Mysteries: Skunk Ape and Hacker Spy Pictures

Does the skunk ape exist? What caused a famous ventriloquist to disappear at sea in 1908? Don Wildman investigates.

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NY Pneumatic Subway Plan
NY Pneumatic Subway Plan

NY Pneumatic Subway Plan

At the New York Transit Museum in Brooklyn, NY, is American inventor Alfred Beach’s ambitious plan for New York City’s first subway, which would be powered entirely by compressed air rather than by steam engine like Europe’s subways at the time. 960 1280

  

Albert Einstein's Brain Tissue

Albert Einstein's Brain Tissue

The Mudder Museum in Philadelphia, PA, is home to 46 glass slides that contain tissue samples of the brain of Albert Einstein. 960 1280

  

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

At Ford's Theatre in Washington, DC, contributor Roger Powell demonstrates the brass knuckles that Kate Warne carried with her to protect President Lincoln from an assassination attempt. 960 1280

  

Pneumatic Subway

Pneumatic Subway

Museum curator Carey Stumm holds the plans for Beach’s “Pneumatic Subway System,” which was modeled after pneumatic tubes that post offices used at the time. 960 1280

  

Museum of the Gulf Coast curator Ami Kamara holds the purse of Karen Silkwood, who died in a car crash in 1974. Silkwood was found dead in her car just hours before she was to meet with a New York Times reporter to hand over documentation of the unsafe conditions at the nuclear factory where she worked. Her file of evidence was never found. 960 1280

  

Ford's Theatre

Ford's Theatre

The crew shoots at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Slides of Einstein's Brain

Slides of Einstein's Brain

Anna Dohdy examines the pieces of Albert Einstein’s brain at the Mudder Museum Philadelphia, PA. 960 1280

  

William Morgan

William Morgan

In 1826, William Morgan was kidnapped and hidden, locked in a room at Old Fort Niagara for threatening to expose the secrets of the Freemasons. Three men were eventually convicted of Morgan’s kidnapping, all of whom claimed that they sent Morgan to exile in Canada. Many believe that something far more sinister happened to him. 960 1280

  

Einstein's brain sample

Einstein's brain sample

Dohdy examines one of the slides with a tissue sample of Einstein's brain on it. 960 1280

  

Pennyroyal Area Museum

Pennyroyal Area Museum

The crew sets up an interview at the Pennyroyal Area Museum in Hopkinsville, KY. 960 1280

  

Old Fort Niagara

Old Fort Niagara

The "Powder Room" at Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown, NY, where a group of Freemasons detained William Morgan for a week before (supposedly) sending him into exile in Canada. 960 1280

  

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

  

Texas City Disaster

Texas City Disaster

A shoe that was found on the day of the Texas City Disaster on display at the Texas City Museum. The April 16, 1947, incident was the deadliest industrial accident in US history, and killed almost 600 people. 960 1280

  

bezoar stones

bezoar stones

At the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum Heritage Society in Key West, FL, archaeologist Corey Malcolm discusses bezoar stones -- once believed to be an antidote to any poison. 960 1280

  

Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson

Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson

Infamous daredevil Evel Knievel’s Harley-Davidson motorcycle on display at the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC. Knievel successfully jumped over 14 Greyhound buses on the bike. 960 1280

  

laughing gas

laughing gas

At the Museum of the City of New York is a strange artifact -- an invitation to a laughing gas party. 960 1280

  

Bezoar stone

Bezoar stone

A bezoar stone on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Bright's Pioneer Exhibit

Bright's Pioneer Exhibit

At Bright's Pioneer Exhibit in Le Grand, CA, is an ordinary yellow schoolbus that became ensnared in a crime so heinous that it would devastate an entire community. 960 1280

  

Toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

Toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York

A turn-of-the-century toy exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. 960 1280

  

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit

Bright’s Pioneer Exhibit owner James Bright on the schoolbus that was part of the largest kidnapping for ransom in US history. 960 1280

  

A gold poison cup

A gold poison cup

A gold poison cup on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Texas City Park

Texas City Park

The Texas City Park in Texas City, TX. 960 1280

  

Atocha

Atocha

A model of Atocha, a Spanish ship that sank in 1622 off the Florida Keys, on display at the Mel Fisher Maritime Museum. 960 1280

  

Bars of silver

Bars of silver

Large bars of silver that were recovered from the sunken Spanish ship. 960 1280

  

Museum of the City of New York

Museum of the City of New York

Museum curator Sarah Henry holds an artifact at the Museum of the City of New York. 960 1280

  

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

  

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