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Does this man strike a chord with you?

Do you know this man? The identity of a man found wandering on a beach in Sheppey, Kent, wearing an evening suit and who will not talk but who expertly plays piano concertos for hours is baffling the police.
posted by mr.marx on May 16, 2005 - 75 comments

Hero Worship

Where is Matthew Smith, fans of seminal platform game Manic Miner and its sequel Jet Set Willy [see also...] are wondering (Allegro.cc perhaps?) Missing in the mid-90s, rumors abound of drug habits, mental institutions and sojourns in the Netherlands, he surfaced again around 2000 with the creation of The Good Stuff, now sadly defunct, which included much of the out-there style and humor of his early games. Since last year, the trail has been cold. Interviews are interesting but perhaps reveal less than the games (and their covers) themselves. Level names in Jet Set Willy 2 include the wonderful We Must Perform a Quirkafleeg (eh?), Rescue Esmerelda and NCC 1501.
posted by nthdegx on Feb 24, 2005 - 8 comments

The mystery of Stefan Mart

The mystery of Stefan Mart and the 'Tales of the Nations'. "The Tales of Nations" was not an ordinary book that you could buy in a book store, and it's mysterious narrator/illustrator disappeared into the darkness of Hitler's Germany, seemingly without a trace. Learn the background, read the stories, and view all 150 fabulous colour illustrations — "small in size, but strong in expression, each a microcosm packed with action, each a feast for the eyes like a beautifully set jewel".
posted by taz on Jan 9, 2005 - 20 comments

MUERTOS INCOMODOS

"Writing a whodunit may sound like an odd thing to do when you are running an insurgency"... Nevertheless, Subcomandante Insurgente Marcos, the mysterious, offbeat leader of the Zapatistas, and Paco Ignacio Taibo II, a Mexican crime novelist, are coauthoring a mystery novel live--alternating chapters each week--in the pages of the Mexican newspaper, La Jornada. So far, they have finished chapters one, two and three (pdf) of Muertos Incomodos, (The Awkward Dead). Is there a precedent for this experiment? I love this sort of thing but, unfortunately, my Spanish is insufficient. Any Spanish speakers care to review?
posted by boo on Dec 22, 2004 - 13 comments

Whodunnit?

The Deadly Necklace. The current issue of the New Yorker has a fascinating story about Richard Lancelyn Green, a preeminent Arthur Conan Doyle/Sherlock Holmes scholar who died under mysterious circumstances in March. At the time of his death, Green had been looking into the provinence of an archive of Conan Doyle’s papers [reprint of a NYTimes article], which he believed (perhaps wrongly) had been stolen, and he'd hinted that there had been threats to his life. Soon afterward, he was found garroted by a shoelace in his room. The magazine does not provide the article online, but does offer this Q&A with the author. I cannot recommend it highly enough, but to get you started while you're still at work, here's some more about Green's death from a Holmes message board; a discussion of the curse of Conan Doyle, which holds that Holmes scholars can meet an untimely end; and info on Doyle's belief in the supernatural.
posted by owenville on Dec 9, 2004 - 13 comments

The Mystery At Webb Hill

The Mystery At Webb Hill - In the waning daylight hours of December 7, 1998, three teenage boys, hiking near Webb Hill, St. George, Utah, saw a shirt sleeve flapping in the wind near the top of the hill. Their parents had warned them not to attempt hiking the sheer red rock cliffs. What they discovered inside a stone-walled chamber was the skeletonized remains of a 16 year old male. Positive identification of this young man has eluded investigators for nearly five years. Maybe you can help.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Sep 20, 2004 - 17 comments

You look for an answer as your question waits.

Found: Hand in Bottle "No one is sure why, but bottles with photographic images of hands have been drifting onto the shores of Clopper Lake in Seneca Creek State Park this summer." (Pictures in the second link, about 1/3 of the way down the page.)
posted by amarynth on Aug 31, 2004 - 13 comments

There's no turning back now....

Mayday Mystery. At the University of Arizona, a series of ads has been placed in the school's newspaper, the Arizona Wildcat. These ads have shown up every year around May 1st for the last 20 years or so, and seem to be cryptic puzzles relating to some sort of secret counterculture organization. Bryan Hance, the former webmaster of the Wildcat, noticed the ads, and has been trying to track down what's been going on ever since. He is chronicling his findings at www.maydaymystery.org. (via ARGN)
posted by quibx on Jun 24, 2004 - 23 comments

The Adventure of the Wooden Spoon

"If this was Jane Austen or Charles Dickens, there would be a national outcry". Thousands of personal papers belonging to Sherlock Holmes creator, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, fetched $1.7 million at an auction Wednesday, with many items sold to private U.S. collectors. The auction was a great disappointment to scholars who had hoped the papers would be donated to a public institution. The archive also became entwined in a mystery worthy of Conan Doyle's fictional detective: the bizarre death of a leading Holmes scholar. Lancelyn Green, 50, was found dead in his bed on March 27, garroted with a shoelace tightened by a wooden spoon, and surrounded by stuffed toys. (more inside)
posted by matteo on May 19, 2004 - 11 comments

Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers

Famous Unsolved Codes and Ciphers
posted by anastasiav on May 18, 2004 - 13 comments

Let Her Dance, Let Her Dance, Ket Her Dance All Night Long....

Bobby Fuller was a Texas based rock and roll singer best known for the immortal rebel anthem "I Fought The Law,". Considered by many to be the heir to Buddy Holly as the king of Texas Rock, he built on Holly's style with songs like the aforementioned "...Law," "Jenny Lee," "Love's Made A Fool Of You," and the 2 1/2 minute masterpiece "Let Her Dance." And then it ended, at age 22, in very weird circumstances. Over the years, interest in Fuller and his work has ebbed and flowed, and plenty of archival material surfaced, but the mystery of his death remains unsolved, although many have speculated. Ann odd end for a footnote character in rick history, but who was bound for more
posted by jonmc on May 7, 2004 - 16 comments

temporary temples

temporary temples
man made or not ... they are cool. via the new newstoday
posted by specialk420 on Mar 16, 2004 - 5 comments

colorless green sunflowers confuse furiously

Voynich manuscript detemined to be a hoax... maybe? Discussed here previously, this cryptic document has been intriguing researchers worldwide. In December scientists determined that the text could have been produced using a Cardan Grille and look to known prankster and alchemist Edward Kelley as the likely agent of this deception. But the question still remains, is it encoded gibberish, or encoded something else?
posted by jessamyn on Feb 16, 2004 - 11 comments

Brother, can you spare a dime?

Dream Dollars "Discover the mystery of Nadiria, the Lost Colony of Antarctica. Nadiria flourished as a utopian colony deep inside the Antarctican ice shelf for over thirty years until its mysterious disappearance in 1899. Here are the beautiful reproductions of its unusual currency, Dream-Dollars, studied by scholars and dream researchers for almost a century. Long unavailable, these exotic notes will amaze, astound, and fascinate all those interested in the strange and the beautiful."
posted by anastasiav on Jan 15, 2004 - 11 comments

Now you see them, now you don't!

One of Brigham Young University's basketball players has tattoos. Or does he?
posted by mr_crash_davis on Jan 14, 2004 - 28 comments

A questionable demise?

Kenneth Michael Trentadue was found dead in his cell in 1995, and ruled a suicide despite sloppy handling of evidence and other eyebrow-raisers. DOJ's Civil Rights Division punted in 1997, and it was again ruled suicide in 1999 by their Office of the Inspector General. Last week, an AP story said the DOJ's Public Integrity Section would be taking the matter up yet again. While there are plenty of fringe sources in a google search on his full name, there seems to be enough in the mainstream to support the notion that something doesn't add up.
posted by trondant on Dec 2, 2003 - 5 comments

The Man, The Donkey, The Toolbox

Divine architecture or crafty workmanship? Mysterious guy shows up on a donkey to make a spiral staircase for the Loretto Chapel that defies structural possibility. Made mainly of wood, it contains no support beams and uses only wood pegs to hold it together.
posted by destro on Sep 10, 2003 - 12 comments

No way back from Nunavut

In Baffin's Bay where the whale fish blow, The fate of Franklin no man may know, The fate of Franklin no tongue can tell, Lord Franklin with his sailors do dwell...an Arctic mystery, involving the meeting of two cultures, cannabalism and the occult (see under "Still more mysteries", the heading "Why wasn't the accurate information (etc.)")
posted by calico on Aug 28, 2003 - 6 comments

Who's So Vain?

Who's So Vain? Carly Simon will be revealing the inspiration for her pop classic, "You're So Vain." Suspects include Warren Beatty and Mick Jagger. My guess (you heard it here first, kids): Gene Simmons of Kiss. Who do YOU think she was singing about?
posted by twsf on Aug 5, 2003 - 69 comments

Santa Cruz Mystery Spot

The Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz, California is one of many places in the US that challenge the theory of relativity. Berkeley psychologists have a theory about these mystery spots. Another Berkeleyan visited the spot and documented his tour. Some have done their own comprehensive tests and came to a different conclusion. A book was written to describe these gravitational anomalies, skeptics and believers all have an opinion ... but where does the truth lie?
posted by jasonspaceman on Jul 17, 2003 - 32 comments

Where have all the nice books gone?

A monstery mystery. A tale of confused monks, hoarded books, secret passageways, hidden cupboards and, ummm, CCTV.
posted by humuhumu on Jun 19, 2003 - 11 comments

Death in the snow - a Fargo mystery

Death in the snow - a body is found in the frozen North Dakota woods. The cops say the dead Japanese woman was looking for the $1m she saw buried in the film Fargo. But the story didn't end there.
An interesting read via Follow Me Here.
posted by madamjujujive on Jun 12, 2003 - 50 comments

Whodunnit?

Frivolous Fun for Friday (although not quite lighthearted…) As an avid Gorey fan, I couldn't pass up posting these interactive murder mysteries. Shockwave required.
posted by Fenriss on Jan 31, 2003 - 5 comments

Mission Mini.

Mission Mini. Thieves have stolen 6 valuable paintings, and a Mini Cooper S. Read the mysterious novella by Scottish author, Val McDermid, and then fly to Barcelona to take part in this mystery. Mini has arranged plane tickets and hotel for you. Are you up for some sleuthing? Get briefed.
This could be one of the coolest interactive marketing campaigns I've seen in a long while. [some links contain flash]
posted by mad on Sep 13, 2002 - 14 comments

Harry Stephen Keeler

Harry Stephen Keeler has been called one of the strangest writers who ever lived. He has also been called the Ed Wood of Mystery Writers. His plots are labyrinthine, convoluted, insane, built on coincidences. There's a Harry Stephen Keeler Society. His works are now being re-printed. And, if you're feeling brave, you can read many of his works on-line. Keeler created, and was seemingly the sole practitioner of, a genre he called the "webwork novel." This is a story in which diverse characters and events are connected by a strings of wholly implausible coincidences
posted by vacapinta on Aug 18, 2002 - 20 comments

Nixon's Last Secret

Nixon's Last Secret The race is on to try to recover the missing 18 1/2 minutes of the infamous Tape 342. While it will be interesting to see what's on the tape (if it can be recovered) the big question is this: Why erase part of one tape and leave all the others intact?
posted by Irontom on Jun 19, 2002 - 14 comments

August 3, 2002 -

August 3, 2002 - Time travel becomes a reality. Or not. Still, some people are concerned about it.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Apr 9, 2002 - 43 comments

Coral Castle

Coral Castle is the amazing labor of love built solely by Ed Leedskalnin, a man who claimed to have discovered the "secrets of the pyramids". Did he? We may never know, but this frail, tubercular, 100-pound man managed to quarry, transport, shape, and erect chunks of coral weighing up to 28 tons by himself, using only the simplest of tools. The castle also includes a nine-ton gate that is so perfectly balanced it can be opened by a child, and the world's largest valentine, which weighs in at an incredible 5,000 pounds.
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 14, 2002 - 13 comments

Today is the 80th anniversary

Today is the 80th anniversary of the unsolved murder of William Desmond Taylor, silent movie director.

"What was the motive behind Taylor's murder? One interesting theory that came out at the inquest involved the woman Taylor was seeing at the time of his death, actress Mabel Normand. She was a cocaine user, and Taylor had gone to the federal government for help in stopping the pushers who were selling her drugs. Seeing their business threatened, this scenario goes, the pushers decided to hire a hit man to "silence" Taylor."
posted by mr_crash_davis on Feb 1, 2002 - 2 comments

Mysterious Skeletons Washing Up in Micronesia

Mysterious Skeletons Washing Up in Micronesia
Five skeletons washed up in the FSM on Friday on rafts. Rafts have been inexplicably arriving since September, but this time the chief of police (1?) has been asked to assist the investigation.
    The identity card of one of the raft victims has lead the police to think that the victims were fleeing from either Maluku or Sulawesi, where the Laksar Jihad has been terrorizing Christians and other locals (1). Not only has the movement been stepping up violence since '98, it's been expanding too. An NGO in West Papua has been complaining that they are setting up shop as a pro-Jakarta paramilitary to fight against Papuan separatist groups (1). It's interesting to see how close these far-flung places are to one another (Map (~300k))---Close to the southern Philippines too.
posted by rschram on Jan 22, 2002 - 7 comments

How Stupid Are Scientists?

How Stupid Are Scientists? As a followup to the How Stupid Are We? thread, this article from SF Gate explores scientific "head-scratchers."
posted by amanda on Jan 21, 2002 - 19 comments

Who killed John O'Neill?

Who killed John O'Neill? If the lads on the Right have their Vince Foster "mystery" death, the folks on the Left now have their John O'Neill "story."
posted by Postroad on Jan 9, 2002 - 18 comments

There was not a cloud in the sky.

There was not a cloud in the sky. Scary things afoot near Hartsville, TN. Electric bulbs light in your hand. Birds fried by electric surges midflight. Mysterious police dressed in black. Blown out transformers. And -- a Bigfoot.
posted by jfwlucy on Jul 18, 2001 - 16 comments

So I was checking out Andre's FilePile, and I noticed the new page title: "ROR Alucard". A search at Google turned up over a hundred results...few of which really explained anything. This ASCII file was the most promising explanation. So what is it, who started it, and where did it come from?
posted by canoeguide on Jul 10, 2001 - 18 comments

History, Mathematics, Religion...

History, Mathematics, Religion... All wrapped into a handy, easy-to-use {large graphic} format and distributed once or twice a year via a harmless school paper. This is the Mayday Mystery.
posted by carsonb on May 10, 2001 - 24 comments

Project 'IT'

Project 'IT' Tons of info about this mysterious device! Does 'IT' stand for Individual Transportation?
posted by stevridie on Mar 11, 2001 - 17 comments

I want one of these for my birthday.

I want one of these for my birthday. (Courtesy Hard OCP) I wonder how much they cost. If you have to ask, you can't...
posted by Steven Den Beste on Oct 20, 2000 - 0 comments

This house

This house which I heard about from captain cursor looks normal on the outside, but make sure you check out the basement! It made me think of the barn house that I once visited while growing up in Indiana. Though very different, they both are products of magnficent obscessions--as is the famous Winchester Mystery House. It seems many people like to build and live in strange homes. Of course, there are people who are obscessed with other things.
posted by grumblebee on May 16, 2000 - 2 comments

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