1. The Joyce McLain Murder, 1980
This case, while actually, solved, went decades with no answers. On a summer evening in East Millinocket in 1980, Joyce McLain went out for a jog and never came home.
Her badly beaten and murdered body was found two days later by the powerlines near her school. For years, speculation swirled, but no suspects were ever identified. A detective involved in the case claimed to know the identity of the likely killer, but claimed he would never kill again. That lead went cold.
Despite pleas from her mother that Joyce's body be exhumed for further DNA testing, nothing was done until 2008. But, it took until March 2016 for evidence to surface that tied Phillip Scott Fournier to the murder. He has been charged with the 1980 murder.
2. The murder of Mary Catherine Olenchuk, 1976
In 1976, Mary Catherine Olenchuk was vacationing with her mother and sisters at their home in Ogunquit. She left on a friend's bicycle to head into town for a pack of gum and The New York Times. She never returned.
After being promoted to Brigadier General, Mary's father oversaw a program called "Operation CHASE." The controversial effort included dumping munitions and chemical weapons into the ocean. There had been threats against his family and many people assumed Mary had been kidnapped. When a random call never came, it was clear that something more nefarious had happened.
About two weeks after disappearing, Mary's body was found in a Kennebunk barn. Despite being decomposed and buried under some hay, it was clear she had been strangled. Her bike was found at a nearby hotel.
Sadly, both of Mary's parents have passed away and there have been no real breaks in the case. It is still open and is one of a few unsolved mysteries being re-examined by Maine police.
3. The Allagash Abductions, 1976
In August of 1976, four met ventured into the Allagash Wilderness for two weeks of camping. As they enjoyed the Northern Maine wilderness one night, they noticed a bright light that seemingly tracked them as they paddled on the water. Then, just as quickly as it appeared, it was gone.
Until two nights later when it came back. As they watched from their small boat, the bright light shot out and beamed down upon them again. They began paddling back to shore. Rather than arriving back on shore and pulling the boat inland, the next thing they remember is simply being back. The light was gone.
The campfire, set just recently, had completely burned out as if they had been gone for hours. Over the next six days of the trip, the light never reappeared. When they returned, they told friends and family of the strange light and then moved on.
However, in 1988 two of the men began having terrible nightmares. The frightening dreams included images of four men sitting naked on a bench, feeling terrified. They enlisted the help of UFO researcher, Ray Fowler, who hypnotized them and recorded them each telling a tale of being abducted and probed during their 1976 Allagash trip.
Later, they each passed polygraph tests.
The case has never been solved. The four men continue to claim that what happened was real, Ray Fowler maintains that it is possible and psychiatrist and author Dr. John Mack has studied the case as well. Nobody has been able to prove that it is not real.
4. The Gail DeLano Disappearance, 1986
In 1986, the mother of two from Wiscasset, told her sons she was to meet a man for a date at Howard Johnson. The next day, when she didn't return home from the date her sons began to worry. It wasn't until the next day that her family realized she was missing.
Having been depressed in the past, no one was entirely sure if she had been abducted or if she had orchestrated her own disappearance. But, after a few days, her purse was found in the bushes and the case became criminal.
The cops searched everything and came up with nothing. Strangely, in a log of all the men she had met in personal ads, she had no mention of the man she had planned to meet at Howard Johnson. Police questioned a local radio station the Gail often called and learned the DJs knew her voice well and had long presumed she was very depressed. The first real break in the case came when a truck driver, having seen a missing person flyer, mentioned that he had given her a ride around the time she disappeared.
Gail's story was featured on an episode of "Unsolved Mysteries." A local forensic investigator recognized the woman and reported that her body had been found dead in a Mobile, Alabama motel. She was the apparent victim of a suicide. In the end, Gail had indeed taken her own life.
5. The Disappearance of Charles Nungesser and Francois Coli, 1927
In 1927 Nungesser and Coli planned one of the first trans-Atlantic flights. They took off in "The White Bird," a Levasseur PL.8 bi-plane in an attempt to reach New York. They were last seen off the coast of Ireland.
In the 1980s, reports began to surface that the duo may have made it all the way to Maine before disappearing. A hermit living near Round Pond reported hearing the sound of a sputtering plane nearby in early May 1927. Others also reported having heard the unmistakable sound of a crash in the area.
A search began and soon wooden struts were found. These were clearly not typical for this area. Soon after the discovery, more residents claimed that a motor had been dragged out of the woods and was used for logging. The only things never found were the bodies and any sign of the plane's fuel tanks.
While the current hypothesis is that the pair ran out of fuel and was forced to crash land in Maine, no one has ever truly confirmed this. Why were pieces of the plan found, but no bodies? Where did the fuel tanks disappear to? These questions still remain.
Our hope is that each and every one of these unsolved cases are solved, giving peace and closure to the families and friends involved. What are the mysteries in Maine that have you losing sleep?