Saturday, June 23, 2012

Can the Dead Talk to Us?

People have always wanted to communicate with the dead. We miss the company and the relationships we had with them when they were alive. There are always things that remain to be said, and we long to reach out to them at least one more time. We want to know that they're okay wherever they are; that they are happy and no longer burdened by the trials of earthly life.

Also, if we can communicate with the dead, it affirms to us that there really is an existence "somewhere" after this life.

So, yes, we can reach out to those who have passed, but can they talk back? We have developed various methods and rituals in hopes of making two-way contact - most recently, using several technology-based methods. But are they effective? We seem to be getting responses... but can they be trusted? Are they truly responses from the dead?

Let's review the most common methods that many assume are channels through which the dead communicate.


Séances in which a small group of people gather in a darkened room around a table have been practiced at least since the 18th century. They were most popular from the mid-19th century into the early 20th century. They were usually led by trance mediums who claimed to be able to channel the spirits of the dead and impart messages to the living participants.

These séances were rife with fraud and gimmickry, although a few, such as Leonora Piper, were closely investigated by psychic research organizations and thought by many to be "genuine."

Today's version of the medium can be seen in such celebrities as John Edward and James Van Praagh, except that they forego the darkened room and table, claiming to be able to "hear" the voices of the dead who provide usually trite messages to living family members in the audience.

The problem with all of these mediums is that there is no way to prove that the messages they are relaying really are from the deceased. They can pretty much say whatever they want, claim it is from a dead person, and... well, who can prove that it's not?

Yes, Edward and Van Praagh occasionally seem to get some remarkable "hits," but we've seen talented mentalists - who claim no psychic powers - do equally astonishing tricks. And the messages they give are not very convincing that they come from a person who has died and now exists on some otherworldly plane. We get usual "he is watching over you" or "she's happier now and out of pain," etc., but no real details on what the afterlife is like - no information that would convince us absolutely.


Ouija boards were developed as a kind of home board game version of the séance. It simplifies the practice, requiring only two people and a planchette pointer and lettered board that substitutes for the medium.

While there is a lot of fundamentalist paranoia surrounding the Ouija board, with claims that they are portals to evil and controlled by demons, most users' experiences are completely harmless, even dull. The "spirits" that come through the board often claim to be dead people, and the shock of that claim is enough to scare the bejeebers out of every teenage girl, but again there is no way to verify that claim.

On occasion, information comes through the board, according to some stories, that seems to be outside the knowledge of the participants. First of all, these are stories of people's experiences - sometimes second- or even third-hand accounts - which themselves need to be verified. And if verified, must we then assume that the information is coming from "the other side"? Once again, we cannot prove that it isn't, but another possibility is that the information is coming through psychic means, in the same way that remote viewing obtains information. Communication from the dead is not the only possibility.


There are several cases - some of them remarkable - of people who have written books, music, and messages that they believe are channeled from the dead: Jane Roberts and her series of Seth books; J.Z. Knight who channels the 30,000-year-old Ramtha; Pearl Curran who channeled Patience Worth to write notable books; Rosemary Brown who wrote music she said came from Franz Liszt; Helen Schucman who claimed Jesus Christ wrote A Course in Miracles through her.

Are these artistic works proof of the afterlife? Or are they the products of talented people who are able to tap the deep well of creativity in their own subconscious?


Electronic voice phenomena (EVP) through sound recording devices and so-called ghost boxes are the latest technological devices with which investigators claim to contact the dead.

With EVP, voices of unknown origin are recorded on tape or digital recorders; the voices are not heard at the time, but are heard on playback. The quality and clarity of these voices vary widely. The worst ones are open to broad interpretation (some can hardly be called voices at all), while the best ones are clear and unmistakable. I have heard many excellent EVP and their origin certainly is mysterious.

Ghost boxes (also known as Frank's box or "telephones to the dead") are modified radios that sweep across the AM or FM bands, picking up bits and pieces of music and dialogue. The dialogue sometimes seems to answer a question, say a name, or something else relevant in one- or two-word bites.

The assumption by many paranormal researchers is that the messages from these machines are spoken by the dead. In my view, that is a very hasty assumption. Just because we do not understand how these voices and messages are generated, we should not leap to the conclusion that they come from dead people. In the case of EVP, this could very well be a psychic phenomenon in which the voices are somehow created by the subconscious minds of the investigators. I am less convinced of any paranormal element with the ghost box; I think it is a case of auditory pareidolia: the researchers hear or interpret what they want or expect to hear.


With some near-death experiences (NDE) there is a most extraordinary claim: NDErs having an out-of-body experience say they meet deceased friends and relatives face to face. The message from these dead folks is always the same: "It's not your time yet. You must go back." The person is then slammed back into his or her body. We must suppose that if the message was "It's your time! Glad to have you! Welcome!" that the person would not have recovered and would have died.

In rare NDE cases, the NDEr is shown around the afterlife, which is always amazingly beautiful, and is sometimes given special or vast knowledge about life and the universe... but the person can never quite remember what this information was upon waking.

Do near-death experience encounters with the dead represent our best evidence for communication with the dead? Possibly, but as compelling as many of these cases are, the debate over the "reality" of these experiences will likely continue for some time. There is no way to prove or disprove their reality with any finality.


Finally, with spirit apparitions we have face-to-face encounters with the dead without going through all the trauma of a near-death experience - the spirits come to us.

There are many thousands of cases of people who say that they have been visited by dead relatives and friends (usually recently dead), who appear to bring words of comfort to the grieving. In the most interesting cases, the people who witness these apparitions are unaware that the person has even died, discovering this fact only later.

In these cases, too, the dead are not very forthcoming with any juicy details about the afterlife. Their messages are often "Don't worry about me. I'm fine. I'm watching over the family. Take care of each other," and similar platitudes. Comforting, yes, but no information that would convince the skeptic.

There are unusual cases, however, in which spirits do provide information (such as the location of a missing item, etc.) of which the living person has no knowledge. As rare as those instances are (they are also hard to document), are they our best evidence for life after death?


If any of the methods for communicating with the dead really work, why do we not get better, more convincing information from them? Perhaps we're not allowed to get better information. For whatever reason, perhaps the possibility of life after death is supposed to remain a mystery.

The scientific materialist would argue that there is no afterlife, and that all of these methods result in nothing more that self-delusion and wishful thinking.

Yet the sheer number of apparition sightings and contacts, and the most compelling near-death experiences cases hold out the real possibility - some would say hope - that our existence continues after bodily death.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Out-of-body experience

An out-of-body experience (OBE or sometimes OOBE) is an experience that typically involves a sensation of floating outside of one's body and, in some cases, perceiving one's physical body from a place outside one's body (autoscopy).

The term out-of-body experience was introduced in 1943 by George N. M. Tyrrell in his book Apparitions, and adopted by, for example, Celia Green and Robert Monroe as a bias-free alternative to belief-centric labels such as "astral projection", "soul travel", or "spirit walking". Though the term usefully distances researchers from scientifically problematic concepts such as the soul, scientists still know little about the phenomenon. Some researchers believe they have managed to recreate OBE in a laboratory setup by stimulating a part in the human brain. One in ten people has an out-of-body experience once, or more commonly, several times[6] in his or her life. OBEs are often part of the near-death experience. Those who have experienced OBEs sometimes claim to have observed details which were unknown to them beforehand.

In some cases the phenomenon appears to occur spontaneously; in others it is associated with a physical or mental trauma, dehydration, sensory deprivation, sensory overload, use of psychedelic drugs, dissociative drugs, or a dream-like state. Many techniques aiming to induce the experience deliberately have been developed, for example visualization while in a relaxed, meditative state. Recent (2007) studies have shown that experiences somewhat similar to OBEs can be induced by electrical brain stimulation (particularly the temporoparietal junction). Some of those who experience OBEs claimed to have willed themselves out of their bodies, while others report having found themselves being pulled from their bodies (usually preceded by a feeling of paralysis). In other accounts, the feeling of being outside the body was suddenly realized after the fact, and the experiencers saw their own bodies almost by accident.

Some neurologists have suspected that the event is triggered by a mismatch between visual and tactile signals. They used a virtual reality setup to recreate an OBE. The subject looked through goggles and saw his own body as it would appear to an outside observer standing behind him. The experimenter then touched the subject at the same time as a rod appeared to touch the virtual image. The experiment created an illusion of being behind and outside one's body. However, both critics and the experimenter himself note that the study fell short of replicating "full-blown" OBEs.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Underwater Mystery

As with most interesting mysteries, an investigation only brings up more questions than answers. Such is the case with the intriguing disc-shaped object found on the floor of the Baltic Sea in June, 2011 by the Ocean X Team, a group of Swedish treasure hunters. The team returned to the site of the find in May, 2012, and what they were able to photograph only puzzled them further.

"The object appeared more as a huge mushroom, rising ... 10-13 feet from the seabed, with rounded sides and rugged edges," the team has posted on their website. "The object had an egg shaped hole leading into it from the top, as an opening. On top of the object they also found strange stone circle formations, almost looking like small fireplaces. The stones were covered in something resembling soot."

"During my 20-year diving career, including 6000 dives, I have never seen anything like this," said says Stefan Hogeborn, one of the divers. "I can't explain what we saw, and I went down there to answer questions, but I came up with even more questions."

Monday, June 11, 2012


Even though some sightings date back to the 1970s, El Chupacabra - "the goat sucker" - is primarily a phenomenon of the 1990s, and its fame has largely been spread by the Internet. The sightings started in earnest in 1995 with reports coming out of Puerto Rico of a strange creature that was killing farmers' livestock - chickens, ducks, turkeys, rabbits and, of course, goats - sometimes hundreds of animals in one evening. The farmers, who were familiar with the killing practices of wild dogs and other predators, claimed that the methods of this unknown beast were different. It didn't try to eat the animals it killed, for example; nor did it drag them away to be devoured elsewhere. Instead, the creature killed by draining its victims of blood, usually through small incisions.

Then came the bizarre eyewitness descriptions:
    • about the size of a chimpanzee
    • hops about like a kangaroo
    • large glowing red eyes
    • grayish skin and hairy arms
    • long snake-like tongue
    • sharp fangs
    • quills running along its spine that seem to open and close like a fan
    • some believe it may even have wings
    Toward the end of the '90s, the sightings of Chupacabra began to spread. The creature was blamed for animal killings in Mexico, southern Texas and several South American countries. In May and June of 2000, a rash of incidents took place in Chile, according to certain newspapers there. In fact, some of the most incredible claims yet came out of those sightings: that at least one of the creatures was caught alive by local authorities, then handed over to official agencies of the US government.
    What is it? Theories abound, including: an unknown but natural species of predator; misidentified known predators; the result of genetic experimentation; an alien. Most serious researchers consider Chupacabra merely folklore, perpetuated by over-enthusiastic locals immersed in superstition or a penchant for telling tall, exaggerated tales.
    Yet you can be sure that we haven't seen or heard the last of Chupacabra.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Angikuni Lake

In 1930, a newsman in The Pas, Manitoba, reported on a small Inuit village right off of Lake Angikuni. The village had always welcomed the fur trappers who passed through occasionally. But in 1930 Joe Labelle, a fur trapper well known in the village, found that all the villagers had gone. He found unfinished shirts that still had needles in them and food hanging over fire pits and therefore concluded that the villagers had left suddenly. Even more disturbing, he found seven sled dogs dead from starvation and a grave that had been dug up. Labelle knew that an animal could not have been responsible because the stones circling the grave were undisturbed. He reported this to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who conducted a search for the missing people; no one was ever found.
Such is the story as it appears in Frank Edwards's 1966 book Stranger than Science; other versions appear in Whitley Strieber's science fiction novel Majestic (fiction) and Dean Koontz's horror yarn "Phantoms". The World's Greatest UFO Mysteries (presented as fact) has an even more detailed version, as do other websites and books, adding other standard details such as mysterious lights in the sky, empty graveyards, and over a thousand people missing. The earliest version of the story is found in the November 27, 1930, Danville Bee, written by journalist Emmett E Kelleher. That article contained a "photo" that was later found to be from 1909 and had nothing at all to do with the story. The incident appears to have been forgotten until referenced by Edwards's 1966 book.
The RCMP has since dismissed the case as an urban legend, claiming that the story originated in the book Stranger Than Science by Frank Edwards. The RCMP also states, "It is also believed that such a large village would never have been possible in such a remote area" (despite the fact that the aforementioned book the RCMP references mentions just 30 people and one grave). The RCMP states that it has no record of any unusual activity in the area.
Despite the modern RCMP explanation, an older one can be found from 1931, issued by the RCMP itself after an investigation that the modern RCMP does not acknowledge. The 1931 RCMP considered the whole story untrue, although later investigations indicate there may have been some permanent or seasonal abandonment of structures by their occupants, a normal event that could be confusing to anyone not familiar with the area and conditions—it was not sudden, and nothing of any real value was left behind. The November 1976 issue of Fate Magazine also studied the story, arriving at similar conclusions.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Devil's Footprints

On the night of 7–8 February 1855 and one or two later nights, after a heavy snowfall, a series of hoof-like marks appeared in the snow. These footprints, most of which measured around four inches long, three inches across, between eight and sixteen inches apart and mostly in a single file, were reported from over thirty locations across Devon and a couple in Dorset. It was estimated that the total distance of the tracks amounted to between 40 and 100 miles. Houses, rivers, haystacks and other obstacles were travelled straight over, and footprints appeared on the tops of snow-covered roofs and high walls which lay in the footprints' path, as well as leading up to and exiting various drain pipes of as small as a four-inch diameter.
The area in which the prints appeared extended from Exmouth, up to Topsham, and across the Exe Estuary to Dawlish and Teignmouth. R.H. Busk, in an article published in Notes and Queries in 1890, stated that footprints also appeared further afield, as far south as Totnes and Torquay, and that there were other reports of the prints as far away as Weymouth (Dorset) and even Lincolnshire.
There were also attendant rumours about sightings of a "devil-like figure" in the Devon area during the scare. Many townspeople armed themselves and attempted to track down the beast responsible, without success.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Roswell UFO incident

The Roswell UFO Incident was a report of an object that crashed in the general vicinity of Roswell, New Mexico, in June or July 1947, allegedly an extra-terrestrial spacecraft and its alien occupants. Since the late 1970s the incident has been the subject of intense controversy and of conspiracy theories as to the true nature of the object that crashed. The United States Armed Forces maintains that what was recovered was debris from an experimental high-altitude surveillance balloon belonging to a classified program named "Mogul";however, many UFO proponents maintain that an alien craft was found and its occupants were captured, and that the military then engaged in a cover-up. The incident has turned into a widely known pop culture phenomenon, making the name Roswell synonymous with UFOs. It ranks as the most publicized and controversial of alleged UFO incidents.

On July 8, 1947, the Roswell Army Air Field (RAAF) public information officer Walter Haut in Roswell, New Mexico, issued a press release stating that personnel from the field's 509th Bomb Group had recovered a crashed "flying disk" from a ranch near Roswell, sparking intense media interest. The following day, the press reported that Commanding General of the Eighth Air Force (Roger M. Ramey) stated that, in fact, a radar-tracking balloon had been recovered by the RAAF personnel, not a "flying disc."A subsequent press conference was called, featuring debris said to be from the crashed object, which seemed to confirm the weather balloon description.
The incident was quickly forgotten and almost completely ignored, even by UFO researchers, for more than 30 years. Then, in 1978, physicist and ufologist Stanton T. Friedman interviewed Major Jesse Marcel who was involved with the original recovery of the debris in 1947. Marcel expressed his belief that the military had covered up the recovery of an alien spacecraft. His story spread through UFO circles, being featured in some UFO documentaries at the time. In February 1980, The National Enquirer ran its own interview with Marcel, garnering national and worldwide attention for the Roswell incident.
Additional witnesses added significant new details, including claims of a huge military operation dedicated to recovering alien craft and aliens themselves, at as many as 11 crash sites, and alleged witness intimidation. In 1989, former mortician Glenn Dennis put forth a detailed personal account, wherein he claimed that alien autopsies were carried out at the Roswell base.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

BSAA Star Dust accident

Star Dust (registration G-AGWH) was a British South American Airways (BSAA) Avro Lancastrian airliner which disappeared in mysterious circumstances on 2 August 1947 during a flight from Buenos Aires, Argentina to Santiago, Chile. A comprehensive search of a wide area (including what is now known to have been the crash site) discovered no wreckage, and the true fate of the aircraft and its passengers and crew remained a mystery for over fifty years. Speculation about the cause and nature of the disappearance of Star Dust included theories of international intrigue, intercorporate sabotage or abduction by aliens.
In the late 1990s, pieces of wreckage from the missing aircraft began to emerge from glacial ice in the Andes mountains near Santiago. It is now assumed that the crew became confused as to their exact location whilst flying at high altitudes through the (then poorly understood) jet stream. Mistakenly believing that they had already cleared the mountain tops before starting their descent, when in fact they were still behind cloud-covered peaks, Star Dust slammed into Mount Tupungato, killing all aboard and burying the wreckage in snow and ice.
A mystery regarding Star Dust that remains unsolved to this day relates to the flight's final Morse Code transmission to the Santiago airport, received four minutes prior to its planned landing. The last word of the transmission – heard by the airport control tower's radio operator as "STENDEC" – has never been satisfactorily explained, despite speculation from numerous aviation and radio experts and members of the public.

Unexplained disappearances

Benjamin Bathurst

Benjamin Bathurst (born 1784) was a British diplomatic envoy who disappeared from the White Swan inn in the town of Perleberg,Germany, during the Napoleonic Wars. A reward of £1,000 was offered by the British government (a vast sum of money in those days) for information leading to his return and was doubled by Bathurst's family and even contributed to by Prince Frederick of Prussia, who took great interest in the case, to no avail. It was thought he may have been murdered by French espionage agents who were monitoring his activity, and Bathurst's family even went so far as to approach the Emperor Napoleon himself about the disappearance, who swore he knew nothing more about it than he had read in the newspapers of the day. The town of Perleberg was also known to have a strong criminal element at the time and another theory was that he was snatched away and murdered, given that he was a man of obvious wealth. In 1852, forty-one years after Bathurst's disappearance, a male human skeleton with a fractured skull was discovered when a house some 300 m from the White Swan inn was demolished. Bathurst's sister travelled to Perleberg but was unable to identify the remains. Bathurst's disappearance is referenced in several works of science fiction and the paranormal, most of which describe him falling into a portal leading to some other place, time, or alternate timeline.

Mary Celeste

The Mary Celeste was a ship discovered in December 1872 abandoned and unmanned in the Atlantic. The crew were never seen or heard from again and what happened to them is the subject of much speculation. Their fate is regarded as one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time. Some say the crew was thrown overboard by a large wave, but no remains were ever found.

Flannan Isles

The Flannan Isles mystery was the disappearance of three lighthouse keepers in 1900 who vanished from their duty stations, leaving behind equipment important to surviving the hostile conditions at that location and time of year. However, the official explanation for the disappearances was mundane, concluding that the men were swept out to sea by a freak wave.

Ambrose Bierce

Ambrose Bierce (born 1842) was an American editorialist, journalist, short-story writer and satirist. Today, he is best known for his short story "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" and his satirical dictionary The Devil's Dictionary. In October 1913, the septuagenarian Bierce departed Washington, D.C., for a tour of his old Civil War battlefields. By December he had proceeded on through Louisiana andTexas, crossing by way of El Paso into Mexico, which was in the throes of revolution. In Ciudad Juárez he joined Pancho Villa's army as an observer, and in that role participated in the battle of Tierra Blanca. Bierce is known to have accompanied Villa's army as far as the city of Chihuahua. After a last letter to a close friend, sent from there December 26, 1913, he vanished without a trace, becoming one of the most notable disappearances in American literary history. Investigations into his fate have proved fruitless, and despite an abundance of theories his end remains shrouded in mystery.

Amelia Earhart

During an attempt to make a circumnavigational flight of the globe in 1937, Amelia Earhart and her navigator Fred Noonan disappeared over the central Pacific Ocean near Howland Island. Fascination with her life, career and disappearance continues to this day. No confirmed remains or debris have ever been found.

B-47 disappearance

On 10 March 1956 four B-47 Stratojets left MacDill Air Force Base in Florida for a non-stop flight to Ben Guerir Air Base in Morocco and completed their first aerial refueling without incident. After descending through cloud to begin their second refueling, over theMediterranean Sea at 14,000 ft, the aircraft manned by Captain Robert H. Hodgin (31, commander), Captain Gordon M. Insley (32, observer), and 2nd Lt. Ronald L. Kurtz (22, pilot) failed to make contact with the tanker. Neither the aircraft nor wreckage from it was ever found.

Lord Lucan

Richard John Bingham, 7th Earl of Lucan, popularly known as Lord Lucan, disappeared in the early hours of 8 November 1974, following the killing of Sandra Rivett, his children's nanny, the previous evening; he was named by an inquest jury as Rivett's murderer the following year. Despite a world-wide hunt, he was never found.

Frederick Valentich

Frederick Valentich disappeared in 1978 while piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over Bass Strait to King Island, Australia. In his last radio contact, Valentich reported an unusual aircraft was following his, and his last words were: "It is hovering and it's not an aircraft." No trace of Valentich or his aircraft was ever found, and an Australian Department of Transport investigation concluded that the reason for the disappearance could not be determined.

The Springfield Three

Sherrill Levitt, her daughter Suzie Streeter, and Suzie's friend Stacy McCall, vanished on June 7, 1992 in Springfield Missouri. On June 6, 1992, Stacy, 18 and Suzie, 19 graduated from Kickapoo High School. They had planned to go to White Water, a water park in Branson, Missouri the following day. The two girls planned to stay at another friend's house, but changed their minds when the house became too crowded with out of town relatives. After a graduation party, the two girls arrived at Sherril's and Suzie's house at around 2:00 am. Earlier, Sherill had called a friend and was busy painting a chest of drawers at around 11:30 that night. That was the last time any of the three women were heard from again. At around 9:00 am, a friend of Stacy and Suzie's came to pick them up to go to White Water, but found none of the women. There was a shattered porch light, so she and her boyfriend cleaned it up as a act of kindness. They thought they thought they had already left the house, but they never showed up at the water park. Nothing appeared to be stolen from the house. THe women's purses, makeup, cars, jewelry, and clothing were still there. Neighbors heard no strange noises coming from the area that night. Police have received 5,000 tips, scoured the area of the Ozarks, and made pleas to return safely to no avail. People from the area call this case, "The Springfield 3"

Sunday, June 3, 2012

1. The Creation of Man [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
This is probably one of the most well known and controversial of mysteries known to man at the moment. The basic mystery is where did we come from? Many people believe we were created by some kind of God, others believe were naturally came into being through the process of evolution, and some even believe we were put onto earth by aliens. Because there is no conclusive evidence for either argument, this subject remains our greatest mystery.
The concept of evolution states that through a series of adaptations and mutations from generation to generation, a creature can change dramatically over time. There are many arguments against evolution, mostly (in the West) from fundamentalist Christian bodies. The head of the largest Christian Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has recently said that evolution is not contrary to the teachings of the Church or a belief in God as long as it does not exclude God as the primary mover and organiser of the process.
The concept of creationism states that God made the Universe in the form in which it exists today. It attempts to explain away potential theological problems like dinosaurs, carbon dating, and the fossil record in general. Creationists generally believe the earth to be several thousand years old.
2. The Bimini Road [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Everyone has heard the story of the lost city of Atlantis, but what about the Bimini Road? In 1968 an underwater rock formation was found near North Bimini Island in the Bahamas. It is considered by many to be naturally made, but because of the unusual arrangement of the stones, many believe it to be a part of the lost city of Atlantis (first spoken of by Plato).
Another curious element of this mystery is a prediction made in 1938 by Edgar Cayce: “A portion of the temples may yet be discovered under the slime of ages and sea water near Bimini… Expect it in ’68 or ’69 – not so far away.” In a more recent expidition, amateur archeologist Dr Greg Little discovered another row of rocks in the same formation directly below the first, leading him to believe that the road is actually the top of a wall or water dock.
One possible natural explanation is that the “road” is an example of tessellated pavement, a natural phenomenon. Concretions of shell and sand form hard sedimentary rock which over time fractures in straight lines and then at ninety degree angles. They are quite common and a popular tourist attraction on the island of Tasmania.
3. The Roanoke Colony [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Map Virg
In 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh dispatched an expedition to the East Coast of North America as Queen Elizabeth I had given him permission to colonise Virginia. He returned from the trip with two American Indians and samples of animals and plants. Between 1585 and 1587, two groups of colonists were left on Roanoke Island (part of present day North Carolina) to establish their settlement.
Following fights with the local native tribes, the first colony were low on food and men to defend the settlement, so when Sir Francis Drake visited after a raid in the Carribean and offered to take them back to England, they accepted and left. In 1857 121 new colonists arrived and found the local natives (the Croatans) to be friendly. The first English child born in the Americas was the daughter of one of these colonists. The group tried to befriend some of the other tribes that the previous colonists had fought with which resulted in the killing of George Howe. The remaining members of the group convinced the leader to return to England to get help. The leader (John White) returned to England leaving behind ninety men, seventeen women, and eleven children.
When White returned in August 1590, the settlement was deserted. There were no signs of a struggle and no remains were found at all. The only clue was the word “Croatoan” carved into a post of the fort and “Cro” carved into a nearby tree. The settlement became known as the Lost Colony and no members of it were ever seen again. Some speculation exists today which suggests that the settlers left and merged with some of the nearby tribes. This is supported by the fact that many years later some of the tribes were practising Christianity and understood English.
4. Marfa lights [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
The Marfa lights are unexplained lights (called ghost lights) that have been appearing on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas. The first published account of the lights was given in 1957, but Robert Reed Ellison (born 1880) reported them to his family and accounts of their appearances were spread by word of mouth. There are no verifiable written reports from before the 1950s.
The lights are described as being the size of a basketball, floating in the air at around shoulder height. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. They usually travel laterally but have been seen to move rapidly in various directions. The lights sometimes appear in groups. Sightings are rare but there is a large amount of photographic and video evidence.
Skeptics generally consider the lights to be related to traffic passing on the nearby US Route 67, or to be electric by-products of the predominantly quartz hills in the area. Because they usually appear in private property with terrain that is difficult to travel over, there are almost no reports of people being able to get close to the lights.
5. Jimmy hoffa [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Jimmy Riddle Hoffa
Jimmy Hoffa was an American labor leader, and criminal convict. As the president of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters from the mid-1950s to the mid-1960s, Hoffa wielded considerable influence. After his conviction, he served nearly a decade in prison. On July 30, 1975, Hoffa dissapeared from a parking lot in Detroit and was never seen again. He had been due to meet two Mafia leaders, Anthony “Tony Jack” Giacalone from Detroit and Anthony “Tony Pro” Provenzano from Union City, New Jersey and New York City.
According to Donald Frankos (a convicted Mob hitman), Hoffa was shot in the house of Giacalone and his body was then buried in the foundations of the Giants stadium. While that is the most popular belief, another mobster, Bill Bonanno, claimed that hoffa was shot and put in the trunk of a car that was then put through a car compactor.
No one will ever know the truth about Hoffa, but the MythBusters team dug in the part of the Giants stadium that is generally where Hoffa is considered to be buried and found nothing.
6. The Loch Ness Monster [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Loch Ness 1 Lg
Loch Ness is the most voluminous fresh water lake in Great Britain. For centuries people have reported seeing a large creature living in the lake – the earliest account comes from the life of Saint Columba (565 AD). Although sightings of the creature on land around the loch reputedly date back to the sixteenth century, modern interest in the monster was sparked by a 22 July 1933 sighting, when Mr George Spicer and his wife saw ‘a most extraordinary form of animal’ cross the road in front of their car. They described the creature as having a large body (about 4 feet high and 25 feet long), and long, narrow neck, slightly thicker than an elephant’s trunk and as long as the 10-12 foot width of the road; the neck had a number of undulations in it. They saw no limbs because of a dip in the road obscuring the animal’s lower portion. It lurched across the road towards the loch some 20 yards away, leaving only a trail of broken undergrowth in its wake.
Not only has the Loch Ness Monster been photographed repeatedly, it has even been caught on videotape – as recently as 2007, and on sonar equipment. Unfortunately, however, the footage and photos are never clear enough to give a definite answer as to what the creature is. Some speculate that it may be a plesiosaur that survived the rest of the dinosaur population.
7. bigfoot [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Bigfoot, also known as the Sasquatch, is depicted as an ape-like man who inhabits forest areas of the pacific north-west and parts of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Over the years there have been many sightings and photographs of Bigfoot but no conclusive proof exists to verify his existence.
Most experts on the matter consider the Bigfoot legend to be a combination of folklore and hoaxes, but there are a number of authors and researchers who do believe that the stories could be true. There is some speculation that, like the Loch Ness monster, Bigfoot may be a living remnant of the time of the dinosaurs – specifically a Gigantopithecus blacki – a supersize ape. The earliest accounts of bigfoot are from 1924 though reports of a similar type of creature have appeared as early as the 1860s.
8. El Chupacabra [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
El Chupacabra (Goat Sucker) is mostly associated with Latin American communities in the USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico (where it was first reported). It is supposedly a heavy creature, the size of a small bear, with a row of spines reaching from the neck to the base of the tail and it takes its name from the fact that it is supposed to attack animals and drink their blood – especially goats.
While the legend began around 1987, there are many similarities to the Vampire of Moca, the name given to an unknown creature to killed animals all over the small town of Moca in the 1970s. The vampire of Moca left the animals completely devoid of blood which had apparently been removed by a series of small circular cuts.
The most common description of Chupacabra is a lizard-like being, appearing to have leathery or scaly greenish-gray skin and sharp spines or quills running down its back. This form stands approximately 3 to 4 feet (1 to 1.2 m) high, and stands and hops in a similar fashion to a kangaroo. In at least one sighting, the creature hopped 20 feet (6 m). This variety is said to have a dog or panther-like nose and face, a forked tongue protruding from it, large fangs, and to hiss and screech when alarmed, as well as leave a sulfuric stench behind. When it screeches, some reports note that the chupacabra’s eyes glow an unusual red, then give the witnesses nausea. For some witnesses, it was seen with bat-like wings.
9. D. B Cooper [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
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D. B. Cooper (aka “Dan Cooper”) is a pseudonym given to a notorious aircraft hijacker who, on November 24, 1971, after receiving a ransom payout of $200,000, leapt from the back of a Boeing 727 as it was flying over the Pacific Northwest somewhere over the southern Cascades.
Cooper has not been seen since and it is not known whether he survived the jump. In 1980, an eight year old boy found $5,800 of soggy $20 bills washed up on the banks of the Columbia river. The serial numbers matched those of the ransom money which had been noted to make it easier to track Cooper later.
Cooper escaped from the plane by jumping off the rear airstair with a parachute leading aviation authorities to add stricter measures about the design of planes to prevent it from happening again. In addition, this event caused airports to install metal detectors for the first time.
10. The Mothman [ Wikipedia | Amazon]
Mothman Drawing
Mothman is the name given to a strange creature reported in the Charleston and Point Pleasant areas of West Virginia between November 1966 and December 1967. The creature was sporadically reported to be seen before and after those dates, with some sightings as recent as 2007.
Most observers describe the Mothman as a winged man-sized creature with large reflective red eyes. It often appeared to have no head, with its eyes set into its chest. A number of hypotheses have been presented to explain eyewitness accounts, ranging from misidentification and coincidence to paranormal phenomena and conspiracy theories.
The Mothman was first spotted in 1926 by a young boy. At the same time, three men were digging a grave in a nearby graveyard when they saw a brown human shape with wings soaring out from behind trees. Both incidents were reported independently of each other. There have been numerous sightings of Mothman though no photographic evidence exists at all.

Top 10 mysteries

This list comprises the most famous unsolved mysteries known to man that really defy rational explanation or are just outright strange.
1. Shroud of Turin [Wikipedia]
The shroud of Turin is a linen cloth bearing the image of a man who had apparently died of crucifixion. Most Catholics consider it to be the burial shroud of Jesus Christ. It is currently held in the Cathedral of St John the Baptist in Turin, Italy. Despite many scientific investigations, no one has yet been able to explain how the image has been imprinted on the shroud and despite many attempts, no one has managed to replicate it. Radiocarbon tests date it to the middle ages, however apologists for the shroud believe it is incorrupt – and carbon dating can only date things which decay.
Prior to the middle ages, reports of the shroud exist as the Image of Edessa – reliably reported since at least the 4th century. In addition, another cloth (the Sudarium) known even from biblical times (John 20:7) exists which is said to have covered Christ’s head in the tomb. A 1999 study by Mark Guscin, a member of the multidisciplinary investigation team of the Spanish Center for Sindonology, investigated the relationship between the two cloths. Based on history, forensic pathology, blood chemistry (the Sudarium also is reported to have type AB blood stains), and stain patterns, he concluded that the two cloths covered the same head at two distinct, but close moments of time. Avinoam Danin (a researcher at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem) concurred with this analysis, adding that the pollen grains in the Sudarium match those of the shroud.
2. Mary Celeste [Wikipedia]
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Mary Celeste was launched in Nova Scotia in 1860. Her original name was “Amazon”. She was 103 ft overall displacing 280 tons and listed as a half-brig. Over the next 10 years she was involved in several accidents at sea and passed through a number of owners. Eventually she turned up at a New York salvage auction where she was purchased for $3,000. After extensive repairs she was put under American registry and renamed “Mary Celeste”.
The new captain of Mary Celeste was Benjamin Briggs, 37, a master with three previous commands. On November 7, 1872 the ship departed New York with Captain Briggs, his wife, young daughter and a crew of eight. The ship was loaded with 1700 barrels of raw American alcohol bound for Genoa, Italy. The captain, his family and crew were never seen again. The ship was found floating in the middle of the Strait of Gibraltar. There were no signs of struggle on board and all documents except the captain’s log were missing.
In early 1873, it was reported that two lifeboats grounded in Spain, one with a body and an American flag, the other containing five bodies. It has been alleged that these could have been the remains of the crew of the Mary Celeste. However, the bodies were apparently never identified.
3. The taos hum [Wikipedia]
The ‘Taos Hum’ is a low-pitched sound heard in numerous places worldwide, especially in the USA, UK, and northern europe. It is usually heard only in quiet environments, and is often described as sounding like a distant diesel engine. Since it has proven indetectable by microphones or VLF antennae, its source and nature is still a mystery.
In 1997 Congress directed scientists and observers from some of the most prestigious research institutes in the nation to look into a strange low frequency noise heard by residents in and around the small town of Taos, New Mexico. For years those who had heard the noise, often described by them as a “hum”, had been looking for answers. To this day no one knows the cause of the hum.
4. Black Dahlia [Wikipedia]
In 1947 the body of 22 year old Elizabeth Short was found in two pieces in a parking lot in Los Angeles. According to newspaper reports shortly after the murder, Short received the nickname “Black Dahlia” at a Long Beach drugstore in the summer of 1946, as a play on the then-current movie The Blue Dahlia. However, Los Angeles County district attorney investigators’ reports state the nickname was invented by newspaper reporters covering the murder. In either case, Short was not generally known as the “Black Dahlia” during her lifetime.
Many rumours and tales have spread about the Black Dahlia, and the investigation (one of the largest in LA history) never found the killer.
5. Comte de Saint Germain [Wikipedia]
The Count of St. Germain (allegedly died February 27, 1784) was a courtier, adventurer, inventor, amateur scientist, violinist, amateur composer, and a mysterious gentleman; he also displayed some skills with the practice of alchemy. He was known as ‘Der Wundermann’ — ‘The Wonderman’. He was a man whose origin was unknown and who disappeared without leaving a trace.
Since his death, various occult organizations have adopted him as a model figure or even as a powerful deity. In recent years several people have claimed to be the Count of St. Germain. (Note that St Germain was never regarded as a saint by the Roman Catholic Church – the “st.” before his name refers to his alleged home).

6. Voynich manuscript [Wikipedia]
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The Voynich Manuscript is a medieval document written in an unknown script and in an unknown language. For over one hundred years people have tried to break the code to not avail. The overall impression given by the surviving leaves of the manuscript suggests that it was meant to serve as a pharmacopoeia or to address topics in medieval or early modern medicine. However, the puzzling details of illustrations have fueled many theories about the book’s origins, the contents of its text, and the purpose for which it was intended.
The document contains illustrations that suggest the book is in six parts: Herbal, Astronomical, Biological, Cosmological, Pharmaceutical, and recipes.
7. Jack the Ripper [Wikipedia]
In the later half of 1888, London was terrorrised by a series of murders in the east end (largely in the Whitechapel area). The name Jack the Ripper was taken from a letter sent to a newspaper at the time by someone claiming to be the killer. The victims were typically prostitutes who had their throats cut and bodies mutilated. In some cases the bodies were discovered just minutes after the ripper had left the scene.
The police at the time had many suspects but could never find sufficient evidence to convict anyone. In modern times there has even been some speculation that Prince Albert Victor was the murderer. Even with modern police methods, no further light has been shed on the murders in recent times. To this day no one knows who the ripper was.
8. Bermuda Triangle [Wikipedia]
The Bermuda triangle is an area of water in the North Atlantic Ocean in which a large number of planes and boats have gone missing in mysterious circumstances. Over the years many explanations have been put forward for the disappearances, including bad weather, alien abductions, time warps, and suspension of the laws of physics.
Although substantial documentation exists to show that many of the reports have been exaggerated, there is still no explanation for the unusually large number of disappearances in the area.
9. The Zodiac Killer [Wikipedia]
The Zodiac killer was active in Northern California for ten months in the late 1960s. He killed at least five people, and injured two. He comitted the first two murders with a pistol, just inside the Benecia border. In his second shooting in Vallejo, he attempted to kill two people, but one survived despite gunshots to the head and neck. 40 minutes later the police recieved an anonymous phone call from a man claiming to be their killer and admitting to the murders of the previous two victims. One month three letters were sent to Newspapers in California containing a cypher that the killer claimed would give them his name. They cypher was decrypted to read:
While Arthur Leigh Allen was the prime suspect, all of the evidence was against him being the killer. To this day the Zodiac murders have not been solved.
10. The Babushka Lady [Wikipedia]
During the analysis of the film footage of the assasination of John F. Kennedy in 1963, a mysterious woman was spotted. She was wearing a brown overcoat and a scarf on her head (the scarf is the reason for her name as she wore it in a similar style to Russian grandmothers – also called babushkas). The woman appeared to be holding something in front of her face which is believed to be a camera. She appears in many photos of the scene. Even after the shooting when most people had fled the area, she remained in place and continued to film. Shortly after she is seen moving away to the East up Elm Street. The FBI publically requested that the woman come forward and give them the footage she shot but she never did.
In 1970 a woman called Beverly Oliver came forward and claimed to be the Babushka Woman, though her story contains many inconsistencies. She is generally regarded as a fraud. To this day, no one knows who the Babushka Woman is or what she was doing there. More unusual is her refusal to come forward to offer her evidence.