Mysteries: Edison’s Pen and Lizard Man Pictures

Don Wildman examines one of Thomas Edison’s failed inventions, the (supposed) footprint of a strange reptilian creature, and the bell of a ship whose crew mysteriously disappeared.

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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

Roanoke

Roanoke

An artifact at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, may provide clues about what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. 960 1280

  

Roanoke

Roanoke

A newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that announces the discovery of the artifact. 960 1280

  

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. 960 1280

  

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Deep Blue

Deep Blue

The museum is home to Deep Blue, a computer created by IBM to play against one of the best chess players in the world. 960 1280

  

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, where Don Wildman investigates the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe. 960 1280

Enoch Pratt Free Library   

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

The exterior entrance to the formerly top-secret underground bunker at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. 960 1280

  

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

An interior shot of the Greenbrier Resort, which housed an incredible secret for 3 decades. 960 1280

  

Harbor History Museum

Harbor History Museum

A display at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, which is home to a strange medial book that advocated starvation as a cure for disease. 960 1280

  

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7 on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS. 960 1280

  

SR71 Blackbird

SR71 Blackbird

SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. 960 1280

  

The Cecil Beaton costume collection

The Cecil Beaton costume collection

The Cecil Beaton costume collection at the Museum of the City of New York. 960 1280

  

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

Hidden away in the Museum of the City of New York’s archives is an elegant ebony and sterling silver trowel. This delicate souvenir is linked to an unparalleled disaster that encased a burning building in ice, threatening to destroy Manhattan’s first skyscraper and one of the city’s most significant repositories of wealth. 960 1280

  

Los Angeles Police Historical Society

Los Angeles Police Historical Society

At the Los Angeles Police Historical Society are relics from some of the city’s most heinous crimes -- including an unusually heavy, handmade garment that played a part in one of the most notorious shootouts in US history. 960 1280

  

Lilydale Museum

Lilydale Museum

An attic room above the Lilydale Museum in Lilydale, NY. 960 1280

  

Smithsonian Museum of American History

Smithsonian Museum of American History

A rocket launcher from World War II at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Notes for the pocket computer

Notes for the pocket computer

At the MIT Museum, Thomas Bass, author of The Eudaemonic Pie, reads notes written by Ed Thorp and Claude Shannon. The 2 mathematical geniuses attempted to build a computer that could predict the game of roulette. 960 1280

  

Kansas History Museum

Kansas History Museum

In the collections of the Kansas History Museum in Topeka is a placard plucked from a bleak era worldwide. Printed on its face is a single word that in the early 20th century foretold a death sentence … "influenza." 960 1280

  

Smithsonian Museum of American History

Smithsonian Museum of American History

A machine gun from World War II on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Influenza mask

Influenza mask

An influenza mask on display at the Kansas Historical Society in Topeka. 960 1280

  

Uniforms from World War II

Uniforms from World War II

Uniforms from World War II at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Roulette

Roulette

At the MIT Museum in Cambridge, MA, Thomas Bass examines the world’s first wearable computer. The device was used by Claude Shannon and Ed Thorp to increase their odds at the game of roulette. Believe it or not, this was not considered illegal or cheating at the time. 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 is an artifact linked to the Equitable Life Assurance Building disaster in 1912. 960 1280

  

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

This aged dossier may contain critical information linking a gruesome turn-of-the-century murder to one of the world’s most notorious serial killers. 960 1280

  

Journal With Jack the Ripper Evidence

Journal With Jack the Ripper Evidence

Now housed at New York City’s Municipal Archives, the tattered journal is tied to a brutal murder at New York City’s East River Hotel in 1891. Could the woman, a well-known prostitute by the name of Carrie Brown, have been murdered by London’s infamous Jack the Ripper? 960 1280

  

Ice picks

Ice picks

At the Vicksburg Depot Museum in Vicksburg, MI, 2 medieval-looking implements hearken back to a time in American history when a brave group of industrious men teamed up with a visionary businessman to change dinner tables across America. 960 1280

  

Ice picks

Ice picks

The ice picks housed here tell the story of the invention of chilled train cars -- allowing raw meat to be transported across the country without spoiling. 960 1280

  

Counterfeit money

Counterfeit money

At the Secret Service Museum in Washington, DC, select visitors can view a weathered $20 bill, which was once wielded by a brilliant and elusive master-criminal whose forgeries triggered a decade-long manhunt. 960 1280

  

US Secret Service Museum

US Secret Service Museum

Few may realize that the US Secret Service was created by President Lincoln to stop counterfeiting, which had become rampant during the Civil War. One man, who became known as “Jim the Penman,” spent weeks on each of the bills he created. 960 1280

  

Locust

Locust

At the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity in Fort Collins, CO, a now-extinct insect specimen tells of a devastating swarm of biblical proportions that laid waste to much of the country. 960 1280

  

Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin

Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin

At the Salon de Magie in Loveland, OH, amidst the many artifacts chronicling the history of magic, one well-polished antique chest tells a shocking tale of deception and international intrigue. 960 1280

  

Wooden chest used by French magician

Wooden chest used by French magician

This wooden chest was used by famous French magician Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin to help Emperor Napoleon quell a revolution in Algeria. The box was used in a trick to prove that French magic was more powerful than the magic of the tribal chiefs who were threatening revolution. 960 1280

  

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

At the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA, visitors come from far and wide to marvel at one massive steam engine which played a critical role in one of the most outlandish heists in American history. 960 1280

  

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

During the Civil War, Union spies hijacked and attempted to steal the Confederate army train, known as The General. 960 1280

  

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