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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Duffy's Cut
Duffy's Cut

Duffy's Cut

Bill Watson examines the 7 sets of human remains that were found buried in an unmarked grave near “Duffy’s Cut,” a stretch of railroad line in Pennsylvania. 960 1280

  

Duffy's Cut

Duffy's Cut

The bones, now housed at Duffy’s Cut Museum at Immaculata University in Pennsylvania, were said to be the remains of Irish immigrants working on the railroad who came down with cholera in 1832. 960 1280

  

Duffy's Cut

Duffy's Cut

But the bones bear evidence of brutal violence. Archaeologists now believe that the immigrants did not die of cholera, after all. 960 1280

  

Duffy's Cut

Duffy's Cut

The memorial sign that was erected near the mass grave of the 57 Irish immigrants who are said to have died of cholera. 960 1280

  

Duffy's Cut

Duffy's Cut

Some of the bones found in the mass grave at Duffy’s Cut. 960 1280

  

Buddy Holly's Sunglasses

Buddy Holly's Sunglasses

Buddy Holly's sunglasses on display at the Historic Auto Attractions Museum in Roscoe, IL. Some claim that Holly’s early and tragic death was the start of a sinister curse. 960 1280

  

Boston Fire Museum

Boston Fire Museum

An 1882 fire engine on display at the Boston Fire Museum. This antique steam engine was one of the first responders to the Boston Molasses Disaster in 1919. 960 1280

  

Boson Fire Museum

Boson Fire Museum

Boston Fire Museum curator Dan O'Neil with an 1882 fire engine. When a large molasses storage tank burst in 1919, the engine was one of the first on the scene. Despite the firefighters’ best efforts, the 2,300,000 gallons of molasses that rushed through the streets of Boston’s North End killed 21 people and injured 150. 960 1280

  

Newseum

Newseum

At the Newseum, John Fox takes out the hollow nickel for the crew to shoot. 960 1280

  

Newseum

Newseum

The crew shoots the hollow nickel on display at the Newseum. Designed by an international spy, the seemingly ordinary coin splits in half and was used to transmit covert secrets among Soviet spies operating in the US. 960 1280

  

Warren Anatomical Museum
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

  

Photos

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

  

Magician's belt

Magician's belt

On display at the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, MI, is the belt of master magician that played a surprising role in one of the most egregious, covert government plots in American history. 960 1280

  

Anastasia in Virginia

Anastasia in Virginia

This lock of hair, now on display at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society in Charlottesville, VA, reveals the truth about a woman claiming to be Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. 960 1280

  

Anastasia in Virginia

Anastasia in Virginia

In 2007, long after the woman’s death, a DNA analysis using a lock of her hair proved that she was not, after all, a member of the Romanov family. 960 1280

  

Detonator from train robbery

Detonator from train robbery

At the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, visitors will find an aged wooden detonator box. The device was used in the execution of one of the most daring and destructive train heists on record. 960 1280

  

Manuscript

Manuscript

Post-doctoral scholar Dael Norwood examines an aged tome at the New York Historical Society. The manuscript tells a bone-chilling tale of survival set in the sands of the Sahara. 960 1280

  

Manuscript

Manuscript

This manuscript eventually shaped President Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery. 960 1280

  

National Atomic Testing Museum

National Atomic Testing Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum, in Las Vegas, NV, houses a camcorder that many believe contains evidence of an otherworldly spacecraft. 960 1280

  

Phoenix Lights Camera

Phoenix Lights Camera

Dr. Lynne D. Kitei discusses her theory on the "Phoenix Lights" phenomenon. 960 1280

  

Phoenix Lights Camera

Phoenix Lights Camera

On display at the National Atomic Testing Museum is the standard consumer video camera that Dr. Lynne D. Kitein used to record what appears to be an otherworldly pattern of bright lights hovering in the Arizona sky. 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

  


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