The best jokes about the pandemic to get you through the last few days of lockdown
The best jokes about the pandemic to get you through the last few days of...

Lauren Heskin

One of our favourite ‘Bridgerton’ characters is getting her own spin-off series – here’s what we know so far
One of our favourite ‘Bridgerton’ characters is getting her own spin-off series – here’s what...

Sarah Finnan

3 three-bedroom homes in Kerry for less than €150,000
3 three-bedroom homes in Kerry for less than €150,000

Lauren Heskin

Irish fashion boutiques to visit now that retail has finally reopened
Irish fashion boutiques to visit now that retail has finally reopened

Marie Kelly

Calling all dog owners: Join our virtual event and #TakeTheLead from the dog experts
Calling all dog owners: Join our virtual event and #TakeTheLead from the dog experts


Work-related stress? Here’s how to reduce it
Work-related stress? Here’s how to reduce it

Colette Sexton

‘I wake up exhausted’: how to get a good night’s sleep, according to an Irish sleep expert
‘I wake up exhausted’: how to get a good night’s sleep, according to an Irish...

Grace McGettigan

Image / Living / Culture

5 unsolved mysteries of 2020 we still want answers to

by Shayna Sappington
03rd Sep 2020

From UFO sightings to a mystery jetpack flier, these bizarre events have left the world puzzled

This has definitely been a year we will never forget, but not just because of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic.

Strange occurrences have been happening since January. From murder hornets to Australian bushfires, news headlines have looked like something out of an apocalyptic handbook.

And while some stories have been unravelled, quite a few mysteries have gone unsolved. Here are five bizarre occurrences in 2020 that we still can’t explain.

1. The LA jetpack flier 

The most recent mystery has been that of an unknown jetpack flier, who has been seen soaring above Los Angeles International Airport. There were multiple sightings of the unknown flier, including a JetBlue Airways flight from New York, a SkyWest Airlines flight from San Jose, and an American Airlines flight from Philadelphia. 

The pilots reported the unusual sightings to LA approach controllers, saying they spotted the mysterious flier at an altitude of more than 900 metres. Authorities have since launched an investigation on the matter that could lead to serious consequences, as regulations restrict ‘ultralight aircraft’ from flying over any congested area of a city, town, or settlement, or over any open air assembly of persons. As to what this mystery flier was doing so high up, we still don’t know.

2. Seeds sent ‘round the world 

Unsolicited seeds have been posted to random homes around the world. At first they were just sent to the US and Canada, but last month they started arriving to Irish houses as well. Agricultural departments have identified a few of the seeds so far as “a mix of ornamental, fruit and vegetable, herb, and weed species” and think that they may be part of a brushing scam.

A brushing scam is where people receive unsolicited items from a seller who then posts false customer reviews to boost sales. However, this is just a working theory and the public has been warned not to open or plant these seeds if they receive them. They were originally thought to be sent from China after a from China Post postmark was found on one of the packages, but a spokesperson for China’s foreign ministry said the address labels were forged.

3. UFO sightings confirmed by the Pentagon

In April, the United States Department of Defense released three short videos of what they called “unidentified aerial phenomena”. In the footage, fast-moving, oblong objects captured by advanced infrared sensors are shown hurtling through the air. After sensors lock on to the objects, you can hear US fighter pilots trying to figure out what they are.

One pilot speculates it could be a drone while the other points out how fast they are going against the wind. However, many believe that the rotating objects are indeed UFOs. These videos were originally filmed in 2004 and 2005, but the Pentagon only released them to the public this year. Maybe they figured the videos wouldn’t be noticed in the shadow of the pandemic?

4. Kim Jong Un’s mysterious disappearance

In April, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un disappeared from the public eye, causing numerous theories to start circulating. Some were more reasonable, like he had coronavirus or was recovering from heart surgery, while others were far more reaching. Some even thought he had died. People were particularly concerned when he missed North Korea’s important ‘Day of the Sun’, the annual observance of his grandfather’s birthday on April 15. 

Plus, his absence was at a time he was needed most. A failed bid to negotiate a nuclear agreement with Trump had just taken place and there were rising concerns about food supplies during a global pandemic. Then the dictator seemingly resurfaced three weeks later at the opening of a fertiliser plant in Suncheon In. There has still been no explanation for his absence and many have been left wondering what happened to him in those few weeks.

5. A missing star


In a galaxy far, far away, 75 million light-years to be exact, a blazing blue star has vanished. The massive star shines brighter than the sun and has been studied by astronomers for almost two decades. Stars of this size usually die in a powerful, radiant explosion called a supernova, leaving behind a newly formed black hole. But there is no trace at all left behind from this missing star.

“If indeed the star turned into a black hole with no supernova at all, then it’s a case of ‘gone without a bang’ that astronomers have been searching for for a while now,” Iair Arcavi, an astronomer at Tel Aviv University told The Atlantic. And while astronomers are hoping it became a black hole without that telltale spark, they still don’t know for sure what happened to it, which is disconcerting to say the least.


Read more: 5 captivating new books from Irish authors out this month

Read more: WATCH: David Blaine attempts to fly over Arizona holding helium balloons

Read more: Readers Wanted: Join us for an evening in the Reading Room with John Boyne

Also Read

rural homes in Co Cork
3 rural homes in Co Cork on sale for €175,000 and under

From an elegant farmhouse to a period home that’s ripe for refurbishment, these three houses all come in at a reasonable price.

By Megan Burns

Women with MS who take medication, especially immunosuppressants, cannot become pregnant unless they come off medication.
I had to weigh up the possibility of losing my mind against losing my future children

Holograms of the children she may never have dance across Dearbhla Crosses' mind as an MS diagnosis and Covid-19 are unwelcome reminders of her biological clock ticking.

By Dearbhla Crosse

getaways around Ireland
7 gorgeous getaways around Ireland still available for rent this summer

By Shayna Sappington

If your schedule is jam packed then this quick one line mantra is useful: I am grateful every day for all the good I have in my life.
What exactly is gratitude? What are the benefits? How can we practice it?


5 tips to help you get back into your routine as we emerge from lockdown


By Jennifer McShane

What to eat tonight: Lemony baked whole sea bream

This delicious whole fish dish makes a big statement but...


How to reduce your child’s risk of asthma, eczema and allergies
How to significantly reduce your child’s risk of asthma, eczema and allergies

50% all babies born today will develop allergies, and up to a third will become asthmatic or suffer from eczema. So how can you reduce your baby’s risk of developing these conditions?

By Michelle Henning