610 A.D.: The Mayan cities of Copan, Piedras Negras, Palenque, Menche, Seibal, and several others:
Hundreds of thousands of Mayan citizens left their homes, within a single week, perhaps even a single day. Few appear to have fled northward, perhaps to establish new cities, but countless thousands, the vast majority, simply disappeared, all within a shockingly brief span of time. They didn’t bother to take any of their tools, pots, or cooking utensils. The land around these Mayan cities had become infertile, making it essential for the people to move north, where the land would be more productive. But if this great exodus was planned, why were most of their belongings left behind? Why was their entire supply of seed corn left behind? Why didn’t a single survivor ever return to loot the cities and temples of all their treasures? Emigrants do not set out on a long, arduous journey without preparation, without taking with them every tool which might assist them. In some of the homes in Piedras Negras and Seibal, there is ample evidence that families departed after preparing elaborate dinners— but before eating them. To this day, no one has any idea what caused the disappearance of the entire Mayan civilization.
When a British expedition, led by Sir Walter Raleigh, returned to the first British colony in Roanoke, Virginia in March of 1590, they found everyone gone. One hundred and twenty people, vanished without a trace. The only clue was one word carved into a tree— Croatoan. It was immediately thought that this meant that the colonists were slaughtered by the neighboring Croatoan Indian tribe, but the Croatoans professed to know nothing of the disappearance; they were a peaceful tribe, not warlike in the least, and had actually helped the colonists settle in. There were no signs of violence at the colony, no bodies ever found, no bones, no mass graves. It is theorized now that the single word, Croatoan, was left not as an accusation, but that it might have meant that the Croatoan Indians would know what had happened. The journals of several British explorers who spoke with the Indians about the disappearance tell that they did indeed have some idea of what happened, but they were not taken seriously by the white man. The Croatoans reported that at the same time of the colonists’ disappearance, there was a mass depletion of game, of virtually all species of wildlife, in the forests in which they hunted. The Croatoan’s explanation of the colonists’ disappearance was that both the colonists and the wildlife had been taken by the ultimate evil spirit, roughly equivalent in description to the Christian concept of Satan, whom they called “He Who Can Be Anything Yet Is Nothing”.
1711: The Pyrenees Mountains:
During the Spanish War of Succession, four thousand troops set out on an expedition into the Pyrenees Mountains. Every last man disappeared on familiar and friendly ground, before the first night’s camp had even been established.
1923: Joya Verde, Amazon River, South America:
Joya Verde, which means ‘green jewel’, was a trading post on the Amazon River, far from civilization. In 1923, six hundred and five people— every man, woman, and child who lived there— vanished from Joya Verde in a single afternoon, sometime between the morning and evening visits of regularly scheduled river boats. At first, it was thought that the nearby Indians, normally peaceful, had become hostile and launched a surprise attack. However, no bodies were found, no sign of looting, no indications of violence.
November, 1930: Anjikuni, Canada:
Five hundred miles northwest of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police outpost at Churchill, is the Eskimo village of Anjikuni. On a snowy afternoon in November of 1930, a French Canadian fur trader named Joe LaBelle stopped at Anjikuni, only to discover that everyone who lived there had disappeared. All belongings, including precious hunting rifles, had been left behind. Meals were left half-eaten. The dogsleds were there, but no dogs, which meant that there was no possible way that the entire population could have moved overland to another location. LaBelle hastened to the Mounted Police, and a major investigation was launched, but no trace was ever found of the villagers of Anjikuni. LaBelle is quoted as saying that the village was “as eerie as a graveyard in the very dead of night”.
December 10th, 1939: Nanking, China:
Outside the hills of Nanking, an army of three thousand Chinese soldiers, on its way to the front lines to fight the Japanese, vanished without a trace before it got anywhere near the battle. Not a single body was ever found – not one grave, not one witness. The Japanese military has never found any record of having dealt with that particular Chinese force. No peasant heard any gunfire or any indication of conflict in the hills through which the army passed. They simply evaporated into thin air.
Between three and four thousand primitive tribesmen— men, women, and children— vanished from a relatively remote area of central Africa. Their villages were found empty; they had abandoned all their possessions, including large stores of food. They seemed to have just run off into the bush. The only signs of violence were a few broken pieces of pottery. Mass disappearances in this part of the world are decidedly more common than in the rest of the world due to political violence and upheaval. But when entire villages are slaughtered for political purposes, they are always, without exception, looted and then burned, and the bodies are later found interred in mass graves. In this instance, there was no looting, no burning, no bodies ever found. Some weeks later, game wardens in that district reported an unexplainable decrease in the wildlife population. No connection was ever made to the missing villagers; it was reported as a separate phenomenon.
1990: The Pacific Ocean:
Marine biologists noted a dramatic decrease in fish population in one region in the Pacific. In some cases, the numbers of some species that had once proliferated had been cut in half. Within some scientific circles, there was panic, fears that ocean temperatures were undergoing a sudden change that would depopulate the seas of all but the hardiest of species— but this proved not to be the case. Gradually sea life in that area— which covered hundreds of square miles— replenished itself. No one ever explained what happened to the millions upon millions of creatures that had vanished. Its cause was not pollution; it would have required the most massive case of water pollution ever to cause such a grand depopulation over such a wide area, and an accident on that scale could not go unnoticed. There were, in fact, no accidents in or near that region— an oil spill could not have covered anywhere near that much area. And dead fish did not wash up on the beaches— they merely vanished without a trace.