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10 Places As Mysterious As The Bermuda Triangle
Everyone has heard of the Bermuda Triangle and the mysteries that surround it. Theories about this area range from reasonable to just plain ridiculous, but whether you believe it’s the site of time warps, alien abductions, or just plain paranoia, it certainly abounds with strangeness. It’s not the only place you can find creepy things happening, however—here are 10 other places on Earth with their fair share of mysteries:
The Superstition Mountains are a mountain range located east of Phoenix, Arizona. Already it’s off to a great start with the name.
According to legend, sometime in the 1800s a man named Jacob Waltz discovered a huge goldmine within the mountains that has since been dubbed the Lost Dutchman’s Gold Mine (because Waltz was German, and eh, close enough). He kept the location a secret until his deathbed, upon which he may or may not (depending on which version of the story you’re reading) have told a single person the secret. Regardless, the mine has never been found, in spite of many expeditions. Some say the spirits of people who’ve lost their lives in search of the gold still haunt the mountains.
One reportedly Native American legend goes that the treasures of the mountains are guarded by creatures called Tuar-Tums (“Little People”) that live below the mountains in caves and tunnels. Some Apaches believe that the entrance to hell is located in the mountains. This is, of course, ridiculous, as we all know the entrance to hell is in Sunnydale.
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Did you ever wonder if there was a Bermuda Triangle in Space? No? Well you’re probably wondering it now, and you’re in luck! Because there totally is, and it’s called the South Atlantic Anomaly. The SAA is the area where the band of radiation known as Earth’s inner Van Allen belt comes closest to the Earth’s surface.
It’s an area centered just a bit off the coast of Brazil, and it’s responsible for numerous problems with satellites and spacecraft, from messing up their programs to actually shutting down their function. The Hubble Telescope is actually turned off from taking observations when passing through the Anomaly, and the International Space Station avoids scheduling spacewalks when passing through it (which happens up to 5 times a day). It’s not just technical problems, either—some astronauts report seeing “shooting stars” in their visual field as they pass through.
The cause of all these problems isn’t fully understood. The main suspect is the high levels of radiation that accumulate at the anomaly, but scientists aren’t sure exactly how or why the effects occur. So let’s just pin this one on aliens.
Not content with just a few individuals disappearing, Lake Anjikuni decided to take things to the next level and provide the locale for the disappearance of an entire village. It all happened in November 1930, when a trapper named Joe Labelle was looking for shelter for the night. Labelle was familiar with the Inuit village, whose population ranges from 30-2000, depending on who you believe. He made his way there and found quite an eerie scene—the villagers were nowhere to be found. Everything else, including food and rifles, had been left behind.
Labelle telegraphed the RCMP and an investigation began. In the Village Burial Ground it was discovered that at least one (sources vary) grave had been opened, clearly not by animals, and emptied. Furthermore, about 300 feet from the village, the bodies of around 7 sled dogs were found, having starved to death despite open stores of food at the village. Some versions of the story even report strange lights being seen above the lake around the time of the disappearance.
So what really happened? There have been all sorts of claims about the cause for the disappearance, including aliens (of course), ghosts, and even vampires. The RCMP’s own website disregards the story as an urban legend, but with so many versions of it floating around from so many years ago, it’s hard to be certain. Except about the vampires, I think we can be certain it wasn’t vampires.
The Devil’s Sea (or Dragon’s Triangle, take your pick of which sounds more ominous) is an area of the Pacific Ocean as riddled with strange happenings as its Atlantic counterpart near Bermuda. Located off the coast of Japan, it’s been the site of countless claims of unexplained phenomena including magnetic anomalies, inexplicable lights and objects, and of course, mysterious disappearances. The area is even considered a danger by Japanese fishing authorities.
One story has it that in 1952 the Japanese government sent out a research vessel, the Kaio Maru No. 5, to investigate the mysteries of the Devil’s Sea. Naturally, of course, the Kaio Maru No. 5 and its crew of 31 people were never seen again. Another story tells of Kublai Khan’s disastrous attempts to invade Japan by crossing the Devil’s Sea, losing at least 40 000 men in the process.
The usual theories abound for what’s really going on: from aliens, to gates to parallel universes, even to Atlantis (because why not). Some suggest that high volcanic activity in the region is responsible for some of the disappearances (the Kaio Maru No. 5 may have been caught in an eruption). Our advice? Just stay out of the ocean, period.
Bigelow Ranch (formerly known as Skinwalker Ranch and Sherman Ranch) is a 480-acre property in northwest Utah that is home to countless UFO sightings, animal mutilations, and other strange occurrences. Though mysterious happenings have been documented since the 50’s, some of the most bizarre stories happened to a pair of ranchers named Terry and Gwen Sherman after they bought it in 1994.
The first day they moved on to the property, they saw a large wolf out in the pasture. They even went to pet the wolf as it seemed tame (to the curious reader, yes, this is always a good idea). It was docile with the Shermans, but ended up grabbing a calf by the snout through the bars of its enclosure. When Terry shot at the wolf with a pistol, the bullets had no effect. It finally left after Terry brought out the shotgun, though even that didn’t do any actual damage. The Shermans tried tracking the wolf, but it’s tracks stopped abruptly as if it had vanished.
And that wasn’t the end of things. The Shermans were constantly plagued by such events as UFO sightings, intelligent floating orbs (reputed to have incinerated three of their dogs), inexplicable cryptids, and gruesome cattle mutilations. It got so bad that the Shermans actually sold their ranch to Robert Bigelow in 1996, the founder of the National Institute for Discovery Science, who wanted to study the mysteries surrounding the ranch. Bigelow owns the ranch to this day and NIDS keeps a tight lid on their findings.
Point Pleasant was probably aptly named at one point, but it is now so shrouded in tales of mysterious and creepy events as to be nothing but an ironic alliteration. The most famous of these events involves a creature known as Mothman, who reputedly terrorized the small West Virginia community from November 1966 to December 1967. Over a hundred different citizens of Point Pleasant are eyewitnesses to this creature, a 7-foot tall broad chested man with hypnotic, glowing red eyes, and wings that stretch 10 feet long and drag behind him on the ground.
The Mothman, who’s been the subject of both a book and a movie (and who has his own statue in Point Pleasant), has many possible explanations. Some believe him to be an extraterrestrial, others a mutant or a cryptid, and some suggest the people of Point Pleasant were actually being scared by owls or a Sandhill Crane. Whatever the case, reports of Mothman stopped after the Silver Bridge collapsed on December 15, 1967, killing 46 people and leading many to believe that the two events were somehow connected.
In addition to Mothman, several other paranormal tales from Point Pleasant include UFO sightings and reports of so-called “Men In Black”—human looking creatures who unnerve others by the sheer abundance of peculiarities in their speech, appearance, and mannerisms. These “men” supposedly appear looking for information about the paranormal (or rather, people who have this information).
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The Michigan Triangle is another geographical triangle, located in the middle of Lake Michigan. It, too, is the site of mysterious disappearances of both land and sea craft. Some of the more famous ones include:
Captain Donner: On April 28, 1937, Captain George R. Donner of the O.M. McFarland was on his way from Erie, Pennsylvania, to Port Washington, Wisconsin, and had to pass through the triangle. As the story goes, he was exhausted and retired to his cabin, leaving the second mate to wake him when they neared their destination. About three hours later, when the second mate went to do so, Donner was not in his cabin. Nor was he in the galley. An exhaustive search of the ship was conducted, but he was never found.
Flight 2501: On June 23, 1950, Northwest Airlines Flight 2501 was on its way from New York to Minneapolis at the hands of experienced pilot Robert C. Lind, and was carrying 58 passengers. Due to bad weather, when the flight was near Chicago it changed course and turned over Lake Michigan. Around midnight, Lind requested permission to drop altitude from 3500 ft to 2500 ft, without ever specifying a reason. His request was denied, and that was the last communication Flight 2501 ever had. It’s last known position was supposedly within the Michigan Triangle.
While sources vary as to what amount of wreckage of Flight 2501 has been found (some say nothing, whereas others specify assorted floating debris such as seat cushions and the like), it seems clear that the plane crashed into the water. Mysterious, however, is that the plane was in perfectly good condition and in capable hands at the time of the disappearance. What’s more, despite searches still being conducted annually, neither the body of the plane nor complete human remains have ever been recovered.
San Luis Valley, in southern Colorado, is an area high in inexplicable phenomena including UFO sightings and hundreds of unexplained farm animal mutilations. UFO sightings are so common that a woman named Judy Messoline has even set up a UFO watchtower on her property, which has witnessed over 50 UFO sightings since 2000 alone. Some of these are observed by dozens of people at a time.
For the UFO skeptics out there, far more chilling are the tales of animal mutilations from the region. They began in 1967, with a horse named Snippy. Snippy was found one morning with her brain missing, and her neck bones completely cleaned. Since then, hundreds if not thousands of inexplicable animal mutilations have occurred in the region, sharing several things in common—firstly, there is never a trace of blood around the animals, and secondly, the animals are all damaged with precise cuts, distinctly not the work of predators. Finally, all of the mutilations happen overnight to otherwise healthy creatures.
Investigations into the incidents haven’t wielded any results, yet they continue to this day. Some farmers report seeing strange lights in the sky the nights before finding a carcass, leading some to believe that extraterrestrials are involved. Though it’s hard to imagine aliens caring so much about farm animals in Colorado, the alternative isn’t much more appealing—that humans are the so-called “Phantom Surgeons of the Plains”. Personally, I’d rather it was aliens.
Oh look, another triangle. This one is found in southwestern Vermont, and is the site of a string of 5 mysterious disappearances between 1945-1950, related in no way but geographic location. These include:
Middie Rivers, 75 years old, was out leading a group of hunters on November 12, 1945. On their way back, he got ahead of his group and was never seen again. Only a single rifle shell found in a stream was recovered as evidence.
Paula Welden was an 18 year old sophomore of Bennington College who was out hiking on December 1, 1946. She never returned and no trace of her was ever found.
Exactly 3 years later, on December 1, 1949, a veteran named James E. Tetford was taking a bus back to his home at the Bennington Soldier’s Home, returning from a visit with relatives. Witnesses saw him on the bus the stop before this, but when the bus arrived at his destination he was nowhere to be seen. His luggage was still on the bus.
Eight year old Paul Jepson disappeared on October 12, 1950, while his mother was busy feeding the pigs. Despite having a highly visible red jacket, none of the search parties formed were able to find the boy.
The last disappearance was a woman named Frieda Langer. On October 28, 1950, she was hiking with her cousin on Glastenbury Mountain when she slipped in a stream. She decided to go back quickly and change her clothes, and, if you’ve been paying attention so far, you’ll surmise that she was never seen again. Well, not exactly—she’s the only victim whose body was ever recovered, though it was only found on May 12, 1951 (about 6 months later), in an area that had been thoroughly searched after her disappearance. The body was in such a mangled shape that no cause of death could be determined.
Though many theories abound, including aliens, bigfoot-like monsters, or some unknown serial killer, there’s one thing we know for sure: it’s a good idea to stay the hell away from triangles.
No, seriously—stay away from triangles. Especially this one. The Bridgewater Triangle, an area of about 200 square miles in Southeastern Massachusetts just south of Boston, is like an all you can eat buffet of the supernatural.
Among other things, the area has been subject to numerous cryptozoological sightings. Since the 1970’s there have been several reports of tall, hairy, ape-like creatures roaming the swamp. There have also been numerous sightings of Thunderbirds, giant Pterodactyl-like creatures that have been seen fighting in midair. In 1976 there was a report of a man who saw a giant, ghostly, red-eyed dog rip the throats out of two of his ponies.
Besides these cryptids, there have been numerous reports of mutilated animals (mainly cows and calves) in the region. Some credit these mutilations to satanic cults, but no one has come forward and no one even knows where the animals came from.
As if all this weren’t enough, the Bridgewater Triangle is a hotbed of UFO sightings, dating all the way back to 1760, when a “sphere of fire” was reportedly seen hovering over New England. Since then there have been numerous sightings of unexplained objects in the sky—including mysterious black helicopters. One from 1976 describes two UFOs landing along Route 44 near the city of Taunton, and another from 1994 recounts a strange triangular object with red and white lights seen by a Bridgewater Law Enforcement Officer. In 1908 on Halloween night, two undertakers who were traveling to Bridgewater noticed in the sky what looked like a “giant lantern”. They watched it for almost 40 minutes before it disappeared.
Bermuda isn’t looking so bad anymore.
Michael Alba has a skeptical fascination with the supernatural. He’ll have a skeptical fascination with you, too, if you follow him on twitter @MichaelPaulAlba.