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

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

  

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  

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

  

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