The O Files
In a world where everything has a rational explanation, nature still has the power to keep her secrets. These true stories of dark doings, loose ends, and unexplained terror keep us up at night, defy all reason, and scare the living daylights out of us.
Outside's long reads email newsletter features our strongest writing, most ambitious reporting, and award-winning storytelling about the outdoors. Sign up today.
Murder. Shocking disappearances. Haunting riddles. Although we all love to head into the wild in search of inspiration, sometimes what we find are dark enigmas. To explore this eerie side of things, we investigate 13 haunting true-life tales of crime and enduring mystery.
IN SEARCH OF...Have you been involved in an outdoor mystery? Write in and tell us about your favorite unsolved case at our ONLINE FORUM.
Things That Go Bump in the Wild
By Ian Frazier
A Watery Grave: Queensland Australia
Eileen and Tom Lonergan went out for a day of scuba diving, and never came back
Summit Shot: Mount Everest
Mountaineering’s greatest debate—who reached the top of Everest first?—rages on
Was Michael Rockefeller eaten by cannibals?
Amy Bechtel was there, and then she simply wasn’t
Roanoke Colony vanishes forever
Accused tree-killer Grant Hadwin may still be armed and dangerous
How one make faked his death—twice One Giant Leap
With $200,000 strapped to his body, D.B. Cooper stepped out the back of a plane and into history
Gold Fever Dreams
Buried treasure beckons on the Atlantic coast
No One Knows
Was 20-year-old Everett Ruess a suicide, murder victim, or something else?
Without a Trace
The moutain gods swallow another life
An Untimely End
A photographer turns up dead in placid Isabella Lake, and there’s no explanation
We don’t know where Edward Abbey is buried. Maybe it’s better that way.
It’s Weird Out There
From Sasquatch to the Mothman, Bruce Barcott takes on the supernatural
John Glavin looks at the classic cases that have stumped investigators for years—and perhaps always will
After years of investigation, these fatal mysteries—from a trailside murder to the fate of a missing snowboarder—are now filed under “solved”