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.

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General Patton Memorial Museum
General Patton Memorial Museum

General Patton Memorial Museum

At the General Patton Memorial Museum in Chiriaco Summit, CA, a massive tank harkens back to the terrifying day when a madman took control of a lethal war machine and laid siege to an American city. 960 1280

  

General Patton Memorial Museum

General Patton Memorial Museum

On May 18, 1995, US Army veteran Shawn Nelson stole the tank from a US National Guard armory and recklessly drove it through the streets of San Diego, leading to a 23-minute televised police chase. Police eventually climbed on top of the tank, and shot and killed Nelson. 960 1280

  

Harding's Train Car

Harding's Train Car

At the Southeastern Railway Museum in Duluth, GA, visitors can marvel at the stately train car of President Warren G. Harding, used to travel the country in an effort to reconnect with Americans. 960 1280

  

Southeastern Railway Museum

Southeastern Railway Museum

On August 2,1923, while staying in a hotel during his train tour of America, President Harding died suddenly, in the middle of a conversation with his wife. 960 1280

  

International Cryptozoology Museum

International Cryptozoology Museum

At the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, ME, a nondescript plaster cast of hoof prints tells of a series of hair-raising encounters with a mythical beast that was reportedly terrifying the good people of New Jersey. 960 1280

  

Jersey Devil

Jersey Devil

The “Jersey Devil” is rumored to lurk in the Pine Barrens of southern New Jersey. 960 1280

  

Nell Donnelly's Dress

Nell Donnelly's Dress

This dress, designed by Nell Donnelly, reminds visitors of a terrifying incident in the 1930s when the famous fashion designer was kidnapped, then rescued by a group of mobsters. 960 1280

  

Kansas City Museum

Kansas City Museum

The dress is now on display at the Kansas City Museum. 960 1280

  

Bottle of yellow bacteria-infested water

Bottle of yellow bacteria-infested water

This yellow liquid caused the outbreak of the mysterious disease that came to be known as Legionnaires’ disease. 960 1280

  

CDC Museum

CDC Museum

The jug of liquid, now on display at the David J. Sencer CDC Museum in Atlanta, was the cause of a plague that once had the nation in the grips of terror. 960 1280

  

Printing press

Printing press

This antique printing press was used by a prolific conman to carry out one of the largest counterfeiting operations in US history. 960 1280

  

Secret Service Museum

Secret Service Museum

See the printing press on display at the Secret Service Museum in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Air Power Park in Hampton, VA
Air Power Park in Hampton, VA

Air Power Park in Hampton, VA

The crew shoots at the Air Power Park in Hampton, VA, where Don investigates the disappearance of a US Air Force pilot who set off to track a UFO and was never to be heard from again. 960 1280

  

Newseum in Washington, DC

Newseum in Washington, DC

The Shoe Bomber’s explosive shoes on display at the Newseum in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum

San Diego Natural History Museum curator Phillip Unitt inspects the dead preserved birds that were found on the shore of California’s Salton Sea. Tests performed on the birds helped uncover the mystery of why the Salton Sea’s animals were dying in mass numbers. 960 1280

  

Historic Auto Attractions Museum

Historic Auto Attractions Museum

President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s cane on display at the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, IL. FDR used the cane to cover up the fact that he was suffering from polio because he didn’t want the American people to see him as weak. 960 1280

  

Salton Sea

Salton Sea

The Salton Sea in southern California, where an abnormal number of dead fish and birds were discovered in 2006. Tests later revealed that a steep increase in the salinity of the lake lead to their mass die-off. 960 1280

  

FDR's Cane

FDR's Cane

Stanley Arnold, a Northern Illinois University professor, discusses FDR’s cane that’s on display at the Historic Auto Attractions Museum. 960 1280

  

Michigan State University Museum

Michigan State University Museum

At the Michigan State University Museum, Dr. David Foran studies the 100-year-old slide of skin that was taken from the body found in Hawley Harvey Crippen's London basement. Crippen was hanged for murdering his wife, but new DNA evidence calls his sentence in to question. 960 1280

  

Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga, CA

Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga, CA

Visitors to the Sharpsteen Museum in Calistoga, CA, will find various artifacts recovered from survivors of the infamous Donner Party, including this cooking pot. 960 1280

  

Air Power Park in Hampton, VA

Air Power Park in Hampton, VA

At the Air Power Park in Hampton, VA, visitors can learn about the mysterious disappearance of First Lieutenant Felix Eugene Moncla, Jr., a US Air Force pilot who went missing while investigating a UFO over Lake Superior in 1953. 960 1280

  

Newseum in Washington, DC

Newseum in Washington, DC

The crew shoots at the Newseum in Washington, DC, where the Shoe Bomber’s shoes are on display. 960 1280

  

Historic Auto Attractions Museum

Historic Auto Attractions Museum

The Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, IL -- home to a walking cane that FDR used during his battle with polio. 960 1280

  

Sandhogs
Sandhogs

Sandhogs

Since the 1870s, workers known as “sandhogs” have risked their lives digging under New York City’s streets and rivers, creating the tunnels for the city’s subway and water systems, as well as the footings for the Brooklyn Bridge. 960 1280

  

New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

At the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, a piece of early-1900s industrial machinery reminds visitors of a catastrophic disaster beneath the East River and the one sandhog who lived to tell the tale. 960 1280

  

Monroe Moosnick Museum

Monroe Moosnick Museum

At the Monroe Moosnick Museum at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, a glass jar containing a strange substance is the only evidence of a freak meteorological event. 960 1280

  

Jar of Meat

Jar of Meat

This glass jar contains a meat-like substance that fell from the sky on March 3, 1876, in Olympia Springs, KY. What made it rain meat on that clear day? 960 1280

  

LA Police Museum

LA Police Museum

On display at the Los Angeles Police Museum are a set of handwritten notes and a photo of a young man. 960 1280

  

Kidnapping Evidence

Kidnapping Evidence

These artifacts tell a bone-chilling story of a kidnapping gone wrong and the incredible lengths taken to bring the perpetrator to justice. 960 1280

  

Michigan Maritime Museum

Michigan Maritime Museum

At the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, MI, a tattered, old, salmon-colored dress shirt is a poignant reminder of a mysterious and otherworldly aviation anomaly that still remains unanswered to this day. 960 1280

  

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

A fisherman found the shirt in Lake Michigan when a suitcase -- from an airplane that had disappeared over the lake -- got caught in his net. The area where the plane went down is now known as the "Michigan Triangle” due to the number of ships and planes that have crashed there. 960 1280

  

Skeptiseum

Skeptiseum

At the Skeptiseum at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY, visitors to the collection can inspect a simple-looking tin trumpet which was once used in a chilling ritual that many believe proved the existence of life beyond the grave. 960 1280

  

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Magician Harry Houdini set out on a quest to prove that the trumpet -- and the medium who claimed to use it to communicate with the dead -- was a fraud. 960 1280

  

Salem County Historical Society

Salem County Historical Society

At the Salem Country Historical Society in Salem, NJ, is an antique wooden desk that was owned by a man embroiled in a centuries-old story of culinary daring. 960 1280

  

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

This man was the first to grow tomatoes in the state of New Jersey, and when locals claimed that they were poisonous, he set out to prove them wrong. 960 1280

  

Photos

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

  

Warren Anatomical Museum

Warren Anatomical Museum

Artifacts on display at Harvard University’s Warren Anatomical Museum in Cambridge, MA. 960 1280

  

Tamping Iron

Tamping Iron

In 1832, railroad worker Phineas Gage was laying dynamite when a freak explosion sent this tamping iron straight through his head. Gage miraculously survives, and the metal rod is now on display at the Warren Anatomical Museum. 960 1280

  

Skull of Phineas Gage

Skull of Phineas Gage

The punctured skull of Phineas Gage sits on display at the Warren Anatomical museum. After Gage died (only 12 years after his accident), a doctor exhumed his skull so that it could aid in the study of the human brain. 960 1280

  

Warren Anatomical Museum

Warren Anatomical Museum

More artifacts on display at the Warren Anatomical Museum. 960 1280

  

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Located in La Jolla, CA, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest and largest centers for marine science research in the world. 960 1280

  

Squids preserved in jars at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The institute also houses the secret to the real-life inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller The Birds. In August of 1961, seabirds in a small California town started crashing into people’s homes and cars – the Scripps Institution has discovered why! 960 1280

  

In the archives of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka is an antique kitchen knife that was used in one of the first-known serial killing sprees in America. 960 1280

Kansas Museum of History  

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. It’s rumored that those who come in contact with the famous stone are doomed to suffer mystery, misfortune and even death. 960 1280

  

North Carolina State Archives

North Carolina State Archives

Contributor Sara Koonts poses in the vault of the North Carolina State Archives. The vault of the Raleigh, NC, facility houses letters from many of our nation’s most celebrated leaders. 960 1280

  

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

A North Carolina official re-enactor helps demonstrate what happened to the state’s original copy of the Bill of Rights. 960 1280

  

North Carolina State Archives

North Carolina State Archives

Preserved under glass at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh is a priceless national treasure: one of just 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights. But for almost 140 years, this irreplaceable piece of history was missing. 960 1280

  


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