Duffy’s Cut, Molasses Flood, Buddy Holly Curse

Don examines the fire engine that rushed to the scene of a strange industrial disaster, and bones found in a mass grave in Pennsylvania reveal a sinister secret.

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Betty Hill Dress
Betty Hill Dress

Betty Hill Dress

University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
In 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were allegedly abducted by aliens. This vintage, torn dress worn by Betty that strange fall night still carries a stain of an otherworldly nature. I’m afraid to ask.
960 1280

  

The Mars Spirit Rover

The Mars Spirit Rover

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, NM
It’s 2004 and our robot representative moves along on the Martian surface hobbled by a malfunctioning wheel. But the broken wheel scrapes away soil, leading to a major discovery: silica. Proof there once was water on the Red Planet.
960 1280

  

Sheet Music

Sheet Music

Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI
July 6, 1944. A terrible fire consumes a Ringling Brothers’ circus tent, killing 168 people. The investigation turns up the problem: the tent was waterproofed using paraffin and gasoline. What were they thinking?
960 1280

  

The Flying Car

The Flying Car

Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA
The initial test flight of this machine must have been a terror. After all, cars should be driven, not flown (just one man’s opinion).
960 1280

  

Credit Card Machine

Credit Card Machine

Valdez Museum, Valdez, AK
On March 27, 1964 the second-largest earthquake in recorded history strikes Valdez, Alaska. Fifty years later this credit card machine from a gas station along the destroyed waterfront turns up in the weeds, a card still intact.
960 1280

  

Cher Ami, Hero Pigeon

Cher Ami, Hero Pigeon

US Army Signal Corps Museum, Fort Gordon, GA
In 1918, a homing pigeon named Cher Ami saved the lives of 194 US soldiers under a deadly barrage of friendly fire -- and this pigeon did it flying 25 miles after taking a bullet from a German sniper.
960 1280

  

Kittenger's Jumpsuit

Kittenger's Jumpsuit

National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton, OH
In 1958, Capt. Joseph Kittenger wore this jumpsuit to test a new parachute system designed to save the lives of ejecting US pilots. But he would have to risk his own life, jumping from more than 20 miles above the earth!
960 1280

  

Pullman Car Lighting Brackets

Pullman Car Lighting Brackets

Seattle Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA
A devastating avalanche destroys a Great Northern Railway car stopped in the Cascade Mountains en route to Seattle. Decades later, these bent pieces of metal turn up, evidence of a tragedy that killed more than 100 passengers.
960 1280

  

Einstein's Stolen Brain

Einstein's Stolen Brain

Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA
When Albert Einstein dies in 1955, his brain is illegally preserved and dissected by the doctor who performs his autopsy. He mounts specimens of the brain on microscope slides -- and makes a valuable discovery.
960 1280

  

Spanish Treasure

Spanish Treasure

McLarty Treasure Museum, Sebastian, FL
In 1961, after a decade of searching, Kip Wagner realizes his dream and discovers buried Spanish treasure at the bottom of the sea -- worth about 20 million bucks then and a whole lot more today.
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

  

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

Betty Hill Dress

Betty Hill Dress

University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
In 1961, Betty and Barney Hill were allegedly abducted by aliens. This vintage, torn dress worn by Betty that strange fall night still carries a stain of an otherworldly nature. I’m afraid to ask.
960 1280

  

The Mars Spirit Rover

The Mars Spirit Rover

New Mexico Museum of Natural History and Science, Albuquerque, NM
It’s 2004 and our robot representative moves along on the Martian surface hobbled by a malfunctioning wheel. But the broken wheel scrapes away soil, leading to a major discovery: silica. Proof there once was water on the Red Planet.
960 1280

  

Sheet Music

Sheet Music

Circus World Museum, Baraboo, WI
July 6, 1944. A terrible fire consumes a Ringling Brothers’ circus tent, killing 168 people. The investigation turns up the problem: the tent was waterproofed using paraffin and gasoline. What were they thinking?
960 1280

  

The Flying Car

The Flying Car

Museum of Flight, Seattle, WA
The initial test flight of this machine must have been a terror. After all, cars should be driven, not flown (just one man’s opinion).
960 1280

  

Credit Card Machine

Credit Card Machine

Valdez Museum, Valdez, AK
On March 27, 1964 the second-largest earthquake in recorded history strikes Valdez, Alaska. Fifty years later this credit card machine from a gas station along the destroyed waterfront turns up in the weeds, a card still intact.
960 1280

  

Cher Ami, Hero Pigeon

Cher Ami, Hero Pigeon

US Army Signal Corps Museum, Fort Gordon, GA
In 1918, a homing pigeon named Cher Ami saved the lives of 194 US soldiers under a deadly barrage of friendly fire -- and this pigeon did it flying 25 miles after taking a bullet from a German sniper.
960 1280

  

Kittenger's Jumpsuit

Kittenger's Jumpsuit

National Museum of the US Air Force, Dayton, OH
In 1958, Capt. Joseph Kittenger wore this jumpsuit to test a new parachute system designed to save the lives of ejecting US pilots. But he would have to risk his own life, jumping from more than 20 miles above the earth!
960 1280

  

Pullman Car Lighting Brackets

Pullman Car Lighting Brackets

Seattle Museum of History and Industry, Seattle, WA
A devastating avalanche destroys a Great Northern Railway car stopped in the Cascade Mountains en route to Seattle. Decades later, these bent pieces of metal turn up, evidence of a tragedy that killed more than 100 passengers.
960 1280

  

Einstein's Stolen Brain

Einstein's Stolen Brain

Mutter Museum, Philadelphia, PA
When Albert Einstein dies in 1955, his brain is illegally preserved and dissected by the doctor who performs his autopsy. He mounts specimens of the brain on microscope slides -- and makes a valuable discovery.
960 1280

  

Spanish Treasure

Spanish Treasure

McLarty Treasure Museum, Sebastian, FL
In 1961, after a decade of searching, Kip Wagner realizes his dream and discovers buried Spanish treasure at the bottom of the sea -- worth about 20 million bucks then and a whole lot more today.
960 1280

  

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

  

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