Strange stories, weird facts

A list of some mysterious events that took place around the world  
AD 1478 The Spanish conquer the Canary Islands. The native inhabitants, the Guanches committ suicide rather than submit to foreign domination.

AD 1541 Paracelsus dies. During his life, he discovered zinc, and was the first to identify hydrogen. His fame as an alchemist was so great that his tomb in Salzberg was opened because of rumors of great treasures and alchemical secrets buried with him. However nothing was found in the coffin. His famous sword, whose hilt contained the so-called ‘Philosopher’s Stone’, also had vanished without a trace.

AD 1548 In Palermo, Sicily, a giant skeleton, reputed to be thirty feet in length, is discovered.

AD 1550 In Palermo, Sicily, two more giant skeletons are discovered, one thirty-three feet long, and a smaller one, thirty feet long.

AD 1561 (Apr) The early morning sky over Nuremburg, Germany is filled with over two hundred cylindrical UFOs, spheres and spinning disks.

AD 1594 Pope Clement ends Church opposition to coffee when he baptises it. ‘We will not let coffee remains the property of Satan, for as Christians, our power is greater than Satan’s.’

AD 1666 (Aug) A strange fiery ball of light is observed in a clear, sunny sky over Robozero, Russia, by villagers coming out of church.

AD 1681 In Illinois, Father Marquette, the Jesuit explorer, writes in his journals of discoveries on the Mississippi River of large petroglyphs of creatures which looked like pterodactyls, flying reptiles of the Age of Dinosaurs. According to the Indians, they represent monsters which ate the Indians ancestors hundreds of years ago.

AD 1698 Along the Mississippi River in Illinois Father Hennepin, the discoverer of Niagara Falls, writes his journals about the petroglyphs that Father Marquette described earlier. The Illinois Indians tell him of monsters, called Piasa, which would periodically attack their tribe and carry off hapless people. The two petroglyphs are visible until about 1856, when the State Prison at Alton begins quarrying the limestone which holds the carvings.

AD 1705 In Valencia, Spain, a twenty-two foot long skeleton is discovered, and the thigh bone is preserved. Another skeleton is found, the skull of which is reputed to be big enough to hold a bushel of corn.

AD 1725 In Northern Tibet, Father Duparc discovers the ruins of Hsing Nu, and describes some of the ruined temples and monoliths that he found there. This city is of indeterminate age, but may well be prehistoric.

AD 1753 Portuguese bandits discover – and pillage – ancient ruins including a temple, walls and caves that had once been inhabited in the Brazilian province of Bahia.

AD 1790 In Ohio, no less than 100 abandoned hills crowned with stone fortifications are discovered. Similar fortifications are discovered in Georgia and Tennessee.

AD 1799 The Rosetta Stone is discovered Napoleon’s army in Rashid, or Rosetta, Egypt. This stone provided the key to the oldest and most difficult Egyptian writing system, hieroglyphics. The usefulness of the Rosetta Stone was in the repetition of text in three writing systems: hieroglyphics; demotic script, a later form of hiero-glyphics that was used in everyday documents “for the people,” as its name means; and ancient Greek.
Bodies of mammoths, prehistoric elephant-like beasts are found in the Siberian tundra, in the regions of present permafrost. The bodies are perfectly preserved, and sledge dogs eat the flesh without any ill effects. The flesh proves to be firm and marbled with fat and appears as fresh as well-frozen beef, proving that these animals must have died instantaneously and frozen within minutes of their deaths. Additional proof comes with the discovery of remains of buttercups, plants that grow hundreds of miles to the south, in their mouths and stomachs. Years later, radiocarbon dating will prove that these animals died about 9,000 years ago.

AD 1803 The Academy of Sciences in Paris determines that meteorites are stones falling from space.
(Sep) Convicted of theft and murder of a policemen, Joseph Samuels is convicted and sentenced to hang. After three unsuccessful attempts whereby the rope broke each time, he was returned to his cell. Later, another man was found to be guilty and condemned to death by hanging. This time, the execution was successful on the first try.

AD 1816 (06 Jun) A frost lasting three days kills crops in northern North America, with snow falling to depths of eighteen to twenty inches in northern New England.
(Jul) Another frost kills off replanted crops in New England. (20 Aug) Temperatures drop again in New England, with frost as far south as northern Connecticut. No explanation for this bizarre weather has ever been forthcoming.

AD 1817 In Herculaneum, Missouri, two humanlike footprints are found in a quarry. They appear to be made by a person not used to wearing shoes, with feet 10.5 inches long, 4 inches wide across the toes and 2.5 inches across the heel.

AD 1820 In Circleville, Ohio, an intact iron furnace is discovered containing the remains of a plate and a dagger of unknown age.

AD 1828 In Sparta, in White County, Tennessee, several burying grounds are discovered containing the remains of extremely small people. The tallest of the wee folk discovered is 19 inches. The story is reported in Harper’s Magazine in July 1869, and was also reported a work published in 1853, “The Romance of Natural History” which also refers to diminutive sarcophagi.

AD 1829 (Nov) In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, a block of marble is removed from a quarry, and is found to contain an indentation with raised letters “I” and “U”. It is unknown who carved these letters.

AD 1832 Captain John Symmes of the US Navy petitions Congress to allow him to attempt to sail a small fleet of ships to the North Pole to search for what he calls the ‘Symmes Hole’ which he believes will give him egress to the inside of the crust of the planet. With Congressional approval, the secretaries of the Navy and the Treasury order three ships to be outfitted for the venture. Only the intervention of President Jackson stops the effort.

(Nov) In Coosawattee Old Town, in Murray County Georgia, two silver crosses are found in a burial mound. Indian relics are also found, but the crofters of the crosses are unknown. The crosses bear strange designs including the head of a horse – which was unknown on the North American continent at that time, although NOT in prehistoric times.

AD 1838 George Grey, exploring the Australian outback in the area around the Glenelg River, discovers paintings of figures in a cave. These figures are shown wearing tunics and cowls, items which the aborigines do not wear.

AD 1840 In Jersey County, Illinois, Professor John Russell explores caves in which innumerable human bones litter the floor. Professor Russell states that the bones offer mute testimony to the truth of the AmerIndians’ story of the Piasa, and it’s craving for human flesh.

AD 1843 (05 Jan) Near the Connecticut River in Connecticut, a coin is found, apparently copper, and about half the thickness of a penny, with writing which is indecipherable.

AD 1848 (03 Mar) Human remains are found in a cave on the Rock of Gibraltar. These later prove to be the first Neanderthal remains ever found, although they won’t be identified as such for many years.

AD 1850 A Frenchman named Angrand discovers Choquequirau, an former Inca stronghold.

AD 1851 (Jun) At Meeting House Hill, in Dorchester, Massachusetts, a metallic vessel, about 4.5″ high by 6.6″ at the base and 2.5″ at the top is found when “an immense stone” is blasted out of the bedrock.
(24 Dec) In California, Mr. Hiram Dewitt discovers an iron nail embedded in a piece of auriferous quartz. When he accidentally drops the mineral ore, the nail with a perfect head is found inside. Sir David Brewster makes a report to the British Association for the Advancement of Science about a block of stone from Kingoodie Quarry in northern Britain in which was found a piece of manufactured nail, including the head. Because of the great age of the geological strata of this find, the nail’s maker remains a mystery.

AD 1854 In Northern Tibet, the French explorer, Latour visits Hsing Nu and discovers tombs, weapons, copper vessels and silver and gold necklaces adorned with swastikas and spirals.

AD 1856 The first remains of Neanderthal Man are found in a gravel pit in the Neander Valley of Germany. At first they are believed to be the remains of a congenital idiot, but after further remains are discovered, they are realized to be those of an extinct human species.

AD 1860 In Castenedolo, Italy, Professor Ragazzoni, an expert geologist and teacher at the Technical Institute at Brescia, finds the fragmentary vault of a human skull in a deposit of coralline stratum of the Pleistocene glaciation, circa ten million years old.

AD 1863 At the Arno River, Italy while constructing the railroad southward from Arezzo, a trench over fifty feet deep had to be dug. It was during this excavation that the Olmo skull was unearthed. The skull lay at a depth of nearly fifty feet beneath the surface in a deposit that had been formed in the floor of an ancient lake. The blue clay in which the skull was found was determined to be older Pleistocene deposits.

AD 1864 At Holly Oak, Delaware, a 5.5 inch piece of whelk shell bearing the distinct carving of a mammoth is found in a peat bog in this town north of Wilmington. Core samples taken of this area indicate an age of between 80,000 and 100,000 years before the present.

AD 1868 (Jun) Hiriam McGee, while prospecting for gold in the Antelope Hills of Wyoming, discovers a large boulder which he mistakes for an emerald. It later turns out to be nephrite jade, when McGee returns to retrieve the rest of the boulder and search for more, he can’t find the valley where his adventure started.

AD 1869 (17 Dec) In Wellsville, Ohio, a group of miners, digging in a coal bank, come upon a slate wall containing several lines of indecipherable hieroglyphics. The lines in slate are reversed, possibly because the pieces of coal contain the hieroglyphics as well, only indented to the wall’s raised letters.

AD 1870 Cyrus Read founds the Hollow Earth Society, succeeding in attracting thousands of members.

AD 1872 (Nov) The brigantine “Mary Celeste” leaves New York harbor for Genoa, Italy.

(02 Dec) The brigantine, “Mary Celeste”, is seen off the coast of Europe, apparently proceeding normally on its way.
(04 Dec) The “Mary Celeste” is found floating adrift and unmanned off of the Azores in the Atlantic Ocean. Its crew of twelve and the captain’s family are never heard from again.

AD 1873 (27 Mar) In the Dardanelles, a Mr. Frank Calvert discovers what he regards as conclusive evidence of the existence of Man in the Miocene Period. Among his finds is a fragment of bone from either a Dinotherium or a Mastodon on which has been carved the figure of a horned quadruped.

AD 1874 (04 Apr) In Wildon, North Carolina, a veritable catacomb of skeletal remains is found when workmen open a way for the railroad between Wildon and Garrysberg. According to a contemporary newspaper account, the bodies exhumed “were of a strange and remarkable formation”, the skulls being nearly an inch in thickness, and the teeth being filed sharp, as those of cannibals, with the enamel perfectly preserved. The femur was as long as the leg of an ordinary man.

AD 1876 In Parkersburg, West Virginia, a large stone was taken from the hillside four miles north of the city, on the West Virginia side of the Ohio River, which contained the imprint of a human foot, some fourteen inches in length.

AD 1877 (Jul) Four prospectors near Eureka, Nevada discover gigantic human remains in the hills of Spring Valley. They chip out leg and foot bones encased in quartzite. In life, the person who had once walked the earth was obviously huge, from knee to heel, the bone spanned 39 inches long. No other trace of the ancient giant was ever found.

AD 1879 (05 Dec) In Milton, in Sullivan County, Missouri, a silver and iron death-mask is found by a farmer while plowing his field.

AD 1880 Dr. Otto Hahn, a prominent German geologist, claims to have discovered fossils of corals in several meteorites taken from a fall discovered near Knyahinya in Hungary. These fossils were examined by Dr. D.F. Weinlander, a well-known zoologist, who agreed that the evidence were indeed once-living creatures. This gives evidence of an “extraterrestrial body which seems to have been overtaken by a great catastrophe.” At Castenedolo, a friend of Professor Ragazzoni’s, excavating in the same pit in which the professor found the cranial fragments, found the scattered skeletal remains of two children. Later, the skeleton of a woman is found within the same stratum.

AD 1882 (22 Jul) At Mt. Pisgah, North Carolina, objects are found, consisting of partly human, partly animal in either full or bas-relief. Some are utensils, and they appear to have been made with metal instruments.
(17 Nov) At Carson, Nevada, some “supposed human footprints” are found in sandstone in a quarry in Nevada State Prison.

AD 1883 Over four hundred cigar-shaped and disk-shaped objects are seen moving across the sun in Zacatecas, Mexico At Castendolo, Professor Sergi, an anthropologist, examines the fossil remains found by Professor Ragazzoni at Brescia and pronounces them as two children and a woman of modern type.

AD 1885 At Voecklabruck, Isador Braun discovers a small (67mm x 47mm) steel cube when a block of coal is broken open from a seam being worked and could have only have gotten there before the coal beds were laid down, tens of millions of years ago. A deep incision runs around it, and the edges are rounded on two faces, indicating human manufacture. Analysis shows its composition resembles nickel-carbon steel, a manufactured substance. Most authorities that examine the object declare that it must be of artificial nature, but cannot agree as to its origin. The object rests in the Salzburg Museum until 1910, when it disappears.

AD 1886 (14 Jan) In Lexington, Kentucky, a massive stone wall is unearthed by men working in a rock quarry. It is thirty feet below the surface of the surrounding soil, and shows evidence of being constructed by skilled masons.

AD 1887 (Jul) In Eureka, Nevada, four men searching for gold come upon a large bone, reportedly human, in the Spring Valley.
(Aug) Two children are found in Spain coming from a Spanish cave. They are reported to have slanted eyes, green skin and speak a totally unknown language. One child, a boy, soon dies, but the other, a girl eventually learns Spanish and tells a story about being transported from a country which was always in twilight. Who these children were and where they came from is never determined. The Galveston, Texas Daily News reports the discovery of a wrecked ship of unusual design. Little remains of the description, save that the width of the stern is about fifteen feet, and “is composed of solid oak beams laid crosswise over each other, secured with iron spikes.” The ship is believed to be possibly Roman of unknown age.

AD 1888 At Bat Creek, Loudon County, in Tennessee, a small, dark stone, about the size of a Hershey Bar is found in a grave with lettering in ancient Hebrew, which, when translated reads:” for the land of Judah” or possibly “for the Judeans”, and below is added, “the year 1”. The location of the stone indicates that it was buried with the bodies, and not disturbed until its discovery. The find was turned over to the Smithsonian Institution.

AD 1891 (Mar) In Bradley County, Tennessee, Mr. J.H. Hooper noticed what appeared to be a headstone on a wooded ridge on his farm. He dug around the stone expecting to see the dates and “rest in peace”, but found it to be covered in unknown characters in an indecipherable language. Digging deeper, he found other stones that formed a wall about two feet thick, eight feet high and about sixteen feet long, covered with the letters, arranged in wavy, nearly parallel lines. The wall was traced and found to go on for nearly a thousand feet. The stone is a dark-red sandstone of unknown age.

(09 Jun) At Morrisonville, Illinois, a length of chain is found when a large lump of coal is broken open.

AD 1895 (Jul) A party of miners working near Bridalveil Falls in California, find the remains of a woman whose skeletal remains indicated that she had stood some six feet, eight inches in height. G.F. Martindale, in charge of the miners, noticed a pile of stones that had been shaped and fitted together. When his men removed these blocks, thinking they had stumbled on buried treasure, they found the mummified remains of a woman who was wrapped in furs, and covered with a fine gray powder. She was clutching a child to her breast.
At Crittenden, Arizona, a sarcophagus is reportedly found containing the remains of a person three meters long and having six toes on each foot.

AD 1897 (27 Mar) Two hundred people, including the governor of Kansas see a large object flying over Topeka, Kansas. “I don’t know what the thing is, but I hope it may yet solve the railroad problem.”

(02 Apr) At Webster City, Iowa, a peculiar piece of rock was removed from the Lehigh Coal Mine. The slab was found just under the sandstone, which was 130′ beneath the surface. The tablet was two feet by one foot by four inches thick, and artistically carved with diamond-shaped squares, each with the face of an old man in the square. The features of each portrait are identical, with each bearing a strange mark in the shape of a dent in the forehead.

(19 Apr) A cigar-shaped object, believed to be a spaceship, crashes into the home of Judge J.S. Proctor in Aurora, Texas. The pilot, described as a ‘little man’, is killed in the crash and buried in the local cemetery. Over the years, the exact location of the grave is lost to memory.

(20 Apr) Alexander Hamilton, a LeRoy, Kansas farmer, claims to have seen a

U.F.O. hovering over his cow pasture at a height of 30′ with his son and a farmhand. Within it, the farmer and his companions seen “the strangest beings [that he] ever saw”. He also claimed that it lassoed one of his cattle and hauled it into the ship. The next day, the remains of the calf were recovered from a nearby farm, legs, head and skin. Should Hamilton’s credibility be questioned, it must be pointed out that he was a member of the House of Representatives, and people who knew him for thirty years never heard a word of his questioned.

(Apr) At Elysian Park, a collection of fossilized imprints are found cut out of a rock at least seventy feet above the bottom of a little canyon by workers who are making a deep cut for a new wagon road. The fossils include ferns, leaves, twigs, a fish and what appears to be a boot print from a shoe of normal size.

At Alicante, Spain, a limestone bust some 21 inches in height is discovered. Believed to be a local divinity, it comes to be known as “the Lady of Elche”, and has a clear resemblance to certain well-known finds in Columbia and Honduras.

AD 1900 (Easter) Off the island of Antikythera, Greece, a sponge diver brings up a misshapen bronze curiosity which will in 1958, be discovered to be a computer designed to plot the movements of the sun, moon Earth and planets. The find is described as amazing as “a jet plane in the tomb of King Tut”.

(20 Oct) Although gynecology is virtually unknown at this time, surgical instruments as sophisticated as those in use after the Second World War are found in the ruins of the Temple of the Vestal Virgins in the destroyed city of Pompeii.

AD 1902 (28 Oct) The steamship Fort Salisbury encounters a metallic structure in the Gulf of Guinea off the west coast of Africa. As the officers and crew watch, the vessel sank beneath the waves.

AD 1908 (30 Jun) An explosion as powerful as a hydrogen bomb rocks Siberia. There is nothing to account for it. In 1927, when Soviet scientists found the site, they claimed there was no evidence that a meteor had struck. Almost eighty years later, scientists determined that the explosion was made by either a bolide, a type of meteor that exploded in the atmosphere, or a comet, whose resulting blast wave leveled the Russian forest.

AD 1911 Hiram Bingham discovers Machu Picchu, a former Inca stronghold, high in the Andes mountains.

AD 1912 (04 May) The New York Times reports of a find of gigantic humans made while excavating a mound at Lake Delevan, Wisconsin. According to the news account, eighteen skeletons are found in one large mound at a Lake Lawn farm.
At Thomas, Oklahoma, two employees of the Municipal Electric Plant use a sledge to break up a chunk of coal too large for the furnace. An iron pot topples out from the center of the lump, leaving an impression in the coal. The coal had been mined near Wilberton, Oklahoma.

AD 1913 (9 Feb) Strange flying objects are seen traveling horizontally in groups, more slowly than meteorites, by farmers and astronomers in Canada, Bermuda, Brazil and Africa. Astronomer W.F. Denning reported seeing lighted windows in one of them.

AD 1920 At Bear Creek, Montana, in a coal mine known as Eagle No.3 two enormous molars are reportedly found. It is claimed that they are three times the size of normal human teeth, and had been found in deposits at least thirty million years old.

AD 1921 At Harappa, India, an ancient city is discovered whose inhabitants enjoy a city as well laid out as any in Twentieth Century Europe.

AD 1924 (13 Sep) Charles Manier finds artifacts northwest of Tucson, Arizona which indicate that Roman explorers may have been in that part of the world. The artifacts,, including sixty-two crosses, daggers, batons, spears and sword-like weapons are made of lead and encrusted in caliche – a sheet of hard, crusty material that ‘grows’ due to a reaction of chemicals and water in desert soils over man.


Popular Superstitions Facts

  1. Collect seven or nine different flowers on midsummer eve and place them under your pillow and it is said that you will dream of your future spouse. (Sweden) 
  2. If you catch a falling leaf on the first day of autumn you will not catch a cold all winter.
  3. Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  4. When you speak of bad luck, it is said that one should always knock on wood. Also knocking when speaking of good luck apparently helps with having good luck. This is an old Celtic tradition related to belief of wood spirits. 
  5. In Asia, the digit 4 never appears in any Nokia handset model number, because 4 is considered unlucky in many parts of Southeast/East Asia. 
  6. Amber beads, worn as a necklace, can protect against illness or cure colds.
  7. Some motorcycle enthusiasts hang a biker’s bell from a portion of their bike to protect themselves from evil road spirits.  
  8. There are numerous sailors’ superstitions, such as: it is considered bad luck for a ship to set sail on a Friday, to bring anything blue aboard, to stick a knife into the deck, to leave a hatch cover upside-down, to say “pig”, or to eat walnuts aboard.
  9. It is bad luck to put new shoes on a bed (or a table) (comes from the tradition of dressing a corpse in new clothes and shoes and laying them out so everyone can give their respects) – (UK)
  10. Placing keys on a table is considered unlucky. (Sweden)
  11. Opening an umbrella indoors is said to result in 21 days of bad luck. Some traditions hold that it is only bad luck if the umbrella is placed over the head of someone while indoors.
  12. If one walks underneath an open ladder it is said to bring bad luck. Sometimes it is said that this can be undone by immediately walking backwards back underneath the ladder.
  13. Many believe that if all of the candles on a birthday cake are blown out with one breath, while making a silent wish, the wish will come true.
  14. In some parts of England, rum is used to wash a baby’s head for good luck.
  15. According to an age old custom, carrying a dead shrew in your pocket wards off rheumatism!