If you’ve been following along, you know I’m a big fan of all things weird, unusual and mysterious. October has traditionally been the month to celebrate these kinds of things, but for the last few years, this kind of stuff seems to be in vogue year-round, which is fine by me.
Now, I’ve obviously devoted a lot of time to researching mysteries around the state, but you won’t be surprised that my curiosity extends beyond Connecticut’s borders. In fact, here are
FIVE OF MY FAVORITE MYSTERIES FROM AROUND THE GLOBE
1. The Loch Ness Monster -
Okay, I’ve repeatedly talked about how the photo above is the one I saw as a little kid in the year-end compendium of the New World Encyclopedia, how when I found out that it was possibly the image of a “monster,” it sparked my interest in the unexplained.
Forty years, hundreds of “sightings” (including recently) and dozens of investigations later, and no one can still definitively say if there is something odd in Loch Ness or not. As my 13-year-old son would forbid me from saying, that’s awesome sauce.
2. Oak Island – Every kid dreams of finding buried treasure, right? Well, lots of kids—as well as plenty of adults—have been digging for the better part of two centuries in the “Money Pit” on Oak Island, off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada.
The story starts in 1795 when Daniel McGinnis thought he saw the lights of someone on the tiny island at night, investigated during the day and found an unusual depression. He and his friends started digging, claiming to find oak platforms every 10 feet down. About 90 feet down, they allegedly found a stone telling that another 40 feet down there was treasure. Unfortunately, as they dug down the pit started filling with sea water, forcing them to stop.
Over the decades, others tried to dig, pretty much with the same results—getting down so far before the pit flooded. In more recent times, more sophisticated equipment has been used, but no one has been able to successfully excavate the site.
So what’s at the bottom of the Money Pit? Some say Captain Kidd’s treasure; others speculate its a vault built by the Masons to protect their secrets. And then there are some who say it’s nothing but a natural sink hole and it’s been sucking in fools.
The best part—and what makes it such a wonderful mystery—is that no one knows for sure.
3. The Bloop – If you’re not familiar, “The Bloop” is the name given to a low-frequency super loud sound picked up by an underwater hydrophone array in the South Pacific operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 1997. Scientists seem to think it was the sound of an underwater creature, except it was dramatically louder than anything emitted by a blue whale, the largest known denizen of the deep.
In other words, there may be something really really really big lurking under the ocean, possibly some sort of ancient leviathan. (Cthulu, anybody?) The only bad news is that it has only happened once, which only deepens the mystery.
4. Jack the Ripper – One hundred and twenty years later and criminal investigators are no closer to solving the gruesome murders of five women in the Whitechapel section of London, despite attention from thousands of amateur sleuths and seemingly endless speculation in print and movies.
There have been all sorts of suspects put forth, from a member of the royal family to a disturbed artist to a crazy doctor. Others have even suggested it may have been “Jill the Ripper.” Really, no one knows.
The part I find most fascinating is that there are those out there who think that they can somehow solve the mystery a century after all the suspects, all the witnesses and almost all of the evidence is long gone. Good luck with that.
5. Stonehenge – An oldie but a goodie! I’ve actually been to see Stonehenge in person, for what it’s worth—and yes, it’s as impressive as you’d think it’d be, despite sort of being out in the middle of an open plain of the English countryside, i.e. “nowhere.”
Still, the thing that always has always stuck out in my mind is that someone thousands of years ago built this enormous structure for a specific reason. They devised this amazing design down to the smallest details, engineering it to incorporate star positions and the seasons, and then carefully quarried these tremendously large slabs to interlock and dragged them for miles, all to build a significant monument that would stand for the ages.
The only thing they forgot in this colossal undertaking was leaving some sort of indication of who they were and why exactly they built it. Oopsie!
At least we got this great cultural moment out of their efforts …
No mystery about that!