Monumental Mysteries: American Venus Pictures

America’s own “Venus” was so beautiful that she inspired 3 of New York's monuments. Plus, did a man get abducted by aliens in 1975? There’s still no evidence to prove his story isn’t true.

Photos

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls was one of the most important sites on the Underground Railroad, and played an integral role in allowing abolitionists to smuggle runaway slaves to freedom in Canada. 960 1280

Scoast  

Niagara falls

Niagara falls

The falls was the site of one of the most daring escape attempts in the history of the abolitionist movement. 960 1280

  

Mazart Prospect Park

Mazart Prospect Park

Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, is home to a bronze bust of the legendary Austrian composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Could this musical prodigy’s death -- at the young age of 35 -- have been a case of deliberate poisoning? 960 1280

  

Along the Indian River Lagoon in Titusville, FL, is the Space Walk of Fame, and among the outdoor plaza’s monuments is the glistening Gemini Monument. Few may realize that the 8th Gemini mission involved a hair-raising episode that nearly cost the lives of astronauts David Scott and Neil Armstrong. 960 1280

  

Riverside Cemetery

Riverside Cemetery

At Riverside Cemetery in Hopkinsville, KY, is the modest tombstone of Edgar Cayce, a man whom many consider to be the most important American psychic of the 20th century. 960 1280

  

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Sleeping Prophet Cayce

Could Cayce, the so-called “Sleeping Prophet,” really use his trance-like abilities to heal the hopelessly ill? 960 1280

  

Yosemite

Yosemite

One of the crown jewels of America’s national park system, Yosemite has been enjoyed by generations of American nature lovers. But few realize that the efforts of a man named Galen Clark helped save this majestic natural monument from destructive exploitation at the hands of developers. 960 1280

  

Selling Grant's Tomb

Selling Grant's Tomb

When newspapers report that the General Grant National Memorial is falling into critical disrepair, 67-year-old hustler George Parker gets an idea. In 1928, he poses as President Ulysses S. Grant’s grandson and “sells” the tomb to a number of businessmen, all of whom dream of making a fortune by eventually charging entry to the majestic monument. 960 1280

  

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

But Grant’s Tomb wasn’t the only monument Parker had “sold.” He began his scheme back in 1883 when he posed as the owner of New York City’s iconic Brooklyn Bridge and “sold” it to unsuspecting immigrants. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Selling the Brooklyn Bridge

Police frequently had to roust so-called “owners” of the bridge as they attempted to put up tollbooths. The police finally resorted to handing out pamphlets at ports warning all immigrants that they can’t “buy public buildings.” 960 1280

  

Statue of the Republic

Statue of the Republic

The Statue of the Republic, commemorating the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair, reminds passers-by of the exhibition, but also its dark history. During the fair, a man going by the name of H.H. Holmes built a “hotel” where he lured young women, most of whom never came out. 960 1280

  

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

In 1937, Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe were the first 2 prisoners to successfully make it to the shore of the San Francisco Bay after breaking out of Alcatraz. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Alcatraz

Alcatraz

Officials quickly concluded that the pair had drowned in the San Francisco Bay, but many reports of future sightings suggest otherwise. 960 1280

  

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

On June 24, 1947, private pilot Kenneth Arnold was flying at 9,200 feet near Mt. Rainier on a mission to find a missing transport airplane when he encountered something extraordinary … he saw a shimmering light followed 30 seconds later by a series of bright flashes north of the mountain range. 960 1280

  

Flying Saucers

Flying Saucers

Arnold then observed flat crescent-shaped objects flying in a chain formation, which he describes as “saucers on water.” The supersonic speed of the unidentified flying objects and the strangely-shaped discs grab both the media and the public’s attention, and the term “flying saucer” makes its debut. 960 1280

Terry Bridges  

Confederate General Robert E. Lee

Confederate General Robert E. Lee

April 14, 1865. Just 5 days after the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee and the end of the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln decides to take in a show at Ford’s Theatre in the nation’s capital. 960 1280

  

John Wilkes Booth

John Wilkes Booth

At 10:13 p.m., a well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer -- John Wilkes Booth -- enters the president’s box and shoots him in the back of the head. In the ensuing chaos, he flees Washington on horseback. Twelve days later, Union soldiers track him down and shoot him. Soldiers claim he died, but did he? 960 1280

  

Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery

Buried at the Chestnut Hill Baptist Church Cemetery in Exeter, RI, is the body of a girl who was believed to be a vampire. 960 1280

  

Mercy “Lena” Brown

Mercy “Lena” Brown

In January 1892, 19-year-old Mercy “Lena” Brown succumbed to a strange disease – one that caused her to cough up blood as her body wasted away. At the time, many claimed that Lena was a vampire, and they exhumed her body to prove it. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station in New York City is one of the country’s best-loved landmarks. With 44 platforms, it is the largest train station in the world. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

The station is most known for the epic grandeur of its main concourse, crowned by the arching splendor of an enormous astronomical mural painted in gold leaf and cerulean blue on the towering ceiling. 960 1280

  

Grand Central Station

Grand Central Station

The station’s mural depicts the star signs of the zodiac, and at 40,000 square feet, it’s the largest diagram of its kind in the modern world. But this zodiac is unlike any other – could there be sinister symbolism hidden in the design? 960 1280

  

Duke Kahanamoku

Duke Kahanamoku

Kuhio Beach in Waikiki is home to a revered statue of a local legend, often referred to as “the father of modern surfing.” But while Duke Kahanamoku’s athletic achievements are internationally renowned, one remarkable incident in his life is all too often forgotten. How was he able to rescue 8 people from a sinking ship as it was slammed by 30-foot waves? 960 1280

  

Lake Havasu

Lake Havasu

Spanning Arizona’s Lake Havasu is a bridge that’s much older than the planned community that surrounds it. The London Bridge -- originally built in 1831 to cross the Thames -- was purchased in 1968 by Robert McCullough and installed across a boating channel in the lake. 960 1280

  

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City

Lake Havasu City, AZ, is now the second biggest attraction in the state. But did McCullough unknowingly purchase the London Bridge instead of London’s more iconic Tower Bridge? 960 1280

  

Woodlawn Cemetery

Woodlawn Cemetery

At Woodlawn Cemetery in Forest Park, IL, are 5 large granite elephants that surround a plot of land known as Showman’s Rest. The remains of 61 people were interred in a mass grave here when, on the night of June 22, 1918, performers and the crew from the Hagenbeck-Wallace circus were involved in a tragic train crash. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

In the hills of Death Valley National Park lies the gravesite of William Scott, the man who engineered one of the most scandalous gold mine hoaxes of all time. 960 1280

  

Scotty's Castle

Scotty's Castle

Located in the Grapevine Mountains of Death Valley National Park in California is an enormous 2-story Mission Revival-style villa that became known as “Scotty’s Castle.” But who paid for this elaborate, opulent structure? 960 1280

  


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