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The shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who had apparently died of crucifixion. Most Catholics consider it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is currently held in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Despite many scientific investigations, no one has yet been able to explain how the image has been imprinted on the shroud and despite many attempts, no one has managed to replicate it. Radiocarbon tests date it to the middle ages, however apologists for the shroud believe it is incorrupt – and carbon dating can only date things which decay.
Prior to the middle ages, reports of the shroud exist as the Image of Edessa – reliably reported since at least the 4th century. In addition, another cloth (the Sudarium) known even from biblical times (John 20:7) exists which is said to have covered Christ’s head in the tomb. A 1999 study by Mark Guscin, a member of the multidisciplinary investigation team of the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry (the Sudarium also is reported to have type AB blood stains), and stain patterns, he concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time. Avinoam Danin (a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains in the Sudarium match those of the shroud.
Mary Celeste was launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. Her original name was “Amazon”. She was 103 ft overall displacing 280 tons and listed as a half-brig. Over the next 10 years she was involved in several accidents at sea and passed through a number of owners. Eventually she turned up at a New York salvage auction where she was purchased for $3,000. After extensive repairs she was put under American registry and renamed “Mary Celeste”.
The new captain of Mary Celeste was Benjamin Briggs, 37, a master with three previous commands. On November 7, 1872 the ship departed New York with Captain Briggs, his wife, young daughter and a crew of eight. The ship was loaded with 1700 barrels of raw American alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy. The captain, his family and crew were never seen again. The ship was found floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There were no signs of struggle on board and all documents except the captain’s log were missing.
In early 1873, it was reported that two lifeboats grounded in Spain, one with a body and an American flag, the other containing five bodies. It has been alleged that these could have been the remains of the crew of the Mary Celeste. However, the bodies were apparently never identified.
The ‘Taos Hum’ is a low-pitched sound heard in numerous places worldwide, especially in the USA, UK, and northern europe. It is usually heard only in quiet environments, and is often described as sounding like a distant diesel engine. Since it has proven indetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature is still a mystery.
In 1997 Congress directed scientists and observers from some of the most prestigious research institutes in the nation to look into a strange low frequency noise heard by residents in and around the small town of Taos, New Mexico. For years those who had heard the noise, often described by them as a “hum”, had been looking for answers. To this day no one knows the cause of the hum
In 1947 the body of 22 year old Elizabeth Short was found in two pieces in a parking lot in Los Angeles. According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Short received the nickname “Black Dahlia” at a Long Beach drugstore in the summer of 1946, as a play on the then-current movie The Blue Dahlia. However, Los Angeles County district attorney investigators’ reports state the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. In either case, Short was not generally known as the “Black Dahlia” during her lifetime.
Many rumours and tales have spread about the Black Dahlia, and the investigation (one of the largest in LA history) never found the killer.
The Count of St. Germain (allegedly died February 27, 1784) was a courtier, adventurer, inventor, amateur scientist, violinist, amateur composer, and a mysterious gentleman; he also displayed some skills with the practice of alchemy. He was known as ‘Der Wundermann’ — ‘The Wonderman’. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.
Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church – the “st.” before his name refers to his alleged home).
The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval document written in an unknown script and in an unknown language. For over one hundred years people have tried to break the code to not avail. The overall impression given by the surviving leaves of the manuscript suggests that it was meant to serve as a pharmacopoeia or to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine. However, the puzzling details of illustrations have fueled many theories about the book’s origins, the contents of its text, and the purpose for which it was intended.
The document contains illustrations that suggest the book is in six parts: Herbal, Astronomical, Biological, Cosmological, Pharmaceutical, and recipes.
In the later half of 1888, London was terrorrised by a series of murders in the east end (largely in the Whitechapel area). The name Jack the Ripper was taken from a letter sent to a newspaper at the time by someone claiming to be the killer. The victims were typically prostitutes who had their throats cut and bodies mutilated. In some cases the bodies were discovered just minutes after the ripper had left the scene.
The police at the time had many suspects but could never find sufficient evidence to convict anyone. In modern times there has even been some speculation that Prince Albert Victor was the murderer. Even with modern police methods, no further light has been shed on the murders in recent times. To this day no one knows who the ripper was.
The Bermuda triangle is an area of water in the North Atlantic Ocean in which a large number of planes and boats have gone missing in mysterious circumstances. Over the years many explanations have been put forward for the disappearances, including bad weather, alien abductions, time warps, and suspension of the laws of physics.
Although substantial documentation exists to show that many of the reports have been exaggerated, there is still no explanation for the unusually large number of disappearances in the area.
The Zodiac killer was active in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He killed at least five people, and injured two. He comitted the first two murders with a pistol, just inside the Benecia border. In his second shooting in Vallejo, he attempted to kill two people, but one survived despite gunshots to the head and neck. 40 minutes later the police recieved an anonymous phone call from a man claiming to be their killer and admitting to the murders of the previous two victims. One month three letters were sent to Newspapers in California containing a cypher that the killer claimed would give them his name. They cypher was decrypted to read:
“I LIKE KILLING PEOPLE BECAUSE IT IS SO MUCH FUN IT IS MORE FUN THAN KILLING WILD GAME IN THE FORREST BECAUSE MAN IS THE MOST DANGEROUE ANAMAL OF ALL TO KILL SOMETHING GIVES ME THE MOST THRILLING EXPERENCE IT IS EVEN BETTER THAN GETTING YOUR ROCKS OFF WITH A GIRL THE BEST PART OF IT IS THAE WHEN I DIE I WILL BE REBORN IN PARADICE AND THEI HAVE KILLED WILL BECOME MY SLAVES I WILL NOT GIVE YOU MY NAME BECAUSE YOU WILL TRY TO SLOI DOWN OR ATOP MY COLLECTIOG OF SLAVES FOR MY AFTERLIFE EBEORIETEMETHHPITI” The last eighteen letters have not been decrypted.
While Arthur Leigh Allen was the prime suspect, all of the evidence was against him being the killer. To this day the Zodiac murders have not been solved.
During the analysis of the film footage of the assasination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, a mysterious woman was spotted. She was wearing a brown overcoat and a scarf on her head (the scarf is the reason for her name as she wore it in a similar style to Russian grandmothers – also called babushkas). The woman appeared to be holding something in front of her face which is believed to be a camera. She appears in many photos of the scene. Even after the shooting when most people had fled the area, she remained in place and continued to film. Shortly after she is seen moving away to the East up Elm Street. The FBI publically requested that the woman come forward and give them the footage she shot but she never did.
In 1970 a woman called Beverly Oliver came forward and claimed to be the Babushka Woman, though her story contains many inconsistencies. She is generally regarded as a fraud. To this day, no one knows who the Babushka Woman is or what she was doing there. More unusual is her refusal to come forward to offer her evidence.
This is probably one of the most well known and controversial of mysteries known to man at the moment. The basic mystery is where did we come from? Many people believe we were created by some kind of God, others believe were naturally came into being through the process of evolution, and some even believe we were put onto earth by aliens. Because there is no conclusive evidence for either argument, this subject remains our greatest mystery.
The concept of evolution states that through a series of adaptations and mutations from generation to generation, a creature can change dramatically over time. There are many arguments against evolution, mostly (in the West) from fundamentalist Christian bodies. The head of the largest Christian Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has recently said that evolution is not contrary to the teachings of the Church or a belief in God as long as it does not exclude God as the primary mover and organiser of the process.
The concept of creationism states that God made the Universe in the form in which it exists today. It attempts to explain away potential theological problems like dinosaurs, carbon dating, and the fossil record in general. Creationists generally believe the earth to be several thousand years old.
Everyone has heard the story of the lost city of Atlantis, but what about the Bimini Road? In 1968 an underwater rock formation was found near North Bimini Island in the Bahamas. It is considered by many to be naturally made, but because of the unusual arrangement of the stones, many believe it to be a part of the lost city of Atlantis (first spoken of by Plato).
Another curious element of this mystery is a prediction made in 1938 by Edgar Cayce: “A portion of the temples may yet be discovered under the slime of ages and sea water near Bimini… Expect it in ‘68 or ‘69 – not so far away.” In a more recent expidition, amateur archeologist Dr Greg Little discovered another row of rocks in the same formation directly below the first, leading him to believe that the road is actually the top of a wall or water dock.
One possible natural explanation is that the “road” is an example of tessellated pavement, a natural phenomenon. Concretions of shell and sand form hard sedimentary rock which over time fractures in straight lines and then at ninety degree angles. They are quite common and a popular tourist attraction on the island of Tasmania.
In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the East Coast of North America as Queen Elizabeth I had given him permission to colonise Virginia. He returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island (part of present day North Carolina) to establish their settlement.
Following fights with the local native tribes, the first colony were low on food and men to defend the settlement, so when Sir Francis Drake visited after a raid in the Carribean and offered to take them back to England, they accepted and left. In 1857 121 new colonists arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) to be friendly. The first English child born in the Americas was the daughter of one of these colonists. The group tried to befriend some of the other tribes that the previous colonists had fought with which resulted in the killing of George Howe. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader to return to England to get help. The leader (John White) returned to England leaving behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.
When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of a struggle and no remains were found at all. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. The settlement became known as the Lost Colony and no members of it were ever seen again. Some speculation exists today which suggests that the settlers left and merged with some of the nearby tribes. This is supported by the fact that many years later some of the tribes were practising Christianity and understood English.
The Marfa lights are unexplained lights (called ghost lights) that have been appearing on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas. The first published account of the lights was given in 1957, but Robert Reed Ellison (born 1880) reported them to his family and accounts of their appearances were spread by word of mouth. There are no verifiable written reports from before the 1950s.
The lights are described as being the size of a basketball, floating in the air at around shoulder height. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. They usually travel laterally but have been seen to move rapidly in various directions. The lights sometimes appear in groups. Sightings are rare but there is a large amount of photographic and video evidence.
Skeptics generally consider the lights to be related to traffic passing on the nearby US Route 67, or to be electric by-products of the predominantly quartz hills in the area. Because they usually appear in private property with terrain that is difficult to travel over, there are almost no reports of people being able to get close to the lights.
Jimmy Hoffa was an American labor leader, and criminal convict. As the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, Hoffa wielded considerable influence. After his conviction, he served nearly a decade in prison. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa dissapeared from a parking lot in Detroit and was never seen again. He had been due to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone from Detroit and Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City.
According to Donald Frankos (a convicted Mob hitman), Hoffa was shot in the house of Giacalone and his body was then buried in the foundations of the Giants stadium. While that is the most popular belief, another mobster, Bill Bonanno, claimed that hoffa was shot and put in the trunk of a car that was then put through a car compactor.
No one will ever know the truth about Hoffa, but the MythBusters team dug in the part of the Giants stadium that is generally where Hoffa is considered to be buried and found nothing.
Loch Ness is the most voluminous fresh water lake in Great Britain. For centuries people have reported seeing a large creature living in the lake – the earliest account comes from the life of Saint Columba (565 AD). Although sightings of the creature on land around the loch reputedly date back to the sixteenth century, modern interest in the monster was sparked by a 22 July 1933 sighting, when Mr George Spicer and his wife saw ‘a most extraordinary form of animal’ cross the road in front of their car. They described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet high and 25 feet long), and long, narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant’s trunk and as long as the 10-12 foot width of the road; the neck had a number of undulations in it. They saw no limbs because of a dip in the road obscuring the animal’s lower portion. It lurched across the road towards the loch some 20 yards away, leaving only a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake.
Not only has the Loch Ness Monster been photographed repeatedly, it has even been caught on videotape – as recently as 2007, and on sonar equipment. Unfortunately, however, the footage and photos are never clear enough to give a definite answer as to what the creature is. Some speculate that it may be a plesiosaur that survived the rest of the dinosaur population.
Bigfoot, also known as the Sasquatch, is depicted as an ape-like man who inhabits forest areas of the pacific north-west and parts of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Over the years there have been many sightings and photographs of Bigfoot but no conclusive proof exists to verify his existence.
Most experts on the matter consider the Bigfoot legend to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes, but there are a number of authors and researchers who do believe that the stories could be true. There is some speculation that, like the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot may be a living remnant of the time of the dinosaurs – specifically a Gigantopithecus blacki – a supersize ape. The earliest accounts of bigfoot are from 1924 though reports of a similar type of creature have appeared as early as the 1860s.
El Chupacabra (Goat Sucker) is mostly associated with Latin American communities in the USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico (where it was first reported). It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail and it takes its name from the fact that it is supposed to attack animals and drink their blood – especially goats.
While the legend began around 1987, there are many similarities to the Vampire of Moca, the name given to an unknown creature to killed animals all over the small town of Moca in the 1970s. The vampire of Moca left the animals completely devoid of blood which had apparently been removed by a series of small circular cuts.
The most common description of Chupacabra is a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave a sulfuric stench behind. When it screeches, some reports note that the chupacabra’s eyes glow an unusual red, then give the witnesses nausea. For some witnesses, it was seen with bat-like wings.
D. B. Cooper (aka “Dan Cooper”) is a pseudonym given to a notorious aircraft hijacker who, on November 24, 1971, after receiving a ransom payout of $200,000, leapt from the back of a Boeing 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest somewhere over the southern Cascades.
Cooper has not been seen since and it is not known whether he survived the jump. In 1980, an eight year old boy found $5,800 of soggy $20 bills washed up on the banks of the Columbia river. The serial numbers matched those of the ransom money which had been noted to make it easier to track Cooper later.
Cooper escaped from the plane by jumping off the rear airstair with a parachute leading aviation authorities to add stricter measures about the design of planes to prevent it from happening again. In addition, this event caused airports to install metal detectors for the first time.
Mothman is the name given to a strange creature reported in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia between November 1966 and December 1967. The creature was sporadically reported to be seen before and after those dates, with some sightings as recent as 2007.
Most observers describe the Mothman as a winged man-sized creature with large reflective red eyes. It often appeared to have no head, with its eyes set into its chest. A number of hypotheses have been presented to explain eyewitness accounts, ranging from misidentification and coincidence to paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories.
The Mothman was first spotted in 1926 by a young boy. At the same time, three men were digging a grave in a nearby graveyard when they saw a brown human shape with wings soaring out from behind trees. Both incidents were reported independently of each other. There have been numerous sightings of Mothman though no photographic evidence exists at all.
The Vile Vortices twelve are areas distributed more or less evenly around the globe that are alleged to have the same qualities as claimed for the Bermuda Triangle. Five are located on a latitude near the Tropic of Capricorn; Five on a latitude near the Tropic of Cancer; and one each at either of the Poles. They form the vertices of an icosahedron. As well as the Bermuda triangle, the Devil’s Triangle (or Devil’s Sea) is one of the twelve areas. The Devil’s Triangle is claimed to be the cause of the disappearance of Amelia Earhart, noted American aviation pioneer, author and women’s rights advocate who disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island during an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937. In the image above the vortices are marked out in a different color.
The Frederick Valentich Disappearance is an event that occurred on October 21, 1978, in which 20-year-old Frederick Valentich disappeared in unexplained circumstances while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over the Bass Strait to King Island, Australia. Prior to his disappearance, Valentich reported via radio that he had encountered an unidentified craft which was moving at the same speed of his plane, and which hovered over him. No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found. Shortly before Valentich’s last reported contact, plumber Roy Manifold set up a time lapse camera and tripod on the shoreline in order to photograph the sun setting over the water. When his pictures were developed they appeared to show a fast moving object exiting the water. Manifold gave the time that the pictures were taken as being approximately 6:47 pm (18:47 hrs), or 20 minutes before Valentich reported having difficulties. Moments before a strange noise terminated Valentich’s communications, he said: “My intentions are – ah – to go to King Island – ah – Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again (open microphone for two seconds). It is hovering and it’s not an aircraft.”
The Oak Island Money Pit is the site of the world’s longest running hunt for lost treasure. For hundreds of years, treasure hunters have ventured to Nova Scotia and tried to recover the treasure which is protected by a series of ingenious traps. Strange man made artifacts have been recovered from the pit over the years, but to this day, the treasure still remains buried. Pirates, the Knights Templar or Francis Bacon – no one is sure exactly who created this mysterious Money Pit or why. There has been wide-ranging speculation as to who originally dug the pit and what it might contain. Oak platforms were discovered every 10 feet. There were pick scrapes on the walls on the money pit and the dirt was noticeably loose and not as hard packed. The flood tunnel at 90 feet has been identified and known to be lined with flat stones. Some have speculated that the Oak Island pit was dug to hold treasure much more exotic than gold or silver. In his 1953 book, The Oak Island Enigma: A History and Inquiry Into the Origin of the Money Pit, Penn Leary claimed that English philosopher Francis Bacon used the pit to hide documents proving him to be the author of William Shakespeare’s plays. In the image above we see the money pit as it appears today.
The Ararat anomaly is an object appearing on photographs of the snowfields near the summit of Mount Ararat, Turkey, and advanced by some believers in Biblical literalism as the remains of Noah’s Ark. The anomaly is located on the northwest corner of the Western Plateau of Mount Ararat at about 15,500 ft. It was first filmed during a U.S. Air Force aerial reconnaissance mission in 1949 — the Ararat massif sits on the former Turkish/Soviet border, and was thus an area of military interest — and was accordingly given a classification of “secret” as were subsequent photographs taken in 1956, 1973, 1976, 1990 and 1992, by aircraft and satellites. Six frames from the 1949 footage were released under the Freedom of Information Act. A joint research project was later established between Insight Magazine and Space Imaging (now GeoEye), using the IKONOS satellite. IKONOS, on its maiden voyage, captured the anomaly on August 5 and September 13, 2000. The Mount Ararat area also has been imaged by France’s SPOT satellite in September 1989, Landsat in the 1970s and NASA’s Space shuttle in 1994.
There are many famous cases of people who seem to have spontaneously caught fire (Spontaneous Human Combustion) but there is a lesser known case of a woman who suffered this fate in front of witnesses. At approximately 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 15, 1982, Jeannie Saffin aged 61, burst into flames while sitting on a wooden Windsor chair in the kitchen of her home in Edmonton, London, England. Her father, eighty-two-year-old Jack Saffin, was seated at a nearby table and said he saw a flash of light out of the corner of his eye and turned to Jeannie to ask if she had seen it. He was astonished to find that she was enveloped in flames, mainly around her face and hands. Mr. Saffin said Jeannie did not cry out or move, but merely sat there with her hands in her lap. Her father pulled her over to the sink, badly burning his own hands, and started trying to douse the flames with water. Jeannie went in to a coma and died 8 days later. The policeman who conducted the investigation into possible murder reported to the coroner’s court that no cause for Jeannie’s combustion could be found. There was no charring or signs of burning anywhere in the room except on Jeannie’s body. The image above is from another case of Spontaneous Human Combustion as none could be found of Jeannie Saffin. You an read a much more indepth article on spontaneous human combustion here.
From 25 July to 23 September 2001, red rain sporadically fell on the southern Indian state of Kerala. Heavy downpours occurred in which the rain was colored red, staining clothes with an appearance similar to that of blood. Yellow, green, and black rain was also reported. According to locals, the first coloured rain was preceded by a loud thunderclap and flash of light, and followed by groves of trees shedding shrivelled grey “burnt” leaves. Shrivelled leaves and the disappearance and sudden formation of wells were also reported around the same time in the area. A study commissioned by the Government of India found that the rains had been colored by airborne spores from a locally prolific terrestrial alga. Then in early 2006, the colored rains of Kerala suddenly rose to worldwide attention after media reports of a conjecture that the colored particles were extraterrestrial cells. The origin of the rain is still unknown today, despite worldwide efforts to discover the cause and true nature of the rain.
On May 26, 1828 a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. He carried a letter with him which was addressed to a captain of 6th cavalry regiment. The anonymous author said that the boy was given into his custody, as an infant, on the 7th October 1812, and that he had never let him “take a single step out of my house”. Now the boy would like to be a cavalryman, thus the captain should take him in or hang him. Hauser claimed that he had, for as long as he could think back, spent his life always totally alone in a darkened 2×1×1.5 metre cell (little more than the size of a one-person bed in area) with only a straw bed to sleep on and a horse carved out of wood for a toy. Hauser claimed that the first human being he ever had had contact with had been a mysterious man who had visited him not long before his release, always taking great care not to reveal his face to him. According to contemporary rumors – probably current as early as 1829 – Kaspar Hauser was the hereditary prince of Baden that was born on September 29, 1812 and had died within a month. It was claimed that this prince had been switched with a dying baby, and had indeed appeared 16 years later as “Kaspar Hauser” in Nuremberg. Hauser died after receiving a stab wound to the chest which was possible self-inflicted. He claimed he had been stabbed by the man who had kept him as an infant.
In 2002, the University of Münster analyzed hair and body cells from locks of hair and items of clothing that were alleged to belong to Kaspar Hauser. The DNA samples were compared to a DNA segment of Astrid von Medinger, a descendant in the female line of Stéphanie de Beauharnais, who would have been Kaspar Hauser’s mother if indeed he had been the hereditary prince of Baden. The sequences were not identical but the deviation observed is not large enough to exclude a relationship, as it could be caused by a mutation.
The Man in the Iron Mask (died November 1703) was a prisoner who was held in a number of jails, including the Bastille and the Chateau d’If, during the reign of Louis XIV of France. The identity of this man has been thoroughly discussed, mainly because no one ever saw his face which was hidden by a mask of black velvet cloth. Later retellings of the story have claimed that it was an iron mask. The first surviving records of the masked prisoner are from 1669, when Louis XIV’s minister sent a prisoner to the care of the governor of the prison of Pignerol. According to Louvois’ letter, the man’s name was Eustache Dauger. Louvois instructed Saint-Mars to prepare a cell with multiple doors which were to prevent anyone from the outside listening in. Dauger was also to be told that if he spoke of anything other than his immediate needs he would be killed. Saint-Mars was to see Dauger only once a day in order to provide food and whatever else he needed. He spent his remaining years in jail, with his true identity being concealed. Upon his death, all of his belongings were destroyed. Theories about his identity made at the time included that he was a Marshal of France; or Richard Cromwell, son of Oliver Cromwell; or Francois de Vendôme, Duc de Beaufort. Later, many people such as Voltaire put forward other theories about the man in the mask.
The sailing stones are a geological phenomenon found in the Racetrack Playa (a seasonally dry lake located in the northern part of the Panamint Mountains in Death Valley National Park, California, U.S.A.). The stones slowly move across the surface of the playa, leaving a track as they go, without human or animal intervention. They have never been seen or filmed in motion and are not unique to The Racetrack. Similar rock travel patterns have been recorded in several other playas in the region but the number and length of travel grooves on The Racetrack are notable. Racetrack stones only move once every two or three years and most tracks last for just three or four years. Stones with rough bottoms leave straight striated tracks while those with smooth bottoms wander. Stones sometimes turn over, exposing another edge to the ground and leaving a different-sized track in the stone’s wake.
Various and sometimes idiosyncratic possible explanations have been put forward over the years that have ranged from the supernatural to the very complex. Most hypotheses favored by interested geologists posit that strong winds when the mud is wet are at least in part responsible. Some stones weigh as much as a human, which some researchers such as geologist George M. Stanley who published a paper on the topic in 1955 feel is too heavy for the area’s wind to move.
The Wow! signal was a strong, narrowband radio signal detected by Dr. Jerry R. Ehman on August 15, 1977 while working on a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) project at the Big Ear radio telescope of the Ohio State University. The signal bore expected hallmarks of potential non-terrestrial and non-solar system origin. It lasted for 72 seconds, the full duration Big Ear observed it, but has not been detected again. It has been the focus of attention in the mainstream media when talking about SETI results. The Big Ear telescope was fixed and used the rotation of the Earth to scan the sky. At the speed of the earth’s rotation, and given the width of the Big Ear’s observation “window”, the Big Ear could observe any given point for just 72 seconds. An extraterrestrial signal, therefore, would be expected to register for exactly 72 seconds, and the recorded intensity of that signal would show a gradual peaking for the first 36 seconds — until the signal reached the center of Big Ear’s observation “window” — at which time it would show a gradual decrease. Therefore, both the length of the Wow! signal, 72 seconds, and its shape would correspond to an extraterrestrial origin. The region of the sky in which the signal was heard, lies in the constellation Sagittarius, roughly 2.5 degrees south of the fifth-magnitude star Chi-1 Sagittarii.
The placebo effect is when a person takes something they believe is medicine for an ailment they are suffering (which is not really a medicine), and they get better. A placebo is an inert substance, and when taken (with the advice from others that it will cure them) makes the person get better, simply because they were expecting or believed that it would work. Something similar, called the nocebo effect, is when a person takes fake drugs and thinks they are experiencing problems that would have been caused by the real drugs. They have been known to reduce pain as well. Why they occur is mysterious and they are only one of the many complicated things related to the body-brain connection. In fact, our own bodies hold many unsolved mysteries.
How did life on earth appear? Science suggests that life started when the planet was favourable for habitation. Yet did microscopic organisms just pop out of nowhere? One hypothesis is panspermia, which suggests that ‘seeds of life’ exist everywhere around the universe, and that life on earth started when these ‘seeds’ came here, probably by a meteor. It also suggests that these seeds are taken to other habitable places in the universe. Something similar to this is exo-genesis. It suggests that life was brought to earth those billions of years ago, however it does not say that life is also taken to other habitable places. Some people believe aliens brought life to our planet, as suggested by the theories of Erich Von Daniken. Although some are sceptical as to how life could exist in space and get carried to other planets, there is substantial evidence that certain life forms, like spores and certain types of bacteria can actually exist in space, perhaps in a dormant state.
From the death of the dinosaurs, to the disappearance of the creatures in the Permian Era, mass extinctions are occurring even now. Sometimes, the cause is clear. We are destroying the biosphere and the atmosphere, and scientists predict that in the next 100 years, 50% of all living species will become extinct. But sometimes, the real reason is unclear. It may have been due to competition from other species, dramatic climate changes, or the impacts from an asteroid/meteor (the last one being quite a popular one). Yet some questions remain unanswered. Why was it that some species died out, and others survived, some to this day (famous example: the coelacanth). During the extinction of the dinosaurs, crocodiles and turtles were around, but they survived, even to this day, while the dinosaurs, the pterosaurs, the marine reptiles and others died out. While some people believe that those species were unable to cope with the (possibly) new surroundings, others are not convinced. To this day, they are a mystery, and without a time machine, we may never know. Other popular theories include:- flood basalt events, smaller asteroid showers, global warming/cooling, sea level drops.
Haitan vodou, part of their religious practices, has long been considered to be evil. And the base of this suspicion is that the vodou is used to create zombies. Not zombies as in Hollywood zombies. Not animated brain sucking zombies. Zombies like, sub-conscious humans who do everything they are told. Wade Davis, a Canadian ethno-biologist, uncovered a lot of info on this. Apparently, it originated in Africa, and two drugs (or poisons) are inserted into the victim’s bloodstream. One creates a deathlike trance, and one makes the victim seem like they have no brain of their own, thus rendering them able to do whatever they are told. 3 important facts Davis found was:- zombification is not random, it is not common, and it is used as a kind of severe punishment, most likely to those that have broken the sacred vodou laws.
Ever learned something without really understanding how you know it? That’s intuition. Sometimes called a sixth sense or gut feelings, intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without a clear source or without reasoning it. Some people claim that they get a feeling that someone is watching them, and they look around and find that somebody is, or was, watching them. Or a police officer may look at some suspects for a crime and somehow know which one is guilty, and later discover they were right. Though some people say that these things are all coincidences, others believe that the human brain has a special ability to get knowledge around them without conscious realization. It is another mystery of the human mind.
What makes this year so special? The fact that the Olympics are taking place in London? No. The ancient Maya civilization, from Central America, had a special calendar that was mind-blowingly accurate. And it predicted that the end of the human life cycle was on December 21st, 2012, the winter solstice. The Mayans were also good at math and astrology(they accurately predicted an eclipse that occurred hundred of years later). So people are guessing that they were right about the end of the world thing, too. Something else that has gotten scientists curious is that there are some major astronomical things happening in 2012. Apart from the occasional eclipse and comet, the entire solar system is supposed to pass through the center of our galaxy, something that happens only once every 26,000 years. And, there’s a risk of our planet’s poles switching. Sounds crazy, but scientists say this has already happened. Also, the Indian calendar, the Kali Yuga, ends at about the same time. Coincidence? I think not.
Exoplanets, short for extra-solar planets, are planets beyond the solar system. There are 277 recorded exoplanets to date. However, there is no confirmation that there is life on any of them, or in the universe, for that matter. However, it is still a mystery. This is different from UFOs as UFO are unidentified flying objects, meaning something unidentified that has been seen on earth. Some likely candidates for supporting life are Gliese 581 d and HD 189733 b, the latter supposedly containing water vapour and organic matter. There are also questions as to whether there are moons orbiting these planets. Some people believe that there may even be life in our solar system that we don’t know of. Some moons, like Neptune’s Triton or Saturn’s Europa, may possible have, or had, life, and there is substantial evidence that water once flowed through Mars. Still, no one knows.
Etched into the earth on the Nazca Plains in Peru are giant symbols drawn perfectly straight. Some are hundreds of metres long. They look as if they were drawn by some giant hand two thousand years ago. And the strange thing is, they can only be seen from the air. So how did the ancient Nazcans draw them? Researchers say they could have created hot air balloon or kites to fly and view their work. Indeed, an experiment was carried out and it proved that the Nazcans could have made a working balloon. The symbols themselves are of animals and plants. Yet some are long strips of land without any direct meaning. A writer named Erich Von Daniken believed that these were landing strips for alien spacecraft, and that aliens could have drawn them. They may also be for contacting these aliens. Maria Reiche, an astronomer, says that these lines may be used as a calendar, or to keep track of the stars and planets. There is a monkey drawing that has a coiled tail that looks similar to the orbital lines of our solar system. There are even more obscure theories that suggest that there were giant people 2,000 years ago. Yet, they are still a mystery.
A megalithic structure is some thing big made of rock. It could be a statue, or just some rocks strewn around in a pattern. The truly mysterious thing about the ancients is, how were they able to create such enormous things? They did not have the technology needed to efficiently make them. Stonehenge is a good example. A bigger one is the Great Pyramid in Giza, or the pyramids themselves. Sometimes, even their purpose is unclear (Stonehenge), while other times, the structures in question are mysterious and seemingly supernatural (the pyramids). A megalith (I know, sounds like something from Di-Gata Defenders), a giant rock, is used most of the time, especially in the case of Stonehenge and the Carnac stones. Still, there are a few megalithic structures that are not mysterious (like Great Zimbabwe), but mostly it seems impossible that the ancients made these things themselves. Now, many would like to think aliens helped them. Yet even scientists say queerer things. They suggest that there may have been a lost ancient civilization that was extremely advanced, and they may have given later civilizations the knowledge to build such things. Yet there is no substantial evidence of either. Other examples: Easter Island Heads, Pyramid of the Sun (in Mesoamerica), other pyramids in central and south America, Colossus of Rhodes.
The universe is vast and unknown. It holds many mysteries. And possibly the biggest mystery is how the universe was created. Scientists have suggested that there was a massive explosion billions of years ago called The Big Bang. That theory is now generally accepted, and scientists are looking for trails of energy left behind from the colossal explosion that created a trillion stars. Yet there is no absolute proof. But the creation of the universe is something too big to happen so simply. Religious folks will say God/Allah/Vishnu created the universe. But scientists will say that there was a Big Bang, and that there is energy from the bang moving through the universe, and they are trying to locate the epicentre. So, the debate continues. Religion vs. Science is probably the biggest conflict in the world. But what is religion? There are so many different types. And the difference between the Christian religion and Greek mythology? No one believes in Greek mythology anymore. But what is science? And math? Things created by man. So before saying that man created God and science proves it, people should realize man created science as well. And maybe, the universe is just something made up in our minds.
Over the last few decades, miners in South Africa have been digging up mysterious metal spheres. Origin unknown, these spheres measure approximately an inch or so in diameter, and some are etched with three parallel grooves running around the equator. Two types of spheres have been found: one is composed of a solid bluish metal with flecks of white; the other is hollowed out and filled with a spongy white substance. The kicker is that the rock in which they where found is Precambrian – and dated to 2.8 billion years old! Who made them and for what purpose is unknown.
In 1938, an archaeological expedition led by Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains of China made an astonishing discovery in some caves that had apparently been occupied by some ancient culture. Buried in the dust of ages on the cave floor were hundreds of stone disks. Measuring about nine inches in diameter, each had a circle cut into the center and was etched with a spiral groove, making it look for all the world like some ancient phonograph record some 10,000 to 12,000 years old. The spiral groove, it turns out, is actually composed of tiny hieroglyphics that tell the incredible story of spaceships from some distant world that crash-landed in the mountains. The ships were piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa, and the remains of whose descendants, possibly, were found in the cave.
Beginning in the 1930s, the father of Dr. Javier Cabrera, Cultural Anthropologist for Ica, Peru, discovered many hundreds of ceremonial burial stones in the tombs of the ancient Incas. Dr. Cabrera, carrying on his father’s work, has collected more than 1,100 of these andesite stones, which are estimated to be between 500 and 1,500 years old and have become known collectively as the Ica Stones. The stones bear etchings, many of which are sexually graphic (which was common to the culture), some picture idols and others depict such practices as open-heart surgery and brain transplants. The most astonishing etchings, however, clearly represent dinosaurs – brontosaurs, triceratops (see photo), stegosaurus and pterosaurs. While sceptics consider the Ica Stones a hoax, their authenticity has neither been proved or disproved.
Workmen hacking and burning their way through the dense jungle of Costa Rica to clear an area for banana plantations in the 1930s stumbled upon some incredible objects: dozens of stone balls, many of which were perfectly spherical. They varied in size from as small as a tennis ball to an astonishing 8 feet in diameter and weighing 16 tons! Although the great stone balls are clearly man-made, it is unknown who made them, for what purpose and, most puzzling, how they achieved such spherical precision.
The Oera Linda Book is a controversial Frisian manuscript covering historical, mythological, and religious themes that first came to light in the 19th century. Themes running through the Oera Linda Book include catastrophism, nationalism, matriarchy, and mythology. The text alleges that Europe and other lands were, for most of their history, ruled by a succession of folk-mothers presiding over a hierarchical order of celibate priestesses dedicated to the goddess Frya, daughter of the supreme god Wr-alda and Irtha, the earth mother. The claim is also made that this Frisian civilization possessed an alphabet which was the ancestor of Greek and Phoenician alphabets. The current manuscript carries a date of 1256. Internal claims suggest that it is a copy of older manuscripts that, if genuine, would have been written by multiple people between 2194 BC and AD 803.
Fossils, as we learned in grade school, appear in rocks that were formed many thousands of years ago. Yet there are a number of fossils that just don’t make geological or historical sense. A fossil of a human hand print for example, was found in limestone estimated to be 110 million years old. What appears to be a fossilized human finger found in the Canadian Arctic also dates back 100 to 110 million years ago. And what appears to be the fossil of a human footprint, possibly wearing a sandal, was found near Delta, Utah in a shale deposit estimated to be 300 million to 600 million years old.
Humans were not even around 65 million years ago, never mind people who could work metal. So then how does science explain semi-ovoid metallic tubes dug out of 65-million-year-old Cretaceous chalk in France? In 1885, a block of coal was broken open to find a metal cube obviously worked by intelligent hands. In 1912, employees at an electric plant broke apart a large chunk of coal out of which fell an iron pot! A nail was found embedded in a sandstone block from the Mesozoic Era. And there are many, many more such anomalies.
The Ark is considered the greatest of all hidden treasures and its discovery would provide indisputable truth that the Old Testament is hard fact. Its recovery remains the goal of every modern archaeologist and adventurer. Its purpose was as a container for the ten commandments given on stone tablets by God to Moses on Mount Sinai. According to the book of Exodus, the Ark is made of #tim wood (similar to acacia) and gold-covered inside and out. It was topped by a mercy seat comprising two cherubs also made of gold. It was believed to have supernatural powers due to several events, including causing the death of a man, who attempted to steady the Ark as the oxen hauling it stumbled, bringing down the walls of Jericho in one battle, and showering misfortune on the Philistines after they captured it in another. There are several speculations around the final resting place of the Ark, and whilst it would take a shrewd operator to find it, it would need a brave or even foolhardy person to open it!
Angel Hair is a rare phenomenon that has so far defied explanation. It is made up of silken threads that rain down on to the earth, but reach out to touch it and it will almost certainly vanish before your eyes. It is a world wide phenomenon with the most regular occurrences from North America, New Zealand, Australia, and western Europe. There is no known proof for what causes this substance, or even what it is made up of. Speculations are that it has come from Spiders or another type of silk-spinning insect, and even UFO’s as it has often been associated with UFO sightings. Because of its sensitive nature, it has been difficult to collect, and to analyse as it is subject to contamination from car exhaust fumes, and even human contact, which could skew the chemical results.
The Piri Reis Map is a famous pre-modern world map created by 16th century Ottoman-Turkish admiral and cartographer Piri Reis. The map shows part of the western coasts of Europe and North Africa with reasonable accuracy, and the coast of Brazil is also easily recognizable. Various Atlantic islands including the Azores and Canary Islands are depicted, as is the mythical island of Antillia. The map is noteworthy for its depiction of a southern landmass that some controversially claim is evidence for early awareness of the existence of Antarctica. Some scholars claim this and other maps support a theory of global exploration by a pre-classical undiscovered civilization.
The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp is a humanoid cryptid which is said to inhabit areas of swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina. He is described as being seven feet tall (over 2m), bipedal, and well built, with green scaly skin and glowing orange eyes. It is said to have three toes on each foot and three fingers on each hand which end in a circular pad on them that stick to walls. The first reported sighting of the creature was made by Christopher Davis, a 17 year old local, who said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 AM on June 29, 1988. According to his account, Davis stopped on a road bordering Scape Ore Swamp in order to change a tire which had blown out. When he was finishing up he reported having heard a thumping noise from behind him and having turned around to see the creature running towards him. Davis said the creature tried to grab at the car and then jumped on its roof as he tried to escape, clinging on to it as Davis swerved from side to side in an effort to throw it off. After he returned home, Davis’ side-view-mirror was found to be badly damaged, and scratch marks were found on the car’s roof–though there was no other physical evidence of his encounter.
In the month that followed the Davis sighting there were several further reports of a large lizard like creature, and of unusual scratches and bite marks found on cars parked close to the swamp. Most of these are said to have occurred within a three-mile (5 km) radius of the swamps of Bishopville. Two weeks after the Davis sighting the sheriff’s department made several plaster casts of what appeared to be three-toed footprints – measuring some 14 inches (360 mm) in length – but decided against sending them on to the FBI for further analysis after biologists advised them that they were unclassifiable.
The Hopkinsville Goblins case, is a well-known and well-documented alleged Close Encounter event in the history of UFO incidents. The event occurred near the towns of Kelly and Hopkinsville, Kentucky beginning on the evening of August 21, 1955 and continuing through the next morning. UFO researcher Allan Hendry wrote “[t]his case is distinguished by its duration and also by the number of witnesses involved.” Multiple eyewitnesses would claim that, for several hours stretching over a late evening and early morning, they repeatedly saw five glowing, silvery creatures, each three feet tall and seeming to float above the ground. The witnesses additionally claimed to have used firearms to shoot at the creatures, with little or no effect.
On the evening of August 21, 1955, Billy Ray Taylor was visiting friends for dinner when he observed strange lights in the sky to the west. He called the others outside. The group saw a luminous, three-and-a-half-foot-tall being with an oversized head, big, floppy, pointed ears, glowing eyes, and hands with talons at their ends. The figure, either made of or simply dressed in silvery metal, had its hands raised. When the creature approached to within about 20 feet of the Taylor home, the men began shooting at it, one using a shotgun, the other man using a .22 rifle. The creature, they said, then flipped over and fled into the darkness. As the men stepped from the porch to look for the body, a taloned hand reached from the roof and touched them. For the next few hours, all members of the household witnessed the creatures repeatedly moving toward the house
Summerwind Mansion, formerly known as Lamont Mansion, is a now derelict cellar hole on the shores of West Bay Lake in Vilas County, North East Wisconsin. It is reputed to be one of the most haunted locations in Wisconsin. Due to abandonment, the elements and fire, little of the mansion currently remains standing. Summerwind was originally constructed during the early 20th century as a fishing lodge. In 1916 it was purchased by Robert P. Lamont, who employed Chicago architects Tallmadge and Watson to substantially remodel the property and convert it into a mansion. Lamont remained in Summerwind for approximately 15 years, during which time the maids told Lamont that the mansion was haunted, but he did not believe them. However, he is then reported to have abandoned the property suddenly in the mid 1930s after witnessing an apparition in the mansion’s kitchen.
After remaining vacant for some time, the house became the residence of Arnold and Ginger Hinshaw and their four children, who moved in during the early 1970s. It is from this time onwards that most of the haunting reports originate. After taking up residence, the Hinshaws reported a number of strange occurrences, ranging from flickering shadows that appeared to move down the hallways and soft voices that stopped when they entered rooms, to unexplained electrical/mechanical problems and sash windows that raised themselves. They also reported seeing the ghost of an unidentified woman who appeared several times in the vicinity of the house’s dining room. Within six months of moving into Summerwind, Arnold suffered a breakdown and Ginger attempted suicide. Arnold was sent for treatment and Ginger moved in with her parents in Granton, Wisconsin.
In June 1988 Summerwind was struck by lightning several times, resulting in a fire that destroyed much of the mansion. Oddly, lightning struck the house, not the taller trees around it. Today, only the house’s chimney stacks, foundations, and stone steps remain.
The Clapham Wood Mystery is the name given to a collection of unusual events which are associated with the Clapham Wood, West Sussex, England, resulting in the area developing its own lore in popular culture. Events have included reports of people making unusual sights or experiencing unusual phenomena, and of family pets disappearing or sickening. There have also been several human deaths associated with the location. Since the 1960s the area has experienced a rash of UFO sighting, reports of people, experiencing nausea or the sensation of being pushed by unseen forces, or of witnessing patches of strange grey mist developing suddenly on pathways through the woods. Some people have also reported a strong sense of being followed. Studies with a gieger counter have revealed slightly elevated levels of background radiation in the area, which is surprising since the area is situated on chalk which is normally low in radiation. Early photographs of the wood appear to show a large crater or depression somewhere in the wood, though now the area is highly wooded and difficult to search.
Four deaths have occurred either in or close to the woods and have since become part of the lore surrounding it. The first death was in June 1972 when police officer Peter Goldsmith disappeared while hiking in the region. His body was discovered 6 months later. The second death was that of Leon Foster whose body was discovered in August 1975. He had been missing for 3 weeks. The third death was of Reverend Harry Neil Snelling, the former vicar of Clapham. He disappeared in October 1978 and his body was not found until 3 years later. English coroners ruled open verdicts in all three cases.
The Bridgewater Triangle is an area of about 200 square miles (520 km2) within southeastern Massachusetts in the United States. Since colonial times the area has been a site of alleged paranormal phenomena, ranging from UFO and “black helicopter” sightings (including many with multiple points of corroboration including police and a local news team), to poltergeists and orbs, balls of fire and other spectral phenomena, various “bigfoot” sightings, giant snakes and ‘thunderbirds’, as well as the mutilation of cattle and other livestock. Central to the area is the mysterious and largely untouched Hockomock Swamp, which means “the place where spirits dwell”, and which was called “The Devil’s Swamp” by early settlers. The Triangle also has been known to house several Indian burial grounds.
One of the most common phenomena reportedly observed in the area is “spooklights” or what otherwise matches the description of will-o’-the-wisp, sometimes known as ghost lights which are typically seen in boggy or swampy areas. The behavior of this phenomenon is consistent with mysterious lights allegedly observed within the Bridgewater Triangle, including those which are said to appear along train tracks every January.
The Mad Gasser of Mattoon was the name given to the person or persons believed to be behind a series of apparent gas attacks that occurred in Botetourt County, Virginia, during the early 1930s, and in Mattoon, Illinois, during the mid-1940s. The first reported gasser incident occurred at the home of Cal Huffman, in Haymakertown, Botetourt County, where there were three reported attacks over the course of a single night.
At about 10:00 pm on December 22, 1933, Mrs. Huffman reported smelling an unusual odor, and was overcome by a feeling of nausea. The odor and the nausea returned again at about 10:30pm, at which time Cal Huffman contacted the police. A third attack occurred around 1:00 a.m., this time affecting the entire house; in total, eight members of the Huffman family were affected by the gas, along with Ashby Henderson, a guest staying at the house.
The next recorded incident occurred in Cloverdale on December 24. Clarence Hall, his wife, and their two children returned from a church service at about 9:00 p.m. They detected a strong, sweet odor and immediately began to feel weak and nauseated. Police investigating the case discovered that a nail had been pulled from a rear window, near where the gas appeared to be the most concentrated, and presumed that the nail hole had been used to inject it into the house. A third incident occurred on December 27, in which Troutville resident A. Kelly and his mother reported similar signs and symptoms to the Huffman and Hall cases. A fourth and fifth incident occurred on January 10, when Mrs. Moore, a guest in home of Haymakertown resident Homer Hylton, reported hearing voices outside before gas was injected into the room through a damaged window. The second attack that night was reported in Troutville, at the home of G. Kinzie.
At least 10 other cases were reported in Botetourt, and 10 years later, over 20 new cases were reported in Mattoon. One witness claimed to have seen the gasser and described “him” as a tall thin woman dressed as a man and footprints belonging to a woman were discovered at some of the scenes.
In the mid-eighteenth century, hunters in the Ochamchir region of Georgia (a Province of Russia on the edge of the Black sea) captured a ‘wild woman’ who had ape-like features, a massive bosom, thick arms, legs, and fingers, and was covered with hair. This ‘wild woman’, named Zana by her captors, was so violent at first that she had to spend many years in a cage with food being tossed to her. Eventually, she was domesticated and would perform simple tasks, like grinding corn. She had an incredible endurance against cold, and couldn’t stand to be in a heated room. She enjoyed gorging herself on grapes from the vine, and also had a weakness for wines, often drinking so heavily she would sleep for hours. As Colin Wilson points out in The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Mysteries, this is likely how she became the mother of many children to different fathers. These children usually died when she tried to wash them in the freezing river. The villagers started to take her children away from her and raise them as their own; unlike their mother, the children developed the ability to communicate as well as any other villager. Zana died in the village about 1890; the youngest of her children died in 1954. Her story was researched by Professor Porchnev who interviewed many old people (one as old as a hundred and five) who remembered Zana, as well as two of her grandchildren. The grandchildren had dark skin, and the grandson, named Shalikula, had jaws so powerful that he could lift a chair with a man sitting in it. It is believed that Zana may have somehow been a surviving member a previous evolutionary state of man.
The Devil’s Footprints was the name given to a peculiar phenomenon that occurred in Devon, England on 8 February 1855. After a light snowfall, during the night, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints, measuring 1.5 to 2.5 inches wide and eight inches apart, continued throughout the countryside for a total of over 100 miles, and, although veering at various points, for the greater part of their course followed straight lines. Houses, rivers, haystacks and other obstacles were travelled straight over, and footprints appeared on the tops of snow-covered roofs and high walls which lay in the footprints’ path, as well as leading up to and exiting various drain pipes of as small as a four inch diameter. Reports of similar anomalous, obstacle-unheeded footprints exist from other parts of the world, although none is of such a scale as that of the case of the Devil’s Footprints.
Mary Reeser, born in 1881, was found almost completely consumed by fire in her Florida home in 1951. The odd thing about the discovery of her body was that part of her left foot was left completely unscathed, and the extremely high temperature required to cremate a human body did not cause damage to the room or objects around the pile of ash which remained. The FBI investigators called in Professor Krogman from the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Medicine, in the hopes that he might explain the mystery. He said: “I find it hard to believe that a human body, once ignited, will literally consume itself — burn itself out, as does a candle wick, guttering in the last residual pool of melted wax [...] Just what did happen on the night of July 1, 1951, in St. Petersburg, Florida? We may never know, though this case still haunts me. [...] I cannot conceive of such complete cremation without more burning of the apartment itself. In fact the apartment and everything in it should have been consumed. [...] I regard it as the most amazing thing I have ever seen. As I review it, the short hairs on my neck bristle with vague fear. Were I living in the Middle Ages, I’d mutter something about black magic.” The mystery has never been solved.
There won’t be many people reading this list who have not heard of the Amityville horror movie – and the majority will no doubt have watched it. What you may not know is that it is based on true events. The authors of the original book (George and Kathy Lutz) were convinced right up to their deaths that the story was true. In 1975, the couple moved in to a home in Amityville, New York. Unbeknownst to them, 13 months earlier, the son of the previous owners shot and killed all six members of his family – claiming to have been directed by voices in his head. The killer (Ronald DeFeo) is still in prison in New York and will remain there until his death. Most strangely, all six of the victims were found lying face down in their beds with no signs of a struggle or sedatives having been administered.
Within 28 days of moving in to the house, George and Kathy Lutz fled – claiming a series of horrific experiences forced them to leave. The family experienced foul smells, loud voices, physical attacks, and unexplained noises. All members of the family, at one time or another, witnessed glowing red eyes in the house. Kathy discovered a small hidden room that was painted red and the family dog refused to go near it. A priest was called in to bless the house and he also witnessed some of the phenomena which he later testified to on camera. The current owners, and those after the Lutzes claim to have had no unusual experiences in the house. The distinctive Dutch style windows have been remodeled to keep curiosity seekers away.
Mokele-mbembe is a cryptid supposed to live in the Congo River Basin. It is widely documented in local folklore as having an elephant-like body with a long neck and tail and a small head. This description fits with the description of a small Sauropod. This gives the legend some credence with cryptozoologists who continue to this day to search for the Mokele-mbembe in the hopes it is a relic dinosaur. So far though only claimed sightings, grainy long distance video and a few photographs form the evidence for the existence of the Mokele-mbembe.
Perhaps among the most compelling of the evidence is the reported killing of a Mokele-mbembe. Reverend Eugene Thomas from Ohio, USA, told James Powell and Dr. Roy P. Mackal in 1979 a story that involved the purported killing of a Mokele-mbembe near Lake Tele in 1959. Thomas was a missionary who had served in the Congo since 1955, gathering much of the earliest evidence and reports, and claiming to have had two close-encounters himself. Natives of the Bangombe tribe who lived near Lake Tele were said to have constructed a large spiked fence in a tributary of Tele to keep Mokele-mbembe from interfering in their fishing. A Mokele-mbembe managed to break through, though it was wounded on the spikes, and the natives then killed the creature. As William Gibbons writes, “Pastor Thomas also mentioned that the two pygmies mimicked the cry of the animal as it was being attacked and speared… Later, a victory feast was held, during which parts of the animal were cooked and eaten. However, those who participated in the feast eventually died, either from food poisoning or from natural causes.”
Somewhere in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona, located east of Phoenix, Arizona there is reputed to be a gold mine so rich that if the walls are tapped with a hammer, nuggets of gold come tumbling down. The mine was supposedly discovered by the Apache who kept it a closely guarded secret until finally revealing it to select few of the first Spanish monks who reached Arizona from the colonies in Mexico. It is known locally as ‘The Dutchmen’s Mine’ because two of the many 19th century claimants were thought to be from Holland. Jacob Waltz and Jacob Weiser were two German explorers who rescued a Don Miguel Peralta from a brawl in the Mexican town of Arizpe. Don Miguel told his rescuers about a secret family mine that one of his relatives had staked the claim for in 1748. The party of three left for Arizona with the Peralta family map and found the Peralta family mine shortly thereafter. The three men picked up $60,000 worth of gold. Don Miguel sold the map and the title to the mine to the Germans for their half of the proceeds. The two Germans continued to work the mine over the next 2 decades, but then disaster finally struck. Waltz came back to the camp one evening after camping near the mine to find Weiser had disappeared, on the ground was a blood-stained shirt and Apache arrows.
In 1880 the mine was again discovered, by chance. The discoverers were two young US soldiers who appeared in the town of Pinal with their saddlebags full of gold. They said that the ore came from a funnel-shaped mine in a canyon near a sharp pinnacle of rock. When they did not return from a second venture to the mine, a search party was dispatched. They found the bodies of the two soldiers who were both shot dead. Over time much of the stories surrounding the mine have succumbed to legend and embellishment now that there exists many variations on the tales. Currently the area is a State park, Lost Dutchman State Park. Mining is prohibited, but that doesn’t stop the 8000 people every year who come to search for the lost gold.
The Naga fireballs of the Mekong river are not a question of ‘If’, but a question of ‘What’. They are one of the most well documented unexplained phenomena in the entire world. Every year during October on the night of Wan Awk Pansa thousands of spectators gather on the banks of the Mekong river in Thailand and Laos to see the legendary Naga breathe forth balls of fire from the river itself. Many have been watching this every year for their entire life. The balls themselves are reddish in color and are about the size of an egg. They slowly and silently rise from the river before accelerating high into the air where they disappear. There can be anywhere from tens to thousands of these glowing orbs per night. The balls themselves are seen either side of the festival night, which attests to the fact it’s more than likely of natural origin rather than an organized display by officials.
Their supernatural origin is not without opposition. Manas Kanoksin, a doctor from Nong Khai strongly believes that fermenting sediment on the river’s bottom causes pockets of methane gas to form, and that the Earth’s position in relation to the sun during those days of the year causes them to rise, then spontaneously ignite in the presence of ionized oxygen. Italian chemists Luigi Garlaschelli and Paolo Boschetti, have replicated the lights by adding chemicals to the gases formed by rotting compounds. But other researchers dismiss this theory, pointing out that the rocky river bottom doesn’t have much sediment, and that the water’s turbulence would break up any such methane bubbles before they reached the water’s surface. Whatever the cause, the Naga fireballs of the Mekong are one of the least known, most spectacular of phenomena to observe.
Harold Edward Holt, CH (5 August 1908 – 17 December 1967), was an Australian politician who became the 17th Prime Minister of Australia in 1966. His term as Prime Minister dramatically ended in December of the following year when he disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria, and was presumed drowned. On Sunday 17 December 1967, Holt and some friends drove to one of his favorite swimming and snorkeling spots, Cheviot Beach on Point Nepean near Portsea, on the eastern arm of Port Phillip Bay. Holt decided to go swimming, although the surf was heavy and Cheviot Beach was notorious for its strong currents and dangerous rip tides.
Ignoring his friends’ pleas not to go in, Holt plunged into the surf and quickly disappeared from view. Fearing the worst, his friends raised the alert. Within a short time the beach and the water off shore was being searched by a large contingent of police, Royal Australian Navy divers, Royal Australian Air Force helicopters, Army personnel from nearby Point Nepean and local volunteers. This quickly escalated into one of the largest search operations in Australian history, but no trace of Holt could be found. Two days later, on 19 December 1967, the government made an official announcement that Holt was presumed dead, with a police spokesperson famously stating “The search has come to a dead halt” (”halt” is usually pronounced like “Holt” in Australia). Holt’s body was never found and no official investigation was undertaken.
In the 18th century, the Walronds, a wealthy rich family of planters built a rock-hewn tomb at Christ Church, Barbados. It was sealed with a massive marble door. One family member to be interred there was Mrs Thomasina Goddard, in 1807. A year later the vault was taken over by the Chase family – also slave-owning planters who purchased it to bury two daughters in 1808 and 1812. When the tomb was opened again in 1812 to receive the body of the father, Thomas Chase, the girls’ lead coffins had been stood on end, upside down. There was no sign of a break-in. Nor was there in 1816, when the tomb was again opened for the body of a boy relative. But the Chase coffins had again been wildly disarranged. That of Thomas, which had taken eight men to carry was leaning upright against the wall of the vault. By the time of the next funeral, eight weeks later, word of the strange tomb had got around and a huge crowd turned up for the ceremony. They were not disappointed. Although the tomb was sealed, the four Chase coffins inside were once more in disarray. The Governor of Barbados, Lord Combermere, now took a hand. In 1819 he supervised the orderly restacking of the coffins and had seals put round the door slab. But the following year, after reports of noises, he visited the site again. His seals were intact. But the lead coffins were in their customary jumbled confusion. Only the little crumbling, wooden coffin of Mrs Goddard still lay peacefully in the corner.
The confusion around the vault was centered around the lack of a suitable explanation. Slaves could not have moved the coffins without leaving a trace. There was no evidence of flooding. Earthquakes would hardly have shaken one tomb without disturbing others in the surrounding area. After all of the unexplained disturbances, it was decided to empty tomb of it’s occupants and relocate them almost 200 years ago. It remains empty to this day.
The very first Boeing plane ever built was called Bluebill, and its creator, William Boeing shipped it to New Zealand along with its sister plane (Mallard) in 1918 – making it the very first sale of the Boeing company. Upon their arrival they were put to use in commercial flights delivering mail and carrying passengers. In 1924 when the N.Z. Flying School closed, a compelling body of evidence, including a letter written to the Boeing Company in 1959 by pioneer aviator George Bolt, points to the two Boeings having been taken to a military base at North Head, Devonport and placed in a vacant storage tunnel. When the officer in charge decided that the doped fabric and spruce airframes were a fire risk, he ordered the tunnel walled off, and there, the evidence suggests, they remain till this day. The stories of the sealed off underground military complex have since been supported by hundreds of first hand witnesses. Attempts at locating the planes have been suppressed by the military and government and the whereabouts of these most historic planes is still unknown. Pictured above is Bluebill taking off.
Saint Januarius, Bishop of Naples, is a martyr saint of the Roman Catholic Church. He was imprisoned while visiting incarcerated deacons at the sulphur mines of Puteoli, the modern Pozzuoli. After many tortures, including being thrown to lions in Pozzuoli’s Flavian Amphitheater, he was beheaded at Solfatara along with his companions. He died in 305 AD. According to an early hagiography, his relics were transferred by order of Saint Severus, Bishop of Naples, to the Neapolitan catacombs. In the early tenth century the body was moved to Beneventum by Sico, prince of Benevento, with the head remaining in Naples. Subsequently, during the turmoil at the time of Frederick Barbarossa, his body was moved again, this time to the Abbey of Montevergine where it was rediscovered in 1480.
Despite very limited information about his life and works, he is famous for the reputed miracle of the annual liquefaction of his blood, first reported in 1389. The dried blood is safely stored in small capsules in a reliquary. When these capsules are brought into the vicinity of his body on three occasions in the year, the dried blood supposedly liquefies. Thousands of people assemble to witness this event in the cathedral of Naples. The archbishop, at the high altar amid prayers and invocations, holds up a glass phial that is said to contain the dried blood of the city’s patron saint. When the liquefaction has taken place, the archbishop holds up the phial again and demonstrates that liquefaction has taken place. The announcement of the liquefaction is greeted with a 21-gun salute at the 13th-century Castel Nuovo. The ceremony takes place three times a year. The most famous is on the feast day on September 19, which commemorates the saint’s martyrdom. Attempts to explain the event in scientific terms suggest that the liquefaction miracle involves not blood but rather a thixotropic gel, such as hydrated iron oxide, FeO(OH) which has demonstrated similar behavior in a laboratory – but the fact that the dried blood liquifies on certain dates add further to the mystery.
The Vela Incident (sometimes referred to as the South Atlantic Flash) was an as-yet unidentified double flash of light detected by a United States Vela satellite on September 22, 1979. It has been speculated that the double flash was characteristic of a nuclear explosion; however, recently declassified information about the event says that it “was probably not from a nuclear explosion, although [it cannot be ruled] out that this signal was of nuclear origin.” The flash was detected on 22 September 1979, at 00:53 GMT. The satellite reported the characteristic double flash (a very fast and very bright flash, then a longer and less-bright one) of an atmospheric nuclear explosion of two to three kilotons, in the Indian Ocean between Bouvet Island (Norwegian dependency) and the Prince Edward Islands (South African dependencies). US Airforce planes flew into the area shortly after the flashes were detected but could find no signs of a detonation or radiation.
In 1999 a US senate whitepaper stated “There remains uncertainty about whether the South Atlantic flash in September 1979 recorded by optical sensors on the U.S. Vela satellite was a nuclear detonation and, if so, to whom it belonged.” There is some speculation that the test may have been a joint Israeli / South African initiative which has been confirmed (though not proven) by Commodore Dieter Gerhardt, a convicted Soviet spy and commander of South Africa’s Simon’s Town naval base at the time.
The Dyatlov Pass incident refers to an event that resulted in the deaths of nine ski hikers in the northern Ural mountains. The incident happened on the night of February 2, 1959 on the east shoulder of the mountain Kholat Syakhl (a Mansi name, meaning Mountain of the Dead). The mountain pass where the incident occurred has been named Dyatlov Pass after the group’s leader, Igor Dyatlov. The mysterious circumstances and subsequent investigations of the hikers’ deaths have inspired much speculation.
Investigations of the deaths suggest that the hikers tore open their tent from within, departing barefoot in heavy snow; while the corpses show no signs of struggle, one victim had a fractured skull, two had broken ribs, and one was missing her tongue. Some were found wrapped in snips of ripped clothes which seemed to be cut from those who were already dead. Traces from the camp showed that all group members (including those who were found injured) left the camp of their own accord, by foot. According to sources, the victims’ clothing contained high levels of radiation – though this was likely added at a later date, since no reference is made to it in contemporary documentation and only in later documents. One doctor investigating the case suggested that the fatal injuries of the three bodies could not have been caused by another human being, owing to the extreme force to which they had been subjected. Soviet investigators determined only that “a compelling unknown force” had caused the deaths, barring entry to the area for years thereafter. The cause of the incident remains unclear.
The jewels – emeralds, rubies and diamonds presented to the Irish nation by William IV in the 19th century, were kept in a safe in Dublin Castle’s Bedford Tower. They were in the care of Sir Arthur Vicars, the Ulster King of Arms, his nephew Pierce Mahoney, and two assistants. On June the 28th, 1907, Vicars reported that his key to the tower’s main door had vanished. Five days later, the cleaner, Mrs Farrell, found the main door unlocked when she arrived for work. Then finally, on July 6th, she noticed something even more strange: the door to the strongroom where the jewels were kept, had been left open overnight. That afternoon, a castle porter named Stivey entered Vicar’s room while Vicars and Mahoney were examining the gold and enamelled collar of the Order of St Patrick. Vicars gave the porter a safe key and ordered him to put the collar with the rest of the jewels. A few minutes later, Stivey returned with the alarming news that the safe was already open. Vicars made a swift inspection and cried, ‘My God, the jewels are gone!’
Police never caught the thief. Within a month of the crime, Scotland Yard detectives had produced a report with the name of their prime suspect. However, this report was suppressed, and the Chief Inspector recalled. Later during that year Edward VII demanded that all four men resposible for guard the jewels, step down. 14 years later, Vicars was found dead in the garden of his home in County Kerry. The body was riddled with bullets and a label was found that read: ‘IRA Never Forgets’. But the Irish Republican Army insisted that it was not involved. Regardless, most people in Ireland believed Vicars to be an innocent man who had been badly treated by the British Government. No trace of the Irish Crown Jewels has ever been found.
The Shag Harbour UFO Incident was the documented impact of an unknown large object into Shag Harbour, Nova Scotia, in October 1967. The crash was investigated by various Canadian government agencies, and at least one underwater search was launched to recover remains of the object. The Canadian government declared that no known aircraft was involved and the source of the crash remains unknown to this day. It is one of very few cases where governmental agency documents have formally declared an unidentified flying object was involved. The case was also briefly investigated by the U.S. Condon Committee UFO study, which offered no explanation.
n 2007, the 12-metre catamaran, the Kaz II, was discovered unmanned off the coast of Queensland, northeast Australia in April. The yacht, which had left Airlie Beach on Sunday 15 April, was spotted about 80 nautical miles (150 km) off Townsville, near the outer Great Barrier Reef on the following Wednesday. When boarded on Friday, the engine was running, a laptop was running, the radio and GPS were working and a meal was set to eat, but the three-man crew were not on board. All the sails were up but one was badly shredded, while three life jackets and survival equipment, including an emergency beacon, were found on board. Investigators recovered a video recording that showed footage taken by the crew shortly before their disappearance. The footage showed nothing abnormal.
The Cando event was an explosion that occurred in the village of Cando, Spain, in the morning of January 18, 1994. There were no casualties in this incident, which has been described as being like a small Tunguska event. Witnesses claim to have seen a fireball in the sky lasting for almost one minute. A possible explosion site was established when a local resident called the University of Santiago de Compostela to report an unknown gouge in a hillside close to the village. Up to 200 m³ of terrain was missing and trees were found displaced 100 m down the hill. The mystery became fertile ground for conspiracy theories that point to military or “alien activities”.
From the 1960s on, a mysterious black cat resembling a puma has been seen in and around south western Surrey in England. It was seen a number of times by locals and also by government officials. In 1963 a sighting by a policeman sparked further interest in the subject and one year later an ox was found mutilated by a large creature. Over 300 reports of the black cat were received by the police in one year alone. Speculation and interest dwindled again until another policeman caught the cat on film in the same year as a massive paw print was discovered.
The Bloop is the name given to an ultra-low frequency underwater sound detected by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration several times during the summer of 1997. The source of the sound remains unknown. According to the NOAA description, it “rises rapidly in frequency over about one minute and was of sufficient amplitude to be heard on multiple sensors, at a range of over 5,000 km.” According to scientists who have studied the phenomenon it matches the audio profile of a living creature but there is no known animal that could have produced the sound. If the sound did come from an animal, it would reportedly have to be several times the size of the largest known animal on Earth
The Lead Masks Case refers to the discovery of the bodies of two electronic technicians in Brazil in 1966. The bodies were found in a field wearing impermeable coats and lead masks (usually used to protect against radiation – pictured above). Even stranger was the discovery of a small notebook beside the bodies with signs and numbers, and a letter in which was written: “16:30 be at the agreed place. 18:30 swallow capsules, after effect protect metals wait for the mask sign”. A waitress who was the last to see them alive said that one of them looked very nervous and kept glancing at his watch. There were no obvious injuries on the bodies. Gracinda Barbosa Cortino de Souza and her children, who lived next to the hill where the men died, claimed that they had seen a UFO flying over the spot at the exact moment the detectives believed the two men must have died.
The Grinning Man is a mysterious man who has been sighted during heightened UFO encounters as well as during the 1960s Mothman sightings. Two young eyewitnesses said he turned and looked at them with a permanent grin on his face. According to the men who interviewed the boys: “[t]he man was over six feet tall, they agreed, and was dressed in a sparkling green coverall costume that shimmered and seemed to reflect the street lights. There was a wide black belt around his waist.” The boys also said “He had a very dark complexion, and little round eyes…real beady…set far apart.” The most frightening and bizarre aspect of the encounter is the fact that “They could not remember seeing any hair, ears, or nose on this figure.” During the Mothman sightings, the grinning man is said to have telepathically told a witness that his name was “Indrid Cold”.
The Toynbee tiles are messages of mysterious origin found embedded in asphalt in about two dozen major cities in the United States and three South American capitals. Since the 1980s, several hundred tiles have been discovered. They are generally about the size of an American license plate, but sometimes considerably larger. They contain some variation on the following inscription:
IN KUBRICK’S 2001
ON PLANET JUPITER.
The majority of tiles contain text similar to that above, although a second set is often found nearby. Several of these allude to a mass conspiracy between the press (including newspaper magnate John S. Knight of Knight-Ridder), the U.S. government, the USSR (even in tiles seemingly made years after the Soviet Union’s dissolution), and Jews. The writing is of a similar style and poor quality. A tile that used to be located in Santiago de Chile mentions a street address in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: 2624 S. 7th Philadelphia, PA. The current occupants of the house know nothing about the tiles and are annoyed by people who ask.
In 1948 the body of a man was found on Somerton beach in Adelaide, Australia. The man was never identified. Police found a suitcase which they believed was his containing clothing in which all but three items had their name tags removed. The name on the remaining items pointed them to a man who was later identified as not being the dead man. A small note in the man’s pocket said “taman shud” which is the last line of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. It had been cut from a book. A doctor seeing the note on the TV contacted police to say that the book had appeared in the backseat of his unlocked car. It was the copy that had had the note removed. In the back of the book were coded markings which have not been able to be deciphered as yet:
A name in the front of the book led police to a woman who said she had given it to a man named Boxall during the Second World War. Upon seeing a plaster cast of the dead man she identified him as Boxall. This appeared to solve the mystery of who the man was, until Boxall was discovered alive with his copy of the book undamaged. Coincidentally the woman who identified the man lived in Glenelg – the last town visited by the dead man before he travelled by bus to his final destination. The woman asked police not to record her name as she was married and wanted to avoid scandal – they foolishly complied and her identity is now also unknown. This is considered to be one of Australia’s most profound mysteries.
The Sudarium of Oviedo (kept in the Cathedral of San Salvador, Oviedo, Spain) is said to be the cloth that was wrapped around the head of Jesus after his crucifixion. Like the Shroud of Turin, it bears markings consistent with the manner of death and other evidence supports the fact that it was, at some point, on the same body as the shroud. Carbon dating has given two different results (7th century and 14th century) but, again like the shroud, the areas tested were most likely from repairs from the middle ages. In support of a more ancient date are pollen grains which date from the 1st century in the Middle East. The blood stains on both the shroud and the sudarium are the same, and the materials of the cloths are identical. The majority of the stains on the sudarium match the head region of the shroud. The Sudarium is believed to be the cloth mentioned in the Bible:
And when he stooped down, he saw the linen cloths lying; but yet he went not in. Then cometh Simon Peter, following him, and went into the sepulchre, and saw the linen cloths lying, And the napkin that had been about his head [Sudarium?], not lying with the linen cloths [Shroud?], but apart, wrapped up into one place. — John 20:5-7
Visitors to Oviedo can see the Sudarium on display every year on Good Friday, the Feast of the Triumph of the Cross (14 September), and its octave (21 September).