Mysteries: Cinder Woman and Gold Hoax Pictures

Don Wildman examines a set of binders that contain clues to an incendiary tale of a woman who met a bizarre fate, an experimental box and more.

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Elizabeth Van Lew
Elizabeth Van Lew

Elizabeth Van Lew

Despite being a well-to-do Southerner, Elizabeth Van Lew helped secure an important Civil War victory for the North through her extensive spy ring which she operated from her residence in Richmond, VA. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

One of the most popular museums in Washington, DC, the International Spy Museum is dedicated to the history of espionage and houses many artifacts from some of the most famous spies. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

This small piece of paper at the International Spy Museum represents one of the scrolls that was secreted across enemy lines under the careful coordination of Elizabeth Van Lew. 960 1280

  

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is one of the world’s largest automotive museums with about 150 vehicles on display. 960 1280

  

The Petersen Automotive Museum

The Petersen Automotive Museum

One of the vehicles on display there is this uniquely designed yellow car model that was once promised to save a nation in the midst of an unprecedented fuel crisis. 960 1280

  

Bakken Museum

Bakken Museum

On the shores of Lake Calhoun, the Bakken Museum in Minneapolis is the world’s only museum dedicated to medical electricity. 960 1280

  

Bakken Museum

Bakken Museum

On display at the Bakken is a wooden and glass musical instrument, invented by one of America’s founding fathers and known as the glass armonica. Not only did it mesmerize people on both sides of the Atlantic, but it also seemed to perform medical miracles no doctor could explain. 960 1280

  

EBR-I Atomic Museum

EBR-I Atomic Museum

A US National Historic Landmark, the EBR-I Atomic Museum in Arco, ID, is housed in a former nuclear facility. 960 1280

  

EBR-I Atomic Museum

EBR-I Atomic Museum

On display there is this oversized panel with red lights, which speaks to one of the worst nuclear accidents in American history. Was it simply an accident or did deeper tensions cause the disaster? 960 1280

  

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

At the Museum of the City of New York sits a small hollow figure of a portly man, a caricature of one of the Big Apple’s most influential -- and crooked -- politicians. 960 1280

  

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, contains an extensive collection of model ships. 960 1280

  

The American Yacht Club

The American Yacht Club

This model ship showcases an innovative design that was used by a courageous explorer to battle the elements in his attempt to reach one of Earth’s harshest environments. 960 1280

  

Axman Jazz
Axman Jazz

Axman Jazz

At The Historic New Orleans Collection in New Orleans is this piece of sheet music -- “The Mysterious Axman’s Jazz.” But who was the Axman? And what purpose did this score serve during one of the most frightening times in Crescent City history? 960 1280

  

Cassie Chadwick

Cassie Chadwick

At the Oberlin College Archives in Ohio is a forged promissory note with ties to an infamous financial scandal. A woman by the name of Cassie Chadwick was able to defraud multiple US banks by claiming she was Andrew Carnegie’s illegitimate daughter. 960 1280

  

UFO Police Car

UFO Police Car

Historian Kent Broten discusses the theories behind a very strange car accident. The car is now on display at the Marshall County Historical Society in Warren, MN. 960 1280

  

UFO Car

UFO Car

On display at the Marshall County Historical Society in Warren, MN, is a 1970s police cruiser that some believe was attacked by a UFO. 960 1280

  

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection

Mysteries at the Museum visits New Orleans to see a strange artifact on display at The Historic New Orleans Collection. 960 1280

  

Cassie Chadwick

Cassie Chadwick

In Oberlin, OH, John Grabowski discusses the case of Cassie Chadwick – an infamous 19th-century financial scam. 960 1280

  

UFO Car

UFO Car

On display at the Marshall County Historical Society in Warren, MN, is a police car with a curious past. 960 1280

  

Axman Jazz

Axman Jazz

An artifact from a terrifying time in the history of the Crescent City, on display at The Historic New Orleans Collection, tells the story of a depraved serial killer who would promise to spare anyone playing jazz music. 960 1280

  

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection

One of the many exhibits at The Historic New Orleans Collection in New Orleans. 960 1280

  

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The Historic New Orleans Collection

The beautiful interior of The Historic New Orleans Collection. 960 1280

  

Mudd Center at Oberlin College Archives

Mudd Center at Oberlin College Archives

Archived at the Mudd Center Oberlin College Archives is a more than 100-year-old financial document. How did this slip of paper help to foment a monetary scheme that netted one woman millions of dollars? 960 1280

  

Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum
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

  


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