This is for people about whom there is (or was for a long period) a mystery as to their identity,immediate origins, or life.
The Dancing Man
The Dancing Man is the name given to the man who was filmed dancing on the street in Sydney, Australia, after the end of World War II. On August 15, 1945, a reporter took note of a man’s joyful expression and dance and asked him to do it again. The man consented and was caught on motion picture film. The film and stills from it have taken on iconic status in Australian history and culture, and symbolise victory in the war.There has been much debate as to the identity of the dancing man. The identity commonly accepted, though, is that he is Frank McAlary, a retired barrister who claims that he was the man photographed pirouetting in Elizabeth Street, Sydney, on August 15, 1945. A Queen’s Counsel, Chester Porter, and a former Compensation Court judge, Barry Egan, both claim to have seen Mr. McAlary being filmed dancing.
The television programme Where Are They Now, produced by Australia’s Seven Network, attempted to solve the mystery of the dancing man’s identity. The network hired a forensic scientist who examined the film reel and picture and came to the conclusion that it was indeed McAlary.
The Royal Australian Mint, however, chose to portray Ern Hill as the dancing man on a 2005 issue $1 coin commemorating 60 years since the World War II armistice. Mr. Hill has made a statement that, “The camera came along and I did a bit of a jump around.” The coin does not bear any name.
Rebecca Keenan of Film World Pty. Ltd., says the dancer may be one Patrick Blackall. Mr. Blackall has claimed, “I’m the genuine dancing man,” and has signed statutory declarations that he is the man in the film.
Man in the Iron Mask
The Man in the Iron Mask (French: L’Homme au Masque de Fer) (died November 1703) was a prisoner who was held in a number of jails, including the Bastille and the Chateau d’If, during the reign of Louis XIV of France. The identity of this man has been thoroughly discussed, mainly because no one ever saw his face which was hidden by a mask of black velvet cloth. Later retellings of the story have claimed that it was an iron mask.
In popular myth he is believed to have been the twin brother of Louis XIV, but there is little actual evidence for this.
What facts are known about this prisoner are based mainly on correspondence between his jailer and his superiors in Paris.
Charles Johnson – Pirate biographer
Captain Charles Johnson is the author of the 1724 book A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the most notorious Pyrates, though his identity remains a mystery. No record of a captain by this name exists. Some scholars have suggested that “Charles Johnson” was really Daniel Defoe writing under a pen name, but this is disputed. His work was influential in shaping popular conceptions of pirates, and is the prime source for the biographies of many well known pirates.
Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper is an alias given to an unidentified serial killer (or killers) active in the largely impoverished Whitechapel area and adjacent districts of London, England in the late 19th century. The name is taken from a letter sent to the Central News Agency by someone claiming to be the murderer.
The victims were women allegedly earning income as prostitutes. The murders were perpetrated in public or semi-public places at night or towards the early morning. The victim’s throat was cut, after which (in some cases) the body was mutilated. Theories suggest the victims were first strangled in order to silence them and to explain the lack of reported blood at the crime scenes. The removal of internal organs from three of the victims led some officials at the time of the murders to propose that the killer possessed anatomical or surgical knowledge.
Unidentified body on Christmas Island
An unidentified human corpse was found on a life raft in the Indian Ocean, off Christmas Island, in 1942. The origins of the body are a subject of great interest in Australia, because it is widely believed that it came from HMAS Sydney, which sank off Western Australia in November 1941, after a battle with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran. Sydney was lost with no survivors and its wreck was not located until 2008. No remains of its crew have ever been identified.
Tank Man, or the Unknown Rebel, is the nickname of an anonymous man who became internationally famous when he was videotaped and photographed during the Tiananmen Square protests on June 5, 1989. Several photographs were taken of the man, who stood in front of a column of Chinese Type 59 tanks, preventing their advance. The most widely reproduced version of the photograph was taken by Jeff Widener (Associated Press), from the sixth floor of the Beijing Hotel, about half a mile (800 m) away, through a 400 mm lens.
The Zodiac Killer is a serial killer who operated in Northern California in the late 1960s. His identity remains unknown. The Zodiac coined his name in a series of taunting letters he sent to the press. His letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers), three of which have yet to be solved.
The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Lake Berryessa, and San Francisco between December 1968 and October 1969. Four men and three women between the ages of 16 and 29 were targeted. Others have also been suspected to be Zodiac victims, but there has been thus far no conclusive evidence to link them to the killer.
The Crucified Soldier
The Crucified Soldier, refers to the widespread story of an Allied soldier serving in the Canadian Army who may have been crucified with bayonets on a barn door or a tree, while fighting on the Western Front during World War I. Three witnesses said they saw an unidentified crucified Canadian soldier near the battlefield of Ypres, Belgium on or around April 24, 1915, but there was no conclusive proof such a crucifixion actually occurred. The eyewitness accounts were somewhat contradictory, no crucified body was found, and no knowledge was uncovered at the time about the identity of the supposedly-crucified soldier.
Juba is the nom de guerre of an alleged sniper involved in the Iraqi insurgency featured in several videos of Iraqi insurgents. It was claimed Juba had shot 37 American soldiers in the second video, although this claim is unsupported by evidence
Whether Juba is a real individual is unknown, but the sheer number of attacks claimed and the arrest or capture of at least two people claimed to be Juba suggests he may be a fictional composite of several or more insurgents.
Deep Throat was for many years the tightly held stage name given to Deputy Director of the FBI William Mark Felt, Sr., the secret source who provided information to the Washington Post about the involvement of U.S. President Richard Nixon’s administration in what came to be known as the Watergate scandal.
Deep Throat (Mark Felt) was an important source for The Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, who wrote a series of articles on the scandal, which played a decisive role in exposing the misdeeds of the Nixon administration. The scandal would eventually lead to the resignation of President Nixon as well as prison terms for White House Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, G. Gordon Liddy, Egil Krogh, chief counsel Charles Colson, and presidential adviser John Ehrlichman.
V–J day in Times Square
V–J day in Times Square, perhaps the most famous photograph by Alfred Eisenstaedt, is of an American sailor kissing a young woman on V-J Day in Times Square in 1945, that was originally published in Life magazine. (The photograph is known under various names: V-J day in Times Square, V-Day, etc.)
Because Eisenstaedt was photographing rapidly changing events during the V-J celebrations he didn’t get a chance to get names and details. The photograph does not clearly show the faces of either kisser and several people have laid claim to being the subjects. The photo was shot just south of 45th Street looking north from a location where Broadway and Seventh Avenue converge.
In its August 1980 issue, the editors of LIFE Magazine asked that the kissing sailor come forward. In the October 1980 issue, the editors reported that eleven men and three women had come forward to claim to be the kissers.