Mysteries: Shipwreck and Swamp Monster Pictures

Don investigates a footprint believed to have been left by a strange Bayou creature, artifacts recovered from a famous shipwreck, the story of secret agent who inspired the James Bond novels and more.

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Texas City Disaster
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

  

U.S. Space and Rocket Center
U.S. Space and Rocket Center

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

At the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL, visitors come to ogle an authentic Apollo command module, a $200 million Blackbird spy plane and technology that created the world's first ballistic guided missile. 960 1280

  

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

U.S. Space and Rocket Center

A singular artifact seems out of place among the high-tech gadgets and enormous rocketry at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center. Despite its rusted headlamp, leather seat and luggage rack, this unassuming 1940s-era bicycle changed the course of history for space exploration in America. The story behind how it got here is a heart-stopping tale of espionage and intrigue that thrust one man to the fore of a technology that would transform mankind. 960 1280

  

San Francisco Main Library

San Francisco Main Library

Inside San Francisco’s Main Library, which boasts this amazing atrium, some of the city’s notable inhabitants are chronicled. Among the famous artifacts, there’s a cassette tape containing Dan White’s confession to the murder of Harvey Milk, documents related to beloved city celebrity Emperor Norton and an album recorded by infamous Satan worshipper Anton LaVey. 960 1280

  

San Francisco Main Library

San Francisco Main Library

Among the thousands of San Francisco’s city records is an item that belonged to a radical local who has been largely forgotten. Measuring just 3 inches by 5 inches, these old cookbooks are worn with age and contain many hand-scrawled recipes that were pivotal in helping their author pull off a dramatic deception in the name of civil rights. 960 1280

  

Texarkana Museum

Texarkana Museum

Straddling the Texas - Arkansas state line is a city that is literally in two places at once: Texarkana. For centuries, this Victorian railroad town has stood proudly as a crossroads of the Southwest. As a result, it has a rich cultural heritage, some of which is housed in the city’s oldest brick building, now repurposed as the Texarkana Museum of Regional History. Exhibits include Caddo Indian pottery and vintage farming equipment, plus toys and clothing from the everyday lives of past residents. 960 1280

  

Texarkana Museum

Texarkana Museum

Inside the Texarkana Museum is one artifact whose purpose is harder to place on the cultural timeline. This tall wooden box is made from mahogany and is adorned with a series of levers, dials, wires and a small lightbulb. But it’s what’s sealed inside that is really fascinating. And the tale of how those contents were once revealed to the world is a gripping yarn of new-world ambitions, dashed hopes and sickening greed. 960 1280

  

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Arguably the biggest attraction in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame lets the stars and stories of the world’s most powerful art form shine on with 4 theaters and 7 floors of exhibits. Elvis Presley’s custom motorcycle, John Lennon’s costume from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, and recording equipment from Sun Studio in Memphis are just some of the iconic artifacts on display here. 960 1280

  

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

One exhibit predates most of the others at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and helped lay the musical foundation for everything that came after. Made in 1937, this 12-string guitar (known as a Stella) was owned by a legendary musician who influenced countless other stars. 960 1280

  

New York City Museum

New York City Museum

Commemorating the character of the city that never sleeps and its 5 boroughs is the Museum of the City of New York. This institution houses an impressive and eclectic collection connecting the past, present and future, including jewels once owned by New York's 19th-century elite, images cataloging social activism in the city and inspired paintings of the city’s most well-known green space, Central Park. 960 1280

  

New York City Museum

New York City Museum

Deep in the New York City archives is a rather patriotic-looking relic. This promotional badge stands as a testament to a fierce rivalry between 2 newspapers that in turn unraveled a brutal crime and helped spark a new era in sensational journalism. 960 1280

  

National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Museum of the Marine Corps

Originally named Potomac in honor of the river that flows near the town’s edge, Quantico, VA, is home to only 480 residents, with a scant 11 streets. It also serves as the main base of the United States Marines and houses an institution that honors them — the National Museum of the Marine Corps. Throughout its long halls are items that inherently speak to the storied, valiant record of the Corps. A sniper rifle from the Vietnam War, Medals of Honor and a pair of Corsair jet fighters from World War II are just some of the incredible artifacts it displays for visitors. 960 1280

  

National Museum of the Marine Corps

National Museum of the Marine Corps

One object appears to have no obvious reason for being on display in a war museum. A staple in the Army diet, the Tootsie Roll has more than justified its inclusion here by virtue of the unexpected role it once played in a desperate battle. 960 1280

  

National Firearms Museum
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

  

Photos

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

  

Man-Eating Lions

Man-Eating Lions

On display at The Field Museum in Chicago are 2 massive stuffed lions that once tormented a group of railroad workers in East Africa. Dubbed the “Tsavo Man-Eaters,” these notorious lions were responsible for a number of deaths near Kenya’s Tsavo River in 1898. 960 1280

  

Cash register

Cash register

This cash register, on display at the Fort Thomas Military and Community Museum in Fort Thomas, KY, once belonged to Kentucky’s Beverly Hills Supper Club – the site of a deadly fire. 960 1280

  

Cleveland's Tumor

Cleveland's Tumor

The Mutter Museum in Philadelphia, PA, houses a medical oddity that was part of a top-secret operation. Visit to see the tumor and a few teeth that former President Grover Cleveland had surgically removed while he was in office. 960 1280

  

Man-Eating Lions

Man-Eating Lions

Chicago’s Field Museum offers clues as to why 2 massive, 9-foot lions began attacking, killing and eating railroad workers in Kenya. 960 1280

  

State Senator Murder

State Senator Murder

Visit the Michigan Historical Museum in Lansing, MI, to see the blood-stained hat that a Michigan State Senator was wearing when he was mysteriously murdered. 960 1280

  

Willamette Meteorite

Willamette Meteorite

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History at the University of Oregon in Eugene houses a replica of the Willamette Meteorite – the largest meteorite ever found in North America. 960 1280

  

Meteorite

Meteorite

Learn about the 15-ton meteorite -- and the scandal its discovery caused -- at University of Oregon’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History. 960 1280

  

President Grover Cleveland's Tumor

President Grover Cleveland's Tumor

Former President Grover Cleveland had his tumor along with a few teeth removed from his jaw during a top-secret operation aboard a fishing boat. 960 1280

  

UFO

UFO

At the Simpson County Archives in Franklin, KY, is a piece of a plane that crashed while tracking a UFO. 960 1280

  

UFO

UFO

A metal fragment at the Simpson County Archives tells the story of pilot who died in a mysterious plane crash in 1941. Did the UFO he was chasing have something to do with it? 960 1280

  

Jack the Ripper

Jack the Ripper

This aged dossier may contain critical information linking a gruesome turn-of-the-century murder to one of the world’s most notorious serial killers. 960 1280

  

Journal With Jack the Ripper Evidence

Journal With Jack the Ripper Evidence

Now housed at New York City’s Municipal Archives, the tattered journal is tied to a brutal murder at New York City’s East River Hotel in 1891. Could the woman, a well-known prostitute by the name of Carrie Brown, have been murdered by London’s infamous Jack the Ripper? 960 1280

  

Ice picks

Ice picks

At the Vicksburg Depot Museum in Vicksburg, MI, 2 medieval-looking implements hearken back to a time in American history when a brave group of industrious men teamed up with a visionary businessman to change dinner tables across America. 960 1280

  

Ice picks

Ice picks

The ice picks housed here tell the story of the invention of chilled train cars -- allowing raw meat to be transported across the country without spoiling. 960 1280

  

Counterfeit money

Counterfeit money

At the Secret Service Museum in Washington, DC, select visitors can view a weathered $20 bill, which was once wielded by a brilliant and elusive master-criminal whose forgeries triggered a decade-long manhunt. 960 1280

  

US Secret Service Museum

US Secret Service Museum

Few may realize that the US Secret Service was created by President Lincoln to stop counterfeiting, which had become rampant during the Civil War. One man, who became known as “Jim the Penman,” spent weeks on each of the bills he created. 960 1280

  

Locust

Locust

At the C. P. Gillette Museum of Arthropod Diversity in Fort Collins, CO, a now-extinct insect specimen tells of a devastating swarm of biblical proportions that laid waste to much of the country. 960 1280

  

Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin

Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin

At the Salon de Magie in Loveland, OH, amidst the many artifacts chronicling the history of magic, one well-polished antique chest tells a shocking tale of deception and international intrigue. 960 1280

  

Wooden chest used by French magician

Wooden chest used by French magician

This wooden chest was used by famous French magician Jean-Eugene Robert-Houdin to help Emperor Napoleon quell a revolution in Algeria. The box was used in a trick to prove that French magic was more powerful than the magic of the tribal chiefs who were threatening revolution. 960 1280

  

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

At the Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History in Kennesaw, GA, visitors come from far and wide to marvel at one massive steam engine which played a critical role in one of the most outlandish heists in American history. 960 1280

  

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

Southern Museum of Civil War and Locomotive History

During the Civil War, Union spies hijacked and attempted to steal the Confederate army train, known as The General. 960 1280

  

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