Monumental Mysteries: Brooklyn Bridge Pictures

Don Wildman reveals the deadly sickness that plagued the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, investigates a mysterious staircase and ponders the origins of a monument dedicated to a pest.

Photos

The Alamo

The Alamo

Remembered as a symbol of heroic struggle against impossible odds, the Alamo draws millions of visitors each year. But unbeknownst to many, this hallowed ground may also be the site of a secret fortune. 960 1280

Jeremy Woodhouse  

Arizona’s Grand Canyon

Arizona’s Grand Canyon

The 1.2 million acres of Arizona’s Grand Canyon offer a spectacular array of geological wonders, enthralling visitors and enticing those with a taste for adventure. 960 1280

  

Grand Canyon Newlyweds Disappear

Grand Canyon Newlyweds Disappear

In the early 20th century, a daring pair of newlyweds set off on a trip down the canyon’s Colorado River that they hoped would earn them a place in the history books. And while they eventually became famous, it was not for the reasons they expected. 960 1280

  

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House

San Jose, CA, is home to a sprawling Victorian-era mansion spread over 6 acres and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. With 160 rooms, 2,000 doors, 10,000 windows, 47 fireplaces and 6 kitchens, the Winchester Mystery House belonged to a woman who believed spirits were trying to kill her. 960 1280

Barry King/WireImage  

Ellis Island

Ellis Island

Resting on a 27-acre island just over a mile off the tip of Lower Manhattan is the former gateway for newcomers to New York City. Ellis Island’s grand inspection station – completed in 1900 – welcomed 5,000 immigrants a day for half a century. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Stowe, Vermont

Stowe, Vermont

By the outbreak of World War II, Ellis Island was used solely as a detention station, from which enemy aliens and spies were deported. In an unlucky twist of fate, the Von Trapps, a much-loved singing family from Austria, were once held captive there. They were eventually released and settled down on a dairy farm in Stowe, VT. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

Deep inside California’s Death Valley National Park lies a dried-out lakebed called the Racetrack Playa. Here, a mysterious set of stones have been making a silent journey across the desert, unaided by human hands. Scientists have been baffled by the phenomenon for generations, unable to explain its strange behavior. 960 1280

Dennis Flaherty  

The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is 333,000 acres of craters, scalded desert and rainforests. Mauna Loa holds the distinction of being the world’s most massive volcano -- at 30 miles long and 60 miles wide, it takes up half the island and is larger than Mount Everest. 960 1280

  

Mauna Loa

Mauna Loa

For centuries, Mauna Loa’s eruptions have been frequent, but one in particular was extremely dangerous for residents. On Nov. 21, 1935, Mauna Loa erupted, and 2 weeks later lava began oozing towards the town of Hilo at an alarming rate. The town was miraculously spared when a naval officer came up with a strange plan. 960 1280

  

Unconditional Surrender

Unconditional Surrender

The Unconditional Surrender statue commemorates perhaps the most famous public display of affection in history -- the unforgettable moment in 1945, captured in an iconic photograph, when a US Navy sailor kissed a nurse in Times Square to mark the end of World War II in the Pacific. 960 1280

  

USS Midway

USS Midway

The statue is located next to the retired USS Midway Aircraft Carrier Museum in San Diego, CA. 960 1280

  

Philadelphia Museum of Art

Philadelphia Museum of Art

At the base of the staircase leading to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a statue of the fictional movie icon – Rocky Balboa – to commemorate the film Rocky III. The writer, director and star of the movie, Sylvester Stallone, is said to have been inspired by the career of a real life boxer from New Jersey. So who was the real Rocky? 960 1280

  

Angeles National Forest

Angeles National Forest

Outside of Los Angeles is a pristine expanse of mountains, lakes and woodlands known as the Angeles National Forest. This beautiful natural monument is said to be home to a terrifying mythical beast known as the “Devil’s Lake Thunderbird.” Despite attempts by locals to capture and kill the creature, the legend of the Thunderbird continues to haunt the region to this day. 960 1280

Eric Lowenbach  

Green-Wood Cemetery

Green-Wood Cemetery

In Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery, 2 tombstones mark the graves of Dr. Harvey Burdell and his wife Emma Cunningham. Shortly after Dr. Burdell’s brutal murder in 1857, police arrest his widow, Emma, and charge her with his murder. But could this seemingly devoted wife have murdered her husband? 960 1280

  

Hilo Clock Hawaii

Hilo Clock Hawaii

In the coastal town of Hilo on Hawaii’s Big Island stands a public clock forever frozen in time, marking the moment at 1:04 a.m. on May 22, 1960, when a massive tsunami hit the island, destroying everything in its path. 960 1280

  

Hawaii Disaster

Hawaii Disaster

Sadly, the story of this disaster reveals a tragedy that could have been avoided. 960 1280

  

At the base of the iconic St. Louis Gateway Arch stands “The Captains’ Return” statue, dedicated to the historic voyage of discovery lead by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. But few people realize that their voyage owes part of its success to a rather unknown woman. She is said to have saved their lives in a Nez Perce encampment in September 1905, but who was this mysterious woman? 960 1280

  

American Venus in Central Park

American Venus in Central Park

Scattered around New York City are 3 statues inspired by the same stunning model, Audrey Munson -- often referred to as the American Venus -- who was a muse to hundreds of artists. This statue stands at the USS Maine Monument in Central Park. 960 1280

  

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Statue of Audrey Munson at the New York Public Library

Another Audrey Munson-inspired statue, entitled “Beauty,” can be seen at the New York Public Library. 960 1280

  

Located in Arizona, the Sitgreaves National Forest is home to over 400 species of wildlife and 680 miles of rivers and streams. But this verdant oasis was once the site of a bizarre encounter. Was a man abducted by aliens here, as he claims? 960 1280

  

Alien Abduction in Arizona

Alien Abduction in Arizona

In 1975, logger Travis Walton mysteriously disappeared from the forest and re-appeared 5 days later, claiming to have been abducted by aliens. All these years later, the veracity of his story has never been disproven. 960 1280

  

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

Anchor Bar in Buffalo

A carved wooden statues stands out front of the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, NY, celebrating the creation of the famous American dish: Buffalo wings. But when a journalist decided to track down the creator of the spicy treat, he found that the tale was not so simple. Who was the real inventor of Buffalo wings? 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

The quaint southern town of Carrollton, AL, is home to charming churches and old cemeteries. But one window at the Picken’s County Courthouse has a mysterious and horrifying image that some say was left there by an angry spirit. 960 1280

  

Face in the Courthouse Window

Face in the Courthouse Window

Is the face, forever burned into the glass in the courthouse window, that of a former slave who was executed in 1878, after being accused of arson? And does he still haunt the town? 960 1280

  

Lake George, located amidst the mountains and forests of New York’s Adirondack Park, has been a vacation destination for generations. But at the turn of the century, some say a terrifying and monstrous beast arose from the depths of this typically placid body of water, inciting panic and creating a mystery that has remained unsolved for decades. 960 1280