Every now and then, the world produces someone so intelligent, so creative, or just so different that they change everything. But history isn’t always smooth sailing. Those people with the brains or ideas to transform our culture sometimes nearly perish before they can even get started.
You would think that expensive items, whether they are at a home, a museum or even a religious institution, should be highly guarded. The problem is that many times, they are not, and as a result, over the years, items that have a value of “priceless” or pretty close to it, have been stolen. Here are ten of the most expensive things ever stolen. These items range from art to an iconic building. By the way, it’s easier to steel a building than you would imagine. The most surprising thing about all of these items being stolen is that most of them are so famous; there isn’t even a black market for them. If the thieves were to try and sell many of the things on this list on the black market, they would most certainly be caught. In fact, many of them have and the items have been safely returned.
In America, a child goes missing every 40 seconds in the United States. Up to 800,000 children a year disappear without a trace and every day, approximately 2000 people are reported missing. To the horror of family, friends and often the world, many of them are never found. Where they are and what happened to them often remains an unsolved mystery.
In most cases, criminal investigators can piece together a series of events that led to their disappearance and, with dedication and skill, can track the disappeared down. Even in the tragic cases when the missing people aren’t found alive, a sense of closure about why they disappeared and who was responsible is still possible. But what about the people who seem to disappear into thin air, leaving no traces as to where they went, leaving investigators and the public baffled?
Many of these people are adults who have no known enemies and who have never exhibited any signs that they would leave. They simply vanish with no signs of struggle or violence, as if they never existed. Here, we’ve compiled information on some of the most famous and mysterious cases of people vanishing, seemingly into thin air. Some of their stories leave chills down your spine while others simply perplexed the world. Where did they go? Where they ever found? And if not, will their long-standing cases ever be solved?
The papacy is an ancient institution that’s charged with leading and guiding the worldwide Christian population in their spiritual lives. Today, we view the pope as a figurehead whose power comes from his ability to influence the direction of Christianity, and therefore the direction and viewpoints of large swaths of the 2.2 billion Christians on earth. The pope – currently the Argentinian-born Pope Francis – wields power through symbolism and the historical importance of the papacy. However, things weren’t always this way.
Following the spread of Christianity throughout the western world after the death of Christ, the papacy became increasingly powerful. Once the various rulers and monarchs of Europe and the Middle-East began to convert to Christianity, the pope enjoyed a sort of de facto control over the numerous newly-converted Christian kingdoms. The east-west schism that began in 1053 effectively split Christianity in two, with the Pope becoming the figurehead of the newly created catholic sect of Christianity based in western Europe and those in the east who formed the orthodox Christian religion turning their back on the papacy.
Throughout most of the next 1,000 years, it was the catholic pope who controlled and influenced much of the secular and political activities of western Europe, which was quickly establishing itself as the most powerful group of states on Earth. As the pope had so much influence throughout the region, whoever found himself to be pope at the time was for all intents and purposes the most powerful man on the planet.
Naturally, power attracts corruption, and the popes of old weren’t all mercy and humility. Some of history’s many popes gained their power through political manipulation, corruption, or outright murder. As much as the catholic church of today would rather we forget, the history of the papal seat is riddled with war and blood – a far cry from the relatively benign presence of today’s pope. Frankly, the popes of history are far more entertaining than the ones of today, and these ones were the darkest, most malicious popes to hold the throne.