The first book I ever remember giving me was a massive blue book about Unexplained Mysteries. It was, in no way, age appropriate and is absolutely to blame for my lifelong obsession with the unexplained.
It's also why I know that my birthday (October 4) has seen more than its fair share of "weird stuff that probably involved aliens happened today."
In 1957 a tadpole-shaped "object" passed over a city in Northern Japan; it rained threads like spider silk shortly after. Something similar happened on Oct 4, 1971 in Monterey, CA. Witnesses saw three "ships" and the strands fell from the sky as the ships darted away. Locals call the strands "angel hair."
On Oct 4, 1967 Nova Scotia saw "The Shag Harbour Incident" where a UFO reportedly crashed into waters, prompting investigation by government and military officials.
(My brother would like me to add my birth in 1982 to the list of potential alien activity on that date.)
and honestly, UFOs raining spider silk to celebrate my birthday like some M. Nyght Shyamalan remake of Rapunzel and the lanterns is the least weird thing in here.
The 1987 "Cabin Attack" in Luther Michigan - An apparent attack by the cryptid known as the "Michigan Dogman" - another mystery all by itself.
In June of 1987, a group of teens/young adults went up to Luther Michigan to stay the weekend in a Cabin at the camping grounds there. Sometime late at night/in the early morning hours, they reported an apparent attack by a massive animal that tried to break into their cabin.
The cops came, and one of them (I forget his name) ended up describing the Cabin as having scratch and bite marks around the doors and windows. He was particularly surprised about the windows' damage - because they were over 7 feet off the ground. He also described dog tracks (confirmed NOT to be bear tracks) that were between 6 and 8 inches across.
This attack happened shortly after an April fools joke song came out called "The Legend," created by Traverse City DJ Steve Cook. Cook released the song on April 1st, 1987, thinking that it would just be a lighthearted joke about sightings that were recorded here and there in rural Michigan since the late 19th century. Little did Cook know, however, that people would NOT take it as a joke, as they started ringing in to the radio station non-stop, telling Cook and those around them that this was not a joke - this was something they had seen with their own eyes.
"Somewhere in the north-woods darkness, a creature walks upright. And the best advice you may ever get is: Don't. Go out. At night."
This is my favorite weird and barely known one:
Back in 2013 an unknown group assaulted a power substation in California. By all appearances it was pretty sophisticated: scouted firing positions, all casings wiped of prints, they targeted transformers so they'd take time to overheat before triggering any alarms, also knew exactly when the police would arrive.
No suspect or motive to this day, they also cut some fiber optic cables in a vault nearby. Conspiracy types think it was a dry run by Russia or possibly China to see how effective an attack like that might be.
On A Farm In Norway
Ok so, I guess we dont truly know if its solved as the court thinks they are right, but pretty much everyone else doesn't so it counts.
The Orderud case is one of the most infamous murder cases in Norway.
Three people were found killed in the house next door. Kristian Orderud (80), Marie Orderud (83) and their daughter Anne Orderud Paust (47), were all found killed in the student housing on Orderud farm.
Anne worked for the government and her husband Per was a consulate. Prior to the murders (Per died in May 1999 before the murders), Anne's car had been fitted with explosives, and the couple had also found explosives outside their apartment in Skillebekk, which according to experts could have blown the whole building up.
After this, Per got a job in New York and the couple lived there for a few months, returning to their residence in January 1999. Around May 15, law enforcement received an anonymous phone call where someone said Anne and her parents would be killed soon. Law enforcement never found out who this was (I'm a little unsure of this phone call is true or made up).
As for the murders, police were certain it had to be someone close to the family, since they knew when Anne would be at her parents' farm. The police's main theory was/is that Anne was the main target.
The police also believed that since the victims did not attempt to escape or call the police after the break in, they most likely didn't feel threatened by whoever was there. Kristian was lying in bed when he was killed, and while he was old and impaired, police found it telling that he was still in bed when he was killed.
This was not a burglary; nothing was taken from the victims or the house.
Early on, Marie and Kristian's son Per and his wife Veronica were suspects. They lived in a separate house on the same property as Per's parents. Per and Veronica were more or less in charge of the farm, completing all tasks necessary to keep the farm up and running. Since Per was in charge of the farm, he strongly felt he was entitled to buy the farm from his father, making him the owner. His father disagreed, and the two battled it out in court. Per handed in evidence showing that his father had signed a document that said Per would be the owner of the farm, however it turned out Per had forged his father's signature in order to make the outcome of the case go in his favor. Because of this, Per and Veronica were suspects.
During the investigation, police also looked into Veronica's half sister Kristin Kirkemoe and her then-boyfriend Lars Grønnerød (died in 2019). Supposedly, Lars provided the guns for Kristin, who then gave them to Veronica. Said gun went off in Per and Veronica's house when Kristin showed it to them, and left a mark in their coffee table. A trajectory of this bullet confirms this story, which was told by Kristin.
During the police's investigation of the crime scene, one officer (randomly) found a mustard yellow knitted sock with two white stripes behind the house. The police has tried to identify who it belongs to and where it came from for years, but no luck.
The court concluded that Per, Veronica and Kristin executed the murders, and that Lars provided them with guns/weapons. All four were sentenced to prison, but have been released since then. Per and Veronica are still together and maintain their innocence.It has been almost 20 years since the killings. The forest between the home and Orderud farm has grown denser, and it is no longer possible to see the student housing on the neighboring plot.
People have applied for reopening of the case.
An unknown group of people broke into an FBI building, and no one found out who they are. But the best part of the story is, they did it by leaving a sticky note that said "Do not lock the door tonight."
They just stuck the post-it note to the front door and it worked!
They revealed themselves after the statue of limitations was up. I was just reading about it I'm surprised they weren't thrown in jail anyways
Weren't these the people that leaked the info that the government was trying to blackmail MLK into committing suicide? COINTELPRO. I thought I read somewhere recently that some of the people involved came forward.
Who was Perseus?
From 1943 to 1946, the Soviet Union had a high level spy in the Manhattan Project. Codenamed Perseus, this spy was a scientist at the White Sands missile testing site in NM, and the main research facilities in Los Alamos. Perseus saw pretty much the entire Project start to finish, giving the Russians everything they needed to get to work on their own bomb.
The fact that they were able to do so within 4 years of the end of WWII when their nations was still devastated is proof positive that Perseus helped a great deal.
And to top it all off, Perseus was never caught or positively identified.
A Double Homicide In India
What happened to Arushi Talwar, a 13 year old girl in India is also quite unsolved. A 13 yo girl was murdered in her home at night with her parents sleeping through it in the same home. The domestic help was initially the suspect, but his body was discovered the next day making the case a double homicide.
I still think about the poor girl not getting a closure!
So it's this Australian family who owned a berry farm. Somehow Mr and Mrs Tromp and their three grown kids developed the belief that they weren't safe and they needed to flee their farm without cell phones or anything traceable (credit cards, etc).
It sounds like the oldest son wasn't fully sold on whatever it was that led them to flee. He brought his phone, but eventually it got tossed from the car. He ended up bailing first and taking a train home.
From there the rest of the family slowly separated and suffered various degrees of emotional breaks. The two girls stole a car. Somehow they got separated and one made it home, but the other was found on the floor in the backseat of some guys car in a catatonic state. (he spotted her after he started down the road).
Eventually the parents were found wandering around aimlessly. Fortunately they were all ok physically but WTF happened? Was someone actually after them? Were they delusional? As far as I know the family hasn't released any updates and by all accounts they just returned to regular life like nothing happened.
That sounds a bit like ergot poisoning. It's a grain fungus that caused widespread problems in the middle ages. It has physical symptoms but it can also cause hallucinations.
There's some thought that it might have been responsible for accusations of witchcraft and visions of angels. LSD is derived from it.
Someone might have dosed them all on a lot of acid? Or even possibly a naturally occurring hallucinogen.
But if you want to get a small group of people to all do something very stupid together? Hallucinogens seems to be the way to go.
Haven't seen this one in here yet: The Beale Ciphers
It's a set of three ciphertexts purporting to give the location, amount, and ownership of a treasure buried in Bedford County, VA. The second cipher (listing the contents of the treasure) was decoded in the 19th century using the Declaration of Independence as a key, and the inventory is worth somewhere on the order of $43mil today.
There is considerable debate about whether or not the whole thing is a hoax. It does seem that the yet-undeciphered first and third ciphers encode an intelligible text. There was some speculation that Edgar Allan Poe May have authored the ciphers, but that theory, sadly, has been debunked.
Mad Axeman Demands Jazz
The Mad Axeman of New Orleans ran rampant in 1918 and 1919. He murdered six people (usually those of Italian descent) with axes or straight razors. In March of 1919, he sent a lengthy letter from "Hottest Hell" that was pretty nonsensical. But the most relevant paragraphs read:
"Now, to be exact, at 12:15 (earthly time) on next Tuesday night, I am going to pass over New Orleans. In my infinite mercy, I am going to make a little proposition to you people. Here it is:
I am very fond of jazz music, and I swear by all the devils in the nether regions that every person shall be spared in whose home a jazz band is in full swing at the time I have just mentioned. If everyone has a jazz band going, well, then, so much the better for you people. One thing is certain and that is that some of your people who do not jazz it out on that specific Tuesday night (if there be any) will get the axe."
There were no murders that night because every dance hall in NOLA was filled to capacity.
Tragic Mustache LossGiphy
3 lighthouse workers with impeccable mustaches traveled to a remote island on December 7th, 1900 for a lighthouse shift that should have lasted for two weeks. When a boat arrived to pick them up, they were gone. No trace of the bodies, and the lighthouse was strangely locked.
Not only was the setting normal (meal ready to be served), but there was no fire in the fireplace, and the clock stopped. One of the men kept a log in a diary, and he said that the seas were rough one day, but when monitored, it was actually calm. No one knows what happened to them.
The mustaches have nothing to do with the story at all. I just really liked them.
Freak wave, almost certainly. Been to Flannen (lovely place) courtesy of a local fisherman who told me all about this 'mystery' and frankly, scared the living heck out of me. I'll share what he told me: most of which checks out with records of the time.
During the search for those quite wonderful missing moustaches the following was noted -
1/ A box over 100 feet above sea level had been wave damaged, and iron railings at the same level had been bent.
2/ The railway lines serving the lighthouse had been ripped out of their concrete settings.
3/ And this is my favourite bit....
There is a nearby cliff over 200 feet high. It was still there, but the grass on top of the cliff had been ripped away. For up to 30 feet back from the cliff edge. Arguing that that was where the wave broke.
The local view is that by freak chance all the keepers were outside and below the 200 feet above sea level mark doing keeper stuff when they suddenly noticed it had gone dark and looked up just in time to see a wave over 200 feet high about to hit them. Probably had time to say something along the lines of 'Goodness gracious me, and now I'll never have time to finish that letter to Martha' and that would be it.
My favorite is Chauvet cave. (If you have a chance, watch Werner Herzog's documentary Cave of Forgotten Dreams. I think it's still on Netflix.) It has some of the most stunning cave art in the world, which almost certainly had some kind of profound significance, and we don't - and will likely never - know what it is. Moreover, there's evidence that the cave was abandoned for thousands of years and later returned to, only for the returnees to continue to make paintings in the exact same style and, possibly, for the exact same reasons.
There is so much to be seen in these figures. There's a portrait of an animal tossing its head that looks like one of the world's earliest explorations of stop motion or sequential art. When I look at it I can feel the will of the painter, who wanted so much to convey this sort of motion...
There are also the footprints of a boy, who arrived much later to the cave than its original users, whose marks appear to be contemporary with the pawprints of a wolf. It's hard to say now, according to Cave of Forgotten Dreams, whether they walked together, whether they walked 20 years apart, whether they were friends or whether the wolf was stalking the boy. But I read a blog post by a professional hunter and tracker, who looked at the footage of the prints from the film and said that they likely walked together. I wonder what they were thinking. If the boy had some knowledge of what he would find there, or if he was simply exploring a cave and found some of the greatest art in human history.
In Chauvet there is also the solution to a mystery. Until the discovery of Chauvet cave paleontologists were unsure as to whether cave lions had manes. On the cave walls there is an illustration of a cave lion with visible testicles and no mane, settling that debate.
THE CIRCLEVILLE LETTERS
In 1976, residents of the small city south of Columbus Ohio began receiving handwritten sinister and graphic letters. Each letter included secret and dark details about their personal lives.
One resident received a ton of letters, accusing her of various unsavory acts. The author warned the resident that he had been keeping an eye on her home, as well as her comings and goings. The resident was horrified and tried to keep the letters a secret until her husband began receiving them.
The attacks on the family continued, with large posters appearing around town spreading rumors about their 12 year old child. One day in 1977, the husband left the house after receiving a call from who he thought was writing the letters. A few minutes later, the husband was found dead at the end of the street dead behind the wheel. The sheriff had ruled it a homicide when he realized that a single shot had been fired before the accident, but there was no evidence that the husband was shot at the site. The sheriff found the husband was twice the legal limit and ruled it a drunk driving accident.
The letters began once again, this time accusing the sheriff of covering up the true nature of the death. The letters also accused the sheriff of mishandling an investigation into the county coroner who had been accused of other grotesque acts.
The harassment continued, this time with signs along the road and in 1983, the original resident who had been accused of having an affair pulled over to remove a sign. During the effort to remove the sign, she discovered a box was attached and inside of it was a small pistol. The gun was part of a booby trap designed to fire when the sign was removed.
Paul Freshour was arrested and given 25 years...but one small problem. The letter writing continued even after Freshour was put in jail.
In a new batch of letters, the author had promised to dig up the grave of a deceased baby and mail the bones to the police in the case of another potential affair turned murder.
Hundreds of residents continued to receive personal letters until 1994 when everything stopped.
Alright, this is my favorite unsolved mystery of all time.
Nine Russian skiers went to Dyatlov Pass, a group of mountains. Yet they never returned. Searchers found their tent, where they had set up camp for the night. The tent that they had set up was ripped FROM THE INSIDE. A little farther away, were the nine bodies, naked except for their underwear. At first doctors thought of hypothermia, but ruled it out. Some of the bodies had injuries, including third degree burns, radioactive clothes, and even a missing tongue. Some theories about what the hell happened include KGB-interference, drug overdose, UFO, gravity anomalies, and the Russian version of the Yeti.
So that's it. There have been more recent theories, but that's it.
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