Monumental Mysteries: Ames Pyramid Pictures

Don Wildman examines the origin of a massive financial scandal, the site of one of America’s most notorious -- and bizarre -- crimes, and a monument to a tragic love story.

Photos

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

  

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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