Sometimes a splash of news comes with few details, just enough for a headline for a news cycle, but you know it’s a Mystery. A story worth tracking, worth thinking about.

Seems a University of Michigan grad student rented a light aircraft, a small Cessna 172, and filed a flight plan to fly to a town in northern Michigan. The plane overflew and crashed, out of fuel, near Marathon, Ontario, apparently set to autopilot.

And here’s the kicker: no pilot, no human, not even footprints in the snow, or blood or anything else was found at the scene. Under what logic, under what scenario, could all of that be true?

It was rather like finding the Mary Celeste empty, abandoned, in mid-ocean in the late 19th century.

Did the pilot set the plane in motion, set his auto-pilot, and parachute to safety in mid-flight? And if so, to what purpose? Someone wanting to disappear need merely buy a bus ticket with cash, and start traveling. Or even drive off into the sunset. Someone grabbing a kidnap victim can simply throw them in the back of a van, as in a thousand television shows, so what purpose is served by a complex hocus-pocus with a light plane?

Authorities as of this writing have revealed little, not even the name of the “missing” student. But the question already looms over us, what in God’s name is up with the plane that crashed with no pilot, and no apparent rhyme or reason?

Stand by, Sherlock.