Updated: Jul 5
Everyone loves a mystery.
The longer something remains an enigma the more intriguing it becomes.
I have to admit, I badly want to know what happened to those pigeons!
“Mystery surrounds the disappearance of up to 10,000 pigeons that went missing during races on Saturday in an “unprecedented” phenomenon.” (The Sunday Times, 24 June 2021)
Some of those 10,000 homing pigeons did return but the majority are still missing. No one knows where they are and the only suggestion that has been made to solve their disappearance is that solar winds may have affected the Earth’s magnetic field, disrupting the birds’ navigational abilities. Maybe? If only pigeons could talk:)
Maybe those pigeons decided to mutiny and re-establish 'home' to an idyllic island paradise!
I consider this one a mystery.
Malaysia Airlines Flight 370
Of course, we are all still wondering what happened to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, the plane and all onboard disappearing 8 March 2014 while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Last crew contact took place over the South China Sea, ‘(the plane then disappearing) from air traffic controllers' radar screens at 01:22 MYT, but was still tracked on military radar as it turned sharply away from its original north eastern course to head west and cross the Malay Peninsula, continuing that course until leaving the range of the military radar at 02:22 while over the Andaman Sea, 200 nautical miles (370 km; 230 mi) northwest of Penang Island in north-western Malaysia.' After this point, nothing but for some fragments found near Africa in 2015. Aeroplane and 239 passengers and staff vanished.
Numerous theories have been suggested including the pilot's suicide hijack; a hijacking by a terrorist organisation; a corporate act or terrorism related to patent ownership; a medical emergency; spatial disorientation, instrument hacking, ... even that the plane associated with Flight 370 was actually the aeroplane shot down four months later over Eastern Ukraine ... the logic being that humans are far easier to 'disappear' than a Boeing 777 by terrorist organisations? Far too many theories to list them all here, and some are even loopier than this last suggestion.
Who Killed Dr Bogle and Mrs Chandler?
This one is an Australian mystery that occurred way back in 1963. It involves so many intriguing, moving parts; a brilliant CSIRO scientist and members of the extended CSIRO family, a New Years Eve party, a group of ‘swingers’, possible espionage, the bodies of two lovers found semi naked at a well-known rendezvous spot on the banks of the Lane Cove River.
On investigation of the corpses, it was obvious they had succumbed to poisoning but the toxin has never been identified, even with the assistance of Scotland Yard and other international crime squads at the time.
Again, the theories have abounded: jealous spouses, accumulated toxic gas in the Lane Cove River, LSD experimentation, Cold War-related espionage ... suicide pacts.
If it all sounds a little like the script of a thriller, 'Who Killed Dr Boggle and Mrs Chandler' was the name given to a documentary by film-maker Peter Butt that was released in 2006.
Admittedly these latter mysteries are Aussie-centric, but I can’t overlook the mysterious case of Somerton Man.
‘(An) unidentified man found dead in 1948 on the Somerton Park beach, just south of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia. The case is named after the Persian phrase tamám shud, meaning "is over" or "is finished", which was printed on a scrap of paper found months later in the fob pocket of the man's trousers. The scrap had been torn from the final page of a copy of Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyám, authored by 12th century poet Omar Khayyám.
So far, so enigmatic.
'Following a public appeal by police, the book from which the page had been torn was located. On the inside back cover, detectives read through indentations left from previous handwriting - a local telephone number, another unidentified number, and text that resembled an encrypted message. The text has not been deciphered or interpreted in a way that satisfies authorities on the case.
The man’s identity is still a mystery though a few possible identities have been flagged over the years. We do know, however, that he smoked Kensitas cigarettes and that his taste in poetry was exotic.
I wonder if Somerton Man ever imagined that he would become one of Australia's most profound mysteries.
(*The majority of the above text has been shamelessly sourced from newspapers and Wikipedia!)
I do hope all Henry’s readers who are in lockdown are coping well.
Maybe the origin of this diabolical COVID virus will be another of the world’s unsolved mysteries?