation of the Hughes Space and Communications company.
Hughes passed away on April 5th, 1976.
Joseph Avery was hard at work on July 16th, 1854 at Niagara Falls. He was with two other men, attempting to dredge a scow caught in a current. An ore broke while the group was trying to row back to shore, throwing the two men out of the boat to their watery graves. Nearby tourists attempted to aid the men, but their efforts were fruitless.
Avery held on as tight as he could but was ultimately thrown into the water as the boat capsized.
Knowing the end was near, Avery grabbed onto nearby tree roots as he was swept over the falls.
Image Source: Reddit
James Dean was known for two things: acting, and his love of Porsches. The apple of his eye was his 1955 Porsche Speedster, which he loved taking to races.
On September 30, 1955, Dean was on his way to a race with his mechanic, Rolf Wütherich, when they stopped to fill up on gas. After doing so, the pair raced down Route 466 when he noticed he was in the oncoming path of a 1950 Ford Tudor. The two cars collided, with Wütherich being thrown from the car.
Dean was pulled from the wreckage, and pronounced dead at the Paso Robles War Memorial Hospital.
Image Source: Reddit
It might not be that far-fetched to say the course of history was changed after this photo was taken. After a string of unsuccessful assassination attempts on Archduke Ferdinand begged Countess Sophie Chotek to return to the palace where they were staying.
She refused to return, however, and proceeded to journey to the Town Hall with him. Unfortunately, this is when one of the assassination attempts would prove to be successful.
After leaving the Town Hall in Sarajevo, both the Archduke and Countess were fatally shot by 19-year-old Gavrilo Princip. This would later be the spark that would ignite the flame of World War 1.
Image Source: Reddit
Keith Sapsford caught the travel bug after his parents took him on a trip around the world, and was itching to travel again. His plans were halted as he was enrolled in a Roman Catholic Institution in Engadine, Australia called Boys' Town.
Fed up after a few weeks, Sapsford ran away to Kingsford Airport on February 21st, 1970. He climbed up a plane's wheel and stowed away in the landing gear. His plan was working, until the fatal moment when the compartment opened during the departure.
Sapsford was unable to hang on, and plummeted hundreds of miles to his death.
The Hindenburg was an infamous German airship that ran from March 1936 until May 6th, 1937. Departing from Frankfurt, Germany, on May 3rd, the Hindenburg reached its' final resting place of Lakehurst, New Jersey, on May 6th.
At 7:25pm on the 6th, the aircraft caught fire, although the source of the inferno was never discovered. As the flames engulfed the blimp, the Hindenburg was sent hurtling towards the ground where it burst into flames.
Out of the 97 passengers, only 35 died, and 9 of the 12 crew members also perished that day.
The last night of Keith Moon's life was spent in typical fashion; partying. The Who drummer is pictured dining with his girlfriend and Paul McCartney at a party in honor of Buddy Holly's 42nd birthday on September 6th, 1978.
Moon seems to have been in good spirits, enjoying himself with his friends. No one could have guessed mere hours later Wood would be dead of an accidental overdose of sleeping pills.
When Johnny Gosch left his Des Moines, Iowa, house on September 5th, 1982, his parents rightfully assumed he'd be returning later. Calls began to pour in around 6 a.m. of people stating they had not gotten their newspapers. Gosch's dad immediately searched the neighbor, finding only his son's wheelbarrow of newspapers.
No one knows what happened to Johnny Gosch that ill-fated day. Although his mother claimed Johnny and an older man visited her apartment in March 1997, her claims have yet to be proven true.
Photographer Alexander Gardner took this photo of the 16th president on February 5th, 1865. Lincoln looks calm and relaxed in this photo, most likely thinking of his upcoming inauguration and the conclusion of the Civil War.
He never would have guessed only months later, on April 14th, 1865, his life would come to an end. What was supposed to be a relaxing day at the Ford Theater turned into a deadly nightmare, as John Wilkes Booth fired a single bullet into this beloved President's head.
Based on this beautiful picture of the Chernobyl Power Plant, no one would have assumed the deadly events that would soon take place. On April 26th, 1986, a routine test of the emergency water cooling system caused an unforeseen reaction in reactor number four.
An explosion followed, releasing 400 times more radiation than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima. The roof was blown to pieces, and two workers instantly died.
In the following months, 28 people died as a result of acute radiation exposure. People are still feeling the effects of this accident decades later.
The country excitedly watched members of the Challenger made their way to the rocket and got ready for take-off. Some were particularly interested, as a non-military American citizen named Christa McAuliffe was included on the mission.
But that excitement would soon turn to horror, as the craft broke apart a mere 73 seconds into its journey.
Two failed rubber O-rings caused the accident, as they were not functioning properly due to the cold temperatures. The spacecraft broke on live television, killing everyone on board.
Back on March 22, 1944, 15 US soldiers landed near La Spezia on the Italian coast. Their goal was to destroy a railroad between La Spezia and Genoa, but their plans were foiled after being caught by a group of Italian soldiers and German Heer.
Upon receiving a message of the solider's intentions, General Anton Dostler ordered their execution instead of talking them prisoner. This was a direct violation of the rules of war, but fell in line with Hitler's Commando Order of 1942.
Doslter would pay for these actions with his life, as he was found guilty of approving the order after being caught by American soliders. On December 1st, 1945, Doslter was killed by a 12 man firing squad.
Winning the lottery should be a good sign, right? Unfortunately for eight-year-old Grame Thorne, he met a tragic end after his family won over $117,000 in the Sydney Opera House Lottery. He was kidnapped on his way to school on July 7, 1960 by Stephen Bradley. Bradley concocted this sinister plot after reading about the lottery in the newspaper.
Bradley put Thorne in the trunk of his car while he made a ransom call of $25,000 to his family, where Thorne proceeded to die. His body was discovered in an empty lot days later.
This photo was snapped of the King of Rock and Roll as he left for a dentist appointment. With a tour coming up that would kick off in Portland, no one could have guessed hours later he would be found dead in his bathroom, with the cause of death being heart failure.
The "Blue-Suede Shoe" singer was only 42-years-old when he was pronounced dead back in 1977.
Excitement was in the air as the 18 members of the U.S. figure skating team boarded Sabena Flight 548 on February 14, 1961. They were heading to the 1961 World Figure Skating Championships in Prague, Czechoslovakia, but they never made it.
An unknown mechanical error caused the plane to crash at the Belgian National Airport in Brussels. All 38 passengers and crew died during the crash.
Taking off from Newark, New York, to Tampa, Florida, the Miami Airlines C-46 Commando had 56 souls abroad on its December 16, 1951, flight. As the aircraft departed, smoke was seen on the right side of the plane.
Despite efforts to fix the issue, flames quickly engulfed the craft, sending the plane into a 90-degree left bank. The plane crashed into a storage building owned by the Elizabeth Water Company, in Elizabeth, New Jersey, killing everyone on board.
A lot of effort went into making the Ford Edsel a must-have car; the controversial vertical grille and slim horizontal taillights were sure to be a wow factor. Yet the cars didn't make a splash, and were going to be discontinued in 1959.
Another attempt was made in 1960, but only 75 models of the 1960 Ragtop Ranger were made, and only 59 nine-passengar Villagers made it into the world. A whopping $250 million was sunk into this failed project, but hey at least this left room for the 1960 Falcon to be created.
When David Monderer snapped this photo of the Manhattan skyline, it was only 16 minutes before the terrorist attack of the Twin Towers on September 11th, 2001 occurred.
It's crazy to think about how calm and beautiful this picture is, with thousands of people going about their daily lives. The country would forever be changed in a matter of minutes, when American Airlines Flight 11 crashed into the World Trade Center's North tower.
What looks to be an innocent family photo holds a much more sinister secret, as the family's patriarch would soon be executed. Back in 1885, Dennis Dilda discovered a squatter named Jenkins living on his farm in Yavapai County, Arizona, and murdered him in cold blood.
Later on, a group of police officers searched the ranch for the body. Dilda ambushed the group, killing Deputy Sheriff John Murphy.
After burying Murphy's body, Dilda fled his property and was caught by officers soon after. On February 5th, 1886, Dilda took his hauntingly beautiful photo before being sent to the gallows.
What seems like a sweet photo of a father and daughter on the surface isn't the complete picture. The man featured is Ian Curtis, who was the lead singer of Joy Division back in the 70s. As the band's popularity grew, Curtis and his wife, Deborah, welcomed their daughter, Natalie, in 1979.
During this time period, Curtis' fight with epilepsy was worsened by the day, and he was looking for a way out of his marriage. Curtis's first suicide attempt was in April 1980 but seemed to be on the mend as the band prepared for their first American tour.
However, it was anything but, and Joy Divison was forever changed when Curtis hung himself in his kitchen on May 19, 1980.
This gifted young man was making waves in the atomic physics field and was considered to be among the greats, such as Galileio and Newton. One of Ettore Majorana's biggest accomplishments was his work on atomic spectroscopy concerning the behavior of aligned atoms in time-varying magnetic fields was a gateway for further studies in his field.
The physics world mourned on March 25th, 1938, when he disappeared on a boat trip from Palermo to Naples. His disappearance remains a mystery, although theories have been swirling for decades.
Some mystery was cleared up by the Roman Attorney Office, as it was discovered Majorana was living in Valencia, Venezuela, from 1955-1959
After helping to bring an end to the Civil War, Ulysses S. Grant was quickly elected to be the 18th President of the United States of America. He served for two scandalous terms and became broke after a number of failed businesses.
As his final days neared, one of Grant's closest friends, Mark Twain, advised him to write his memoirs as a financial source for his family. Days before he succumbed to his battle with throat cancer, Grant finished his memoirs at age 63.
Two days after assassinating President JFK, Lee Harvey Oswald met his own end as he was being transferred to the basement of the Dallas police station basement.
In front of the police, press, and live T.V. cameras, local club owner Jack Ruby fired his loaded weapon at Oswald. He was later charged with first-degree murder and said he committed the act because he was upset about JFK's assassination.
Some conspiracists believe there was a much more sinister plot at hand, and Ruby shot Oswald because he didn't want Oswald to reveal who hired him to kill JFK.
The world said goodbye to Mark Matays on May 15th, 1974 as he plummeted to his death. Not much is known about the 21-year-old Coney Island resident, but he did spend the last hour of his life with police trying to talk him out of his deadly decision.
Despite their best efforts, Matays jumped out of his apartment window, plunging to his death after a 23-story freefall.
San Deigo, California, was forever changed on September 25th, 1978. Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 182 was beginning its descend into San Diego with perfect weather conditions; Captain McFeron should have had an easy landing at Lindberg Field.
No one could have guessed what would happen next, as a Cessna 172 suddenly appeared under the aircraft. The planes crashed into each other, the Cessna being torn to pieces and the PSA right-wing being completely destroyed.
All passengers and crew members died instantly, and plane debris showered the city. Pedestrians were hit, houses caught on fire, and San Diego was forever changed.
Robert Landsburg spent weeks documenting Mount St. Helens, so it's only fitting he spent his final hours watching the volcano erupt on May 18th, 1980.
After watching the magnificent eruption, Landsburg came to the devastating realization he would not be able to outrun the volcano's forces. A true photographer to the very end, Landsburg continued to photograph the volcano until he was out of film.
He then wrapped his camera in bags, and used his body as a shield against the deadly forces. Landsburg did not survive, but this photo, and thus his memory, did.
The jazz band known as the "Ghetto Swingers" were given a proposition: perform for several S.S. officers, or be killed. However, it seemed as though they didn't really have a choice; Musicians were viewed as disposable by the German military and were usually sent to the gas chambers.
After their performance that was used in a propaganda film, all 16 members were sent to Auschwitz. When they arrived, most of the members of the band were sent to the gas chambers. Only three of the musicians survived the horrors that awaited them.
Image Source: Reddit
The members of the Old Christians Club Rugby team were on their watch to a match against a team in Santiago, Chile, but they never made it. Their plane, Uruguayan flight 571 crashed into the Andes Mountains on October 13, 1972, when the pilot began the descend too early.
Out of the 45 people aboard, 33 survived with various critical injuries. Survivors began turning to cannibalism, until they were rescued on December 22, 1972.
A once-powerful and impressive leader, Vladimir Lenin became almost entirely paralyzed and mute after having three strokes in two years. The stress of heading a revolution and leading a country were most likely the culprits, not to mention assassination attempts.
Even after his third stroke, Lenin acted as the Communist party leader. Due to a lack of cognitive abilities, he didn't have any real powers. Lenin continued serving until his death on January 21, 1924. Over 900,000 people came to pay their respects at the Hall of Columns.
The USS Akron had 73 flights under its' belt when the unthinkable happened on April 4, 1933. As the blimp passed over Barnegat Light, New Jersey, it was caught in an updraft.
The aircraft was sent spiraling into the Atlantic Ocean, as multiple ships watched the tragedy occurred. Despite their best efforts, 73 of the people board on board died due to either drowning of hypothermia. Only three people survived the crash and deadly cold waters.