1501: Mysteries

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speising
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby speising » Fri Mar 20, 2015 2:50 pm UTC

buddy431 wrote:I don't understand either axis for DB Cooper. It's a mildly interesting way to illegally obtain money, not "weird as hell". DB Cooper also has an extremely simple explanation. Someone decided to hijack a plane and steal money. The only "mystery" is who they were, and what happened to them afterwards. Again, unsolved crimes aren't uncommon.

probably a self-reference to http://xkcd.com/1400/

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby richP » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:01 pm UTC

Dangit Randall, I'm going to end up spending the rest of the day stuck in Wikipedia!

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby sevenperforce » Fri Mar 20, 2015 3:41 pm UTC

buddy431 wrote:I don't understand either axis for DB Cooper. It's a mildly interesting way to illegally obtain money, not "weird as hell". DB Cooper also has an extremely simple explanation. Someone decided to hijack a plane and steal money. The only "mystery" is who they were, and what happened to them afterwards. Again, unsolved crimes aren't uncommon.

Unsolved hijackings are extremely uncommon -- the DB Cooper case is the only hijacking in US history which remains unsolved. None of the clues discovered add up or make sense at all.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby ManaUser » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:04 pm UTC

It seems like there's some redundancy between the axes. I mean a lost plane isn't particularly weird. It's only weird because it still haven't been found a year later.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby kcsaff » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:15 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:What's the clear explanation of the Dyatlov Pass incident?

Recklessness of the group, exacerbated by Dyatlov's poor leadership skills.


The central mystery to me is, why did nine adults leave a tent in the middle of the night with hardly any clothes on, run a mile away, actually succeed in starting a fire, and then abandon the fire? The rest could be explained as injuries after all this, but mere recklessness doesn't seem sufficient.

The avalanche theory doesn't seem to fit, because the naked footprints of the party were found at the site, including near the tent, which didn't seem to have collapsed due to avalanche. There just doesn't seem to be enough snow, there's been no reports of other avalanches there, there were no signs of avalanche such as displaced rocks and sticks, etc.

Even if some members of the party flipped out, if the situation wasn't urgent it would have only taken one sane person to take the time to get fully dressed before leaving the site for the picture to look different. The fact is then all nine must have seen whatever was happening as immediately life threatening, even more so than leaving the tent with little clothes on at -20F.

The explanation of paradoxical undressing doesn't work because hypothermia doesn't affect all people the same way at the same time. Also after leaving the tent they were at least capable enough to start a fire, an accomplishment in the circumstances and not what you would expect from people in a paradoxical undressing state.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:26 pm UTC

Caesar wrote:
niauropsaka wrote:The Voynich Manuscript is in the lower left quadrant? Clearly neither of the middle lines is zero, because that is definitely >0 weird and >0 unclear.


And what, exactly, does 0 weirdness or 0 clarity mean?

Zero weirdness would be entirely mundane. You wouldn't even be asking questions about it. Zero clarity would mean if someone asked you why you would shrug and say "no idea". For an example of something which is both: pick a random ordinary person at on the street that you don't recognize. Not weird at all. But why are they on the street? Where are they going? What are they doing? No idea! Not your concern anyway because there's nothing weird about it.

At the opposite end of the spectrum would be, say, quantum mechanical or relativistic effects that are far beyond the everyday experience of the human scale of life, but pretty damn well explained by now.

Zero weirdness / full clarity would be well-understood mundane facts that don't even count as mysteries, and full weirdness / zero clarity are the true mysteries. I'd say probably everything on this chart falls somewhere into that quadrant; things at least somewhat worth asking about in the first place, that aren't one hundred percent perfectly well explained.
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby armandoalvarez » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:48 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:
Caesar wrote:
niauropsaka wrote:The Voynich Manuscript is in the lower left quadrant? Clearly neither of the middle lines is zero, because that is definitely >0 weird and >0 unclear.


And what, exactly, does 0 weirdness or 0 clarity mean?

Zero weirdness would be entirely mundane. You wouldn't even be asking questions about it. Zero clarity would mean if someone asked you why you would shrug and say "no idea". For an example of something which is both: pick a random ordinary person at on the street that you don't recognize. Not weird at all. But why are they on the street? Where are they going? What are they doing? No idea! Not your concern anyway because there's nothing weird about it.

At the opposite end of the spectrum would be, say, quantum mechanical or relativistic effects that are far beyond the everyday experience of the human scale of life, but pretty damn well explained by now.

Zero weirdness / full clarity would be well-understood mundane facts that don't even count as mysteries, and full weirdness / zero clarity are the true mysteries. I'd say probably everything on this chart falls somewhere into that quadrant; things at least somewhat worth asking about in the first place, that aren't one hundred percent perfectly well explained.

It seems like zero weirdness can't be entirely mundane because the extreme left of the x-axis is "not that weird." Zero is halfway between that "weird as hell," so I would guess that in this chart zero weirdness is "Weird enough that you consider it a mystery, but not something where the weirdness stays with you."

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Kit. » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:20 pm UTC

kcsaff wrote:
Kit. wrote:
Envelope Generator wrote:What's the clear explanation of the Dyatlov Pass incident?

Recklessness of the group, exacerbated by Dyatlov's poor leadership skills.

The central mystery to me is, why did nine adults leave a tent in the middle of the night with hardly any clothes on, run a mile away, actually succeed in starting a fire, and then abandon the fire? The rest could be explained as injuries after all this, but mere recklessness doesn't seem sufficient.

Darkness, snowstorm, fear of avalanche, "known" (expected) location of the forest down the slope and their base camp in it (which they missed because they took the wrong slope down from the pass), conflict within the group when they found out that they had missed the base.

And it's not likely they had "hardly any clothes on". They slept almost fully clothed (sleeping bag technologies in the 1950s in Soviet Russia were... lacking). The lack of clothing on those who died earlier is explained by the excess of clothing on those who died later.

kcsaff wrote:The avalanche theory doesn't seem to fit, because the naked footprints of the party were found at the site, including near the tent, which didn't seem to have collapsed due to avalanche.

The tent did partially collapse, according to its photo, and covered in snow, both according to the photo and to the searchers who found it. While there unlikely was a full-blown avalanche, there could be just a chunk of snow. It could even be just a fractured immediate part of the snow slope they dug into when they set up the tent, which they mistook for an avalanche.

A photo from the group's own camera tells us that they were shoulder deep in the snow when they were clearing the spot for their tent.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 20, 2015 6:25 pm UTC

armandoalvarez wrote:It seems like zero weirdness can't be entirely mundane because the extreme left of the x-axis is "not that weird." Zero is halfway between that "weird as hell," so I would guess that in this chart zero weirdness is "Weird enough that you consider it a mystery, but not something where the weirdness stays with you."

I'm not talking about the axes in this chart, but what zero would actually mean. As I said, I would put this entire chart in the top right quadrant of a chart plotting weirdness against inverse clarity.
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby morgothcr » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:26 pm UTC

richP wrote:Dangit Randall, I'm going to end up spending the rest of the day stuck in Wikipedia!

NO!
Don't do that... better look for the mysteries at cracked.com. I'm pretty sure they have all been covered at sometime or other with a lot more humor than Wikipedia :D
Actually, I just logged in to say that, if anything, this chart shows that Randall is a huge fan of Cracked.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby slinches » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:37 pm UTC

Randall's addiction to Cracked is well documented

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby scharb » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:38 pm UTC

ManaUser wrote:It seems like there's some redundancy between the axes. I mean a lost plane isn't particularly weird. It's only weird because it still haven't been found a year later.


Not really. As someone with nautical experience, having sailed the Bermuda Triangle, I said on the second day MH370 was missing that they're never going to find that stupid plane.
It is impossible to impart just how huge the ocean is. If you accidentally dropped the Grand Canyon in the middle of the ocean somewhere, it would take decades of intensive sonography to find it again. Hell, there probably are dozens of Grand Canyon-sized canyons out in the ocean, yet undiscovered.


The Indian Ocean is 73,556,000 km².
MH370 could be anywhere in an area 1/8 that size, so they've been searching 9 million km² for a comparatively minuscule object.

With intensive searching, using significant manpower and the best technology available, to date they've searched... 24,000 km².
Of 9,000,000.

So they're 0.25% done.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby moliphant » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:53 pm UTC

Curious what the explanation that seems pretty clear is for Oak Island? I mean, it certainly could be something to do with the natural geology of the place, but there is definitely enough evidence of human involvement there over the past 300+ years to warrant some sort of "treasure hunt". I haven't seen anything specific enough to say that an explanation is anywhere close to clear at this point.

And while the History channel show annoys the crap out of me, but I am still curious about the site.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Lee_Dailey » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:06 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:I have my own theories on the Simonean Paradox. To recap: The person whom the song is about would be correct to think the song was about them, hence this supposition would not represent pure vanity as Ms Simon suggests. But what if the first you is plural and the second singular? In that case she would be addressing a collection of current/former lovers, and the statement should be interpreted as "[all of] you probably think this song is about you [in particular]", the point being that it isn't, its about them generally, as a category, and the vanity lies in assuming they are the only person to invoke her ire.

Pseudo-edit: having looked at the lyrics to the verse, we have to assume that each of Ms Simon's previous partners possesses a Lear jet and apricot-coloured scarf apiece. This is pretty specific. Perhaps my initial idea, that the song is a kind of Buddhist Koan (like "the statement on the other side of this paper is false"), was closer to the mark.

Also, relevant to today:

Carly Simon wrote:Then you flew your lear jet up to Nova Scotia
To see the total eclipse of the sun

howdy orthogon,

i can't resist! give a listen to this version by klugman & randall ...
▶ Golden Throats [You're so Vain] - Tony Randall / Jack Klugman - YouTube
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09zKoHUlhDY

/lee giggles lots ... [*grin*]

take care,
lee

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Horselover Frost » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:10 pm UTC

moliphant wrote:Curious what the explanation that seems pretty clear is for Oak Island? I mean, it certainly could be something to do with the natural geology of the place, but there is definitely enough evidence of human involvement there over the past 300+ years to warrant some sort of "treasure hunt". I haven't seen anything specific enough to say that an explanation is anywhere close to clear at this point.

And while the History channel show annoys the crap out of me, but I am still curious about the site.

It seems to be a natural sinkhole somebody tried to fill in at some point, then later other people rediscovered and assumed something valuable had been buried. The stuff about mysterious inscriptions seems to have been purely invented, there's no evidence for it. The flooding when digging isn't a booby trap, it's the diggers hitting the aquifer.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby ChakatFirepaw » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:35 pm UTC

Mary Celeste: Not mysterious at all, she was carrying mineral spirits and when she was found some of the barrels had clearly been leaking. The day she was abandoned was rather hot and the crew clearly feared an explosion. Note the absence of the ship's boat and the snapped line trailing in the water.

Amelia Earhart: Not that strange, she was notoriously bad at navigation. Her remains were also probably found on Gardner Island in 1940, (then later lost by authorities in Fiji, where they had been sent for investigation).

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Sprocket » Fri Mar 20, 2015 8:38 pm UTC

"People are very strange these days."
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Mar 20, 2015 9:12 pm UTC

I never got why "You're So Vain" was such an intriguing mystery, but I did always find it amusingly paradoxical that whoever the song was actually about would have been vain for thinking the song was about them. They might have been vain in other ways warranting writing a song about that, but thinking the song was about them wouldn't have indicated vanity since the song actually was about them.

(I'm reminded of that scene in Harry Potter somewhere where Hermione is scolding Harry for reveling in how girls like him when "they only like you because they think you're the Chosen One", and he replies "…but I am the Chosen One").
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby TheAbstractor » Fri Mar 20, 2015 10:39 pm UTC

Here, now Randall won't sleep all weekend.

http://science-frontiers.com/sfonline.htm

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby rmsgrey » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:19 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I never got why "You're So Vain" was such an intriguing mystery, but I did always find it amusingly paradoxical that whoever the song was actually about would have been vain for thinking the song was about them. They might have been vain in other ways warranting writing a song about that, but thinking the song was about them wouldn't have indicated vanity since the song actually was about them.


The fact the song is about them doesn't absolve them of vanity for thinking it is - it's not what happens to be true that's relevant - it's what they have sufficient evidence of to reasonably conclude (and it's not even that - it's how they reach the conclusion that ultimately is or isn't vanity - but that's even harder to know).

If you have a hundred people each of whom is convinced the song is about them, each based on equally good evidence, I'd say they're all equally vain regardless of whether one of them actually is the person the song is about...

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby ps.02 » Fri Mar 20, 2015 11:33 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not talking about the axes in this chart, but what zero would actually mean. As I said, I would put this entire chart in the top right quadrant of a chart plotting weirdness against inverse clarity.

Yeah, and why are the axes where they are? Would it not have made more sense to put the axes below and to the left of all the data? As it is, it's not at all clear to me that there's a qualitative distinction between positive and negative x, or positive and negative y.

Randall is often pretty good at finding an interesting and insightful way to visualize data, but I think this one missed.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby niauropsaka » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:07 am UTC

Caesar wrote:
niauropsaka wrote:The Voynich Manuscript is in the lower left quadrant? Clearly neither of the middle lines is zero, because that is definitely >0 weird and >0 unclear.


And what, exactly, does 0 weirdness or 0 clarity mean?
Well, it's a question of correspondence to independent natural or cultural parallels.... This probably gets into something like Cuil Theory.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Copper Bezel » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:29 am UTC

ps.02 wrote:
Pfhorrest wrote:I'm not talking about the axes in this chart, but what zero would actually mean. As I said, I would put this entire chart in the top right quadrant of a chart plotting weirdness against inverse clarity.

Yeah, and why are the axes where they are? Would it not have made more sense to put the axes below and to the left of all the data? As it is, it's not at all clear to me that there's a qualitative distinction between positive and negative x, or positive and negative y.

Randall is often pretty good at finding an interesting and insightful way to visualize data, but I think this one missed.

It could have been drawn either way. The origin point is obviously not any significant 0, 0, but it's at the corner of "meh" and "eh," which is a fair bit of the humor of the strip.
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Coyne » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:47 am UTC

I hadn't heard of several of these.

Good to see that the guys in the lead mask case had read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (two towels).
In all fairness...

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Proginoskes » Sat Mar 21, 2015 7:30 am UTC

"Magnets" ought to be in the upper right-hand corner.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Samik » Sat Mar 21, 2015 8:24 am UTC

I always thought that the point of "You're So Vain" was that the song was about herself, and what she learned from that relationship. She imagines that the subject will hear the detailed descriptions of himself and assume the song is about about him, where if he was less vain he might realize she wrote it for herself.

I don't really know anything about Simon, so that's an ungrounded theory.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby kcsaff » Sat Mar 21, 2015 12:49 pm UTC

Kit. wrote:And it's not likely they had "hardly any clothes on". They slept almost fully clothed (sleeping bag technologies in the 1950s in Soviet Russia were... lacking). The lack of clothing on those who died earlier is explained by the excess of clothing on those who died later.

It's well documented that there were lots of shoes and coats in the tent and few on the bodies. Yes, clothes were scavenged from the dead, but there were still clearly not enough clothes to go around and most of the footprints leading away from the site were barefoot or socked. It doesn't matter how likely it was, the evidence is they left with what they had on and nothing more.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby armandoalvarez » Sat Mar 21, 2015 1:24 pm UTC

Pfhorrest wrote:I never got why "You're So Vain" was such an intriguing mystery. . .


I'm pretty sure the mystery is only intriguing as a form of celebrity gossip. Simon dated a bunch of celebrities, so the speculation is mostly, "Who did she publicly diss?"

And sorry for skipping over that sentence on the axes issue. Gotta read more carefully before responding.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Kit. » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:07 pm UTC

kcsaff wrote:
Kit. wrote:And it's not likely they had "hardly any clothes on". They slept almost fully clothed (sleeping bag technologies in the 1950s in Soviet Russia were... lacking). The lack of clothing on those who died earlier is explained by the excess of clothing on those who died later.

It's well documented that there were lots of shoes and coats in the tent and few on the bodies. Yes, clothes were scavenged from the dead, but there were still clearly not enough clothes to go around and most of the footprints leading away from the site were barefoot or socked.

There were no "barefoot" footprints. All were at least socked (usually with thick wool socks). And all the people left the tent wearing at least sweaters.

If the tent indeed collapsed under more than a meter of snow, they weren't in position to dug out their boots out of it. And while staying inside the tent, they could have difficulty breathing. It's also unlikely that it was easy for them to move in the tent (from inside their sleeping bags) into direction other than their heads, while their boots were stored near their feet (but some coats might have been under their heads, used as pillows).

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby OP Tipping » Sat Mar 21, 2015 2:36 pm UTC

I am surprised to see the VM in that quadrant. I think it is pretty weird, and there are a number of possible explanation.
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
b) Please state the nature of your ailment or injury.
c) One a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?
d) Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Coeus » Sat Mar 21, 2015 5:18 pm UTC

I literally spent 3 minutes looking for the Wow Signal when i first saw the title, and when I gave up i found it. I guess Randall and i have differing opinions on where it should bee located. Also I was a little dissapointed to not see a reference to the flooding of The Mediterranean Sea. :(

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby doctormac » Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:43 pm UTC

I guess it would go on the bottom right quadrant somewhere, I'm sure there is an explanation but no one can say exactly what it is. I find "Peter Bergmann" quite fascinating, and could not find a wikipedia entry for him. Saw a short documentary as a Sundance film. Worth 19 minutes, if you Google The Last Days of Peter Bergmann you should find it. I apparently can't link to it without being spammy.

I'm also quite curious how Dyatlov is so clear. Lots of plausible theories, but I wouldn't put it as clear as Bigfoot or Nessie (not existing is a pretty clear explanation).

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby OP Tipping » Sun Mar 22, 2015 1:27 am UTC

And what is the obvious explanation for the meat shower?
The Wikipedia article gives:
'Out of the many theories for an explanation of this phenomenon, one suggested by locals is that the meat was disgorged by buzzards "who, as is their custom, seeing one of their companions disgorge himself, immediately followed suit". '


If this is the custom of buzzards, according to locals, then why did they even find it newsworthy? If this is normal buzzard group behaviour then there would be millions of instances of meat showers.
a) Please explain the specific MEDICAL reason for ordering this MEDICATION !
b) Please state the nature of your ailment or injury.
c) One a scale of one to ten, how would you rate your pain?
d) Please state the nature of the medical emergency.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Graham Finch » Sun Mar 22, 2015 9:33 am UTC

In the dead center of the graph is the "Don't Care About..." section.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby scharb » Sun Mar 22, 2015 11:14 pm UTC

I was in a Minneapolis bar last year and an old guy claimed to have been one of DB Cooper's friends, and would divulge his real name for a drink. Not wanting to be suckered out of a few bucks, I hesitated, and he retracted the offer. He wouldn't tell me the name, but gave me ten questions, as long as I didn't ask the name, but was stingy with the details.

According to this guy, DB Cooper was a barber in Minneapolis with an erratic temper and sadistic humor, who died (iirc) in 2005 at the age of 75. I have more details in a file on my computer if anyone's interested.

On one hand, what are the chances that this sad old drunk man paranoid about the FBI would randomly approach me and tell me all the details I needed to solve the greatest unsolved mystery on the books?
On the other hand, what are the chances that such information would come from a source other than a sad old drunk man rambling paranoid about the FBI?

If I'd had more time in the city, I would have taken a day to go out and investigate while I was there. Might have been fun.

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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:38 am UTC

My experience with sad old drunks who want to tell me something very important about a government agency has been surprisingly uniformly negative.
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Re: 1501: Mysteries

Postby Dozence » Mon Mar 23, 2015 9:01 am UTC

I can't believe Cicada 3301 isn't on there

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Orange Lights

Postby rjsteg » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:25 pm UTC

Did anyone else notice that *two* of these mysteries mentioned that witnesses saw unusual orange lights during the nights near these events!?!?

They were the Lead Masks Case and the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I'm thinking UFOs or NWO coverup.

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Re: Orange Lights

Postby moody7277 » Mon Mar 23, 2015 5:59 pm UTC

rjsteg wrote:Did anyone else notice that *two* of these mysteries mentioned that witnesses saw unusual orange lights during the nights near these events!?!?

They were the Lead Masks Case and the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I'm thinking UFOs or NWO coverup.


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Re: Orange Lights

Postby scharb » Mon Mar 23, 2015 6:21 pm UTC

rjsteg wrote:Did anyone else notice that *two* of these mysteries mentioned that witnesses saw unusual orange lights during the nights near these events!?!?

They were the Lead Masks Case and the Dyatlov Pass Incident.

I'm thinking UFOs or NWO coverup.


Random people reporting seeing colored balls of fire (or possibly ball lightning) happens in a lot of UFO and supernatural cases. The Allagash Abductions and Hessadalen incident are two more.

It was very common during WWII for fighter pilots to report colorful balls of light following them or flying in formation, and it was called St. Elmo's Fire. It was really just distant explosions "following them" the same way the Moon "follows" you. Afterwards they were displaced in UFO reports by flying saucers. Probably, the association between aliens and balls of light is just a culturally-infused, subconscious relic from the 40's... although I'm surprised at the scope of this dissemination, if it influenced reports from Brazil and Russia.


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