Mysteries: Mine Disaster Pictures

Don Wildman examines the harness used to rescue miners after a deadly mine collapse and the replica of a bomb used in a sinister bank robbery.

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American Mountaineering Museum
American Mountaineering Museum

American Mountaineering Museum

On display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum is a weather-beaten, metal oxygen tank. 960 1280

  

Replica oxygen tank

Replica oxygen tank

This replica oxygen canister is a lasting testament to a fearless adventurer’s tragic end that remains shrouded in mystery to this day. 960 1280

  

American Mountaineering Museum

American Mountaineering Museum

Learn more about George Lee Mallory’s daring climb at Golden, Colorado’s American Mountaineering Museum. 960 1280

  

American Fur Company Store

American Fur Company Store

At the American Fur Company Store and Dr. Beaumont Museum on Mackinac Island, MI, the yellowing pages of a tattered antique book tell of a astonishing medical affliction and the secrets of human anatomy that it revealed. 960 1280

  

Putnam County Historical Museum

Putnam County Historical Museum

At the Putnam County Historical Museum in Unionville, MO, is a twisted piece of metal, a remnant from a catastrophic disaster in the sky. 960 1280

  

Piece of metal from Continental Flight 11

Piece of metal from Continental Flight 11

On March 22, 1962, Continental Airlines flight 11 exploded in the sky while en route to Kansas City, MO, killing all 45 passengers and crew on board. 960 1280

  

Wreckage of Continental Flight 11

Wreckage of Continental Flight 11

The FBI eventually learned that a man named Thomas Doty had smuggled dynamite onto the plane and exploded it mid-air. But why did he do it? 960 1280

  

Houdini's wooden box

Houdini's wooden box

At the Salon De Magie in Loveland, OH, visitors to the private collection can marvel at a strange wooden box that was once used in a chilling ritual said to summon spirits of the dead. 960 1280

  

New Brunswick Public Library

New Brunswick Public Library

At the New Brunswick Public Library in New Brunswick, NJ, visitors can see a tattered hat on display, which harkens back to the brutal murder of a pastor. 960 1280

  

Man-Eating Lions
Man-Eating Lions

Man-Eating Lions

On display at The Field Museum in Chicago are 2 massive stuffed lions that once tormented a group of railroad workers in East Africa. Dubbed the “Tsavo Man-Eaters,” these notorious lions were responsible for a number of deaths near Kenya’s Tsavo River in 1898. 960 1280

  

Cash register

Cash register

This cash register, on display at the Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum in Fort Thomas, KY, once belonged to Kentucky’s Beverly Hills Supper Club – the site of a deadly fire. 960 1280

  

Cleveland's Tumor

Cleveland's Tumor

The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, PA, houses a medical oddity that was part of a top-secret operation. Visit to see the tumor and a few teeth that former President Grover Cleveland had surgically removed while he was in office. 960 1280

  

Man-Eating Lions

Man-Eating Lions

Chicago’s Field Museum offers clues as to why 2 massive, 9-foot lions began attacking, killing and eating railroad workers in Kenya. 960 1280

  

State Senator Murder

State Senator Murder

Visit the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, MI, to see the blood-stained hat that a Michigan State Senator was wearing when he was mysteriously murdered. 960 1280

  

Willamette Meteorite

Willamette Meteorite

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon in Eugene houses a replica of the Willamette Meteorite – the largest meteorite ever found in North America. 960 1280

  

Meteorite

Meteorite

Learn about the 15-ton meteorite -- and the scandal its discovery caused -- at University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History. 960 1280

  

President Grover Cleveland's Tumor

President Grover Cleveland's Tumor

Former President Grover Cleveland had his tumor along with a few teeth removed from his jaw during a top-secret operation aboard a fishing boat. 960 1280

  

UFO

UFO

At the Simpson County Archives in Franklin, KY, is a piece of a plane that crashed while tracking a UFO. 960 1280

  

UFO

UFO

A metal fragment at the Simpson County Archives tells the story of pilot who died in a mysterious plane crash in 1941. Did the UFO he was chasing have something to do with it? 960 1280

  

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.
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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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Photos

National Firearms Museum

National Firearms Museum

The collection of the National Firearms Museum in Fairfax, VA, includes a World War II-era pistol that was found during the hunt for a secret network of spies operating on American soil. What evil plot was discovered along with this gun? 960 1280

  

Albert DeSalvo Captured

Albert DeSalvo Captured

In the early 1960s, a series of gruesome murders plagued the Boston area. Eventually, a man by the name of Albert DeSalvo confessed that he was the “Boston Strangler,” but many still maintain his innocence. 960 1280

Ollie Noonan/The Boston Globe via Getty Images  

Museum of Crime and Punishment

Museum of Crime and Punishment

The Museum of Crime and Punishment in Washington, DC, contains a simple switchblade that belonged to Albert DeSalvo, believed to be one of Boston’s most notorious killers. Fifty years later, the case remains largely unsolved. 960 1280

  

Newseum

Newseum

At the Newseum in Washington, DC, is a worn leather bag that once belonged to a pioneering journalist. 960 1280

  

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly

Nellie Bly's hard-hitting investigation was as groundbreaking as it was risky, almost making her a casualty of the very dark and sinister practices she was trying to uncover. 960 1280

  

New York Historical Society

New York Historical Society

On the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the New York Historical Society displays a painting that played a role in a shocking political scandal. Is this portrait evidence of the strange private habits of a powerful colonial-era leader? 960 1280

  

Museum of Whiskey

Museum of Whiskey

The Kentucky city of Bardstown is known as the Bourbon Capital of the World and is home to the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey. 960 1280

  

Hatchet at the Museum of Whiskey

Hatchet at the Museum of Whiskey

But one of the museum’s most intriguing objects isn’t a bottle of alcohol, but a hatchet. This weapon was wielded by a crusading activist whose fight for temperance paved the way for Prohibition. 960 1280

  

Oneida Community Mansion House

Oneida Community Mansion House

The Oneida Community Mansion House in Oneida, NY, contains a set of silverware that represents the disturbing secrets of the people who once lived in this sprawling building. Built on dreams of utopia, this house was the site of a shocking series of events that brought down a charismatic leader. 960 1280

  

Henry Ford Museum

Henry Ford Museum

Curator Matt Anderson examines President Reagan’s 1972 Lincoln continental limousine at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Curator of art and artifacts at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Bob Peck, discusses some of the mysterious specimens in John James Audubon’s landmark book “Birds of America.” 960 1280

  

John Heinz History Center

John Heinz History Center

These bullets at the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA, are some of the only remaining artifacts from the Allegheny Arsenal, the site of a deadly disaster during the Civil War. But was the explosion at the arsenal an accident or an act of confederate sabotage? 960 1280

  

Schoening Ax

Schoening Ax

Peter Schoening's ax on display at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO. Schoening used the axe to save the lives of 4 of his fellow climbers on a 1953 expedition on K2. 960 1280

  

Audubon

Audubon

Bob Peck with John James Audubon’s impressive book at the Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia, PA. A few of the birds in the extensive collection are still a mystery to scientists. 960 1280

  

Reagan's Limousine

Reagan's Limousine

On March 30, 1981 John Hinkley, Jr. fired 6 shots at President Reagan and his staff outside the Hilton hotel in Washington, DC. A special agent immediately ducked President Reagan behind the door of his armored limousine, now on display at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, MI. A sharp pain in Reagan’s chest lead him to believe that he had broken a rib during the incident, but doctors were shocked to discover that he had actually been shot. A close inspection of the limousine reveals that one of the bullets ricocheted off the limousine’s door and hit the president in the chest – stopping only an inch from his heart. 960 1280

  

American Mountaineering Museum

American Mountaineering Museum

The crew shoots Phil Powers at the Bradford Washburn American Mountaineering Museum in Golden, CO, where he discusses mountaineer Peter Schoening’s heroic act. 960 1280

  

International Space Station

International Space Station

A model of the International Space Station at the Museum of Flight in Seattle, WA. 960 1280

  

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum

An artifact on display at the Turn of the Century Electrotherapy Museum in West Palm Beach, FL. The museum is also home to a negative that is the only surviving evidence of John Keely’s elaborate hoax. In 1872 he claimed that he had invented a new motor that ran on the magical and mysterious power of “the force.” After he died it became clear that his motor was not the revolutionary machine he claimed it to be. 960 1280

  

Magician's belt

Magician's belt

On display at the American Museum of Magic in Marshall, MI, is the belt of master magician that played a surprising role in one of the most egregious, covert government plots in American history. 960 1280

  

Anastasia in Virginia

Anastasia in Virginia

This lock of hair, now on display at the Albemarle Charlottesville Historical Society in Charlottesville, VA, reveals the truth about a woman claiming to be Anastasia, the youngest daughter of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia. 960 1280

  

Anastasia in Virginia

Anastasia in Virginia

In 2007, long after the woman’s death, a DNA analysis using a lock of her hair proved that she was not, after all, a member of the Romanov family. 960 1280

  

Detonator from train robbery

Detonator from train robbery

At the Smithsonian Institution’s National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, visitors will find an aged wooden detonator box. The device was used in the execution of one of the most daring and destructive train heists on record. 960 1280

  

Manuscript

Manuscript

Post-doctoral scholar Dael Norwood examines an aged tome at the New York Historical Society. The manuscript tells a bone-chilling tale of survival set in the sands of the Sahara. 960 1280

  

Manuscript

Manuscript

This manuscript eventually shaped President Abraham Lincoln’s views on slavery. 960 1280

  

National Atomic Testing Museum

National Atomic Testing Museum

The National Atomic Testing Museum, in Las Vegas, NV, houses a camcorder that many believe contains evidence of an otherworldly spacecraft. 960 1280

  

Phoenix Lights Camera

Phoenix Lights Camera

Dr. Lynne D. Kitei discusses her theory on the "Phoenix Lights" phenomenon. 960 1280

  

Phoenix Lights Camera

Phoenix Lights Camera

On display at the National Atomic Testing Museum is the standard consumer video camera that Dr. Lynne D. Kitein used to record what appears to be an otherworldly pattern of bright lights hovering in the Arizona sky. 960 1280

  

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