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The Unsolved Mystery of Agatha Christie's Disappearance in 1926

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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:46 PM
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Agatha Christie Vanishes!


It's a story that even the Queen of Crime couldn't have come up with: the mysterious disappearance of the most famous writer in England and subsequent nationwide search, then fifty years later a seance in a glamorous Istanbul hotel and the discovery of a key that could solve the whole mystery.

It all began on December 14th 1926. For the past eleven days England and the rest of the English-speaking world had been up in arms over the disappearance of none other than one of the most famous authors in the world. (1)


What we know

For months, Christie had been dealing with a lot of stress and tragedy, including her mother's death and the revelation of her husband's long-time affair. Her newest novel, The Mysterious Affair of Styles, though selling well, was also met with criticism that some say was due to it's “unorthodox” plot. The break from literary norms nearly got her kicked out of the Detection Club for violating the rules of “fair play.”

On the morning of December 3rd, Christie had an argument with her husband, World War I pilot Colonel Archibald Christie (Archie) which was presumed to be about his upcoming trip. Christie believed he was planning to see his mistress (Nancy Neele). Later that same day, she wrote two letters (to her husband and to her secretary) canceling all of her appointments. She then left in her car and did not return that night.


Alarm was raised the next morning when she had yet to return. Later that day her car was found in a ditch off the side of the road a few miles from Styles, near the hotel where her husband was going to spend the weekend with his mistress. The car was abandoned and covered in frost, with the lights left on. Inside was an expired driver's license identifying the car's former occupant as Christie, a fur coat, and a small suitcase containing a couple of pieces of clothing. (1)


Of course, this was BIG news and it created a media frenzy. 15,000 (or so) volunteers searched the surrounding area and it marked the first time in British history that planes were used as part of a search party. When the Police learned of Archie's affair, he became the Prime Suspect. The Police tapped his phones and he was followed everywhere that he went.

"I would gladly give 500 pounds if I could only learn where my wife is." Archie announced in a public statement. But the question remains, was Archie a concerned husband or just playing his part in public?


There were many guesses as to what happened. Some people thought that she had been murdered, others that she had suffered a bout of amnesia. There were several cynics who suspected an elaborate publicity stunt. Several writers wrote articles outlining their elaborate theories as to what they believed to have really happened. As the days passed, more and more people believed her to be dead. (1)


Christie was not dead, but where was she? On December 14th, she was discovered at Harrogate Hydropathic Hotel in Yorkshire (Northern England) and had apparently gone directly there, from her home. She checked into the hotel under the name of Theresa Neele, using the same last name as her husband's Mistress. Apparently, several of the guests recognized her, but she denied who she was. The police and her husband were notified. When her husband arrived, it's said that she greeted him as her brother...


Christie claimed that she was suffering from amnesia. She and her husband went back to their home and told the press that she was coping with memory loss as a result of her mother's death. Despite two doctors examining her and agreeing with this prognosis, the public remained skeptical. Some maintained that it was a publicity stunt, and criticized her for wasting the taxpayer's money. Others believed that she had done it to publicly embarrass her husband as revenge for his adultery. (1)


Whatever the reason truly was for her eleven days missing, she never revealed it. It was widely believed that with the release of her biography (after her death) there would be some reference to this period and her true reasons behind her disappearance, but she never mentioned it...

Paranormal Clue?

Christie was said to have spent a a lot of her time in the 1920's and 30's at the Pera Palas Hotel in Istanbul. It happens to be where she wrote Murder on the Orient Express in room 411, preserved to this day as tribute.

Now, in preparation for the movie Agatha (1979 release), the studio turned to a known Psychic, Tamara Rand and asked that she hold a seance in Christie's room at the hotel in hopes of contact. Rand, if you remember, has had some fame due to her prediction of Ronald Reagan's assassination attempt. Rand claims that during the seance, she witnessed Christie hide a key under the floorboards in her room...


The workers in Christie's room tore up all the floorboards. In the corner between the door and the wall, they found a small, rusty key. Rand claimed that this key would open Christie's diary and would reveal the secret to Christie's disappearance. The press was ecstatic about the potential of the discovery. But celebration came too soon. The diary key couldn't be taken back to England and tested. The hotel management and the movie studio could not reach an agreement on the price to be paid for the key, so the key never actually left the premises of the hotel, and it remains there today, the last hope perhaps to obtaining the answers to her disappearance. Another key numbered 411 was found in another room in the Pera Palas in 1987, adding further confusion to this mystery.


What do we think ATS?

Was it revenge? Was it publicity stunt? Was it truly amnesia? Could there have been a paranormal connection and a real message from the author, herself?


_________________
ed: for grammar, grr

[edit on 15-8-2010 by LadySkadi]




posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:46 PM
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posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 10:57 PM
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I would say maybe not revenge, but creating a to do to embarass her husband.
It sounds like the kind of thing a hurt woman with a lot of imagination might do if she was a hurtin unit and not thinking quite clearly.
Its to bad about the key; to have a james randi moment and not put it in the diary....



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:01 PM
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I read about this a few years back and my instinct then was to assume that Agatha had a bit of a mini-breakdown and ran, trying to get away from the stresses of her life... That the amnesia story was a sort of "face-saving" and contrived explanation.

But the story I read didn't include the paranormal aspects, which do make it all the more intrigiung!

Thanks for posting this! S&F



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:02 PM
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I have no idea what I think about this story...

But it's intriguing nonetheless. If only they could get a copy of the key, at least to try it out on the diary!!



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:12 PM
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Don't tell me a locksmith couldn't pick a diary lock from the 1920's!

If a real diary existed, it would have been opened by now.



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:12 PM
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[edit on August 15th 2010 by Daughter2]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:12 PM
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[edit on August 15th 2010 by Daughter2]



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:14 PM
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Fascinating. Starred and flagged.

Arthur Conan Doyle, though an old man, became interested in her disappearance. He took one of her gloves to a spiritual medium to get a clue or two--or a little attention (he was a notorious prankster).

At least one person claims to know exactly what happened: www.all-about-agatha-christie.com...

Writing for the Guardian newspaper in 2000, John Ezard interviewed the daughter of Christie's sister-in-law and friend, Nan Watts, who claimed that she learned the truth of what happened as a child while in the company of her mother and Christie herself.


She claims that on the night that she disappeared, she was hidden away by Nan Watts at their Chelsea home before being put on a train to Harrogate the following day.

"She then just sat there in her hotel room, hiding away...But she had signed the guests' register in the name Neele - the surname of her husband's lover...It was carefully orchestrated...She wanted Archie back...She wanted to give him a shock...If she had had amnesia she would not have signed the register in the other woman's name...My mother helped her because she was distraught. I think she went to my mother because she had been through a divorce. [Mrs Christie] never did it for the publicity. That was the last thing she would have thought of. She was very upset and shocked - it all went rather wrong."



posted on Aug, 15 2010 @ 11:26 PM
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reply to post by Danbones
 


It does sound like something a renowned mystery writer and hurt wife would do to "get back" at her cheating husband, but it is said that she was quite shy and tried to stay out of the media spotlight, so I don't know...



reply to post by Hefficide
 


A mini-break down does seem quite plausible. With her mother's death fresh and her husband having an affair and possibly leaving her, it doesn't seem that far of a stretch to believe she "lost it" for awhile. Can't explain the paranormal message though...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:05 AM
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How about she was just distraught over what her husband had been doing and just wanted to simply get away. Possibly contemplating suicide etc.

Being a famous world renowned author she was probably embarrassed over what her husband was doing and just didnt want to face the public.

Either that or it was the butler in the library with the candlestick.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:18 AM
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lol I could make a joke over the big mutant space wasps (doctor who)
but I wont. Hmm she probably just dissapeared and didnt want to be found for a while.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:21 AM
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Disappearing because she was distraught does seem to be the most logical and I think I would agree with that...

Nobody wants to speculate on the seance?

Now that I find really intriguing...



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:30 AM
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reply to post by LadySkadi
 


Well it's kind of like a side note.

The seance was conducted then they found a key and it never left the building. So it's like a anticlimactic dead end. Now had they used it and read all kinds of revealing details about bizarre sexual activitys which we all can speculate upon.

There isn't much else to go over IMO.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:33 AM
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reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Did Agatha Christie actually communicate a message through the seance?

That's the intriguing question, IMHO.




posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:37 AM
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I think it was a fugue state - temporary amnesia:


A fugue state, formally Dissociative Fugue (previously called Psychogenic Fugue) (DSM-IV Dissociative Disorders 300.13[1]), is a rare psychiatric disorder characterized by reversible amnesia for personal identity, including the memories, personality and other identifying characteristics of individuality. The state is usually short-lived (hours to days), but can last months or longer. Dissociative fugue usually involves unplanned travel or wandering, and is sometimes accompanied by the establishment of a new identity. After recovery from fugue, previous memories usually return intact, however there is complete amnesia for the fugue episode. Additionally, an episode is not characterized as a fugue if it can be related to the ingestion of psychotropic substances, to physical trauma, to a general medical condition, or to psychiatric conditions such as delirium, dementia, bipolar disorder or depression. Fugues are usually precipitated by a stressful episode, and upon recovery there may be amnesia for the original stressor (Dissociative Amnesia).



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:40 AM
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There is a lot of controversy on the web about the aforementioned psychic and the validity of the Reagan prediction. So that leaves me leaning towards a publicity stunt perpetrated by the psychic.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:47 AM
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Originally posted by LadySkadi
reply to post by SLAYER69
 


Did Agatha Christie actually communicate a message through the seance?

That's the intriguing question, IMHO.



How about this....

The reader simply picked up a residual memory of the event?
See, watching "Ghost Hunters" paid off. I almost sound like I know what I'm talking about.



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 12:49 AM
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Very cool


Bet the key was to something else, and the medium missed that part.

If the key couldn't leave the hotel, the diary could have come to the key? Or as someone else mentioned, could have been picked. That part was a bit melodramatic and overdone. Her family was probably protecting the contents of her diaries in any case.

Not amnesia or a breakdown at all. She most likely did it for a bit of revenge and to get his attention. The amnesia story was probably a cover to, as you mentioned, save face but maybe also because she realized what a ruckus she had caused and cost in the search for her.

Enjoyed that. Thanks.

P.S. Looked something up about her while I was thinking about this, and ran across this. Her second husband (apparently the Colonel didn't work out after all) was an archaeologist and 14 years younger. At one point she said of this, "An archaeologist is the best husband any woman can have: the older she gets, the more interested he is in her."



posted on Aug, 16 2010 @ 03:29 AM
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This was interesting until I reached the end and realized I'd just wasted my time reading it.

Tamara Rand is a phony. Her Reagan assassination prediction was proven to be a hoax www.museumofhoaxes.com...

Any story involving her is highly suspect



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