Modern Unexplained Mysteries 7

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The Coral Castle
Coral Castle is an oolite limestone structure created by the Latvian American eccentric Edward Leedskalnin (1887–1951) located in Leisure City, Florida, in Miami-Dade County at the intersection of South Dixie Highway (U.S. 1) and SW 157th Avenue. The structure comprises numerous megalithic stones (mostly limestone formed from coral), each weighing several tons. It is currently a privately operated tourist attraction. Coral Castle is noted for legends surrounding its creation that claim it was built single-handedly by Leedskalnin using reverse magnetism or supernatural abilities to move and carve numerous stones weighing many tons.

The Nibiru Cataclysm
The Nibiru cataclysm is a supposed disastrous encounter between the Earth and a large planetary object (either a collision or a near-miss) which certain groups believe will take place in the early 21st century. Believers in this doomsday event usually refer to this object as Planet X or Nibiru. The idea that a planet-sized object will collide with or closely pass by Earth in the near future is not supported by any scientific evidence and has been rejected by astronomers and planetary scientists as pseudoscience and an Internet hoax.

The idea was first put forward in 1995 by Nancy Lieder, founder of the website ZetaTalk. Lieder describes herself as a contactee with the ability to receive messages from extraterrestrials from the Zeta Reticuli star system through an implant in her brain. She states that she was chosen to warn mankind that the object would sweep through the inner Solar System in May 2003 (though that date was later postponed) causing Earth to undergo a physical pole shift that would destroy most of humanity. The prediction has subsequently spread beyond Lieder’s website and has been embraced by numerous Internet doomsday groups, most of which linked the event to the 2012 phenomenon. Since 2012, the Nibiru cataclysm has frequently reappeared in the popular media; usually linked to newsmaking astronomical objects such as Comet ISON or Planet Nine. Although the name “Nibiru” is derived from the works of the ancient astronaut writer Zecharia Sitchin and his interpretations of Babylonian and Sumerian mythology, he denied any connection between his work and various claims of a coming apocalypse.

The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp
The Lizard Man of Scape Ore Swamp (also known as the Lizard Man of Lee County) is allegedly a reptilian humanoid cryptid which is said to inhabit areas of swampland in and around Lee County, South Carolina along with the sewers in towns near the swamp.

The Lizard Man is generally described as being 7 feet (2.1 m) tall, bipedal, and bulky, covered in dark hair with scaly lizard-like skin on its hands, feet and face. It is said to have three toes on each foot and three fingers on each hand. The creature has an incredible degree of strength, more than capable of ripping into a car. A few witnesses have reported seeing a tail, although in the majority of cases, a tail was not seen.

The first reported sighting of the horrifying creature was made by Christopher Davis, a 17-year-old local, who said he encountered the creature while driving home from work at 2 a.m. on June 29, 1988. According to his account, Davis stopped on a road bordering Scape Ore Swamp in order to change a tire which had blown out. When he was finishing up he reported having heard a thumping noise from behind him and having turned around to see the creature running towards him.

Davis said the creature tried to grab at the car and then jumped on its roof as he tried to escape, clinging on to it as Davis swerved from side to side in an effort to throw it off. After he returned home, Davis’ side-view-mirror was found to be badly damaged, and scratch marks were found on the car’s roof, though there was no other physical evidence of his encounter.

“I looked back and saw something running across the field towards me. It was about 25 yards away and I saw red eyes glowing. I ran into the car and as I locked it, the thing grabbed the door handle. I could see him from the neck down – the three big fingers, long black nails and green rough skin. It was strong and angry. I looked in my mirror and saw a blur of green running. I could see his toes and then he jumped on the roof of my car. I thought I heard a grunt and then I could see his fingers through the front windshield, where they curled around on the roof. I sped up and swerved to shake the creature off.”
Chris’ father, prompted by a story that ran in the newspaper of a strange car mauling, brought his terrified son to the Lee County Sheriff’s Office on July 16, 1988, at which time he told his story to Sheriff Liston Truesdale.

The Vela Incident
The Vela Incident, also known as the South Atlantic Flash, was an unidentified “double flash” of light detected by an American Vela Hotel satellite on 22 September 1979, near the Prince Edward Islands off Antarctica, which many believe was of nuclear origin. The most widespread theory among those who believe the flash was of nuclear origin is that it resulted from a joint South African-Israeli nuclear test. The topic has been highly disputed. In 2016 researchers from George Washington University’s National Security Archive noted that the debate over the South Atlantic flash has shifted over the last few years to the side of a man-made weapon test.

The Demon Core
The demon core was a 6.2-kilogram (14 lb), 89-millimetre-diameter (3.5 in) subcritical mass of plutonium that was involved in two criticality accidents. It briefly went supercritical in two separate accidents at the Los Alamos laboratory in 1945 and 1946, and resulted in the acute radiation poisoning and subsequent deaths of scientists Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin. After these incidents the spherical plutonium core was referred to as the “demon core”.

The Yonaguni Monument
The Yonaguni Monument, is a submerged rock formation off the coast of Yonaguni, the southernmost of the Ryukyu Islands, in Japan.

Masaaki Kimura, Professor Emeritus from the Faculty of Science at the University of the Ryukyus claims that the formations are man-made stepped monoliths. His ideas are disputed and there is debate about whether the site is completely natural, a natural site that has been modified or a man-made artifact. Neither the Japanese Agency for Cultural Affairs, nor the government of Okinawa Prefecture recognize the features as important cultural artifacts and neither government agency has carried out research or preservation work on the site.

The Grindell-Matthews Death Ray
In 1923 Matthews claimed that he had invented an electric ray that would put magnetos out of action. In a demonstration to some select journalists he stopped a motorcycle engine from a distance. He also claimed that with enough power he could shoot down aeroplanes, explode gunpowder, stop ships and incapacitate infantry from the distance of four miles. Newspapers obliged by publishing sensational accounts of his invention.

The War Office contacted Matthews in February 1924 to request a demonstration of his ray. Matthews did not reply to them but spoke to journalists and demonstrated the ray to a Star reporter by igniting gunpowder from a distance. He still refused to say how the ray actually worked, just insisted that it did. When the British government still refused to rush to buy his ideas, he announced that he had an offer from France.

The Air Ministry was wary, partially because of previous bad experiences with would-be inventors. Matthews was invited back to London to demonstrate his ray on 26 April to the armed forces. In Matthews’s laboratory they saw how his ray switched on a light bulb and cut off a motor. He failed to convince the officials, who also suspected trickery or a confidence game. When the British Admiralty requested further demonstration, Matthews refused to give it.

Biringan, the Lost City in the Phillipines
Biringan is a mythical city supposedly located in the Samar province of the Philippines. Biringan means “the black city” in Waray, the local dialect, for “hanapan ng mga nawawala” – where one finds the lost. The city is said to be located in Samar. According to the local folklore, the population of Biringan comprises supernatural beings: the encantos (“enchanted ones”), and their progeny with the humans. The encantos are described as shapechangers who can take human form. In their human form, they are said to lack a philtrum between their nose and lips.

Mellified Man
Mellified man, or human mummy confection, was a legendary medicinal substance created by steeping a human cadaver in honey. The concoction is mentioned only in Chinese medical sources, most significantly the Bencao Gangmu of the 16th-century Chinese medical doctor and pharmacologist Li Shizhen. Relying on a second-hand account, Li reports a story that some elderly men in Arabia, nearing the end of their lives, would submit themselves to a process of mummification in honey to create a healing confection.

This process differed from a simple body donation because of the aspect of self-sacrifice; the mellification process would ideally start before death. The donor would stop eating any food other than honey, going as far as to bathe in the substance. Shortly, his feces (and even his sweat, according to legend) would consist of honey. When this diet finally proved fatal, the donor’s body would be placed in a stone coffin filled with honey.

After a century or so, the contents would have turned into a sort of confection reputedly capable of healing broken limbs and other ailments. This confection would then be sold in street markets as a hard to find item with a hefty price.

Bloody Benders
The Bloody Benders were a family of serial killers who owned an inn and small general store in Labette County of southeastern Kansas from 1871 to 1873. The family consisted of John Bender; his wife, Elvira Bender; son, John, Jr.; and daughter, Kate. While Bender mythology holds that John Jr. and Kate were brother and sister, contemporary newspapers reported that several of the Benders’ neighbors had stated that they claimed to be married, possibly a common law marriage.

They are believed to have killed at least a dozen travelers before their crimes were discovered and the family fled, with their fate uncertain. Much folklore and legend surrounds the Benders, making it difficult to separate fact from fiction.

Isdal Woman
The Isdal Woman was found dead at Isdalen Valley in Bergen, Norway, on November 29, 1970. Long considered one of Norway’s most profound mysteries, the case has been the subject of intense speculation for many years.

On the afternoon of November 29, 1970, a man and his two daughters were hiking in the foothills of Mount Ulriken’s north face, in an area known as the Isdalen Valley. They found a partially-charred naked female, hidden among some rocks, in an area popularly known as “Death Valley.” Also found were a dozen pink phenobarbital sleeping pills (brand name Fenemal); a packed lunch; an empty quart bottle of St. Hallvards liqueur; two plastic bottles that smelled of gasoline; and a silver spoon with the monogram filed off. Investigators also found a burned passport.

Vatican Archives
The Vatican Secret Archives is the central repository in the Vatican City for all of the acts promulgated by the Holy See. The Pope, as Sovereign of Vatican City and having primal incumbency, owns the archives until his death or resignation, with ownership passing to his successor. The archives also contain the state papers, correspondence, papal account books, and many other documents which the church has accumulated over the centuries. In the 17th century, under the orders of Pope Paul V, the Secret Archives were separated from the Vatican Library, where scholars had some very limited access to them, and remained closed to outsiders until 1881, when Pope Leo XIII opened them to researchers, more than a thousand of whom now examine some of its documents each year.

 

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