There are many historical figures whose lives, actions or deaths are covered by a veil of mystery.
Very often they are the focus of novels, movies or even academic research. Their stories are still intriguing and provide grounds for thoughts and research.
Lets meet five of the most mysterious persons in history.
The man behind the iron mask
The “Man in the Iron Mask” is registered as one of the biggest mysteries of all times and one of the most tragic figures in history. The theories about his true identity have fueled several novels, some of them considered classic literature, blockbuster movies and research by acknowledged historians.
Today, more than 4 centuries for his demise in prison, his name and the reason for his imprisonment are still unknown and generate several imaginative scenarios.
Read a detailed research and the presentation of the most prominent theories: The man behind the Iron Mask
Jack the Ripper
The dark, foggy streets of London’s East End were the scene for the actions of the most notorious criminal of all times. For three years, from 1888 to 1891, the shadow of Jack the Ripper was hovering over the city and the horrific brutality and surgical precision of his crimes was upsetting Londoners.
His identity never became known beyond any reasonable doubt, but the ferocity of his crimes secured him a prominent place in the annals of crime.
Read the story of Jack the Ripper compiled from Scotland Yard’s official files: The Enduring Mystery of Jack the Ripper
Rudolph Hess’ unexplained journey
In May 1941, a month before the attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union, with almost the entire continental Europe under German occupation, the second in rank of the Nazi party Rudolph Hess flew alone to England where he was arrested. He spent the rest of the war in prison, in almost complete isolation and was sentenced to life imprisonment at the Nuremberg trial. He died in 1987, in Spandau Prison in Berlin. He was the last and only prisoner of the high ranking Nazi officials condemned in Nuremberg.
There has never been any convincing explanation for the Hess trip to England, at a time when Germany was undefeated and at the peak of its power during the 2nd
World War. Secret diplomacy, consultations between Churchill and Hitler, are some of the most popular scenarios, but have never been confirmed. It is unknown if Hitler was aware of the specific mission and how it affected of could have affected the course of the 2nd World War.
Read more in the article: History mystery: Rudolf Hess' strange journey to England
He appeared out of nowhere in Nuremberg in the late 1820s, at the age of about 16 years, with limited speech capabilities, apparent lack of socialization and long confinement signs.
The story became known throughout Europe and his death, a few years later, he was equally mysterious with his life: Kaspar Hauser - Wild child of Europe
Amelia Earhart, pioneer of aviation, the first woman to cross the Atlantic Ocean alone, disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island during her attempt to fly around the Earth in 1937. The unspecified circumstances of her disappearance, along with her reputation, gave birth to a large number of claims and several conspiracy theories concerning this last flight and her subsequent disappearance.
Was this last flight an espionage mission on behalf of the US, under orders of Roosevelt himself? Almost 80 years later Earhart's fate remains unknown.
Read the details of the last trip and disappearance, and the theories that accompany the legend: The disappearance of Amelia Earhart