People Who Disappeared and Reappeared In Strange And Mysterious Ways

Lots of people go missing, but sometimes, people reappear in the most mysterious ways. Let's find out about some of the most mysterious disappearances.


Tragic disappearances haunt the news headlines every day, but the strangest cases follow people who somehow re-appear against all odds. From stone-cold trails to forgotten identities, here are some of the most unbelievable cases of people who disappeared and reappeared in strange and mysterious ways.

Steven Kubacki

On a chilly day near the shore of Lake Michigan in February 1978, student Steven Kubacki set out on a solo cross-country skiing trip. An avid outdoorsman, Kubacki had been cross-country skiing around Lake Michigan many times before. The trip wasn’t unusual, but the rest of the story is.

On February 21st, snowmobilers found a set of abandoned cross countries skis and a backpack next to a 200-yard trail of footprints that lead to the edge of the frozen lake, but there was no returning trail. Afraid that Steven had somehow fallen through the thick ice, a desperate air and land investigation was launched, but not a single trace of him was found.


Then 15 months later, Steven Kubacki "woke up". He was lying in a field in clothes he didn’t recognize and with a bag full of maps and signs he didn’t remember. He slowly made his way to his father’s house where he was amazingly reunited with his family, seemingly unharmed.

He had woken up in Pittsfield, over 1000 kilometers away from where he had originally disappeared, but Kubacki hadn’t been flagged traveling on any public transport. How had he managed to end up so far away without any of his original belongings?


Kubacki claims to have absolutely no memory of those missing 15 months and retreated from public life entirely, refusing to speak of the incident. Despite the questions it could answer, it seems to be a time he’d rather forget.

Tanya Kach

March 21, 2006. It was a typical day for grocery store owner Joe Sparico in the city of McKeesport, Pennsylvania. A regular customer, Nikki Allen, and a man who he assumed was her father walked into the store. The woman was shaking, and out of earshot of the man quickly confided a heart-stopping fact to Mr. Sparico in just three words: I’m Tanya Kach.


The disappearance of Tanya Kach had haunted the town of McKeesport for more than 10 years. In 1996 At the age of 14, the young girl vanished into thin air after leaving her father’s house for school. An extensive investigation found no sign of her anywhere and almost all hope had been lost for her safe return.

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Eventually, Tanya revealed that she had been groomed by her then-school security guard, 48-year-old Thomas Hos; the same man who had accompanied her into the grocery store! She had been held captive by the monster in his home, which had only been two miles away from her father's house the whole time!

For the first 4 years, she wasn’t allowed to leave her prison-like room, and Hose even forced her to use a small bucket as a toilet. When she was eventually allowed outside, he changed her hair and name, threatening her if she spoke to anyone about who she really was. But the strangest part was that this man lived with his elderly parents and adult son, who all knew about her captivity but said nothing to the local authorities.

She became brainwashed by being fed a series of lies and threats, but by dangerously revealing her true identity she was able to escape. Hose was arrested, charged, and eventually imprisoned, whilst Tanya was reunited with her family just a few blocks away!

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Gabriel Nagy

Sydney, Australia 1987. After a busy afternoon of running errands, Gabriel Nagy called his wife Pamela and said he’d be coming home for lunch. Pamela lay out a tasty spread, but Gabriel never ate it. In fact, he never returned home. After several worrying hours Pamela rang the police.

Worry turned to sheer panic when Gabriel’s car was discovered burned out on the side of the road, but her husband was nowhere to be found. Heartbroken, Pamela and the couple’s two children began a search alongside the police for Gabriel. Shock really settled in when after two weeks, the police determined Gabriel had withdrawn money from a bank in a city over 100 miles away. The search then went cold for the next two decades.


Before declaring Gabriel dead twenty years on, senior constable Georgia Robinson gave the case one final push and came across a piece of information that stopped her in her tracks. A man by the name of Ron Saunders had recently received surgery in the city of Mackay, 1600 kilometers away, but records showed he also went by a familiar name: Gabriel Nagy.

Investigating further, Robinson rang the man asking if he knew anything about the disappearance. The answer staggered her. Saunders claimed the last two decades of his life had been fuzzy. He’d mainly been homeless, wandering the streets and surviving by doing odd jobs, but had no recollection of his life before. He appeared to have suffered from major head trauma from the accident that had burned out his car.


The two-decade ordeal was down to a case of severe amnesia! But something didn’t add up here: he clearly remembered his own name, why wouldn’t he look for his family? Or register himself as a missing person with the police? Either way, the family is reunited, although the mystery pushes on.

Ettore Majorana

If you knew you could be roped into working for a terrible cause, would you try and disappear? In May 1938, the brilliant and acclaimed scientist Ettore Majorana vanished under incredibly mysterious circumstances. He boarded a boat for Naples heading from Palmero, but once the boat docked Majorana was nowhere to be found.


The crew searched the vessel high and low, but despite records of him getting on it seems he never got off. Strangely the boat ride was calm, so he wasn’t thrown overboard. He was also a strong catholic, so taking his own life by jumping into the sea wouldn’t have been an option.

It took until 2011 to get any kind of answers, when a photograph taken in Argentina around 1955 surfaced showing a man with 10 points of facial similarity to Majorana. But here’s a rare twist; he hadn’t aged. So how did he manage to end up safe in Argentina? And why?

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While some creative theorists suspect time travel is at play, many believe that at the time of his disappearance, Majorana’s work with neutrino masses was pulling him towards nuclear work, like the Manhattan Project! It's possible that foreseeing the amount of death his work could bring, Majorana instead chose a life of solitude where he would not be part of such terrible developments. That’s really putting your morals before your mystery!

Jody Roberts

On May 25, 1985, a police officer in Aurora, Colorado was called to a local Mall where a potential mental patient was in custody. She couldn’t remember who she was, and all she had on her at the time was an empty notepad and a Toyota car key. She was taken to hospital where she spent four months contacting local press outlets to see if anyone could help uncover her past.


But all roads lead to dead ends. She eventually settled on a new name, Jane Dee, and began to rebuild her life in Alaska. She married and had two sets of twins before the incredible truth came to light 12 years later.

A co-worker of Dee’s saw a news broadcast from Seattle about the renewed search for a missing woman who had disappeared into thin air back in 1985. This woman was none other than Jody Roberts; a hardnosed investigative journalist who had gone missing from Washington.


Her family were in a state of shock, and incredibly relieved they’d found her along with her new family, but there’s more to this story than meets to eye. Neurology experts have cast doubt on the idea Roberts suffered so suddenly from long-term amnesia, which at this level of severity would be an indicator of an epileptic seizure.

Roberts did not suffer from epilepsy. In addition, her colleagues from Washington noted she had emptied her bank account and taken several of her cats to the humane society before disappearing. Almost as if she’d been planning on starting a brand-new life. She never revealed anything more about her amnesiac episode to the press.

Agatha Christie

On the brisk evening of December 3, 1926, the famous mother of mystery writing Agatha Christie walked into her daughter's bedroom, kissed her child goodnight, and suddenly vanished off the face of the earth. After days of searching, the only clue left was her abandoned car in Gilford, England containing her fur coat and driving license.


Her disappearance looked like it had been plucked straight out of one of her novels, but the reality was much scarier. Could a crazed fan of her work have kidnapped her? Or had she orchestrated the whole thing herself for publicity? 11 days passed and the public was whipped into a frenzy. And then a musician at Harrogate’s Old Swan Hotel rang the police and claimed he had spotted Ms. Christie dancing in the hotel ballroom!


After being reunited with her family, she claimed to have entered a fugue state (a kind of dissociative amnesia) and couldn’t remember a thing about the incident. Police failed to nail down anything concrete about her disappearance, but one thing that did stick out was the name she had booked into the hotel with: Theresa Neele.

Treacherously, her husband at the time had been having an affair with a much younger lady called Nancy Neele. Coincidence? I think not. It’s possible the troubling information sent Agatha into a state of shock, or maybe she did it to get back at her cheating husband, but she never revealed exactly what happened during that time. A good mystery writer never gives the game away!

Brenda Heist

It was a normal day in Lititz, Pennsylvania 2002. Devoted mother-of-two Brenda Heist dropped her kids off at school, left dinner defrosting in the kitchen, and was halfway through doing the laundry. Then she vanished without a trace.

The mysterious disappearance put her ex-husband Lee Heist in the spotlight, but with almost nothing to go on aside from her car parked near a bus station, he was eventually cleared. After years of unanswered questions and hopeless searching, she was declared dead in 2010.


But the story only got stranger in May 2013 when Brenda suddenly reappeared out of nowhere! She had turned herself in to Key Largo officials, nearly 2000 kilometers from her family home.

According to her, an impending divorce and financial problems at the time made her break down. While crying on a bench in a neighborhood park, she was approached by three homeless people who offered to hitchhike with her down to Florida. Without a second thought, Brenda accepted and left her life behind.


It’s thought her breakdown triggered a serious attachment disorder, as most people would not be able to go through with such a rash decision. Nevertheless, Brenda claimed to have spent the following 11 years homeless. But she lied about her past and worked as a cleaner, stealing her clients driving licenses and identities before the law finally caught up with her.

Her daughter Morgan found it hard to forgive her estranged mother, writing on Twitter that she felt like she was in a nightmare. That probably wasn't a happy family reunion.

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Sherri Papini

On November 2nd, 2016, Sherri Papini, a stay-at-home mother-of-two, dropped her children off at daycare and went for a jog around the woods near her home in Redding, California. On November 24th, she was caught on CCTV running for her life along Country Road 17 at 5 am, almost 200 kilometers from her home!

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Papini had been savagely kidnapped. After 22 days they had kicked her out of a car where she was found badly beaten, starved, restrained, and even branded. But what should have been a relieving recovery was only filled with holes and questions.

Papini described her captors as two women, but the DNA found on her clothes matched that of an unknown man and woman. Papini also insisted that she got into a scuffle with her captors which resulted in a badly cut foot, and yet no injury was found on either of her feet. She couldn’t describe the place she was held, the car, or the faces of her captors.


In the years following the incident, many strange tips and leads have cast doubt on her story, when it was discovered Sherri was in contact with a man in Michigan who she was planning to meet up with around the time of her disappearance. Something she had failed to disclose.

Law enforcement expert Ken Ryan believed the whole story may have been a hoax, stating “In my 25 years I've never seen a case like this where someone was kidnapped, held captive for 20-something days then just released. None of it makes sense."

I hope you were amazed at these people who disappeared and reappeared in strange and mysterious ways. Thanks for reading.

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