More than 900,000 visitors cross the causeway each year to reach one of the Gulf Coast’s most relaxing barrier islands -- Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, FL. Here, 4 miles of pristine shoreline lures sunbathers, swimmers and snorkelers alike. In 1948, traces were found here of an animal so unique and mysterious that it defied all scientific explanation and sparked a wave of intrigue that echoed for decades.
Florida Three Toes
In 1948, 3-toed footprints 14 inches long by 11 inches wide were found stamped deeply into the ground. Scottish cryptozoologist, Ivan Sanderson, was intrigued by the prints and began his own study of their authenticity. He believed the marks could be from a giant penguin 15 feet tall with webbed toes. This idea is later proved to be false by Tony Signorini, who informed the St. Petersburg Times that his friend had made iron casts of the feet. Together, they combed the beach and left the tracks as a playful prank.
This institution was home to Dr. Robert E. Cornish, a fiercely ambitious child prodigy that graduated with honors from the University of California, Berkeley, at the ripe age of 18, and attained his doctorate 4 years later.
A unique look at one of the buildings on the Berkeley campus where Dr. Cornish attempted to bring the dead back to life. His experiments on dead dogs proved that animals can be brought back to life. Though they suffer brain damage and blindness, the dogs were successfully brought back to life through a combination or adrenaline, blood-thinning agents and artificial breathing. Because of the dark nature of his experiments, Cornish was forced out of Berkeley and was publicly shunned by his scientific peers.
Located near the western side of Orcas Island, WA, a sweeping estate known as Turtleback Mountain Preserve consists of nearly 16,000 acres of green forests, wetlands and open meadows. This land also played home to the "Barefoot Bandit," Colton Harris-Moore. Harris-Moore perfected his survival skills within the forests to such an amazing degree that even a massive search party could not locate him. He had intimate knowledge of which forest plants were edible, and was excellent at building fires and shelters.
Colton Harris-Moore managed to stay hidden while a massive search party of FBI, state and federal SWAT teams combed the area for 14 hours. He was suspected of burglarizing numerous houses and stores in the area while barefoot. After 2 years and an international manhunt, Harris-Moore was finally caught in the Bahamas. In that time he stole 11 boats, 14 cars and 5 airplanes.
Cigar Girl Murder
A marble arch that protects a curious man-made arrangement of nature known as Sybil’s Cave in Hoboken, NJ, was once the site of a notorious tourist trap. This rocky patch is best known not for its rugged terrain, but for a horrifying incident that occurred in its shadow. This is the site where Manhattan’s first "it girl" is found after being beaten and drowned. Her death remains a mystery to this day.
Cigar Girl Murder
Mary Roger's body was found by 2 men walking along the shoreline near Sybil’s Cave in Hoboken, NJ. Suspicion was raised about her employer, John Anderson, who owned the shop where she became famous for her beauty. Her fiance, Daniel Payne, was also accused but was backed by a solid alibi. Many believe Anderson murdered her because she rejected his romantic advances. Her story is viewed as one of the first celebrity murders the press ever sensationalized.
The New York Academy of Medicine’s beautiful library features one of the world’s largest treasures of medical research, and in the 1920s it was home to an urgent effort to stem the tide of a devastating new epidemic. The work begun by Josephine Neal at the Academy, and continued by Dr. Oliver Sacks in the Bronx, led to a vast improvement for the lives of unlucky encephalitis lethargica victims, and eventually helped ease the suffering for millions of Parkinson’s sufferers throughout the world.
The Man Who Invented Martians
In 1894, mathematician and informal astronomer, Percival Lowell, arrived at the largely unpopulated area of Flagstaff, AZ. On a mesa in an opening of the woods, he set up 2 telescopes for nighttime viewing inside a rudimentary observatory. Lowell’s theories on Martians spawned countless books, movies and a culture that has generated billions, if not trillions, of dollars. This observatory also went on to discover the planet Pluto.