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.

Photos

Don Bolles' mangled car

Don Bolles' mangled car

The Newseum in Washington, DC, showcases the mangled body of a car from the 1970s that tells the story of an intrepid journalist’s dogged pursuit of the truth in the face of grave danger. 960 1280

  

Newseum

Newseum

On June 13, 1976, Don Bolles, an investigative reporter for the Arizona Republic was set to meet with an informant who never showed. He got into his car and started the engine, detonating a bomb hidden under the driver’s seat. His murder has been tied to the mafia. 960 1280

  

Snake Oil

Snake Oil

This vial of clear liquid was said to contain a miracle cure. 960 1280

  

Skeptiseum

Skeptiseum

Clark Stanley’s Snake Oil, now on display at the Skeptiseum at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, NY, was sold as a miraculous cure-all. In 1917, the US government tested this “snake oil” and found it was actually just bottled mineral oil. 960 1280

  

Bank Vault Door

Bank Vault Door

On September 7, 1876, a notorious band of outlaws attempted to rob the First National Bank of Northfield in Minnesota. 960 1280

  

Northfield Historical Society

Northfield Historical Society

At the Northfield Historical Society visitors can get a look at the massive vault door that one bank worker refused to open, thereby stopping the robbery and thwarting one of the most ruthless gangs of the Wild West. 960 1280

  

Whydah Pirate Museum

Whydah Pirate Museum

At the Whydah Pirate Museum in Provincetown, MA, the coins on display are the result of one man’s discovery of a centuries-old map and his tireless efforts to uncover a pirate’s treasure long thought lost. 960 1280

  

Pirate Museum

Pirate Museum

The Whydah Galley is the first authenticated pirate shipwreck to ever be discovered. In 1717, Captain “Black Sam” Bellamy captured the slave ship and turned it in to his flagship. Only 2 months later, the ship was wrecked off the coast of Wellfleet, MA, and wasn’t discovered until 260 years later. 960 1280

  

Tea Crate from Boston Tea Party

Tea Crate from Boston Tea Party

At the Boston Tea Party Museum in Boston, MA, visitors can get a rare glimpse at one of only 2 surviving tea crates from the infamous event. 960 1280

  

National Air Force Museum

National Air Force Museum

At the National Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH, visitors can marvel at an F-94 Starfire jet, the same model aircraft involved in a shocking encounter over the nation’s capital. 960 1280

  

National Air Force Museum

National Air Force Museum

In July 1952, a series of UFO sightings over Washington, DC, alarmed both the US Air Force and the CIA. 960 1280

  

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

  

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