Top Ten Strangest, Most Disturbing Outdoor Disappearances and Deaths

From all the disturbing, strange and mysterious posts featured on the Mysterious Stories Blog, this is the top ten list of the weirdest of all.

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The Mathias Group from Yuba City

The Mathias Group from Yuba City

The disappearance and death of five men from Yuba City on February 24th, 1978 in Oroville, Plumas National Forest, California has been called the "American Dyatlov Pass". The remains of four of the group were found, but one of them, Gary Mathias vanished. It appears that Ted Weiher, had lived 8-13 weeks after his disappearance based on the length of his beard and around 100 pound weight loss, yet his body was found with months of food in cans nearby.

German tourists Death Valley deaths

The German tourists in Death Valley

The story of how Egbert Rimkus, Georg Weber, Cornelia Meyer and Max Meyer disappeared on July 23rd 1996 in the Death Valley National Park is a sad tail of misadventure in the harshest desert conditions in the United States.  With high temperatures of 107˚F (42˚C) and the low around 79˚F (26˚C) at that time of the year, seeking help without adequare water would have been a death sentence. In 2009, Tom Mahood, after considerable effort, found the remains of the family, toward the boundary of the China Lake Naval Weapons Station.

Carl Landers Mount shasta disappearance

The disappearance of Carl Landers on Mount Shasta

Carl Landers disappeared on California's Mount Shasta in May 1999. On his way from 50/50 plateau to Lake Helen he vanished without a trace.

The area has no trees, crevices, vegetation and it is obvious from the snow in the area if someone walks off-trail. Pictures from 50/50 and Lake Helen show how desolate it is and surprising that FLIR equipped helicopters were unable to pick up a heat signature from Carl or his body, despite an extensive search.

Definitely one of the strangest disappearances in recent times.

Dr Jim McGrogan vail colorado death
Charles McCullar death Crater lake
Stacey Arras yosemite national park

The death of Dr. Jim McGrogan near Vail, Colorado

Dr James "Jim" McGrogan disappeared on March 14th, 2014, from a trail to the Eiseman Hut near Vail in Colorado. His body was found many miles away near Booth Falls on April 3rd, 2014, a route difficult route through deep snow. He was missing his boots and failed to use his functional GPS and cellphone.


The "Melting Man" Charles McCullar in Crater Lake National Park

Charles McCullar disappeared in January 1975 and his body was found on October 13th 1976 in Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

His skeletal remains were bizarre as well as his isolated location deep in snow, many miles from the trailhead. There were foot bones in the socks, but Charles’s jeans were empty except for the broken-off ends of his shin-bones sticking up. The jeans were unbuttoned and the belt left undone. And the rest of him was gone, as if melted away. Nothing else was found including his shirt, coat and boots. Just an empty pair of pants sitting on a log, with socks and foot-bones inside! Also, his camera equipment was nowhere to be seen as well and no money in the pack or on the remains.

The strange disappearance of Stacey Arras in Yosemite

On 25th July 1981, 14 year old, Stacey Arras, from Saratoga, went on a horse riding trip with her father, George, and seven others in the Sunrise Meadows area of Yosemite National Park in California. After deciding to stretch her legs and take some photos she accompanied an elderly gentleman called Gerald Stuart to a nearby lake. Gerald decided to turn back and Stacey said she'd be right behind him. Stacey failed to show at camp and the only thing that searchers ever found was her camera lens cap. No body, no trace.

Bart Schleyer Alaska disappearance
Michael LeMaitre Mount Marathon disappearance

Wilderness expert, Bart Schleyer, mysteriously died in Yukon

Bart Schleyer, disappeared on September 14th, 2010 from Red lakes in the Yukon Territory, Canada. Bart was described as an expert outdoorsman, woodsmen and hunter as well as a playboy. He was one of the world's foremost experts at capturing, radio-collaring and tracking Tigers.

Searchers found Bart's the bow and arrows in a handmade buckskin quiver were leaned up against a tree next to a dry-bag full of gear on which he'd probably been sitting and  a camouflage face mask with blood and hair on it. Then a baseball cap, camouflage pants, a camera, part of a skull and just a few small bones.

Searchers were sceptical it was a bear attack. First there was no sign of a death struggle, no vegetation or ground disturbed. The camouflage pants were not torn. 

Mount Marathon racer, Michael LeMaitre, vanishes

65 year old Michael LeMaitre was competing in the Mount Marathon race in Seward, Alaska.This was an extreme event and he was last seen on July 4th, about 200 feet from the top of Mount Marathon, a 3022 feet high peak. He was never seen again and his body was never located despite extensive searching. Lost without a trace, not even clothing. 

Rosmary Kunst Spirit Lake disappearance
Aaron hedges, crazy mountains death

A spiritual retreat in the marble mountains wilderness for Rosemary Kunst which ended in her vanishing

Rosemary Kunst, aged 70, went missing on August 18th 2000, from Spirit Lake in California, part of the Marble Mountains wilderness. 

As a keen outdoors woman she decided to go on a backpacking trip with the Earth Circle group based in Yreka, California, an organisation run by native American Charlie "Red Hawk" Thom. Annually the group visited the remote Spirit Lake area of the Marble Mountains Wilderness, part of the Klamath national forest and west of Mt. Shasta. Whilst the others went for hike, she stayed at camp, went to explore the other side of the lake and vanished. 

A tuft of hair was located around half a mile from the area where it is believed she was walking but unfortunately this was never DNA tested. No clothing, body, bones, tracks, blood were ever found, which would dismiss an attack by a bear or wild cat. 

Hunter Aaron Hedges body found miles from his boots in deep snow

Aaron Joseph Hedges, a 38-year-old hunter from Bozeman, went elk hunting in the Crazy Mountains in Montana in early September 2014 with his two friends Greg Leitner of Idaho and Joe Depew of Bozeman. He got separated from the group and his remains were found miles from his boots despite very deep snow, very close to buildings on the Anchor Rein Ranch.