Mysteries: Space Monkey and Absinthe Pictures

Don Wildman examines a bottle of liquor that may have inspired a murderous rampage, a space-traveling monkey and a stack of manuscripts that many claim were written by a spirit.

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Madonna and Child statue by Alceo Dossena
Madonna and Child statue by Alceo Dossena

Madonna and Child statue by Alceo Dossena

The marble Madonna and Child statue by Alceo Dossena, on display at the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1928, Dossena sued his art dealers, claiming that they had been passing off his works as ancient masterpieces without his knowledge. 960 1280

  

Detroit Institute of Arts

Detroit Institute of Arts

The Detroit Institute of Arts contains a beautifully carved marble sculpture that was involved in a scandalous tale of deception that shook the high-priced world of classic art to its core. 960 1280

  

Strong National Museum of Play

Strong National Museum of Play

Chris Bensch examines a small ball of clay on display at the Strong National Museum of Play in Rochester, NY. This clay was the inspiration for an iconic American children’s toy: Play-Doh. 960 1280

  

Strong National Museum of Play

Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play reveals the story of a nursery school teacher who realized that wallpaper cleaner made a fun children’s toy. 960 1280

  

Mothman Museum

Mothman Museum

The Mothman Museum in Point Pleasant, WV, is home to these reels of audio – an interesting interview with a man named Woodrow Derenberger who claimed to have an encounter with an otherworldly being. 960 1280

  

Woodrow Derenberger

Woodrow Derenberger

Susan Sheppard, a paranormal author, discusses the story of Woodrow Derenberger, a sewing machine salesman who claimed to have communicated with an alien in November 1966. 960 1280

  

Woodrow Derenberger

Woodrow Derenberger

Woodrow Derenberger stayed true to his story until his death, but was hounded for years by the media and other people hoping to have alien encounters. 960 1280

  

SS Morro Castle

SS Morro Castle

Learn the story of the terrible fate of the cruise ship SS Morro Castle at the New Jersey Maritime Museum in Beach Haven, NJ. 960 1280

  

SS Morro Castle

SS Morro Castle

The crew films Deb Whitcraft with one of the lifejackets from the doomed cruise ship, the SS Morro Castle. 960 1280

  

SS Morro Castle

SS Morro Castle

The luxury cruise ship caught fire and became completely engulfed in flames on September 8, 1934. Was this the work of an arsonist? 960 1280

  

Feather Fans from World's Fair
Feather Fans from World's Fair

Feather Fans from World's Fair

On display at the Chicago History Museum is a set of feather plume fans that were used for a burlesque show at the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. 960 1280

  

Sally Rand

Sally Rand

Sally Rand’s career skyrocketed after she debuted her risqué fan dance at the fair. 960 1280

  

International Spy Museum

International Spy Museum

The International Spy Museum in Washington, DC, houses the make-up that was used to disguise the 6 American diplomats who evaded capture during the Iran hostage crisis of 1979. 960 1280

  

Argo

Argo

The CIA used a fake film project -- a sci-fi movie they called Argo -- to disguise the Americans as a Canadian film crew and rescue them from Iran. 960 1280

  

LA Police Museum

LA Police Museum

The LA Police Museum houses bullet fragments found at the scene of notorious mobster Bugsy Siegel's murder. 960 1280

  

Bugsy Siegel

Bugsy Siegel

In 1941, Bugsy Siegel was shot dead in his girlfriend’s home in Beverly Hills, CA. 960 1280

  

Bullets from Bugsy Siegel's Murder

Bullets from Bugsy Siegel's Murder

Siegel’s murder remains shrouded in mystery, and we may never know who fired the bullets that killed him. 960 1280

  

Baltimore Medical Examiner's Office

Baltimore Medical Examiner's Office

At the Baltimore Medical Examiner's office is a collection of meticulous, miniature crime scene dioramas created by the “Mother of CSI,” a millionaire heiress named Frances Glessner Lee with an interest in forensics. 960 1280

  

Crime Scene Diorama

Crime Scene Diorama

These morbid displays of death played an unexpected role in the history of modern crime scene investigation. 960 1280

  

Blue Box

Blue Box

At the Computer History Museum in Mountain View, CA, is a “Blue Box,” a contraption invented by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs that, in the days of rotary telephones, could hack the phone network to make free long-distance calls. 960 1280

  

Blue Box

Blue Box

Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak were so delighted by their success with the Blue Box that they decided to continue their partnership -- eventually resulting in the creation of Apple computer 960 1280

  

Joseph Jefferson Mansion and Gardens

Joseph Jefferson Mansion and Gardens

At the Joseph Jefferson Mansion and Gardens on Lake Peigneur in New Iberia, LA, is an antique urn that was one of few relics to survive a terrifying and earthshaking disaster. 960 1280

  

Whirlpool

Whirlpool

On Nov. 20, 1980, a mining accident caused a giant whirlpool to form -- sucking in 65 acres of buildings, barges, trees and terrain surrounding the lake. 960 1280

  

Warren Anatomical Museum
Warren Anatomical Museum

Warren Anatomical Museum

Artifacts on display at Harvard University’s Warren Anatomical Museum in Cambridge, MA. 960 1280

  

Tamping Iron

Tamping Iron

In 1832, railroad worker Phineas Gage was laying dynamite when a freak explosion sent this tamping iron straight through his head. Gage miraculously survives, and the metal rod is now on display at the Warren Anatomical Museum. 960 1280

  

Skull of Phineas Gage

Skull of Phineas Gage

The punctured skull of Phineas Gage sits on display at the Warren Anatomical museum. After Gage died (only 12 years after his accident), a doctor exhumed his skull so that it could aid in the study of the human brain. 960 1280

  

Warren Anatomical Museum

Warren Anatomical Museum

More artifacts on display at the Warren Anatomical Museum. 960 1280

  

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Located in La Jolla, CA, the Scripps Institution of Oceanography is one of the oldest and largest centers for marine science research in the world. 960 1280

  

Squids preserved in jars at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. The institute also houses the secret to the real-life inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock’s famous thriller The Birds. In August of 1961, seabirds in a small California town started crashing into people’s homes and cars – the Scripps Institution has discovered why! 960 1280

  

In the archives of the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka is an antique kitchen knife that was used in one of the first-known serial killing sprees in America. 960 1280

Kansas Museum of History  

Hope Diamond

Hope Diamond

The Hope Diamond on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. It’s rumored that those who come in contact with the famous stone are doomed to suffer mystery, misfortune and even death. 960 1280

  

North Carolina State Archives

North Carolina State Archives

Contributor Sara Koonts poses in the vault of the North Carolina State Archives. The vault of the Raleigh, NC, facility houses letters from many of our nation’s most celebrated leaders. 960 1280

  

Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights

A North Carolina official re-enactor helps demonstrate what happened to the state’s original copy of the Bill of Rights. 960 1280

  

North Carolina State Archives

North Carolina State Archives

Preserved under glass at the North Carolina State Archives in Raleigh is a priceless national treasure: one of just 14 original copies of the Bill of Rights. But for almost 140 years, this irreplaceable piece of history was missing. 960 1280

  

Photos

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

  

Edison's electric pen

Edison's electric pen

At the Thomas Edison Historical Park in West Orange, NJ, is one of the celebrated inventor’s biggest disappointments: the electric pen. 960 1280

The Thomas Edison Papers at Rutgers University  

Edison Historical Park

Edison Historical Park

Though this device failed to transform the world of business, it went on to make a surprising and lasting impression when one man modified Edison’s invention into the first electric tattoo gun. 960 1280

  

Bishopville, SC

Bishopville, SC

At the South Carolina Cotton Museum in Bishopville, SC, there is a cryptic cast of what appears to be a footprint. 960 1280

  

Bishopville, SC

Bishopville, SC

Many are convinced that the mark was left by a half man, half lizard mutant creature that once lurked in the swamps of this South Carolina community. 960 1280

  

Hair tonic bottles

Hair tonic bottles

In Lockport, NY, at the Niagara County Historical Society is a set of murky glass bottles that tell a hair-raising tale. 960 1280

  

7 Sutherland sisters

7 Sutherland sisters

The glass bottles housed here once contained a hair growth tonic that catapulted 7 impoverished and eccentric sisters to an improbable life of fame and fortune. 960 1280

  

Statue of Diana

Statue of Diana

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art is a bronze statue of Diana, the Roman goddess of the hunt. This work of art bore witness to a scandalous, turn of the century crime that rocked high society and the nation, when famous architect Stanford White was murdered by a vengeful millionaire. 960 1280

  

Carroll Deering's bell

Carroll Deering's bell

At the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum on Hatteras Island in North Carolina is the bell of the Carroll Deering, a shipping vessel whose entire crew mysteriously vanished in one of the most confounding cases in seafaring history. 960 1280

  

Kansas Museum of History

Kansas Museum of History

At the Kansas Museum of History in Topeka is a well-worn nautical uniform that once belonged to a local doctor famous for performing goat gland transplants on his patients. 960 1280

  

Fox Sisters

Fox Sisters

On display at the Lily Dale Museum in Lily Dale, NY, is a large tin chest that is linked to the Fox sisters – a famous clan of psychics who claimed to be able to speak with the dead. So whose trunk was this? And what did it prove about a sinister tale of murder, intrigue and the afterlife? 960 1280

  

Easter Island

Easter Island

A statue from Easter Island at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. 960 1280

  

Custer's last stand

Custer's last stand

Actors reenact Custer’s last stand. 960 1280

  

US Army Quartermaster Museum

US Army Quartermaster Museum

Military uniforms on display at the US Army Quartermaster Museum in Fort Lee, VA. 960 1280

  

Washington newspaper

Washington newspaper

Reporter Casey McNerthney inspects a Washington newspaper from 1935. It holds evidence of an infamous kidnapping. 960 1280

  

Red Ghost legend

Red Ghost legend

The US Army Quartermaster Museum in Fort Lee, VA, displays a brass bell that was linked to a legendary beast known as the Red Ghost. What was this terrifying creature? And how did it come to stalk the Arizona desert? 960 1280

  

Kansas Museum of History

Kansas Museum of History

The Kansas Museum of History’s museum registrar, Nikaela Zimmerman, tells the story of John R. Brinkley, a doctor who was hailed as a Kansas hero. 960 1280

  

John R. Brinkley

John R. Brinkley

After losing his medical license for his controversial goat gland transplants, John R. Brinkley launched a campaign for governor. These artifacts were given out to voters. 960 1280

  

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument

Custer on horseback at the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument in Montana. On display at the museum is an unassuming array of bent and rusty cartridge casings that came from the blood-soaked site of one of the most famous battles in American history. 960 1280

  

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