Thursday, January 10, 2013

Strangest Unsolved Mysteries

Disappearance of Frederick Valentich
The disappearance of Frederick Valentich is one of the eeriest mysteries that remains unsolved. On October 21, 1978, the 20-year-old Valentich was piloting a Cessna 182L light aircraft over the Bass Strait en route to King Island, Australia. During the flight, Valentich was in radio communication with Melbourne air traffic control, and he repeatedly made mention of a "strange aircraft hovering on top of me." Right before a strange noise severed the transmission, Valentich went on to say, "It is hovering and it's not an aircraft." Other moments of the radio transmission recorded Valentich saying, "Delta Sierra Juliet—Melbourne. It seems like it’s (stationary) or (chasing me). What I'm doing right now is orbiting, and the thing is just orbiting on top of me also … It's got a green light, and sort of metallic (like). It’s all shiny (on) the outside." In the moments leading up to Valentich's last reported contact, a plumber named Roy Manifold had set up a time lapse camera on the shoreline to capture the sun setting over the water. Upon developing the photos, the images appeared to depict a fast-moving object exiting the water nearly 20 minutes before Valentich's final transmission. A report conducted by The Scientific Journal of Exploration said witnesses reported an "erratically moving green light in the sky" at the time of Valentich's flight. No trace of Frederick Valentich nor his aircraft has ever been found. In 2012, Keith Basterfield, an Adelaide researcher who has been investigating the disappearance since 1978, concluded, "The only thing we can say for sure is that the plane and pilot disappeared while he was describing a UFO - which is one of those things that just makes people wonder."

Overtoun Bridge
Scotland's Overtoun Bridge, a.k.a. "The Dog Suicide Bridge," is a famous arch bridge that has stood in Milton, Dumbarton, Scotland since 1859. In the past 50 years, anywhere between 50 to 600 dogs have jumped to their deaths off Overtoun Bridge. Every dog has reportedly jumped from the same point on the bridge into the same direction and plummeted to the rocks 50 feet below. If that's not horrific enough, dogs who jumped and survived the first attempt returned to the same spot and jumped to their deaths on successive attempts. No one knows why so many dogs have jumped to their deaths off Overtoun Bridge in such eerie fashion. However, theories include the dogs sensing depression in their owners, the dogs knowingly committing suicide, the dogs succumbing to some kind of supernatural power, and the dogs chasing the scent of something below the bridge. 

Blood Red Rain
Between July 25, 2001 and September 23, 2001, a blood red rain fell over the southern Indian state of Kerala. Downpours of redness fell from the sky to color the land and water and stain the clothing of the locals. Witnesses reported loud thunder claps preceding the rainfall, followed by entire groves of trees shedding shriveled "burnt" leaves. No one knew exactly what caused the red rain, but it was hypothesized the rain had been given the hue thanks to airborne spores from local terrestrial algae. However, the bloody rain returned in the summer of 2006. In 2008, two researchers, Godfrey Louis, Ph.D. and Santhosh Kumar, from Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam introduced a hypothesis that got people talking: "The mysterious red color in the rain is caused by unidentified life form that does not have DNA....The molecular compostion of these cells is yet to be identified." The blood-colored rain returned yet again in 2012 and caused panic in the Indian people. There is still no definitive explanation for its color.

The Oakville Blobs
On August 7, 1994, the town of Oakville, Washington was met by a gooey gelatinous substance raining from the sky. For the following three weeks, the mysterious blobs rained down on Oakville six more times. During that span, many Oakville residents started complaining they were suffering from a mysterious flu-like illness that blurred their vision and caused shortness of breath.  A sample of the mysterious substance underwent testing, and the sample was reported to contain a high concentration of human white blood cells. Subsequent tests revealed two types of bacteria, one of which is found in the human digestive system. Though nobody knows quite what the blobs that fell on Oakville were, many have their theories:
* Some believed human waste was falling from airplanes overhead, but the Federal Aviation Administration disproved that theory.
* Some suspected offshore ocean bombings sent jellyfish particles into the sky and covered the 50-mile distance to Oakville.
* Others believe biological weapons tests conducted by the military were the cause.
No samples of the blob remain today, and no one knows for certain what caused them to rain on Oakville.

The Toynbee Tiles
Mysterious tiles with cryptic messages referencing Stanley Kubrick's sci-fi masterpiece '2001: A Space Odyssey' have been embedded in the asphalt in dozens of cities throughout the U.S. and the world for decades, but nobody knows how they came into existence. The tiles carry the message: "TOYNBEE IDEA IN KubricK's 2001 RESURRECT DEAD ON PLANET JUPITER." The tiles, which have been appearing for more than three whole decades, reference English historian Arnold J. Toynbee, for whom the tiles have been coined. In all the years of the Toynbee Tiles' existence, investigators only had one real suspect: a man named James J. Morasco, who did have a relevant interest in the works of Kubrick and Toynbee. Morasco always denied any involvement. He would've been in his 70s at the time the tiles were planted, and he died in 2003. New tiles continued to appear (likely thanks to copycats), and political rants and new messages like "House of Hades Tiles Made From the Ground Bones of Dead Journalists" have accompanied the original message. There are more than 60 tiles in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Washington D.C., Indianapolis, St. Louis, Baltimore, Cleveland, and Kansas City. They also have also been found in in Brazil, Chile, and Argentina.

The Severed Feet
Starting in 2007 and occuring for years, instances of severed feet washing ashore plagued the Pacific Northwest. More than eight feet had been strewn along the coast of British Columbia and Washington over the years, and most of the disembodied feet were found in running shoes. What complicated matters was that two right feet were discovered, rather than matching feet. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police and British Columbia's coroner's office went into action to get to the bottom of the mystery. Theories bouncing around included:
* The feet were from victims of the Asian Tsunami of 2004 and had washed ashore in the Pacific Northwest years later.
* A psycho was on the loose with a calling card of severing the victims' feet.
* A human trafficking ring was taking place.
* The feet were those of stowaways on ships out of Vancouver.
* The feet were those of passengers in a plane that crashed in the ocean.
In 2012, authorities broke the case and concluded the feet were those of suicide victims, most of whom had jumped to their deaths from a bridge over the Fraser River, which flows into the Pacific Ocean at Vancouver. The feet were found in rubber-soled running shoes and boots because fish could chew threw materials of the shoes. The rest of their bodies decomposed, while the remaining severed feet in shoes were carried down the coastline.

The Tamam Shud Case
The Somerton Man Case, a.k.a. the Tamam Shud Case, has been one of the world's wildest unsolved mysteries since 1948. The case involves a mysterious unnamed deceased man discovered on Somerton Beach in Adelaide, Australia. The reasons the Tamam Shud Case is so mysterious include:
* The unidentified man was found on the beach immaculately dressed in an expensive suit and polished shoes.
* His pocket included a pack of cigarettes that housed seven cigarettes of a different, more expensive brand.
* His suitcase was found, but no name, markings or traces that could provide his identity were found among the contents. Instead, the name "Kean" or "T. Keane" was left on the case.
* A pouch sewn into the waistband of the dead man's trousers revealed a tiny slip of paper revealing the words "Tamam Shud."
* "Tamam Shud" was determined to be a phrase used on the final page of an obscure collection of poems called "The Rubaiyat" of Omar Khayyam. The phrase is translated to "It is ended."
Upon finding a copy of "The Rubaiyat" in the glove box of a car from men who were at the beach the night before the dead man was discovered, a five-lined code with one line crossed out was discovered and has never been cracked.
In addition to all of those mysteries, there is the baffling introduction of a young nurse who may have known more than she let on, the name Alfred Boxall, a second copy of "The Rubaiyat," the revelation of a mysterious sighting on Somerton beach, and countless other twists and turns that have never been solved.

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