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Showing posts from January, 2012

SOLVED! One of America's Most Famous Unexplained Mysteries Resolved

Rare 104-Year-Old Book Solves Riddle of Missing Bones

The sleepy town of Sayre, Pennsylvania, was the site of an archaeological excavation over a century ago which uncovered one of the most fantastic finds in history-- skeletons of an ancient race of giants who had horns projecting from their foreheads.  The bones were sent to a museum in Philadelphia where they mysteriously vanished and haven't been seen since.

At least that's the story that has been told in many books; a story which has captured the imaginations of millions, from fans of the unexplained to Biblical archaeologists who point to these horned beings as proof of the Old Testament giants known as Nephilim.  And now, a recently found copy of a rare book published in 1908 puts to rest this mystery once and for all. 

It appears that the account of the Sayre excavation has been skewed by various re-tellings.  The story of the horned giants as described in Real Aliens, Space Beings, and Creatures From Other Worlds by …

Horned Giants of Pennsylvania

Those who study the bizarre are probably familiar with the following story of a famous unsolved mystery, which goes:

In the late 1800s in Sayre, Pennsylvania, a burial mound was excavated by Dr. George Patterson Donehoo, a noted historian, author, and expert in native American history.  Assisting Donehoo were two acclaimed professors; A.B. Skinner of the American Investigating Museum, and W.K. Moorehead of the Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts.  These men discovered skeletons which measured seven feet in length, but even more incredible were horn-like projections which protruded from the skull's forehead.  Donehoo estimated that the burial ground dated to the year 1200.

The skeletons were sent to the American Investigating Museum in Philadelphia and were allegedly stolen shortly thereafter.  The bones of these horned giants haven't been seen since.

At least that's the story which has been published in many books, like Matt Lake's Weird Pennsylvania and Sue Cr…

Strange History: The day a banana destroyed a barbershop

Here at JOTB we love hearing all kinds of strange stories, whether they happened today or a hundred years ago.  Here is an interesting story which appeared in North Dakota's Bismarck Tribune in 1892.

OTTUMWA, Iowa, June 25.:  An explosion occurred at the fruit store of A. Trantnella which blew out the front of his store and that of the adjacent building, stunning the occupants of both. The explosion was caused by a gasoline stove which was used for ripening bananas in the basement. All the occupants were prostrated and considerably bruised and had a narrow escape from the flames which immediately enveloped the place. The force of the explosion was such as to hurl J. Grammars against the adjacent wall and elevated Conrad Keim from the barber chair into the middle of the room.

Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND June 26, 1892

Strange History: The Count of St. Germain

Depiction of The Count St. Germain, from a painting by Marie Klement

The Count of St. Germain has been a shadowy figure throughout history, and while few credible accounts of his life exist, he has been described as everything from a charlatan to an occult figure revered by Theosophists and mysticists, who refer to St. Germain as Master Rakoczi.

One of the first printed accounts of St. Germain was written in a 1745 letter by Horace Walpole, the Fourth Earl of Orford, who described the arrest of a man named Count of St. Germain on espionage charges.  Since the arrest took place during the Jacobite Uprising, one would assume that St. Germain was a political activist.  However, Walpole's letter portrays Count of St. Germain as an odd and eccentric fellow who was a musically gifted nobleman, concluding that the old man was rather senile.

Other accounts from the period describe St. Germain as being everything from an alchemist and prophet, to an immortal spiritual being.  …

The Trumpet Blasts of the Apocalypse?

On January 14, paranormal researcher and author Stephen Wagner wrote a fascinating article about ominous unexplained sounds being heard throughout the world.  These low rumbling sounds have been documented in locations ranging from Canada to the Ukraine.  In some instances, the rumbling lasted for over six hours.

Could this be the result of climate change?  Alien activity?  A warning from the heavens?  No one knows for sure, but read Mr. Wagner's article and decide for yourself!

'Turin Shroud Not Created by Artists', Claims Italian Research Team

Researchers from Italy's National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development recently examined the Shroud of Turin and concluded that the iconic image could not have been created by artists, and could only have been produced by ultra-violet lasers, a technology which didn't exist until the mid 20th century.

The team's research confirms the outcome of tests conducted by a group of 31 American scientists from STURP (Shroud of Turin Research Project) between 1978 and 1981.  STURP conducted 120 hours of ultra-violet and X-ray tests on the shroud.

Read the full story from the UK newspaper, The Telegraph, here.

Strange History: The Hermit of Blue Hill

When residents of Sunbury or Northumberland cast their eyes westward across the Susquehanna River, they see a large hill, upon which sits the Shikellamy State Park scenic overlook. However, locals would have seen a much different sight 150 years ago. That's because the top of this promontory, formally known as Blue Hill, was the home of one of the most unusual and eccentric men in the history of Pennsylvania, a man by the name of John Mason. In 1839, Mason designed and built a strange octagonal-shaped tower on the top of Blue Hill. The tower, which was two stories tall, projected at an odd and precarious angle over the rocky ledge of the hill's summit, causing many locals to refer to the bizarre structure as the "Leaning Tower of Pennsylvania".

Mason, who became known as the "Hermit of Blue Hill" for his eccentric behavior, was enamored with astronomy. It is believed that he constructed the tower as his own personal observatory. The structure st…

Jack the Ripper and Serial Killers: What's the Cultural Appeal?

It is human nature to be fascinated with morbid things. Stories of serial killers and heinous crimes have captivated audiences for hundreds of years, whether it's depicted in books, movies, or television. We are a society fixated on crime, which is why we tune into the news every day or read the paper. Crime sells, and nothing sells better than gruesome tales of murder.

So what is the cultural appeal with serial killers? Why would a just and moral society have such a fascination with despicable crimes and the misanthropic murderers who commit them? The answer lies in the very question. We are a society that believes in justice, a society of people who hold dear the precepts of law and order. Yet within us burns a primal desire to kill, which has been suppressed by thousands of years of religious and social standards.

Serial killers appeal to us because they have acted out many of our fantasies. As much as we value the sanctity of human life, we have all at one time …

The Case Against the Loch Ness Monster

People love a good legend, especially when it comes to legends about mythical monsters and sea creatures. Perhaps the most famous creature is the Loch Ness Monster, a water-dwelling dinosaur-like animal which is purported to inhabit Loch Ness is Scotland.

Geological evidence has proven that Loch Ness was carved out of the surrounding hillsides by a glacier which covered the area about 10,000 years ago. The body of water known as Loch Ness lies directly atop the Great Glen Fault, which formed the path of travel for the glacier which scoured the hills in order to create the lake. If "Nessie" was indeed a relative of the now-extinct Plesiosaur, it would be impossible for this creature to inhabit Loch Ness: dinosaurs have been extinct for 65 million years and Loch Ness is only 10,000 years old.

There is further evidence which proves that Nessie could not have been a Plesiosaur. Scientists believe that Plesiosaurs inhabited warm tropical waters, but the water temperat…