Greatest Mysteries: Smithsonian

Within the halls of the world's largest museum complex, the Smithsonian Institution, host Don Wildman examines an extraordinary space suit that held great promise for a young child, delves into the unlikely origins of a boundary-breaking bikini, and examines a small, covert camera that captured an image that electrified the nation.

From This Episode

National Museum of Natural History
National Museum of Natural History

National Museum of Natural History

Don Wildman films outside the National Museum of Natural History -- a Smithsonian Institution dedicated to understanding nature and man’s place within it. Here, archeological treasures like fossilized dinosaur skeletons and remnants of a 3.2 million year old early human allow visitors a glimpse into the fascinating realm of ancient times. 960 1280

  

Crystal Skull

Crystal Skull

A crystal skull sits on display at the National Museum of Natural History. Despite the findings of modern scientists, many believe that the skull was given to the ancient Mayans by extraterrestrial beings. 960 1280

  

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

Housed in the Old Post Office in Washington, DC, is the National Postal Museum. Here, true treasures of the American mail system are meticulously preserved -- from mail that travelled on the Hindenburg, to letters carried by Amelia Earhart. 960 1280

Raymond Boyd/Getty Images  

Taxidermied Dog

Taxidermied Dog

Now on display at the National Postal Museum is a taxidermied dog who became famous for traveling the country on US mail trains. 960 1280

  

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center

Some 30 miles west of DC, in Chantilly, VA, sits the companion facility of the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum: The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center. 960 1280

  

Jet Pack

Jet Pack

On display at the Udvar Hazy Center is a jet pack straight out of science fiction that inspired an astonishing tale of greed, violence and irrevocable consequences for 2 inventors who aimed for fame and fortune. 960 1280

  

National Museum of American History

National Museum of American History

Back within the soaring halls of the National Museum of American History, relics like Abraham Lincoln’s hat and Dorothy’s Ruby Red slippers tell the story of our collective culture. 960 1280

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg News  

Early Bikini

Early Bikini

Reserved deep in cold storage of the National Museum of American History is a seemingly harmless bikini, a now commonplace style that was once considered so scandalous that few women dared to wear it. 960 1280

  

Bubble Boy Suit

Bubble Boy Suit

Also on display at the American History Museum is this exceptional suit that serves as a heartwarming reminder of its unexpected user -- known as Bubble Boy -- and the chance it promised him of exploring new and unseen territories. 960 1280

  

Execution Photo

Execution Photo

This notorious camera took a shocking and infamous photo. A photographer snuck it in to the death chamber, and successfully documented an execution by electric chair. 960 1280

  

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