French Connection and Shipwrecked Gold

Don Wildman unlocks the secrets of an infamous drug syndicate at the DEA Museum, inspects a piece of metal from a mysterious plane crash at the Atomic Testing Museum and more.

Photos

Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum

Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum

This small memorandum contains notes that document a remarkable equine phenomenon: a horse with a seemingly supernatural ability that captivated the country. 960 1280

  

Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum

Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum

The memo book can be found at the Rhine ESP/Parapsychology Museum in Durham, NC, which is home to various pieces of equipment that document the study of parapsychology over the past 70 years. 960 1280

  

Naugatuck Historical Society

Naugatuck Historical Society

On display at Connecticut’s Naugatuck Historical Society is a slab of strange material that is linked to one of history’s most monumental manufacturing achievements in history: the discovery of vulcanization. 960 1280

  

Naugatuck Historical Society

Naugatuck Historical Society

Connecticut’s Naugatuck Historical Society, located in an old train station, chronicles many of the high points in Naugatuck’s history, including Charles Goodyear’s discovery of vulcanization. 960 1280

  

Pulaski Axe

Pulaski Axe

This unique tool, known as the Pulaski Axe, was invented to protect people in one of man’s most perilous professions: firefighting. 960 1280

  

The Wallace District Mining Museum

The Wallace District Mining Museum

The Wallace District Mining Museum in Wallace, ID, tells the story behind the Pulaski Axe and how it developed from the exploits of a heroic man, who bravely saved the men in his command from near-certain death. 960 1280

  

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

This piece of evidence was used in an explosive case of domestic terrorism. But what role did a seemingly simple box play in a series of attacks delivered through the mail? 960 1280

  

National Postal Museum

National Postal Museum

This seemingly innocuous box can be found at the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, which is dedicated to the preservation of the postal service’s history with exhibitions of stamps, machinery and other artifacts. 960 1280

  

James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi Educational Foundation

This everyday utensil was once considered to be a symbol of one of the biggest breakthroughs in science, but it also represents one man’s dogged persistence to expose a greater truth about experiments in a controversial field. 960 1280

  

James Randi Educational Foundation

James Randi Educational Foundation

The spoon can be found among the books and artifacts related to the paranormal at the James Randi Educational Foundation in Los Angeles, which is dedicated to exposing paranormal fraud. 960 1280

  

Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society

Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society

This enigmatic wooden carving of a woman once adorned a vessel on a mission to solve a dramatic and bone-chilling Arctic mystery. 960 1280

  

Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society

Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society

The Elisha Kent Kane Historical Society in New York City, where this carving is housed, preserves artifacts of nineteenth-century Artic exploration, most significantly, that of Sir John Franklin, whose expedition ended fatally. 960 1280

  

Great Moon Hoax

Great Moon Hoax

At the Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum in Nantucket, MA, a picture printed on decorative wallpaper reveals an astounding tale of astronomical intrigue and a quest to peer into the darkest recesses of the galaxy to prove that there is life on the moon. 960 1280

  

Great Moon Hoax

Great Moon Hoax

"A Peep at the Moon" was an attempt by a local reporter to prove that there was life on the moon. However, after the reports were put out by the New York Sun, its chief rival, the New York Herald, posted scathing reviews of the Sun's claims, ultimately resulting in the truth. 960 1280

  

First Men in the Stratosphere

First Men in the Stratosphere

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago displays a large armored contraption that launched one of the most dizzying adventures of the 20th century.  With a history-making passenger aboard, it pushed the understanding of the universe to unprecedented heights. 960 1280

  

First Men in the Stratosphere

First Men in the Stratosphere

In 1933, during the century of progress exhibition in Chicago, 2 men, Navy lieutenant commander Thomas Settle and Army major Chester Fordney, took to the sky in a high-altitude balloon in an attempt to reach the stratosphere. The men made it 61, 237 feet high, setting the record for highest altitude ever reached at the time. 960 1280

  

Baseball Stalker

Baseball Stalker

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair, NJ, displays a baseball bat that’s linked to a case of fanatical obsession that haunted America’s pastime. The man who wielded the bat was the victim of a violent attack that threatened to end more than just his career. 960 1280

  

Baseball Stalker

Baseball Stalker

In the spring of 1949, star Philadelphia first baseman, Eddie Waitkus arrived in town for an average baseball game. But unfortunately, an obsessed fan lured Waitkus into her hotel room and shot him in the chest with a .22 caliber rifle. 960 1280

  

Dead Woman Running

Dead Woman Running

The National Track and Field Hall of Fame in New York City has in its collection a pair of leather shoes that belonged to a woman who raced past a death-defying tragedy. 960 1280

  

Dead Woman Running

Dead Woman Running

In March of 1931, 19-year-old Olympic sprinter Betty Robinson and her cousin were in a horrific plane crash outside of Chicago. After finally waking up from a 2-month coma, all hope for a comeback appeared to be dashed. However, after 18-months of training and determination, Betty returned to the Olympic stage in 1936 to win the gold medal. 960 1280

  

New England's Dark Day

New England's Dark Day

The Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston has in its collection a small book that documents an awful cataclysm that many thought would lead to humanity’s demise. 960 1280

  

New England's Dark Day

New England's Dark Day

In 1780, while still in the throes of the revolution with the British, local reports of a yellow sky and devilish-red sun setting over New England sent the townspeople into hysteria. Nearly 200 years later, it was discovered that a massive fire in Canada due to prevailing winds and low barometric pressure caused the terrifying sky. 960 1280

  

Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen

Located on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, the William L. Clements Library has a set of letters that turned a long-accepted and infamous tale of deceit on its head. 960 1280

  

Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen

For over 100 years, it was believed that Benedict Arnold conspired with the British, betraying the colonial forces on his own. However, the discovery of this letter revealed the stunning truth. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

At the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park, Greg Cox handles an antique trunk that some believe is evidence of a legendary cross-country journey. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

These weathered bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum were at the center of one of the most daring prison escapes of the Civil War era. 960 1280

  

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Don Wildman uncovers the story behind an antique trunk housed at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

A mortar and pestle on display at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

Museum curator Olivia Mahoney examines the bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum. 960 1280

  

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

On display at the Chicago History Museum are bricks connected to one of the American Civil War’s most famous prison breaks. 960 1280

  

Museum of Science and Energy

Museum of Science and Energy

On display at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, TN, is a metal machine called a calutron. The machine played a critical role in a stunning prophecy of Armageddon and urbanization. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

An artifact that was found in the antique trunk that’s currently housed at Furnace Creek Visitors Center. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

Don Wildman investigates artifacts at the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

The antique trunk that was discovered in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

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