Mysteries: Miracle Car, Yankee Spy Pictures

Don Wildman investigates a car that once represented the promise of an automotive revolution, a mysterious musical instrument, and a strip of paper that crossed enemy lines.

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Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum
Great Moon Hoax

Great Moon Hoax

At the Nantucket Historical Association Whaling Museum in Nantucket, MA, a picture printed on decorative wallpaper reveals an astounding tale of astronomical intrigue and a quest to peer into the darkest recesses of the galaxy to prove that there is life on the moon.  960 1280

  

Great Moon Hoax

Great Moon Hoax

"A Peep at the Moon" was an attempt by a local reporter to prove that there was life on the moon. However, after the reports were put out by the New York Sun, its chief rival, the New York Herald, posted scathing reviews of the Sun's claims, ultimately resulting in the truth. 960 1280

  

First Men in the Stratosphere

First Men in the Stratosphere

The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago displays a large armored contraption that launched one of the most dizzying adventures of the 20th century. With a history-making passenger aboard, it pushed the understanding of the universe to unprecedented heights. 960 1280

  

First Men in the Stratosphere

First Men in the Stratosphere

In 1933, during the century of progress exhibition in Chicago, 2 men, Navy lieutenant commander Thomas Settle and Army major Chester Fordney, took to the sky in a high-altitude balloon in an attempt to reach the stratosphere. The men made it 61, 237 feet high, setting the record for highest altitude ever reached at the time. 960 1280

  

Baseball Stalker

Baseball Stalker

The Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center in Montclair, NJ, displays a baseball bat that’s linked to a case of fanatical obsession that haunted America’s pastime. The man who wielded the bat was the victim of a violent attack that threatened to end more than just his career. 960 1280

  

Baseball Stalker

Baseball Stalker

In the spring of 1949, star Philadelphia first baseman, Eddie Waitkus arrived in town for an average baseball game. But unfortunately, an obsessed fan lured Waitkus into her hotel room and shot him in the chest with a .22 caliber rifle. 960 1280

  

Dead Woman Running

Dead Woman Running

The National Track and Field Hall of Fame in New York City has in its collection a pair of leather shoes that belonged to a woman who raced past a death-defying tragedy.  960 1280

  

Dead Woman Running

Dead Woman Running

In March of 1931, 19-year-old Olympic sprinter Betty Robinson and her cousin were in a horrific plane crash outside of Chicago. After finally waking up from a 2-month coma, all hope for a comeback appeared to be dashed. However, after 18-months of training and determination, Betty returned to the Olympic stage in 1936 to win the gold medal. 960 1280

  

New England's Dark Day

New England's Dark Day

The Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston has in its collection a small book that documents an awful cataclysm that many thought would lead to humanity’s demise. 960 1280

  

New England's Dark Day

New England's Dark Day

In 1780, while still in the throes of the revolution with the British, local reports of a yellow sky and devilish-red sun setting over New England sent the townspeople into hysteria. Nearly 200 years later, it was discovered that a massive fire in Canada due to prevailing winds and low barometric pressure caused the terrifying sky. 960 1280

  

Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen

Located on the campus of the University of Michigann Ann Arbor, the William L. Clements Library has a set of letters that turned a long-accepted and infamous tale of deceit on its head.  960 1280

  

Peggy Shippen

Peggy Shippen

For over 100 years, it was believed that Benedict Arnold conspired with the British, betraying the colonial forces on his own. However, the discovery of this letter revealed the stunning truth.  960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

At the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park, Greg Cox handles an antique trunk that some believe is evidence of a legendary cross-country journey. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

These weathered bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum were at the center of one of the most daring prison escapes of the Civil War era. 960 1280

  

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Don Wildman uncovers the story behind an antique trunk housed at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

A mortar and pestle on display at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

Museum curator Olivia Mahoney examines the bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum. 960 1280

  

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

On display at the Chicago History Museum are bricks connected to one of the American Civil War’s most famous prison breaks. 960 1280

  

Museum of Science and Energy

Museum of Science and Energy

On display at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, TN, is a metal machine called a calutron. The machine played a critical role in a stunning prophecy of Armageddon and urbanization. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

An artifact that was found in the antique trunk that’s currently housed at Furnace Creek Visitors Center. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

Don Wildman investigates artifacts at the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

The antique trunk that was discovered in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

St. Petersburg Museum of History
St. Petersburg Museum of History

St. Petersburg Museum of History

The St. Petersburg Museum of History in Florida has a set of binders in its collection that are filled with documents, reports and notes related to an incendiary tale of a woman who met a bizarre and combustible fate. 960 1280

  

Cause of Death not Confirmed

Cause of Death not Confirmed

The cause of death for Mary Reeser has still never been confirmed, but speculation has it that she died of spontaneous human combustion. 960 1280

  

Ohio’s Center for the History of Psychology

Ohio’s Center for the History of Psychology

Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram conducted a groundbreaking experiment to test the bounds of human nature, changing the way we think about authority forever. The device he used is now stored inside Ohio’s Center for the History of Psychology in Akron. 960 1280

  

A Simple Box

A Simple Box

For his shocking experiment, Milgram used a simple box with a few knobs, dials and buttons. Although the device was not really hooked up to another human, the study confirmed that most people were willing to obey a higher authority, even if it meant harming someone in the process. 960 1280

  

Lubec Historical Society

Lubec Historical Society

The Lubec Historical Society in Maine contains an oversized gold accumulator -- an iron pot with metal rods that once held the promise of unimaginable wealth. 960 1280

  

Electrolytic Marine Salts Corporation

Electrolytic Marine Salts Corporation

The Electrolytic Marine Salts Corporation was developed by 2 men who claimed to have the key to collecting gold from the ocean in Lubec, ME. 960 1280

  

Autry Museum

Autry Museum

The Autry Museum in Los Angeles plays home to a unique artifact that belonged to the poetic criminal known as "Black Bart." He robbed stagecoach after stagecoach, but never fired his weapon and always left a poem behind. 960 1280

  

Black Bart's Shotgun

Black Bart's Shotgun

The shotgun wielded by the unique bandit -- whose gentlemanly nature and prolific crime spree earned him one of the most unusual reputations in the history of the American West -- sits on display in LA. 960 1280

  

Martin Baseball Museum

Martin Baseball Museum

The capital city of Columbus, OH, is home to the Martin Baseball Museum, which has in its collection a rather unassuming piece of equipment. 960 1280

  

Early Baseball Mitt

Early Baseball Mitt

This early baseball mitt is linked to a determined pitcher, Arthur "Candy" Cummings, and his ex-war-hero catcher, Nat Hicks, whose revolutionary idea for the curveball marked a historic turning point in America’s national pastime. 960 1280

  

Neville Public Museum

Neville Public Museum

The Neville Public Museum of Brown County in Green Bay, WI, contains a small handkerchief that represents a fascinating story about one of the region’s most intriguing characters. 960 1280

  

The Handkerchief

The Handkerchief

The handkerchief belonged to a man who claimed to be the son of Marie Antoinette and heir to the French throne. 960 1280

  

Photos

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

At the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park, Greg Cox handles an antique trunk that some believe is evidence of a legendary cross-country journey. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

These weathered bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum were at the center of one of the most daring prison escapes of the Civil War era. 960 1280

  

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Trunk in Death Valley National Park

Don Wildman uncovers the story behind an antique trunk housed at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

Furnace Creek Visitor Center

A mortar and pestle on display at the Furnace Creek Visitor Center. 960 1280

  

Libby Prison Bricks

Libby Prison Bricks

Museum curator Olivia Mahoney examines the bricks from Libby Prison at the Chicago History Museum. 960 1280

  

Chicago History Museum

Chicago History Museum

On display at the Chicago History Museum are bricks connected to one of the American Civil War’s most famous prison breaks. 960 1280

  

Museum of Science and Energy

Museum of Science and Energy

On display at the American Museum of Science and Energy in Oak Ridge, TN, is a metal machine called a calutron. The machine played a critical role in a stunning prophecy of Armageddon and urbanization. 960 1280

  

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

Furnace Creek Visitors Center

An artifact that was found in the antique trunk that’s currently housed at Furnace Creek Visitors Center. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

Don Wildman investigates artifacts at the Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

Death Valley National Park

Death Valley National Park

The antique trunk that was discovered in Death Valley National Park. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV. 960 1280

  

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.
960 1280

  

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.
960 1280

  

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?
960 1280

  

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).
960 1280

  

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.
960 1280

  

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!
960 1280

  

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.
960 1280

  

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.
960 1280

  

St. Francis Dam

St. Francis Dam

At the Santa Clarita Valley Historical Society in Newhall, CA, is a fragment from the St. Francis Dam. When the dam failed in 1928, the floodwater killed almost 600 people. 960 1280

  

Plane Fragments

Plane Fragments

Mark Hall-Patton examines mangled metal fragments that are housed at the Clark County Museum in Henderson, NV. The metal tells the story of a tragic plane crash that shocked Hollywood and the nation. 960 1280

  

Philadelphia History Museum

Philadelphia History Museum

At the Philadelphia History Museum in Philadelphia, PA, is a small, mounted dog. Named “Philly,” the heroic animal saved the lives of many American soldiers during World War I before being preserved at the museum. 960 1280

  

Concrete

Concrete

In Newhall, CA, is a chunk of concrete that was once part of a celebrated engineering marvel that ultimately brought about one of the deadliest man-made disasters in American history. 960 1280

  

Delta Saloon Café

Delta Saloon Café

At the Delta Saloon Café in Virginia City, NV, is a table that many believe is cursed. Three different people have committed suicide at this exact Faro table. 960 1280

  

Philadelphia History Museum

Philadelphia History Museum

The Philadelphia History Museum is now home to an unlikely hero. In the face of great danger, this small dog once prowled the front lines of World War I. 960 1280

  

Delta Saloon Café

Delta Saloon Café

The Delta Saloon Café is home to a gaming table with a dark past. 960 1280

  

Suicide table

Suicide table

Visit the Delta Saloon Café in Virginia City, NV, to see the famed “suicide table.” 960 1280

  

Clark County Museum

Clark County Museum

At the Clark County Museum in Henderson, NV, is a fragment of a plane that crashed while carrying one of the most famous actresses of the 1930s – Carole Lombard. 960 1280

  

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