During World War II, Jim Thompson was an agent for OSS, the predecessor of the CIA. After his service ended, he decided to retire in his mission country of Thailand and enter the strangest possible profession for a former spy: Thompson became a fashion big shot who single-handedly rebuilt the Thai silk industry. Thompson's efforts to improve the economy won him the respect of both the public and the government, not to mention making him ridiculously rich.
Tours of his house Cribs-style rich.
On March 26, 1967, while vacationing in a highlands cottage with some friends, he never returned from his solitary afternoon walk. His popularity and power immediately led to the largest search in Thai history. Alas, Thompson was never found.
It Gets Weirder:
We know for a fact that Thompson wasn't planning on a long walk, because he didn't take his jacket, medication or -- a telltale sign, as he was a heavy smoker -- his cigarettes.
"Machetes are a better secondhand killer."
It also seems unlikely that he accidentally got lost or fell. He was a retired military officer/spy with extensive survival experience. The terrain was relatively easy, and he was an experienced hiker who liked to engage in solo jungle walkabouts that would pass for a training montage in a Tarzan movie.
So, maybe he had a stroke or something? But that huge search operation wasn't just a bunch of guys lazily wandering around the area -- it was a battalion of experienced trackers, combing the land. Dead or alive, if Thompson were there he would've been found (or at least you'd think).
"I'm gonna go test this invisibility cloak and experiment with mixing hard drugs. Be back in an hour."
Rumor soon had it that Thompson, being a wealthy American expatriate, had been kidnapped. If so, they weren't doing it for the money -- no ransom demand appeared, and no evidence ever turned up of such an operation.
Despite rewards and multiple search and re-search parties, no credible evidence of Thompson's fate has ever surfaced. The most generally accepted theory claims he was abducted by communists -- and that one is based on testimony by a freaking psychic.
An all-American, capitalist hero psychic.
Since we are already at the "psychics get a say in this" stage, let's run this thing through the Cracked Speculation Machine (patent pending): Thompson was a revered member of the U.S. Intelligence community, and not necessarily a former one at that. Longstanding rumors maintained that he never quite let go of the whole spying thing, and the fact that he disappeared during a time when Southeast Asia was quickly becoming extremely hostile for Americans -- mere months before the Tet Offensive -- seems awfully convenient.
We're not explicitly saying he might have been called back from retirement for one last spy mission, the enthralling details of which we can never be allowed to know. We're just heavily implying.
Just like this spy's about to heavily imply a bunch of lead into some commie faces.
In October 1955, a merchant vessel named MV Joyita set sail from Samoa for a two-day voyage to Tokelau Islands, carrying 25 people and a cargo of timber and empty oil drums. Four days later, its destination port sent out a message that the ship had never arrived. No distress signals had been received -- the Joyita had just vanished.
The Joyita was flooded and tilting to the point of being partially submerged.
The band stayed on until the end, despite ample lifeboat space and them being an a cappella ensemble.
And no, it wasn't a case where everybody was standing on one rail and when the boat tipped it dumped them all into the water. The boat's logbook and navigational equipment were missing, as were the dinghy, all three lifeboats and all the food. The radio of the ship was found to be in perfect working order and set to the emergency frequency. However, it only had a range of about 2 miles due to messed-up wiring that had gone unnoticed.
Well ... that's eerie, granted, but pretty straightforward. The ship started leaking and they had to abandon it, because they were unable to signal for help, right?
"We signaled to the dolphins to save us, but they just ate Claude and laughed."
It Gets Weirder:
That would be a nice theory, except for the fact that the ship was completely seaworthy. It had a large hole in its superstructure, indicating a collision with something -- but as the actual hull had not been breached, that was nowhere near enough to cause much harm. There was a little water inside the ship, but that was mainly due to it bobbing in the waves like a cork for weeks.
If the crew and passengers loaded up in lifeboats and pissed off toward familiar waters, why weren't any of them spotted by air rescue? Lifeboats tend to be designed for good visibility, and even if they keel over they don't sink easily. And we're not talking about one lifeboat here, but three.
Lifeboat tastes better when sandwiched between people steaks.
Wait, it gets better! Most of the windows of the ship were smashed. The main engine was covered in mattresses for no apparent reason, and only one of the other engines was working. One of the passengers was a doctor, and his bag was found on the deck -- with several tools removed and replaced with bloody rags. To cap off the scene, the failing generator had stopped each of the ship's clocks at 10:25 p.m., presumably to indicate what we'll just go ahead and call "Cthulhu Time."
Unsurprisingly, most everyone started pushing their pet theory on what had happened. Even less surprisingly, said theories range from the usual pirate and mutiny stories to the obligatory "aliens did it" one, to a particularly creative one about Japanese holdouts from WWII having attacked the boat.
And who knows, maybe one of those batshit insane proposals is correct. MV Joyita isn't telling. She is too busy enjoying the deserved reputation of the "Mary Celeste of the Pacific."
For more disturbing unanswered questions, check out The 5 Creepiest Unsolved Crimes Nobody Can Explain and 6 Insane Discoveries That Science Can't Explain.
And stop by LinkSTORM to discover what really happened to Ross.
Do you have an idea in mind that would make a great article? Then sign up for our writers workshop! Do you possess expert skills in image creation and manipulation? Mediocre? Even rudimentary? Are you frightened by MS Paint and simply have a funny idea? You can create an infographic and you could be on the front page of Cracked.com tomorrow!