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Top 10 Strangest Unsolved Mysteries of WWII

VO: Rebecca Brayton

Script written by George Pacheco.

There are some freaky WWII mysteries that have yet to be solved. Whether it’s missing artifacts like Hitler’s globe or the Blutfahne flag, the Pearl Harbor Ghost P-40 or the disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg, there are some unresolved enigmas from World War II that we want answers to. WatchMojo counts down ten of the most bizarre unexplained mysteries of the Second World War.

Special thanks to our users ViolaCello and MikeMJPMUNCH for suggesting this idea! Check out the voting page at WatchMojo.comsuggest/Top%20Ten%20Unsolved%20Mysteries%20of%20WWII


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Script written by George Pacheco.

Top 10 Strangest Unsolved Mysteries of World War II

Will these burning questions ever be answered? Welcome to, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unsolved Mysteries of World War II.

For this list, we’re ranking high profile stories from the Second World War that are surrounded by mystery.

#10: Foo Fighters

Yes, it’s the name of a famous rock band, but the term “foo fighter” actually refers to some mysterious aerial phenomena reported by Allied aircraft pilots during WWII. Soldiers claimed to encounter balls of bright light while flying over Europe and Japan during the conflict, lights that usually moved at a pace equal to or faster than the planes they were tailing. Modern-day theorists point to lightning or the upper level electrical phenomena known as St. Elmo’s Fire as possible explanations. But pilots who were there maintain that these unidentified flying objects were like nothing they’d ever seen.

#9: Who Were the British 17?

There’s a lot of speculation behind this next unsolved mystery, which concerns a document uncovered at the site of the notorious Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Unearthed in Poland in 2009, it lists seventeen British soldiers, some with checkmarks next to their names, with words written in German on the back. Some claim these soldiers were executed POWs, while others point to the possibility that these Brits were part of a secret SS outfit working for the Nazis. The existence of the British Free Corps, an actual English SS unit during the war, means this latter claim is possible, but so far this one’s got no definitive answer.

#8: Hitler’s Globe

One common thread that unites many post-WWII stories is the subject of lost or missing Nazi artifacts, many of which simply disappeared following the war’s end. Hitler’s Globe is one such artifact. It was a huge, custom-built model found inside the Fuhrer’s personal office. The Red Army successfully overtook Berlin, and it’s commonly theorized that the country’s Minister of Internal Affairs had the globe brought back to the Soviet Union as a spoil of war. To this day, Russia hasn’t confirmed or denied any of these accusations, and it’s highly unlikely that anyone will be coming forward with pertinent information on the matter any time soon.

#7: The Disappearance of Raoul Wallenberg

Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg may not be a household name around the world, but his efforts during WWII nevertheless saved thousands of lives. Wallenberg assisted Jewish citizens by offering them passports and shelter during his time as an envoy in Hungary, but it was his mysterious disappearance that perhaps serves as the most tragic aspect of his story. The Swede originally went missing in 1947 during a siege in Budapest, captured by the Soviets who later reported his death. But how did he die? Execution, poisoning and heart failure have all been suggested. And what about the many stories that reported him alive as late as 1987?

#6: Blutfahne Flag

Another lost Nazi relic, the infamous Blutfahne Flag was used in Hitler’s Beer Hall Putsch in 1923. The swastika flag was marked by the blood of Hitler’s group in their failed attempt to overtake the Bavarian capital of Munich and was considered one of the Nazi party’s most revered artifacts. It was last seen in 1944, and was widely believed to have been lost during the furious Allied assaults on Munich. The fact that the Blutfahne was considered so sacred to the Nazis, however, makes it very possible that it could’ve been recovered or otherwise preserved. However, today, it’s still missing in action.

#5: The Pearl Harbor Ghost P-40

Better late than never? A year after 1941’s Battle of Pearl Harbor, a P-40 fighter jet was spotted flying in from the direction of Japan. Reports from intercepting pilots claimed that the P-40 was missing landing gear, severely damaged from anti-aircraft fire and included a bloodied pilot at the controls. Not surprisingly, the plane soon crashed. Rescue efforts uncovered no sign of a pilot, but did find a diary reporting that the plane’s stationed position was over a thousand miles away. The P-40 hadn’t been in use for a year by this point, and this one was certainly in no shape to get off the ground. So what exactly happened? We may never know.

#4: The Amber Room

Although a replica of this priceless relic currently exists on Russian soil, the pieces of the original Amber Room are thought to be lost to time. Originally owned by Russian Tsar Peter the Great, the room was moved by Axis forces to Prussia. But post-WWII, this elaborate room of gorgeous amber panels, mirrors and precious stones disappeared. Was it destroyed by furious Allied bombing? Or did Hitler’s order that all relics be removed from the city result in pieces being dispersed all over the area, never to be found again? This is by far one of the war’s most tantalizing unsolved mysteries for treasure hunters.

#3: Erwin Rommel’s Secret Treasure

Speaking of treasure, the location of an incredible stash of priceless art, gold and gemstones is believed to lie out there, somewhere deep within the Mediterranean Sea. This treasure is said to have belonged to the infamous Nazi commander Erwin Rommel, and was ordered buried as it became clear that Nazi Germany’s days were numbered. Although a breakthrough occurred in 2007 when coordinates led a British treasure hunter and researcher to an area off the coast of Corsica, as of yet Erwin Rommel’s secret treasure remains lost beneath the waves.

#2: Who Turned in Anne Frank?

It was a telephone tip that ultimately led to the capture of young Anne Frank and her family by German officials in 1944. But who left that tip? Who turned in Anne Frank, the young Jewish girl who along with seven others had hidden for two years from the Nazis? It was the SS officer Julius Dettman who originally took the phonecall, and who put the apprehension orders into motion. However, Dettman committed suicide near the end of the war, having never revealed who the caller was. Many theories have been put forth, most involving workers from the complex where Anne was hidden. But no one knows for sure who placed that fateful call.

#1: The Disappearance of Flight 19

The Bermuda Triangle is said to have caused the disappearance or malfunction of many unlucky aircrafts over the years. One such tale is that of Flight 19, a group of five Navy planes that flew out on a training flight shortly after the war’s conclusion. The pilots reported compass error before finally disappearing without a trace after presumably running out of fuel. A PBM flying boat was sent out to find the missing Flight 19, and this, too, disappeared. Although officials point to the PBM’s flammable nature as a probable cause for its demise, the Flight 19 bombers and their crew remain unaccounted for to this day.

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