Mysteries: Diamond Hoax, Outlaw Marshal Pictures

Don Wildman investigates a deadly weapon that played a central role in a duplicitous plot, a set of glimmering gemstones linked to a supposed land of riches and more.

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.
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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.
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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?
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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).
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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.
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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.
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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!
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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

  

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Westford Museum

Westford Museum

The Westford Museum houses a massive, oval-shaped boulder. Etched upon its surface are crude images: a boat, an arrow and numbers. Some believe the object is evidence of one explorer’s epic journey … that may rewrite the very history of the nation. 960 1280

  

Cold War Museum

Cold War Museum

Francis Gary Powers Jr., founder of The Cold War Museum, inspects a poisoned silver dollar medallion that was given to U-2 pilots during the war. 960 1280

  

Cold War Museum

Cold War Museum

Don investigates artifacts from The Cold War Museum in Vint Hill, VA. 960 1280

  

Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum

Curator Patricia Salmon examines a piece of chicle – sap from a tree native to Mexico and Central America. The substance was first used to make chewing gum, and a block is now on display at the Staten Island Museum in New York. 960 1280

  

Westford Museum

Westford Museum

Dave Brody examines a plaster cast of the “Westford Knight,” a mysterious carving on display at the Westford Museum in Westford, MA. A man by the name of Frank Glynn believed that the rock was evidence that Columbus was not the first European to reach the New World. 960 1280

  

Cold War Museum

Cold War Museum

Silver medallions, along with needles, were given to pilots during the Cold War. The medallion contained poison, so the pilots could commit suicide if captured. 960 1280

  

Westford Museum

Westford Museum

The crew films a stone on display at the Westford Museum in Westford, MA. 960 1280

  

Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum

The Staten Island Museum in Staten Island, NY, tells the story of the invention of chewing gum. 960 1280

  

Staten Island Museum

Staten Island Museum

Chicle on display at the Staten Island Museum in Staten Island, NY. 960 1280

  

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