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

Ames Pyramid

Ames Pyramid

On a summit near Laramie, WY, is a strange monument known as the Ames Pyramid. This national historic landmark commemorates 2 brothers who were the driving force behind the Trans Continental Railroad. But what massive financial scandal came about as a result of the Ames brothers’ achievement? 960 1280

  

Zodiac Island

Zodiac Island

Known to locals as Zodiac Island, this tiny strip of land in Lake Berryessa, CA, was a crime site for one of America’s most notorious serial killers. Two young victims were found here bound and bleeding from a vicious attack. So who was the Zodiac killer? 960 1280

  

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

The Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, is well known as the site of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, but decades earlier, the monument played host to another landmark event in Civil Rights history -- a 1939 concert by the African-American opera singer Marion Anderson. 960 1280

  

Lincoln Memorial

Lincoln Memorial

But what threatening obstacles did Anderson overcome to perform her historic concert? 960 1280

  

Castillo San Marcos

Castillo San Marcos

Overlooking Matanzas Bay in St. Augustine, FL, is the historic Castillo San Marcos. This landmark fort was the site of many battles, but it is perhaps best known for a secret romance and mysterious disappearance. 960 1280

  

Captain Manuel Abela

Captain Manuel Abela

What became of the fort’s commanding officer’s wife and her lover, Captain Manuel Abela? 960 1280

  

Isidor and Ida Straus

Isidor and Ida Straus

On Manhattan’s Upper West Side is a small oasis known as Straus Park, and in it stands a beautiful statue of a Grecian figure. This lovely monument commemorates one of the great tragic love stories of American history -- that of Isidor and Ida Straus. The department store baron and his wife would meet their fate in 1912 on the decks of the RMS Titanic. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Marfa, Texas

Marfa, Texas

A lonely structure outside the small west Texas town of Marfa serves as a viewing outpost for a mysterious phenomenon. 960 1280

  

Marfa Lights

Marfa Lights

For generations, people in this area have reported seeing a strange set of lights in the desert that vanish suddenly. Is there a scientific explanation for the Marfa Lights, or is something otherworldly at work? 960 1280

Jack in DC via Flickr Creative Commons  

Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs

Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs

After the Great Depression, a man by the name of Norman Baker purchased the rundown Crescent Hotel and vowed to restore the town of Eureka Springs, AR, to its former position as a famous place of healing. He quickly developed plans to open a hospital for cancer patients on the site, claiming to have found a miracle cure to the disease. 960 1280

  

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

But what was Baker’s “Secret Remedy #5”? When investigators discover that Baker had never, in fact, attended medical school, they test his “revolutionary” potion, and the results reveal a tragic story of deception. 960 1280

  

Female Paul Revere Statue

Female Paul Revere Statue

On April 26, 1777, the daughter of a colonel in the American army, Sybil Ludington, rode through the night to alert local militias that the British army was approaching. 960 1280

  

Reenactment of Sybil Ludington's Ride

Reenactment of Sybil Ludington's Ride

The 16 year-old rode 40 miles through the night, rousing hundreds of soldiers, who quickly readied to defend nearby Danbury, CT. 960 1280

  

The small wooden shed that contains the frozen dead man

The small wooden shed that contains the frozen dead man

In 1994, an eccentric Scandinavian woman applies for a building permit for her home in Nederland, CO – leading to an alarming discovery. 960 1280

  

Packed ice covering the frozen dead man

Packed ice covering the frozen dead man

In a small wooden shed in the woman’s backyard, authorities discover 2 frozen dead bodies. What were they doing there, and how did the discovery lead to the creation of a strange new festival? 960 1280

  

Chuck Yeger Statue

Chuck Yeger Statue

At Edwards Air Force Base in California is a statue of American hero Chuck Yeager, a pilot who was tasked with breaking the sound barrier. 960 1280

  

Chuck Yeger Statue

Chuck Yeger Statue

But when the young pilot fractures his ribs 2 days before his historic flight is scheduled, he decides to conceal his injury from the Air Force. Will he be able to break the barrier? 960 1280

  

Pontalba Buildings in New Orleans

Pontalba Buildings in New Orleans

The iconic Pontalba Buildings in New Orleans, LA, have a tragic history. The 2 matching buildings were built in 1840 by Micaela Almonester de Pontalba, a wealthy woman who was tormented by her greedy father-in-law, and was eventually shot for refusing to sign her wealth over to him. 960 1280

  

Smoky the Yorkie

Smoky the Yorkie

The Rocky River Reservation located in Cleveland, OH, is home to a small dog park with one special feature. Standing proudly within its boundaries is a life-size bronze sculpture of a Yorkshire terrier sitting in an overturned helmet, perched atop a 2-ton blue granite base. 960 1280

  

Smoky the Yorkie

Smoky the Yorkie

Smoky the Yorkie was found in a jungle in New Guinea by an American GI in 1944. From that day on, Corporal Bill Wynne and Smoky were inseparable, and he carried her in his backpack everywhere he went. But their bond is put to the test when the tiny dog must save the lives of hundreds of soldiers. 960 1280

  

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

Spanning the entrance to San Francisco Bay, the vibrant orange Golden Gate Bridge is one of this country’s most iconic monuments, but few visitors realize that its origins were shrouded in tragedy. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Yosemite Half Dome

Yosemite Half Dome

In the midst of a vast mountain wilderness in Yosemite, CA, sits a colossal granite rock formation that rises over 4,700 feet above the valley floor. Known as the Half Dome, it’s North America's sheerest cliff, with a dizzying 93% grade. 960 1280

Purestock  

Half Dome

Half Dome

In 1875, Scotsman George Anderson becomes the first man to accomplish the impossible – he climbs to the top of the Yosemite Half Dome. But how does he do it? 960 1280

  

Thinkstock

Thinkstock

Capitol State Forest in Oakville, WA, is a 91,000-acre expanse of rustic, rambling beauty. But in August 1994, after what they thought was a rainstorm, many Oakville residents wake up to a coating of strange goo all over their properties. When a number of residents fall ill, an investigation begins. 960 1280

Iakov Kalinin  

Tombstone, AZ

Tombstone, AZ

Designated a National Historic Landmark district in 1961, the town of Tombstone in southern Arizona is one of the best-preserved specimens of rugged frontier towns from the 1870s. Tombstone was also home to a lesser-known renegade of the Old West: Johnny Ringo, but his demise remains a mystery. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Collyer Brothers Park

Collyer Brothers Park

Collyer Brothers Park, located in Harlem, NY, is a monument to 2 of New York City’s most … eccentric … former residents. 960 1280

  

Collyer Brothers Park

Collyer Brothers Park

In 1947, 2 wealthy brothers, Langley and Herman Collyer are found dead in their decaying brownstone (now the site of the park in their name). But what lead to their demise? And why are they now known as New York’s greatest hoarders? 960 1280

  

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