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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National Firearms Museum
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

  

Photos

Sandhogs

Sandhogs

Since the 1870s, workers known as “sandhogs” have risked their lives digging under New York City’s streets and rivers, creating the tunnels for the city’s subway and water systems, as well as the footings for the Brooklyn Bridge. 960 1280

  

New York Transit Museum

New York Transit Museum

At the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, a piece of early-1900s industrial machinery reminds visitors of a catastrophic disaster beneath the East River and the one sandhog who lived to tell the tale. 960 1280

  

Monroe Moosnick Museum

Monroe Moosnick Museum

At the Monroe Moosnick Museum at Transylvania University in Lexington, KY, a glass jar containing a strange substance is the only evidence of a freak meteorological event. 960 1280

  

Jar of Meat

Jar of Meat

This glass jar contains a meat-like substance that fell from the sky on March 3, 1876, in Olympia Springs, KY. What made it rain meat on that clear day? 960 1280

  

LA Police Museum

LA Police Museum

On display at the Los Angeles Police Museum are a set of handwritten notes and a photo of a young man. 960 1280

  

Kidnapping Evidence

Kidnapping Evidence

These artifacts tell a bone-chilling story of a kidnapping gone wrong and the incredible lengths taken to bring the perpetrator to justice. 960 1280

  

Michigan Maritime Museum

Michigan Maritime Museum

At the Michigan Maritime Museum in South Haven, MI, a tattered, old, salmon-colored dress shirt is a poignant reminder of a mysterious and otherworldly aviation anomaly that still remains unanswered to this day. 960 1280

  

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

Shirt Found in a Suitcase From Lake Michigan

A fisherman found the shirt in Lake Michigan when a suitcase -- from an airplane that had disappeared over the lake -- got caught in his net. The area where the plane went down is now known as the "Michigan Triangle” due to the number of ships and planes that have crashed there. 960 1280

  

Skeptiseum

Skeptiseum

At the Skeptiseum at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY, visitors to the collection can inspect a simple-looking tin trumpet which was once used in a chilling ritual that many believe proved the existence of life beyond the grave. 960 1280

  

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Tin Trumpet Used by a Spiritualist

Magician Harry Houdini set out on a quest to prove that the trumpet -- and the medium who claimed to use it to communicate with the dead -- was a fraud. 960 1280

  

Salem County Historical Society

Salem County Historical Society

At the Salem Country Historical Society in Salem, NJ, is an antique wooden desk that was owned by a man embroiled in a centuries-old story of culinary daring. 960 1280

  

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

Desk Used by Tomato Plant Farmer

This man was the first to grow tomatoes in the state of New Jersey, and when locals claimed that they were poisonous, he set out to prove them wrong. 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