Photography captures a moment in time, and often can create a mystery as well when strange figures or events are frozen on film for people to endlessly share and scrutinize. While most mysterious photos have a reasonable explanation, not all can be easily dismissed. Check out these 20 mysterious photos for which a logical explanation has yet to be found.
The Falling Body
The Cooper family seen here in this photo were alarmed when a body appeared to fall from the ceiling in the picture. Experts say it could be the result of double exposure, but the Coopers claim they had nothing to do with it.
The SS Watertown Ghosts
Two crew members aboard the SS Watertown died in a freak accident in 1924 before other crew members reported seeing their two deceased shipmates hovering around the ship. The captain took this photo, which has yet to be explained.
In 1835, a houseguest reported seeing a phantom dressed all in brown with its eyes gouged out. Then in 1936, a professional photographer snapped this shot depicting the specter. It has yet to be explained.
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The Spectre of Newby Church
Photographed in North Yorkshire, England in 1963 by a minister, this hooded figure mysteriously appeared in the shot of the altar. Rev. Lord said he had no idea where the figure came from but did confirm that he’d not seen it when taking the picture. Photographic experts say it is not the result of double exposure.
The Hampton Court Ghost
Spotted in 2003 on security footage, this specter raised eyebrows when a fire alarm sounded. Guards checked every door, only to find each one locked and bolted. Then this image turned up on the security tapes. Nobody knows how the alarm sounded, or what this image is.
Freddy Jackson’s Ghost
Photographed in 1919, this spectral image turned up in a photograph of the crew of the HMS Daedalus. All who saw the photo confirmed that it was of Freddy Jackson…who had died two days prior to the photo being taken.
The Black Knight
A mysterious black object that has orbited Earth for an alleged 13,000 years, speculation centers on the “Black Knight” as an alien satellite of some kind. This is a rare photograph of the object, which has yet to be explained.
The Solway Furth Astronaut
Taken in 1964, this photo allegedly shows an astronaut floating above a little girl’s head. The photographer confirmed that he could not explain the figure in the image, and that it had not been there when he snapped the picture. Kodak confirmed that the film had not been tampered with.
Photographed multiple times during the assassination of John F. Kennedy, this old woman in a coat and head scarf appears to have snapped photos of the assassination in progress. The FBI searched for her, requesting that she come forward, but she never has been identified.
Battle of Los Angeles
Three months after Pearl Harbor, with the nation on edge and fearing an attack, this rare photo depicts a firefight over Los Angeles, complete with search lights and glowing lights in the sky. Official reports say trigger happy soldiers shot down a weather balloon, but UFOlogists claim it’s actually a spacecraft.
Legends of a Bigfoot-like creature living in the swamps of Florida have persisted for years, but often been disregarded as paranoid myth. Then in 2000, an anonymous woman sent this photo to police, claiming that the foul-smelling beast nicknamed Skunk Ape had wandered into her yard on multiple occasions. The photo remains unexplained.
The McMinnville UFO
One of the earliest known UFO photos, LIFE magazine ran this picture in 1950, with speculation hypothesizing that it showed an alien space craft. The picture remains debated to this day.
The UFO Painting
Painted in the 1400s, this painting shows a strange glowing object in the sky. What is it supposed to be? Modern art experts can’t agree, but UFO theorists insist it’s an early example of a UFO in art history.
Modern Time Traveler
This 1941 photo of the opening of a bridge in Canada shows a man in very modern dress holding a modern camera in a crowd of onlookers. Time travel theorists suggest it is evidence of time travelers living among us.
These lights have been reported in the skies above Hessdalen for over 80 years, with this photo snapped in the early 1980s. Speculation ranges from alien spacecraft to a hole in the space time continuum.
Spotted in Australia by a French photographer, this strange creature appeared six feet below the surface of the water and spanned 80 feet. The photographer said it was a solid creature with a wound in it’s neck. It was never seen again.
The Phoenix Lights
First witnessed in 1997 these five giant lights appear to move in unison across the sky. Eyewitness reports say a hulking airship hovered through the sky that night, while the airforce claims it was just a series of weather balloons.
The Loch Ness Monster
A legend that has persisted for years before and after this 1934 photo was taken, stories abound of a prehistoric creature living in the Scottish lake. While some have explained this photo as a toy submarine, longtime Nessie fans remain skeptical.
These fireballs turn up all over the Mekong River in Thailand and Laos. The basketball-shaped fireballs rose from the water, shot into the air and vanished. Scientists have proposed escaping gas as the cause, but no definitive answer has yet been presented.
Of course he’d turn up here! Said to roam the pacific northwest, this frame from some 8mm film footage is the most famous image of bigfoot caught on camera. While some claim it is a hoax, no real explanation has yet to arise.