Mysteries: Chewing Gum and U2 Spy Pictures

Don Wildman examines a strange substance that was first used to make chewing gum, a medallion containing deadly poison and a bizarre carving that could re-write the history of America’s discovery.

You Might Also Like

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

  

Humming fish on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

The crew shoot reenactments of the houseboats where the humming fish were causing a disturbance in Sausalito, CA. 960 1280

  

A piece of the Exxon-Valdez wreck is on display at the Valdez Museum in Valdez, AK. 960 1280

  

Entry sign at the National UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, FL. 960 1280

  

Tropical fish tank on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

Rifle used by Alfred Packer at the Museum of the West, Grand Junction, CO. 960 1280

  

Various displays at the National UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, FL. 960 1280

  

The outside of the Valdez Museum in Valdez, AK. 960 1280

  

Dinosaur bones on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

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

  

Humming fish on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

The crew shoot reenactments of the houseboats where the humming fish were causing a disturbance in Sausalito, CA. 960 1280

  

A piece of the Exxon-Valdez wreck is on display at the Valdez Museum in Valdez, AK. 960 1280

  

Entry sign at the National UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, FL. 960 1280

  

Tropical fish tank on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

Rifle used by Alfred Packer at the Museum of the West, Grand Junction, CO. 960 1280

  

Various displays at the National UDT-SEAL Museum in Fort Pierce, FL. 960 1280

  

The outside of the Valdez Museum in Valdez, AK. 960 1280

  

Dinosaur bones on display at the California Academy of Science, San Francisco, CA. 960 1280

  

960 1280

  

The Titan Missile, as seen at night, at the Titan Missile Museum in Sahuarita, AZ. 960 1280

  

Marilyn Monroe display at the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles. 960 1280

  

A coupon used in the original Ponzi scheme is on display at the Museum of American Finance in NYC. 960 1280

  

Museum of Flight curator Dan Hagedorn examines a piece of Amelia Earhart's plane. 960 1280

  

A cardboard box on display at the Centers for Disease Control Museum in Atlanta. 960 1280

  

Hunley Submarine on display at the Friends of the Hunley in Charleston, SC. 960 1280

  

Notorious scammer Charles Ponzi. 960 1280

  

Marilyn Monroe's pill bottle at the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles. 960 1280

  

Titan Missile Museum’s director, Yvonne Morris, examines the keys once used to operate the Titan missile. 960 1280

  

Museum of American Finance’s director, Richard Sylla, examines a coupon used in the original Ponzi scheme. 960 1280

  

Exterior of the Hollywood Museum in Los Angeles. 960 1280