Unsolved Mysteries of the 1970s That Will Give You Chills

By Sarah Norman | November 10, 2023

The 1978 Holiday Inn Fire That Claimed the Lives of 10 people.

The 1970s were full of glorious parties at Studio 54 and post-Vietnam celebrations, but it was also a decade full of chilling crimes that remain unsolved to this day. From gruesome murders to raucous heists and supernatural sightings, the mysteries chronicled here will leave you scratching your head and wondering exactly what happened in each of these stories.

Many of these stories are too upsetting for younger readers, so keep younger eyes shielded from the gruesome stuff. Keep in mind that many of these unsolved mysteries are cases that remain open, if you or someone you know can shine a light on these eerie crimes from the '70s don't be afraid to reach out... you could change everything.

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On November 26, 1978, 10 guests at the Holiday Inn in Greece, New York, were killed in a fire that whipped through the building. Initially, the Greece Police Department believed that the fire was accidental, but there were a few fishy facts about this fire. It's not clear if the fire alarms in the hotel went off during the blaze. First responders claim that they couldn't hear the bells when they arrived, although the hotel manager states that the alarms were ringing loud and clear.

Aside from the disagreement over the alarm, there were no smoke detectors or sprinklers in parts of the building, and the fire alarm system was not connected to the fire department. When John Stickevers, a New York City fire investigator was brought onto the case look into the blaze he found traces of a rare, very flammable liquid accelerant inside a storage cupboard beneath the first floor stairwell. No suspects were ever named in this truly chilling arson, and it wasn't until 2014 that the police identified two suspects.

The Kaikoura lights was seen by an entire airplane crew, but what were they?

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In December 1978, New Zealand was the site of a series of mysterious flashing lights now known as the "Kaikoura Lights." The first sightings occurred on December 21 when the crew of a cargo plane observed a collection of lights around their Armstrong Whitworth AW.660 Argosy aircraft. The lights were followed by a craft with five white flashing lights.

Following the initial sightings by the cargo crew a joint operation between the Royal New Zealand Air Force, the police and the Carter Observatory in Wellington investigated the UFO, with the New Zealand Ministry of Defence stating hat the lights were reflections from squid boat lights reflected off clouds, or possibly lights from the planet Venus reflecting off of cars. In spite of this claim this is one of the most highly documented UFO encounters of the 20th century.