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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Don Bolles' mangled car
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

  

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

  

Roanoke

Roanoke

An artifact at Brenau University in Gainesville, GA, may provide clues about what happened to the lost colony of Roanoke. 960 1280

  

Roanoke

Roanoke

A newspaper clipping from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution that announces the discovery of the artifact. 960 1280

  

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA.

Brenau University in Gainesville, GA. 960 1280

  

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History

The National Museum of American History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Deep Blue

Deep Blue

The museum is home to Deep Blue, a computer created by IBM to play against one of the best chess players in the world. 960 1280

  

Enoch Pratt Free Library

Enoch Pratt Free Library

The Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, MD, where Don Wildman investigates the mysterious death of Edgar Allan Poe. 960 1280

Enoch Pratt Free Library   

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

The exterior entrance to the formerly top-secret underground bunker at the Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, WV. 960 1280

  

Greenbrier Hotel

Greenbrier Hotel

An interior shot of the Greenbrier Resort, which housed an incredible secret for 3 decades. 960 1280

  

Harbor History Museum

Harbor History Museum

A display at the Harbor History Museum in Gig Harbor, WA, which is home to a strange medial book that advocated starvation as a cure for disease. 960 1280

  

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7

Liberty Bell 7 on display at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center in Hutchinson, KS. 960 1280

  

SR71 Blackbird

SR71 Blackbird

SR-71 ‘Blackbird’ at the Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center. 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