Most people consider the Dodo Bird to be synonymous with human-driven extinction. First discovered by Dutch sailors in the late 1590s, it would be completely wiped out in just over 60 years. The pursuit of the last remnants of this iconic creature continues to this day, with an incomplete composite skeleton selling recently for just under half a million dollars.
With Molly Brandenburg & Richard Rossner
Have you ever spent hours looking for something you simply lost? How about a hundred years? How about looking for a missing airplane? Or a vanished civilization? Every other Monday, Gone searches for everything lost. From D. B. Cooper to the Holy Grail, the Etruscan language to early Russian cosmonauts; if it disappeared, we’re looking. After all, just because something is gone, doesn’t mean it can’t be found. Gone is a production of Cutler Media and part of the Parcast Network. Ad-free archives of episodes six months or older are now available through Stitcher Premium.
In 1865, Confederate President Jefferson Davis fled with hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gold. What happened next has been debated by historians and treasure hunters over the last 150 years. Did Davis squander what remained of his country's treasury in a desperate attempt to keep the Confederacy alive? Or, is it possible that the gold is still out there, waiting to be found?
In 1944, a Japanese submarine was sunk by Allied forces in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Fifty years later, declassified documents indicated that the wreckage may contain treasure: two tons of Japanese gold. Worth more than $25 million today, the treasure remains at the bottom of the ocean among the wreckage of the I-52.
This legendary trove of gold and precious jewels was a figurative and literal representation of the Aztec Empire's wealth. The treasure also had the value of high art that showed the empire's impressive reach and influence in the 1500s. However, all good things come to an end and the fall of the empire marks the moment Montezuma’s treasure was never to be seen again.
The son of the governor of New York, and one of the wealthiest families in the world, Michael Rockefeller was on an art-collecting expedition in Dutch New Guinea when he went missing in 1961. He was last seen trying to swim to shore after his boat capsized. What followed was a 10-day rescue mission in shark-infested waters. Did Rockefeller make it to shore only to be eaten by a local tribe? Or is his body forever lost at sea?
Before he disappeared into thin air, this French artist was set to release one of the most anticipated inventions of the late 19th century: the moving picture camera. Louis Le Prince, known as the Father of Cinema, vanished under suspicious circumstances in 1890, leaving behind a slew of possible suspects.
Myth and history intertwine in searching for the whereabouts of a sword that is 1.8 million years old. Since 660 BCE, the Kusanagi-no-Tsurugi has been passed down from emperor to emperor. Nobody can identify what the sword looks like, but the Japanese government claims it resides in the Atsuta Shrine in Nagoya.
John F. Kennedy’s brain went missing after he was assassinated in 1963. His brain wasn’t buried with his body and it hasn’t been seen since 1965. Was his brain taken by his younger brother to hide evidence of JFK’s drug use and mental illnesses? The missing component could provide evidence that Kennedy was not shot from the back by Lee Harvey Oswald, but from the front.
A testament to its owners wealth and power, the brilliant diamond survived exiles of kings and the fall of empires. After the assassination of its final owner in 1747, all records of the diamond virtually disappeared. The stone which rose from the dirt of a dried riverbed in India and became of the world’s most puzzling precious stones has been displaced ever since.
Home to possibly 700,000 books, including works by Homer, Plato, and Socrates, this ancient library in the heart of Egypt was destroyed thousands of years ago. Is there any hope we will find these valuable manuscripts?
This immaculately jeweled throne served as the seat for the Mughal emperors in India before it was stolen in 1739 by Persian emperor Nadir Shah. Some estimate that the throne would be worth more than a trillion dollars today!
After being kidnapped and spending 12 years as a slave, Solomon Northup disappeared again on a warm summer’s night in Canada in 1857. Was he murdered? Abducted and sold into slavery a second time? Or did he become a spy for the Union army during the Civil War, and never return?
The tallest statue in the ancient world welcomed travelers with its likeness to the sun god Helios. After it was destroyed by an earthquake, tourists still came from far and wide to see the rubble. Then one day, the pieces of the 108-foot tall Colossus of Rhodes were suddenly gone. Where did they go?
In May of 1990, Vincent van Gogh’s Portrait of Dr. Gachet, sold at auction for 82.5 million dollars. The buyer would die six years later. In 1999, the Metropolitan Museum of Art sought out the new owner to borrow the painting for an exhibit, but they couldn't find one. After numerous conflicting leads and dead ends, it was discovered that the painting was gone.
During World War 2, inventor Nikola Tesla died in a New York hotel room while working on a project known as “Tesla’s Death Ray.” When he was found, the prototype and most of Tesla’s notes were missing. Who got to Tesla’s room first? And what happened to the Death Ray?
Alcatraz Maximum Security Penitentiary is one of the most infamous prisons in American history. Located in the treacherous waters of San Francisco Bay, the island facility was surrounded by rocks and sub sixty-degree water. It was deemed to be inescapable. But in June, 1962, three men would carry out a plan months in the making, and seemingly disappear into thin air. How did they do it?
When Christopher Columbus returned to Spain from the New World, he gave his original log to the Sovereigns at royal court at Barcelona. Then Queen Isabella ordered the log to be copied. The original has not been seen since. Was it sequestered by the Spanish crown? Hidden by the Vatican? Sold off? Destroyed? Or simply...misplaced?
Edward Teach, better known by his nickname Blackbeard, was a pirate who was killed in November of 1718, but whose treasure was never found. Did it sink to the bottom of the ocean with his ship? Is it buried it in a chest on an island off the coast of North Carolina? Or was there ever any hidden treasure at all?
In 1983, the Jules Rimet Trophy, the original World Cup trophy, disappeared from a bullet-proof glass case on the ninth floor of a building in Rio de Janeiro. How was the trophy stolen? Was it an inside job? Or was the real Jules Rimet Trophy even on display?
Nefertiti was queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten. While the remains of other ancient Egyptian royalty have been found, the location of Nefertiti’s tomb remains a mystery. Is it still hidden in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt? Could her remains have already been found in a mummy whose identity has yet to be confirmed? Or did Nefertiti ever exist at all?