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Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border. Nobody knows what it was.

Something exploded over and under Lake Huron near the US/Canadian border on July 31, 2008. Nobody knows what it was. Initial published reports identified the cause as a meteor shower (without attribution). A week later more details emerged and meteors were ruled out. So what was it? [more inside]
posted by maxpower on Aug 14, 2008 - 52 comments

Every. Single. MST3K. Episode.

All MST3K episodes available in .avi format. That is all. I need to lie down.
posted by ObscureReferenceMan on Aug 13, 2008 - 99 comments

"It was beautiful, kind of like abstract art"

In March 2007, the FermiLab Office of Public Affairs in Batavia, IL "received a curious message in code" via USPS. In May 2008, scientists posted a facsimile image of the letter to their blog in the hopes of soliciting cryptologists to decipher the letter. [more inside]
posted by subbes on Jul 16, 2008 - 45 comments

The mysterious old shop

The Lido was a shop on a busy road in East Vancouver that was always closed -- yet clearly occupied and maintained. It's been an intriguing mystery for locals for many years. Following the recent death of the owner, an elderly woman who lived above the shop, cleanup crews found old furniture, cans of dry goods -- and more than $400,000 in antique banknotes. [more inside]
posted by PercussivePaul on Jul 11, 2008 - 30 comments

Collateral Damage?

"Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country." American Murder Mystery. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4.
posted by wittgenstein on Jul 7, 2008 - 57 comments

Found Feet

Footloose. No, not the movie, and not the song, but the continuing mystery of feet washing up in the Strait of Georgia. Previously, previously and previously.
posted by Neiltupper on Jun 18, 2008 - 91 comments

Mystery on 5th Avenue

It began when Mr. Klinsky threw in his two cents, a vague request that a poem he had written for and about his family be lodged in a wall somewhere, Ms. Sherry said, “put in a bottle and hidden away as if it were a time capsule.”
Sometimes when you make a simple suggestion about the remodeling of your $8.5 million 5th Ave. apartment, the designer goes a little overboard. In an awesome way. Don't miss the slideshow.
posted by Who_Am_I on Jun 12, 2008 - 81 comments

The world may never know

Who put Bella in the witch elm? [more inside]
posted by Countess Elena on Jun 1, 2008 - 11 comments

The Something Store

Why don't you get yourself a little something? It's only $10!
posted by jonson on May 12, 2008 - 103 comments

Hammer Time

Hammer quiz. Identify the intended use of speciality (mostly vintage) hammers. A sister site of Puzzle Photos (previously). [more inside]
posted by Mitheral on Apr 3, 2008 - 28 comments

The Ghost of Bobby Dunbar

Bobby Dunbar was a four year-old boy that vanished in 1912, while on a fishing trip with his family in a Louisiana swamp. For weeks, searchers combed the area looking for him. The lake where he went missing was dynamited. Alligators were captured and had their bellies slit open to see if the body was inside. Nothing was found except a set of child's footprints leading to an old railroad trestle. Eight months later, the police found Bobby in the company of a drifter with a horse-drawn cart. He protested his innocence but was arrested and charged with kidnapping. Another woman came forward and claimed Bobby was, in fact, her son. But she was an unmarried fieldworker, and her claims were dismissed. The crime became a nationwide media event and the boy was returned to his parents, and their hometown held a parade in his honor. Bobby returned to his life. Ninety-one years later, Bobby Dunbar's granddaughter uncovered the truth.
posted by smoothvirus on Mar 19, 2008 - 78 comments

The Dyatlov Pass Mystery

Nine experienced cross-country skiers hurriedly left their tent on a Urals slope in the middle of the night at around -30 degrees Celsius for no obvious reason, casting aside skis, food, boots and most of their clothes. Soon they would be dead, some with injuries more suited to car crash victims, and apparently dosed with radiation. Their deaths are still unexplained, 49 years later. The Mystery of the Dyatlov Pass Accident. [more inside]
posted by Henry C. Mabuse on Feb 22, 2008 - 122 comments

missing: 3 right feet

Last summer two right feet washed up on shore within a week of each other on two separate tiny islands in British Columbia. Today a third right foot has just washed up.
posted by joelf on Feb 15, 2008 - 93 comments

MeatFilter

Mystery Meat.
posted by Pinback on Feb 4, 2008 - 33 comments

"Attacking that battle station is not my idea of courage. It's more like, suicide"

September 11, 2001. It's 10:15 am and the South Tower just went down. Millions of French people are watching the live coverage of the events on TF1, France's major TV channel, with star anchorman Poivre d'Arvor doing a running commentary. Then, for a split second, a character from a famous movie happily tells us (in French subtitles) that he "did it" (18 s in the video) (Dailymotion video). [more inside]
posted by elgilito on Jan 9, 2008 - 84 comments

The 100 best mystery novels of all time

The 100 best mystery novels of all time. Here they are, with links... [more inside]
posted by jbickers on Dec 2, 2007 - 111 comments

Slip Sliding Away

The Mystery of the Sliding Rocks of Racetrack Playa. One of the most interesting mysteries of Death Valley National Park is the sliding rocks at Racetrack Playa (a playa is a dry lake bed). These rocks can be found on the floor of the playa with long trails behind them. Somehow these rocks slide across the playa, cutting a furrow in the sediment as they move. Some of these rocks weigh several hundred pounds. That makes the question: "How do they move?" a very challenging one. [Via]. For more in-depth information, including maps and additional pictures, see Paula Messina's website about the Sliding Rocks.
posted by amyms on Dec 2, 2007 - 37 comments

See answer key on back.

It's Saturday night. You're here browsing on the internet. Why not do something intellectual for a change? [more inside]
posted by flatluigi on Dec 1, 2007 - 27 comments

I Might Get Rich; You Know I Might Get Busted

Unmasking D.B. Cooper: On a rainy night in 1971, the notorious skyjacker jumped out of a 727 and into American legend. But a chance lead to a Manhattan P.I. may have finally cracked the case, despite the fact this isn't the first time someone has claimed to be D.B. Cooper.
posted by fandango_matt on Oct 31, 2007 - 27 comments

"They're not quite the same 'hit points' you're used to."

Picking Up Women 101, courtesy of the Internet. (warning: Youtube linkfest) Author Neil Strauss (The Game) introduces us to the concept. Celebrated PUA Mystery (of VH1's 'The Pick Up Artist' fame) shows us some of his moves and espouses. (Conan O'Brien makes light of it all.) Self-described 'nerd' Ross Jeffries (who claims to be this inspiration for this character) sells his line of Speed Seduction using a hypnosis-based strategy called NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) to get into girls' panties. You might want to check out a more straight-forward approach, highlighted by UK Channel 4's 'Speed School.' (parts 1 2 3 4 5). [more inside]
posted by Mach3avelli on Sep 16, 2007 - 245 comments

TRANSIT - an art deco murder mystery

T.R.A.N.S.I.T. is, by a wide margin, my favorite animated short ever produced. Set in the art deco Europe of the 1920's and (and released in 1997) it tells the story of a journey throughout several major vacation destinations of a wealthy tycoon, his young wife with wandering eyes, and a murderous turn of events. The story is told in reverse, from the final stage of the "vacation" back through each prior stop, and the artwork for each segment is painted in the style of the luggage travel sticker for that stop.
posted by jonson on Sep 2, 2007 - 14 comments

The most kissed girl in the world

In the 1890s, an unknown woman was found drowned in the Seine. Known as the l'Inconnue de la Seine, her death mask became a fixture in the homes of artists and writers, and her look the ideal of the age. Many have speculated on her identity, and she has inspired a long list of artistic works by Nabokov, Rilke, Man Ray, and others. She has since become the "most kissed girl in the world" thanks to the Norwegian toymaker that used her mask to create Resusci Anne, the standard CPR doll.
posted by blahblahblah on Aug 21, 2007 - 56 comments

Poe Rose Bro Shows

Shedding light on one of Baltimore's most famous modern-day mysteries, 92-year-old Sam Porpora is claiming to be the man who first visited Edgar Alan Poe's grave every year on his birthday.
posted by XQUZYPHYR on Aug 17, 2007 - 15 comments

Where is Jim Gray?

Wired presents an extraordinary look at "one of the most ambitious search-and-rescue missions in history," after one of Microsoft's researchers, Jim Gray, and his boat, the Tenacious, went missing in the Pacific Ocean outside San Francisco in January 2007. Cartography meets law meets 2.0 technology. "First the Coast Guard scoured 132,000 square miles of ocean. Then a team of scientists and Silicon Valley power players turned the eyes of the global network onto the Pacific." Eventually, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, the US Navy, NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab, and the Monterey Bay Aquarium jumped in – "as did astronomers from leading universities." To this day, Jim Gray has never been found, and his disappearance cannot be explained. Read Wired for more.
posted by BLDGBLOG on Jul 22, 2007 - 35 comments

HelpMyBabyLive.com- There are no words

HelpMyBabyLive.com It comes down to this. If we can't raise the $50,000 in the next 3 months, we'll have to choose abortion. And you thought Save Karyn was bad. Via
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Jun 28, 2007 - 176 comments

The Mysterious Holes of Peru

The Mysterious Holes of Peru. While the world is generally familiar with Machu Picchu and the Nazca Lines, another mystery has come to light through the modern science of satellite photography.
posted by Burhanistan on Mar 21, 2007 - 49 comments

listen:there’s a hell / of a good universe next door;let’s go

The Codex Seraphinianus, that rare and amazing volume, has been scanned in high-res glory and posted to Flickr. If you are lucky enough to afford it, copies are available. Previously.
posted by suckerpunch on Mar 20, 2007 - 59 comments

Приходит watson, игра afoot!

Sherlock Holmes and the Murder of Lord Waterbrook. Excellent new Russian animation (well, kinda new, anyway). Here's part 2.
posted by jbickers on Mar 14, 2007 - 8 comments

Love or Money

Do love experts work? It's a year round profession for pick up artists and professional bad boys. Well, folks, I've tried them all and I have had fewer girlfriends than Hitler.
posted by CameraObscura on Feb 14, 2007 - 17 comments

Mirin Dajo, the human pincushion.

Mirin Dajo (1912-1948, born Arnold Henske) was pierced thru the torso (YouTube) with fencing foils and skewers many times, without bleeding or showing any sign of injury. Warning: some links contain graphic content.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Feb 9, 2007 - 17 comments

Bird Droppings

They shut down part of Austin last week, thousands did it in Esperance, Western Australia, record numbers in England and thousands more along I-84 in Idaho. Conspiracies abound; could it be poison, or testing EM weapons, "some kid with a BB gun" or drunk on hackberries or maybe it is global warming?

Sometimes the explanation is pretty simple but mostly, scientists are scratching their heads and wondering what is causing bird to drop dead out of the skies all over the globe at an alarming rate.
posted by DragonBoy on Jan 15, 2007 - 43 comments

"This sister of mine, a dark shadow robbing me of sunlight, is my one and only torment."

The strange story of June and Jennifer Gibbons.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane on Dec 29, 2006 - 9 comments

Russian Psychoanalytic Art Mystery

"This was painted by a person with a rare and severe mental disorder. He was constantly seeing his own fantasies all around him. He also had a certain phobia..." (via Digg). The image is an imperfect reproduction of a particular postcard dated 1972. A blogger (in Russian) claims his psychiatry professor found one aspect of this eerie painting that reveals the patient's disorder. Allegedly, only one of his students in the past 15 years has figured it out. The psychoanalytic mystery has piqued the interest (in Russian) of the online community. A number of supplemental hints from the professor and thousands of guesses later, the case remains unsolved. Skeptics have already decried the mystery as a traffic-boosting hoax, but a few signs still point to its authenticity. Most notably, the artist's reproduction of another classic painting contains the following note: "transferred in 1990 from Moscow mental hospital."
posted by themadjuggler on Dec 3, 2006 - 113 comments

A Russian-American desaparecido and a Nazi cult.

Boris Weisfeiler disappeared in Chile. The authorities claim that the experienced outdoorsman had drowned trying to ford a four-foot river. Uncovered documents tell a different story - that Pinochet's military had mistaken the vacationing mathematics professor for a "Jewish spy" and sent him as a political prisoner to the 37,000 acre German expatriate Nazi apocalyptic cult enclave of Colonia Dignidad. There, he was kept alive for at least two years before Paul Schaefer, the founder of the enclave, a Luftwaffe nurse and a serial child molester, most likely had him killed.
posted by Sticherbeast on Nov 22, 2006 - 20 comments

The Missing Diver Mystery

In case of The Missing Diver Mystery, all is not as it seems...
posted by Acey on Sep 8, 2006 - 9 comments

What is your aim working as a detective? – To shew the fly the way out of the fly-bottle.

Wittgenstein, in a letter to Norman Malcolm, wrote: "...A couple of years ago I read with great pleasure a detective story called Rendezvous With Fear by a man Norbert Davis. I enjoyed it so much that I gave it not only to Smythies but also to Moore to read and both shared my high opinion of it. For, though, as you know, I’ve read hundreds of stories that amused me and that I liked reading, I think I’ve only read two perhaps that I’d call good stuff, and Davis’s is one of them... It may sound crazy, but when I recently re-read the story I liked it again so much that I thought I’d really like to write to the author and thank him. If this is nuts don’t be surprised, for so am I..."
Though it is discussed by both Ray Monk, in his biography of Wittgenstein, and Edmonds and Eidenow, in their popular book about Wittgenstein's philosophical clash with Popper (and an aging Russell), it is always interesting to read about this strange man's love of detective fiction. Though I don't necessarily agree with the linked author's conclusions, it makes for a good read.
posted by voltairemodern on Jun 19, 2006 - 22 comments

Yeah, I don't know either.

Who took these photos of young girls with letters written on their foreheads, and why? via
posted by Afroblanco on Jun 12, 2006 - 49 comments

The mystery diva

There's a myspace page for Q Lazzarus but you know she didn't create it herself. One of the biggest mysteries of modern Hollywood, how a singer could get a song on "Silence of the Lambs" but not appear on its soundtrack album, and a song on "Philadelphia" but not appear on its soundtrack album. And drop off the face of the earth. The mystery? In the age where one-hit wonders will to suffer any indignity to make a comeback attempt, Q Lazzarus disappeared. She's nowhere to be found. Maybe she's driving a taxi again.
posted by surplus on May 30, 2006 - 26 comments

Handwritten Real-World Cryptogram?

Linda Rayburn and her son Michael Berry were brutally murdered by her husband, David Rayburn, on February 3rd, 2004. Rayburn then hanged himself in the basement of their home, leaving behind a handwritten cryptogram.
posted by tranquileye on Feb 11, 2006 - 11 comments

[six + fish] [man] [rings] [head of a cow?]

The Indus Script Mystery: The ancient people of the Indus Valley left behind a mystery in their trash heaps -- the Indus script: a set of stylized characters (possibly a logophonetic script), which may or may not have been recently deciphered. (Probably not.) Some now believe (.pdf file) it is not even a written 'language' as we understand the term.
posted by anastasiav on Jan 11, 2006 - 11 comments

Main Course or Colonel Kurtz?

Main Course or Colonel Kurtz? Michael was a Harvard graduate, but otherwise refused to follow in his father's footsteps. After graduating cum laude and serving a hitch in the army, he went to New Guinea as a member of the Harvard Peabody Museum expedition. As he explained it, "I have the desire to do something romantic and adventurous at a time when frontiers in the real sense of the word are disappearing." In 1961, Michael Rockefeller, fortunate son of the first order, disappeared while studying the Asmat people of New Guinea. Questions remain, however. Was he, indeed, eaten by the Asmat, who had a rumored history of cannibalism, or did he decide to go native? At least one documentary has explored this.
posted by John of Michigan on Dec 18, 2005 - 14 comments

he was a stargazer

you make the world spin. missing (amazing) singer shelagh mcdonald has apparently resurfaced at the offices of the scottish daily mail, and has been writing new songs. hallelujah. previously discussed.
posted by dorian on Dec 7, 2005 - 7 comments

Who is 10641?

Who is 10641?
via via
posted by airguitar on Nov 15, 2005 - 77 comments

Madison, Madison, Madison

Madison Man is no longer John Doe. If you read the article noting every occurrence of the word "Madison" and how each differs from the others you'll see why I find this nifty. (I think they'll eventually decide it was suicide.)
posted by davy on Oct 19, 2005 - 17 comments

Searching for the Stargazer

Scottish born singer Shelagh McDonald was part of the late 1960s British folk scene and recorded two excellent albums in the early 70s with production not unlike that of Nick Drake. With favorable comparisons to Sandy Denny, Joni Mitchell and Judee Sill, larger success seemed right around the corner for this talented young woman. Then she vanished. It's still unknown whether she went back to Scotland or elsewhere entirely, but now her musical catalogue is back in print, prompting renewed interest. Perhaps she'll come forward at last to receive the royalties she's owed or, if we're lucky, step onto the stage once again.
posted by ktoad on Sep 1, 2005 - 6 comments

"I got bettah..."

Remember the mysterious Piano Man? Well, he got better.
posted by LordSludge on Aug 22, 2005 - 34 comments

Sleeping Under the Fishes?

A break in the strange case of Judge Joseph Crater. In 1930, Judge Crater, later dubbed "The Missingest Man In New York", stepped into a cab and was never seen again. He left behind a mourning wife and one of New York's most enduring mysteries. For 75 years, his disappearance has been the butt of many dumb jokes and also has been the subject of the occasional book.
posted by Joey Michaels on Aug 19, 2005 - 5 comments

Big Questions of Science

Science explores 125 big questions that face scientific inquiry over the next quarter-century. [via]
posted by Gyan on Jun 30, 2005 - 23 comments

Who Killed Father Ryan?

"In those days, there wasn't a lot of talk about gay priests. People didn't want to believe it." On Dec. 4, 1982, a deeply suntanned man, about 40 years old, walked into the Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Boise, Idaho, and readied himself for confession. As he waited, the man swallowed a cyanide capsule. A few minutes later, he was dead. He had no identification, and a note in his pocket said only that the $1,900 he carried should be used for his burial, with any remainder donated to the church. The note was signed with what turned out to be a false name. To this day, no one has been able to identify the man, nor to determine why he had come to the church to absolve himself of his sins. On the answers to that mystery may hang the fate of a small, quiet, meticulous man who now lives in South Austin, and who spent 20 years in a Texas prison for a murder he says he did not commit, but which investigators believe may be connected to the dead man at the Boise Sacred Heart Catholic Church. More inside.
posted by matteo on Jun 22, 2005 - 25 comments

Dellschau + Sonora Aero Club Mysteries

Legend has it that Charles Dellschau (1830-1923) was the draftsman for the secret Sonora Aero Club, a collective of 60 or so mostly German immigrants who reportedly constructed dirigible like aircraft in California in the 1850's. One club member was said to have discovered suppe -- the magic antigravity fuel alleged to have lifted the craft. There were sightings of these 'airships', tenuously linked back to the club, up to the end of the 20th century.
Dellschau, described variously as butcher, inventor, civil war spy, scientist and America's first visionary artist, retired at age 70 in Texas and spent the last 2 decades of his life as a recluse, producing mixed media art works that record the craft and workings of the fabled Sonora Aero Club. They are accompanied by cryptic symbols, newsprint about aircraft and detailed notebooks and were salvaged from the garbage in 1967. His artworks were selling for $15,000 each 5 years ago. A would-be author and long-time sleuth believes he has unlocked the mysteries of Dellschau's cryptic accoutrements and may be publishing a book on the legends this year. via
posted by peacay on Jun 15, 2005 - 11 comments

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