One of the most famous missing person cases in recent memory involved Natalee Holloway, an 18-year-old American who vanished during a 2005 school trip to the island of Aruba. She has not been seen since.
It’s always terrible when someone goes missing, but searching for them becomes particularly difficult when they disappear somewhere they and their loved ones aren’t familiar with. Such as the following travelers who, after they vanished, sadly never returned home.
10. John Reed
In 1980, 28-year-old John Reed left his hometown of Twin Cities, California, and traveled to Brazil. He was hoping to find the lost city of Akakor, an ancient underground civilization which had supposedly remained undiscovered in the Amazonian jungles for thousands of years.
Reed had learned about the city in a book called The Chronicle of Akator. The author, Karl Brugger, had written it after learning about Akator from a Brazilian jungle guide named Tatunca Nara (pictured at left), who claimed he had once been chief of a tribe which ruled the city 3,000 years ago. Tatunca lived in the village of Barcelos and ran a lucrative business leading tourists into the jungle to search for Akator. Reed decided to accompany Tatunca on one of these expeditions. Reed left his dog tags and return plane ticket in his hotel room in Manaus, but never came back.
It was eventually revealed that “Tatunca Nara” was actually a German citizen named Gunther Hauck. Tatunca always claimed that Reed ran off and hid in the jungle after they decided to return to Barcelos. However, Reed was not the only person to disappear under suspicious circumstances in Tatunca’s company. During the 1980s, a Swiss man named Herbert Wanner and a Swedish woman named Christine Heuser would also mysteriously vanish during a Tatunca expedition. Wanner’s jawbone was later found.
In addition, Karl Brugger would be shot to death on a Rio street in 1984. Authorities have always believed that Gunther Hauck was responsible for Brugger’s murder and the three disappearances, but there has never been enough evidence to charge him.