The Death of Leonardo da Vinci, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, (1818) (Public Domain)

The Mysteries Of The Mortal Remains Of Genii: Da Vinci And Mozart


In every period throughout human history men and women have disappeared under unknown or mysterious circumstances. These disappearances present some of the most intriguing historical puzzles ranging from suspected political assassinations, to less complicated cases where people simply go sailing and are tragically, never heard of again. The list of famous people who have disappeared mysteriously and have never been found, includes explorers, monarchs and leaders, philosophers and scientists, heroes and outlaws.

  Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo (c. 1510) at the Royal Library of Turin, Italy Mozart aged 14 by Giambettino Cignaroli (

Presumed self-portrait of Leonardo (c. 1510) at the Royal Library of Turin, Italy ( Public Domain ) and Mozart aged 14 by Giambettino Cignaroli ( Public Domain )

Modern Disappearances

If one was to compile a list of missing famous historical people in more modern times, perhaps the most famous inclusion from American history would be the celebrity fashion designer and aviator, Amelia Earhart, who mysteriously disappeared attempting a round-the-world flight. If Amelia's disappearance is not at the top of the American list of missing famous people, then Dan. B. Cooper certainly is after his shenanigans on Thanksgiving Eve 1971. On board Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 305, Cooper claimed to have been in possession of explosives and demanded $200,000, four parachutes and a refueling truck upon landing at Sea-Tac. After he had skyjacked the plane he jumped out and was never seen again.

Disappearing persons is not a new phenomenon, for stepping back in time, the bodies of England's King Edward V, Greece’s Alexander the Great and the brutal ruler of the Huns, Attila, have all gone AWOL. While many articles, books, websites and documentaries cover the top 10 missing-persons, among these ranks there are two historical giants, both genii in their own right, whose graves can never be visited, because nobody really knows what happened to their bodies. They are none other than Leonardo da Vinci and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

Landscape of the Arno Valley by Leonardo Da Vinci (1473). (Public Domain)

Landscape of the Arno Valley by Leonardo Da Vinci (1473). ( Public Domain )

The Bones Of Leonardo Da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was born on April 15, 1452 at Vinci, a small town high up on Mount Albano, in the valley of the Arno River, near the city of Florence, Italy. He lived during the Renaissance and died on May 2, 1519. Trained to be an artist by the sculptor and painter Verrocchio, Da Vinci is credited as an accomplished painter, anatomist, botanist, sculptor, mathematician, engineer, inventor, architect and musician. 


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Ashley Cowie  is a Scottish historian, author and documentary filmmaker presenting original perspectives on historical problems, in accessible and exciting ways. His books, articles and television shows explore lost cultures and kingdoms, ancient crafts and artifacts, symbols and architecture, myths and legends telling thought-provoking stories which together offer insights into our shared social history.

Top Image : The Death of Leonardo da Vinci, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, (1818) ( Public Domain )

By Ashley Cowie

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