Einstein's Brain, Morgan Affair, Brass Knuckles

Don Wildman examines a purse that contains clues to a mysterious death, a building that holds the secret to a centuries-old disappearance and more.

Photos

Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum

Curator Matt Anderson examines President Reagan’s 1972 Lincoln continental limousine at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Curator of art and artifacts at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Bob Peck, discusses some of the mysterious specimens in John James Audubon’s landmark book “Birds of America.” 960 1280

  

John Heinz History Center

John Heinz History Center

These bullets at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA, are some of the only remaining artifacts from the Allegheny Arsenal, the site of a deadly disaster during the Civil War. But was the explosion at the arsenal an accident or an act of confederate sabotage? 960 1280

  

Schoening Ax

Schoening Ax

Peter Schoening's ax on display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO. Schoening used the axe to save the lives of 4 of his fellow climbers on a 1953 expedition on K2. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Bob Peck with John James Audubon’s impressive book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. A few of the birds in the extensive collection are still a mystery to scientists. 960 1280

  

Reagan's Limousine

Reagan's Limousine

On March 30, 1981 John Hinkley, Jr. fired 6 shots at President Reagan and his staff outside the Hilton hotel in Washington, DC. A special agent immediately ducked President Reagan behind the door of his armored limousine, now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. A sharp pain in Reagan’s chest lead him to believe that he had broken a rib during the incident, but doctors were shocked to discover that he had actually been shot. A close inspection of the limousine reveals that one of the bullets ricocheted off the limousine’s door and hit the president in the chest – stopping only an inch from his heart. 960 1280

  

American Mountaineering Museum

American Mountaineering Museum

The crew shoots Phil Powers at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO, where he discusses mountaineer Peter Schoening’s heroic act. 960 1280

  

International Space Station

International Space Station

A model of the International Space Station at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. 960 1280

  

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

An artifact on display at the Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum in West Palm Beach, FL. The museum is also home to a negative that is the only surviving evidence of John Keely’s elaborate hoax. In 1872 he claimed that he had invented a new motor that ran on the magical and mysterious power of “the force.” After he died it became clear that his motor was not the revolutionary machine he claimed it to be. 960 1280

  

National Firearms Museum

National Firearms Museum

The collection of the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA, includes a World War II-era pistol that was found during the hunt for a secret network of spies operating on American soil. What evil plot was discovered along with this gun? 960 1280

  

Albert DeSalvo Captured

Albert DeSalvo Captured

In the early 1960s, a series of gruesome murders plagued the Boston area. Eventually, a man by the name of Albert DeSalvo confessed that he was the “Boston Strangler,” but many still maintain his innocence. 960 1280

Ollie Noonan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images  

Museum of Crime and Punishment

Museum of Crime and Punishment

The Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, DC, contains a simple switchblade that belonged to Albert DeSalvo, believed to be one of Boston’s most notorious killers. Fifty years later, the case remains largely unsolved. 960 1280

  

Newseum

Newseum

At the Newseum in Washington, DC, is a worn leather bag that once belonged to a pioneering journalist. 960 1280

  

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly's hard-hitting investigation was as groundbreaking as it was risky, almost making her a casualty of the very dark and sinister practices she was trying to uncover. 960 1280

  

New York Historical Society

New York Historical Society

On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the New York Historical Society displays a painting that played a role in a shocking political scandal. Is this portrait evidence of the strange private habits of a powerful colonial-era leader? 960 1280

  

Museum of Whiskey

Museum of Whiskey

The Kentucky city of Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World and is home to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey. 960 1280

  

Hatchet at the Museum of Whiskey

Hatchet at the Museum of Whiskey

But one of the museum’s most intriguing objects isn’t a bottle of alcohol, but a hatchet. This weapon was wielded by a crusading activist whose fight for temperance paved the way for Prohibition. 960 1280

  

Oneida Community Mansion House

Oneida Community Mansion House

The Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida, NY, contains a set of silverware that represents the disturbing secrets of the people who once lived in this sprawling building. Built on dreams of utopia, this house was the site of a shocking series of events that brought down a charismatic leader. 960 1280

  

Texas City Disaster

Texas City Disaster

A shoe that was found on the day of the Texas City Disaster on display at the Texas City Museum. The April 16, 1947, incident was the deadliest industrial accident in US history, and killed almost 600 people. 960 1280

  

bezoar stones

bezoar stones

At the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Heritage Society in Key West, FL, archaeologist Corey Malcolm discusses bezoar stones -- once believed to be an antidote to any poison. 960 1280

  

Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson

Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson

Infamous daredevil Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Knievel successfully jumped over 14 Greyhound buses on the bike. 960 1280

  

laughing gas

laughing gas

At the Museum of the City of New York is a strange artifact -- an invitation to a laughing gas party. 960 1280

  

Bezoar stone

Bezoar stone

A bezoar stone on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Bright's Pioneer Exhibit

Bright's Pioneer Exhibit

At Bright's Pioneer Exhibit in Le Grand, CA, is an ordinary yellow schoolbus that became ensnared in a crime so heinous that it would devastate an entire community. 960 1280

  

Toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

Toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

A turn-of-the-century toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. 960 1280

  

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit owner James Bright on the schoolbus that was part of the largest kidnapping for ransom in US history. 960 1280

  

A gold poison cup

A gold poison cup

A gold poison cup on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Texas City Park

Texas City Park

The Texas City Park in Texas City, TX. 960 1280

  

Atocha

Atocha

A model of Atocha, a Spanish ship that sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys, on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Bars of silver

Bars of silver

Large bars of silver that were recovered from the sunken Spanish ship. 960 1280

  

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

Museum curator Sarah Henry holds an artifact at the Museum of the City of New York. 960 1280

  

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