Damascus Missile, Eye in the Sky and Soapy Smith

Don Wildman examines scraps of metal linked to a nuclear nightmare, a pair of binoculars wielded by a high-flying visionary and a life-sized effigy that immortalizes one of the West's most notorious cons.

From This Episode

Jacksonville Museum of Military History
Damascus Missile

Damascus Missile

The Jacksonville Museum of Military History in Arkansas houses a collection of metallic shards recovered after a catastrophic explosion that nearly wiped out the entire state. 960 1280

  

Damascus Missile

Damascus Missile

The blast occurred at the Air Force base outside Damascus, AR, when one of the world's most powerful, long-range weapons, a 9-megaton warhead, mysteriously blew off a Titan II missile, spelling disaster of near-nuclear proportions. 960 1280

  

Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky

When a hot air balloon ride in 1861 drifted off-course during the midst of the Civil War, its navigator, Thaddeus Lowe, discovers that he can repurpose the lofty contraption for the benefit of Union troops. 960 1280

  

Eye in the Sky

Eye in the Sky

The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum in Washington, DC, boasts a set of binoculars that helped elevate military spy craft to newfound heights. 960 1280

  

St. Louis Marathon

St. Louis Marathon

The Missouri History Museum in St. Louis exhibits an octagonal medal bearing the 1904 Olympic games insignia. The 1904 games marked the first time the Olympic competition took place outside of Europe. 960 1280

  

St. Louis Marathon

St. Louis Marathon

The token (pictured above) hearkens back to a bizarre and excruciating test of human endurance, and one of the strangest contests in athletic history. In fact, several runners began to have their lungs fill up with dirt, cough up blood and even collapse along the marathon route. 960 1280

  

Soapy Smith

Soapy Smith

The Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park Museum in Skagway, AK, is home to a crude effigy of a swindler whose fortune grew from a host of small-time scams. 960 1280

  

Soapy Smith

Soapy Smith

After seizing control of the remote mining town of Skagway, Jefferson "Soapy" Smith befriended JD Stewart, gaining his trust only to assault and rob him of all his gold. The robbery led to the locals calling a protective meeting to stop Smith from further sullying the town’s reputation ... only to end in bloodshed. 960 1280

  

Spirit Board Boyfriend

Spirit Board Boyfriend

The Warren Occult Museum in Monroe, CT, features a fire-scarred picture frame tied to a shocking tale of satanic seduction. According to the family who owned it, the artifact is evidence of a diabolical series of events set in motion by an unwitting teenager’s innocent experiment. 960 1280

  

Spirit Board Boyfriend

Spirit Board Boyfriend

Once the Beckford family was convinced their Connecticut home was haunted, they contacted local demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren for help. After investigating the property, it was determined that Victoria Beckford had summoned what appeared to be the entity of a teenage boy to the house through the use of a spirit board. 960 1280

  

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

New York City’s Museum of American Finance collection includes a dress linked to one of the most controversial figures in American history, the 34-year-old psychic entrepreneur, Victoria Woodhull. 960 1280

  

Victoria Woodhull

Victoria Woodhull

Not only was Victoria Woodhull the United States' first female financier -- owning a very successful brokerage firm -- she was also a famous spirit medium and the first female presidential candidate. 960 1280

  

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