Unsolved mysteries are always pretty badass to read. Unsolved mountain mysteries are even badasser. The reason is that mountains are remote, and there’s always the dream that you’ll be up hiking one day and discover something that the world wrote off as “lost” long ago and you’ll cash in. Truth be told, you’ll probably never hike off of a trail let alone inaccessible areas of the world. Either way, maybe these will get you off your mushy butt and do some hikin’ and-a discoverin’! Also, if you solve any of these, you’re probably going to be a multi-millionaire…so there’s that.
#5 LOST DUTCHMAN MINE (ARIZONA, UNITED STATES)
In the late 19th century there was this pretty hip cat named Jacob Waltz. He did what other miners didn’t do, and that was prospect for gold where there wasn’t black sand (the two go hand-in-hand you see). He was supposedly handsomely rewarded with a mine in the Arizona Superstition Mountains that had a shit-ton of gold.
He brought some of his gold back to his house and lived on it for the next few months. Then, just like a terrible movie script, he became deathly ill and decided to tell his friend and another miner about his mine. After they looked him up and down then called “bullshit”, he pulled out some of that gold he brought down to prove his story…then he died before making the map (like a really bad movie script).
After searching for the next 50 years, neither one found Waltz’s mine. Fast-forward another50 years and a man named Walt Gassler decided he wanted to look up Waltz’s clues and give it a whirl…and he found it.
Walt decided that he wasn’t going to be one of these guys that discovered a million bucks then dies a few days after, so he went to a friend and historian named Tom Kollenborn and told him about the treasure and showed him the clues that helped locate it…and a chunk of gold from the mine as proof. He then promptly had his wife drop him off at the mouth of the hills with his backpack which was the last time he was ever seen…at least for 3 days until a ranch hand found his body. So much for that whole deal about not dying.
Anyway, a few months later, Tom was approached by Ronald Gassler – Walt’s kid. He said his Dad told him about the mine and that he was to help scoop out all the gold. Hearing of his father’s death, he needed the clues and info he had for the mine. Tom, like a retard, said “ok” without even carding the guy.
A few months after that, Tom was approached by another Roland Gassler saying the exact same thing but looking the exact opposite of the first Roland. This time Tom asked for ID and verified that this Roland was the real one…being a time before Kinko’s, Tom was fresh out of copies of clues to hand over, so he probably kissed a lot of ass after smacking his own forehead with and emphatic, “Uh-oh, puhskettie-o’s”.
THE RUB: This “fake” Roland was apparently a hiker that was in the area. The ranch hand that found Walt’s body remembered seeing a backpack, but when his body was picked up, it was gone. So the clues are gone, Walt is gone, and I don’t remember hearing of any millionaires named Roland that are hikers…soooo….there ya go. Find the gold, you’re $200 million richer….kind of…
THE CATCH: The U.S. Government bought the shit out of that mountain range. So pretty much any gold found there is theirs. But that doesn’t exactly stop you from carrying out a few pounds for yourself before reporting it (*wink*wink*). The only known clues? Well, Jacob Waltz claimed that when he sealed up the entrance it was “6 feet down and covered with two logs. You could drive a train over it and not know it was there”. Okay…fair enough. He also said that when the sun would set it would make the gold look like glitter…so it faces west. Good luck, Indy.
#4 MOUNT ARARAT, TURKEY (NOAH’S ARK)
I’m going to start off by saying that I’m not a religious man, but I’m aware of the story of Noah’s Ark…you know, that thing that took two of every animal except dinosaurs.
It’s said that after the flood, Noah’s Ark came to rest on Mount Ararat, so it should be of no surprise that someone, somewhere (obviously Turkey) looked up at the mountain and swore they saw the Ark.
To find the Ark would “prove” that Noah actually did load a shitload of animals into a boat and God did flood the earth. This would turn the war between Science and Creationism into World War Fucking III.
In 1906, a boy named George Hagobien saw what he believed to be the Ark and described it in pretty decent detail…something that looked like this:
Then, in 1943, Ed Davis (who didn’t know George nor his story), described an experience he had whilst hiking where he saw the fucking Ark as well. It looked something like this:
The catch is that both of these sightings were 17 miles apart. So of course the Ark must have broken in two. In doing so, it probably lost a few animals which would explain why we now don’t have DoDo birds, T-Rex, unicorns or the krakken.
THE RUB: If you were the person to find the Ark and verify it as the Ark, you would pretty much be the person that proved to every living human that the Bible is right. You’d also probably sign a few titties with your newfound fame, and fame like that doesn’t go unrewarded.
THE CATCH: Firstly, some believe this “anomaly” to be an ancient Mongol fort. Secondly, Mount Ararat is off-limits by the Turks…period…no hikey…so the only thing to go on for verification is google images. So unless you personally sent an 800 Gigapixel satellite into orbit with the only television to see what it sees, you can forget this shit. Unless you find that unicorn corpse.
#3 DYATLOV PASS
Eight men and two women got a wild hair one day and decided to trek through the Northern Urals in some place that sounds pretty Russian. This is all well and good except for one thing; they all died, and nobody knows how.
“But Scott, everyone dies.” Aye, ’tis true, but not like this – check it out:
The group was led by Igor Dyatlov (hence the name), an accomplished mountaineer. About a week after leaving on their category III (read: hard as fuck) trek, their last campsite was found along with bodies and all kinds of weird shit…and I mean stuff that will blow your mind…the kind of blow that Robert Downy Jr. used to snort in the 80’s. The kind of blow that you can only get in Thailand for $5. I MEAN BLOW YOUR MIND:
- 6 died of hypothermia, 3 of fatal injuries
- No indication of anyone other than the hiking party
- Tents were ripped open from the inside
- Everyone died about 8 hours after their last meal
- Clues show that the campers left foot of their own accord
- The three that died of injuries were hit with massive force, but no soft tissue damage
- Radiation on clothes of the victims
- An “orange tint” of their skin
- One of the victims was missing a tongue
- Some were partly clothed, some naked
- two were in the tree line and footprints indicate they moved from the tents to trees and back and forth
So out of these odd goings-on, the only legitimate thing that has come up is that the victims suffered from paradoxical undressing – a condition that occurs when one’s brain begins to freeze. The victim thinks they’re hot rather than cold and they undress. Other than that, the theories range from avalanches, to UFO’s to Russian Sasquatches drunk on vodka and eager to fuck with hikers. You can read about it here and come up with your own theory.
THE RUB: If you can figure out with definitive proof what happened, again, you will be famous because you’ll figure out something that nobody else can. The big question here is the radiation and where it came from…it’s not exactly as common as berries in the mountains
THE CATCH: You would have to go there to experience this for yourself since it happened in 1959. In doing so, you’ll probably run into that drunk bigfoot and his grand-kids, who will either eat your tongue or pee radiation on you while you sleep…it’s best to avoid this one.
#2 MOUNT EVEREST AND GEORGE MALLORY (REAL FIRST SUMMIT?)
It is widely acknowledged that Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzig Norgay were the first cats to summit the world’s tallest mountain on May 29, 1953…you know, because they have proof. But it was possibly conquered by George Mallory and Andrew Irvine in June of 1924…that’s significant because it is 29 years earlier, and that expedition is pretty compelling.
George Mallory’s body was found in pretty decent condition in 1999 on the side of Mount Everest…he had a puncture wound in his head which was probably the cause of his death…that and a huge fall. George and Irvine were last seen from a distance only a few hundred yards from the summit of Everest when sight of them was lost through fog and bright reflection of the snow. They were never seen alive again. Irvine on the other hand, was never found at all, and he may hold the key to this whole fiasco.
George Mallory had tried to summit Everest twice prior to 1924 and failed each time…not exactly a risk taker that trucks through anything…he knew when he wouldn’t make it. Secondly, he always carried a picture of his wife that he promised to leave at the top of the mountain had he made it. This picture wasn’t found on his body, and since nobody was up there for another 29 years, I’m pretty sure it’d be blown away or buried by that point in time. Lastly, George’s goggles were in his pocket. This is important to know because he was wearing them on the way up and was knowledgeable of snow blindness. Had they made it, it would have been evening time when they started their descent, which would have warranted no goggles since no sun is reflecting off the snow.
Now here’s where Irvine comes in…the pair had a camera. The camera wasn’t found on Mallory, so the belief is that the body of Andrew Irvine (one of the ninjas on the right) contains the camera. Kodak is confident that because of the climate, if the camera is found (even at the time of this article), that they can preserve and develop the film…or at least enough to see if they made it, which would change history.
THE RUB: If you were the lucky bastard to find Irvine or his camera, you could possibly be the person that proved that the highest point in the world was conquered 29 years before everyone else thought it was. Which would make you just as famous as Mallory and Irvine.
THE CATCH: It runs about $50,000 to summit Everest. At that price, I would actually want to summit the mountain rather than walk around the mid-point looking for a white body in snow. However, if you were to choose to take the latter route, you would have to search near deep crevasses, insane inclines and danger at every step…chances are you’d only find him as you were lying next to him with two broken legs and a lot of cuss words – like “shit” and “fuck”.
#1 NAHANNI VALLEY (VALLEY OF HEADLESS MEN)
Nahanni Valley is an area up there in Canada (eh!) that collects heads…no shit…here are a few:
- Willie and Frank Mcleod, 1906 – disappeared (found in 1908 minus heads)
- Martin Jorgensen 1917 – found burned in his cabin minus a head
- Unidentified miner 1945 – found in sleeping bag minus a head
- John O’brien – frozen next to his campfire (probably without a head)
Upwards of 40 people have disappeared up there. I don’t know how many heads are missing in total, but its enough to keep me out of there…seeing as I only have one head, that makes it my favorite so I’d like to hang on to it.
Nahanni Valley is one of the last truly unexplored regions of the world, and definitely the most unexplored in North America or the Northern Territory. Sure, you may find gold up there, but you can also lose your head or you could wake up dead…sounds dangerously close to an Indiana Jones movie.
THE RUB: As stated earlier, you could find a shit-ton of gold up there. Plus, if you’ve ever wanted to actually be an adventurer like Indy with danger and everything, this is your mission. This is your quest. You could be the person to thoroughly explore the Nahanni Valley.
THE CATCH: You could come back without a head…I mean, that’s really the only bad thing about it. It could be worse, it could be the Valley of the Dickless Men.